If there were any doubts that the New England Patriots could move the ball through the air this season, then quarterback Cam Newton put an end to them Sunday night, despite a 35-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Patriots’ running backs were ineffective on the ground, gaining just 20 yards on 14 carries, so Newton threw the ball 44 times and completed 30 passes for 397 yards with a touchdown and interception as he nearly led New England back from a 12-point deficit.
The Patriots passed just 19 times in Week 1 with the bulk of their success coming through the rushing attack. Newton didn’t complete a single deep ball in that Patriots win over the Miami Dolphins. Newton was 6-of-8 for 162 yards on deep passes Sunday night against Seattle.
“There’s many ways that you can win in this game,” Newton said. “We don’t want to become one-dimensional. We had our opportunities. And just moving forward, we have a lot of things to be optimistic about. But yet we still have to get better. The reason why you play this game is for one stat and one stat only. We didn’t get that statistic today, and that’s the win. For us, this is a disgusting taste in my mouth. I just gotta grow and get better in this offense and hopefully have a better result next week.”
Newton also carried the ball 11 times for 47 yards with two touchdowns as a one-man wrecking crew.
The Patriots felt the sting of the loss, but Newton wasn’t the only person feeling optimistic Sunday night. The game came down to the final play when the Seahawks stymied Newton on a run at the goal line.
“We learned a lot tonight from these guys,” wide receiver Julian Edelman said. “Down two scores with four minutes to go across the country against a really good football team, and you come back. We knew it was going to go to the last play. We kept saying (that) this whole week. Then it literally came down to the last play. And they got us. But I’m really proud of how we fought as a team.”
Edelman set a career high with 179 receiving yards on eight catches as he battled through a knee injury. Patriots 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry caught eight passes for 72 yards, while veteran wideout Damiere Byrd caught six passes for 72 yards.
The Patriots missed running back James White, who was inactive after the death of his father in a car accident. Rex Burkhead helped filled in for White and caught four passes for 47 yards.
The Patriots fell to 1-1 on the season, but there are plenty of positives to take away from their offensive performance Sunday. The defense? That’s another story.
Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images