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Patriots quarterback Cam Newton on his performance against the Raiders: ‘I know I can play better’

Related: Patriots had a simple goal against the Raiders: ‘Finish every play, every run’

Las Vegas Raiders v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Despite a 36-20 victory over the previously undefeated Las Vegas Raiders, Sunday at Gillette Stadium, Cam Newton was not very pleased with his individual performance.

Newton completed 17-of-28 passes for 162 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He added nine carries for 27 yards. The yardage total was his lowest of the season, as Newton looked off for a majority of the game. When asked on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show Monday morning to grade his performance, Newton gave himself a C.

“Yesterday was kind of frustrating in itself,” he said. “I do understand playing in this league long enough that there will be games like that and you just have to find ways to win. That’s the optimistic answer. Me personally was lackluster ball security. Just a slow start offensively. This is a subpar performance and I know I can play better, I know I can do better and I know I will be better.”

Newton’s interception came in the second quarter, when he scrambled out of the pocket and forced a ball to Rex Burkhead. Newton took full responsibility for the pick.

“Trying to do too much. That simple,” said Newton. “I lost the defender and you’re scrambling you just kind of assume that people are going with certain people, and he just peeled back and I didn’t take it into account. But things like that just can’t happen.”

After a slow start to Sunday’s game, the New England Patriots did end up defeating the Raiders rather conceivably, largely thanks to their rushing attack, to improve to 2-1 on the year.

“Playing in this league you’re not just going to steamroll every team,” said Newton. “At one point, I did look up at the stat line of total offense, and we did surpass 400 yards [406]. So let’s not be naive about the fact that when we did get it rolling, we got it rolling. With Sony [Michel] running the way he’s running, [Burkhead] playing the way he’s playing, that position group, the running backs, had the light shining on them all day and it showed by the production that they gave us.”

Newton also discussed his new documentary, “86 Nights”, where he explained it will dive into his human side of life away from football. The documentary gets its name from the amount of day’s Newton spent this offseason unemployed.

As we know, Newton eventually reached a one-year agreement with the Patriots for the veteran minimum. When asked if that still motivates him, Newton explained that this is a “business trip” in New England that could very well be the end of his career.

“I am a person who takes everything to heart, I mean anything,” he said on WEEI. “The whole decision, and not to keep beating a dead horse, this is a business trip for me. The fact that I don’t have none of my children here in Boston with me and the fact that I haven’t been able to see them on a regularity, that’s angry in itself for me. I wake up every morning missing the hell out of my children, and knowing that if I don’t do what I am supposed to do, then this could be good riddance for me. That is as serious as I am making it and that’s as serious it is.

“Not to mention, I have so much to prove. I could care less about other critics, but more or less I have so much to prove to myself. I have seen a lot of great football being played. I have seen a lot of great football being played over the time I was injured and what not. You have to question yourself and question the man that you are and say, ‘Can you still play at a high level?’ There’s an expectation that I have for myself and I am just trying to meet it every single day of my life.”

Newton, who cited the pandemic as the reason his kids have not joined him in Boston yet, went on to state how his focus is on his on field performance when asked how this “business trip” could perhaps become a long-term relationship.

“It’s always about taking care of business. And my focus is so near-sighted that I’m trying to make things work. And if I’m looking for long-term results with not too many things to have leverage on, then that’s not good,” he said. “For me, I’m just looking at the opportunity that I have been given, and it’s a great opportunity, I’ll tell you that, and I think people already know that. And it’s just up to me on how do I finish what I started. It’s not necessarily about the things that people want to make it about. It’s about going out each and every week and first off winning. And then everything else falls in place.”

Despite his kids not joining him in Boston, Newton also shared his initial thoughts about living in the city, even though he admitted he hasn't gotten a chance to get out much.

“From what I do see, the traffic can be brutal,” he said. “But just the ambience that you get from the lights and seeing people out, slowly coming back out, its a really neat city that loves their sports. And you can’t do nothing but respect that.”

He also added a new nickname to an already long list: “Dolla Dolla Bill”, for his head coach. Newton added he has too much respect for Coach Belichick to say it in person.

Newton and the Patriots will look to build off Sunday’s victory as they travel to Kansas City next weekend for a matchup against the defending Super Bowl champions.