Fearsome Patriots schooling the QB Class of 2018

New England Patriots

The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots haven’t lost this season. And they’ve also taught some young quarterbacks a lesson or two.

For the first time in the history of the NFL draft, there were four quarterbacks taken within the first 10 picks. The year was 2018 and in order of selection, it was Baker Mayfield (1-Browns), Sam Darnold (3-Jets), Josh Allen (7-Bills) and Josh Rosen (10-Cardinals). All told, there were five young signal-callers chosen that first night of the proceedings, with the Baltimore Ravens jumping back into the first round to grab Louisville’s Lamar Jackson 32nd overall.

This season, the New England Patriots’ defense is off to a mind-shattering start. In seven games, all wins by Bill Belichick’s team, Stephon Gilmore, Kyle Van Noy and company have given up three offensive touchdowns. The club has allowed 1 TD pass and totaled 18 interceptions and a grand total of 22 takeaways. The Pats have allowed a grand total of 48 points and their offensive unit and special teams have surrendered as many touchdowns (3) as the defense.

So what’s the correlation? This season, New England has faced three of the aforementioned quarterbacks in Rosen, Allen and Darnold, respectively. It’s obviously not the first time the club has seen the latter two (Allen and Darnold each played the Pats once as rookies) and Rosen, now a member of the Miami Dolphins, came in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick in a Week 2 loss to the Patriots, 43-0. All told, it did not go well for any of those talented youngsters when facing this defense.

Rosen came into the game midway through the fourth quarter and completed just seven of his 18 passes for 97 yards and one interception while being sacked three times. Two weeks later in 16-10 home loss to the Pats, Allen was 13-of-28 for 153 yards for zero scores and three interceptions before being knocked out of the game. He was sacked four times and fumbled once but did not lose the ball. And on Monday night, Darnold committed a total of five turnovers in the Jets’ 33-0 loss. He was 11-of-32 for 86 yards and while he was sacked only once, he was picked off four times and lost a fumble.

That’s zero touchdown passes, eight interceptions and one lost fumble for a trio that was sacked a combined eight times. Welcome to your second year in the NFL, guys.

What makes all this even more interesting is the fact that Belichick and company will now face the Browns and Mayfield this Sunday at Foxborough and one week later in prime time, it’s a date with Jackson and the Ravens at Baltimore. That’s the same Mayfield that has more than twice as many picks (11) as TD passes (5) this season and a total of 25 interceptions in 20 career games. Jackson’s passing numbers are the polar opposite of Mayfield’s in terms of TDs (11) to interceptions (5). Do the Patriots have two more Sunday lesson plans for the other members of the quarterback class of 2018?

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