What Newton told himself after being benched for Stidham


Cam Newton is confident in his abilities. But he's also accountable for his actions.

The Patriots quarterback played his way off the field in Sunday's 33-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, completing just 9 of 15 passes for 98 yards and throwing three interceptions before backup Jarrett Stidham replaced him in the fourth quarter.

While no starting quarterback wants to be benched, Newton was in no position to bristle at head coach Bill Belichick's decision to bench him.

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"No. I am a realist," Newton said Monday morning on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" when asked if he was surprised about being benched. "But yet through it all, I am coachable. ... (Bill) came and said, 'Stidham is finishing.' I agreed and that's what it was."

Stidham didn't fare much better in Newton's stead, completing 6 of 10 passes for 64 yards with an interception. Still, Newton admitted to taking a look in the proverbial mirror following Sunday's crushing defeat.

"For any type of competitor, do you feel embarrassed? Yeah," Newton said. "... I said to myself on the way home, 'You keep playing games like that, it's going to be a permanent change (at quarterback).' "

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For what it's worth, Belichick insisted Newton is "absolutely" the team's starting quarterback going forward. But the 31-year-old QB -- who now has zero touchdown passes and five interceptions in his last two games -- appears to be his own harshest critic after his worst game in a Patriots uniform.

"We -- and when I say we, I mean me -- have to play better," Newton added. " ... I have to get better and I'm adamant about it."

The 2-4 Patriots visit the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills next Sunday as they aim to keep their season alive.