The Patriots may be in a bit of disarray as they stand at 6-7 on the season and are on the outside looking in of the playoffs, but the pillars of this 2020 squad do remain strong. In New England's most recent loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, there were some questions surrounding the play-calling from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. In the midst of the second quarter of the 24-3 loss, the Patriots ran the ball four-straight times inside the 10-yard line and were stuffed at the Los Angeles 2-yard line after going for it on fourth down.
The lack of passing in that situation was apparent as McDaniels seemed unwilling to give Cam Newton the opportunity to try and reach the end zone with his arm. When asked about that decision-making process of when to throw or run in certain situations, Newton didn't jump into that debate surrounding McDaniels and instead took that opportunity to praise the offensive coordinator for about four-straight minutes.
"One thing that is not about to happen, and let me be perfectly clear, you're not about to create any type of division between me and Josh McDaniels," Newton told WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Monday. "You're talking to a person who, No. 1 respects this opportunity first and foremost and that's talking Coach [Bill] Belichick, that's talking in regards of Josh McDaniels, obviously Robert Kraft, and even Jedd [Fisch]. I think that would be selfish of me to kind of indirectly point the finger when here is a person who is putting our team in the best situation to win.
"For the most part, me and Josh's relationship has grown, obviously, while I have been here. For me to kind of know him and know what his theory and thinking is, it's been something I have attached to myself even more. He's a very passionate person that I would never second-guess his theory no matter what it is.
"And there's been times where as a player you kind of bail your coach out because of the plays you may make, but more times than not Josh has bailed the whole team out because of his theory and his in-game adjustments. It's give and take."
Newton also added that he's seen some criticisms of the play-calling under McDaniels and doesn't believe it warrants much merit.
"Yeah, there's some division right now. I can't say what's being said in the fan base, I can only assume and things like that," he said. "It's [the media's job] to probe and pick and I respect that. But at the same time, you've got guys in this locker room, including myself, that is willing to do whatever it takes to win a football game and when you don't get the outcome that you're desperately searching for, yeah it hurts, yeah you take it personal, you need time to debrief. But for me to sit up here and put a person that I admire in Josh under the bus and say he should have called four passes, no, I am not going to do that, man.
"I am not going to do that because I know just as much as the energy that goes into me wanting to win, I know Josh shares that same thing and I know he wants to put this team in the best position to win. That is the only thing you can ask for."
The Patriots offense has flashed at times this season with the promise of a more balanced attack, but it simply hasn't come to fruition on a consistent basis. That inconsistency has been something that has plagued New England all season and this latest loss to the Rams all but puts the hopes of going in a little playoff run to bed regardless of the offense is fixed or not.