Cam Newton and His Legs Look Fresh in Patriots Debut
There were many questions pertaining to Cam Newton and his readiness to be New England's starting quarterback prior to Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.
Those questions have now been put to rest.
During the Patriots' 21-11 win over Miami, Newton completed 15-of-19 passes for 155 yards.
But the 2015 MVP did most of his damage with his feet.
Newton carried the ball 15 times - most out of anyone in the Patriots' backfield and the second-most in a single game in his career - and accumulated 75 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
"It was relatively picking up right where I remember the game to be," Newton said during his postgame video conference with the media. "I think it was just still a feeling process, more so for me as well as Josh [McDaniels], Coach Bill as well as Jedd [Fisch] to understand who they have and what I have."
Newton noted that Sunday's game was really about making in-game adjustments since neither team knew what to expect from their opponent. And on that end the Patriots were on point.
"At the end of the day we made adjustments and executed," he said.
During his Patriots debut, Newton looked fresh and explosive during a game in which the game plan was not complicated. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels dialed up an offense in Week 1 that produced run-heavy numbers; New England ran the ball 42 times - which was a combo of designed and undesigned run plays - while Newton only threw the football 19 times.
But the offensive game plan worked for the Patriots. They rushed for 217 total yards, scored on three of four red zone trips, and were 5-of-10 on third down. Newton kept his passes short, averaging 8.2 yards per catch, and was relatively stable in the pocket behind a stout offensive line, getting sacked just twice and completing 15-of-19 passes.
"I thought [Cam Newton] played well today," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during his postgame video conference with the media. "He hit a lot of passes. He ran the ball well. He led the team. He made some good checks and adjustments, so I thought that he did a good job. There's room for improvement from all of us, so I'm not saying it was the best executed game in the history of football, but we did some good things today in all three phases of the game. We're proud of that and we'll go back and work on the things that we need to do to get better, but I thought he did a good job for us."
It was a fantastic debut for the veteran quarterback. With so many questions pertaining to his health, the speed in which he was learning the offense, and what the offense would look like with Newton under center, Sunday's victory over Miami checked all the boxes for what we were hoping to see from the new-look Patriots offense.
While there will be much tougher opponents Newton and the Patriots will face in the coming weeks, their regular-season debut has Patriots Nation excited for what's to come.