Patriots QB battle: Cam Newton, Mac Jones each play nicely in preseason Week 2 win over Eagles


The New England Patriots had been in a position to pitch a 35-0 shutout over the Philadelphia Eagles as they opened up Week 2 of the preseason on Thursday night time. However you do not care about that. Why would you? It is the preseason. What you do care about, nevertheless, is the quarterback battle at present underway with the Patriots. On that entrance, it was a powerful night time for each Cam Newton and first-round rookie Mac Jones as they each held function they seemingly spar for the beginning spot on Invoice Belichick’s group. 

Just like the preseason opener, it was Newton who acquired the beginning and the incumbent performed the primary three sequence on the night time. The primary, nevertheless, wasn’t a lot of a sequence to write down dwelling about after New England’s protection created a turnover contained in the Philadelphia 10-yard line, which arrange a Damien Harris dashing landing. It was Newton’s closing two sequence the place he actually impressed along with his arm. He accomplished 8 of 9 passes for 103 yards, which included a 28-yard landing go to Jakobi Meyers

Newton displayed stable zip on his passes and appeared to be far more fluid throughout the pocket, particularly climbing the ladder when the strain began to wrap round him. Not solely did he present poise within the pocket, however Newton’s deep ball was noticeably higher on Thursday night time and arguably one of the best it has been in a Patriots uniform. He started the sport finishing passes that traveled 18, 23 and 10 yards and continued to look sharp after that run. That kind of play was solely proven in flashes (Week 2 vs. Seattle, for instance) all through Newton’s first season in New England. 

It is price stating that the Eagles elected to sit down most of their star defensive gamers, but it surely was a powerful night time from Newton regardless. 

In the meantime, Jones got here in to alleviate Newton firstly of the second quarter and was in a position to carry the stable momentum from his preseason debut final week towards Washington into this contest. Throughout his 4 possessions underneath middle, Jones went 13 of 19 passing for 146 yards. Of these six incompletions, there have been three drops and a spike combined in, which paints a fair cleaner night time for the Alabama product. One hiccup for him was a little bit of clock mismanagement to finish the primary half, however that is virtually to be anticipated with a younger quarterback. 

So what does Thursday’s recreation imply for the quarterback competitors? 

First, I believe we have to make clear what we imply after we say quarterback competitors. If we’re this as a slugfest between Newton and Jones for the beginning job in Week 1, I consider that is nearing the purpose of turning into a idiot’s errand. Newton has but to give up the beginning position within the preseason to Jones and has but to offer the teaching employees a cause to. He is additionally acquired the QB1 therapy for a lot of the summer season. The previous league MVP has continued to play behind the beginning offensive line in apply and in preseason contests. Whereas Belichick says that is nothing to place a lot inventory in, I are inclined to disagree. 

Jones has seen a while behind the first-team O-line, however not practically as a lot as Newton. On Thursday the beginning linemen left the sport with Newton leaving Jones taking part in in entrance of reserves. 

To me, it seems to be like New England has Newton and Jones on two completely different paths. Newton is being prepped to start the 12 months because the group’s starter (gaining a rapport with O-line, high receivers, and so on.), whereas Jones is being groomed by Josh McDaniels to take the reins sooner or later. 

The offensive coordinator has put Jones in numerous fascinating conditions over the primary two weeks of the preseason. Towards Washington, Jones was in a position to play in an empty set on numerous events, which does present he is already far alongside in studying the playbook. One other check run McDaniels appeared to place Jones in got here firstly of the second half on Thursday when New England determined to start up-tempo. That is the place Jones actually appeared to get right into a groove, finishing all 5 of his passes for 54 yards throughout a nine-play drive that resulted in a J.J. Taylor dashing rating. 

Whereas Jones carried out nicely when the Patriots determined to see what would occur once they ground it on offense, I do not consider they will go up-tempo along with his growth simply to have him cross some imaginary hurdle that has him taking part in in Week 1. By the best way the group continues to deliver him alongside, it would not appear to be that is their intention both. Newton has proven that he can steer the ship till it is lastly time at hand over the reins and if he continues to play like he did in Philadelphia, New England will have the ability to let Jones marinate for so long as wanted. 



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