Bill Belichick vs. rookie NFL quarterbacks: A one-sided affair


Life as a rookie quarterback in the NFL isn't easy. But it's even harder when you're going up against the GOAT.How tough? Bill Belichick's Patriots teams are an astonishing 21-6 against rookie QBs since he took over the reins in New England in the 2000 season -- and if the game is in Foxboro, fuggedaboutit. The Patriots are a perfect 13-0 against rookie quarterbacks at home under Belichick.

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Dolphins 22, Patriots 12

Tagovailoa's stats: 20-for-26, 145 yards, INT, 2 sacks, 2 rush TD (73.4 QB rating)

Not only did Tua Tagovailoa become the first rookie QB to beat the Patriots since Geno Smith accomplished the feat way back in 2013, the Alabama product also eliminated the Patriots from playoff contention with the Week 15 victory. While Miami's ground game was largely responsible for the victory, Tagovailoa did complete 77 percent of his passes and rush for a pair of scores. 


Patriots 45, Chargers 0

Herbert's stats: 26-for-53, 209 yards, 2 INT, 3 sacks (43.7 QB rating)

Justin Herbert is cruising toward winning the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award, but there's one big stinker on his résumé: a 45-point shellacking against the Patriots, his only game this season without a touchdown pass -- and his only game where he completed less than 50 percent of his passes.


Patriots 35, Giants 14

Jones's stats: 15-for-31, 161 yards, TD, 3 INT, 1 sack (35.2 QB rating)

Daniel Jones was 2-1 as a starter entering a Week 6 matchup against the Patriots, but he crashed down to earth in a big way, tossing three picks in a 21-point loss. His 35.2 quarterback rating in that game remains a career worst.


Patriots 38, Jets 3

Darnold's stats: 16-for-28, 167 yards, 4 sacks (74.6 QB rating)

Sam Darnold accounted for a touchdown in his first outing against the Patriots... but if you read that final score, you'll realize it wasn't in the way he wanted to, as Kyle Van Noy returned a Darnold fumble 46 yards for a score after a strip sack.


Patriots 24, Bills 12

Allen's stats: 20-for-41, 217 yards, TD, 2 INT (52.6 QB rating)

Josh Allen is now the top quarterback in the AFC East, but his first game against the Patriots didn't go well at all, as he didn't lead the Bills into the end zone until there was 1:08 left in the fourth quarter and the outcome was already decided.


Patriots 36, Texans 33

Watson's stats: 22-for-33, 301 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 2 sacks (90.6 QB rating)

Deshaun Watson came oh so close to actually beating the Patriots in his second career start, as the Texans led 33-28 before Tom Brady and Brandin Cooks connected on the game-winning touchdown with 23 seconds left. A first-half interception that Stephon Gilmore returned to the Texans' 12-yard line proved costly.


Patriots 26, Rams 10

Goff's stats: 14-for-32, 161 yards, TD, 2 INT, 4 sacks (43.9 QB rating)

In his third season, Goff would battle the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, but his first matchup against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady happened in his third career start, when he couldn't do a thing against the Pats D. The Rams trailed 26-3 until Goff threw his only TD of the game with just 1:15 left.


Patriots 33, Browns 13

Kessler's stats: 5-for-8, 62 yards, TD (126.0 QB rating)

In a game known for being Tom Brady's return to action following his Deflategate suspension, Kessler actually fared well, throwing a TD on his first drive before leaving the game after one quarter with chest and rib injuries.


Patriots 33, Titans 16

Mariota's stats: 3-for-6, 32 yards, 3 sacks (66.0 rating)

Another rookie who didn't even make it to halftime in his first game against the Patriots, the Heisman winner didn't return after getting sacked to end two straight second-quarter possessions, including a Jamie Collins strip sack in the end zone recovered by Akiem Hicks that made it 14-0.


Patriots 16, Raiders 9

Carr's stats: 21-for-34, 174 yards, INT (62.6 QB rating)

Despite only leading the Raiders to three field goals, Derek Carr had Oakland in position to tie the game until a Vince Wilfork interception at the New England 10-yard line in the final minute. Not bad for a team that came into the game as 14-point underdogs.


Week 2: Patriots 13, Jets 10 (15-for-35, 214 yards, 3 INT, 4 sacks, 27.6 QB rating)

Week 7: Jets 30, Patriots 27 (OT) (17-for-33, 233 yards, TD, INT, 4 sacks, 71.9 QB rating)

That's right. Your eyes aren't deceiving you. The last rookie quarterback to beat Bill Belichick was the immortal Geno Smith, who split a pair of matchups against New England in 2013. And the only reason that the Jets were able to win was thanks to a controversial unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Chris Jones, giving Nick Folk a chance for a shorter field goal in overtime.


Patriots 23, Bills 21

Manuel's stats: 18-for-27, 150 yards, 2 TD (105.5 QB rating)

EJ Manuel nearly sprung the upset in his first career start and had Buffalo up by four points entering the fourth quarter, but he ran out of steam late, leading the Bills to only three first downs and 73 yards on their final five possessions.


