New England Patriots: Cam Newton makes team contenders

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 26: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots looks on during Patriots Training camp at Gillette Stadium on August 26, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 26: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots looks on during Patriots Training camp at Gillette Stadium on August 26, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton provides something they didn’t have before his arrival: a chance to contend in the AFC East and beyond.

Doubters that Cam Newton would not be the New England Patriots starting quarterback after his signing are hiding under their seats at Gillette Stadium now.

But pro-Newton supporters should not be too hard on the observers who felt that Jarrett Stidham would still be the No. 1 even after Newton came aboard. They were just “Trusting in Bill” as the saying goes, and Bill Belichick is as good a football man to trust as there is.

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But Bill, of course, realized that any chance the team had of maintaining excellence had to come by signing Newton, Jameis Winston, or another quarterback of substance, not just promise.

This had to be excruciatingly evident to Belichick especially due to the shoddy state of the Patriots offensive skill players.

Newton, as expected in some circles, has run away and hidden from any contenders as he has locked up the Patriots starting quarterback spot. There was never really any doubt accepting if the superstar was physically ready to play or not.

Thankfully, it looks as though he is and the season actually has promise as a result.

To date, Newton has proven he is ready and he will be calling the signals when the Patriots begin the season on September 13th against Miami at Gillette.

That’s a good thing for the Patriots and their millions of fans around the state, the nation, and the world in what is known as “Patriots Nation”. It actually should be called “Patriots Global”, since they are a worldwide brand, as far as the American brand of “football” goes. Newton provides what they lacked all along, hope for a winning season.

The Patriots were a two-decade magnificent dynasty under former quarterback, Tom Brady. When Brady defected, Patriots cognoscenti should have realized that the party at that point, was over and the Patriots were headed downward in a big hurry, their terrific defense notwithstanding.

They had no quarterback to speak of. Their running game was mediocre, at best. They had failed (and, surprisingly and maybe irrationally still have, by the way) to do anything to substantially improve their wide receiver group.

Meanwhile, their top draft pick from last season, N’Keal Harry continues to try to avoid the label of another Patriots wide receiver high draftee flop by not getting things together yet at the beginning of his second season.

In addition, no one of significance was bought in to supplement the Julian Edelman and “who else?” group in the wideout room. Newton or no Newton, Belichick is missing the boat if he doesn’t make a trade or otherwise move to secure a capable second wideout to flank Edelman. Time is short, it doesn’t look like he will.

In addition, the running back room is still questionable due to a lack of a clear No. 1 back and injuries to two of their potentially best backs, Sony Michel and Lamar Miller.

So if Belichick was seeking to try to take some pressure off Newton by supplying him with a stable of wide receivers and runners to compliment his great talent, for whatever reason, he hasn’t. So once again, as in 2019, the team’s offense will have to rely primarily on the quarterback to carry the offense and hope that the defense is up to the task of making up the difference.

In 2019 with Brady, they weren’t. They went 12-4 in the regular season and crashed out in the first playoff game at home against Tennessee.

Newton is a great quarterback, a former MVP of the league as was Brady. But to expect them to almost unilaterally carry the offense to a deep run in the playoffs and a possible Super Bowl run is not realistic in the least.

Nevertheless, as Brady did in 2019 (until the team flopped first at home against Miami to lose a bye-week, and then in the playoffs), Newton can carry the team at least to be competitive in the AFC East and in the playoffs. He has that kind of individual talent.

The AFC East title is attainable with its playoff implications but don’t expect miracles from Newton with this mediocre offense at his disposal. Yet, maybe Newton with his multi-purpose skills is good enough along with the inimitable Edelman to carry this offense where it needs to go.

Next. Why Pats should make move for Alvin Kamara. dark

Perhaps they can. Let’s hope so. But, again, as they say, that’s why they play the games.