Patriots’ QB Mac Jones Impresses In NFL Debut Against Dolphins
Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones impressed in his NFL debut against the Miami Dolphins, going 29-of-39 for 281 yards — the most ever by a New England QB in their first career start — with a touchdown, a seven-yard reception by Nelson Agholor late in the second quarter. The Pats ultimately fell to Miami 17-16, in part due to an untimely fumble by running back Damien Harris at the Miami 9 yard line with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter.
Throughout the contest, Jones showcased maturity in his ability to make split-second reads against the defense. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, he completed 8 of 12 passes with a TD when under pressure. Jones also demonstrated leadership beyond his years, as evidenced by a willingness to welcome the blame for the loss in spite of his eye-raising debut. His no-nonsense attitude was also displayed when he refused to accept the ball after throwing his first touchdown.
Mac Jones on why he didn’t accept the ball after throwing his first career TD pass: “It doesn’t really matter. It’s just one touchdown. We have to score more. It’s not like the game was over right there. We gotta do better in the red zone and get more touchdowns. And we will.” https://t.co/7jnkLNnSBD
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 13, 2021
When questioned about the fumble, Jones responded, “Damien’s obviously very disappointed, but it doesn’t go all on Damien. There’s a lot of things I could have done to be better, to not even be in that situation, take some bigger chunk plays.”
Dolphins’ QB Tua Tagovailoa, who was Jones’ predecessor at Alabama, had nothing but praise for his former teammate. “I was happy for him. It being his first real game, with a crowd like this, I thought he made some really good throws,” he said. “Mac looks like he fits perfectly into their offense and system.”
Though the Pats could not quite pull off a late-game comeback, New England shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger picture — that their decision to draft Jones with the No. 15 overall pick in looking more brilliant by the day.
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