This one stat shows why Deshaun Watson might be in trouble vs. Belichick’s Patriots
Deshaun Watson is going to try and do something that no rookie QB has ever done
If the Texans somehow pull off a win over the Patriots on Sunday, Deshaun Watson will have done that no other rookie quarterback in NFL history has been able to do: beat a Bill Belichick coached team in New England.
Plenty of rookie quarterbacks have walked into Gillette Stadium during Belichick's tenure with the Patriots, but none has walked out with a victory. Andrew Luck, Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota have all taken a crack at beating Belichick at Gillette over the last five years, but none has been successful.
Overall, Belichick is 8-0 against rookie quarterbacks at home, and usually, the Patriots defense ends up doing a good job of making the rookie quarterback look terrible.
This week, it sounds like Belichick's goal is to not let Watson use his legs against the Patriots defense.
"We have to do a good job of containing him and do a good job of tackling him because he's a tough guy to get down when he runs," Belichick said Wednesday. "He's not running to slide. He's running to gain yardage, so that will be a big challenge for us."
One thing that hasn't been a big challenge for Belichick is trying to figure out how to beat a rookie quarterback. Here's a look at what happened the last three times a rookie quarterback has played in New England.
Patriots 26-10 over Rams (Week 13, 2016): Jared Goff had a lot of low points in 2016, and this game was probably one of them. The Rams rookie finished 14 of 32 for 161 yards and a touchdown. The ugly part for Goff is that he also threw two interceptions and was sacked four times.
Patriots 33-13 over Titans (Week 15, 2015): Although Mariota was knocked out of this game early, it got ugly before he left. The Titans quarterback was 3 of 6 for 32 yards before he left in the second quarter with a knee injury. The Patriots were already leading 21-3 when Mariota went out, so it's highly unlikely the Titans would've won if he had played the entire game.
Patriots 16-9 over Raiders (Week 3, 2014): This game is probably the closest a rookie QB ever came to beating the Patriots at home under Belichick. With the Raiders trailing 16-9, Carr drove his team to New England's 6-yard line in the final minutes of the fourth quarter before throwing an interception that ended the game. Carr finished 21 of 34 for 174 yards.
In 2012, rookies had no chance in New England. The Patriots hosted two rookie quarterbacks that year and outscored their teams 87-24. First, the Patriots beat Luck and the Colts 59-0, then, in Week 17, they beat Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins 28-0.
The good news for Watson is that the Patriots aren't unbeatable. Belichick's record against rookie quarterbacks in road games is just 7-5 (15-5 overall). The five rookies who have beaten Belichick are Ben Roethlisberger (2004), Mark Sanchez (2009), Colt McCoy (2010), Russell Wilson (2012) and Geno Smith (2013).
Oh, and here's one other nugget for the Texans-Patriots game: We're getting the reigning Super Bowl champion quarterback against the reigning college champ quarterback.
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