Bill Belichick isn’t going to discuss benching Cam Newton. The Patriots head coach was asked again Thursday night after they were embarrassed by the Rams 24-3 if he would consider a quarterback change, ESPN reported.
“Cam’s our quarterback,” Belichick said in his post-game news conference.
Newton did not have a good game Thursday night. He went 9-for-16 passing for 119 yards. He also threw a 79-yard pick-6 in the second quarter. The Patriots put in Jarrett Stidham late in the fourth quarter when the game was effectively over for New England. It’s the third time this season Bill Belichick has pulled Newton for Stidham.
The calls from fans and the press to sit Newton have only grown louder in the past few weeks. Last week, he threw for 69 yards in a 45-0 shutout loss to the Chargers. In week 12, he also didn’t go over the century mark in the team’s 20-17 win against the Cardinals.
Many people are comparing the 31-year-old’s stats to Tom Brady’s, who left the Patriots for Tampa Bay in the offseason. And the numbers aren’t good for Newton. So far this season he’s thrown for 2,172 yards and five touchdowns. Brady has 3,300 yards and 28 scores. In fact, Brady has thrown for more yards in three quarters than Newton has his last three starts, Newsweek said.
Newton is also on the verge of a dubious record. He’s gone 15 games without a passing touchdown. That’s one shy of the mark set by Sam Bradford from 2010 to 2012, the news magazine said.
Though New England offense has struggled to marshal behind Cam Newton’s arm, his legs may be the best on the team. ESPN says his 451 yards and 11 touchdowns this season make him the Patriots’ most effective rusher.
Newton Says He, Bill Belichick are Focused on Winning
In the post game interview Thursday Newton was blunt.
“We just got to be better, and it starts with me personally,” he said. “Just have to make more plays, and that’s what it comes down to.”
Though Newton doesn’t care if his stats improve. He said the team is only focused on winning.
“For me personally, I have played this game long enough to have played and had games where I’ve had 400 yards and lost. I’ve also had a lot of yards and won. I’ve also had this past game, 69 yards and won. Or I’ve had 100 yards, 120 yards and lost. I don’t necessarily get fixated off that statistic,” Newton said in a radio interview, according to the Boston Herald.
“I have said it multiple times: I am really all about winning. And yeah, were there some passes I wish I could have had back? Absolutely. But when you’re throwing the ball efficiently or you’re throwing the ball with the workload not as strenuous as it is, it only can revert to the winning formula. We’re running the ball pretty good, pretty solid and we’re going to need more of that here.”
Newton said comparing quarterback’s statistics misses the point. The position is about leadership and doing whatever it takes to win, not just throwing the football.
“Obviously, looking at my game and looking at Patrick Mahomes’ play, Tom Brady’s play, whoever is a gunslinger in this league that throws for a lot of yards, that’s a way to win,” Newton said. “You’re not going to hear me complaining about winning, and if it comes to that, then I will be readily available to throw the football. … We got the most important statistic, and that is winning football and I would not complain about that.”