Heading into that final goal line play which ended the Patriots’ 35-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2, Newton had scored four touchdowns from within the 5-yard line. He had thrown for one more goal-line touchdown, using a play that faked the quarterback dive, only to toss the ball to an uncovered fullback. It was clicking — until it wasn’t.
“It’s a play we had in the game plan, ran it in a couple of times. Probably went to the well too many times,” Newton told reporters on Sunday night after the game. “I’ve just got to be better. … We’ve got to be better here at the end. We put ourselves in the position to win, and when you do that, you’ve just got to finish.”
— NFL (@NFL) September 21, 2020
Belichick was asked what went into deciding on that play-call to have Newton run a quarterback dive, not unlike what they’d already run so many times in the first two weeks.
“We tried to go with our best play,” he said. “What else is there to think about?”
The Patriots’ other obvious options included a handoff to a running back, but they were averaging less than two yards per carry. New England could have thrown the ball, but then they’d run the risk of getting too cute, not unlike what the Seahawks did in Super Bowl XLIX when Russell Wilson threw a game-ending interception at the goal line. So it made sense that the Patriots went to the best player in those situations at this point in the season. That’s Newton, who has been extremely effective through the first two weeks.
“I just didn’t make everybody right, and that’s what I regret,” he said. “In that time of situation, it’s humbling to be able to have the respect of the team, to have the ball in my hands. I just gotta deliver. I saw a clip of it, and I could’ve made it right just by bouncing it (outside toward the pylon). I was just trying to be patient. Just thinking too much. … Just playing a fast defense like this, as soon as you guess, you’re wrong.”
He added: “This is a disgusting taste in my mouth.”