Yoda might say “still has a lot learn does Mac Jones.” But for a preseason NFL debut, it wasn’t bad at all.
Jones went 13-of-19 passes for 87 yards while leading the Patriots quarterbacks by playing 33 snaps in a 22-13 preseason win over the Washington Football Team.
Cam Newton said rookie Mac Jones is so quiet at times that he tries to crack “the Da Vinci Code of the seriousness.”
“He came and talked to me, and we talked it out about just his expectation. Every young quarterback goes through it — the excitement, the anticipation,” Newton relayed after the Patriots’ win at Gillette Stadium. “He wants to be so perfect, and I see his preparation is always pristine. That’s what I admire about him.”
As solid as Jones looked let’s keep in mind that this was a preseason game and there is indeed a vast difference between preseason football and the regular season. Still, Jones looked like he was in control from the very beginning and appeared to do just about everything the Patriots coaching staff asked him to do.
It’s way too early to say that Jones is ready to take the Patriots a deep playoff run, plus this really is Cam Newtons’ team until it isn’t. Newton is still in control of his own destiny and that’s because as good as Jones was, he did not play as Russell Wilson did in his preseason debut. Wilson who basically came in the 2nd half of his 2012 preseason game made it clear to everyone watching that he was way better than the recently signed Matt Flynn.
Wilson in his first series marched the Seahawks down the field on a five-play, 73-yard touchdown drive, culminating with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards. A pass that traveled about 50 yards in the air, and Wilson put it exactly where Edwards needed it to be.
By no means am I intended to disrespect the performance of Mac Jones in his debut, it’s just that, unlike Wilson, Jones made it clear to everyone watching that at this point he is not ready to take over the Patriots.
While I’m sure at some point in the first four or five games Newton will meltdown in some way on the field and that will be the movement in time Jones will have his real opportunity to take over the Patriots. Plus I fully suspect behind closed doors the Patriots coaching staff was thrilled with Jones ball control mentality. The fact that he didn’t throw an interception and made smart adjustments at the line of scrimmage are all reasons why the Patriots will find a way in the next 2 months to hand Jones the keys to the car.