Despite Cam Newton's continued struggles, the New England Patriots coaching staff is staying loyal to its quarterback.
Head coach Bill Belichick made clear after the team's 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams -- and then reiterated Friday -- that Newton will remain the starting QB. The 31-year-old threw for only 119 yards with zero touchdowns and a pick-six in Thursday night's defeat.
During his Friday press conference, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels backed up Belichick sticking with Newton while taking some of the blame for the Patriots' offensive woes.
“Cam has certainly, he certainly has been the best option for us all year long since he earned the opportunity in training camp," McDaniels said. "And look, whenever the offense struggles, I know the attention is always going to get turned to that position. Me personally, it’s my responsibility to put us in a position to be more productive than we were last night. Every time we struggle offensively and don’t score enough points to win the game, I know I need to do a better job.
"Quarterback play is dependent on a lot of things to be done right and execute properly. The quarterback has to do his job, but there are a lot of other people that go into doing that same thing and being a productive offensive unit. Cam works hard. Cam knows what we want to try and do to win. Right now, I think there’s a lot of things we all can do better. We have to work hard and try and come back and have a good week of preparation in practice and see if we can play better as a unit down in Miami and get this thing back on track.”
Backup QB Jarrett Stidham took over for Newton in the fourth quarter vs. L.A., completing 5 of 7 passes for 27 yards. He was sacked twice.
Newton has 2,172 passing yards, five touchdowns (11 rushing), and 10 interceptions through 12 games. In Stidham's four appearances this season, he has completed 18 of 33 passes for 212 yards, two touchdowns and three picks.
With New England's playoff hopes on life support, there's still a chance Stidham could get the nod for a start in one of the team's next three games. The 24-year-old Auburn product has not yet made an NFL start.
The Patriots wrap up their 2020 regular season with matchups vs. the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.