After a chaotic two weeks, Cam Newton was back under center for the New England Patriots on Sunday. Even with Newton back, the Patriots suffered a 18-12 loss to the Denver Broncos, falling below .500 after five weeks for the first time since 2002.
New England’s offense, which entered the game missing several key players, struggled to produce in the loss, but Newton expressed confidence they will be able to turn it around.
“There’s no need to press the panic button. There’s no need to start reinventing the wheel. We have the answers, and I’ll say it again, we have the answers in that locker room,” Newton said Monday morning on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show. “And we’ll get guys back hopefully and some guys need to mend and heal up. But yet through it all, it is our job as players to produce. I know looking at eye balls in that locker room and competitors as people who just seize the moment and make the most of every opportunity, we will get that job done.”
Newton completed just 17 of 25 passes for 157 yards and two interceptions in the loss. He added 76 yards and a score on the ground when New England was attempting their fourth quarter comeback. After practicing just two times in the last two weeks due to Covid-19, the 31-year old quarterback noted his timing was off, which led him to holding on the ball too long multiple times.
“I just have to be better, and I can’t stress that enough moving forward. The anticipation was off. I think that was the biggest discrepancy in not having practice,” Newton said. “Usually in most times, you can throw it way before the receiver is looking for it and be on the money with it. But not having practice for as long as I [haven’t] had practice, it just showed.”
New England’s comeback fell short after Newton’s incompletion to N’Keal Harry on fourth-and-10. Newton explained that was one example where the lack of practice showed, but refused to use it as an excuse.
“It goes back to anticipation. I knew I was going to get hit. I knew what route he was running, but that’s just a thing that I didn’t see it all week in practice,” Newton said on WEEI. “Knowing what he had, him being faced with different circumstances of the leverage of the defender [to the inside of the field], I have to be better.
“I want to make that perfectly clear. I have to play better football for the New England Patriots, and I will. I heard a person say once, ‘I don’t point fingers, I point thumbs.’ I take full responsibility of where we are as an offense.”
Of Newton's 17 completions, just six went to wide receivers. Adding offensive personnel has been a weekly topic on The Greg Hill Show, and Newton noted several weeks ago the answers were in the Patriots’ locker room — a comment he still stands by.
“I mean, the grass is not always greener on the other side — a wise man once told me that. It just comes down to us producing better and that is playing better, that’s playing situational football better. A lot of times, and mentally looking back at the game, that was just a sloppy display of football. For the first couple of series’, it was just different people taking turns making mistakes. That cannot happen. Offensive football is the ultimate team sport where even one person not doing their job, it shows. I think it showed yesterday.”
Newton and the Patriots now flip the page to Week 7, where they will try to get back to .500 as they face Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers.
“The sky may be falling the next couple of days. I’ll bring my raincoat and my umbrella to get the job done,” he said.
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