It didn’t take Mac Jones long to realize that the NFL made a huge mistake in allowing him to fall to the New England Patriots. It’s not difficult to believe that the promising rookie would be drafted ahead of many big-name prospects in the 2021 draft. The former Alabama star is tough, intelligent, and accurate. He will fill the void left behind by Tom Brady, who moved to Florida for the warmer weather.
Although Patriots fans are rightly excited about the future, Jones’ peers should not be. Dak Preston, a talented first-year quarterback, is at risk of being erased in the NFL record books.
With much uncertainty surrounding the most important position in sport, Bill Belichick was joined by Mike McCarthy in Week 1. The Patriots’ longtime leader decided to end all ties with Cam Newton, and instead roll with Mac Jones. Jones was a college player who had only played 17 games. The Cowboys’ second year head coach wasn’t sure what Dak Prescott would look after undergoing ankle surgery and suffering a shoulder injury in the summer.
Both quarterbacks exceeded their expectations, which is a good thing for both coaches.
Jones has given Belichick a major upgrade over Newton’s washed-up Newton. He is able to diagnose coverages and run Josh McDaniels’ system as well as make checks at the line like an experienced pro. Even though Jones is not an elite athlete or signal-caller, the 6-foot-3, 217-pound signal caller is still in contention for Offensive Rookie.
Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver, has a strong case for the award. Jones should win the award if he plays at a high level and leads the Patriots to wins.
Prescott, down in Dallas, looks well-placed to win some individual hardware. Prescott, 28, appears poised to win Comeback Player Of The Year honors. He also has a chance to capture his first MVP trophy.
Prescott is clearly a contender for the title of league’s most valuable player. He has a 70.3% completion percentage, 20 passing touchdowns and a career-high quarterback ratings of 110.8 in eight games. Prescott is in a great position to add value to his resume but he could also be expelled from the NFL’s record books.
It is easy to see why Belichick selected Jones as a first round pick. The 23-year old Jacksonville native has many of the same attributes that made TB12 shine in Foxborough. He is also precise in his delivery, which is a must for New England’s timing-based passing scheme.
Prescott is out of the spotlight because Jones can consistently hit his target.
The No. 15 overall pick is heading into a Thursday Night Football matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. The No. 15 overall pick has a 69% completion rate. Jones has exceeded the 70% threshold in six out of his 10 initial starts. He is now on pace to beat Prescott’s rookie record, 67.8% set in 2016.
The Patriots can only wish their young quarterback has the same success in wins. Prescott was named Offensive Rookie-of-the Year and Pro Bowl. The Cowboys went 13-3 in that year. Jones won’t receive Pro Bowl recognition as a rookie, but it’s impossible to look at his 2,333 passing yards, 13:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and 94.1 quarterback rating and not come away impressed.
It’s not surprising that he would take his game to the next level after the performance of New England’s offense against the Cleveland Browns.
Jones should continue to pass at an impressive rate, so long as Jones is not in danger. This doesn’t bode very well for Prescott’s chances to maintain the record for rookies with the highest completion percentage, but it does bode nicely for Belichick’s chances at adding another Super Bowl ring.
The Patriots are now in contention for a playoff spot after racking up four straight wins. The offense and defense have shown significant improvement on a weekly basis. New England is currently sixth in points scored, and second in points permitted. This balanced team can be a challenge for any opponent in all three aspects of the game.
Ironically, Jones and Co. started to get on the right track after a devastating overtime loss against the Prescott-led Cowboys. If they continue to improve, don’t be surprised if there is a rematch.
Dallas, like New England has a high scoring offense with 31.6 points per match. It also boasts a solid defense (with 21.7 points per match). McCarthy’s team is well-equipped to represent the NFC at Super Bowl 56, thanks to the presence of many blue-chip players both on the offensive and defensive sides.
The Patriots are well-positioned to compete for the Lombardi Trophy due to the open landscape of the AFC. Dak Prescott and Mac Jones could meet again this season, despite their differences of style and experience.