Bill Belichick believed Cam Newton performed well in Monday night’s blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The New England Patriots quarterback disagreed.
Speaking minutes after the Bills trounced the Patriots 38-9 at Gillette Stadium, Belichick said New England’s passing game “didn’t have much direction” but didn’t pin the blame on Newton, who was benched for backup Jarrett Stidham before the midway point of the third quarter.
“Cam did a good job for us,” the Patriots coach said. “I mean, that wasn’t the problem. We were just not very competitive in the beginning.”
Newton, who completed just 5 of 10 passes for 34 yards with a rushing touchdown before getting the hook, later was asked whether he agreed with Belichick’s assessment.
“No, I wouldn’t say that,” said Newton, who’s now been pulled from three lopsided losses this season. “I would say any time — I’ll put it like this: You don’t get pulled out just because you’re having a stand-up game. I can tell you that. I’d be the first person to say that. There are some things I feel like I could have done better. But what my standard is for myself, it’s never to just blend in and just be the status quo.
“There’s some plays that need to have been made on my part that I feel like I could have done a better job at doing. You just have to review the film and get back to it. As a signal-caller, as a person who is a dynamic player on this team, I need to impact the game more, and it just didn’t happen tonight.”
Newton was victimized by drops early on — including an especially egregious one by Damiere Byrd on what should have been a touchdown pass — but also bounced a third-down pass to an open N’Keal Harry. Stidham fared no better in his stead, going 4-for-11 for 44 yards over the final quarter-and-a-half.
The Patriots went three-and-out on four of their nine possessions and punted on their final six drives.
It remains to be seen which quarterback will start New England’s season finale this Sunday against the New York Jets.