Mac Jones came as advertised in his regular-season debut.
The Patriots rookie completed 29-of-39 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown in his team’s loss to the Dolphins. Most importantly, he demonstrated the kind of toughness, poise and decision-making that he’ll need if he wants to be New England’s franchise quarterback.
In fact, Jones was so good that he earned Pro Football Focus’ “Rookie of the Week” honor. The Alabama product earned a 78.3 grade, good for third-highest among all NFL rookies in Week 1.
Miami safety Jevon Holland earned the highest grade with an 82.5. Cleveland Browns receiver Anthony Schwartz ranked second with an 82.2.
“After an Aaron Brooks-esque blunder to start the game, Jones settled in better than any other rookie quarterback in Week 1,” Rennert wrote of Jones. “He finished with an adjusted completion percentage of 83.3%, the sixth-best of any quarterback this past week. The rookie wasn?t simply dinking and dunking, either. He registered four big-time throws against the Dolphins defense.”
Jones’s teammates were similarly impressed. Matthew Slater, clearly a big fan of the Alabama product, praised Jones during a WEEI interview Monday night.
The 23-year-old, already adept at the “Patriot Way,” was hard on himself after the season-opening defeat at Gillette Stadium. Jones and the Patriots will look to rebound Sunday afternoon when they visit the Jets in New York. Kickoff from MetLife Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.