New England won 20-17 over Arizona at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. However, Newton’s performance was forgettable at best. The former longtime Carolina Panthers quarterback recorded a paltry 23.6 passer rating on Sunday. Additionally, he only completed 9 of his 18 passes for a meager 84 yards. Newton also added 46 rushing yards to his name but threw two interceptions on the day as well.
The Patriots won in spite of Newton’s performance. Yet, the 2015 NFL MVP says the team leaving the field with a win is what mattered the most.
“I’ll be the first person to say I didn’t play my best game yesterday,” Newton said during his weekly interview with WEEI Radio. “But let’s be totally clear: I don’t play this game for statistic benefits. I don’t play this game for any type of individual accolades. I play this game to win. I’m not going to apologize for winning. I don’t care how we won and I would take a win in most cases this year rather than having the three and four hundred yards passing. In my opinion, did I do enough to win in those games? Who cares? I am not going to go back and turn the page and what transpired yesterday was just a result of a great team win that I am not going to feel sorry for. It is what it is.”
Newton Calls 4th Quarter Interception ‘Reckless’
Newton went on to discuss Sunday’s performance in more detail. One particular play could have cost his team the game when he threw an interception in the fourth quarter. The quarterback threw a pick to Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick late in the game, and he called his decision-making on the play “reckless.”
Fortunately for Newton and the rest of his Patriots teammates, New England’s defense stepped up. With less than two minutes left in the game, the defense forced Arizona’s kicker Zane Gonzalez to miss a possible game-winning 45-yard field goal. Tied at 17, the Patriots were able to drive down the field with the help of an unnecessary roughness penalty against the Cardinals. Pats kicker Nick Folk kicked a 50-yard field goal to win the game as time expired.
“It’s a strange feeling, but at the end of the day, I’ve had games where quarterback rating, statistics and everything, effort and all that, amounted to a loss. And I’ve had games like yesterday, where you did everything to try to lose and you still win by the grace of God,” Newton explained.
Next up for New England, Newton and the Patriots (5-6) will face the Los Angeles Chargers (3-8) on Sunday afternoon in California.