The New England Patriots haven’t gotten off to the start they they hoped for in 2021. With Mac Jones under center, Bill Belichick’s offense has struggled and the team has limped along to a 1-2 record.
The rookie quarterback has looked unsteady in his first three NFL games and his inexperience has been a factor in the team’s lackluster performance. Jones’s showing even led Shannon Sharpe to make a bold claim about how the Patriots would be faring if Cam Newton was lining up under center.
The “Undisputed” host claimed that New England would be 3-0 and worst, 2-1 if the 2015 MVP was still the starting quarterback.
“I feel very comfortable in saying had Cam Newton been their starting quarterback, they’d be 3-0,” Sharpe said during Monday’s “Undisputed” episode. “… They for sure woulda beat the Dolphins. And they won the last game, they beat the Jets. Hell, everybody’s gonna beat the Jets — that’s not saying anything.
“… How bout this: They’re no worse than 2-1.”
If Cam was the Patriots starting QB, they would be 3-0. At worst, 2-1. pic.twitter.com/JEUJwI0mcX
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) September 27, 2021
The Patriots released Newton this offseason and completely handed the reins over to Jones, as Belichick felt like his team had the best chance to succeed with the rookie first-rounder on the field. Newton has gone unsigned since.
The fact that the former league MVP hasn’t landed on another team since he was cut by the Patriots is indicative of how the other 31 teams view him at this point. Newton isn’t the same player he once was and it’s clear that organizations around the NFL would rather leave him unsigned then bring him aboard as a starter or even a back-up.
With that knowledge in hand, a plethora of NFL media members fired back at Sharpe on social media for his bold claim.
Shannon Sharpe hasn’t watched a Patriots game this season https://t.co/5aoLmgSj5J
— Gerry Callahan (@GerryCallahan) September 27, 2021
Would the Patriots be undefeated if they had Cam Newton at quarterback instead of Mac Jones?
No, but don't tell that to Shannon Sharpe. https://t.co/lrtYQSsSGP
— NESN (@NESN) September 28, 2021
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) September 27, 2021
— christian fauria (@christianfauria) September 27, 2021
Why hasn’t another team picked Cam up Shannon? I’ll hang up and listen now… https://t.co/xVExprpwga
— Digital Champion (@ChampionTwitch) September 27, 2021
It’s difficult to speculate exactly how many games Newton would’ve won if he’d been on the field for the Patriots these first three weeks. New England’s issues on offense extend far beyond the quarterback play, so there’s no guaranteed the veteran would’ve fared better than the rookie.
The Patriots will have plenty to correct before this weekend when they welcome Tom Brady back to New England for a Week 4 match-up.