New England Patriots: Mac Jones setting records in just his first year

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

New England Patriots sensational rookie quarterback Mac Jones is setting the stage for playoff qualification and setting records in the process.

He has led his 2021 revitalized version of the New England Patriots to a 7-4 record, and the team has a solid chance to earn a playoff berth in his first season at the helm of the offense.

Let’s ask this; would Patriot Nation want any other quarterback not named Tom Brady leading this offense? Well, maybe Aaron Rodgers and a couple of others. Maybe. But maybe not.

Lauded early and often in this space even before the season, Jones’ mastery of the art of quarterbacking is now visible for everyone to see and admire.

New England Patriots Mac Jones is putting on a passing clinic

Jones’ passing accuracy has been a revelation. After a slight dip in form against the Los Angeles Chargers and Carolina Panthers, Jones has rebounded in style showing tremendous resiliency well beyond his years.

In his two most recent games, his passing accuracy has been sick. Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 10, he logged a completion percentage of 82.61.

Then, in beating the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11, he outdid even that brilliant performance by setting a blistering percentage of 84.62!

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Now, as anticipated after dipping to 69 or so percent after the Carolina game, he’s raised his completion rate to an amazing 70.2 percent after 11 games.

New England Patriots fans shouldn’t take this consistent level of uncanny passing accuracy for granted. These numbers are outrageous.

As pointed out before, these completion percentages are Drew Brees-esque. Brees was about as good as there ever has been in the NFL at that statistic (and a host of others in addition).

New England Patriots Mac Jones is flourishing in his rookie season

A lot was expected from Mac Jones the rookie from Alabama after being the first quarterback taken in the first round of the NFL Draft by head coach Bill Belichick during his tenure as Patriots’ head coach. Not that he needed one very much before, of course.

But it is what it is and Jones is the first. In such a case, the expectations had to be sky-high. He was going to be the New England Patriots starting quarterback. It wasn’t a question of if, but when.

Unexpectedly in this space, he dislodged former NFL MVP and favorite here, Cam Newton, for the starting job for game one. That was a surprise.

Not that Jones wasn’t capable of starting, but rather how soon he was given the keys to the Patriots’ offense by Belichick and Offensive Coordinator, Josh McDaniels.

Jones has justified their faith in him and then some. He has the Patriots on a five-game winning streak (aided of course by a rib-rocking defense) and moving toward a playoff berth.

New England Patriots Mac Jones’ is an early record-setter

Mac Jones passing and other aspects have him already setting or approaching NFL records. Jones is on track to possibly beat the top passing percentage for a rookie ever in NFL history, that being the 67.76 percent accomplished by Dallas Cowboys’ ace Dak Prescott in 2016.

As noted, Jones is currently back up over 70 percent completion percentage, 70.2 percent after 11 games.

After his first seven games, cited this record Jones had set, and this one is not just for rookies, you will note. It’s for any NFL quarterback ever in their first seven games.

"Jones has completed 174-of-247 passes for 1,779 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions. Jones’ completion percentage of .704 is the best for any player in NFL history who threw as many passes as Jones in his first seven games."

But the important aspect of this passing excellence is its influence on winning games. No one seems more aware of that than Jones himself.

The rookie is a consummate team player, a trait that permeates the 2021 version of the New England Patriots. It’s team first. Always.

Next. Reassessing the Pats final six games of the season. dark

With six games to go, each remaining game is critical. After the Week 11 Thursday game, the Patriots now have some time to heal, regroup, and plan for their next big test.

That will be the Week 12 game against the AFC’s top club at the moment, the high-flying Tennessee Titans, coached by the Patriots former star linebacker, Mike Vrabel. He always challenges the Patriots.

Yet, one thing we can almost certainly count on is that Jones will be accurate in his passing, no matter what Vrabel may throw at him. And that’s a good place to start on offense in any game.