Deion Branch explains how Patriots could have ‘great year’ with Cam Newton

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Isaiah Houde
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Looking back at the 2020 New England Patriots — seven wins was an accomplishment.

Bill Belichick’s team had a league-high eight opt-outs, Tom Brady was gone for the first season and a handful of the team’s starters left in free agency. Julian Edelman barely played, COVID-19 wasn’t helping at all and the Patriots lost a few close games to extremely good teams (Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills for example).

Cam Newton rushed for the second-most touchdowns in his career (12), but had a difficult passing year due to circumstances. Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd were the team’s best receivers and the running back corps deal with injuries and missed time.

Despite the noise, it’s hard to put the blame entirely on Newton for the losing season. But, Newton re-signed a one-year deal and has a shot at redemption with a roster that’s lightyears better than the 2020 squad. Through free agency, the returning opt-outs and Newton’s continued time to learn the playbook — things will look much different.

Patriots legend Deion Branch believes the 31-year-old quarterback will rise to the occasion and overcome last year’s difficulties, even if it isn’t at an MVP level.

“Given the offseason (he’ll have), I think we’ll see a better Cam,” Branch said, via ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Everybody is always talking about the 2015 [MVP] Cam Newton, but I’d like to go back to just the 2018 (version) — 67.9% passing, 24 TDs, 13 interceptions. If they can get that type of performance, I think this will be a great year.”

The Patriots’ offensive line is improved and running back group appears to be healthy. Newton just has to play smart football and the talent around him will do the rest of the work.

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Bill Belichick Patriots
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