At least one analyst believes that’s the case.
Fox’s Nick Wright didn’t hold back during a discussion about the Patriots and Jones. In fact, Wright compared Jones to “a 28-year-old who still orders chicken fingers at every restaurant.”
He said the Patriots have Jones ordering from the “kids’ menu.” It’s a classic rant from one of the best talking heads in the sports world:
This was a great segment augmented by the contrasting opinions, but who’s right?
Patriots Are OK With Mac Jones’ Style
It is hard to imagine Bill Belichick or Josh McDaniels pulling Jones aside and insisting he take more shots down the field — especially not at this stage of the game.
He’s a rookie quarterback who wasn’t even taking first-team reps through training camp and preseason. Jones is through his first two games of his career — division games at that — and he has yet to throw an interception.
There is something to be said for that level of ball security for any quarterback, and especially a rookie. ESPN’s Mike Reiss spoke about the Patriots’ bottom line and why New England is likely much happier with Jones’ approach compared to the New York Jets‘ Zach Wilson, who has already thrown five picks because he won’t accept a little bit of “boring” football.
Before diving into the specifics, the bottom line is most important: In the legendary words of longtime coach Herm Edwards, “You play to win the game.” And Jones did that on Sunday, playing smart, protecting the football, and complementing a defense that totaled four interceptions — a couple that were Wilson-wrapped gifts. Jones finished 22-of-30 passing for 186 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. In a season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins, which could have been a win if not for running back Damien Harris’ costly late-game fumble, Jones was 29 of 39 for 281 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions. That makes Jones the first quarterback with a 70-plus completion percentage in each of his first two NFL starts (minimum 10 pass attempts). Part of what has contributed to that is his willingness and discipline to take what’s there, or in the words of Jets coach Robert Saleh, play a boring game of football.
Sometimes, boring is better.
When Will Jones Begin to Throw it Deep?
I’d expect a few more downfield shots in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints. First, the Saints’ secondary has been a bit undermanned, even though the newly acquired Bradley Roby is expected to be available for the first time since coming over from the Houston Texans in a trade. Because of some of New Orleans’ issues in the secondary, they might be a good team to test downfield.
I’d also expect to see a few more attempts to stretch the field as defenses load up the box to stop the Patriots’ run game. New England is averaging 113 yards per game on the ground and 4.18 yards per carry. There is going to come a time when teams dare Jones to beat them with his arm, and that could be this Sunday.
Maybe then Jones can ditch the coloring sheets at the head of the table.