The New England Patriots will enter the start of a new era with the departure of long-time franchise-quarterback Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, they will enter the 2020 season with Cam Newton as the projected starter.
There is plenty of reason for intrigue surrounding Newton heading into the 2020 season. He has managed to fully recover from his foot injury and the Patriots will look to make the most of his dual-threat skill-set during the upcoming season.
During a recent appearance on NFL Network’s Inside Training Camp, former Super Bowl-winning wide receiver James Jones made a bold prediction that the Patriots’ offense ‘will be way better’ with Newton compared to what it was with Brady in 2019.
“This is going to be a very good season for Cam Newton,” Jones said. “When Cam came out and talked, he said ‘(offensive coordinator) Josh McDaniels is going to be able to do some stuff with this offense that he has never been able to do.’ Very true.
With that being said, that sounds to me like they sat down and had a conversation and said, ‘We’re going to get you back to that Superman Cam that won MVP, that’s using his arm, using his legs. We are going to make it hard on defenses.’ … This offense will be way better with Cam Newton under center than it was with last year, Tom Brady.”
When looking beyond the surface, it’s possible for Newton to achieve such a result. Last season, Brady completed 60.8% of his 613 throws for 4,057 passing yards, 24 touchdown throws, and eight interceptions. Let’s not forget, he struggled in the playoffs against the Tennessee Titans, too.
It’s important to remember that Newton was impactful during his most recent full season. In 2018, he appeared in 14 games and completed 67.9% of his 471 pass attempts resulting in 3,395 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
The contributions Newton provided in the ground game should not be understated either. He added 101 carries for 488 rushing yards and four rushing scores. The overall impact he provided the Panthers was quite impressive even though the team went 6-8 in his starts.
Newton is going to have more offensive firepower to work with during the upcoming season compared to what Brady had in 2019. The Patriots were supposed to have Mohamed Sanu and N’Keal Harry in the mix last season but injuries prevented either from making much of an impact.
Playing in an offensive system that features plenty of short-passing sequences could be the type of playstyle that makes Newton a complete quarterback. Becoming a more accurate thrower in this way could help the 2015 MVP undergo a career renaissance if it works out.
Having a top-tier defense will play a pivotal role in Newton managing to lead the Patriots to a successful win total in 2020. He won’t have to make magic happen to maybe win games like he did for much of his time with the Panthers.
The key for Cam Newton will be to stay healthy throughout the course of the 2020 season. If he can manage to do that, the Patriots have a real shot to win the AFC East and make some noise in the playoffs. The market for his services would be far more robust in 2021, too.
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