Patriots

Kenny Young says Cam Newton’s body language tipped Rams on play that led to a pick-six

"His whole mannerisms showed that he was going to throw a screen."

Cam Newton reacts after throwing the pick-six. Kyusung Gong / AP

Cam Newton’s performance in the Patriots’ 24-3 loss to the Rams on Thursday night couldn’t have been much worse. Newton completed just 9 of 16 passes for 119 yards, getting sacked four times and throwing a costly pick-six.

Down 10-0 in the second quarter, the Patriots looked like they were about to score after a Jared Goff interception placed them in Rams’ territory. That didn’t come to fruition though as Newton threw an interception on a busted screen play on the third play of the drive. Rams linebacker Kenny Young made the interception and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown, giving the Rams a 17-0 lead.

The interception was the first of Young’s career. He said that he and the Rams had a good idea that the Patriots were going to run a screen pass on the 2nd-and-9.

“Honestly, it was more of an instinct thing,” Young told reporters after the game. “We knew they were going to try and screen us, the best way they can, so we had to be open for that.”

On top of having a good idea that the Patriots would run a screen in that situation, Young also said that Newton gave him a tell.

“As an inside linebacker, that’s one of your jobs, to be instinctive,” Young said. “So, I see Cam, he’s a big guy so you can’t miss him, and just his whole mannerisms showed that he was going to throw a screen. He threw a bad ball, and he paid for that.”

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Newton said he tried to throw the ball ahead of Damien Harris on the play to help get more yards.

“That type of play is all anticipation,” Newton told reporters. “I thought he had got right outside of the defender, so I was just going to try to lead him up field, and obviously that didn’t happen, and it ended up being a turnover going the other way.”

Newton did lead the Patriots back into the red zone on the following drive, but they were stopped on the goal line and turned the ball over on downs. They finally scored on a Nick Folk field goal on the drive after that, but those three points were far too little on Thursday night.

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