How Cam Newton's start for Patriots puts him in rare, infamous company

Dave Green
·2 min read

Newton's start puts him in rare, infamous statistical company originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Just like Cam Newton, other quarterbacks like Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell and Heath Shuler were also taken among the top three picks in the NFL Draft.

And judging by their NFL pedigrees, Newton was probably hoping that's where the similarities to those other QBs ended. After all, Newton is a former NFL MVP who has taken his team to the Super Bowl, where those other three combined for a 19-49 record and only lasted a total of 10 seasons in the NFL.

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But unfortunately for the Patriots quarterback, the statistical start to his New England career places him right alongside those draft busts, as pointed out by our friend BostonSportsInf on Twitter:

While it's true that Newton is having success on the ground, where his six rushing touchdowns rank fifth in the league and second behind Kyler Murray among all quarterbacks, he has been unable to do much of anything through the air this season.

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Even though he's played six games, Newton only has two passing touchdowns all season. Meanwhile, there have been 58 instances of quarterbacks throwing for at least three touchdowns in a game already this season. Then there are his seven interceptions, which are tied for fourth-most in the NFL, and his quarterback rating of 73.2, which ranks 29th. 

And even though Newton still has nine games to right the ship (providing Bill Belichick sticks with him that long), the track record of the quarterbacks in that group mentioned above doesn't provide much hope.

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In those seasons listed (Russell in 2009, Leaf in 1998, Shuler in 1997), those QBs combined for a 9-18 record, throwing a total of 7 touchdowns and an astounding 40 interceptions.

Unsurprisingly, none of them finished those seasons as their team's starter. It remains to be seen if Newton suffers the same fate.