Bilesic, who had stood firmly by Newton as the midfielder throughout the season, was adamant after the match that Newton would not be on the bench.
He answered sarcastically to the question, “I’m really glad you asked that.” “How is our quarterback.”
why? What did he do to gain your support?
“It’s our quarterback,” Bilesic frowned. “I think I just answered that question.”
But Belichick has 10 days to change his mind, and he must, in the interest of the franchise.
The 119-yard pass was the most in Newton’s last three matches. Belichick moved to Steadham mercifully as he left 10:12 in the fourth quarter on Thursday and the Patriots were late, 3-24. Stidham didn’t do much, finishing 5 of 7 lanes for 27 yards and 2 bags. But Newton is clearly not the answer, and he might also give the Patriots three weeks to show himself next year.
Stidham never gets a full week as a beginner in practice and a game plan designed specifically for him.
The Patriots are not going anywhere with Newton. Let’s see what Stid the Kid has been doing in their last three games.
▪ The Patriots escaped a no passing attack in victories over the Cardinals and the Charger, but Thursday’s defeat by the Rams is what happens when Newton faces an outstanding defense.
Newton single-handedly stops the attack. The Patriots have a decent attack line, a steady streak of runners, and receivers that can be functional at least. But Newton has vibrating arm strength, poor pocket sense, and distracting accuracy, which is what prevents a Patriot attack.
Newton said, “We just have to be better, and that starts with me personally.”
Fox’s crew was crushing Newton in the first half.
Tony Gonzalez said, “If you can’t throw football, I don’t care how far you can run with your legs, you just won’t play.”
Newton deserved a chance this year, and he did well enough under the conditions. But the Patriots clearly need to be promoted in QB this off-season. They can’t go another year with the 30th rated passing crime.
▪ By relegation to 6-7, the Patriots fell 2½ match behind the final playoff teams. But the Patriots this year are not worthy of the qualifiers. They have a non-functional pass-through game and a set of nameless receivers. They have a young defense that should have replaced five junior players. They were not executed in the fourth quarter in several matches.
Bill Barcelles always said, “You’re what your record says,” and he feels 6-7 is right for this Patriots.
Newton’s inability to pass – or Josh McDaniels’ lack of confidence in Newton’s pass – was particularly detrimental in the red. The Patriots entered the Twenty-first zone three times in the first half, but came off with only three points. The Rams and everyone in the world knew the Patriots would only run over the goal line, stuffing them four times in a row, including twice on Newton. Newton also threw an interception – the fourth round in the Patriots’ red zone of the year – and had to level a field goal of 29 yards.
The Patriots were below average in the red all year, entering the game 22nd in relegation ratio (57.5). Fox, Bradshaw, said Thursday, it was “one of the worst and most dangerous crime I have ever seen.”
▪ The Patriots spent the whole of last week training at work on fast starts, hopping all over the chargers in the first quarter, but didn’t make it to Thursday’s match. The Rams tore 10 points before the Patriots blinked, and the Patriots just didn’t have enough attack (read: in the middle) to play from behind against the defense of the top five rams. The Newton Peak-Six then closed any opportunity for the Patriots to return.
The Patriots have achieved four wins this year after their opponent scored first. But they don’t have enough offensive firepower to constantly play from behind. They are now 30 in the NFL, a difference of -38 points in the first quarter.
The Patriots’ defense settled well after a slow start, ending the first half with interceptions and two kicks. But the Rams crushed their will in New England in the third quarter, putting the game away with 16 runs, 88 yards off landing that stops at 9:42. The Rams pounded the ball directly at the Patriots throughout the match, finishing with a quick 187 yards and an average of 5.3.
Cam Akers darted 171 yards, the maximum the Patriots let one player for all year and only third, back to 100 yards. The Terrible Patriots were on the brink of defense all night, and John Simon seemed to be having a particular difficulty. The Patriots have performed well in recent weeks against teams with mobile backers, but have been cut short by two teams that don’t run much with QB, 49ers and Rams.
▪ Bill Belisik outperformed Sean McVeigh in Super Bowl 53, but the kid defeated the legend in this match. In Rams’ opening landing, a one-yard dive by Jared Goff, the Patriots were caught with their third “dime” defense on the field, and they didn’t have enough muscle on the defense line to stop offside. The Patriots gave Rams free points when they jumped fourth and short in the third quarter.
“We went out as a coach, we lost the game, and we really outdid everything,” Belisik said.
McVeigh improved to 34-0 when he was ahead in the first half. He got a feathered in the hat Thursday night win over Beleshik.
▪ N’Keal Harry debuted this season. He only finished three times at 49 yards, but twice showed the physical and ball skills we’ve been waiting to see since the Patriots led him in the first round last year. Harry maintained an impressive grip over midfield during his big shot, picking up a 30-yard jumping ball over corner back in the third quarter. We hope this game provides him some confidence.
Another big night for Operation Patriot. Gunner Olszewski has caught fire in recent weeks and made another great comeback, this 21-yard ride. Jack Bailey continued his impressive season, clocking six times with an average of 51.7 yards at a length of 71. Of his six kicks, the Rams only returned once from 8 yards.