Bill Belichick entered the 2020 season hoping Cam Newton could take a firm grasp of the starting job. Instead, Newton’s continued struggles have significantly contributed to the New England Patriots‘ downfall. The former Pro Bowl quarterback has now given Belichick what he needs to decide on his future in New England.
Patriots fall short to the Dolphins
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The Patriots entered Week 15 action hoping to get back on track but fell to their second straight loss.
New England struggled to move the ball offensively against the Miami Dolphins, recording 18 first downs with 5.8 yards per play. The Patriots failed to convert their lone red zone trip while the Dolphins held a considerable edge in time of possession (37:26-22:34).
Cam Newton struggled to throw the ball as he completed 17-of-27 passes for 209 yards while being sacked three times. Although the Patriots held a 6-0 lead at the half, they never grabbed full control of the contest as the Dolphins outscored them 15-3 in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
The Week 15 loss means much more for the Patriots’ immediate future and potentially beyond. It may have finally given Bill Belichick what he needs to decide Newton’s fate beyond the 2020 campaign.
Bill Belichick has his reason to part ways with Cam Newton
The loss to the Dolphins does more than push the Patriots further south; it officially eliminates them from postseason contention.
For the first time in 12 years, New England has failed to secure a playoff berth. It marks only the third time in the last two decades under Bill Belichick that the Patriots have fallen short of that feat.
The lackluster 2020 season has been shrouded by subpar play under center from their Pro Bowl quarterback. The talent around Newton at the skilled positions may not be premium. Still, he has only folded with his production level that hasn’t provided a sliver of stability to the offense.
In 13 games this season, Newton has 2,381 passing yards with five touchdown passes to 10 interceptions. He has added 489 rushing yards with 11 touchdowns. Outside of Newton’s injury-shortened 2019 campaign, his production is at a career-low as he will likely fail to record 3,000 passing yards and double-digit touchdown passes for the first time in his career.
Newton’s inconsistent play throughout the year has presented Belichick plenty of reason to move on from him as the starter. He simply doesn’t have any other options to turn to with Jarrett Stidham not providing his head coach enough confidence to roll with him.
The writing may finally be on the wall for Belichick and the Patriots to move on from the one-year experiment.
Cam Newton still sees a future in New England
Cam Newton is nearing a close to his nightmarish first year with the Patriots that has fallen well short of expectations.
Despite his continued struggles, Newton still believes he is making his case to remain the long-term starter. (H/T Mike Reiss of ESPN)
“I’m going to leave it up to the people who I’ve been leaving it up to since day one. I’m not going to feed into that,” Newton said in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI, when asked whether he still expects to be the starter. “I’m still on a job interview, to be honest with you.”
Newton’s future in New England is out of his control but he holds a strong desire to stay with the franchise. Following the Week 15 loss, Bill Belichick voiced that the team will assess what direction they will head under center in the final two regular-season games.
Belichick could utilize the time to see what he has with Stidham as there is no pressure with playoff contention out the window. His decision for the quarterback position will be quite telling concerning what he feels about Newton’s future in New England.