Mac Jones thinks he has the arm strength needed to complete a 55-yard Hail Mary if necessary.
The Patriots didn’t think it was necessary Sunday.
That decision proved ill-fated. Tied at 24 on the final play of the fourth quarter, the Patriots decided to hand the ball off to Rhamondre Stevenson. That would have run out the clock and forced overtime had the running back not lateraled the ball to Jakobi Meyers, who responded by throwing an inexplicable pass back to Jones. That was picked off and run back for the game-winning score.
Multiple Patriots have clarified that lateraling was not part of the play design. However, the situation lent itself to second-guessing as to why the Patriots didn't just take a shot at the end zone with a Hail Mary.
Bill Belichick tersely said, "We couldn't throw it that far," after the game. That resulted in criticism of Jones, but Belichick clarified on The Greg Hill Show Monday morning that “it's too far to throw on that play in that situation.”
Whatever the case, Jones told “Merloni, Fauria and Mego” on Monday that he didn't believe the throw was too far for him to handle.
“No. I think we obviously had a plan in that situation. You have to think about everything in those situations,” Jones responded when asked if the throw was too far. “That’s something that (Belichick) did, and that’s his job and he’s done it for a long time, but whatever the play call is, I’m going to run it and do it the best I can. If it was a Hail Mary, it was a Hail Mary. If it was a run, it was a run.
“That’s what I always tell myself regardless of the situation: What’s my job and how do I do it? And I just try to keep it really simple, hand it off, throw it or run myself. So there are three options I have. I think it’s one of those things we’ve got to learn from to get better, but there are a lot of things that go into it beyond just the throw itself. There are other things that go into it."
Jones said he does know how far he can throw it in a game situation, but declined to say what that number is. He threw it 55.5 yards on his only NFL Hail Mary try last season against the Bills.