Patriots usually make hay against rookie QBs


It almost seems unfair.

The Patriots get to open the season against a pair of rookie quarterbacks, and that is historically a very good thing for them.

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Patriots are 13-4 against rookie quarterbacks under coach Bill Belichick, which serves as a good sign as they prepare to play E.J. Manuel and the Bills followed by Geno Smith and the Jets on a short week.

The league as a whole has a .579 winning percentage against rookie passers, so the Patriots’ .765 is well ahead of the curve.

“You want to take advantage of him not being in an actual NFL game,” linebacker Dont’a Hightower said of Manuel. “Preseason is still the NFL, but it’s not as fast. The first game is a lot faster. I remember last year, my first game was crazy as heck with how many people were flying around. But we still are going to do what we have to do. At the end of the day, we’re going to try to come after him.”

No rookie making his first start has ever beaten the Patriots under Belichick, as Manuel tries to avoid joinning Luke McCown (Browns, 2004), Matt Flynn (Packers, 2010), Tyler Palko (Chiefs, 2011) and Jake Locker (Titans, 2012).

Of course, that stat has as much to do with context as Belichick’s wizardry sometimes, as very few really good teams are ever handed over to rookie quarterbacks.

21 responses to “Patriots usually make hay against rookie QBs

  1. The Pats have only about 4 games that should even present a challenge for them this year. Almost every divisional opponent has been a virtual BYE week for them for the past decade.

  2. What is the Patriots winning % vs ANY QB as compared to the rest of the league…Not sure it’s that relevant. I was in Foxboro when Matt Flynn nearly stole his first ever start from NE. The Pats have a great record regardless, hoping they will be ready on Sunday.

  3. It’s not so black and white. Colt McCoy destroyed us. And Matt Flynn nearly pulled out the win.

    As a Pats fan, I always get nervous with rookie QBs because they always seem to put up a good fight…

  4. Against rookie QB’s, BB likes to double the first read in the progression with the theory that it is difficult for rookies to quickly go through their reads. If you take away the first receiver it flusters most all rookie QB’s. At least that’s what they said they did against Roethlisberger in the 2004 AFC Championship.

  5. That Flynn game was great because of Dan Connolly going freaking beastmode on that kick return. Best moment by an offensive lineman ever.

  6. The pats D is pretty average to poor these days but I would put my money on them against any over drafted rookie QB.

    Look for lots of turnovers.

  7. Rookie QB’s are 4-13 against New England under Belichick? Am I supposed to be disheartened?

    My Bills are 4-22 against New England under Belichick…Looks like a rookie QB is all we needed all along!

  8. Its 3-43, but who is counting.

    Make hay? I hope the hay is rolled up, bound tight and not put away wet. Just prepare well and its a done deal.

  9. The Pats are 151-57 under Belichick. That’s 72.6%. They improve to 76.5% when facing rookies. That’s no big deal.

    The league average record is (obviously) 50%, which improves to 57.9% when facing rookies. The Patriots improve against rookies by less than the league average. They’re not especially good against rookie QBs.

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