The last time the Patriots didn’t make the playoffs was 2008 after Tom Brady‘s knee injury in Week 1, but they still finished 11-5. The last time the Patriots didn’t finish with double-digit wins was 2002 when they went 9-7. The last time the Patriots finished with a losing record was 2000.
So the standings look a little strange with the Patriots at 2-4 and in third place in the AFC East.
Quarterback Cam Newton has taken most of the criticism, which is something he accepts. The Patriots have lost three in a row, with Newton starting losses to the Broncos and 49ers the past two weeks.
“Losing is not acceptable in this locker room, in this county, in this state, in this area, in this region, so, Cameron Newton, you need to pick your expletive up,” Newton said, via Mark Daniels of The Providence Journal. “That’s what I learned.”
Yes, he really said “expletive.”
In the past two weeks, since returning from a positive COVID-19 test, Newton has completed 26 of 40 passes for 255 yards with no touchdowns and five interceptions. He has rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.
Bill Belichick, though, is sticking with Newton as the Patriots’ starting quarterback.
Newton calls his play “trash” and “unacceptable.”
“When you played the way I played this week — terrible — you open the doors,” Newton said. “This whole week was a humbling experience.
“Getting a tap on the shoulder was a humbling experience, saying, ‘Hey [we’re putting in Jarrett Stidham].’ That’s all humbling. I’m not used to that. Now, I’m at a crossroads that says, ‘Hey, if you don’t pick up your play, that’s going to be a permanent decision.’”
Newton ranks 29th in passing yards (969), 31st in passing touchdowns (two), 30th in pass completions (88) and 30th in passer rating (71.7).