Cam Newton’s Critical Mistakes Have Become a Disturbing Problem for Patriots’ Coach Belichick

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts after fumbling the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. John Munson, AP

Turns out that Superman was his own Kryptonite. Again.

Cam Newton had a chance to save the day and lift the New England Patriots out of the misery of the franchise’s longest losing streak in 18 years. That’s what the money players will do.

Yet with the game on the line Sunday and his team driving deep in Buffalo territory in the final minute for a would-be game-winning touchdown, Newton coughed up the football.

Bills defensive tackle Justin Zimmer punched the ball out of Newton’s hand as the quarterback tried sweeping around the left corner on a second down from the 19-yard line, and that was that. The Bills recovered with 31 seconds on the clock. Ball game. Losing streak extended.

“I’m still jeopardizing this team’s chance to win because of my lackluster performance,” Newton said after the 24-21 setback marked the fourth loss in a row. “Coach trusts me with the ball in my hand. I’ve got to do a better job of protecting it.”

Newton sighed, then reminded himself for all to hear on his Zoom conference.

“Keep the ball high and tight,” he said.

It’s become part of the routine for Newton, trying to revive his career by joining forces with Bill Belichick. The man who once walked out of a Super Bowl news conference after a blowout loss humbly hung in there and faced the music after another close loss. He pointed the finger at himself, self-critical to the max. He knew he blew it and would hardly sugar-coat it.


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