Through one preseason game, Mac Jones looks the part

Washington Football Team v New England Patriots
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Astute football fans know what the preseason is, and what it isn’t. It isn’t competitive football with game-planning and high stakes and the best players on the field at all times. It is, however, an opportunity to see how new players look against NFL-caliber competition.

For Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones, he looked the part on Thursday night against Washington.

Jones operated the New England offense smoothly and efficiently, exuding the kind of confidence more often displayed by a seasoned veteran. It is, by all accounts, a translation of the work he has done during training camp.

For the game, Jones completed 13 of 19 passes for 87 yards. One pass ruled incomplete looked to be a catch, but coach Bill Belichick didn’t throw the red flag.

“Yeah, didn’t feel like challenging it,” Belichick said after the game.

Jones relieved starter Cam Newton and played into the second half, with the Pats using a no-huddle offense to start the third quarter.

“”We would have gone two-minute at the end of the second quarter but we didn’t have one, so we just went two-minute at the start of the third quarter,” Belichick told reporters.

It’s too early to make any broad conclusions, but Jones can at least check one box. He has passed the eyeball test.

69 responses to “Through one preseason game, Mac Jones looks the part

  1. Belichick owes Saban a cheese & sausage gift basket at Christmas if the Mac Jones thing works out smoothly this fall.

  2. Mac Jones looked completely relaxed and not out of place. Made solid throws and commanded the offense. Still would like to see more, he didn’t get to play with many of the starters…The arrow certainly is pointing up.

  3. It was refreshing last year to see the Pats miss the Playoffs and frankly I won’t be upset if they miss them again this year. But that said I have a sneaky feeling that Mac Jones is going to win a SB or two before his career is over. I think Chicago with Fields and the Pats with Jones may have ended up with the two best QB’s in this class. (It’s ok Jags and 49er fans, feel free to thumbs down me. I still think Fields was taken WAY too low.)

  4. Just wanted to say THANK YOU to all those QB NEEDY TEAMS that either passed on him all together or used a ton of draft capital to trade up & take someone else with their selection & allowing him to fall to the Pats who didn’t have to trade away ANY DRAFT CAPITAL to land him….
    THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN!!!!

  5. I know its only one game, but a little too much Cap’n Checkdown. Heineke and Montez for the WFT looked substantially better.

  6. Mac Jones underthrew a bit and was Captain Checkdown for the most part, but he was solid through reads, progressions and lack of movement is still going to require MAX protection . Did a good job of changing the calls at the line. A work in progress.

  7. Refs also stole what was clearly a 1st-down run by Mac… He was as I’d stated on recent PFT threads, and as Pats-Postgame felt – an exciting future but isn’t (yet) taking Cam’s job and that’s a good thing, gives him some time to develop without ridiculously excessive clamor/pressure. Btw, Washington’s Heinicke looked ok too.

  8. This guy is poised and very accurate. In one series he completed more passes in a row than I saw all of last year from Newton. Looking forward to the transition.

  9. That he is able to read defenses, set protections and audible are all encouraging, however a lot of it was against the 2’s and 3’s- good start- can he replicate/improve? certainly looked more in command of the O than Cam did.

  10. He made a believer out of me last night.

    running the no huddle in his very first preseason game was impressive to say the least.

    More poised than he should be at this point in his pro career.

    I am pulling for both, but Cam Mac are reverse mirror images in more than just name.

  11. I know the Vikings will be kicking themselves for passing on a possible franchise QB and ending up with Kellen Mond as the consolation prize.

  12. Jones has the pocket awareness that Newton doesn’t. You can’t teach it. Newton’s first series fumble (didn’t see it in stats so it may have been ruled tuck) is what leads to opponents scores and losses.

    Jones makes quick decisions and gets rid of the ball. His play fakes are well executed. Clearly, he’s a student of the game. He didn’t connect on two deep throws but one was catchable and the other a foot long. I can’t remember one risky throw.

