The New England Patriots have been riding the rookie quarterback roller coaster with Mac Jones this season. While Jones is completing 71% of his passes and has generally done a good job of avoiding turnovers, he has struggled when it comes to throwing the ball deep down the field.
Still, the Patriots aren’t asking much out of him right now. Just be efficient and mistake-free and they’ll win some games.
Even after an awful start against the lowly Houston Texans, Jones was able to author a game-winning drive and get the Patriots, a team that was a Damien Harris fumble and Nick Folk missed kick away from 4-1, back in the win column.
Even with these performances, ESPN analyst Rex Ryan remains unconvinced by Jones’ potential.
When asked in a rapid-fire segment if he believed the Patriots have a shot at the postseason, Rex asserted that they don’t have a chance, taking a shot at Jones along the way.
“Because you have a peashooter at quarterback,” Ryan said. “A playoff team? Playoffs? No chance at this thing…Hey, the ball travels down the field more than 15 yards? Uh oh, that’s bad news for this guy right here. He reminds me — he’s closer to Danny Wuerffel than he is Tom Brady.”
Yeah…maybe Rex shouldn’t be talking about what is or isn’t good quarterback play, even if he is playing up for the cameras.
Rex Ryan is being too hard on Patriots QB Mac Jones.
The game plan last week came out of necessity more than anything. Houston has some players in their front seven, and most of New England’s starting lineup from Week 1 was not on the field due to either injury or clear-cut ineffectiveness. Rather than forcing the rookie to hold the ball, Belichick helped him get the ball out quickly.
The plan worked. Hunter Henry has been fantastic in the last two weeks, and Jones helped lead New England to a comeback win. With Zach Wilson struggling to complete passes and Trevor Lawrence trying to overcome a monsoon of bad luck in Jacksonville, Jones is at least leading his team to wins.
Jones doesn’t need to be a Pro Bowler right away. He may not even have to make the postseason. He’s a rookie! Maybe give him some more time before declaring him a bust, Rex?
Ryan was a tremendous defensive coach and identifier of defensive talent in his day, even giving players like Tom Brady some genuine headaches, but his passing games almost always ranked among the worst in the NFL. If you thought Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith were franchise quarterbacks, maybe recuse yourself from Jones talk.