Mac Jones is Brilliant as Patriots Win Fourth Consecutive Game
Mac Jones and the New England Patriots made a big statement in Sunday’s 45-7 route of the Cleveland Browns. The Patriots certainly found their rhythm as a team having won their fourth consecutive game to improve to 6-4 on the season.
Jones was surgical, completing 19-of-23 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to tight end Hunter Henry and a passer rating of 142.1, the highest of his career. It was also the first time in his career where Jones has thrown for three touchdowns in a game and his fourth multi-touchdown game of the season, most by any rookie quarterback.
“I pretty much knew what we had the first day of OTAs,” said offensive tackle Trent Brown. “He’s different. He’s not just your average rookie quarterback. He has a lot of poise, but super mature. He attacks every day like it’s game day. He prepares well. He’s just on top of everything.”
The Patriots got off to a fast start, scoring on every single one of their possessions in the first half. Jones started the game 9-of-10 for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Early in the second quarter, Jones engineered a methodical 99-yard touchdown drive, capping it off with a 23-yard strike to Kendrick Bourne over two defenders. On that drive, Jones completed 3-of-4 passes for 61 yards, converting on third down twice through the air. It would be one of two 90+ yard scoring drives Jones would orchestrate in this game.
“Mac always looks poised. I don’t know what it is,” said Bourne. “He’s just driven in different ways, wired a different way. He’s just relaxed and I think that’s how we all need to play. He’s not thinking about the next play. He’s not thinking about the last play. He’s thinking about the current play. That mindset can take you far in this league when you have that kind of mindset. I think he has it. It’s easy to dwell on the past. It’s easy to get caught up on what’s ahead and what’s coming. He’s good at just being in the moment and fixing what he’s got going on right there.”
The 23-year-old signal caller joined Dak Prescott as the only rookie QB with at least six games with a completion percentage of 70+ (minimum 20 attempts) in NFL history. Each week Jones is making a stronger case for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban spoke on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown about Jones’ early success in New England.
"It's not surprising to me that Mac's doing well, I think it's a really good fit with Bill (Belichick) because now Mac's got the same kind of mindset," said Saban. "He's a very intelligent guy. He's very instinctive. He does a great job of preparing for a game and to go out and execute and do what coaches want them to do. So that's exactly how Bill likes them."
During the Patriots four-game winning streak, Jones has completed 73-of-112 passes (65%) for 861 yards, six touchdowns and posted a passer rating of 104.06. He plays with a maturity and skillset well beyond his years.
The Patriots will return to action on Thursday, Nov. 18 against the Atlanta Falcons. Kickoff is set for 7:20 CT and will air on FOX.