New England Patriots QB Cam Newton says 'no need to press the panic button' after loss to Denver Broncos

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After the New England Patriots slipped under .500 for the first time this deep into a season since 2002, quarterback Cam Newton expressed confidence in a turnaround.

"There's no need to press the panic button. There's no need to start reinventing the wheel. We have the answers in that locker room," Newton said Monday morning in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI.

The Patriots' 18-12 loss to the visiting Denver Broncos on Sunday came after the team had just two practices over a two-week span because of positive COVID-19 tests. Newton noted that the lack of practice showed in the passing game but added that there are no excuses.

Newton was 17-of-25 for 157 yards with two interceptions in the loss. He noted that his timing was off, which resulted in his holding the ball too long at times. He was sacked four times.

"I just have to be better, and I can't stress that enough moving forward. The anticipation was off. I think that was the biggest discrepancy in not having practice," Newton said in the radio interview. "Usually in most times, you can throw it way before the receiver is looking for it and be on the money with it. But not having practice for as long as I [haven't] had practice, it just showed."

Newton tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 2, which he said he initially believed would be a false result. He added that he wasn't sure how he tested positive. Newton missed the Patriots' Week 4 loss at Kansas City, was removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday and practiced for the first time the next day.

Newton said his final throw Sunday -- a fourth-and-10 incompletion to wide receiver N'Keal Harry that ended a late comeback bid -- reflected his rustiness.

"It goes back to anticipation. I knew I was going to get hit. I knew what route he was running, but that's just a thing that I didn't see it all week in practice," Newton said. "Knowing what he had, him being faced with different circumstances of the leverage of the defender [to the inside of the field], I have to be better.

"I want to make that perfectly clear. I have to play better football for the New England Patriots, and I will. I heard a person say once, 'I don't point fingers, I point thumbs.' I take full responsibility of where we are as an offense."

Regarding possible personnel additions to the Patriots' offense, Newton repeated that he believes the team has the players necessary to win.

"The grass is not always greener on the other side -- a wise man once told me that. It just comes down to us producing better and playing situational football better," he said. "Going back and mentally looking back at the game, that was a sloppy display of football for the first couple of series -- different people taking turns making mistakes, and that can not happen.

"Offensive football is the ultimate team sport, where even one person not doing their job, it shows. I think it showed yesterday."

Still, Newton remains upbeat as he looks ahead to Sunday's home game against the San Francisco 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).

"In talking about the whole big picture, I think we will be fine. We just have to do better when given the opportunity," he said.