Through two games this season, it's clear Mac Jones and the Patriots offense have fixated on the short throws and haven't taken many chances down the field.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, the rookie has an intended yards average on throws of 5.6. Of the quarterbacks who’ve played two full games, he has the third-lowest average in the entire NFL.
Appearing on Merloni & Fauria Monday, Jones was if he's passed up some throws down the field.
“It wouldn’t say that," he said. "I think it goes back to just me sticking to my rules and there’s sometimes when the defense takes plays away and that’s why we play. I mean, they are good on defense, too. At the same time, I feel like you take the three or four plays, or whatever it may be, whether it is in practice or a game, and you re-watch them and you’re like ‘OK, I probably could’ve thrown that one.’
"But, at the end of the day, it’s about moving the ball and taking what the defense gives you. If they give you the deep shot, then take it. But if they give you the short, then take the short. It’s kind of what the defense is doing, really.”
The rookie also noted the importance of taking care of the football and more often than not it's better to be safe instead of throwing the ball deep down the field or into a tight window.
“When you look at turnover statistics, the team that turns the ball over less usually wins," he said. "I don’t know what it is, but it’s pretty high percentage-wise. We had less turnovers than the other team and [Sunday] we definitely could have capitalized more on the turnovers we got, but as long as you’re ending every possession with a kick, then things will be moving in the right direction. That’s kind of what I have always been taught. There may be some things I can adjust and I will do that. Just listen to the feedback that I get because in the past, obviously college is a completely different game. Not to bring that up or anything, but it is different here in the NFL and you kind of have to play possession football and try and stick to your rules and throw to the open guy. It shouldn’t be that confusing or complicated.”
Jones wouldn't say he's being held back or anything along those lines with the play-calling.
“I don’t think it’s that," he said. "Like I said, just whatever they call, and they’ve called good plays and Josh [McDaniels] has done a good job preparing me in the red zone knowing what the other team is going to do and stuff. I definitely can just have those conversations with him to let him know that I can do better because I feel like it is more on me than anybody else. I can make those tight window throws — I have in the past — and we can be better. It is what what it is. We can obviously work on it and maybe come up with some different ways to have creativity or whatever just to get the offense to come together in the red zone.”
The Patriots will host the Saints in Week 3.