NFL Executive Examines Biggest ‘Worry’ Facing Patriots In 2021

'What is the plan there?'

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September 7, 2021

Do the New England Patriots have too much confidence in rookie quarterback Mac Jones?

The Athletic’s Mike Sando highlighted one “worry” for each team ahead of the 2021 NFL season. His “worry” for the Patriots revolves around them not having a viable QB alternative to Jones, which an NFL executive expounded upon in a piece published Tuesday.

“What is the plan there? Because last time we saw (Brian) Hoyer, he’s forgetting he has no timeouts, taking a sack at the end of the half in Kansas City and it literally cost them the game,” the exec said, per Sando. “So, you have a kid who 24 months ago was the backup to Tua Tagovailoa, and now you need him to stay healthy for 17 games plus a possible playoff appearance? Is Hoyer good enough to get you out of a game or a couple weeks if you need that for Mac?”

The Patriots last week released Cam Newton, who started 15 games for New England last season and competed with Jones for the starting job this preseason. The move certainly leaves the Patriots thin at quarterback, so it’s absolutely fair to question, as Sando notes, whether they’re overly dependent on a rookie QB who has yet to play a single regular-season snap in the NFL.

Clearly, Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Co. have faith in Jones, who the Patriots selected with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. New England will find itself in quite a predicament, though, if Jones struggles and/or suffers an injury, especially with Jarrett Stidham — a young QB with upside who’s familiar with the system — sidelined until later this season after undergoing back surgery.

The Patriots, all things considered, probably need their defense to perform at an elite level to knock off the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East and return to being legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
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