For the past two decades, the New England Patriots could count on elite play at the quarterback position week-in and week-out. With Tom Brady gone, however, they have been more up and down on: Cam Newton started his first campaign as a Patriot hot, but has cooled off recently and had his worst game of the season against the Denver Broncos.
Accordingly, he slipped down two spots in Pro Football Focus’ latest quarterback rankings from the 20th to the 22nd spot. PFF’s Sam Monson had to say the following about him:
By the end of the Seattle game in Week 2, Cam Newton was being hailed as MVP Cam once more, and the Patriots were being heralded as the team that once again fleeced the rest of the league by stealing an MVP and Brady-succession plan for peanuts. Newton was spectacular in that game against high-quality opposition but has yet to come close to repeating that performance, albeit with less opportunity to do so after catching COVID-19 and missing time. Newton’s ceiling is still evidently very high, but he hasn’t consistently hit it since 2015, and this season doesn’t look like doing that either based on the first six weeks. Teams have also adapted quickly to the run-heavy offense the Patriots broke out early, and they have yet to deploy the counterpunch.
Newton being one more week removed from his stint on the Reserve/Covid-19 list, and the Patriots returning to full-team practice on Wednesday, should only help him and the offense return to form or at least some improved outings. Given New England’s defensive qualities that may be all that is needed for the club to return to the win column again and stay alive in the race for the AFC East title.