After struggling at the beginning of the year, it seemed as though Jones may have lost his starting job after suffering a high ankle sprain and being relegated to the sidelines. Bailey Zappe ended up getting most of the snaps while Jones was out and impressed fans as well as pundits around the league.
But at least for this season, it’s clear that Jones will be the starter for the remainder of the season and will be looking to end the season on a high note. Entering Week 11, Jones has thrown for 1,140 yards, four touchdowns and seven interceptions per Pro Football Reference. This is a far cry from his Pro Bowl rookie season where he threw for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
What Does Jones Need to Prove?
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, Jones is among five quarterbacks that have the most to prove in the second half of the 2022 season.
“Jones is back in the starting lineup for now, but it appears that he’ll be fighting for his job down the stretch,” Brooks wrote. “After an impressive rookie campaign where he led the Patriots to the playoffs, Jones has been maddeningly inconsistent in 2022, with questionable decisions and errant throws dotting his lowlight reel. The second-year pro’s up-and-down performance has been attributed to some of the coaching changes and schematic adjustments, but Zappe’s success running the offense raises eyebrows when evaluating the incumbent starter. Maybe it is just a part of the growing process for the former No. 15 overall pick, but Jones’ disappointing play (SEE: 4:7 TD-to-INT ratio, 76.0 passer rating) has opened the door for a potential 2023 quarterback competition in Foxborough.”
Also on the list is Aaron Rodgers, Geno Smith, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Jared Goff. Brooks also detailed why the second half of the season is so important.
“If you ask veteran coaches about playing football in the months of November and December, they will quickly tell you that ballers play their best down the stretch,” Brooks said. “Whether facing pressure to perform for a playoff contender or feeling the heat to secure standing on a franchise in transition, the most successful players find a way to raise their level of play as fall changes to winter. For some quarterbacks, the stretch run provides an opportunity to cement their status as a long-term starter or enhance their position as a hot commodity on the free-agent market.”
Where Do the Patriots Rank Entering Week 11?
Bleacher Report released its power rankings headed into Week 11 and the Patriots stood pat at 16th overall. This was the same ranking that they had entering their bye week in Week 10.
“In some respects, the 2022 Patriots are similar to last year’s team,” B/R wrote. “No one is really talking about New England as a playoff threat, but the team is lurking at the fringes of contention. The Patriots are running the ball. Playing defense. And winning games old-school style. However, New England’s offense remains an in issue.”
Patriots tight end Hunter Henry spoke about how New England needs to improve in order to make the playoffs.
“We have a lot of strides we need to make; I’m not going to lie,” Henry said. “The bye comes at a good time. We really need to look at ourselves in the mirror, as an offense especially, and need to be better. We have to be more accountable.”