New England Patriots News: Jones a Pro Bowl star; Deflategate is back?

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

The New England Patriots offseason is well under way. With just one week left in the 2021 NFL season, the Patriots are making their final preparations for what should be an eventful offseason. If things go their way, they could be looking at their second straight playoff berth next season.

But before we get there, we still have to get through the Super Bowl, which will feature the Cincinnati Bengals taking on the Los Angeles Rams. With the Pro Bowl now officially in the rearview mirror, the anticipation for one of the biggest sporting events of the year is really beginning to build up now.

Just because the Patriots aren’t playing in the Super Bowl this season doesn’t mean they aren’t in the news though. For the first time in awhile, the Pro Bowl was worth watching, because New England had four representatives this season. And with the Super Bowl closing in, it only seems fitting that some Deflategate news would surface in the buildup to the big game. Let’s run through some recent Patriots news, starting with the Patriots and the Pro Bowl.

Mac Jones was a fantastic ambassador at the Pro Bowl for the New England Patriots

Initially, there were only three Patriots players set to earn Pro Bowl honors; edge rusher Matthew Judon, cornerback J.C. Jackson, and special teams ace Matthew Slater. But the fourth player, rookie quarterback Mac Jones, was the reason most Pats fans tuned into the Pro Bowl festivities, and he did not disappoint.

Jones was the only New England Patriots player to take part in the Skills Showdown for the AFC, and it felt like he was a part of pretty much every game that took place. He started off slow, getting smoked by Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in the Precision Passing game, but he ended up winning the Thread the Needle challenge against Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins.

The main event, which is a game of dodgeball, was something Jones hyped himself up for quite a bit, but he ended up being a bit too ambitious and quickly found himself out after dropping a ball. Jones finished things off by throwing passes to Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs for the Best Catch contest, further fueling Patriots fans dreams of getting Jones a de facto number one wideout.

Jones was joined by his fellow Patriots teammates on the field for the actual Pro Bowl, but he still outshined them and pretty much everyone else who took the field beside him. Jackson had a nice tip drill interception in the end zone, Judon led the AFC with six “tackles” and even Slater took the field on defense a couple of times as a safety. But it didn’t matter, because Jones still managed to steal the spotlight.

Jones finished the game completing 12 of his 16 pass attempts for 112 yards, throwing a touchdown and an interception along the way. His touchdown was a beautifully threaded pass to Hunter Renfrow in the back of the end zone, and he was inches away from having an even better touchdown pass to Diggs, but his foot was just barely out of bounds.

Jones really stole the show on the final drive of the game. With the NFC making it a one possession game, Jones would end the game by picking up a first down on a big 4th and 2 play. Before that though, Jones sprinted the length of the field despite getting ruled down on 3rd and 6, and hit the “Griddy”, which is a dance move made popular by Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who just so happened to be on the opposite sideline for the NFC.

Jones presence was a real nice sight after the Patriots tough season ending loss to the Buffalo Bills, and he was a fantastic ambassador on behalf of the team the entire weekend. There’s no question this was a great chance for the soon-to-be second year QB to soak up some information from the best of the best in the NFL too. The Pro Bowl usually isn’t that eventful, but Jones’ presence gave Pats fans something to look forward to, and he delivered.

The New England Patriots and Deflategate are back in the news…again

The Deflategate scandal very nearly derailed the Patriots on their quest for their fourth Super Bowl during the 2014 season. As we are very familiar with by now, it was found that the Patriots, more specifically former QB Tom Brady, were guilty of deflating footballs against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game in order to give themselves a better grip of the ball.

However, reports have come out that the NFL had information that would have proven the Patriots and Brady weren’t guilty. Yet they decided to expunge those records, as it would have proven their argument against New England was incorrect. So rather than admit they were wrong, it appears as if they stole four games from Brady’s 2016 season, and a first and fourth round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Next. 3 Pats players that need contract restructures. dark

While this is fairly inconsequential now, it appears as if the whole Deflategate scandal was what us New Englanders figured it was the entire time; a sham. The whole argument was based off a game in which the Colts never stood a chance. The New England Patriots won 45-7, and they probably still would have won if Brady didn’t throw a single pass that game.

However, this is another bad look for the NFL, which certainly hasn’t looked great during the Brian Flores lawsuit that has popped up as well. The report states they had proof that their argument was invalid, but destroyed it because it would have shown they were wrong. Chalk it up as another typical Roger Goodell moment.