The New England Patriots absorbed a painful loss on Sunday to the Buffalo Bills 24-21 with Cam Newton fumbling on the decisive play. However, head coach Bill Belichick isn’t making a change at QB now, or perhaps for the remainder of the season.
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“Cam’s Our Quarterback, That’s the Way it’s Been All Year”
Just as he did after the Week 7 loss, Belichick quickly stamped out any potential QB controversy. When asked if he was considering a change at quarterback, he said quickly:
“Cam’s our quarterback. That’s the way it’s been all year.”
Cam Was Better This Week
Newton played far better on Sunday than he did in each of the last two games. His stats weren’t all that impressive (15-25 for 174 yards and nine rushes for 54 yards and a TD), but his throws looked crisper, and he was a bit more decisive with the ball.
He made some plays with his legs as well and was in the midst of making another one when he was stripped and fumbled to effectively end the Patriots’ hopes of a comeback victory.
Prior to the fumble, Newton had taken great care of the ball and he also seemed to establish a connection with Jakobi Meyers who had six catches in the game. There was something to build on here, but the question remains…is it too late to establish anything of value this season?
The Right Choice
Newton is still the quarterback that gives the Patriots the best chance to win every week. Obviously, when a team is on a four-game losing streak as the Pats are, that’s a tough sell to the fanbase.
However, when you consider Newton’s running helps to open up a great deal for the team, and he also represents a tough weapon for defenses to handle in the red zone, it’s easy to see why Belichick is remaining committed to him.
What This Says About Stidham And the Rest of the Season?
If you’re Jarrett Stidham, you have to be at least a little frustrated. He’s got excellent arm talent and decent athleticism. He has, in limited opportunities, shown a lack of care with the football. Turnovers are something this team and coaching staff clearly have almost no tolerance for, and that’s especially the case when it comes from a young player.
That said, Stidham can’t feel as though his coaches have a great deal of belief in him. You’d have to believe the Patriots would want to see what they have in him at some point. However, staying with Newton proves Belichick isn’t quite ready to wave the white flag on the season. Newton is a veteran and the guy with the most to offer in the way of layers on offense, and because he’s obviously still trying to get Ws in 2020, he’s sticking with him.
If Belichick turns it over to Stidham, it’ll be a clear indication he’s looking forward to next season.
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