    I have to believe Bill and Josh saw what I did.

  13. One pre-season game, a total of 5 series. As Bill Parcells used to say “lets not breakout the anointing oil just yet”. I’m old enough to remember this:

    Mitchell Trubisky Shines in Preseason Debut Despite Bears’ Loss to Broncos. August 10 2017

  14. It’s only part of one game that he played. But for a rookie, first time out, I thought he looked very poised. Most of the plays were short throws. He looked good, so far.

  15. Didn’t even mention the perfect deep ball he threw that wasn’t caught. Jones looked far and away better than Newton. It’s only one game but, if week 1 were next week, I’d hand the ball to Jones. The assumption is he will only get better as the weeks go by.

  16. Definitely looked good and will be the future leader of the offense. Remember when “Stids” won the preseason player of the year? This was different if you have an eye for talent. Need to cut/trade Cam soon so the kid is not looking over his shoulder

  17. Thanks Florio for a balanced look at his play. I saw one GREAT pass (drop in left post towards the end zone) and some good game management, but saw a few misplaced “ground bullets” too. Cam looked better, which only surprised me because Cam looked bad last year most of the time. I am reserving judgment.

  18. He did alright but it looked like WFT kept the LBs back 7 yards from the line of scrimmage to force some underneath stuff … because those LBs need to learn how to come up and tackle , and they sucked at it last night. Hopefully we can get a couple of decent camp casualty LB from other teams. It was hard to watch.

  19. Using a no huddle gimmick against 2nd string defense didn’t show how advanced Jones is only that he needed the gimmick to get a leg up to even the playing field. He was Ok but that’s really about all he was.

  20. mdt53vb says:
    August 13, 2021 at 12:18 am
    Keep it up! 19 passes needed to get 87 yards? Was he playing running back?
    ______________

    He’ll have to throw the ball 70 times to get 300 yards!

  21. He did. Reminded me of Stidham 2 years ago with the ball out and on time.

    It would be better seeing all the starters out there and more gameplanning involved to get a better feel, but I guess we wait for Game 2 and 3 for that.

    Clearly better than Newton by a mile though. Newton still can’t hit the simplest dump off pass into the flat that anyone who posts here could hit. He’s awful.

    Great catch by Meyers as well that was incorrectly ruled incomplete.

    The offense looked how it should as did the team. Nordin had the bad PAT miss, but man, he looks like the real deal with a feel for kicking.

    Overall, solid start.

  22. ““Yeah, didn’t feel like challenging it,” Belichick said after the game.”
    Classic BB…. love it!!

  23. He showed poise and I like the way he worked through his progressions. But 6.7 yards per completion? NE WRs suck – no separation. Got the feeling that a RB is going to lead this team in receptions

  24. When I see someone has 13 completions for 78 yards, my first thought is that the game plan was specifically set up for him to make easy completions and gain confidence. I think that is about all that can be taken from this performance.

  25. LOL…Desperate and Brady spoiled NE fan base will soon realize that Nathan Petermann, Mark Sanchez and others looked perfectly relaxed and in charge in their NFL preseason debut.

  26. beachsidejames says:
    August 13, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Using a no huddle gimmick against 2nd string defense didn’t show how advanced Jones is only that he needed the gimmick to get a leg up to even the playing field. He was Ok but that’s really about all he was.

    ++++++++++

    The no huddle offense wasn’t a gimmick. Running the hurry-up at random points in the game has been a staple of the Patriots offensive strategy for years, and not surprisingly Brady was the master of it. The idea is that by going back and forth between a hurry-up and normal pace you can throw the defense’s timing off and also cram in more plays to tire them out. Not a gimmick– just smart coaching, and an opportunity for Jones to test it out in game conditions.

  27. Nathan Peterman preseason 2018 – looked like the next Joe Montana. Something like 33/41 388 yards 4tds, 1 pick. I am going to enjoy watching the Hopium fade into the end of October where you guys can start talking about next year

  28. So interesting to see all the fans of other teams commenting STILL on my New England Pats!
    Pats are still in their heads, which as we love to say in New England is “ wicked funny “!

