Last season, the New England Patriots went 7-9 and finished third in the AFC East. You haven’t heard anything like that sentence in a long, long time if you are a Patriots fan. But, 2021 is a new year and many things have changed. The team went out and grabbed multiple players this offseason, beefing up their defense and offense. They will also get COVID-19 opt outs back. They retained RB James White for another season. And they drafted Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round.
DraftKings Sportsbook has the odds for which quarterback will take the first snap for the Patriots in the 2021 season.
Patriots QB Week 1 Odds
Cam Newton -286
Mac Jones +300
Jarret Stidham +800
Cam Newton -286
You’re going to hear a wide variety of evaluations on Jones, but he was one of the most NFL ready quarterbacks in the draft and his skillset meshes well with Bill Belichick’s and Josh McDaniels’ offense. But, does that make him the starter in Week 1 over Cam Newton?
Newton signed with the Patriots last season during the height of the COVID-19 epidemic. He had to take a crash course in the Patriots offense without getting on the field to actually run the offense and it showed in the regular season. The Patriots had an awful offense, which wasn’t helped by the complete lack of receivers, especially after Julian Edelman was injured.
Newton also caught COVID-19, which slowed him down health-wise and in his development with the offense. Adding Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, Hunter Henry, and Jonnu Smith is going to help immensely. Also, a year and an offseason under his belt is going to give Newton a much better grasp on the offense.
Newton might not be able to hold Jones off for the whole season, but he likely gives the Patriots a better shot at winning early in the year. Jones will have a fairly steep learning curve, much like every rookie and free agent to ever land in Foxboboro, Massachusetts.
The odds aren’t going to give you much in return on your dollar, but I just don’t see Jones being under center Week 1.
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