The New England Patriots’ quarterback position has struggled for most of the year. While the three-headed monster Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer combined to complete 64.8 percent of its throws so far this year, they went for only 2,514 yards as well as 7 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Not counting passing contributions from Julian Edelman and Jakobi Meyers, the group has a rating of 75.6 though 14 games.
Sure, Cam Newton has contributed quite a bit as a runner but that is not how you can consistently play winning football in the NFL of 2020. The Patriots’ 6-8 record shows this, which in turn makes the quarterback position “an urgent need” for the team. That is what NBC Sports’ Peter King thinks about it after Newton’s latest performance against the Miami Dolphins.
King wrote about Newton and New England’s quarterback spot in his new Football Morning in America column:
He is so off, stunningly so, that it’s hard to figure out where to start to diagnose it. His throwing motion is messy; on some of his throws, it looks like he’s almost pushing the ball. In his last 17 starts, dating back two years, Newton has five touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. Five TDs in 17 games, covering 498 throws, most having come after arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery after the 2018 season. Aaron Rodgers has 40 touchdowns this year in 477 attempts. The Patriots obviously need to address quarterback in the offseason, and, at 6-8 with two games to go, they may be in no-man’s land on draft weekend to get one of the three best QBs in college football. A 7-9 team picks around 11 to 15. Maybe the shortened season of North Dakota State’s Trey Lance will push him down into the Patriot draft zone. Whatever, Newton’s crash to earth has made quarterback an urgent need for New England.
So, where does that leave the Patriots? They obviously like Newton’s competitiveness and willingness to buy into the system. However, whether that is enough to have him keep his job as New England’s starter beyond 2020 is hard to tell given how challenging the circumstances were this year. Still, the organization will need to find a way to upgrade its passing production one way or another — regardless of who lines up under center.