The Patriots over the past few years seem to have struggles with young and inexperienced quarterbacks, allowing them to make showings that no one expected from them. Do the Patriots just consistently underestimate these guys or do they just not have enough film to make a better game plan against these quarterback? I'm going to highlight a few of the struggles that standout to me, starting from 2007.
Week 12 2007: Eagles@Patriots(Pats 31-28)
Inexperienced QB: A.J. Feeley (27/42 345 yards, 3 TD's 3 INT's)
His performance: His very first throw of the game a pick 6, I thought it was just another blowout at that point. But the guy comes storming back putting together a few great drives. He really got going in the second quarter throwing two great passes to Greg Lewis. He didn't get much help from Westbrook (17 for 53, 1 TD, long of 14). He threw loads of intermediate routes over the middle. He also picked on Ellis Hobbs quite a bit (Nothing new there that season). He threw short intermediate routes before the Patriots pass rush could get to him much like the Patriots offense does now. In the end, he threw 2 interceptions in the final 4 minutes despite the Patriots giving them the ball up both of those times. Other than the first play and the final few minutes, he was tearing up the Patriots.
Next: Chad Henne
(Ok, I was too lazy to look over the 2008 season... Brady was out then so I don't use data from that season.)
Week 13 2009: Patriots@Dolphins
Inexperience QB: Chad Henne (29/52 335 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT)
His performance: Chad Henne performed almost as well as A.J. Feeley, but he wasn't carrying the team like Feeley was. He put together drives when he needed to, getting the ball out to his receivers and letting them make a play. He racked up the yards with the underneath routes and intermediate routes, picking on the Patriots weak secondary. Granted, he just managed the game, but he sliced up the Patriots defense with not too much help from his RB's: Ricky Williams was 18 for 72, no TD's and a long of just 11. Another example of Pats letting an inexperienced QB have a game that he shouldn't.
Week 14 2010: Packers@Patriots
Inexperienced QB: Matt Flynn (24/37, 251 yards, 3 TD's, 1 INT)
His performance: Just like the other inexperience QB's, he picked apart the Patriots over the middle, racking up yards on clock eating drives. He did get some help from Brandon Jackson(22 for 99, long of 12). Some may argue his long pass happened because Meriweather took out McCourty. It would have been a completion definitely, but I think McCourty would have tackled him after the catch, but regardless he capitalized on a Pats miscue. Great game for a guy's first start.
So are all these performances from the Patriots not having a good enough game plan because there is simply not enough film on these guys? Is it because of the other team bringing a great game plan? Or a combination of both? Probably both, not to mention a huge amount of swagger the rest of the teams bring just because they know they are playing the awesome Patriots. Granted, the Pats have beat up on some inexperienced QB's, but more often than not, they have great games against the Patriots.