The New England Patriots had a very big vacancy after Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the offseason. Brady was the New England starting quarterback for 19 seasons. He was the player who put the franchise on the map and turned the team to a dynasty. But as they say, even the best things in life are not meant to last. So was Brady.

With Brady gone, the public eye turned to second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham whom the Patriots drafted in 2019 and designated as Brady’s back-up last season. New England signed Stidham, named him QB2. and released veteran Brian Hoyer. But then the Patriots re-signed Hoyer last March and then inked former NFL MVP Cam Newton to a one-year deal earlier this month, allowing oddsmakers to create a betting market for the Patriots’ Week 1 starter.

The highly-touted Newton has emerged as the odds on favorite to be the Patriots’ Week 1 starter. Stidham has slipped to the second in the odds board while Hoyer is a longshot third on the list.

Football Who Are the Favorites?

Here are the current odds on who will be the Pats starting QB in Week 1. Odds provided by the online sportsbook BetOnline.AG as of 07/12/2020

Player Odds
Cam Newton -200
Jarrett Stidham +150
Bryan Hoyer +1000

Cam Newton is the odds on favorite to take the first snap for the New England Patriots this season. The 31-year old from Atlanta, Georgia was the #1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Newton was the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year after breaking the league’s freshman records for quarterback passing and rushing. He became the first NFL quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his first NFL game and was the first rookie QB to throw for over 4,000 yards during his first NFL season. He led the Panthers to a 15-1 record and a trip to Super Bowl 50 in 2015 while winning league MVP honors. Over the next seasons though, he struggled with injuries before he was released by Carolina last year. Newton signed a one-year deal with New England last July 8, 2020, and since then, fans and experts have anointed him as Tom Brady’s successor.

Jarrett Stidham was the New England Patriots’ 4th round pick in the 2019 NFL draft and 133rd pick overall out of Auburn. The 23-year old earned the right to be Tom Brady’s back-up last season, displacing veteran Bryan Hoyer. Stidham appeared in only three games last season, throwing a total of four passes and completing two. He has learned the Patriots way while playing behind Brady and because New England runs a complex system, Stidham has the advantage over Newton. He knows Belichick’s system better and does so by over a year.

Brian Hoyer was undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft but the former Michigan State signal-caller worked his way to the Patriots’ roster. He also had stints with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, and San Francisco 49ers before the Patriots signed him against in 2017. Hoyer was released after the Patriots drafted Stidham and he played a single season for the Indianapolis Colts. He started one game last season, throwing for 204 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions for the Colts. New England signed Hoyer for a third time last March 25, 2020.

Football Who Will Be the Patriots’ Week 1 Stater?

There’s something about Brian Hoyer because the Patriots have released him twice but he somehow ends up back in New England. Despite that, I think that he is out of the picture when it comes to being the Week 1 starter, well unless of course Stidham and Newton are both injured on opening week. That’s highly unlikely, though. Other betting sites even have New England’s fourth quarterback Brian Lewerke as the fourth QB in their odds board. But no matter how much plus money both Hoyer and Lewerke come with, neither is going to get the start in Week 1.

Most people have put Newton as the New England starter, by default. And I don’t blame them. Newton comes to New England with plenty of hype. He’s a former #1 overall pick, a former Rookie of the Year who wons several rookie records in the NFL., and a former league MVP who has led a team to the Super Bowl. However, Newton’s health is a big question mark despite reports that he is 100%

Since winning the MVP, Newton has played just one playoff game and that was in 2017. Sure, he threw for at least 3,300 yards and had at least 19 touchdowns per season from 2016-2018, but the former Heisman Trophy winner averaged 14.33 interceptions per season during those three years, worse than his season totals from every year from 2012-2015.

During the 2019 season, Newton started just two games and threw only 89 passes without a single touchdown. He was bothered by a nagging shoulder injury in 2018 and 2019, he was diagnosed with a Lisfranc fracture. Others argue that his injuries are not serious and that there is a good chance that he will be close to 100% ( if not 100%) when the season starts. However, that is not a guarantee.

What is sure though is that Stidham knows the New England system better than Cam Newton and that the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions will not make life things easier for Cam Newton to get acquainted with Belichick’s system. Familiarity is a key factor here and the advantage is with Jarrett Stidham.

The main argument against Stidham is that he didn’t get enough exposure during his rookie season. But hey, don’t forget that he played only behind Tom Brady. And yes, don’t forget that during the 2019 preseason, he put up the best numbers of any rookie quarterback under Belichick. Sure, preseason isn’t the same as the regular season and when it comes to experience, Newton has the edge.

I think that the Patriots’ starting QB job is for Stidham to lose. There is no question that Cam Newton has a better resume, but Stidham is a Belichick pick. The other quarterbacks that New England drafted after Brady was Jimmy G and Jacoby Brissett. Look what those two have achieved. For the Pats to pick Stidham means they saw something in him.

I am not sure if Jarrett Stidham finishes the 2020 season as the New England starter. However, I’m pretty sure that he will start on the opening week. Cam Newton is a big acquisition but the mere fact that they signed him to a one-year deal means that they aren’t 100% sure about him. There’s a reason why no other team gambled on Newton. For New England, there were willing to take the risk because they needed depth in the position, not a starter. I’ll take the plus money here.

Prediction: Jarrett Stidham

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