Cam Newton Benched, Replaced by Jarrett Stidham as 49ers Steamroll Patriots

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It's been a Jekyll-and-Hyde season for Cam Newton in his first year with the Patriots, and Sunday's loss to the 49ers marks a low point for the former MVP.

Newton was benched for fellow Auburn product Jarrett Stidham in the third quarter as New England fell into a 33-6 hole against San Francisco. And while the benching was likely disappointing, it wasn't exactly unwarranted. Newton tallied just nine completions and 95 yards passing, and he added three interceptions. Newton doesn't look to be in peak form as the Patriots' offense continues to sputter.

Sunday's loss marked Newton's second subpar performance since he returned from the COVID-19 list. Newton threw for just 157 yards in a loss to the Broncos on Sept. 18, and he failed to throw for a touchdown while tossing two interceptions. 

Stidham didn't have much success as he replaced Newton. The 2019 fourth-round pick finished the afternoon with 64 yards on 10 attempts, and he added an interception as well in San Francisco's blowout victory. 

There is no quarterback controversy brewing in New England despite Newton's benching. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said postgame Newton will "absolutely" remain the starting quarterback moving forward, adding the move to put in Stidham was made to give the young quarterback extra reps. 

The Patriots fell to 2–4 on Sunday. They'll return to the field on Nov. 1 as they travel to Buffalo to face the Bills.

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