“I play this game for one reason and one reason only, and make no mistake about it,” Newton told WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Tuesday. “So as far as my expectations, yeah we played a good team in Seattle, but at the end of the day we had an opportunity to win a football game and we didn’t.
“I just know who I am, and I’m not surprised by the performance, and just moving forward we just have to find ways to win,” Newton said after throwing for 397 yards even in defeat. “We don’t want to look back in Week 12 and we’re in a battle for something — you don’t know what Week 12 will look like — so therefore we have to capitalize on every opportunity that we get.”
The Patriots are now 1-1, though Newton and his teammates were praised for fighting back in the fourth quarter in what ultimately proved a loss against the Seahawks.
The game came down to a final play at the goal line, with Seattle stopping Newton’s attempt to run the ball in.
Still, the 31-year-old quarterback had no doubts about the play call.
“We ran that play four times and it’s not my job to go back and forth with what coach decides, it’s my job to execute what coach decides,” Newton said of the call. “For me, we ran the play four times and we were successful three of those four times and the fourth time, obviously the last play. And yet, through it all, that’s championship caliber football. We just have to be better. I have to be better.”
“And there’s opportunity when I look back at the film,” Newton added. “I could’ve bounced it [outside] and it would’ve been a walk-in. But we know scrutiny would’ve come, doesn’t matter what the play call would’ve been, let’s be honest.”
Newton ran the ball 15 times in the season-opening win, but changed things up in Week 2, throwing for more yards in a game than any Patriots quarterback since Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII.
The prolific passing may have surprised some, but Newton understands that the expectations around him are different simply because of his versatility.
“For me I play this game, and I prepare for this game probably like no other player,” Newton began, “because I have to have the endurance like a wide receiver, I have to have the physical toughness of a running back, and just the intuitiveness and being cerebral like a quarterback. So I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a quarterback. I more or less call myself a football player that just so happens to play quarterback. When people see that, it’s foreign to them, especially how I run and play football. I’ve been playing like this for years.”
As long as he can avoid turnovers, New England’s quarterback is confident he can continue to execute Josh McDaniels’ dynamic play-calling.
“I just have to do a better job of protecting the football, and as long as I do that, I know coach will trust in me to have the ball in my hands,” said Newton.
Currently on a one-year deal with the Patriots, Newton was asked about the possibility of an extension.
The former NFL MVP, who remained a free agent for almost three months in the offseason, said that the thing he’s still chasing doesn’t pertain to his finances.
“Money at this particular point in my career is not important,” said Newton. “Let’s be honest, I’ve made money, but for everything that I play this game for I haven’t received yet, and that’s why I’m playing. So it’s not about money, it’s about respect.”
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