Week 13: Patriots 23, Dolphins 16 (13-for-29, 186 yards, 3 sacks, 66.2 QB rating)

Week 17: Patriots 28, Dolphins 0 (20-for-35, 235 yards, INT, 7 sacks, 65.8 QB rating)

Ryan Tannehill got the best of the Patriots in his last matchup against Bill Belichick -- a Wild Card win in Tom Brady's last game in New England -- but he had no success as a rookie, getting sacked a total of 10 times and losing two fumbles in a pair of losses.


Patriots 59, Colts 24

Luck's stats: 27-for-50, 334 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 5 sacks (63.2 QB rating)

Andrew Luck actually threw four touchdowns in his first game against the Patriots. Unfortunately for Indianapolis, two were pick-sixes by Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard. Maybe Luck's issues against Belichick weren't a matter of being a rookie. In six career games against the Patriots, he went 0-6 with an average margin of victory of 22.8 points per game.


Seahawks 24, Patriots 23

Wilson's stats: 16-for-27, 293 yards, 3 TD, 2 sacks (133.7 QB rating)

The Patriots actually led 23-10 with nine minutes left, but Wilson threw two late TD passes: one to Braylon Edwards and a game-winning 46-yard strike to Sidney Rice with just 87 seconds left, giving Seattle the victory. Wilson is actually 3-0 against Belichick with a 135.4 QB rating during the regular season, but his playoff history against the Patriots is another story (thanks, Malcolm Butler).


Browns 34, Patriots 14

McCoy's stats: 14-for-19, 174 yards (101.6 QB rating)

One of the more surprising results on this list, McCoy led the Browns to a 20-point win (!!) over Belichick's Patriots in his third career start despite not throwing for any touchdowns or reaching 200 yards. Winning the turnover battle 3-1 was a huge factor.


Week 2: Jets 16, Patriots 9 (14-for-22, 163 yards, TD, 2 sacks, 101.1 QB rating)

Week 11: Patriots 31, Jets 14 (8-for-21, 136 yards, TD, 4 INT, 2 sacks, 37.1 QB rating)

Sure, Mark Sanchez's most famous moment against the Patriots was the Butt Fumble on Thanksgiving night in 2012. But his first matchup against Bill Belichick was a stunner -- a 16-9 Jets upset in Week 2 of the 2009 season, New York's first home win over New England since 2000.


Patriots 40, Titans 23

Young's stats: 15-for-36, 227 yards, 2 INT, 5 sacks (39.9 QB rating)

After starting the season 0-5, Tennessee entered Week 17 against the Patriots with a shot at the postseason. But Young -- who had been 8-4 as the team's starter -- couldn't get the job done, as he turned the ball over three times in the 17-point defeat.


Patriots 42, Browns 15

McCown's stats: 20-for-34, 277, 2 TD, 2 INT, 3 sacks (80.1 QB rating)

One week after Cleveland gave up 58 points, and days after head coach Butch Davis resigned, the Browns sent rookie Luke McCown up against arguably the best Patriots defense in Belichick's tenure. Sounds like a mismatch... and it was. New England led by 35 late in the third quarter before Rohan Davey replaced Tom Brady at QB.


Week 8: Steelers 34, Patriots 20 (18-for-24, 196 yards, 2 TD, 126.4 QB rating)

AFC Championship Game: Patriots 41, Steelers 27 (14-for-24, 226 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT, 1 sack, 78.1 QB rating)

Ben Roethlisberger's 14-game win streak to start his NFL career included a Week 8 matchup against the Patriots in which he snapped New England's 21-game win streak. But Belichick got the last laugh in the AFC Championship Game, when Big Ben threw a pair of costly interceptions in the first half as the defending champs built a 24-3 halftime lead en route to a return trip to the Super Bowl.


Patriots 27, Jaguars 13

Leftwich's stats: 21-for-40, 288 yards, TD, 2 INT, 1 sack (63.3 QB rating)

The Patriots -- who had won their previous two home games in shutouts -- were 3:22 away from becoming the first team in 71 years to go five straight home games without allowing a touchdown, but a late Byron Leftwich TD toss to Kevin Johnson spoiled that bid. 


Patriots 20, Lions 12

Harrington's stats: 22-for-44, 210 yards, 3 INT (35.2 QB rating)

Joey Harrington played the role of turkey in this Thanksgiving Day game, throwing a pick-six to Tedy Bruschi on his second throw of the game -- one of three first-half interceptions that allowed the Patriots to build a 17-3 lead.


Patriots 38, Panthers 6

Weinke's stats: 15-for-36, 144 yards, 3 INT, 2 sacks (18.8 QB rating)

Yikes. Weinke had an utterly forgettable end to his rookie season, accounting for four turnovers -- three interceptions, including pick-sixes from Ty Law and Otis Smith, plus a fumble -- in this Week 17 blowout as the Panthers went 0-for-6 in the red zone and had six turnovers against a Patriots team that would win its first Super Bowl four weeks later.

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