The New England Patriots has had their worst season since 2002. They will miss the playoffs after making the playoffs the past 11 seasons. They also lost the AFC East title for the first time since 2008. Cam Newton started off great with the Patriots, however after being out with COVID-19, he has not been the same since.
So far this season Newton has totaled 2,415 passing yards and only five touchdown passes with a 65.4 percent completion rate along with 10 interceptions and 28 sacks. The Patriots are currently in a three game losing streak, only totaling 24 points and allowing 84 points against them.
While Newton has not been able to get any success in the passing game for the Patriots this season, he has had one of the best rushing stats as a New England quarterback in history. Newton has a total of 513 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns this season, the most on the team.
His rushing stats, however, do not reflect the performance both Newton and the Patriots have put up this season. Newton has spoken up over his frustrations this season and not getting the results his team needed. According to ESPN, Newton wakes up every morning at 4:20 a.m and does not go to sleep until 11:30 p.m, and the cycle continues each day.
“That’s been my schedule for 90% of the time I’ve been here, so you can kind of understand the frustration I do have when I don’t have the outcome, because I’m sacrificing so much. You’re talking to a person who hasn’t seen his kids in three months,” Newton said to ESPN. “Obviously, the contract is what it is. Submitting myself to this team is something I’ve been doing since day one. Being accessible. Yeah, it’s frustrating. It makes you mad.”
It has also been a frustrating year for head coach Bill Belichick during his first season post-Tom Brady. After being officially eliminated for the playoffs last week in the loss against Miami, the Patriots got humiliated on Monday Night Football, losing to the Bills 38-9. During the game Belichick was seen smashing the phone during the game in frustration with his team.
Bill Belichick is not happy.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 29, 2020
The NFL reports that Belichick plans to start Newton for the last game of the season against the Jets, despite being benched during the Bills game for back-up quarterback Brian Hoyer. He also said how Newton is only doing what he was told to do, and that the problem is beyond his quarterback this season.
The Patriots have suffered from many losses to their offensive line from even before the season started. They had the most players opted-out of the season due to COVID-19 with eight players, including wide receiver Marqise Lee and tight end Matt LaCossee. Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman has had an injury-plagued season, only playing in six games without a touchdown. Running back James White has also had a rough season as he lost his dad in a car accident earlier in the season.
The New York Post reports that current New York Jets head coach Adam Gase may become the next New England Patriots quarterback coach. However, this is ignoring the big issue for the Patriots. Newton has done everything he can to try to get wins for the Patriots, unfortunately it has not worked out the way he wanted to. Newton was never big on the passing game, and the Patriots have been used to the passing game for the last 20 years with Tom Brady as their quarterback.
If Belichick wants to keep Newton for next season, he will have to change his coaching method that he has been using for decades. Realizing that Newton is a running quarterback, it would be ideal for the Patriots to acquire players that can run the ball. However, if he decides to move on from Newton and stick to his passing game, then the Patriots must acquire better wide receivers that can catch the ball and make plays for them.
Many Patriots fans feel that it would be best to move on from Newton, considering his playing style is different than what they are used to. It all depends on how the quarterback market is in the post season, if they are able to acquire a passing quarterback, or just decide to keep Newton and work out all their other issues around it.