NFL

'Just be the hammer, not the nail' – record-setting Newton on his running style

By Sports Desk December 07, 2020

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton provided a unique description of his running style after making history in the NFL.

Newton inspired Sunday's 45-0 humiliation of the hapless Los Angeles Chargers in Inglewood, California, where the Patriots kept their postseason hopes alive.

Former MVP Newton ran for two touchdowns to become the only NFL quarterback with double-digit rushing TDs in three different seasons, while he also set the league record for most multiple-touchdown games in a season by a QB with four in 2020.

Newton finished 12-of-19 passing for 69 yards and a touchdown, while he carried for 48 yards and a pair of TDs as the Patriots claimed back-to-back wins to improve to 6-6.

"Just be the hammer, not the nail," Newton told reporters when asked about his mentality of being a physical runner.

"God has blessed me with the stature that I have and anytime that I have an opportunity to create some type of force or momentum, then I'm going to do it.

"But at the same time I have to be cognisant of the position that I play and when I need to get down I have to get down."

It was the 29th shutout in New England's history and 12th under head coach Bill Belichick, who moved past Tom Landry for third-most games coached with 455.

According to Stats Perform, New England's win was the largest road shut-out victory in NFL history by a team that entered the game with a losing record.

Los Angeles (3-9) were condemned to their worst loss in franchise history, eclipsing a 49-6 demolition against Kansas City in 1964.

"We still have a long way to go," Newton said. "There are still some things that I could have been better at and I need to be better at, but each and every day for me - and I've always said it - is just learning.

"Learning in this offense and gaining the trust of the coaching staff to be able to go for it on fourth down - to be able to put the ball in the air - to be able to gain confidence in calling plays. From trick plays to regulars plays, run plays, pass plays, no plays. That's what the standard is for me and I just need to keep growing from it."

Newton added: "We just have to understand that we have to take it one game at a time. We understand what position we are in, and everything is pretty much in front of us.

"We just have to really hone in a focus on the opponents that we have to face that week and maximise each and every opportunity that we do get. If we keep that going on, we'll be in good graces."

Belichick said: "Just really proud of our football team today. Coming across the country, the guys really worked hard. Had a good week of preparation, really put a lot into it. We got a lot of great leadership from, as always, our captains, but from many of our veteran players.

"Some of our younger players have really stepped up their preparation levels, as well. It was nice to see it all come together today. I thought we had a game where all three units contributed. It was a complimentary game. We had plays on offense, defense, and special teams. We played at a good level for 60 minutes and had more consistency than we probably had in most other games. Really proud of the way the team competed."

Related items

  • Man City's nervy win at Newcastle 'good lesson' ahead of Champions League final – Guardiola Man City's nervy win at Newcastle 'good lesson' ahead of Champions League final – Guardiola

    Pep Guardiola said Manchester City's wild 4-3 win over Newcastle United is a "good lesson" ahead of the Champions League final against Chelsea.

    City returned to the pitch for the first time since clinching the Premier League title this week and Guardiola's side survived a seven-goal shoot-out on Friday.

    Powered by a Ferran Torres hat-trick, City erased two deficits to set an English record with their 12th consecutive away win – one more milestone after securing their third league title in four years on Tuesday. 

    Following one or two days of "distractions" and just one training session, manager Guardiola said he was not expecting perfection against Newcastle as he made five changes to his XI, including giving 35-year-old goalkeeper Scott Carson his club debut. 

    Carson made his first Premier League appearance since May 2011 for West Brom, a gap of nine years and 357 days. It is the sixth longest gap between appearances in Premier League history, and the longest ever for a goalkeeper.

    With the ultimate prize looming in the Champions League final against Chelsea on May 29, Guardiola expects his team to learn from their close call in Newcastle.

    Guardiola said during his post-match news conference after City recorded their 23rd consecutive unbeaten away game in all competitions (W21 D2) – the longest ever undefeated away run by a side in the top four tiers of English football, overtaking Notts County's run of 22 in 2012.

    "The way they fought and the way they run and the way they come back after 1-0, after 3-2, and being there and making a step forward – they know it. It's not necessary to tell them.

    "They know if you want to win or compete against Chelsea in the final, of course you have to earn it.

    "It's better to happen today. Then maybe, maybe it's not going to happen in the final."

    Ferran Torres – who arrived from Valencia at the start of the season – became the youngest ever player to score a hat-trick for a team managed by Guardiola (21 years and 75 days), overtaking Gabriel Jesus who was 21 years and 218 days against Shakhtar Donetsk in November 2018.

    "I'm delighted for the three goals," Guardiola said. "He has incredible numbers for a first season in England, he has incredible numbers. He didn't play for a period of two months, he didn't play much and he came as a winger who can play on both sides.

    "He can make incredible runs in behind but maybe we have to start to think about if he can play as a striker because every time he plays in that position he has a sense for goal, a real sense for goal.

    "Today he produced an incredible first goal with the header, but the last two... I think the last one is an example of that intuition. It's intuitive, to know exactly where the ball comes and being there to score a goal.

    "He was fantastic all season and an incredible signing for us. He's a young player and can play in three positions up front. Not just in one, he can play in three. But playing in the more central position the guy has an incredible sense of goal."

  • Ohtani's start for Angels pushed back due to fatigue Ohtani's start for Angels pushed back due to fatigue

    Shohei Ohtani's next start for the Los Angeles Angels has been pushed back due to fatigue, according to manager Joe Maddon.

    Ohtani was scheduled to start on the mound against the Cleveland Indians in MLB action on Tuesday but those plans have changed.

    Maddon said the Angels are being cautious with the two-way star, who remained in the line-up as a designated hitter against the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

    "We're going to move him back, but we don't know to when," Maddon said prior Friday's clash with the Red Sox.

    "But there's no blisters. Nothing. Just being proactive. It's in his best interest, too.

    "To me, the day after he pitched the other day, he looked a little bit fatigued at the plate. It set off a little bit of an alarm for me."

    Japanese sensation Ohtani has been red-hot for the Angels this season.

    On the mound, Ohtani boasts a 2.10 ERA through five starts, with 40 strikeouts while allowing just 11 hits, six earned runs and two homers after giving up just one run across seven innings against the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

    Ohtani, meanwhile, has 11 home runs as a hitter this season, plus 37 hits, 27 runs and 27 RBI. He boasts a .266 batting average, .311 OBP, .604 SLG and .915 OPS.

    Maddon added: "We're just giving him time to recover. I'm just concerned about when he's going so well offensively and maybe if he's a little fatigued, he'll want to keep going back out there again.

    "If you're feeling good, you might wanna fight that fatigue. But I think the conversations, as we get deeper into the season, will be a little bit more involved.

    "I expected that from the beginning and we're not there yet, but you want to avoid any fatigue that can compromise him in any way."

  • Burns takes AT&T Byron Nelson lead with career-low 62, Spieth slides and Koepka misses cut Burns takes AT&T Byron Nelson lead with career-low 62, Spieth slides and Koepka misses cut
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.