The Patriots have plenty of work to do, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Those issues, at least at times over New England’s first five games of the season, have been masked by its new starting quarterback.
The Patriots have completely handed over the keys of the offense to Cam Newton. The star quarterback, who missed New England’s Week 4 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, has accounted for seven of his team’s 11 offensive touchdowns on the campaign. We’ve seen Newton let it fly (44 pass attempts in Week 2) and use his legs early and often (double-digit rush attempts in three of four games thus far).
So, are the Patriots putting too much on Newton’s plate? Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason seems to believe so.
“Cam Newton is just being asked to do a lot,” Esiason said Monday on “The Greg Hill Show,” as transcribed by WEEI. “They’re asking him to run with it. They’re asking him to throw it. They’re throwing it to him. There’s a lot of things going on with him. He’s a great athlete. When he plays great and he’s accurate and he’s getting the ball out on time, it’s fantastic to watch. But this is what happened to him in Carolina when he was there.
“They were asking him to do everything. And he takes it all on his shoulders without complaints, so while I do give him a ton of credit for how hard he played yesterday and how much it means to him, it is obvious and apparent that there are weaknesses in the Patriot offense under their current state, especially on the offensive line.”
It sure sounds like Newton has no concerns about his usage. The first-year Patriot isn’t hitting the panic button with New England currently sitting at 2-3, and he has confidence in the team’s offense moving forward. The Patriots also have a history of making proper adjustments, so Newton’s role likely will be refined as the campaign unfolds.