FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Main as much as the Patriots-Buccaneers “Sunday Night time Soccer” matchup in Week 4, the speak of the NFL centered round Tom Brady and his return to New England to face his former group for the primary time. Whereas the Tampa Bay quarterback was capable of go away his former stomping grounds victorious, it is Patriots first-round rookie Mac Jones, who stole some eyeballs away from the quarterback’s homecoming at Gillette Stadium.
Within the 19-17 loss, Jones turned in his greatest efficiency of his younger profession. The primary-round rookie accomplished 31 of his 40 passes for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. At one level, Jones accomplished 19 straight throws for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Not solely was he taking part in at his greatest since placing on a Patriots uniform, he was outdueling the quarterback who’s the best participant to ever reside in Foxborough in Brady, who completed 22 of 43 passing for 269 yards and no touchdowns.
Not solely was Jones environment friendly, however he unfold the ball round, hitting 9 completely different go catches (seven with a number of receptions). Jones additionally was calculated with the place he attacked within the passing recreation. As an illustration, he was 7 of seven for 74 yards at one level within the recreation when focusing on Bucs nook Richard Sherman, who had simply signed with Tampa Bay this week and had solely three practices below his belt. That kind of consciousness to check and exploit potential weaknesses is spectacular for somebody taking part in in simply their fourth NFL recreation. Jones additionally did all that with successfully no working recreation to alleviate him as New England rushed for -1 yard as a membership in Week 4.
“I believe we executed effectively,” Jones mentioned postgame. “Properly clearly not ok to win however Josh [McDaniels] did an excellent job and I believe it was good for us to be taught that we did not put all of it collectively however we received near placing all of it collectively and taking part in a full recreation collectively. After we can do this, I believe constructive issues will occur. We did not; we might be 90 % or 85 % and also you lose. We do not actually do ethical victories. These are at all times forgotten. However you simply sort of should take it for what it is value and transfer on.”
Regardless of the general robust efficiency, there have been some rookie lumps for Jones. He threw an interception on a first-quarter throw supposed for Nelson Agholor that in all probability should not have even gone his means. The Alabama product almost had one other choose following his run of 19-straight completions deep in Tampa Bay territory whereas attempting to power a ball in a gap whereas rolling out proper.
“You recognize, we made performs and performed onerous the entire recreation and I turned the ball over,” he mentioned. “That is one of many issues, you realize, turnovers can kill you, and you realize in the event you flip the ball over – In the event you do not flip the ball over, you’ve gotten a 90-something % probability to win, and it is simply statistics however I’ve thought we moved the ball, passing effectively and the run recreation wants to enhance and we’ll provide you with methods to do this. I assumed everybody fought actually onerous. It sucks we misplaced however yeah, take a look at it, such as you mentioned, that we’re making some progress.”
Even within the loss, nonetheless, it is onerous not strolling away with the sensation that the Patriots have a authentic long-term reply below middle, which is becoming with Brady looming on the opposing sideline all through the night.