Coming into the season, Mac Jones had his fair share of critics and doubters but now the No. 15 overall pick has a long list of apologies to go through.
Now 10 games into the season the New England Patriots are enjoying a four-game winning streak that’s propelled them to an overall record of 6-4 as it is now just one game out of being atop the AFC East once again. After seeing how the team performed in 2020 after losing legendary quarterback Tom Brady, not many believed the Patriots would be back into the playoff picture so quickly, and a good portion of that credit goes to Jones.
After beating out 2020 starter Cam Newton, head coach Bill Belichick has completely turned the keys over to the rookie out of Alabama. Like any first-year player, there were some bumps along the way, especially in the team’s first six games where it went 2-4 with three losses coming by one possession.
Since its last loss against the Cowboys in overtime, Jones has appeared to have flipped a switch, proving that he’s a starting quarterback who’s here to stay.
In his last four games, Jones has thrown for eight touchdowns, just two interceptions and completed 66.8 percent of his passes. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones is the sixth highest-graded quarterback in the entire NFL let alone being the leader in his draft class.
Is it too early to call Jones a top 10 NFL quarterback? Yes, absolutely.
But it’s far from a stretch to say he’s at the upper end of the second tier of the NFL that includes players like Joe Burrow, Kirk Cousins, Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Tannehill, etc.
Just look at the Patriots’ previous game where it defeated the Cleveland Browns led by a former number one overall pick in Baker Mayfield. New England dominated the Browns in a 45-7 win while Jones flat out outshined Mayfield who is regarded to be in the same tier of quarterbacks as Jones (the rankings could be different after that game).
How Jones and the Patriots finish the season will ultimately be the decider of how the rookie will be viewed moving forward in his career, especially when the Bills are coming up on the schedule. But if Jones keeps this same trajectory, there will be a lot more statements backtracked from the media.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77