Patriots OC Josh McDaniels bears the brunt of fourth-quarter failures

The Patriots used to be masters of the fourth-quarter comeback. Thus far in 2020, they’ve had difficulties delivering wins in that scenario.
While notching a comeback victory against the Jets in Week 8, they’ve come up short in four other games (Seattle, Denver, Buffalo, Houston) with chances to win in the fourth quarter.
Obviously, not having Tom Brady, who is second all-time to Peyton Manning in comeback wins with 38, has made a difference.
And while Cam Newton might have had better results when he was in Carolina, thus far, he hasn’t had much luck in the comeback department.
Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, however, wouldn’t point a finger at Newton for the Patriots falling short on the comeback trail.
He said Friday it’s a collective effort, and when it came to assessing blame, he took responsibility for the failed fourth-quarter efforts.
“We just have to execute,” said McDaniels. “It’s not one person’s job. Playing under pressure, and playing well under pressure, and doing enough things right at the end of a close game to win is the responsibility of every person that’s on the field, every coach that’s on the sideline, and certainly, if I’m calling the game, I feel the burden of that as much as anyone.
“I need to do the right thing, I need to put them in the right positions, and we need to go out there and be able to communicate and execute our job,” McDaniels continued. “It’s still football. And you still have to go out there and do the right things. If you do, you have a chance to be successful. We’ve shown we can do that. We just have to do it more if we’re put in that situation again. Or if we find ourselves in that situation again.”
Against Seattle, Newton & Co. couldn’t convert on the goal line with one play to win the game. Against Denver, they moved the ball 60 yards, but couldn’t close the deal. Against Buffalo, Newton fumbled as the team was moving toward a possible game-winning score. And last week, they came up short again against the Texans in a 27-20 loss.
“It’s an opportunity you relish, that you enjoy as a competitor, you just gotta go out there and do your job a little bit better under pressure in order to do those things,” said McDaniels.
How much does having a new quarterback factor into the equation?
Newton is still getting used to the offense and his receivers. While it’s possible the offense will be better in the clutch down the road, as the weeks progress, McDaniels wouldn’t put a time frame on it.
“This is the National Football League,” he said. “You gotta do your job well under pressure or else you’re not going to win. We certainly can do better in those situations.”

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