Mac Jones’ NSFW Sideline Explosion Explained

Getty New England Patriots, QB, Mac Jones

The New England Patriots Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens was an all-around frustrating affair for second-year quarterback Mac Jones. In addition to suffering a severe high-ankle sprain that will keep him out of action for an undisclosed time, Jones threw three interceptions in the game.

One of the interceptions came in the end zone and was a huge play against the Patriots.It was initially difficult to determine whether Jones or the intended wide receiver, Davante Parker was to blame but based on the quarterback’s profane tirade on the sidelines, it looks as if the finger of blame was being pointed at the latter.

Take a look at Jones screaming what many Twitterverse lip-readers have logically translated to be: “f****** Cover-4. What the f***?!”

NESN’s Zack Cox originally thought Jones said, “number 4,” but a Twitter user corrected him, to which Cox and others realized after looking at the video that Jones had to have said, “cover 4.” If (and yes, I did say if) that was the defense the Ravens were in, Parker should’ve broken the pass toward the corner, where the ball was thrown.

However, a stronger school of thought also blames Jones, considering the shallow cross or slant is probably the better place to throw the ball against this defense.


Did Mac Jones Make the Right Read?

NextGenStats’ Taylor Kyles disputes the diagnoses of the defensive coverage as “cover-4.” Kyles took to Twitter to call out the defense as cover-0, meaning there is no deep safety help. That’s debatable, looking at the video Kyles provides, but his All-22 look does show Aghlor open momentarily on a slant route.

Getting the ball to Agholor quickly would be in line with the old adage of throwing the ball in the direction of the blitz, which would have been to Jones’ right. The blitzing DB disguised his coverage as a tight man-to-man but expertly slid over transforming the look into a blitz off the edge. Jones didn’t see the change–or didn’t react to it–and he remained focused on his two options on the left side of the field, Parker and running back Rhamondre Stevenson.

Jones lofted the pass up in the air with the blitz bearing down on him. Even if Parker broke the wrong way initially or failed to fight for the ball as much as expected, this was not the best decision for the Patriots’ young quarterback.

Parker had a huge game. It was his biggest in his brief stint with the Patriots as he tallied 156 yards receiving. However, when he was asked about the play, he acknowledged there was a “miscommunication,” though he didn’t accept blame nor place it on his quarterback, who had already been injured by this time.

“I’ll just say there was a miscommunication on that,” Parker said, per the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian. “It’s just something we’ll fix.”


Mac Jones’ Replacement is Coming Up

Unfortunately for the Patriots, that fix will have to come once Jones returns from his injury. Some expect the Patriots to turn to veteran backup Brian Hoyer because of his experience and familiarity with the offense.

However, others have made a case for the Patriots giving rookie QB Bailey Zappe a look while Jones heals. We’ll likely know later in the week as we see which quarterback gets the first-team reps in practice.

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