BOSTON (CBS) — Sunday’s matchup between the New England Patriots and the defending Super Bowl champions in Kansas City figures to be one of the most anticipated games of the 2020 season. Ratings ought to be rather high as millions upon millions of Americans are excited to watch.

Count Cam Newton among them.

Though Newton himself will be playing in the game, he sounded on Thursday like someone who greatly appreciates watching a young master like Patrick Mahomes on the football field.

“He’s changing the game,” Newton said of his counterpart for Sunday. “He’s shined light on the new wave of quarterbacks, and it’s just fun to watch.”

While the physical abilities of Mahomes are off the charts, Newton said he can see the cerebral side of Mahomes’ game on display, too. So much so, in fact, that Newton already placed Mahomes’ name alongside some of the all-time greats.

“He has a lot of merit to what he does. It’s not like he’s just back there, just an arcade game as sometimes it looks like it,” Newton explained. “But he knows exactly what he’s doing and how he’s manipulating the defense. And that’s the same thing that the Dan Marinos used to do, obviously the Tom Bradys, the Aaron Rodgers. Those guys really have so much command of the offense that you dictate to the defense. And that’s what he’s doing. He’s playing the game at a high level.”

Earlier, Mahomes said that when he was younger, he’d watch highlights of Newton and looked up to him. Newton said that’s all part of the cycle of one generation of athletes passing on the power to the next.

“We all have our own platforms and I play his game for multiple reasons, and a lot of those reasons kind of come off the backs of somebody empowering me,” Newton said. “And, you know, it’s pretty neat to hear that [from Mahomes]. But at the end of the day, we all have a responsibility to empower others to motivate others and impact others. And through it all, we just all have to use our influence in a positive way.”

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