Cam Newton does not believe the New England Patriots’ season is a lost cause.
Despite their 2-5 record and current four-game losing streak, the quarterback said Monday he’s confident the Patriots can rebound.
?We?re close, and I think everybody can attest to that,” Newton said on WEEI’s “Greg Hill Show” one day after New England’s 24-21 road loss to the Buffalo Bills. “We?ve got to find ways.
“We?ve had opportunities in this year that we?ve lost some extremely close games. But yet, the optimistic (takeaway) that you can get from that is just, one play here, one play there, and those are different games. … I do have confidence in knowing that we can turn this thing around and we will turn this thing around.”
The Patriots have lost games by 5, 6 and 3 points this season, with Newton-led fourth-quarter comebacks falling short against the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos and Bills. They also gave the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs a scare during Newton’s stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list, losing 26-10 in a game that was closer than the final score suggested.
New England’s only blowout defeat came in Week 7, when an injury-depleted San Francisco 49ers squad cruised to a 33-6 victory at Gillette Stadium.
On Sunday, the Patriots scored touchdowns on back-to-back second-half drives and drove into the red zone in the final minute before Newton lost a fumble, sealing the win for Buffalo. Despite the turnover — his sixth in the last three games — Newton showed improvement overall, completing 15 of 25 passes for 174 yards and rushing nine times for 54 yards and one touchdown.
“When I look in the locker room, it’s a bunch of guys giving supreme effort,” Newton said on WEEI. “… For us to be on this losing streak, it has affected everybody. But I don’t think nobody has consciously folded the tent and said, ‘I’m gonna give up.’ Because that’s not the case. …
“I think everybody in that locker room knows what we can potentially be and what we?re capable of being. It just takes 53 guys believing and understanding and doing their given job on each and every day.”
Newton said the Patriots have been on “a slippery slope” since his COVID diagnosis Oct. 2, which kick-started a chain reaction that kept the team off the practice field for the better part of two weeks.
A total of eight Patriots players wound up landing on COVID reserve. And while all eight have since been removed, the Patriots have yet to win a game since Newton’s positive test.
The QB is confident one victory will get them back on track.
“Just the vibe that you get in the locker room is, ?We just need one,’ ” Newton said on WEEI. “Because going back and knowing this team as well as I do know this team, coming off of that Raiders win (in Week 3), man, I think everybody had a full head of steam and momentum. And then obviously, what happened with COVID and everything like that, it?s just been a slippery slope. Walking down a slippery aisle, trying to regain your footing.
“And one thing that I do know about this team is once we get that first one, that next one is almost, ?OK, we know how to win. We know how this feels. This is where situational football kicks in. Let?s do a better job of doing this, that and the third.? There?s no doubt in my mind that guys are taking the proper steps and focusing on each and every day, each and every rep, each and every practice. That will inevitably lead to in-game success for one particular game.”
Now 3 1/2 games back in the AFC East and 2 1/2 back of the AFC’s final wild-card spot, the Patriots are playoff long shots with more than half of their schedule still to play. On the bright side, they should at least snap their losing streak this week, as their next game is a Monday night matchup with the 0-8 New York Jets.
Asked whether the Patriots can make the postseason, Newton replied: ?I think this team can win the next game.”