Patriots: Ravens just proved how Cam Newton needs to be used against Chiefs
By Jerry Trotta
The Chiefs shut down Lamar Jackson which gives the Patriots a clear blueprint for Cam Newton.
The Patriots were likely riding high following their dominant Week 3 win over Las Vegas on Sunday. However, given their next opponent — the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs — we wouldn’t be surprised if head coach Bill Belichick already has his players fully focused on that matchup.
Fortunately for the Patriots, their Week 2 clash against Seattle proved that they can remain competitive in shootouts despite the fact that they don’t seem they’re built for those kind of games. With that being said, Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels need to ensure that they don’t go into Week 4 with a conservative approach.
If we learned anything about Kansas City’s conclusive victory over Baltimore on Monday night, it’s that the Patriots need to unleash Cam Newton and his rocket for an arm in order to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and Co.
The Ravens entered their box office clash against KC with a bizarre strategy: let Lamar Jackson win the game on the ground. This played right into the Chiefs’ defensive game plan as the reigning MVP had under 40 yards passing by halftime and was impeded from breaking off any big runs.
As a result, the defending Super Bowl champs established a 17-point first half lead and never looked back. This same problem could present itself to the Patriots, who (like Baltimore) don’t exactly possess an offense overcome large deficits. If Belichick and McDaniels don’t look to beat the Chiefs through the air, well, the game could get ugly in a hurry.
It goes without saying that KC is the most proficient and turbulent offense in the NFL. Against a stout Ravens defense, Mahomes had over 240 yards and three touchdowns before the end of the second quarter. For the game, he finished 31-of-42 for 385 yards and four TDs.
Jackson, meanwhile, completed 15 of his 28 pass attempts for just 95 yards, adding a team-high 83 rushing yards on nine carries. In other words, Baltimore fell right into the predictable trap of planning to control the game by running the football and the Chiefs responded by loading the box and focusing on funneling the Ravens superstar to the middle of the field when he tried to improvise with his legs.
Newton obviously isn’t as agile and slippery as Jackson, but both players are incredibly mobile and play in run-heavy offenses. If the Patriots stand any chance at toppling KC, they pretty much need to bring back the version of the offense we saw against Seattle in Week 2.
The three-time Pro Bowler is more than capable of winning this game with his arm, and we seriously hope that the Patriots put him in that position.