Cam Newton Stats Compared to Tom Brady as Patriots QB Benched

Cam Newton was benched for the second time this season as the New England Patriots were routed 24-3 by the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday Night Football.

Newton had completed nine of his 16 passes for 119 yards and had rushed for 16 yards over seven carries by the time he was replaced by Jarrett Stidham with just over 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Much like the rest of the Patriots offense, Newton endured a dismal night in Los Angeles, throwing a crucial interception in the second quarter and being sacked four times for the second time this season since the Patriots lost 18-12 at home to the Denver Broncos in Week 4.

The Rams' dominant defense forced consecutive three-and-outs on the Patriots' first two drives, before Kenny Young picked off Newton's pass on the third play of New England's third drive and returned it for a 79-yard touchdown, the longest pick-six of the season, to give Los Angeles a 17-0 lead.

Bill Belichick, however, gave no indication Newton will be benched for the Patriots' trip to Miami in Week 15 and insisted the first overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft remained the Patriots starting quarterback.

"Great question. I'm really glad you asked that. Cam's our quarterback," Belichick replied when asked whether Newton would be benched next week.

After throwing for just 84 yards in the win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 12 and for only 69 yards in the 45-0 rout of the Los Angeles Chargers last week, Newton's 119 passing yards were his highest tally since he passed for 365 yards on November 22 against the Houston Texans.

Newton's arrival to replace Tom Brady was heralded as the Patriots chance to implement a different offense from the one they had run for the best part of the past two decades and arguably the only silver lining in losing the six-time Super Bowl champion. While Newton has shown flashes of brilliance and Brady's first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been far from perfect, Newton's numbers highlight some of the Patriots' issues in the passing game.

Cam Newton of the New England Patriots
Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots watches from the sideline during the fourth quarter in the game against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium on December 10 in Inglewood, California. Harry How/Getty

Newton ranks 23rd in the NFL in terms of passing yards with 2,172, comfortably behind Brady, who has passed for 3,300 yards so far this season, the eighth-most in the league.

To put things into context, Brady has thrown for more yards in the last three quarters of football he has played than Newton has done in the last three games and has 28 passing touchdowns to Newton's five.

The Patriots quarterback has thrown twice as many interceptions than he has touchdowns, but has one fewer pick than his predecessor. Newton's figures in completion percentage and average yards per attempt are also slightly better than Brady's—66.1 percent to 64.8 percent and 7.2 yards to 7 yards respectively.

However, Newton's current streak of 15 consecutive starts with one or fewer passing touchdowns is the longest in the NFL since Sam Bradford went 16 straight games without throwing more than one touchdown pass between 2010 and 2012.

On the other side of the coin, Newton has 11 rushing touchdowns this season, the third-most in the NFL and the most of any quarterback this season—Brady has three.

The Patriots entered Thursday Night Football with the third-best rushing offense in the NFL but were kept in check throughout the game, producing a modest 107 yards at a paltry 3.7 yards per carry. It was the first time since Week 7 New England did not score a rushing touchdown.

With the rushing offense neutralized, the Patriots' issues in the passing game were again laid bare and it is no coincidence five of their seven losses this season have come in games in which they have rushed for 120 yards or fewer.

Newton was first benched in the Patriots' 33-6 loss against the San Francisco 49ers, a move to which he responded by leading the Patriots to four wins in the next six games during which he averaged a 66.2 percent completion rate and seven yards per attempt.

With their playoffs hopes hanging by a thread, the Patriots will hope for a similar response over the next three weeks.