When quarterback Tom Brady took his talents to Tampa in the offseason, many felt the days of New England Patriots Super Bowl hopes were gone. Cam Newton came on board and New England remains a strong contender in the AFC East. According to one former Patriots coach, New England may still be a Super Bowl contender because, with Newton, the Patriots “can beat anybody.”
Cam Newton should be good to go Sunday
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the New England Patriots. Quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). He got the results the Saturday they were supposed to fly out for their game against the Kansas City Chiefs. When he tested positive, the game was pushed back to Monday as the Patriots briefly shut down their facility.
As expected, Newton didn’t make the trip to Kansas City. The day after the Chiefs game, Newton’s teammate, Stephon Gilmore, tested positive for COVID-19 and the facility was shut down again. New England’s Week 5 game with the Denver Broncos was initially moved to Monday, but another positive test in the organization forced postponement until Week 6.
Both the Patriots and Broncos had their bye weeks during Week 5. The teams play Sunday, barring no more positive tests. Newton has already been cleared to play when the Pats host the Broncos.
Cam Newton has been a great addition to the Patriots
When Tom Brady bolted for Tampa Bay, the New England Patriots were left with veteran backup Brian Hoyer and the untested Jarrett Stidham as their quarterback prospects. In late June, the Patriots signed free agent Cam Newton to a one-year deal worth just over $1 million. Newton was coming off a foot injury that limited him to two games last year with the Carolina Panthers.
The move was low-risk for the salary cap-strapped Patriots and it’s paid off. Newton, 31, was the MVP of the league in 2015 when he guided the Panthers to a berth in the Super Bowl. Newton came into camp healthy and hungry. This is a prove-it year for Newton and he’s proving he hasn’t lost anything.
Newton is 2-1 as a starter with the Patriots. His lone loss came against the 5-0 Seattle Seahawks. New England was stopped on the final play of the Week 2 loss and lost 35-30. Newton has four rushing touchdowns and two touchdown passes this season. He’s completed better than 68% of his passes this season.
Former coach says New England ‘can beat anybody’ with Newton
Legendary New England Patriots coach Dante Scarnecchia recently retired from the NFL but continues to keep tabs on the team. He’s been very impressed with the play of Newton. Scarnecchia said if Newton can remain healthy, the Patriots could make some serious noise.
“To Cam’s credit and his skillset, it seems to be that he’s being very wise not trying to run through defenders, sliding when you gotta slide and getting out of bounds when you have to get out of bounds,” Scarnecchia told The Boston Herald. “I think it’s an important part of the equation, because they need him, and he’s got to stay out there. If he does, they can beat anybody.”
Scarnecchia, a former offensive line coach, has been very impressed with the running game and sees that as the key to success. “I think the quarterback has helped a great deal with his mobility, and the way they’re running the ball is unbelievable,” he said. “Averaging 180 yards a game is extraordinary. They’ve done a great job. They’re certainly a very capable team.”