Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets went as most expected it would until about the fourth quarter, when Bill Belichick changed his mind about letting his backup quarterback finish off the win.

With the Patriots leading 30-7 in the fourth quarter, Brady was sent to the bench to give rookie Jarrett Stidham some regular season experience. It didn’t go well for the former Auburn star, as he threw a brutal interception that Jets safety Jamal Adams returned 61 yards for a touchdown.

On New England’s next offensive drive, Brady was back under center. The Patriots finished off the 30-14 win, but Stidham probably will leave the stadium thinking about more than just the victory.

Some will criticize Belichick for the seemingly heartless move, but you can’t really blame him. The pick-six from Adams made it a two-possession game with over six minutes remaining, and there was no way he was going to risk another turnover that led to an easy Jets touchdown. Patriots rookie Gunner Olszewski already muffed a punt earlier in the half to give the Jets their first touchdown, so Belichick had seen enough.

The move was reminiscent of the Patriots’ historic season in 2007 when Belichick put Brady back into a regular-season game after then-backup QB Matt Cassel threw a pick-six.

Stidham played well during the preseason and inspired the Patriots to make a somewhat surprising roster move, but his NFL debut was one to forget.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.


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Can you name the other QBs from the first week Tom Brady started a game?

The Bears, Lions and Titans were on a bye during Week 3, so the starting QBs from Week 2 are listed below. 

ARZ / #16
Jake Plummer
ATL / #12
Chris Chandler
BAL / #18
Elvis Grbac
BUF / #11
Rob Johnson
CAR / #16
Chris Weinke
CHI / #9
Shane Matthews
CIN / #3
Jon Kitna
CLE / #2
Tim Couch
DAL / #2
Anthony Wright
DEN / #14
Brian Griese
DET / #14
Ty Detmer
GB / #4
Brett Favre
IND / #18
Peyton Manning
JAX / #8
Mark Brunell
KC / #10
Trent Green
MIA / #9
Jay Fiedler
MIN / #11
Daunte Culpepper
NE / #12
Tom Brady
NO / #2
Aaron Brooks
NYG / #5
Kerry Collins
NYJ / #16
Vinny Testaverde
OAK / #12
Rich Gannon
PHI / #5
Donovan McNabb
PIT / #10
Kordell Stewart
SD / #7
Doug Flutie
SEA / #8
Matt Hasselbeck
SF / #5
Jeff Garcia
STL / #13
Kurt Warner
TB / #14
Brad Johnson
TEN / #14
Neil O'Donnell
WAS / #12
Tony Banks

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