Cam Newton seems to have heard the criticisms, and responded in a positive way.
The Patriots quarterback took to Instagram on Monday and expressed his disappointment in the team’s lack of success, one day after New England was eliminated from the playoffs following a Week 15 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
It will be the first time the Patriots fail to make the postseason since 2008.
“Dear Patriots Nation,” Newton wrote in his signature font, “I will be the first to tell you that this year has been unacceptable in more ways than one !! And the standard has been and always will be set; and unfortunately we (I) did not live up to what that standard was at all times or consistently enough !!”
“With that being said the answers are in the locker room and one thing I do know about this bunch is that this locker room is filled with guys who want to be a part of the solution including me !!
“All things considered, you will not see any finger pointing or excuse making but more accountability being placed on the guys (me) to get the job done !! I think I speak for myself and others when I say CHALLENGE ACCEPTED !!”
It certainly hasn’t been the season that New England fans have grown to expect. And while the first-year Patriot undoubtedly has been an ingredient in that recipe, it may be unfair to say Newton himself — not the pass-catching options, run defense, etc. — is the biggest factor.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick seemed to leave the door open for the possibility that Jarrett Stidham could replace Newton as the starter over the next two weeks, with the team’s season essentially over, but that is far from a certainty. Newton, though, wouldn’t get into that during his postgame press conference.
“I don?t know, man,” Newton told reporters after the 22-12 loss. “Listen, I?m just going to keep doing what I?m asked to do, and for me, I?ve just got to keep getting better. Keep doing what?s asked of me and go over and beyond and try to learn the system each and every week. I know we?re in the latter part of the season, but still try to learn as much as possible.”
The 6-8 Patriots will host the AFC Champion Buffalo Bills for a Week 16 game on “Monday Night Football.”