The Las Vegas Raiders are set to visit their long time nemesis, the New England Patriots in Foxborough in Week three of this season. With the Patriots signing quarterback Cam Newton, have expectations changed?
With the departure of six time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and other defensive players, Raider Nation was hopeful a win in Foxborough was achievable this year. Additionally, quarterback Jared Stidham was supposedly taking the reins. Basically an unknown due to little action on the field, he wasn’t exactly an imposing figure to most. However, things have changed with the acquisition of free agent Newton.
Newton may have only played in two games in 2019, both ending in losses. Nevertheless, that was mainly due to lingering shoulder and foot injuries. Newton’s 2018 season in Carolina was off to a fantastic start going 6-2 until those injuries plagued him. Newton is finally healthy enough and looking fit. In recent promo videos, he’s seen training with Cleveland’s Odell Beckham.
So the question stands; have expectations changed for the Raiders? Somewhat. The Patriots will still have an above-average defense, their wide receiver corps is average at best, and their head coach is still a mastermind. What has changed is the Raiders defense will be up against a quarterback that’s built like a defensive end and can throw the deep ball and run in first downs while stripping tackles, as opposed to Stidham who is essentially a rookie.
If the Raiders want to avenge the Tuck Rule game and snatch a win from Belichick on his home turf a healthy Cam Newton can make the task that much more daunting.
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