Dec 10, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (middle) looks on from the sidelines with head coach Bill Belichick (right) after being replaced in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

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Belichick done talking about status of QB Newton

One day after benching quarterback Cam Newton in the fourth quarter and then saying the veteran still is his signal caller moving forward, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick refused to address the topic Friday.

“I’ve answered that for the last time,” Belichick said Friday after going over the game film of New England’s 24-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Newton completed just 9 of 16 passes for 119 yards on Thursday night against one of the top defenses in the NFL. He threw one interception, which was returned 79 yards for a touchdown by the Rams’ Kenny Young.

“We knew exactly what they were going to do,” Newton said after the game. “We just have to be better and it starts with me personally. (I) just have to make more plays and that’s what it comes down too.”

The Patriots are just 6-7 on the season and are on the brink of being eliminated from playoff consideration. They visit the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 20.

An early 10-0 lead by the Rams forced the Patriots into a pass-heavy attack and it went nowhere, which is not a huge surprise. The Patriots average 185.4 yards passing per game in their first season since 2000 without Tom Brady as the starter, and the total is third from the bottom in the NFL.

Known as a dual threat for his passing and running abilities, Newton added just 16 yards rushing Thursday, tied for his second lowest total of the season. On a key fourth-and-goal situation near the Rams’ goal line in the second quarter, Newton tried to run but was stopped for a 2-yard loss.

In the fourth quarter, Belichick replaced Newton with Jarrett Stidham for the final three drives. The Patriots didn’t score on any of them. Afterward, Belichick was asked if the quarterback change was permanent.

“Yeah, great question, really glad you asked that,” Belichick said. “Cam’s our quarterback.”

Newton, 31, also was asked about a potential benching over the final three games.

“That’s not my call,” the 10-year player said. “I’m just doing what I’m asked. I still go into each and every week with the mentality to keep getting better and that’s what I plan on doing.”

Newton, who has been named to the Pro Bowl three times, has 2,172 yards passing this season with five touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In his previous nine seasons, all with the Carolina Panthers, he had 29,041 yards passing with 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions.

Newton accumulated 58 rushing touchdowns for Carolina and has ran for 11 this season with New England.

-Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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