Gone are the days when only positive Mac Jones stories were read. The New England Patriots celebrated their first win of the season on Sunday with a 17-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Still, that didn’t stop several publications naming Jones for poor play and poor decisions. Greg Bedard of the Boston Sports Journal wrote the following comments on Jones’ performance, highlighting some of Mac’s modest advanced analyses.
“I was at times fooled by the Steelers many times, including one for an interception, and his near-interception right to a Steeler was almost a huge gut shot,” Bedard wrote. “I didn’t see the field clearly. Had a rating of 79.7 and his above-expected completion percentage of -5.8% was the third worst after the 1pm games.”
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe identified Jones’ reads as part of the Patriots’ offense that “needs to be cleaned up”.
“Sure, there are still some things that need cleaning up, including penalties on the offensive line, some of Mac Jones’ reads, and the third-down efficiency of the defense,” Finn wrote.
The Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy identified an area of Jones’ game that is weak but billed as a strength.
“Accuracy was Jones’ trademark in Alabama and again in his NFL rookie season,” Shaughnessy wrote. “He threw two picks in the first two games of ’22 (both at balls forced upon new toy DeVante Parker) and received a huge gift in the third quarter when a terrifying pass slammed into the arms of Pittsburgh cornerback Cameron Sutton . ”
Jones nearly threw another interception that could have potentially put the Patriots in serious tie against the Steelers. Unfortunately for the Steelers, Jones’ ill-advised shot was dropped, and on the next play, former Patriots WR Gunner Olszewski missed a punt to set up a game-changing New England TD.
Jones’ numbers don’t look impressive in the first two weeks of the 2022 season. He’s thrown 2 TDs and two picks while passing an average of 232.5 yards per game. While the production isn’t bad, the visuals were hard on the eyes in some situations.
The interception, which he narrowly avoided, was one of the wrong decisions. Another mistake happened with the pass intercepted by Minkah Fitzpatrick. Apparently Jones was looking for a 50-50 ball opportunity for DeVante Parker, but it didn’t work out.
Jones threw the pass poorly, but Parker could have tried a little better to catch the ball. In any case, it’s just another example from the early parts of this season that might alarm fans who might not sell Jones as the team’s franchise quarterback.
It appears that Bill Belichick and co. consider Jones their quarterback of the present and future. However, there are some worrying limitations to his game.
Jones’ arm strength doesn’t seem to be in an ideal spot, evidenced by his downfield throws that rarely come on the money. The third-year QB isn’t very mobile, so he doesn’t have the ability to extend plays like some other quarterbacks can when things slump.
Knowing Jones doesn’t have a gun or walking pace, he’ll need to improve his decision-making if he wants to cement his hold on the Patriots franchise’s QB tag.