For the past few years, I have written a weekly in-season article for the New York Times’ football blog, The Fifth Down. The Fifth Down has been folded into the regular sports section, so you can find my weekly articles on the NYT Sports Page. The main subject in my article this week revolved around Chip Kelly’s NFL debut and the failure of the running game in week one. But since today is also game day, here is an excerpt about a bit of trivia for the Jets-Patriots game:
Belichick against Rookies
The Patriots defeated Buffalo and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel on Sunday, 23-21. On Thursday Night, rookie Geno Smith and the New York Jets travel to New England in hopes of pulling off a big upset. Rookie quarterbacks are now just 4-11 in games against Bill Belichick’s Patriots, although one of those wins came from the last Jets rookie to start against New England: Mark Sanchez. New York is a thirteen-point underdog in week two, which is par for the course. With the exception of a meaningless week 17 game against Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans in week 17, 2006, no team with a rookie quarterback has ever been favored to beat Belichick’s Patriots. At thirteen points, that makes Smith’s Jets the largest underdog of any of these rookie-led teams.[table id=684 /]
For his career, Belichick is 18-9 as a head coach or defensive coordinator against rookie quarterbacks.
You can read the full article here.