New England Patriots Postseason Chances Hanging By a Thread
The New England Patriots have this season displayed all the hallmarks of a once great team experiencing a decline.
Inconsistent results, a muddled offense, question marks over star players. During their humbling 24 – 3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the Patriots gave a young player his breakout game.
Rams rookie running back Cam Akers rushed for 171 yards as New England’s playoff chances slipped further and further away.
Quarterback Cam Newton was hooked for rookie Jarrett Stidham with 10 minutes remaining after another underwhelming performance.
Want $250 to bet on NFL Week 14?
Cam Newton finished the game 9-of-16 for 119 yards. His one interception was punished harshly, returning for 79 yards and a touchdown. Stidham went 5-of-7 for 27 yards in the final minutes of the game.
In passing this season, Newton is 199-301 for 2,172 yards, with five touchdowns and ten interceptions. He has had more luck rushing this year, with 451 yards in 113 carries with 11 touchdowns. It’s clear that if you stop him rushing, you stop the New England Patriots.
After the game Bill Belichick was curt when asked by reporters if he was going to replace Newton at quarterback.
“Cam’s our quarterback,” the New England Patriots coach said.
“He’s our quarterback, I think I just answered that one.”
“That’s not my call,” said Newton when asked about the same thing.
“I’m just doing what I’m asked, with the mentality of getting better, and that’s what I keep planning on doing. We just got to be better and it starts with me personally,” he said.
“Just have to make more plays, and that’s what it comes down to.”
Newton has now been sat down for Stidham twice in blowout losses. Bill Belichick doesn’t appear to think that New England’s problems will all be solved by simply changing the quarterback
“Yeah. Jarrett has worked hard. He’s tried to take advantage of his opportunities. But that’s not really the point.”