BOSTON (CBS) — Cam Newton continues to shoulder all the blame for New England’s offensive woes. He continues to say that he’ll be better in the near future.
But at some point, we’d all like to see some improved results rather than just hear about them. You can put Newton in that same boat.
Newton was once again abysmal on Sunday, throwing three interceptions and no touchdowns in a 33-6 drubbing by the San Francisco 49ers at Gillette Stadium. It was so bad that Newton was benched in the third quarter, a move that he completely agreed with when Bill Belichick came over and told him it would be Jarrett Stidham the rest of the way.
Newton didn’t blame Belichick for benching him. The quarterback said that he’s a realist and leading an offense to just six points in unacceptable.
As he has after his other poor performances this season, Newton pledged to be better. He said that he feels he’s been pressing too much in recent weeks, but he is not playing scared.
“Nervous? No. Scared? Absolutely not. Thinking – now that’s something I could finger-point. But yet, there is no need to feel any type of way except accepting all challenges. I have to get better and I’m adamant about that,” he told WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show on Monday morning.
Newton is very clearly overthinking everything whenever he drops back. He pointed to his lack of reaction time leading to his lack of confidence over the past two weeks. He said that his receivers are getting open, he just isn’t finding them fast enough.
And when he does, he isn’t putting the ball in a good spot to be caught — at least not by his teammates.
“It’s kind of that theory when you think about something too much, that’s when it happens the most. From day one of me being here, the key to winning has always been protecting the football. We as an offense have yet to play a turnover-free game. That’s the key to winning,” he said.
“I know I’m not supposed to be throwing interceptions or fumbling, but it keeps happening. The law of attraction – you’re saying I can’t turn the football over and then three plays later it happens. It’s almost comedic because I’m not thinking of going out and throwing interceptions left or right,” added Newton, who is up to seven interceptions on the season. “I don’t know what funk, spell or omen is in Boogie’s house right now, but I have to light up some sage or something.”
Newton wouldn’t put his brain cramps on a “COVID fog” as some have been pondering.
“I’m hearing a lot of what it could be, but it’s simple: I have to play better,” he said. “I’m a big boy and understand what professionalism is. It’s full of opinionated views. But I’m looking at the person in the mirror and saying ‘Let’s figure this out. I’ve been here before.’
“Smart football happens with comfort and control, and until you have that, you risk having games like yesterday,” Newton added.
The Patriots now sit at 2-4 heading into a pivotal matchup with the division-leading Bills in Buffalo, a game that Newton said “counts as double” since it’s against an AFC East foe. He’s eager to get back on the practice field to begin repairing his confidence, and the confidence his teammates have in him as a quarterback.
“I know I’m better than what I’ve been putting on film. I accept any type of personal blaming or billings and know there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “I don’t care what any other team does; it’s about us. It’s about how we play physical, how we try to play mistake free. We still haven’t seen that game, and until we do, that’s when you attract the right things toward the team.”
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Bills matchup on WBZ-TV! Pregame coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and after the game stay tuned for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!