Patriots QB Cam Newton has nothing to apologize for, even if he felt he had to be nice to Josh McDaniels.
After unexpectedly beating the Arizona Cardinals in Foxborough Sunday, Patriots QB Cam Newton has nothing to apologize for.
Could his individual line have looked better? Sure. It would actually be difficult for it to look worse (9-18, 84 yards passing, and a pair of picks).
But every bit of analysis of the contest, which keeps the Patriots in the playoff picture, has to begin with the caveat that — oh, by the way — the Pats won, have added a victory to their overall ledger, and are in a better position today than they were yesterday.
Therefore, the fact that Newton, fresh off a beating and exhausted/relieved, apologized to Josh McDaniels on the field for his struggles, should be commended, not picked apart. This was all just part of the game.
What a man says in a moment of temporary weakness does not merit a full examination of his character. Newton, still in semi-disbelief that he was about to celebrate rather than be mired in despair, had a knee-jerk reaction of shame; he felt as if he’d let McDaniels down.
What Newton says in private, though (or, at least, in a quiet conversation between two men that wasn’t supposed to be captured by a camera), should not have any reflection on the way he behaves in the wake of a victory.
There’s a difference between apologizing to your play-caller for a rough day at the office and apologizing to thousands of Patriots fans for, well, winning anyway.
When asked if he thought he should apologize to the masses on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Newton went off on a far longer rant.
"“It’s crazy and having a conversation with family members yesterday, it kind of sparks a lot of things. I would be the first person to say I didn’t play my best game yesterday. But, let’s be totally clear, I don’t play this game for statistic benefits, I don’t play this game for any type of individual accolades, I play this game to win. Right? I am not going to apologize for winning. I don’t care how we won and I would take a win in most cases this year rather than having the three and four hundred yards passing. In my opinion, did I do enough to win in those games? Who cares. I am not going to go back and turn the page and what transpired yesterday was just a result of a great team win that I am not going to feel sorry for. It is what it is.”"
We’re not sure why Newton owes the general public the same courtesy he gave McDaniels. He and McDaniels have things to work on; Bostonians simply have the privilege of chalking up a win and moving onto the Chargers.
Sometimes, during the course of an NFL season, teams win flukey games. As a matter of fact, it happened to the Pats plenty over the past 20 years. No team is good without also being lucky. Occasionally, the offense gets stuck in the mud, but the defense forces a single stop, alters just one kick, or throws a hand up in the exact right direction to get a game-sealing deflection. And when that happens, it’s never an indictment on the quarterback; it’s just a time for celebration.
And here’s the dirty secret: Maybe Sunday wasn’t so flukey? Maybe Newton’s underwhelming offensive numbers blotted out a clutch and exciting team win, featuring gumption and resolve from all corners of the roster?
Some weeks, Newton’s the one with the glossy stat sheet, like Week 2 at Seattle. Sometimes, he looks harshly “off” all game, and the Patriots still find a way to erase a 10-0 deficit and stomp out the league’s greatest young quarterback.
No apologies necessary.