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Alabama in the Pros

The NFL world reacts to Mac Jones’ stellar performance against the Cleveland Browns

Mac Jones (#10) calling signals for Patriots offense versus Browns
Bob DeChiara - USA Today Sports

Nick Saban has produced a quarterback who is the talk of the NFL world right now.

Mac Jones is no joke, and eyes have finally opened to it. He was underestimated during the NFL Draft process, and pundits considered his counterparts to be more successful. People who knew Jones could have success were not taken seriously, due to others bringing up the “game manager” tag, and how the wide receivers at Alabama made him look good. He has destroyed every narrative written against him, and Sunday’s performance was Jones at his best. After beating a first-round pick in Justin Herbert, Jones outperformed the No. 1 overall pick from the 2018 draft. He handed Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns a 45-7 loss with deadly accuracy. Jones completed 19 of 23 passes — an 82.6 percent completion rate — for 198 yards with three touchdowns.

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He tossed a dime to Kendrick Bourne that dropped jaws across the NFL landscape.

Jones showed his accuracy and arm strength, threading the ball between two defenders to Bourne. He connected with tight end Hunter Henry for two touchdowns and led five of six touchdown drives for the New England Patriots.

Jones pushed the team to its second 40+ point game of the season, matching its outing versus the Jets. He turned in a season-high for passer rating (142.1) and quarterback rating (83.9).

When it lost Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, many thought the glory was gone in New England. Jones has put new energy inside fans and has the Patriots a half-game (6-4) behind the Bills for first in the AFC East.

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An opportunity for the playoffs is alive and well at Gillette Stadium.

Several NFL personalities, draft evaluators, and players are in awe of Jones.

Louis Riddick, Monday Night Football analyst

Jim Nagy, Executive Director for Reese’s Senior Bowl

Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN College Football analyst

Ryan Spagnoli, Patriots beat reporter for SB Nation

Julian Edelman, former Patriots wide receiver

Pro Football Focus, NFL and college football website

Jones has the most games (five) with a 100 passer rating among first-round quarterbacks from the 2021 draft.

According to NFL Research, he is the first Patriots rookie quarterback since Drew Bledsoe (four TD passes, 1993 vs. Miami) to have 3+ scoring tosses in a single game. Jones is the first rookie quarterback in franchise history to have 3+ touchdown passes and no interceptions in a game. The world sees him now, and he’s only getting stronger.

Jones is the real deal in pro football.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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