Breaking down Cam Newton’s Patriots debut: Flashes of ‘Superman but …

Cam Newton did not make any true large performs in his gritty profitable Patriots debut over the Dolphins. But simply trying wholesome and operating successfully have been large in his first recreation changing Tom Brady as New England’s beginning quarterback.

Most necessary, Newton confirmed no indicators that his current previous shoulder or foot accidents have been points. He additionally, as anticipated, gave the Patriots a component Brady by no means did — performing like an additional operating again with a team-leading 75 yards and 2 TDs on 15 makes an attempt.

Those carry, together with a late kneel down, matched his quantity of cross completions (15 on 19 makes an attempt). He wanted to throw for less than 155 yards in a 21-11 win.

Newton did have a number of his flashy “Superman” moments in celebration, but he did not attempt to do an excessive amount of. He stayed throughout the Patriots’ offense, did not drive the ball downfield, and relied on his finest offensive talent and blocking help. With the Patriots’ protection dominating and taking the ball away from the Dolphins thrice, Newton change into the last word caretaker along with his chain-moving operating and brief passing.

Consider the Patriots’ largest offensive achieve was Newton’s 25-yard cross to tight finish Ryan Izzo. Newton’s longest run was solely 12 yards.

New England held the ball for practically 35 minutes and Newton accomplished 78.9 p.c of his passes with a mighty 100.7 score. The Dolphins received to him for 2 sacks, but the Patriots persistently received optimistic performs to maintain them on schedule, going 6 of 11 on third- and fourth-down conversion makes an attempt.

Because it is the Patriots, Newton’s efficiency is certain to be overblown for example of Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels being absolute geniuses for each signing him late and pondering he may match properly within the offense.

But let’s additionally bear in mind this was the Dolphins, rebuilding protection whose energy is the secondary with high-priced cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. Miami has a weak entrance, making it not that shocking New England was ready tor rush for 217 yards as a group, led by Newton.

Newton will be able to do much more in Week 2 because the Patriots journey to face Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, who dropped 38 factors on the Falcons in Week 1. Seattle is a well-known NFC foe to Newton and a significantly better all-around group than Miami.

Unfortunately for Newton, the Patriots’ confirmed their offensive weaknesses round him. They do not have a lot dependable within the passing recreation after Brady’s two former favorite targets, Julian Edelman and James White. They are nonetheless on the lookout for constant solutions from their conventional operating recreation.

The Patriots had the right, reined-in gameplan for Newton to get his toes moist, largely counting on these toes. When Newton faces extra defensive resistance and has extra of an offensive burden, then that will probably be a real measure of what he can carry to the Patriots for all of 2020.

So far, so good for now for essentially the most enigmatic quarterback of the season. A number of key questions have been answered immediately, but there’s nonetheless a lot of the Newton thriller but to be solved.

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