Cam Newton Sets Surprising New NFL Record As Patriots Defeat Jets

Cam Newton set a new NFL record on Monday night as the New England Patriots erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the New York Jets and snap a four-game losing streak.

The Patriots quarterback failed to throw a touchdown pass despite completing 27 of his 35 passes for 274 yards, and rushed for just 16 yards over 10 carries in the Patriots' 30-27 comeback win on the road against their AFC East rivals.

However, two of those carries resulted in crucial rushing touchdowns.

Newton rushed for a five-yard score with 3:34 left in the first quarter to give the Patriots a 7-3 lead, before adding a one-yard touchdown run to level the score at 27 with 3:53 left in the fourth.

The two scores brought Newton's rushing touchdown tally for the season to eight, which according to NFL Research is the most any quarterback in the Super Bowl era has had through their first seven starts in a season—Newton missed the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4 after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Remarkably, with 12 and nine respectively, only Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook and his Atlanta Falcons counterpart Todd Gurley have more rushing touchdowns than Newton so far. Tennessee Titans star running back and last season's leading rusher Derrick Henry and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray both sit alongside Newton on eight.

After a costly fumble in Week 8 cost the Patriots the chance to beat the Buffalo Bills, Newton was far more conservative in his play and protected the ball a lot better, completing his first 11 passes. Crucially, Newton came through when the Patriots needed him the most, erasing a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter and setting up the game-winning field goal as time expired. With New England trailing by seven points, the first overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft engineered an 11-play, 72-yard drive, which included a 19-yard pass on a third-and-20 scenario and a fourth-down conversion.

Newton capped the drive with his second rushing touchdown of the night with 3:53 left in the game, before the Patriots defense forced the Jets to punt on their next drive. As New England regained possession with 47 seconds left in the game, Newton drove his team 45 yards upfield over an eight-play drive to set up Nick Folk's 51-yard walk-off field goal.

According to ESPN Stats and Information, the comeback marked only the second time in 40 occasions Newton has won a game in which his team trailed by a double-digit margin in the final quarter. Newton had led the Carolina Panthers to win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 7 of the 2018 season but entered Monday Night Football with a 1-38 career record when trailing by 10 or more points in the fourth quarter.

The Patriots improved to 3-5 after defeating the Jets and while they remain second in the AFC East, they trail the 7-2 Bills by a significant margin. Newton, however, suggested it would be premature to rule New England out of playoff contention.

"This could kick-start right where we want to be," he told ESPN after the game.

"We just showed resiliency today and I'm just so happy for those guys in that locker room to keep just battling back. It wasn't pretty, but it was a win."

Cam Newton, New England Patriots
Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots smiles as he heads on to the field during the second half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 9 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Elsa/Getty