First and foremost, everyone is hoping for the best with Cam Newton and his recovery from COVID-19.
According to multiple reports, he’s asymptomatic and if that stays the case and he receives two consecutive negative tests, he could return to the team at the end of this week. Obviously, this is great news from a pure human perspective, but also relating to the Patriots on the field, as they clearly need him under center.
Following Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham both struggling in the 26-10 loss to the Chiefs Monday night, Newton’s value to the Patriots has never been higher.
The game offered a glimpse into what life is like with poor quarterback play and it was not a pretty picture. The Patriots turned the ball over four times, their most since Dec. of 2012, and the quarterbacks were involved in all four.
Hoyer, who started the game before being pulled in the third quarter, threw an interception in the first half and then had a bad strip-sack in the red-zone on third down, which turned out to be his final play. Then Stidham came in and threw two interceptions of his own.
It’s also pointing out Hoyer had a bad sequence at the end of the first half when the Patriots were at the 10-yard line with no timeouts and he inexplicably took a sack, allowing the first half clock to run out and not even get a chance to attempt a field goal that would have likely knotted the game at six.
With the way the Patriots defense played — holding Patrick Mahomes and Co. to 19 offensive points, the second-fewest they have ever had — New England certainly had an opportunity to pull off the upset, but the play at the quarterback position let them down.
Although it’s hard to definitely say the Patriots would have won the game with Newton at quarterback, what can definitively be said is Newton would’ve given the Patriots a better chance of winning the game.
The game and performance from both quarterbacks also raises the question what were the Patriots doing this offseason? What would have happened if Newton didn’t basically fall into their lap in late June? And that so-called “quarterback competition” this summer, that’s laughable now.
Newton’s value and importance to the Patriots skyrocketed even though he was halfway across the country self-isolating with COVID-19.
Hoyer seems like a good player to have in the quarterbacks room, but certainly not on the field playing in games. There’s a reason he’s lost his last 11 starts. And then if the Patriots really believed what has been pushed for the last few months, why didn’t he start against Kansas City? There was no pressure and he had nothing to lose.
While it’s probably unfair to say right now, it just doesn’t feel like Stidham is the long-term answer at the quarterback position for the Patriots.
Monday showed how important good quarterback play is and revealed perhaps the Patriots need to start thinking of how to lock Newton up for multiple years as there really is no alternative at the position — at least on the roster.
While Newton won’t do this, he could easily walk into the Gillette Stadium facility and demand a raise as he is the best value in football at the moment having a base salary of just over $1 million.
As a free agent for 86 days during the offseason, Newton needed the Patriots back in June to give him a chance, but now the Patriots need Newton for the future.