Cam Newton stuffed on Patriots' 'best play' to end 35-30 loss

With a remarkable comeback only one yard away from being fulfilled, the Patriots put the game upon the shoulders and legs of Cam Newton.

Newton never got to the goal line — or even back to the line of scrimmage — as reserve safety Lano Hill and L.J. Collier penetrated the backfield and upended Newton for a one-yard loss to secure a dramatic 35-30 win.

“We had one play to score and we tried to go with what we thought was our best play,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick told reporters following the game.

Two weeks into the season, Newton has scored four touchdowns on the ground — two in each game — for the Patriots and been the team-high ground gainer both times, as well. But was a run to him with the game on the line too predictable?

When pressed if it was lack of execution or a lack of creativity by Josh McDaniels, Belichick went for a third option — which he had stated earlier in the presser.

“I thought Seattle made a good play,” Belichick said.

Seahawks starting safety Quandre Diggs’ evening was over early when he was ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit. His replacement Marquise Blair was lost not long after due to an injury. Enter Hill. While the two DBs in front of him couldn’t finish the first half, Hill emphatically finished the game.

Hill and Collier blew up the Patriots backfield, allowing Newton nor fullback Jakob Johnson any space to work while securing the victory. Collier heaped the praise on Hill for making the play.

And Belichick complimented the Seahawks’ effort, as well, for the victory.

“I thought our team competed hard. We scored, we covered a kickoff, got the ball back, got it to the one-yard line,” Belichick said. “Seattle made a good play. Give them credit. They deserved to win.”

Newton threw for 397 yards on the day and had three total scores. He also was the leader of a riveting comeback as the Patriots trailed, 28-17, entering the final quarter.

After a Newton one-yard score with 2:16 left cut the deficit to the final score, the Patriots defense held and presented Newton and the offensive with a long shot of an opportunity.

Taking over with 1:19 to play from the Pats’ 19, the former Panthers quarterback began an odyssey that showed how bright the future might well be with him as the new Patriots quarterback. Newton threw left for an eight-yard gain to N’Keal Harry down to the 1 to set up the final play.

Then, with three seconds left and following timeouts taken by each team, Newton ran left and the Seahawks ran away with a victory.

Of course, scrutiny has followed. But arduous as it is to believe, sometimes football is just simple when it comes down to one, agonizing yard.

“In the end, we just came up a little bit short,” Belicick said. “Proud of the way that our guys competed here. We just didn’t quite have enough.”

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