I wrote my longest article ever yesterday, about questionable coaching calls costing teams wins, and then I saw the Patriots and Seahawks game last night- doh! (Facepalm)
With that said, Cam Newton is back! Just in case anyone had their doubts.
In a thriller on prime-time television, Newton led the Patriots to a tic-for-tak game against the Seattle Seahawks, bringing New England to the one yard line with just three seconds left to play in the game.
A drive that started at their own 19-yard line with 1:42 to play, ended at the Seahawks one-yard line on a play-call that I honestly believe, the entire viewing audience knew was coming- a power sweep with Cam Newton running it in.
And honestly, it was a bad call. Check it for yourself:
The Seahawks D had an answer for Cam Newton on the final play to secure the win!
— USA TODAY NFL (@usatodaynfl) September 21, 2020
The reason why I believe this was a bad call is really simple- the Patriots had already run it several times during the game. It worked for a touchdown run, and later a touchdown pass.
But to run it again? For real? This is the NFL, and these are professionals who are able to analyze plays just seconds after they occur, so you know Seattle knew what was coming. Like I said earlier, the whole football world knew what was coming, and they STILL ran it.
Following the game, Cam would only blame himself for the play not succeeding:
“I just didn’t make everybody right and that’s the only thing I regret,” Newton said. “In that type of situation, it’s humbling to be able to have the respect of a team to have the ball in my hands. I just have to deliver. I saw a clip of it; I could’ve made it right by just bouncing it (outside). I was just trying to be patient. Just thinking too much, man. Or even just diving over the top. There’s so many things that flashed over me.
And although that’s awesome by Cam to do that, which shows his maturity, it was simply a bad play call at that time. Maybe a better option might have been a run-pass option, or just getting out what got you 80 yards down the field in the first place, your weapons, like Edelman, Byrd, Burkhead, and Harry.
Seattle had a tough time stopping them all night, as was evident by Cam’s 397 yards passing on 30 completions.
If Cam deserves any blame for anything on the drive, one could maybe argue about the almost casual, lack of urgency earlier in the drive, where the Patriots took 20 seconds to run a play, not once, but twice. Starting at the 1:42 mark, and after a 13-yard completion, the Patriots didn’t run another play until 1:20. Two plays later at 1:13 mark, Newton completed a 17-yard pass to N’Keal Harry- another play wasn’t run until there were 53 seconds left to play. Perhaps a little bit of a sense of urgency could have added several seconds at the end of the game, but who knows.
Edelman also missed a touchdown pass that went right through his hands two plays prior to the game ending, although that may have been more of a late reaction that anything- he honestly had a heck of a game for a team many felt lacked wideouts.
There’s nothing wrong with losing a game, it happens, but to lose on THAT playcall at the end, hurts. What a moment it would have been for Cam and New England, who many feel are finally at the end of their run as a dynasty, to go into Seattle, and steal a win like that, but nope, instead they ran a play the whole football world knew was coming, and got stuffed.