The New England Patriots are getting blown out three-plus quarters into their Week 7 game against the San Francisco 49ers, and the team has made a corresponding personnel move: starting quarterback Cam Newton has been benched in favor of second-year backup Jarrett Stidham.
Before his benching, Newton had a forgettable game. The former league MVP completed just nine of 15 passing attempts for 98 yards and three interceptions, and gained just 19 rushing yards on five attempts. While not all of the Patriots’ offensive struggles against San Francisco were entirely his fault, his inability to take care of the football contributed to the team’s deficit and offensive struggles in a big way.
Now, Stidham will get another chance at showing his value — not the first time he is in this situation.
Earlier this season, during the Patriots’ road loss in Kansas City, he also entered the game late after Brian Hoyer struggled to lead the offense during Cam Newton’s Coronavirus-related absence. Back then, Stidham had some positive moments but eventually ended the game with a rather forgettable stat-line as well: the former fourth-round draft pick completed five of 13 passes for 60 yards as well as a touchdown and two interceptions.
Unlike Newton, who has thrown six interceptions in five starts this season, Stidham is signed in New England beyond the 2020 season.