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NFL Week One: Tom Brady and Cam Newton Debut on New Teams

It finally happened: week one of NFL football.

This highly unpredictable 2020-21 season had no preseason games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so the season already began with a lot of question marks on how new teams would perform together. Last week, the season began with the anticipated introduction of newly traded quarterbacks: Cam Newton to the New England Patriots and Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tom Brady played for the Patriots since 2000, and in his 20-year run, he managed to clinch six Superbowl titles, the most for any football player. Despite a mediocre performance in his 2019-20 season with the Patriots, Brady took a 50 million dollar two-year contract to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Cam Newton was the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers since 2011 and was traded to the Patriots for a one year contract with a base salary of 1.05 million. Prior to week one, Cam Newton had been voted captain of the Patriots, and it had also been reported that he was doing incredible in practice.

Cam Newton did not disappoint Pats nation week one. The Patriots beat the Dolphins 21-11, and Newton exceeded expectations with two rushing touchdowns. New England fans have not seen a QB rush consistently since prior to the Brady era; it is an entirely new tool in Bill Belichick’s belt to have a QB who can run.

The Buccaneers, on the other hand, lost to Drew Brees and the Saints 23-34. Despite the disappointment of this game, Brady did complete a QB sneak for a touchdown as well as several nice drives. It can’t be ignored, however, that Brady threw two interceptions that chipped into creating this loss, one of his interceptions led to an unfortunate pick-six.

The fact that the era of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots has come to a conclusion is astonishing: the Patriots destroyed the NFL for two decades. Seeing Brady boast number 12 in a different uniform is heartbreaking for any New England fan, especially since Gronk jumped on the Buccaneers train too and followed Brady to Tampa.

For the Patriots, however, Cam Newton did so well that even Belichick cracked a smile underneath his mask. Through the season, there will continue to be a strong comparison between Brady and Newton because of the history and significant changes that have occurred through this 2020 season.

This upcoming weekend will be just as exciting as last: the Bucs take on the Panthers on Sunday at 1 PM and the Patriots take on the Seahawks at 8:20 PM. Going forward, it will be interesting to seeing how Brady and Newton continue to play and to see if the week one results hold true for the rest of the season.

Hi! My name is Isabella Castineyra and I am the President of Her Campus at NC State! I am a junior majoring in communication media with minors in journalism and criminology. I am from Boston originally, so I am all for Boston sports teams (go Pats)! I love taking naps, listening to Billy Joel, and rewatching the same shows over and over again. Go Pack!!
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