Even though the New England Patriots have been eliminated from playoff contention, it seems as if they are not yet ready to make a change at the quarterback position. According to a report by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, “all indications are” that Cam Newton will be under center to start the Patriots’ upcoming game against the Buffalo Bills.
Newton has served as New England’s starting quarterback since early in training camp, when he established himself as the top option at the position over second-year man Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer. The first-year Patriot held onto the job throughout the year, despite his Covid-19 diagnosis in early October and some inconsistent play following his return from the NFL’s Coronavirus reserve list.
New England’s recent offensive struggles — the team has failed to score a touchdown in each of its last two games — in combination with the postseason elimination in Week 15, however, have led to questions about Newton’s job security. Would he remain the starter, or would the Patriots be willing to give Jarrett Stidham an extended look?
While next the regular season finale versus the New York Jets could be a different story, it seems that Stidham will remain as New England’s backup for now.
Bill Belichick, however, was not in a mood to discuss the position for a third straight day on Wednesday. During his latest media conference call the Patriots’ head coach said that he would “not [be] answering that question every day” and that he has “been through this for a month.”
Belichick has repeatedly reaffirmed Newton’s status as QB1 over the last few weeks, even though his passing numbers leave a lot to be desired: the former league MVP did rush for 11 touchdowns and 489 yards this season, but also threw for just 2,381 yards as well as 5 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Despite that, the Patriots have decided not to make a change — even now that the 6-8 team has no postseason spot left to compete for.
“We’ve got nothing but a high amount of respect for Jarrett and Cam, and their entire program,” said Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott on Wednesday. “We do our due diligence. Whoever they play, they are both quarterbacks, both play at a high level. So, we have to prepare ourselves to play our best football is how we look at it.”
The Patriots will host the Bills, who just won the AFC East title, next Monday night.
Who do you want the Patriots to start at quarterback this week?
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