NFL QB Index: Patriots’ Mac Jones proved this one quality in bizarre win

New England Patriots (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
New England Patriots (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Monday night’s 14-10 windstorm victory over the Buffalo Bills will be a game New England Patriots fans or players won’t forget for years or even decades to come. For Mac Jones, who only attempted three passes in the game, it could be a defining moment in his career.

As the Patriots handed off play after play, both against the wind and with the wind, the question turned from whether Bill Belichick just had a gameplan focused on stuffing the ball down Buffalo’s throat on the ground or if he just didn’t trust the arm of his rookie quarterback.

Now, Mac Jones’ non-believers will latch on to the latter, but perhaps it was more of a lesson. A lesson that the Patriots can win games without passing the ball much to the satisfaction of Belichick or maybe it was just about the Bills’ defense who couldn’t stop Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson even when they knew what was coming.

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones weathered the windstorm and criticism

In any event, it was a unique set of circumstances. One NFL insider who is not holding Monday night against Jones is Gregg Rosenthal who still has Jones as No. 13 in his Week 14 QB Index.

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The ranking just has him a spot behind Patrick Mahomes who fell out of the top ten down to No. 12. Here is what Rosenthal had to say about the New England Patriots quarterback after that bizarre offensive performance:

"“I’m not going to knock Mac Jones for only throwing three passes in the Buffalo wind or make the same tired joke about his completion percentage. If the Bills’ offense had played better, Jones would have been asked to throw more. If the Patriots didn’t pop an early touchdown run and play with the lead, Jones would have been asked to throw more. Jones’ arm strength and Bill Belichick’s nostalgia for 1940s football must have been factors, too.”"

In throwing for just 19 yards on three attempts, Monday night must be humbling for the New England Patriots young quarterback, who one could say was starting to feel himself a little. He went from a game in which he threw for a career high in yardage to a game in which he barely threw the ball. That’s just how it is playing for a coach like Belichick, a coach who preaches team football over any individual performances.

And that is where Monday night’s victory over the Bills will be a defining game for Jones. Yes, the ball was taken out of his hands, but the gameplan itself was the coaches believing in the mindset of their quarterback. While some will argue the opposite, a quarterback or any player must be confident enough in themselves to sacrifice individual performance for overall team success.

That is the very quality of Tom Brady that made him the ultimate franchise quarterback for over two decades in a New England Patriots uniform. That is why he is No. 1 in the NFL QB Index for consecutive weeks. He will do whatever the gameplan asks if it helps his team win games. Whether it is throwing the ball 50 times or handing it off for 10 consecutive plays, a quarterback’s true mission and success is leading an offense from a mental standpoint.

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Mac Jones’ demeanor during and after the game shows he has that quality. Bill Belichick wouldn’t have been able to pull off what he pulled off up in blustery Western New York if he had a diva quarterback worried about his stats and index ranking.