How Brian Hoyer Could Be Patriots’ Week 1 Starter, Says Analyst

Getty How Brian Hoyer could be the starter in Week 1 of the 2020 season for the New England Patriots

It appears the New England Patriots are handing the keys to the car to Jarrett Stidham at quarterback. They didn’t sign a big-name free-agent QB and didn’t use a draft pick on a promising rookie. Because of that, Stidham is likely the next man up to fill the void left by future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady.

However, one Patriots analyst can see a scenario where Stidham isn’t the starter in Week 1, and it is instead veteran QB Brian Hoyer.

How Brian Hoyer Could Be the Patriots’ Week 1  Starter

CLNS’ Evan Lazar points out a very real possibility for the upcoming season that could make it more difficult for the Patriots to feel comfortable appointing Stidham the starter.

Lazar said:

There’s one plausible scenario where Hoyer could start games, assuming Stidham is healthy, and that’s if COVID-19 wrecks the lead up to the season. In a situation where there was no in-person offseason program, and limited training camp and preseason, it might make sense to ease Stidham in, and the Pats’ first stretch of games are no cupcakes.

Let’s take a closer look at this scenario.

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When Will Preseason and Training Camp Begin?

Preseason schedules are beginning to roll out across the NFL, but there are still questions about the season starting late and franchises dealing with truncated training camps. If that becomes a reality and not just a possibility, the Patriots and any other team considering starting a young QB with little to no experience will have to strongly consider whether this is the right environment for them.

Imagine this, it could be an entire season before some of the rookie quarterbacks get an opportunity to feel what it’s like to play their position in the NFL in front of a packed house. Beyond that, would head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels feel comfortable with the number of reps they have with Stidham to throw him to the wolves? Maybe not.

To put it plainly, a Patriots fanbase that is accustomed to winning–and watching the greatest QB that ever lived for the past 20 years–isn’t likely to be too patient with early struggles from Stidham.

The Patriots’ Early Schedule is Treacherous

As Lazar pointed out, it doesn’t help that the Patriots start the season facing major competition. In Week 1, if this remains in place, the Patriots open up against a motivated Miami Dolphins team coached by former New England assistant Brian Flores, and a defense sparked by the acquisition of former teammates Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts.

From there, the Patriots face the Seattle Seahawks on the road, the Las Vegas Raiders and then the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. This would be a tough stretch for Stidham if he had a full training camp, it will definitely be reason for concern if COVID-19 drastically impacts his preparation.

Hoyer’s experience might come in handy if this is the scenario.

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