If Patriots QB Mac Jones is THE MAN, his legacy starts now

CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 16: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots looks on before his game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 16: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots looks on before his game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images) /

The NFL is one intriguing reality show.  There is not a week that goes by that there isn’t some sort of drama.  After the Tom Brady saga, New England Patriots fans were starving for a new storyline, and they got it in the Mac Jones vs Bailey Zappe debate.

But is this QB controversy in New England more a fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky University coming in and holding his own in place of an injured first-round pick out of Alabama or is this really about the maturation of Mac Jones?

When you have a head coach like the great Bill Belichick, it’s tough to know what is really going through his mind.  One would say a quarterback, or any starter can’t lose their job due to injury, but that is not a well-known fact in Belichick’s world.  Drew Bledsoe knows a thing or two about that.

New England Patriots QB Mac Jones and the field of adversity

Don’t worry, this is not a journey back to 2001 to compare a situation that was similar, but yet different, it’s about a young quarterback in Mac Jones who needed a reminder that his job is not promised.  In suffering a high sprain injury in the team’s Week 3 loss to the Patriots, an opportunity opened for Belichick.

That opportunity was to see how his 2021 first-round pick responded to adversity.  Within that adversity, Mac Jones must show his physical and mental toughness, especially watching Zappe perform in a way the team wanted him to perform.

Related Story. The two visions of New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. light

Whether you have Zappe fever or not, Jones is the team’s best chance to win this season and we are not just talking about regular season games against the Detroit Lions.  Jones has a knack for stepping up and playing big in big games…at least he did at Alabama.  Through his rookie season with the Patriots, he showed off some of that game awareness and accuracy that made him the best rookie performer in 2021.

It not only landed him a Pro Bowl nod, but it also gave Belichick confidence to unleash him in 2022.  Blame the offensive play calling and strategy all you want, but Jones turned the ball over way too much, even in his best game against the Ravens.

So, perhaps the injury came at the right time for a young quarterback trying to take a step forward (no pun intended).

Chowder And Champions
Chowder And Champions /

Want your voice heard? Join the Chowder And Champions team!

Write for us!

Maybe, just maybe, Zappe’s play is the motivation needed to both push Jones to make that leap when he does return.  It does sound like he will play Monday night against the Chicago Bears, but even if Belichick rolls with Zappe for another game, the maturity of Jones will be challenged as he has now entered the phrase of being a bad game away from losing his starting role.

How will a motivated and healthy Mac Jones look running the New England Patriots offense.

A great game in his return will settle things down, but with Bailey Zappe standing on that sideline, Jones will have to look over his shoulder…just the way Belichick may have envisioned.  But performance aside, the benefit of this QB situation has allowed Mac Jones to watch and learn from the sidelines, something he didn’t get to do as a rookie.

"“Yeah, it’s been good.  I think you get to watch and learn as much as you can and try to get healthy,” Jones told reporters, via NBC Sports Boston.  “I’ve done a good job trying to help the team as best I can in film.  And during the game to watch, it was really good.  Obviously, I wanna be out there to help the team win and that’s what I wanna do.”"

Along with helping Zappe, Jones is getting a front row seat to what this New England Patriots offense can be and should be.  In the Week 6 win over the Cleveland Browns, the offense saw contributions from just about everyone.  The tight end duo of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith were involved, DeVante Parker had one of those 50-50 ball catches that made highlights and rookie receiver Tyquan Thornton showed a flash of what he can be.

Next. Patriots: Why Bailey Zappe, Mac Jones is the ‘perfect coaching situation’. dark

When Mac Jones returns as Patriots quarterback, getting the ball to the open man will be the key.  In conclusion, if Jones is THE MAN, his legacy starts when he is healthy to play.  That will show how confidence Belichick is in him to run this New England Patriots offense.

How the young quarterback handles it, if he is not the choice, will also be under the spotlight.