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My (dissenting) assessment of Mac Jones's opening night performance

Monday 9/11/23

People are very simple. They see that Mac Jones threw for 300 plus yards against a team that was good defensively last year and they say, "Mac balled out!" There is no one who is not praising Mac Jones so far as I've seen.

Here's what I saw in that game: a guy who is just not good enough and won't be. He will never have the arm you need to be successful in that league. The ball is in the air forever. It's so long in arriving. (Also: He threw 54 times. What's the lowest amount of yards you could have, realistically, with that many attempts? Like 280? And he threw a pick-six.)

You see these drops, and yes, they're drops, but some of those drops wouldn't be drops if the defender didn't have the opportunity to close on the ball that defenders do because of Mac Jones's lack of arm strength.

A lot of those yards were off of screens. Yes, he made several nice throws. But the guys who get it done, who cut your heart out, who win when it's winning time, make impressive throws throughout the game. Rocket, boom, rocket, boom, rocket, boom.

There are touch passes, certainly. But as a passer, you need to step up and rip the ball in there. Tom Brady threw heat. People never seemed to understand that. He ripped that ball. Lasers.

Last night was Brady's night, so a word on Brady: He would have won that game in his sleep. Twice.

And that, for me, is the biggest Mac Jones takeaway. The Eagles did everything they could not to win that game, like they were trying to give the Patriots a victory present. And Mac Jones couldn't even get the damn thing unwrapped.

Late in the game, the Eagles, up by 5, fumbled at, what? Their 35 or 40 yard line? Somewhere around there. Do you think there's any chance that a Mahomes, and Allen, and a number of other guys, don't ram the ball down the opponents' throat and score a touchdown there? Do you think there's any way Brady wouldn't?

But Mac Jones isn't going to consistently, reliably do that. He might every now and again. Two times out of ten. Whatever the percentage is. He'll need some luck, some breaks, other guys making plays, missed tackles, yards after the catch.

He can't do it with just his arm, throwing lasers, being surgical. And that's how winning NFL quarterbacks do it.

And then the Eagles tried to make another gift to the Patriots when they decided to go for it near mid-field on fourth down.

My first thought was this is a bad idea. They're not going to convert this first down. The Patriots will hold them. My additional thought was that Philadelphia didn't fear Mac Jones beating them, even with a second short field.

You give a great quarterback one chance on that short field to win, and you're toast. Jones got this second chance, and again he couldn't do it. On 4th-and-12, he couldn't get the play started in time, and it became 4th-and-17. The Eagles were all but giving that game away. And still Jones couldn't take it.

Mac Jones is 0-11 with the Patriots when the opposition scores 25 or more points.

It's not going to work with this guy. Best case scenario is you're a middler. You're .500, a game above, a game below. If you can't step up and rip it, you can't be a consistent winner of a quarterback in that league. You cannot thrive as Chad Pennington anymore. And he's not as good as Pennington anyway.

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