The Patriots had a 30-7 lead over the New York Jets in the fourth quarter Sunday, and unlike last week against the Miami Dolphins, starting quarterback Tom Brady was pulled from the game so Stidham could get his first taste of regular season football.
"I wasn't really expecting it at the time," Stidham admitted. "I was ready for it. They just said, 'Get in.' So that's what I did."
Stidham wasted no time completing his first career pass, hitting Phillip Dorsett for an 11-yard gain on his first attempt. He was then sacked for a 7-yard loss, followed by a 3-yard pass to Rex Burkhead. His third, and ulimately final throw, was intercepted by Jets safety Jamal Adams, who returned it 61 yards for a touchdown.
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 22, 2019
Stidham's interception was his last snap of the game. The pick-6 trimmed the Patriots' lead to 30-14 with 6:23 left in the fourth quarter, and head coach Bill Belichick decided to put Brady back in for the remainder of the game. The Patriots held on for a 30-14 win to improve to 3-0.
"Anytime you go out there and (make a mistake like that), you're itching for the next thing," Stidham said. "It is what it is. I'm just going to continue to get better."
Stidham wasn't the only rookie to make a mistake Sunday. Rookie wide receiver Gunner Olszewski fumbled a punt in the third quarter and the Jets recovered the ball in the end zone, resulting in the first touchdown the Patriots had given up all season. Sunday's game will go down as a great learning experience for both players, as well as a humbling reminder that even a slight loss in concentration can cost you points at the pro level.
"I'm very thankful to get a few snaps," Stidham said. "I wish it went a little bit better. I just got to make a better throw. I'll just continue to get better and have a next-play mentality."
Patriots QB Jarrett Stidham reacts to NFL debut, first interception originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston