Patriots

Bedard’s Breakdown: Cam Newton by far the biggest issue with Patriots offense for his second-straight start

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(Getty Images)

It would be one thing if his performance Sunday was a one-off.

After all, the quarterback hadn't played in three weeks, and the team barely practiced the past two. Throw in all the shuffling on the offensive line — before and during the game — and you could understand why the Patriots' offense was clunky on Sunday against the Broncos.

But it doesn't explain why the Patriots lost to the Broncos 18-12, when the defense didn't allow a touchdown.

And it didn't explain why Newton wasn't better in this game, because the main issue he had against the Broncos — not seeing the field and open receivers well enough — was the same in his last start against the Raiders.

Advanced analytics backed this up. For the second game in a row, Newton's completion percentage was worse than his expected completion percentage from NextGenStats (Completion Probability: The probability of a pass completion, based on numerous factors such as receiver separation from the nearest defender, where the receiver is on the field, the separation the passer had at time of throw from the nearest pass rusher, and more.)

Vegas was a one-off. With two, we might have a problem.

Where were the issues and what can be done about them?

First quarter

2ND & 9 AT DEN 39(04:25)
(Shotgun) C. Newton sacked at DEN 48 for -9 yards (A. Chickillo). NE-J. Eluemunor was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.

Not only did Newton have