FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton threw what could have been a backbreaking interception late in the fourth quarter Sunday and didn't eclipse 100 yards passing, but he focused on the silver lining of his subpar performance -- a victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
"I'll be the first person to say I didn't play my best game yesterday. But let's be totally clear: I don't play this game for statistic benefits. I don't play this game for any type of individual accolades. I play this game to win. I'm not going to apologize for winning," Newton said Monday morning on his weekly interview with sports radio WEEI.
Newton finished 9-of-18 for 84 yards with no touchdowns, two interceptions and a 23.6 passer rating. He added nine rushes for 46 yards.
"It's a strange feeling, but at the end of the day, I've had games where quarterback rating, statistics and everything, effort and all that, amounted to a loss. And I've had games like yesterday where you did everything to try to lose and you still win by the grace of God," he said.
In recapping his performance on Monday, Newton called his fourth-quarter interception -- in which he threw the ball directly to Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick -- a "reckless" decision.
It could have cost the Patriots the game, if not for the Patriots' defense forcing the Cardinals to attempt a 45-yard field goal, which kicker Zane Gonzalez missed.
That opened the door for a short final Patriots drive -- aided by a questionable Cardinals unnecessary-roughness penalty -- that culminated in Nick Folk's 50-yard field goal with no time left.
After the game, Newton could be seen on the Fox broadcast mouthing the words "I'm sorry, man" to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. He explained the exchange in his radio interview.
"It was just a culmination of everything. You don't know when the camera is on you. ... It was just a dialogue between me and Josh, man, and everybody was happy, as was I. I just knew I jeopardized the team, in a way," he said.
Newton and the Patriots (5-6), who are clinging to long-shot playoff hopes, visit the Los Angeles Chargers (3-8) on Sunday.