Cam Newton set a new NFL record on Monday night as the New England Patriots caught up a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the New York Jets and end a four-game losing streak.
The Patriots’ quarterback was unable to throw a touchdown pass, although he did manage 27 of his 35 passes over 274 yards, and only got 16 yards in the Patriots’ 30-27 comeback win over AFC East’s 10-carrier rival.
However, two of these carry passes led to decisive, hurried touchdowns.
Newton rushed to a five-yard score of 3-34 in the first quarter, giving the Patriots a 7-3 lead before adding a one-yard touchdown run to equalize the 27-yard score with a 3-53 in the fourth quarter.
With these two scores, Newton increased the number of touchdown runs in the season to eight, which according to NFL research is the highest number a quarterback has had in the Super Bowl era on his first seven starts in a season – Newton missed the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in week 4 after being diagnosed with corona virus.
Remarkably, at 12 and nine respectively, only the Minnesota Vikings, who rank behind Dalvin Cook and his Atlanta Falcons counterpart Todd Gurley, have so far scored more hurried touchdowns than Newton. The Tennessee Titans’ running back and last season’s leading rush rider, Derrick Henry, as well as the Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback, Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals, both rank eighth alongside Newton.
Cam Newton is the first QB in the Super Bowl era with 8 Rusher TD in his first 7 games in a season.
– NFL Research (@NFL Research) November 10, 2020
After a costly fumble in week 8 cost the Patriots the chance to beat the Buffalo Bills, Newton was far more conservative in his game and protected the ball much better, completing his first 11 passes. Crucially, Newton came through when the Patriots needed him most, making up for a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter and scoring the game’s decisive field goal after time ran out. With New England trailing by seven points, the first overall selection of the 2011 NFL Draft developed a 72-yard 11-play drive that included a 19-yard pass to a third-and-20 and a fourth-down conversion.
Newton crowned the drive with his second hurried touchdown that night at 3:53, before the Patriots defense forced the jets to punt on their next drive. When New England regained possession 47 seconds before the end of the game, Newton drove his team up 45 yards and prepared Nick Folk’s 51-yard walk-off field goal.
According to ESPN statistics and information, this comeback was only the second time in 40 cases that Newton won a game in which his team was trailing by a double-digit margin in the final quarter. Newton had led the Carolina Panthers to victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the seventh week of the 2018 season, but had entered Monday Night Football with a career record of 1-38 when he was 10 or more points behind in the fourth quarter.
After beating the Jets, the Patriots improved to 3-5, and although they remain second in the AFC East, they are well behind the 7-2 Bills. However, Newton felt it was premature to exclude New England from the play-off competition.
“This could start right where we want to be,” he told ESPN after the game.
“We just showed stability today, and I’m so glad that the guys in the locker room just kept hitting back. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a victory”.