It has been clear that the Patriots have not been the same team ever since Brady left, but with the addition of quarterback Cam Newton this offseason; fans were hopeful.
Wide receiver Julian Edelman has not been himself this season, and it has shown. He will be missing a few weeks with a knee injury and it is said to be bone-to-bone contact in his knee. After his career-high week in Seattle, Edelman has only had eight receptions in four weeks.
The Patriots offense has struggled all year long. The only highlight is the running game; the Patriots are 24th in total offense in the NFL and they are 28 out of 32 for points per game (19.4). The team is short-handed on offense, but wideout Jakobi Meyers and running back Damien Harris seemed to step up against Buffalo on Sunday. Meyers had six receptions and 58 yards, while Harris was strong on the ground with 102 yards on 16 carries.
On the last play of the game against the Bills, Cam Newton fumbled the ball. The way he carried the ball was very loose; away from his body with no little protection which caused the ball to be punched out. After the tough loss on Sunday, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick said, “It’s the third time we’ve been in this situation this year, and unfortunately haven’t been able to make enough plays to win.”
The job and future of Newton is at stake. Luckily, the Patriots did not gamble on him and only paid him $1.75 million with $550,000 guaranteed. This was Newton’s year to prove to the NFL why he should be paid more as a proven starter, but right now, he is one of the worst in the NFL at his position.
Playing the way he is playing with two passing touchdowns and seven interceptions; Newton likely will not be re-signed in the offseason. As a result, teams will overlook him because of his poor performance this year. He has no energy on the field. The ‘Carolina Cam’ was what the Patriots thought they would get, but New England Cam is a bust to this point. It is all a waterfall effect: If Newton plays poorly, the offense plays even worse. Newton is not the leader the Patriots need on offense; someone else needs to step up.
With only a 3% chance to win the AFC East, the Patriots are in uncharted territory. The offense needs to defy all odds the next few weeks to get them back on top, and if that happens the Patriots can be real contenders.