On Sunday, Cam Newton rushed for 75 yards on 15 carries. It was the most rushing yardage in a game for a Patriots' quarterback since Steve Grogan rushed for 81 yards on 12 carries in a Nov. 20, 1977 win over the Bills. By way of comparison, Tom Brady rushed for 69 yards total in the 2018 and 2019 regular seasons.
The 75 yards was the most rushing yards by a Patriots quarterback under Bill Belichick, and the 10th time that Newton has rushed for 75 or more yards.
Steve Grogan, who holds every major franchise rushing record for quarterbacks, had three games in his career where he topped 75 yards, including one 100-plus yard game on Oct. 18, 1976, against the Jets, when he ended up with 103 rushing yards.
After Grogan’s 103 yards, here’s a look at the other Patriots' quarterbacks who rushed for at least 75 yards in a game: Babe Parilli (Nov. 06, 1964 vs. Houston, 96 yards), Tom Yewcic (Nov. 30, 1962 vs. the New York Titans, 90 yards), Grogan (Nov. 20, 1977 at Buffalo, 81 yards), Grogan (Sept. 19, 1976 vs. Miami, 76 yards), and Newton (Sept. 13, 2020 vs. Miami, 75 yards).
If Newton averages 75 rushing yards per game, he’d finish the season with 1,200 rushing yards. While that might be an unrealistic number to shoot for, it shouldn’t be hard for him to break the franchise record.
The New England record for most rushing yards in a season from a quarterback is 539 rushing yards, set by Grogan in 1978. Right now, Newton is 464 yards behind Grogan. (Newton has rushed for 500 or more yards in a season six times in his eight-season career.)
Newton is already pretty comfortable with breaking Grogan’s records, for what it’s worth – he rushed for 14 touchdowns as a rookie in 2011, breaking Grogan’s record for rushing TDs in a season (12) he set in 1976.
Newton ran for a pair of touchdowns on Sunday, his 59th and 60th of his career. He’s now tied with Mark Ingram for fourth among active players when it comes to most career rushing touchdowns. (Adrian Peterson is first with 111.) He’s also 13 behind LeSean McCoy, who is in fourth place overall. His 60 career touchdowns are the most in NFL history by a quarterback.
As a team, the Patriots rushed for 217 yards. It was the most rushing yards in a game for New England since the Patriots had 273 rushing yards in a December 2018 win over the Bills. New England averaged five yards or more per carry on two occasions last year: once against the Texans (5.0) and once against Cincinnati (5.5). The most the Patriots had in 2019 was 175 yards rushing at Cincinnati on Dec. 15.
More coverage from the game:
- Stephon Gilmore, Patriots secondary pick right up where they left off
- Tara Sullivan: Cam Newton steps up and steps in, and a new era begins in Foxborough
- Cam Newton says Dolphins tried to come for his gold chain in dust-up after game
- Cam Newton made his own noise in a smashing debut for Patriots
- Chad Finn: Now that reality has set in, watching Cam Newton on the Patriots will be a lot of fun — and other thoughts
- Instant analysis: Patriots win, and Josh McDaniels hasn’t unleashed the full Cam Newton experience yet
Christopher Price can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.