While it was never going to be easy replacing Tom Brady, Cam Newton has had a tough season in Foxborough. For the first time in a seeming eternity, the New England Patriots are struggling; even if the quarterback isn’t entirely at fault, he hasn’t exactly put the team on his back.
Heading into Week 9 of the 2020 NFL campaign, the New England Patriots are sitting at a lowly 2-5. Cam Newton, however, is confident that it will only take one game to turn things around.
Cam Newton hasn’t had the best start to life with the New England Patriots
When Cam Newton joined the New England Patriots for pennies on the dollar, it looked like Bill Belichick had stolen his next star quarterback. Things in Massachusetts, however, haven’t gone completely smoothly.
In fairness to Cam, he and his offense looked pretty good in Week 1, albeit against the Miami Dolphins; the Patriots also played well enough to beat the Seahawks during Week 2 but couldn’t score the deciding touchdown. After a win against the Raiders, New England climbed to 2-1, and Newton looked like he had added a new wrinkle to Josh McDaniels’ offense. Since then, however, things have started to crumble.
Newton, of course, ended up catching the coronavirus, forcing him to miss the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. While he returned to action after the Patriots’ unexpected bye week, results haven’t improved; the club dropped their next three games, sinking toward the bottom of the division.
Although there are plenty of mitigating factors, like injuries and an overall lack of offensive talent, Newton hasn’t exactly recaptured his NFL MVP-winning form. Through seven games of the season, the quarterback has started six times and thrown for 1,143 yards, two touchdowns, and seven interceptions; he’s added 298 more yards and six additional scores on the ground.
Cam Newton still believes that his team can turn things around
Based on the New England Patriots’ recent performances, there isn’t much cause for optimism around Foxborough. Cam Newton, however, doesn’t see things that way. In his mind, a single result can change everything.
“Just the vibe that you get in that locker room is we just need one,” Newton explained on WEEI. “Going back and knowing this team as well as I do know this team, coming off of that Raiders win, I think everybody had a full head of steam and momentum. Then obviously what happened with COVID and everything like that, it’s just been a slippery slope, walking down a slippery aisle trying to regain your footing. One thing I do know about this team is once we get that first one, that next one is almost, ‘OK, we remember how to win. OK, we know how this feels. This is where situational football kicks in, let’s do a better job of doing this, that and the third.”
While things may seem dire from afar, Cam is confident that everyone on the Patriots roster is doing the right things; those efforts will, in theory, eventually pay off.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that guys are taking the proper steps of focusing on each and every day, each and every rep, each and every practice that will inevitably lead to in-game success for one particular game,” the quarterback continued. “We have a relatively young, but mature team that keeps everybody focused and in line with what the common goal is for that specific day and week.”
Can the New England Patriots really salvage the 2020 season?
It goes without saying that a quarterback is never going to come out and tell the media that his team has given up on the season. With that in mind, what should we make of Cam Newton’s comments about the current state of New England Patriots?
To some extent, Newton has a point: nothing can sap a team’s momentum like a losing streak. As we’ve all experienced, regardless of our athletic abilities, sometimes everything just seems to go wrong. Once that happens, you almost need to remind yourself that success is possible.
At the same time, though, the Patriots’ problems go beyond simply bad vibes. Between injury issues and a general lack of top-tier talent, the team simply doesn’t look like a contender. For all of his success as a coach, Bill Belichick’s general-managerial magic seems to be running out.
The good news for Cam Newton and the New England Patriots, however, is that they’re playing against the New York Jets this week. That should allow them to test the ‘we just need one win to get the ball rolling’ hypothesis in real time.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference