Patriots quarterback Cam Newton told reporters Wednesday that this week'ends big Sunday Night Football battle with the Seattle Seahawks is an exciting road trip, and not just because it's his first with New England.
The game, airing on NBC10 Boston Sunday, is also the team's first chance to get out of their self-imposed coronavirus bubble.
"This is an exciting kind of trip. We've been barricaded for at least a month and a half," Newton said. "It's kind of felt like Groundhog Day."
But he credited the NFL and the Patriots for creating a safe environment through pre-season and Week 1 and for teaching him and the other players and staff how to protect themselves and their families.
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Both teams are 1-0 after the Patriots defeated the Dolphins and the Seahawks beat the Falcons in Week 1. Seattle should be a tough opponent, as they posted 38 points and had 383 yards in their win over Atlanta.
Asked for his assessment of the matchup, Newton said the team is just going to focus on improving.
"There's no magic word, no magic plays, no magic whatever a person may think that's going to get us over this hump," he said. "We know we're going in to play a tough team, a tough defense."
Newton also remarked on the death of Bill Belichick's mother this week at 98, which the quarterback said the team found out about together. He extended his condolences to the family -- two other Belichicks work for the Patriots -- and said it hasn't been a distraction.
"The only thing you can do is you know show your empathy and support," Newton said.
Sunday's season-opening win over Miami showed the Patriots plan on relying heavily on their new quarterback.
Newton’s 15 carries Sunday were the second most of his career and his team-high 75 rushing yards his most since 2017. It was also the most carries and yards rushing by a Patriots quarterback since Bill Belichick arrived in New England in 2000.
Newton said he didn’t mind the workload.
“I just wanted to win,” he said after the game.
Winning is exactly what Newton has done during his career when he’s been given a significant number of carries. In the 33 games he’s had 10 or more in a game, he is now 25-7-1.
Newton’s hope is that the Miami victory will be a glimpse of the “new normal” with him at the helm of New England’s offense.
“I think it’s time for everybody, including myself, to realize this is what it’s like. I think it came full circle,” he said. “For me to just kind of realize that I’m a New England Patriot and I’m just going to embrace this whole moment.”
Newton’s recent injury history will certainly factor into whether he can maintain the same kind of production the remainder of this season.
He was hampered by shoulder and foot problems the past two seasons. Both required surgery and contributed to Carolina releasing him in March.
Newton did appear to be favoring his left leg following a brief postgame scrum that included Dolphins players grabbing some chains Newton was wearing. But he said he left the game feeling fine.
“I’m great. Everything’s good. Trust,” Newton said.