For many years, the New England Patriots were perennial favorites for Las Vegas NFL odds experts, especially when they had the duo of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady running the show in Foxborough. But as time managed to show, there had to come a time when the apparently never-ending title runs would come to a stop. After Tom Brady left New England for Tampa Bay, grey skies fell over New England, as the time to find Brady’s successor as the Patriots’ new QB had finally come. While they tried it out with former Panthers star Cam Newton, it was clear that moving forward, the answer to the QB conundrum would have to come from somewhere else. Thus enter, former Alabama QB and CFP champion, Mac Jones.
In a 2021 draft class filled with some of the best QB talents that the league had seen in many years, Jones was left at the back of the pecking order, with four other QB’s selected before him in the first round of the draft. But now, well into the 2021 NFL season, Jones has proven that he might just be everything Belichick and the Patriots were looking for in order to finally move past the Brady effect and usher in a new era for New England’s QB spot.
But what makes Mac Jones the answer for New England, especially since he hasn’t yet gone through a full season of pro football? Here are three reasons as to why QB Mac Jones feels like he’s everything the Patriots needed.
He Understands What Winning Cultures Are All About
Not a lot of players in pro football can brag about having the chance to play for Alabama’s Nick Saban in college and then New England’s Bill Belichick in the pros. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones is one of those players. Under Saban’s coaching Mac Jones became a star, one of many to come out of Alabama in recent years into the NFL and was able to even cap off his career with the Crimson Tide with a College Football Playoffs Championship win. Now, under Belichick’s tutelage, Jones is definitely looking to prove to all experts, fans and even haters, that he has what it takes to continue with his winning and title snatching ways in his career.
For Jones, it’s no strange feeling to walk into a locker room where excellence is expected in every down that’s played on the field. It’s also not a strange feeling to have to rise up and become the leader of an offense. While he might still not have even half a season under his belt in the NFL, the former Alabama stud has proven that he can get the job done if given the proper tools to work with. And when you have a coach like Bill Belichick and an offensive coordinator like Josh McDaniels guiding you through your first games in the pros, who could ask for anything better?
He’s Been The Best Rookie QB This Season
Now that we’ve covered his winning mentality let’s get down to talking about what truly matters, brash numbers and stats. In the 2021 NFL Draft Jones was selected after Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Justin Fields. Out of those four players, only Lawrence has started and Wilson have started every game for their teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets respectively. Lance and Fields have had to wait patiently for their shots, with Fields being handed the Bears’ starting QB spot recently over veteran Andy Dalton. Meanwhile, Mac Jones has been riding the Patriots’ starting QB wave since week 1 and even after losing four of his first seven games, he has been putting up some seriously good numbers that put him above all other rookie QB’s as the best rookie passer this season.
He has already passed for over 1,700 yards for the season, with 9 touchdown passes to his name and 6 interceptions, putting him at first place amongst all other rookie QB’s. He is also first in completions and completion percentages, first in QB rating with a 92,8 overall score, and first in on-target passing percentages. Simply put, if Jones continues playing the way he has, improving each week and getting more comfortable with his offense and the way that New England likes to play the ball on offense, then he will surely put up some stellar numbers that might even put him high up in the conversations for offensive rookie of the year.
He Welcomes Criticism And Plays Better Every Week
One of the main problems that Jones and the Patriots have run into is the criticism that this offense is playing a very conservative style of football. While for Jones that criticism comes as something new, especially after having played for one of the absolute best offensive teams in all of college football, Alabama, he doesn’t take it as something bad and welcomes it to understand where he can improve week in and week out.
Before the brutal beating that the Patriots handed their division rivals New York Jets on Week 7, Jones had been criticized for not looking to pass the ball downfield more, especially since it’s known that when the time comes, the kid has got a cannon for an arm. Well, he gave fans and critics what they were wanting to see against the Jets with eight passes for over 20 yards against New York. For Jones, it’s apparent that there’s a time for everything, be it playing conservatively or going all out, it’s just about knowing how to read each game and trusting that New England’s coaching staff knows what calls need to be made. One thing is for sure, if the game against New York serves as anything, it’s as proof that if fully unleashed, Jones could end up being a monster QB for the Patriots.