New England Patriots

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 20: Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots looks on against the Miami Dolphins during the third quarter in the game at Hard Rock Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson,

The Cam Newton Experiment was officially deemed a failure Sunday, as a 22-12 loss to the Dolphins put the final nail in the Patriots’ 2020 coffin and mercifully eliminated the team from playoff contention.

At 6-8, there’s still a possibility that the Patriots find a way to finish .500 and avoid what would be their first losing season since a 5-11 campaign back in 2000. But that’s obviously not the standard in New England, and not acceptable in any way, as Newton noted in an Instagram post touching on the disappointment of a did-not-qualify.

And in case you don’t want to give yourself a headache deciphering Newton’s font of choice, here it is in plain text:

I will be the first to tell you that this year has been unacceptable in more ways than one. And the standard has been and always have been set, and unfortunately we did not live up to what that standard was at all times or consistently enough! With that being said, the answer(s) is (are) in the locker room and one thing I do know about this bunch is that this locker room is filled with guys who WANT TO BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION, including me! All things considered, you will not see any ‘finger pointing’ or ‘excuse making’ but more accountability being placed on the guys (me) to get the job done! I think I speak for myself and others when I say CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Newton’s talk, while just that, is what we’ve pretty much come to expect out of him. He’s said and done the right things all season long, and this is more of the same. In a way, that’s made his struggles all the more frustrating, as the 31-year-old has quite literally done everything — except provide what you’d consider a passing level of quarterback play — the right way.

The interesting part of Newton’s post, of course, is him stating that he wants to be part of the solution here in Foxborough.

Signed to a one-year, incentive-laden contract for 2020, that would require Newton staying with the team into 2021 and beyond. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, of course. And it might be a tough sell, all things considered, as Newton ranks 36th in passing touchdowns (five), 34th in passing yards per game (183.2), and possesses an adjusted quarterback ranking that ranks as the fourth-worst among qualifying quarterbacks, with only the Jets’ Sam Darnold, Chicago’s Nick Foles, and San Fran’s Nick Mullens posting numbers worse than Newton’s 44.7 this season.

That said, the Patriots haven’t been all that eager to throw second-year starter Jarrett Stidham, who at one point seemed to be the likely starter for this team, into action this season. And Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has remained non-committal on that front. Even with the Patriots eliminated from playoff contention.

Newton and the Patriots will wrap up their 2020 with home meetings against the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.