The New England Patriots won’t go after the AFC East title for the first time in 11 years. Head coach Bill Belichick and his team trail the Miami Dolphins by two games in third place, and he has received too many questions about benching veteran quarterback Cam Newton.
New England had too many struggles this season. Some say the whole thing started with Tom Brady’s departure. TB12 left the Patriots to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Newton stepped in as a starting quarterback in New England. Belichick’s team will miss the playoffs for the first time since Brady tore his ACL in 2008.
The Patriots struggled to win games. They have a 6-7 record at this point of the regular season. That’s far from everything we expected to see from the team.
Newton had his ups and downs, but head coach Belichick didn’t want to replace him. Yes, he benched him a few times, but Newton is still a starter for the team. Reporters asked Belichick about the possibility to bench Newton. He has received so many similar questions. Let’s just say that Belichick’s comments were less convincing this time.
“That’s not where we are right now,” Belichick said. “We’re not there right now.”
Belichick wasn’t benching Cam Newton for a reason
Newton was standing on the line between starting and backup-caliber play throughout the entire year.
In one game, he threw for 365 yards and a touchdown, and then go with 119 yards and an interception. Terrible inconsistency.
Newton had a shocking performance in the 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Belichick benched him late in the game. Rookie Jarrett Stidham stepped in as a replacement. He threw for 5/7 for 27 yards on three drives.
The 2015 NFL MVP signed a one-year deal with the Patriots. Belichick kept him under center. Wonder why? Maybe he is full of doubts about Stidham. If Stidham becomes a long-term option, he would probably see more time on the field.
New England is meeting the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The Dolphins are determined to win this game and every other game on their schedule.