FOXBROUGH — It wasn’t pretty, but Cam Newton will take it.
The Patriots stole one from the Cardinals despite a quiet day from the offense, as Nick Folk nailed a walk-off 50-yarder for a 20-17 victory. Though Newton was intercepted twice and his 23.6 passer rating was the lowest of his career, the quarterback was happy to wind up in the win column.
Here’s everything he said afterwards:
Q: How did it feel to come away with this win after a string of games this year where you have had a tough time in the fourth quarter in crunch time?
CN: I said in the locker room, I’d rather have an ugly win rather than a pretty loss, if that makes any sense. I don’t know if that even exists.
We didn’t play our best game offensively, but when we needed it, we got the job done. That’s all that counts.
Q: A lot of games this season, the close games, you haven’t been able to come out on top. To come out on top, how much confidence can you build in a close game like this?
CN: We got to stack ‘em together. That’s what it pretty much comes down to. Find ways to win football games. It’s better to find ways to win in situational football, got to have the situations, rather than playing the game just to play the game.
Coach does a great job with harping on that throughout the week, as well as Josh, all the position coaches. To come to fruition, for us to come out on top is great.
Q: The play James White had on the fourth-and-two, talk about what he brought to your offense today.
CN: He got Rex Burkhead. Usually that’s Rex’s responsibility and job. White took the job and responsibility, kept (indiscernible) going in that room. I know Rex is somewhere smiling.
Q: Obviously you made the plays to win the game. Your thoughts on the offensive execution as a whole? Did the Cardinals give any looks that you weren’t expecting? They made it difficult for you guys.
CN: Just came down to in-game adjustments. I’m pretty sure they had some things that come up. With us getting the report of some guys not being able to play, kind of threw a loop in things early on. That’s what it comes down to: in-game adjustments and for us to be able to execute those to the best of our abilities.
Q: How nice was it to get another big contribution from (Nick Folk) Kicker Guy? Despite the fact that you maybe struggled on offense, for you to come up with the big play on third and 13? What kind of hit did you take from Simmons? Looked like you were down and out.
CN: I told Kicker Guy, he’s putting on a performance that is going to put him on Santa Claus’ Christmas list. I’m expecting him to stay on Santa’s good list moving forward from Boogie’s household. You can be expecting something from there.
As far as the last play, the play was called. We just wanted to execute it to the best of our abilities. The hit, that’s just protecting myself at all times. Fortunately for us it got us an additional 15 yards.
Q: The interception on the pass to Damiere, would you say that was a wrong decision, one that got away from you? Your run was at the same area of the field. Making up on your mind making it towards the first down marker?
CN: Love the question. It was just a bad throw. It doesn’t really matter what I felt on that play. It’s just a matter what happened. That’s what it comes down to.
For me, I can’t jeopardize this team and put the ball up for grabs, so to speak. I just got to get Damiere a better ball so he can compete and contest it.
As far as the run, I wasn’t thinking about the previous pass at that time.
Q: As you’re watching it, it’s the end of the first half, how big and how much energy did you guys go in watching the defense get that goal line stand and stop them?
CN: That was big. That was extremely big. For us to play with complementary football, playing it later on in the season, which we’re going to need more of moving forward. Offensively we didn’t have our best game, but the defense kind of picked up the slack as well as the special teams. Big returns from Gun Show and ‘Crief. Those guys really took heed to coaching this past week. We’re just going to need more complementary football wins here moving forward until we got to have the got-to-have-it win situations of the season.
Q: On the run on the last drive, out of bounds, the penalty, we’ve talked to other guys on the roster about that play today. They said they wanted to rally around you, come to your defense. A direct quote from James White is, No one is going to put a cheap shot on our quarterback. When you hear that from your teammates, what does that mean to you?
CN: It means a lot. It means a lot. Obviously I didn’t see all the ruckus kind of take place early on. I was just trying to get back on the field. Didn’t know what was going on, to be honest with you.
I was in my right mind. I don’t want you guys to say he didn’t know whatever. I wasn’t concussed. I was trying to alleviate myself from that situation. The time I was down, to see the guys come to your protection, it means a lot. It means a lot. For them to show that, I’m pretty sure they know I’d do the same thing for him.
As we keep moving forward, we’re going to need a lot of hands on deck with the wins, no matter how it may come, running game, passing game, defense, special teams. We just need to win.
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