The Patriots are internet hosting a quarterback competitors for the second 12 months in a row, and nothing has been resolved but. Take Cam Newton’s phrase for it.
When requested, forward of the Patriots’ preseason recreation towards Eagles on Thursday, if Coach Invoice Belichick had instructed him who would begin in Week 1, Newton was surprised.
“You understand the reply to this query” Newton told reporters by way of a smile. “You sit up right here asking me silly questions. I don’t know what to say. You understand he did not say that. “
Nonetheless, Belichick will quickly must decide. In spite of everything, there is just one preseason recreation left.
However is there sufficient separation between Newton and Mac Jones to declare a winner now? Here is the place issues stand within the New England quarterback bout after the group’s 35-Zero win over Philadelphia in Week 2.
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Breaking Cam Newton in Patriots vs. Eagles
Newton’s efficiency towards the Eagles was significantly better than his debut towards the Washington Soccer group. He performed three collection on Thursday evening and led the group on two landing drives.
Granted, the primary rating got here from a brief area due to an Eagles’ turnover. However on the opposite two drives, Newton gave the Patriots scoring alternatives.
Newton’s second drive was robust. He helped transfer the Patriots 56 yards in eight video games and arrange a area purpose try that Quinn Nordin missed. Newton had a pleasant throw to Kendrick Bourne on the drive and seemed very snug within the pocket.
The Eagles did not play their starters on the defensive, so Newton wasn’t underneath a lot stress. However, he used his probabilities and was in a position to learn the sector effectively due to the extra time in his pockets. So he discovered Jakobi Meyers on his third and final drive of the evening for the landing.
Newton completed eight of 9 passes for 103 yards and a landing. He didn’t register a hasty try. The veteran confirmed one thing over the previous 12 months that followers do not typically see of him: a willingness to throw the ball into the sector.
Cam Newton made three passes from at the very least 10 air yards in New England’s 2nd collection right now.
Newton solely made three passes of 10+ airyards twice in a single journey all through 2020, each towards Seattle in Week 2. pic.twitter.com/Wh3dToo3d2
– ESPN statistics and information (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 20, 2021
MORE: Will Cam Newton begin for the Patriots in Week 1?
Mac Jones breaking into Patriots vs. Eagles
Newton’s stable efficiency put Jones underneath stress. The rookie entered the sport for the Patriots’ fourth drive, which began on their ninth. He instantly led the group on a 91-yard landing drive.
Jones needed to throw from his finish zone to 3rd and 13 early within the drive to maneuver the chains. He discovered N’Keal Harry throughout the center for a 19 yard win.
From there, the Patriots marched throughout the sector for a nine-minute drive of 17 video games.
Nonetheless, Jones had a mistake or two on the collection. On his second play, he virtually threw an interception as he stared at his receiver and linebacker TJ Edwards broke on the ball.
With lower than a minute remaining within the first half, Jones practically had a 55 yard TD diploma for Harry. He threw the ball heading in the right direction, however Harry could not reel it in.
Absolute dime from Mac Jones and a great route for N’Keal Harry’s go-ball. I hope he is fantastic, however this must be caught. Two weeks in a row, Mac has dropped one within the bucket on the left sideline. pic.twitter.com/Xy29MBnx2h
– Ryan Spagnoli (@Ryan_Spags) August 20, 2021
Though it wasn’t a landing, the throw nonetheless confirmed Jones’ accuracy. He casually knocked his earphones down and positioned them to play all through the night. He additionally fitted litters into tight home windows, like this one to Gunner Olszewski.
Jones did all the pieces effectively on Thursday. He threw with the rhythm, climbed into the pocket to keep away from stress, and confirmed good pace. He completed with 13 of 19 passes for 146 yards. He additionally had a three yard run.
Whereas not throwing a landing cross, Jones dropped two potential TDs from Harry and Devin Asiasi. And three of Jones’s 4 drives led to touchdowns anyway.
IYER: Mac Jones aces eye take a look at on the Patriots’ pre-season debut
Which quarterback has the sting within the Patriots QB battle?
Issues are even by way of two preseason video games. Each QBs handed the eyesight take a look at towards the Eagles and their statistical performances are related.
Jones has extra passing yards, however he is additionally performed extra. Newton has a landing cross whereas Jones has not thrown one. Jones has run a number of scoring drives, nevertheless, so the TD numbers do not inform the total story.
If it stays that approach, Belichick will face a troublesome resolution. Not one of the passers-by obtained away within the competitors, and Belichick, as anticipated, didn’t quit after Thursday’s recreation.
But when all else is identical, Belichick will possible roll with Newton. Why? As a result of that was Belichick’s plan all alongside.
Even after the group designed Jones 15th total in April, Belichick mentioned, “Cam is our quarterback.” He doubled this posture throughout the coaching camp.
“Cam is our beginning quarterback, I feel that is what I mentioned,” Belichick repeated on July 31st.
Might he change his thoughts? Certain, however after the beginning of each preseason video games, Newton must be seen as Belichick’s most popular choose as every week one starter.