This excitement isn’t without merit. Newton proved himself to be the ultimate dual-threat during the Carolina Panthers’ 15-1 regular season run and a trip to the Super Bowl. Much has been made about what many see as a decline of Newton’s skills over the past few seasons.
Cam Newton’s Red Zone Stats are Exciting
Newton’s demise has been greatly exaggerated and a stat Pro Football Focus shared on Saturday speaks to his potency in one specific area. Take a look at his passing numbers in the red zone since 2018:
It’s better than the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, equal to the Los Vegas Raiders’ Derek Carr, and just behind the New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees.
Cam Newton > Tom Brady in the Red Zone in 2020
In case you’re wondering about Tom Brady’s numbers in the red zone, I can tell you he ranks well beneath the top four quarterbacks on the shortlist above, and in 2019, he had a 55.4 completion percentage inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
Obviously, there is no comparison when it comes to mobility. Newton is arguably the greatest running QB inside the 10-yard line because of his athleticism and size. I don’t expect him to run as much as he used to, and I also expect to see him slide more than he ever did early in his career.
Even with the precautions, his ability to make plays with his legs instantly gives the Patriots an element they never had with Brady as the quarterback.
As former Patriot and current ESPN analyst said last week, a healthy Newton could give the Patriots a weapon, unlike anything we’ve seen during Bill Belichick’s time with the team.
The first time we see a spy forced to keep his eyes on Newton inside the red zone, and that attention leaves Julian Edelman working one-on-one in the slot, we’ll all understand how valuable a healthy Newton’s presence can be to the Patriots in 2020.