Let’s admit it: Mac Jones has been just OK over his first three career NFL games. The prized rookie has relied on dink-and-dunk passes and was overwhelmed in the Patriots’ atrocious loss to the Saints.
In fact, one NFL Hall of Famer is so unimpressed with Jones, he thinks the Patriots would’ve been better off keeping Cam Newton.
On FS1’s “Undisputed” Monday, Shannon Shape said the Patriots would be undefeated heading into their showdown against Tom Brady if Newton was still under center.
Or at least they would be 2-1.
“I feel very comfortable in saying if Cam Newton had been their starting quarterback, they would be 3-0,” Sharpe said, via The Greg Hill Show. “They for sure would’ve beaten the Dolphins. And they won their last game, they beat the Jets, but everybody can beat the Jets — that’s not saying anything. But how about this: there are no worse than 2-1.”
Comparisons between Newton and Jones over their last three games have been making their way around social media, especially among the dwindling number of Newton fan boys. So far, Jones has completed 67.5% of his passes for 737 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Newton, meanwhile, completed 68% of his passes for 714 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for four touchdowns as well. The Patriots were 2-1.
Of course, it’s unlikely this comparison will stick, because Newton became increasingly abysmal as the year progressed. As a rookie, Jones should improve as the season continues, or else there’s something seriously wrong.
It’s also unfair to pit the Patriots’ loss to Miami on Jones. He was on the way to leading a potential game-winning drive in the fourth quarter when Damien Harris fumbled in the red zone. New England’s defense also failed to stop the Dolphins during their next drive, prohibiting Jones from getting the ball back.
The Patriots’ defensive unit was equally weak when it allowed the Saints to bulldoze their way down the field for their game-clinching touchdown.
It’s hard to imagine the 1-2 Patriots being worse with Newton right now. But a three-game sample size is purposefully small. And besides, the decision to draft Jones wasn’t solely about this season.
Frankly, it was about setting the Patriots up for years to come.