The 5-6 New England Patriots scored a huge victory on Sunday, as they defeated the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 20-17. It was a defensive matchup that was won by a Nick Folk 50-yard field goal, but it didn't necessarily feel like a win for quarterback Cam Newton. In fact, the former MVP was seen apologizing to Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels shortly after Folk's game-winning field goal sailed through the uprights.
Newton had a horrific day, as he completed just 9 of 18 passes for 84 yards, zero touchdowns and threw two interceptions. While he added 46 yards on the ground, he finished the Week 12 matchup with a QBR of 6.6! On Tuesday, McDaniels was asked if he still had full confidence in Newton as a passer, and the coach responded by saying, "Absolutely."
"The best part about Cam Newton is the only statistic he cares about is the one in the win column," McDaniels said, via Zack Cox of NESN.
Newton will likely set career lows all across the board this year. In 10 games, he has thrown for 1,984 yards, four touchdowns and nine interceptions. The Patriots' leading receiver is Damiere Byrd, who has caught 35 passes for 502 yards and one touchdown. He and N'Keal Harry are the only Patriots wide receivers who have caught touchdowns this season -- and Harry's score didn't even come from Newton. Many have pointed to the Patriots' lack of weapons as a reason for Newton's struggles, but a fair counterpoint is that his arm hasn't exactly looked like the same one that passed for 4,051 yards back in 2011.
McDaniels has a point about Newton's ability to keep the Patriots in the win column, however. Whether the Patriots are slipping past the New York Jets or outscoring the Baltimore Ravens, this team has the kind of fight some contenders lack.