FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Cam Newton’s first game with the Patriots is in the books and with it came a few fireworks. The former league MVP dazzled with his legs, rushing for two scores en route to a 21-11 New England win over the Miami Dolphins. In the closing seconds, however, fireworks started to pop off in the form of a brief scrap between Newton and few Dolphins players.

As the clock ticked down to zero, CBS cameras showed Newton and former Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts jawing at one another in the midst of a group of Patriots and Dolphins. Dolphins defensive end Shaq Lawson is even seen throwing a shove to the pile and Newton told reporters in a postgame videoconference that his chain was tugged.

“I still got my chain,” Newton said, showing reporters. “I got two of ’em. They were reaching for my chain, though. They were reaching for my chain. And I think that kind of got under my skin. But yeah, through it all, man listen — I do not want nothing to be taken away from a great team game that we did have. And I don’t want to be selfish to kind of focus or dwell on that. I think for us as a team, or me personally — a lot of tempers can flare. And I was just teasing with coach, just letting him know that the College Park almost came out in me. Yet, through it all, man, it was all fun and games; and it was expected.”  

The scrum was dissolved as quickly as it sparked up and the two clubs departed to their respective locker room, but it was a chippy affair between these two AFC East rivals. Head coach Bill Belichick even pointed to the contentiousness of the game during his postgame press conference and credited his team for not picking up any silly penalties. 

“Certainly playing penalty-free or minimal penalties is one of our goals so I’m happy we were able to do that today,” Belichick said of his Patriots, who were flagged only three times on the afternoon. “Game got a little chippy at times and we didn’t have any retaliation or personal foul penalties. I thought the guys kept their poise there in a couple of those situations near the end of the game.”

Added Newton: “It was a competitive game — on both sides. You just have to realize who you’re talking to, and just keep everything in the game. I realized I was talking to a person that’s known for doing splits. So it wasn’t characteristic of myself to keep going back and forth. But at the end of the day, it’s football; and for me, no matter who it is, I play with a competitive edge and I expect the other team to have a competitive edge as well. And at the end of the day, anything outside of that, it’s just all about respect. I don’t disrespect nobody, and I wouldn’t want anybody to disrespect me. But yet at the end of the day, we got the thing that was most valuable today, and that’s the win.” 

Newton did impress during his first game with the Patriots, leading the club with 75 yards on the ground to go along with his two rushing scores. CBS cameras also showed Newton limping and holding his hamstring as he walked off the field, but the quarterback relayed to reporters that everything was fine in that regard. 

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