Cam Newton is focused on one thing: winning.
In his weekly press conference, Newton told reporters that the Patriots were dissatisfied with their performance in their 35-30 loss to the Seahawks last week despite the overall praise they received.
“It’s what you would expect,” Newton said of the team’s mood following the loss. “There wasn’t a lot of smiling going on. There’s still not a lot of smiling going on. But that’s not the point. The point is we’ve just got to find ways to win football games, and that’s just what we’re trying to do.”
Newton had an impressive stat line in the loss. He completed 30 passes on 44 attempts, throwing for 397 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 47 yards on 11 attempts and had two rushing touchdowns.
Newton’s impressive passing performance yielded big results for his receivers. Julian Edelman caught eight passes for a career-high 179 yards. Second-year receiver N’Keal Harry also had career-highs in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (72) in Sunday’s loss.
While the Patriots and Newton’s performances against the Seahawks may have been called a “moral victory,” Newton doesn’t believe in such a thing.
“There’s no moral victories,” Newton said. “What did people expect? Like, honestly, what did you expect? We expect to compete to win, not just to compete in each and every game. We’re coached that way. We practice that way. We attack each day that way. So are people ticked off around here? Absolutely.”
From a statistical standpoint, Newton has been impressive through his first two games with the Patriots. He’s thrown for 552 yards, rushed for another 122 and has five total touchdowns on the young season. He also has a 96.8 passer rating.
Newton showed his lack of interest in individual stats during Thursday’s press conference.
“[Wins are] the most important statistic in sports,” Newton said. “Who cares about QBR? Who cares about total tackles? Who cares about yards after catch? Who cares about catches? Who cares about yards thrown? Who cares about yards rushed? Who cares how many touchdowns you threw, ran, interceptions you got, whatever? From youth league, rec-ball football to high school to college to anything that requires you keeping score, the most important statistic is, ‘Did you win or did you lose?’
“That’s cute,” Newton later said when asked about his completion percentage (which is currently a career-high 71.4 percent), “but we want to win.”
With Newton’s impressive display over the first two weeks and the Patriots holding a 1-1 record, some analysts were reconsidering their expectations for the Patriots this season after the departure of Tom Brady.
Newton doesn’t want anyone to celebrate what the Patriots have done so far in 2020.
“We’re in Week 2,” Newton said. “This is the NFL. We’re 1-1. I wouldn’t be overly jolly about our record or where we stand right now. And that’s just honest. Anything else, it’s irrelevant because it didn’t help us win.”
The other big topic of discussion this week was Newton’s future with the Patriots. The quarterback signed a one-year deal worth the minimum $1.05 million with incentives that reportedly go up to over $7 million.
If Newton continues to perform like he has, it’d be realistic to think that the Patriots would want to keep the 31-year-old and officially make Newton the successor to Brady.
Newton’s focus isn’t on his next contract and how much he’ll make. He said it’s on the Raiders, the Patriots’ opponent on Sunday.
“My focus is short-term,” Newton said. “And that has a lot to do with the Las Vegas Raiders, and I understand where we’re trying to go and I understand the questions that you’re asking, but I’m gonna say it again. That’s not my focus. If that would have been the case I would have did more, I would have said more, I would have waited more. It’s irrelevant. For me right now, it’s all about winning. Like, let’s get back to that. Like, we got too many people worried about chasing the bag. If you do what you’re supposed to do everything is gonna take care of itself.
“So, for right now my main focus is trying to make sure that I am the best quarterback for the New England Patriots as I could possibly be. And that’s where my head has been, and that’s where it’s gonna stay. My focus is just knowing that I can’t allow anything to distract me. The facts about things are, we are 1-1. Another fact is we lost a game that we were well and capable of winning. And we had an opportunity on the 1-yard line. Yes. So, my main focus now is how — if put in that same position here on Sunday — how can I change that narrative, so to speak. And that’s pretty much what it is.”
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