New England Patriots: Mac Jones a perfect fit; starts a new era in Foxboro

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

A new era for the New England Patriots has begun with the release of Cam Newton and the installation of terrific rookie Mac Jones at quarterback.

Cam Newton conducted himself with class and dignity all the way through as a New England Patriot both on and off the field. This writer wishes him well in the future wherever his talents may take him.

Cam Newton’s playing style never did fit with New England, and it was clear they had no idea how to utilize him.

So Patriots Nation now moves onto a new era filled with excitement, enthusiasm, and high expectations led by Mac Jones.

The team now has a great young arm whose talents they know exactly how to use. Mac Jones won the starting position, and it’s time to assess his fit in the Patriots’ offense.

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Mac Jones fits the New England Patriots’ offensive system perfectly

The Patriots’ passing offense is based on quarterback reads and precision passing, usually into small windows. This fits young Mac Jones style of play perfectly.

Last season, the team tried to fit the proverbial round peg (Cam Newton) into a square hole. It was never going to work. The same happened this preseason.

Witness that Newton had no running plays, his greatest strength, in the preseason games in which he played sparingly. The closeout of Cam Newton’s tenure in New England was inevitable.

The only question was when. Bill Belichick decided it would be sooner rather than later and now we move on to the Mac Jones era.

Mac Jones strengths fit the New England Patriots offense to a T

Mac Jones is a classic pocket passer equally comfortable as a drop-back passer from under center or in a shotgun formation. He is a master of the quarterback position.

Under the basic offensive sets used in the preseason games, there was little deception at all, other than a few play-action passes. Jones is an expert at play action and can run a pseudo-RPO as well.

It’s called a pseudo-RPO here because Mac Jones is not a runner. The deception will emanate from the possibility of a handoff or pitch, end-around, or in a roll-out pass scenario.

In the preseason, we saw almost none of that. Yet, even playing in the vanilla sets we saw almost exclusively, Jones excelled and impressed. He completed 69.2 percent of his passes.

Absent a few all too characteristic drops by New England’s receivers, Jones would have exceeded the unheard of and magical 70 percent completion rate.

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Those stats are almost unheard of. But not for young Mr. Jones. One might say he’s the 70 percent solution for a deplorable New England Patriots passing offense in 2020.

It will be instructive for certain to see him playing with the first-team offensive line and the first-team offensive playmakers once the games begin for real.

Jones excelled playing with offensive line backups and receiving and tight end backups almost exclusively during the preseason.

While he also played mostly against the opposition backups, Jones’s pinpoint accuracy should be even enhanced when he has players on the other end of his passes who can actually get open.

It says here that the offense the Patriots will unveil beginning on September 12th at Gillette Stadium against the Miami Dolphins will be shocking to the Phish and their head coach, Brian Flores.

It will also likely be so for any other opponent on the schedule, as well. They have seen nothing of note to date and have no idea what is about to be unleashed on them from the arm of Mac Jones.

The New England Patriots offense is loaded

In addition, the New England Patriots are well-fortified at running back, so much so that they were able to trade former first-round pick, Sony Michel, to the Los Angeles Rams.

Simply put, the running back room is stacked. The threat of both the run and pass-catching exists from each of the backs.

They are Damien Harris, J.J. Taylor, Rhamondre “Ram” Stevenson, and James White. This tandem is a defense’s nightmare.

It is the running threat that will help set up the rapier throws of Mac Jones to a whole host of new pass-catching options.

They will include new wideouts Nelson Agholor (who underwhelmed in the preseason), Kendrick Bourne who has played well, and emerging top two receiver, Jakobi Meyers.

In addition, hopefully, the two new legitimate tight ends, Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry along with a suddenly emerging, Devin Asiasi, will also make games miserable for opposition defenses.

Yet, all this will hinge on Jones’s intuition, decision-making, and uncanny accuracy with the football. And, he also is very, very protective of the ball at all times.

As seen in the preseason, he’ll take a sack rather than gamble on a pick. It makes perfect sense for Mac Jones since a second or third and 15 is no problem for the young arm whatsoever.

Mac Jones had a completion percentage of 77.4 percent at Alabama last season albeit with relatively superior receivers than those he will have for the Patriots in the NFL.

Next. Mac Jones won the QB job by outplaying Newton. dark

That notwithstanding, the prediction here is quite simple; a healthy Mac Jones will complete 70+ percent of his passes this season.

In addition, much more importantly, he will lead the Patriots to the playoffs and maybe more in his first season at the helm. Let the games begin! Can’t wait.