The New England Patriots remain one of the few teams that haven’t given a definitive statement on who the starting quarterback will be in Week 1. Head coach Bill Belichick could stick with 2020 starter and former MVP Cam Newton or boldly choose his rookie, Mac Jones.
FOX Sports host Colin Cowherd admits that he doesn’t know which way the Patriots are leaning, but if he did have a say, based on what he’s been able to see, he’d take the experience of Newton. With the AFC East growing more competitive, he doesn’t think New England has time to wait for Jones to develop.
“I would take Cam. I don’t think you have games to waste in this division anymore,” Cowherd said on “The Herd” Monday. “For years and years, Belichick’s worst month was September, because he could experiment. I don’t think you can experiment in this division anymore.
“I think Brian Flores is great. I think Miami’s defense is great… I think Buffalo, right now, could be the second best team in the NFL. So, I think the days of experimenting are over in New England in this division. I doubt there will be three playoff teams from this division. I would go with Cam for the first two or three weeks and maybe [play Mac Jones] in early October. But I think it’ll be decided by stuff that I can’t see.”
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) August 30, 2021
Newton and Jones put up similar stat lines during their limited runs in Patriots preseason play. The two quarterbacks split time with the rest of the starters during New England’s three games so that Belichick could see each of them in the best possible situation.
It’s hard to believe that the Patriots will turn the top quarterback gig over to Jones right away, especially with a veteran like Newton on the roster. However, Jones has impressed as a rookie and could be in line to take over the job soon enough.
The Patriots have less than two weeks to make a final decision on their starting quarterback for Week 1. New England will begin the 2021 season at home against the Miami Dolphins.