Cam Newton and the Patriots seem to be finding their groove.
After a frustrating October, plus the first day of November, that saw the Patriots lose all four games, they won their second straight game Sunday night, upsetting the Ravens 23-17 to give them their first winning streak of the season.
“We’re finding ways to win and that’s pretty much been it,” Newton told reporters after Sunday’s game. “We’re having great weeks of practice and following it up with in-game performance. Coach preached about that and we just have to make sure that we keep doing that and keep moving forward.”
Outside of the Patriots and Ravens, the other big player on Sunday night was mother nature. The downpouring rain gave the Ravens trouble for much of the night, causing a pair of botched snaps and dropped passes.
New England, on the other hand, didn’t commit a turnover despite the slippery conditions, marking the second straight week that the Patriots didn’t commit a turnover. Newton praised Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s ability to get the team ready for any situation possible.
“Everything that coach coaches throughout the week, it tends to come up and I’m beginning to think he either has like a Staples easy button or a Buffalo Wild Wings button or just a straight direct line to the football gods because he’s, like, a football whisperer when it comes to anticipating what the game’s going to be like, how we need to win, and things like that,” Newton said. “I’m extremely impressed with that. But for me, trying to find ways to keep this team in a manageable situation offensively is one of the things that I have to keep doing and keep doing a better job of.”
In addition to playing turnover-free, Newton was sacked just once in the victory. Newton threw for 118 yards on 17 passes with a touchdown and no picks. He also added 21 rushing yards, contributing to the team’s rushing total of 173 yards, and had a rushing touchdown.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 16, 2020
Newton gave high remarks to his offensive line for battling it out in the trenches.
“If we’re going to win, this is what we’re going to have to do,” Newton said of the offensive line. “And I’m just excited that the offensive line was able to, like you said, impose their will and play a great team and this was going to be a great test for us and we knew that and for our guys not to back down, but take it more upon themselves as a challenge, and obviously they did a good job.”
The Patriots’ biggest play of the night came in the final moments of the first half when wide receiver Jakobi Meyers caught a backward pass from Newton and threw it 24 yards to Rex Burkhead for a touchdown, giving the Patriots a 13-10 lead.
Newton said he couldn’t confirm nor deny that Meyers, who played quarterback in high school, learned to throw a pass like that in the rain while attending Newton’s passing camp. However, he did say Meyers “has always been able to throw it” and shared the conversation he had with Meyers prior to the game-changing play.
“I was teasing with him before the play was called,” Newton said. “I said, ‘Don’t panic now.’ He said, ‘I got to take off my gloves. I got to take off my gloves. I got to do it so they won’t recognize nothing.’
“So he took off one glove. He takes off another one. I’m like, ‘What are you doing?’ He says, ‘I got to take off another one, bro.’ And he did pretty good without being able to, say, warm up or anything. And the height was cover on that play, which was me. Goes to show you the respect in the passing game. But he did a great job. And Burky, only thing he knows how to do is just score touchdowns and he just made a big play for the team.”
Newton shouted out another Patriots quarterback-turned-receiver while talking about the play.
“Once a quarterback, always a quarterback,” Newton said. “I’m pretty sure Julian Edelman is somewhere smiling and, but nervous at the same time, if you know what I mean.”
Newton, who held his head high during the Patriots’ offensive struggles, took pride in the Patriots’ offensive execution against the Ravens.
“For me, I know a couple games I took it personal, because I know what the stat line could be or if it would be different minus the turnovers,” Newton said. “And the Patriots over the years has just been phenomenal, to say the least, when no turnovers are committed offensively or no turnovers are committed as a whole.
“So me knowing that, that doesn’t make me play conservative, it just forces me to play smarter and not being able to have that type of mentality as I had in the past, trying to do too much to make a play rather than just trusting in the plan and just throwing it away when it’s not there and just living to fight another day.”
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) November 16, 2020
While the Patriots are inching back into the playoff picture amid a win streak, Newton doesn’t necessarily think this is a turning point in the season. He does think though improving in increments is crucial in the second half of the season.
“We just want to keep getting better each and every week and I think we have been showing that, finding different ways to win, establishing our dominance in the running game, and trying to stop the run as well,” Newton said.
“Those are all keys to victory for us. And as this season keeps going, we just want to keep transcending upwardly in a way that our team is getting better week by week. We have a lot of young players that have big roles for us and especially myself, learning new things in this offense and getting comfortable. All in all, we just got to keep the ball moving forward and staying focused throughout it all.”
Get Boston.com's browser alerts:
Enable breaking news notifications straight to your internet browser.Turn on notifications
Great, you’re signed up!
This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com