The New England Patriots have lost four consecutive games for the first time since 2002 and Cam Newton has not played well as the starting quarterback during that stretch.
However, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been adamant throughout this period of losing that Newton is still the team's quarterback.
There's been a desire from some fans (and others) to have the Patriots start second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham and see what he can do given a full week to prepare for the role and not just get thrown in during garbage time, which has happened on a few occasions already this season.
So, why have the Patriots stuck with Newton so far?
NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran offered this take Monday night on "Early Edition."
"From what I'm gathering, the Patriots don't feel very good about Jarrett Stidham from, really July on," Curran said.
"The things that have gone on with him in terms of -- the absence of things that have gone on with him. No compete in terms of trying to win that job away from Cam Newton, and I think that is a big strike against him."
Stidham has not looked particularly good in the limited snaps he's played in 2020. He's completed 11 of 23 pass attempts for 124 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Of course, it's a very small sample size, but the early returns are not great.
The Patriots have been a better team when Newton plays. He's a better passer than what he's shown through seven games, and his ability to run the football effectively gives the Patriots a dimension that Stidham does not.
That said, Newton must play a lot better because the Patriots have almost no margin for error if they expect to reach the playoffs for a 12th consecutive season.
The Patriots enter Monday night's Week 9 game against the winless New York Jets with a 2-5 record and trail the final AFC wild card playoff berth by 2.5 games.