BOSTON (CBS) — Somehow, someway, things just keep getting worse for the New England Patriots. Just when it seemed like they were about to mount an impressive comeback against the Bills in Buffalo, Cam Newton went and fumbled away any chance at tying or winning Sunday’s game.
Newton’s fumble in the final minute sums up how things have gone for the Patriots this season. When it seems like the team has put it together, they let it slip away because of their own undoing. The quarterback was once again left to shoulder all the blame for yet another frustrating defeat on Sunday, and on Monday, his focus was back to how he and the team can get better.
“It’s not fun sitting in a black room all day, damn near crying. Golly,” Newton said Monday morning during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show. “What else do I have to do? It’s just protecting the football and I’ve said it here before: It’s the law of attraction. Going into every game knowing what you can’t do, and then you do it.”
The fumble unraveled what was an otherwise impressive second half in Buffalo, leading to New England’s fourth straight loss and a 2-5 record. Newton said that everyone is giving a supreme effort on the field and that the losing streak has been difficult for for the team, but no one is giving up just yet.
“Our record is what it is. It’s not as bad as you’re going to make it out to be. One or two plays here or there. The ball hasn’t been bouncing our way. But we have to create our own mojo and I think we will. I know we will,” he said. “Getting guys back [from injury] and building on what we’ve done to this point. That’s what we need to do going forward. No need for us to sit here with the ‘woe is me’ mentality. This is the 2020 Patriots and our specific thing we’re going to write in history is going to be different than any other team. It’s going to be great, we just have to keep believing that and keep putting in the proper work that is in front. Because we’re close.
“I don’t think anyone has consciously folded the tent and said ‘I’m giving up,'” Newton said confidently. “Everybody in the locker room knows what we can potentially be and what we’re capable of being. But it takes 53 guys believing and doing their job each and every day.”
Newton is out of the dark room and ready to use the end of Sunday’s game as another important building block toward something better.
“Each week is a different learning tool. For me, the thing I look back on and harp on myself, is playing 60 minutes of all focus. Not 59:30,” he said. “In my case, it’s all about playing smart football. That’s what I’ve been trying to do since I’ve been here, and there’s something I can learn each and every week. Like yesterday, I’ll learn and be better because of it.”
Newton said the key is that everyone focuses on the next week ahead and not further down the schedule. At 2-5, the Patriots cannot afford to think about the steep hole they now find themselves in when it comes to the playoff race, and need to focus on their next opponent.
“I’ve been one week at a time for the last four weeks. Just the vibe you get in that locker room, we just need one,” said Newton. “Going back and knowing this team as well as I do know this team, coming off that Raiders win [in Week 3], everyone had a full head of steam and momentum, and then everything happened with COVID. It’s been a slippery slope down a slippery aisle. Once we get that next one, it’ll be, ’OK we remember how to win.’ That’s when situational football will come back.”
Asked if this Patriots team could make a run to the playoffs, Newton’s response fit with his overall approach to the rest of the year.
“I think this team can win the next game,” said Newton.
With a visit to the 0-8 New York Jets up next, Newton better be right.