As I said the other day, one of the commandments of covering the NFL is, "Thou shall not read too much into a preseason game, either positively or negatively." You can extend that to, "Thou shall not go overboard about the third-string QB against the other team's scrubs, especially when the journeyman backup was even better against the opponent's backups." I'm telling you, that's written down somewhere.
With that out of the way, JarrettStidham had an impressive debut on Thursday night in the Patriots' 31-3 victory over the Lions. And if you're grading on a curve considering the college offenses (Baylor, Auburn) he's coming from — BillBelichick has mentioned it a few times, as we have since he was drafted — Stidham's night (14 of 24, 59 percent, 179 yards, 1 TD and 95.7 rating) was downright spectacular.
But don't go sending the game ball to Canton — or even the Patriots Hall of Fame — quite yet.
Just remind yourself that JimmyGaroppolo (from a similar college offensive system) was even better (9 of 13, 69.2 percent, 157 yards, 1 TD, 135.7 rating) in his debut throwing to the likes of Josh Boyce, Brian Tyms, RoyFinch and someone named Wilson Van Hooser.
That being said, Stidham showed a lot of promise against the Lions. And while he still has plenty to work on, especially a tad more air on deep passes, he was most impressive with the subtleties of the position, which are better indicators of future success than raw numbers.