The Patriots are just two games into the 2020 NFL season, yet there’s a growing contingent of pundits who believe Cam Newton is a better quarterback for New England now than Tom Brady would’ve been had the six-time Super Bowl champion stuck around.
“Think about it this way. Here’s my analogy: Tom Brady is the great conductor, and when you have the great orchestra — (Wes) Welker, you had good running backs, Randy Moss, a young (Rob Gronkowski) — Brady created the greatest music we’ve ever heard,” Cowherd said Tuesday on FS1. “Cam is a lead singer. Give him the mic, you don’t even notice the drummer. The orchestra, the symphony becomes a little less crucial.
” … Cam, when you have a garage band and marginal talent, like New England right now has, Cam’s a great fit. Cam’s a playmaker. Cam grabs that thing, and he is in the front of the stage, and he is just bellowing and a showstopper. He is the show, and this is a garage band. There’s not much here.”
The Patriots’ roster undoubtedly has its flaws, both on offense and defense. Yet New England overpowered the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 and fell just short of knocking off the Seattle Seahawks after a wild comeback in Week 2.
Newton’s play thus far is a huge reason for the Patriots’ competitiveness despite their personnel deficiencies. He’s looked good running and throwing the football, while also making those around him better.
“When you give Cam nothing to work with, he’s better than Tom,” Cowherd said. “Sunday, I don’t believe Tom Brady could’ve gone to Seattle, gotten into a shootout with the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson, who’s playing virtual perfect football, and Tom Brady would have gotten them within one play and three yards of winning. No, I think Cam Newton — with this roster and this team and no deep threat and below-average tight ends and the greatest offensive line coach left and they had eight guys opt out and free agents left and they don’t have a kicker they can totally trust in. They came within a play of beating maybe the first-, second- or third-best team in the league. This is about Cam.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by Brady, also split their first two games, losing to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 before bouncing back with a victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.
Brady hasn’t been great, only adding to the argument New England now is better off with Newton. For all of Brady’s accolades, he is, after all, 43 years old and coming off an underwhelming 2019 season.
“I think it’s OK to just admit: Cam works for this New England group, and Tom will eventually work really well with that group in Tampa, and Tom wouldn’t be quite as good with this group,” Cowherd said. “I don’t think he would. I don’t think he would go to Seattle and get within a play of beating the Seahawks.
” … Cam’s the artist, he’s the rock star that, right now in this moment, New England needs. It’s working. It’s fun.”
Simply put, the Patriots’ offense looked stale last season. Now, it looks rejuvenated, thanks in large to a seismic change under center.