  29. “Didn’t even mention the perfect deep ball he threw that wasn’t caught”.

    ///////////////

    ummmm……because it was overthrown

  30. It’s not unusual for a Rookie in LIVE action, but a lot of those balls were thrown towards the turf.

  31. He did. Reminded me of Stidham 2 years ago with the ball out and on time.
    —————

    Jones definitely does not need Mush’s endorsement. Still talking about preseason from 2 years ago…. Passing your “eye test” clearly is not too difficult.

  32. cheekflamingoz says:
    August 13, 2021 at 10:18 am
    Nathan Peterman preseason 2018 – looked like the next Joe Montana. Something like 33/41 388 yards 4tds, 1 pick. I am going to enjoy watching the Hopium fade into the end of October where you guys can start talking about next year

    ____

    The only people doing cartwheels about Peterman were Bills fans. I had one guy, might have even been you, tell me that interceptions didnt matter!!!! LOLOLOLOLOL

  33. Yeah, and last year at this time Patriots fans were talking about winning the Super Bowl with Stidham. How’d that work out?

    I’ll wait to pronounce judgment either way until the real season begins. Practice and pre-season are hardly the barometer of whether one is going to be successful or not–especially at the QB position.

  34. inozwetrust says:
    August 13, 2021 at 10:04 am
    He showed poise and I like the way he worked through his progressions. But 6.7 yards per completion? NE WRs suck – no separation. Got the feeling that a RB is going to lead this team in receptions

    ____

    Meanwhile in Balt, they dont have any healthy WR’s and have a RB playing QB….

  35. As a Pats fan after ONE preseason game, Id rather struggle with Jones all season and watch him learn vs. Cam throwing 90mph bullets to a rb thats barely five yards away from him. Also, from one preseason game, Mac Jones gets it, and he fits NE’s offense perfect. Naysayers can cry all they want but my guts telling me that Pats are lucky Jobes fell to them.

  36. Patriot fans are truly delusional clowns. All of them said stidham was a HOF QB last year too, what happy with that prediction? Sam Ehlinger is having a more impressive preseason camp than overrated Mac Jones and that says a lot. Ehlinger will be the next Drew Brees.

  37. That long Wilkerson throw in the end zone was money and I think gunnar slowed down a bit on his overthrow. Looked good to me especially in the two minute drill with 3rd and 4th depth chart guys.

    Feel better about him than mallet and stidham already, which isn’t saying much, after one game. Brisset and Jimmy are next

  38. dw11 says:
    August 13, 2021 at 10:43 am
    He did. Reminded me of Stidham 2 years ago with the ball out and on time.
    —————

    Jones definitely does not need Mush’s endorsement. Still talking about preseason from 2 years ago…. Passing your “eye test” clearly is not too difficult.

    0 2 Rate This

    —————

    Umm, actually it is. Are you questioning Brady or JimmyGs first games? I didn’t. It’s pretty clear to see who gets it and who doesn’t.

    There’s a reason why most nfl teams struggle so badly to find a franchise qb.

  39. I still remember Belichick haters on here telling us only Brady can run the Patriots system but I just watched a rookie with 17 starts in college running the offense relatively efficiently. He made some bad reads and missed few throws but all in all not bad for a rooking in his first preseason game.

  40. First impressions:
    Floor is Teddy Bridgewater.
    Ceiling is Matt Ryan – for reference check Matt Ryan pre Julio Jones.

  41. I am a Patriots fan that spends most of the year in Maryland. I got the game on the Washington feed. Sorry haters, Theisman said he was very impressed with Jones. With the exception of positive comments about Judon and Stevenson Joe wasn’t throwing a lot of platitudes the Patriots way. The fact that he gushed about Jones didn’t go unnoticed.

