Patriots’ Quarterback Competition: Mac Jones’ Summer is Heating Up

Mac Jones

Mac Jones is gaining serious momentum in New England’s Quarterback room. It’s important to preface that fans should veer from trashing Cam Newton right now. It will be very difficult for unvaccinated players to navigate the 2021 NFL season. There is little information about what caused Cam Newton’s five-day absence, but it smacked the door wide open for a rookie QB.

Timing could not have been worse for Newton, who had just played his best football in a Patriots uniform. With Cam returning to practice today (Thursday), it is hard to know if he will be ready for New England’s final preseason game this Sunday.

Mac Jones’ Summer

Mac Jones, on the other hand, has taken the reps and opportunities and run away with them. Jones’ preseason success has to be acknowledged, he has done everything as advertised. A recap on Jones’ summer so far:

– Highest accurate pass % among rookie QBs (71.4%)
– PFF’s 2nd highest graded QB (92.4) *1st highest graded rookie
– Only QB with 3 big time throws and 0 turnover-worthy plays
– After a fight broke out between Giants and Patriots’ Offensive Lineman, Mac Jones joined them in running laps
– Trash talking Linebacker Matt Judon “Just a little teammate banter” Judon Said
– Statement practice on Wednesday vs Giants defense:
       – 33 of 39 passing
       – 18 straight completions
       – 2 minute drill success and TD drives

As exciting as Mac’s preseason has been, Cam Newton has still improved greatly as a Patriot:

Cam’s Summer

– PFF’s 5th highest graded QB (83.4)

– VS Philadelphia (1st QTR):

    • 8-for-9
    • 103 yards
    • 1 TD
    • 88.9% completion percentage with drops removed

– 125.0 passer rating this preseason

– Arm looks stronger, feet look lighter, ball has more zip than last year

It’s also worth noting that the two-headed TE nightmare of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith have been in and out of practice these past few weeks. They will be the focal point of this passing attack as Newton and Jones have had to work solely with the wideouts. They have yet to practice with the starting offense for more than two days in a row.
As New England inches closer to the regular season, the roster will tighten and jobs will be won and lost. Be happy for Mac, but not at the expense of Cam Newton. Best man wins on the field, that is what is best for the New England Patriots.
(Photo by Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports)

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