With the New England Patriots signing Cam Newton on Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders now have a matchup problem in Week 3 on the road.
The Las Vegas Raiders will hit the road in Week 3 of the 2020 NFL season to take on the New England Patriots, who bid adieu to six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady this offseason. With Brady in Tampa Bay, the Patriots were expected to roll with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback this season, but Bill Belichick and company put a big wrinkle in that on Sunday.
Instead of standing pat with Stidham and Brian Hoyer, the Patriots swung a deal for free agent quarterback Cam Newton, a former Most Valuable Player in the league. A three-time Pro Bowler with Carolina, Newton was ravaged by injuries the last two seasons, and when they could not get a trade partner, the Panthers released him.
Now he lands in New England, a team that still has a ton of talent on the roster, and will be looking to prove they can win without Brady under center. In Newton, they are getting a guy who was once the most electrifying quarterback in the game, but also a guy who will have to prove he is healthy before anyone sees him as the kind of threat he used to be.
If he is healthy, the Raiders will have to have a completely different gameplan for the Patriots in Week 3, as Newton can get the job done with his arm, and his legs. Their young defense is going to get tested early on in 2020, as now, after facing Newton’s old team, Carolina in Week 1, they face Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Cam Newton, and Tom Brady in a five-game span.
Of course, Newton could not be healthy enough to unseat Stidham in New England, but if Belichick went out and got him, he has to be confident he can help the team immediately. He was not going to sit back and have a mediocre season, and in Newton, he has a player who has led his team to a Super Bowl before.
What looked like a very winnable game for the Raiders just got a bit interesting, but even with Newton, this is not the Patriots of old. It will be interesting to see if he truly is back to 100 percent, because he should have a lot of good football left in him, but you wonder if all the hits eventually caught up to Superman.