Sports Q

Sports Q: Who will be the Patriots’ quarterback when they face Tom Brady and the Bucs?

Will it be Cam Newton or Mac Jones?

Matthew J. Lee
Tom Brady will return to face old coach Bill Belichick at Gillette Stadium in 2021.

Welcome to’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through TwitterFacebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation. 

Tom Brady and the Bucs will be coming to Gillette Stadium for a Sunday night game in Week 4. Will Mac Jones be the Patriots’ starter by then, or will Bill Belichick want to spare him from the pressure of facing Brady? – Tim S.

It’s an interesting question. Let me answer it this way: If Cam Newton starts the season as the Patriots’ QB1, he’ll be the starter in Week 4, barring injury or brutal play. It seems highly unlikely to me that Belichick would name him the starter, then pull him before Week 4.

I do think there’s a pretty good chance Jones wins the job in camp, though. His skill-set fits what the Patriots have traditionally emphasized offensively – accuracy, quick decision-making – and he also fits their personnel.

And I don’t think Belichick really is concerned about how he will handle big-game pressure. Fan pressure at Alabama and in the Southeastern Conference exceeds that of many if not most NFL teams. There’s no reason to be concerned about Jones’s poise.


To answer the question, I think Jones wins the job in camp, and he’s the Patriots’ starter opposite Brady and the defending champs. It sure is weird to write those last five words – Brady and the defending champs — and have it reference a team other than the Patriots.

What does everyone else think? Who will be the Patriots’ starting quarterback when they square off with Brady and the Bucs? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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