While he hasn’t exploded for a 400-yard, 4-TD passing performance, the rookie quarterback hasn’t turned the ball over, and he’s put the Patriots in a position to be 2-0. They’re 1-1 only because of Damien Harris’ crucial fumble on what probably would’ve been the game-winning drive in Week 1 vs. the Miami Dolphins.
Even with as well as Jones has played, you know critics will find some area of his game to criticize. The favorite target has been his safe, dink-and-dunk style that hasn’t featured a ton of downfield throws. FOX sports personality Nick Wright said Jones was ordering from the kids’ menu with his safe approach. The most recent shot at Jones was movie-themed face-swap/meme.
Take a look:
Alright, this is pretty funny, but taking a jab at Jones for something that isn’t all on him probably isn’t fair.
Analyst Defends Jones’ Ball Security, But Calls Out Another Part of the Patriots Team
Michael DeVito of Chowder and Champions has no issue with Jones’ safe approach. In fact, he applauds it. Instead, DeVito points to the Patriots’ offensive line play and their receivers’ struggles to get open downfield.
Mac Jones has been harassed and harried on virtually every passing play. The thought of a “clean pocket’ is mirage-like for this iteration of a purportedly top-five O-line. The team has several ways to rectify the situation. The first would be to get Brown back healthy. That’s the easiest and best alternative. Yet, he has a calf injury. That injury is tricky for any player. For one who weighs in at 380 pounds or so, it’s a no small issue. The second is more readily available to the New England Patriots coaching staff yet they refuse to implement it. That would be to deploy and redeploy their best options at two positions. They can slot Michel Onwenu into the right tackle spot seamlessly. He played there virtually all last season. Then, they can place Ted Karras, a free agent acquisition who was brought back for just this type of scenario, at the left guard position. Yet they haven’t. Jones hasn’t had time to throw deep and he won’t risk a turnover. That’s to his credit. The second reason is that for the most part, his receivers can’t get open.
DeVito might be taking an unwarranted shot at the receivers. Without taking a long look at All-22 footage, there is no way to determine if the receivers are getting open.
However, he is on point with his overall assessment of Jones’ play. He’s doing fine and he’d be wise to tune out the haters.
The New England Patriots Remaining Schedule
Jones will get his next opportunity to stretch the field and perhaps lose his downfield virginity on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Here is a look at the rest of the schedule:
New England Patriots (1-1) 2021 Regular Season Schedule
- Week 1 – Miami Dolphins 17, New England Patriots 16
- Week 2 – New England Patriots 25, New York Jets 6
- Week 3 – New Orleans Saints at 1pm ET – FOX – September 26
- Week 4 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 8:20 pm ET – NBC – October 3
- Week 5 – at Houston Texans at 1pm ET – CBS – October 10
- Week 6 – Dallas Cowboys at 4:25 pm ET – CBS – October 17
- Week 7 – New York Jets at 1pm ET – CBS – October 24
- Week 8 – at Los Angeles Chargers at 4:05 pm ET – CBS – October 31
- Week 9 – at Carolina Panthers at 1 pm ET – CBS – November 7
- Week 10 – Cleveland Browns at 1 pm ET – CBS – November 14
- Week 11 – at Atlanta Falcons at 8:20 pm ET – FOX/NFL Network/Amazon – November 18
- Week 12 – Tennessee Titans at 1 pm ET – CBS – November 28
- Week 13 – at Buffalo Bills at 8:15 pm ET – ESPN – December 6
- Week 14 – Bye Week
- Week 15 – at Indianapolis Colts Time TBA – December 18
- Week 16 – Jacksonville Jaguars at 1 pm ET – CBS – January 2
- Week 17 – at Miami Dolphins at 1 pm ET – CBS – January 9
- Patriots Urged to Use New TE Acquisition More Often
- Patriots Bring in Former Bears WR for Tryout
- Patriots Mac Jones ‘Jumps’ Peers in Latest Odds
- Mac Jones is ‘Ordering From the Kid’s Menu,’ Says NFL Analyst
- Bill Belichick Weighs in on NFL’s Taunting Rule