Cam Newton hasn’t been great, but the Patriots defense has also let him down.
Cam Newton has not been a good passer for the New England Patriots. That’s just the truth. However, his receivers and tight ends have done little to help him out. Perhaps most importantly, in the games in which he’s looked really bad, he’s gotten no support from the defense.
So when we look at this stat suggesting the Patriots are significantly better when Newton isn’t freely slinging the ball, there are so many other factors to consider. Why did the Patriots lose those games? Was Newton fully at fault? Did he get ample support from the rushing attack and defense?
Simply by looking at box scores, we know it’s not a surefire truth that the Patriots are better when Newton is a game manager. It might appear that way for a number of reasons — chief among them being the Patriots are at their best when they’re running the ball successfully — but there’s a lot more to dive into.
Take the four losses the Patriots suffered when Newton threw the ball over 20 times. We have the Week 2 battle against the Seattle Seahawks in which the veteran looked his absolute best as a passer, but New England fell one yard short of a victory. That game right there could dispel this notion alone.
Then we have the blowout loss to the 49ers. That’s on everyone. Cam was bad. The offensive line was bad. The defense was atrocious. The coaching staff clearly wasn’t prepared. Toss that one out the window.
How about the last-minute loss to Buffalo? Newton was 15-25 for 174 yards and honestly looked very effective … until he fumbled the ball deep in Bills territory with under a minute to go. That’s what sealed the deal in that one — not his inability to pass.
And finally, there’s the disappointing loss to the Texans. What happened there? The defense got absolutely shredded by Deshaun Watson, who passed for 344 yards and two touchdowns in the 27-20 win. Newton? He had his second-best game of the year, going 26-40 for 365 yards and a touchdown. If not for a failed fourth down deep in Texans territory with minutes remaining, we could be singing a different tune.
Should the Patriots invest all their stock in gameplanning around Newton the passer? No. Patriots football is won in the trenches and between the tackles. Run first. Play tough defense. Pass efficiently. But don’t believe the narrative that the Patriots are a worse team when Newton’s throwing the ball a lot.
We just broke it down for ya. Hope it’s clear.