If everyone is being honest, which seems to be the case, New England Patriots second-year quarterback Mac Jones hasn’t been great this season.

For most of the 2021 season, Jones’ rookie campaign, it seemed he was the darling of the QB class that saw five signal-callers taken in the first round. Jones was the latest selection at No. 15 overall, but he had the most success.

He helped lead the Patriots to the postseason with a 10-7 record and finished runner-up in Offensive Rookie of the Year to Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver J’Marr Chase.

Because of his performance as a rookie, most expected him to have the second-year leap that many above-average NFL quarterbacks experience. So far, Jones looks to have regressed rather than improved.

The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian predicted this before the season began, and it’s something the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin wrote about ahead of the Patriots Week 3 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens in New England’s home opener.

“As for what hasn’t worked, let me put it this way: I didn’t think I’d be wondering whether I need to recalibrate my expectations for Mac Jones two games into his second NFL season,” Volin assessed. “But I am wondering, if not quite recalibrating yet. The frustrating thing with Jones is that he’s not doing the things well that he is supposed to be able to do well.”

Jones was billed as an immobile quarterback with an average to slightly above average arm who would make up for his physical deficiencies with smarts, hard work, and accuracy. Right now, the only thing we’re seeing is hard work. He’s made some mind-boggling decisions and hasn’t been as advertised regarding accuracy. He’s thrown two interceptions in two games, and it could have been more if every errant throw found the arms of a defender.

“Now, we know he does not have a rocket/laser arm by NFL quarterback standards,” Volin wrote. “He reminds me of Chad Pennington. He also reminds me that Tom Brady could throw missiles when he needed to. Maybe Jones will build arm strength. Brady sure did. But there’s only so much improvement that can be made to his fastball.”

If Jones’ arm strength doesn’t drastically improve, which seems like the unfortunate reality, he’s got to get smarter with the ball and more accurate. Like many, Volin seems a bit dumbfounded at what appears to be a regression from Jones.

“When it came to playing the most important position in the sport, if not all of sports, he seemed savvier than his experience suggested he had any right to be,” Volin wrote. “Which is why it’s odd that Jones is making rookie mistakes this year. He’s throwing into tight and double coverage too often, including an inexplicable decision to do so to Jonnu Smith in the second half Sunday. There have been instances, such as with Minkah Fitzpatrick’s interception Sunday, where it’s almost as if Jones didn’t see a second defender.” 

Jones has looked lost, frustrated, and conflicted at times. The Patriots offense and the lack of continuity could be an issue, but Jones has to take some of the blame too.

“I think he’s also too reliant on Jakobi Meyers,” Volin pointed out. “Meyers is a fine possession receiver, and he was efficient Sunday — nine catches on 13 targets. But in the past, he has been inefficient — he had 83 catches on 124 targets last season — and he’s not a yards-after-the-catch threat. Leaning on Meyers too much is not going to make the offense any more dynamic. Nelson Agholor and Bourne have to be involved.”

Jones is throwing to the guy he has to be the most dependable. However, it doesn’t help his cause when one of his better weapons–Bourne–is being banished to sidelines while Patricia apparently proves a point as he attempts to establish himself as an offensive mind in the NFL.

In any case, something has to break for Jones. If it doesn’t the ceiling him and Josh McDaniels raised last season will suddenly come crashing down.

Patriots Notes and Quotes: Current and Former Patriots Marvel at Steelers Rookie WR

The Patriots weren’t in action on Thursday night, but several current and former players from the organization were watching the Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns. Some of them took to Twitter to comment on the amazing catch the Steelers’ rookie wide receiver George Pickens made on a sideline throw from Mitchell Trubisky.

In case you haven’t seen the catch, take a look. It’ll likely give you some Odell Beckham Jr. vibes.

Shortly after the catch, former Patriots Mohamed Sanu and Dont’a Hightower took to Twitter to offer their appreciation for the grab.

Patriots Notes and Quotes: Vince Wilfork Inducted into Team Hall of Fame

Two-time Super Bowl champion Vince Wilfork was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame on Thursday. A slimmed-down Wilfork spoke with the media while donning his red jacket associated with the honor.

The Boston Globe’s Jim McBride caught one of the key moments of the ceremony on camera.

Wilfork will be acknowledged during Sunday’s game as well. Congratulations to one of the greatest nose tackles of his era.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: