Patriots: Don’t hate on Mac Jones, embrace all that he can become

Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports /

There was a different Mac Jones under center for the New England Patriots in their 33-26 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.  Not only was he efficient, but he spread the ball around in what was notably his best game of the season.

Although he took a couple of untimely sacks, the Patriots second-year quarterback didn’t turn the ball over.  In throwing for 382 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions what was most impressive was his command of the offense.

Again, spreading the ball around, Jones utilized all his weapons as the Patriots’ offense for once this season was the reason they should’ve won the game instead of the reason they lost a game.  It was an element of the Mac Jones we hoped for in his sophomore season, a version of Mac Jones that is good enough to help lead the Patriots to the playoffs as long as the play calling, and offensive line doesn’t get in the way.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones delivered his best performance in 2022

Speaking of that offensive line, Jones was thankful for the performance of their performance on Thursday night despite no David Andrews and despite no Isaiah Wynn.

"“Yeah, they did a great job,” Jones told the media following the Thanksgiving Day battle.  “All those guys just doing their job on every play, and I didn’t feel pressure at all hardly, and just hats off to them for playing a great game in the run game, too.  They did a great job.  If we can just continue to do that, then I think a lot of things will go our way.”"

Unfortunately, things didn’t go their way on Thursday night, but a major takeaway is how well the offense executed and battled back after every Vikings score.  There was a resiliency there, there was some attitude and most importantly there was hunger.

It really took a couple of special teams blunders, an overturned touchdown and the dominance of Justin Jefferson to keep the New England Patriots from improving their record to 7-4 on the season instead of 6-5 facing a must-win against those Buffalo Bills.

In fact, if the Patriots put it all together, they would’ve won that game going away which is impressive considering it was a short week.  Against the Bills next Thursday night, they will need to put it all together.  If Mac Jones is that quarterback again, if the defense finds a way to force the Bills to punt, the Patriots will be in a good position.

In every way, in all three phrases of the game, they should be ready.  Bill Belichick and the defense will be the story, but it really does start with Mac Jones.  The team was capable of putting up over 30 points against the Vikings.  They will need that against a Buffalo team that shows even when shut down they can put together a scoring drive with just seconds left on the clock.

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Mac Jones needs to be the reason the Patriots beat the Buffalo Bills

With that said, the New England Patriots offense will be an X-factor.  Coming off his best game of the season, Jones will need to spread the ball around again.  The Bills’ defense is opportunistic, but without Von Miller in this AFC East battle, it is a defense that can be scored on and spreading the ball around will be the best way to put points on the board.

"“Yeah, it’s a huge game,” Jones said of the upcoming matchup.  “I think Buffalo is the top, top team in the league.  Obviously they’re playing really well when you watch crossover film and things like that.  Just a great team.  We have to be able to play better to win.  We know the challenge ahead.”"

Although Jones don’t have the physical talent that Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen has, there is a takeaway in the maturation of Allen.  He was also a second-year quarterback who faced ridicule and struggled.  Like Jones, there was questions on whether Allen was the answer for a Bills franchise that have been starving for a star quarterback.  He need time to mature and understand the game.

Next. Mac Jones is the Patriots biggest question in race for the playoffs. dark

In concluding, there has been glimpses of what Mac Jones can become.  Instead of hating on him or only recognizing the negatives, embrace the quarterback because as of right now his maturation is the team’s best chance to be competitive the rest of this season and beyond.