Former MVP Cam Newton was added to the New England roster for a one year deal worth $7 Million. Newton has indeed shown promise in his career, and is still capable of being elite. But as for the New England team as a whole, not much has changed in terms of expectation.
Despite the new edition, Jared Stidham is still in the top spot for starting quarterback. Newton has told the press that he understands it will be a competition for the starting job. Stidham still has the advantage. He knows New England’s system better. Now the preseason games have been cut to two games, Newton has even less time.
Let’s say Stidham lands the starting position in the beginning of the season. The team’s offense regardless of qb will most likely go through the running game. Guys such as James White, Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and more being the key components. This puts less pressure on the quarterback position, regardless of who's starting.
One thing that cannot go unnoticed in New England is the defense and how elite they are. The secondary is lockdown, the rush should do well, and the linebackers are always impressive. With a combination of the running, and defense being so prevalent, less pressure is laid on either Stidham or Newton.
We have yet to see Stidham start a regular season game. I’m sure Belichick knows from the Jimmy Garoppolo situation that he should give guys a chance, especially the ones that sat behind Brady during their starting years in the system. The upside for Stidham may be higher than most think, which may be why Belichick hasn’t written him off yet.
Expectations before Cam Newton signed was to challenge Buffalo for the AFC East division and land a playoff spot. Even with Stidham the Patriots were in very good position to make that happen given the reasons above. Stidham wouldn’t have played as big of a role as Brady has in the past. Instead, the defense, special teams and running game are what will determine this team’s success. Newton may just create more excitement than anything.
According to ESPN.com the Patriots have 16 AFC titles, landing them the most ever in their division. New England has dominated their division through the ups and downs. This year will be no different. Miami, Buffalo and the Jets aren’t favored to win more than 10 games this season. The amount of games winning this season is around the 10-11 mark. And as New England may have a struggle as well, their chances are higher despite who’s at quarterback.
Overall, before the Cam Newton addition New England was already planning a playoff spot. However, it will be interesting to see if there will be a qb change in the middle of the season, something that we don’t see a lot from Belichick. Nonetheless, New England is in good shape to win their division due to weak competition.
Feature Image Via The Ringer