Patriots owner Robert Kraft said this week that he’s bothered by the fact that the Patriots haven’t won a playoff game since Super Bowl LIII and one of the ways that the team can end that streak is by getting great quarterback play.
2021 first-round pick Mac Jones had some flashes during his rookie season, but the overall body of work wasn’t good enough to carry the Patriots past the Bills late in the regular season or in the playoffs. The Bills added Von Miller this offseason, the Dolphins took a big swing for Tyreek Hill, and the rest of the AFC has also been busy making moves to get ready for next season, so the need for those flashes to become consistently strong play is great in New England.
Kraft acknowledged as much when he was asked his feelings about Jones’ development.
“This year will be very telling,” Kraft said, via Jeff Howe of TheAthletic.com. “To come into something as new as this, as established, I think he got beat up pretty bad, and he kept coming back and getting up and really doing some great stuff. Just the way he handles himself, he took some real beatings and hopped up. He has developed a good relationship with the whole cadre of receivers. I’m very happy with what I’ve seen. But this is a big year, the second year.”
Clear progress from Jones will be a positive sign for the Patriots regardless of what might happen in the postseason because it’s hard to believe there will be any deep playoff runs in New England without a major upgrade in quarterback play.