What are your expectations of Mac Jones in year two? It’s not just about yards and touchdowns. The Patriots need him to produce this year to be successful.
Pro Football Focus had Mac as the 11 best quarterback in the NFL last season. So before training camp, it would not have been unreasonable to expect the same stat line for Jones. Now, it’s very well possible his stats may dip due to the zone scheme offense. We’ll have to see how they look in the preseason. I’d keep expectations low for him to crack the top ten statistically.
Focus On His Abilities, As Stats, Don’t Always Tell The Full Story.
Mac Jones threw for around 4,000 yards and over 20 touchdowns, but that’s what a competent quarterback should be able to do in McDaniels’s offense, even if it became stale and vanilla since 2019. The offense might force a statistical slump, but it’s the mental things that Mac needed to and should improve on that we need to be looking for.
For most of his career in New England, Tom Brady could get rid of the ball before a defender could get close. Jones has a quick release, but that’s an area Jones should be able to improve by 1/3 to half a second. After working with Tom House, Jones should be able to crack the top six for fastest release in the NFL. And his number of deep passes should increase also.
“Also according to PFF, Jones had the 10th-quickest average time to throw in the league with a 2.6-second release that also makes him the eighth-quickest among all rookies within the past 10 years,” per Crissy Froyd.https://sportsnaut.com/mac-jones-success-nfl-quarterbacks-evaluation/
Mac Jones puts in the work with film study. His ability to read and the process was evident in 2021. In year two, he should pick things up quicker, which should translate into making adjustments at the line after the play starts and better decisions with the ball.
Jones was sacked 28 times in 2021 and threw 13 interceptions. He also only ran the ball 44 times. All of those numbers should improve. For example, Jones should take off or throw away more instead of waiting for a sack.
Mac’s game awareness should also improve. A few times, Mac didn’t seem to know a few things he should have.
“If you’re good with your math, you may have quickly summarized that a seven-yard gain on third-and-10 does not, in fact, move the sticks.
Bill Belichick always preaches situational awareness, so it’ll be interesting to see what the coach has to say about this after the game,” per Doug Farrar.https://touchdownwire.usatoday.com/2021/11/28/mac-jones-thought-he-had-a-first-down-on-a-scramble-he-didnt/
The Patriots are switching to or incorporating some of the 90s Broncos’ offense. And Mac should show off more of his athleticism than he showed in the playoffs versus Buffalo and practice at Alabama.
“He made athletic plays to convert two third-and-longs on New England’s opening drive, scrambling away from pressure to find tight end Hunter Henry for 33 yards on third-and-14 and then took off and ran on third-and-10, picking up 16 yards with his legs to move the chains, ” per Zack Cox.https://nesn.com/2022/01/six-thoughts-on-mac-jones-performance-in-patriots-playoff-loss-to-bills/
As if running a 4.8 wasn’t enough, Tua Tagovailoa told people that Mac was not a statue. However, if the Dolphins don’t respect Tua’s voice, why would the Boston media?
Tagivailoa said about his fellow Crimson Tide alumni, “I would say he’s a sly kind of athletic person. He’s a more mobile Tom Brady. He’s very athletic, I would say.”https://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/tua-tagovailoa-mac-jones-tom-brady/w8zzzqyiaxs11mjgiqst1xzia
Mac made his share of mental errors in December, especially against Indianapolis. He threw five interceptions in the last four games, fumbled twice, and completed only 52.5 percent of his passes. However, those mistakes should be few and between in 2022 for the sophomore quarterback.
Pat Lane wrote after the colts game, “Those are costly mistakes that you simply can’t have if you are going to win against good teams.”https://www.patspulpit.com/2021/12/19/22844654/10-takeaways-patriots-colts-nfl-week-15-jones-belichick-wynn
An Up And Down Year A Head For Mac & Patriots?
Michael McCorkle Jones should improve mentally, and we may even see improvement with his arm strength and deep ball thanks to working with Tom House but statistically, from what we have seen in camp over the first eleven practices. Jones’s numbers should decline unless the Patriots limit the use of what we’ve seen. Again, it’s not Jones’s fault but it just doesn’t appear in August that the Patriots have the line to run a zone scheme successfully.
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