“I’ll be the first person to say I didn’t play my best game yesterday,” quarterback Cam Newton said on his weekly Monday radio appearance on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show. “But let’s be totally clear, I don’t play this game for statistic benefits, I don’t play this game for any type of individual accolades, I play this game to win. Right? I am not going to apologize for winning.
“I don’t care how we won and I would take a win in most cases this year rather than having the three and four hundred yards passing. In my opinion, did I do enough to win in those games? Who cares. I am not going to go back and turn the page and what transpired yesterday was just a result of a great team win that I am not going to feel sorry for. It is what it is.”
It was specifically not the prettiest of games for Newton, who called his play “unacceptable” on Monday morning. Newton completed just 9-of-18 passes for a career-low 84 yards with no touchdowns, two interceptions and a 23.6 passer rating. He also carried the ball nine times for 46 yards.
“It’s a strange feeling, but at the end of the day, I’ve had games where quarterback rating, statistics and everything, effort and all that, amounted to a loss. And I’ve had games like yesterday where you did everything to try to lose and you still win by the grace of God,” Newton said.
Newton’s interceptions were his first turnovers since a game-clinching fumble in Week 8 against the Buffalo Bills. He described his fourth quarter pick — a ball which he threw right to Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick — a “reckless” decision, that could have cost the Patriots the game.
After Folk’s game-winning field goal, Newton was seen saying “I’m sorry” to Josh McDaniels on the FOX broadcast.
“It was just a culmination of everything,” Newton said of the exchange. “And you don’t know when the camera’s on you. You don’t know when somebody’s shining a light. When you play in the National Football League, you play a professional sport where the camera is always on you. It was just a dialogue between me and Josh, man. Everybody was happy, as as I, and I just knew I jeopardized the team in a way. And nobody, especially not one of the leaders on the team, wants to have that happen. And I knew.
“You’re talking to a person who is not oblivious to the way that I played yesterday It’s unacceptable. But at the same time, I am no going to sit up here and be sorry, sorry, sorry — apologize, apologize, apologize. I said what I had to say and it’s time to move forward. I’m not about to apologize for a great team win and I think that is what’s most important. At the end of the game, was I in my feelings? Absolutely. Just like any other competitor would be knowing what was done and how it was done. Bet yet, we won and that makes everything OK.”
The win improves the Patriots record to 5-6 on the season, two games out of an AFC wild card spot. If New England plans on making the playoffs, every game now seems like a must-win. When asked if he believes the Patriots can make the playoffs, Newton’s focus continues to remain in the present.
“I think we can go 1-0 next week,” Newton said on WEEI. “And just for the record, every game in Foxborough, Massachusetts by way of Boston, Massachusetts is a must-win. I don’t know who gave anybody any type of inclination, but even a blind man can see, even an unconscious person can notice that every game is a must-win.
“Let’s not play this role of, ‘Oh my God, it’s a must-win.’ Since Week 1 it’s been a must-win. If you don’t believe that just listen to the radio show, just listen to ESPN, just watch Twitter, just look at social media and the expectation is already set. There needs no type of added incentives, motives, or any type of stress here moving forward because we know what we need to do as a team and I know we can conquer it one week at a time.”
Winning three out of the their last four games, the Patriots will now turn their attention to the Los Angeles Chargers (3-8). With their next two games in LA, Newton would not “spill the beans” as to if New England will stay on the West Coast, but did mention he will be “in communication in some way shape or form” with his “hat guy”.
But no matter what hat Newton wears pregame next Sunday, his focus will remain on being better.
“Where I am at right now is I have to be better,” Newton said. “All my focus has been, and will be, trying to find ways to put my team in the best situation that we will win those type of games, and not be jeopardized by the play of myself.
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