Cam Newton knows that he and the Patriots are in trouble.
Last week’s 33-6 loss to the 49ers marked the first time the Patriots have been on a three-game losing streak since 2002. It was also another performance where Newton just flat out struggled and ended with him getting benched for Jarrett Stidham.
In his last two games, Newton has thrown for just 255 yards and five interceptions. He also didn’t throw a touchdown in either game as the Patriots have only scored two touchdowns in their last three games (Newton didn’t play in their Week 4 loss to the Chiefs).
Heading into this weekend’s matchup against the AFC East-leading Bills, Newton knows things have to change.
“Losing is not acceptable in this locker room. In this county. In this state. In this area. In this region,” Newton told reporters Thursday while pausing for effect. “So Cameron Newton, you need to pick your expletive up. That’s what I’ve learned.”
Newton has really struggled throwing the ball for most of the season. While his 67.2 completion percentage is good for the second-best of his career, Newton’s thrown just two touchdowns and seven interceptions in five games. He also has 969 passing yards, which comes out to little less than 200 passing yards per game.
Newton knows that just one more bad performance can lose him his starting job.
“When you’re trash, and when you put performances like I did the past week, anybody can start talking to you — from the whisperers and the chirpers,” he said. “When you play the way I played on Sunday, terrible, you open the doors. This whole week, starting on Sunday from the first quarter, was a humbling experience. Getting the tap on the shoulder to come out [of the game] was a humbling experience. I’m not used to that. Now I’m at a crossroads.”
Part of Newton’s struggles has been connecting with his wide receivers. Newton has yet to throw a touchdown to a wide receiver this season and completed just 11 passes to a receiver over the last two games.
“I think I got my plate full with focusing on me,” Newton said on worrying about his receivers. “I have all the confidence in whomever’s out there and wherever the read takes me, that’s where the ball is gonna go.”
Newton’s challenge of connecting with his wide receivers became more difficult Thursday. Julian Edelman reportedly had surgery on his knee that will force him to miss Sunday’s game and potentially more games later.
While Newton’s completed just two passes to Edelman over the last two games, he recognizes what he brings to the table for the Patriots, calling Edelman “an unsung hero.”
“He is everything the Patriots represent: hard, tough, resilient, gritty…that’s Julian Edelman,” Newton said.
On Sunday, Newton will go up against someone who is pretty familiar with him. Bills head coach Sean McDermott was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator for the first six seasons of Newton’s career.
McDermott said Newton’s “certainly a great player” on Wednesday. Newton took his turn to compliment McDermott.
“He’s a great coach,” Newton said. “He’s been doing a great job there, him and [Bills general manager Brandon] Beane, just getting the right guys in for what they’re trying to do. I’ve been extremely impressed and look forward to a great, competitive battle on Sunday.”
The Patriots will face the Bills on Sunday with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.
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