Time for Belichick to Make a Decision: Newton or Jones for the NFL Opener?

Only a matter of days away from the start of the NFL season and Bill Belichick has a decision to make.

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We are now only a matter of days away from the start of the NFL season and Bill Belichick has a decision to make. Should the legendary New England Patriots coach opt for Cam Newton or Mac Jones as his starting quarterback?

Last season was something of a wake-up call for the Patriots, albeit a predictable one given the departure of Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Belichick can’t afford another slip up of the scale of last term’s first losing season in 20 years.

The selection of either Jones or Newton will have a bearing on the NFL betting predictions for the New England Patriots, with many pundits and fans having their opinions on which of the pair has the most to offer. Currently you can get (+3700) on the Patriots to clinch a Super Bowl, and those odds are very long indeed, but a good solid start to the season could see those numbers fall in a big way.

In pre-season it’s been Newton who’s been starting, with first round draft pick Jones coming on in the latter stages and the 22-year-old Floridian seems content with that set-up, for now at least;

"Like I always say, I'm focused on today. I think there's a lot of stuff I can clean up. I held the ball a little too long at some points today. I'll work on that ... but I'm here to play any role I can play, help in any way I can, and I'm going to be ready whenever my time comes,"

The Patriots host the Miami Dolphins in their gameweek one fixture, on September 12th, and Belichick will want to vanquish the memory of a deeply troubling season last time around.

In 2020, when New England also started by hosting the Dolphins, Belichick saw his team ease to a 21-11 victory but five losses from their next six games basically derailed their hopes.

It’s quite refreshing how youngster Jones has reacted to the likelihood that he’ll be warming the bench, at least to start with, and that will help to ease the dressing room mood for Belichick.

When pushed on whether he feels he’s done enough to be starting ahead of the much more experienced Cam Newton, Jones added;

"I've gotten a lot of opportunities to play, and I can improve on everything. I think just learning from [Brian] Hoyer, Cam, Jarrett [Stidham], and listening to [offensive coordinator] Josh [McDaniels] and his coaching, there's a lot of work to do. I think I've made progress. But honestly, the only thing that matters is today."

In all honesty both Newton and Jones have massive boots to fill in terms of attempting to replace the irreplaceable Brady, and Belichick will have a job to do in order to get his Patriots side pushing back in the right direction.

A good tip would be to back the Patriots to edge the Dolphins and expect Newton to get out of the blocks fast, knowing that he needs to be on his best game to keep Mac Jones benched.

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