  42. It was just like seeing Tom Brady out there with all the legendary passes to RBs that made people think Brady was better than Manning.

  43. Mark this down, Mac Jones is going to do very well for himself in New England. The only other possibly better fit would have been the Niners. Right player, right system and right coach adds up to the NE Patriots coming back as a force sooner than later.

  44. Mac looked good but Judon stole the show. He is going to be a big problem for the opposing teams offense.

  45. The hurry up isn’t the gimmick. The gimmick is he needed to use it in his 1st preseason game against 2nd string players. Nice to see how TB12 used it to perfection. Even nicer to see him using it in Tampa Bay.

  46. It was just an extension of training camp sessions for him. With live hitting. Pats weren’t looking for anything more than to go through different scenarios with him. Why do you think BB didn’t challenge an obvious catch by Meyers? It set up a 3rd and 5. Let’s see how Jones converts.

    I trust the process. He looked good, not great, and next week we’ll see how he handles an upgraded playbook. I don’t think he will start week 1, and I think he already knows that. Could have been why he was so relaxed out there. He knows he is going through each part of the class with an eye for the future. Keep learning and he’ll get there. Ball security and good pocket presence was an encouraging first look at him.

  47. Nathan Peterman was a super star in preseason. Hell some of commenters on this board still think he is a viable QB compared to Cam Newton.

  48. Oh come on. Plenty of backup QBs look great in the preseason. Defenses don’t bother game-planning against them. Performance tends to drop significantly once the games count. Doesn’t mean Jones isn’t going to be good. It just means nothing he does before September indicates anything relevant.

  49. In 2018 we had Allen so I doubt I was hyping Peterman….but the hype train here is hilarious – heard it first with Cam then with Stidham now with Jones. Offensive roster is garbage, hot trash. Zero worries you guys can even put up points. Defensively you guys are old, Judon is very good, but he can’t do it himself. Once the Pats fall behind it’s over…. Enjoy 2-4 years of mediocrity until you try another QB , rinse, repeat

  50. Offensive roster includes a top 5 offensive line, top 10 running back depth, top 5 TE tandem and adequate WRs. At QB they just need an adequate game manager. They also have a top 5 D. This is a 10/11 win team. Otherwise, right on the money.

  51. If you really watched the game, what you watched, was Mac following BB’s game plan. He did his job!
    kudo’s to him!.. He won’t be game 1 starter, but will be the starter long before season’s end

  52. beachsidejames says:
    August 13, 2021 at 8:51 am
    Using a no huddle gimmick against 2nd string defense didn’t show how advanced Jones is only that he needed the gimmick to get a leg up to even the playing field

    ——-

    Maybe in another 2-3 years Tua will be capable of running a no-huddle offense

  53. cheekflamingoz says: Defensively you guys are old

    ____

    Half the Bills defensive starters are 30+….Both starting DE’s, Star, and both Safeties….are you also saying the Bills D is old?

  54. tedmurph says:
    August 13, 2021 at 2:48 pm
    Offensive roster includes a top 5 offensive line, top 10 running back depth, top 5 TE tandem and adequate WRs. At QB they just need an adequate game manager. They also have a top 5 D. This is a 10/11 win team. Otherwise, right on the money.

    5 1 Rate This

    ——————

    You forgot the best STs by a mile and head coach, not to mention hopefully a return to some improved normalcy during the pandemic.

    And an easier schedule. They’ll be 3-0 heading into Week 4.

  55. That’s the beauty Tua he never had to prove himself against a 2nd and 3rd string defense. But if a gimmick game plan helps Mac and cheese build his confidence I’m all for it. Hopefully he’ll get a shot to play against some 1st string defenses. If the Pats scoring 3 field goals after 3 quarters yesterday is your reason to celebrate well then have at it.

  56. Well at least he will have a chance for GOAT status since Tebow is not around anymore. Most of the commenters still expected Tebow to replace Lawrence at QB.

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