The New England Patriots changed quarterbacks this offseason, and one stat shows what a shift it has been for them.
Cam Newton is a totally different quarterback than Tom Brady, and the Patriots have adjusted for that. Newton ran for another touchdown in Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens, and made some history in the process.
Newton already holds the single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. He had 14 as a rookie in 2011. He’s on pace to break that, but someone else is challenging that mark too.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is also threatening to smash Newton’s record. Before the “Hail Murray” pass everyone was buzzing about, Murray ran for two more touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills. He has 10 rushing touchdowns in nine games. He has failed to score a rushing touchdown in only one game this season.
Only 11 times in NFL history has a player rushed for 20 touchdowns in a season, but Murray might challenge that. A quarterback has obviously never come close to that mark.
Newton could challenge 20 scores too. He missed one game this season but still has plenty of touchdowns because the Patriots have relied on him heavily near the goal line. Newton has only three touchdown passes — two more than receiver Jakobi Meyers, who got his first one Sunday — but has been dynamic as usual as a runner. The Patriots will keep playing to that strength.
Murray and Newton, both former Heisman Trophy winners and No. 1 overall picks, are much different runners. Murray is ridiculously quick and hard to catch in the open field. Newton is one of the biggest quarterbacks ever and can run around you or bulldoze through you. They might be different, but they’re both vying for the same record.
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