Could the 2020 version of Cam Newton, the quarterback, lead a team to the Super Bowl?
Yes, the guy with three touchdown passes and seven interceptions in eight games?
Right now? Yes ... with the 1985 Chicago Bears defense on his side.
We’re just trying to temper things a wee bit in the northeast, particularly for the naysayers nationally, after a second straight impressive win on national TV.
First of all, the Super Bowl is nearly three months away. A lot can happen between now and Feb. 7, 2021.
And in New England, fans, players and media are not allowed to looking beyond today’s practice and Sunday’s opponent.
But, for the sake of discussion, let’s go back to Sunday night’s performance against the Baltimore Ravens with some brass tacks.
Newton, the 2015 MVP, wasn’t great or stupendous. He didn’t make a memorable play that we see two or three times per game out of State Farm Insurance hucksters Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers.
Newton’s stats were OK — 13-for-17, 118 yards, 1 TD and 1 TD rushing.
Newton, though, did his job — Where have we heard that before? — and efficiently helped get the Patriots a two-score lead, which is kryptonite for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, which have failed miserably in comebacks.
Newton also didn’t throw an interception, fumble or bobble a snap, which was pretty amazing considering the, as he called it, tsunami-like rain storm both teams faced in the second half.
A year ago, it was a different animal at the quarterback position in New England.
A year ago, after the Patriots had a huge win on a Sunday night in Philadelphia, 17-10, a week after the debacle against the Ravens, there was reason to be happy.
But there was no joy, particularly at the quarterback position.
After the game, Tom Brady stood at the podium looked like he had the flu. But he didn’t. He was perfectly healthy. He wasn’t happy about something, be it the game, the offense or whatever.
It was one of the many signs that there was trouble in Patriot paradise.
There is no such problem in 2020.
In fact, Newton’s stats are not very good, at least the passing ones, with three touchdown passes versus seven interceptions while averaging an NFL-low 192 yards passing per game.
He ranks among the 24th and 25th overall, respectively, in the two key quarterback rating systems, ESPN’s QBR and then the standard QB rating.
Of course, all isn’t bad statistically for Newton. He has rushed for nine touchdowns, the most for any quarterback in the NFL and is tied for fifth among all players for TDs.
That’s impressive, right?
The Patriots’ strength on offense is their offensive line and its ability to move the ball with a three-headed running attack — Damien Harris as the lead back, Rex Burkhead as the changeup and old trusty James White as the big-play guy.
But Newton is a strength to this offense, too.
He is also happy to be here. He’s happy after wins.
It’s sort of nice when you don’t worry about passing yards, touchdown passes or passer rating, be it the player of the fan base.
Newton doesn’t care about the numbers.
He only cares about the “W.”
Funny, there’s another important guy in the organization who is lockstep with him.
Maybe the Patriots aren’t dead yet, after all.