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Looking ahead, back to Patriots vs. rookie QBs
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New England faced rookie quarterbacks in four games last season, and for the most part did relatively well although the defensive action against fresh-faced passers got off to a rocky start.
Russell Wilson was the first rookie passer the Patriots went up against last fall, with the third-round pick leading his Seahawks to the 24-23, come-from-behind win in Seattle. Wilson completed 16 of his 27 passes (59.3%) for 293 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 133.7 passer rating. He won the game on a 46-yard touchdown to Sidney Rice with 1:18 to play in the fourth quarter.
That was the low of the season for Bill Belichick’s defense against rookie quarterbacks.
A month later the unit was more productive against No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck and the Colts. Luck completed 27 of his 50 attempts (54.0%) for 334 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions for a 63.3 passer rating in New England’s 59-24 victory in Foxborough.
The third rookie passer New England squared off against last fall came in a pair of meetings against Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins.
The Patriots won 23-16 in Miami in early December with Tannehill completing just 13 of 29 throws (44.8%) for 186 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions for a 66.2 passer rating.
A month later in Foxborough the Patriots prevailed 28-0 as Tannehill completed 20 of 35 passes (57.1%) for 235 yards with no touchdowns and one interception for a 65.8 passer rating.
For the season in action against Wilson, Luck and Tannehill the Patriots held rookie passers to a combined 75.0 passer rating, allowing five passing touchdowns compared to four interceptions. That's better than the overall 86.9 opposing passer rating Matt Patricia's defense allowed last fall. Read