Written by: NFL

Stop the Tank, the Patriots Won

Just when you thought the Patriots season was over, they pull off a vintage fourth quarter comeback against the Jets, and officially stop the tank.

Any chance the New England Patriots had to tank the season and compete for the worst record in the NFL, died last night when the Patriots handed the New York Jets their ninth defeat of the season, after a Nick Folk game winning walk off field goal. The vibe for the game was split last night, some of the fan base was hoping for a loss, the other was dreading a five game losing streak, the Patriots won, and that’s not a bad thing. 

Cam Newton has been under heavy scrutiny since he returned to the lineup after his positive COVID-19 test. Newton had a solid game against the Buffalo Bills, but his fumble with 37-seconds left in the game held a dark cloud above his head. Newton didn’t just need to have a good game against the Jets, he had to lead the Patriots to a victory, and with the game in his hands, Newton gave Patriots fans the “Tom Brady moment” that they have been waiting for. With 55-seconds left in the game, Newton and the offense drove down the field, and it was capped off with a dime to Jakobi Meyers, to set up Nick Folk to kick a game winning 51-yard field goal. 

Newton had the ball in his hands at the end of the game on three separate occasions this season against; the Seattle Seahawks, the Denver Broncos, and the Buffalo Bills, unfortunately the Patriots fell short on all three occasions. What was the difference Monday night? Cam Newton said he just did his job. 

“I’m getting tired of sucking. It’s simple,” Newton said. “As a competitor you know what your standard is. Taking pride in your work, that’s what it comes down to… You’re solely responsible for the performance that you put in. I was extremely disappointed. This is not like — I just did my job today.”

Cam Newton is a competitor, and no competitor wants to lose, even if the fan base wants them too. The Patriots road to securing a playoff spot will be long and full of bumps, and in almost every way that you look at it, the Patriots making the playoffs is improbable, but it’s not impossible. 

The win Sunday night was a breath of fresh air for fans and the Patriots alike, Newton knew how important the win was. 

“We’re in a position where this was a division game, a much-needed win for multiple reasons, not only for the division but also for our confidence,” Newton said. “We just needed one in our opinion.”

Conor Carney from DPN Commentary is observing the rest of the Patriots season as a tryout for Cam Newton, can Newton be the longer term solution at quarterback in the post-Tom Brady era in New England? Performances like last night are a good step forward. Newton went 27/34 – 274yds, he also ran for two touchdowns. But the statistics were not the story of Newton’s performance last night, it was the fact that in a must win situation he got the job done, he didn’t turn the ball over, and he got the job done when the pressure was at the highest. 

The NFL schedule makers were not kind to New England this season. Already playing the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and a healthy San Francisco 49ers, the Patriots still have to go through a gauntlet starting with the Baltimore Ravens next week. Bill Belichick historically has a short memory, next game, next man, Patriots Way, but even he has to want to bask in a victory for at least one day, right? 

The Patriots added a handful of players to their roster last week, and now that the COVID-19 protocols would have been followed, Belichick can get to work with his new players. Belichick sent a strong message to his team last week, he’s not ready to give up on this season, and even after trailing by ten points, the players don’t seem ready to give up on the season either.

Tags: , , , , , , , , Last modified: November 10, 2020
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