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That being said, his first year in the NFL still tells us something about his development and potential long-term outlook — something that might become relevant sooner rather than later and with Brady no lock to return to New England given his status as an unrestricted free agent. Could the team decide to roll with Stidham, either through choice or if forced to do so?
That seems like the best Plan B availablefor more than just financial reasons. Stidham brought back memories of former Patriots backup and current San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during his first training camp in New England: he looked comfortable making the transition from the college level to the pros, and appeared to develop quickly while competing with veteran Brian Hoyer for the two spot behind Brady.
While he was far from perfect, Stidham did have his moments. His second preseason game against the Tennessee Titans featured one of them and showed a player capable of performing even when in difficult spots. The young quarterback and second-year wide receiver Damoun Patterson 17 converted by doing this:. The back-shoulder throw is one of the toughest to defend, but also equally difficult to get right.
His ball-placement and touch on the throw were superb, with the rookie showing plenty of trust in his perimeter receiver to make a play on the ball. The protection played its part — Stidham had plenty of time to let the routes develop — but the passer did what he was supposed to do. Throughout the summer, Stidham showed an ability to make all the throws in the book and this one against the Titans was no exception.
Obviously, it did not happen against an NFL-caliber defense but being able to successfully deliver a difficult third-and-long pass in the fourth quarter of a game is impressive even in preseason. One week after a generally solid performance against the Titans — Stidham completed 14 of 19 pass attempts for yards and the touchdown to Patterson — the Auburn product had another good outing, even though some ups and downs were on display during the contest against the Carolina Panthers.
Consistency and stringing together positive plays was an issue for the rookie throughout his first summer in the NFL, and the third preseason still was no exception. The ups included a play in the second quarter and with the Patriots trying to drive for a score in a two-minute drill. Meyers was able to gain inside position on Panthers cornerback Javien Elliott 38and Stidham placed the ball where the defender was unable to make a play on it: he targeted Meyers high and the undrafted free agent came away with the reception. Stidham again had considerable time in the pocket on the play, and was able to make a good decision and Stidham after surveying the field.
As can be seen by his head movements, his first read appears to be weak-side receiver Phillip Dorsett 13 but the young quarterback moved off the veteran in favor of Meyers.
While he does rush through his motion a bit — ideally, he would keep his right leg on the ground to get a more stable platform — he is still able to deliver a dart for a new set of downs. As noted above, however, Stidham was not perfect against Carolina. Upon receiving the snap, the quarterback had his eyes to the left where Gunner Olszewski 9 and Meyers were aligning in a slot formation. He eventually did turn his head around, but it was too late: Carolina linebacker Antwione Williams 49 was able to get through the right-side A-gap unobstructed Stidham came crashing down on Stidham.
The rookie failed to get the football off in time and had to hit the turf to set up a 2nd-and The moment did present a teaching opportunity for Stidham, though. Had he read the blitz correctly and identified an extra rusher as an option, he might have decided to throw the ball to his hot read: still back Nick Brossette 42 was open in the right-side flat for a completion that may have netted the Patriots a few yards.
The ones lost by Stidham, meanwhile, turned out to be ificant: together with another sack of eight yards — one that was not his fault — he set up kicker Stephen Gostkowski with a yard field goal attempt that was eventually missed wide to the left.
His bigger issues that day were an inability to lead receivers on intermediate routes over the middle, which in turn hurt their ability to generate additional yards after catching the football, and a tendency to hold the football too long. The latter played a role in his three sacks, with the former was on display on a completion to Julian Edelman 11 in the first quarter of the game:. However, the Patriots could have had even better field position had Stidham led the receiver a bit more: the pass forced Edelman to slow down a bit and adjust for the reception, which allowed Giants cornerback Julian Love 37 to easily catch up and take him down almost immediately after the reception.
Despite New England being up at this point in the game, the team apparently wanted the youngster to throw the football quite a bit. Stidham, who was ed in the backfield by running back Brandon Bolden 38took what the defense gave him on the play and hit Dorsett for a catch-and-run of 11 yards:.
New York approached the down in a Cover 1 look with the cornerbacks playing off-man coverage across the board, and Stidham took advantage. Dorsett ran a short sit-down route from his spot on the right-side perimeter, and the quarterback did not hesitate to deliver the football.
Stidham was sacked on his next play, although the protection was more to blame for that than the young quarterback. This defensive alignment gave the Patriots room to operate in the underneath area of the field, and Stidham opted to go there by targeting Bolden out of the backfield.
However, the play did not work as desired:.
Targeting Bolden was a sound decision, even though one that probably would not have helped the Patriots convert the third down it might have given New England a shot at a manageable fourth down. The play was a safe one, though, if the pass was accurately delivered. Unlike Dorsett, however, Bolden was unable to do that.
You can mark it down as big-game jitters, but Stidham had some accuracy issues in his first ever regular season contest — just like he had from time to time during preseason as well. The fourth-round pick had some solid plays in preseason and gave the Patriots confidence to expose veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer to the open market after his release Hoyer ended up ing with the Indianapolis Colts shortly after his release.
The foundation he built in appears to be a solid one without even judging his work behind the scenes. The year-old should therefore be in a position to make a ificant jump between years one and two in the system and with a full offseason under his belt. Yes, Stidham needs to get more consistent when it comes to his accuracy and decision-making, but he did show that he can succeed in both areas.
I think anyone who has seen him would agree with that. Does that praise make Stidham a worthy successor for Tom Brady, in case the future Hall of Famer left the Patriots via free agency this year or retirement a bit further down the line?
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Stories Schedule Roster Stats. Reddit Pocket Flipboard. Stidham pass deep left to D. The young quarterback and second-year wide receiver Damoun Patterson 17 converted by doing this: NFL Game Pass The back-shoulder throw is one of the toughest to defend, but also equally difficult to get right. Q2: NE 31 Shotgun J. Stidham pass deep left to J. Meyers to 50 for 19 yards C. Stidham sacked at CAR 19 for -9 yards A. Stidham pass short middle to J. Edelman to NYG 20 for 20 yards J.
Shotgun J. Stidham pass short right to P. Dorsett to NYJ 44 for 11 yards N. Stidham, who was ed in the backfield by running back Brandon Bolden 38took what the defense gave him on the play and hit Dorsett for a catch-and-run of 11 yards: NFL Game Pass New York approached the down in a Cover 1 look with the cornerbacks playing off-man coverage across the board, and Stidham took advantage.
The pats got a brief spark from stidham before the chiefs defense took over
Stidham pass short right intended for B. Adams at NYJ However, the play did not work as desired: NFL Game Pass Targeting Bolden was a sound decision, even though one that probably would not have helped the Patriots convert the third down it might have given New England a shot at a manageable fourth down. More From Pats Pulpit. Loading comments Share this story Twitter Facebook.