If you ask Seth Walder, Mac Jones is in the bottom tier of quarterbacks set to compete in the 2021 NFL playoffs.
Walder on Thursday published a power ranking of the starting signal-callers for the 14 teams in the postseason field. The ESPN scribe situated Jones at No. 12, ahead of only the Philadelphia Eagles’ Jalen Hurts and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, respectively.
As for Jones’ most prominent strength, Walder highlighted the rookie’s success in the short passing game.
“Jones had the sixth-best QBR and CPOE on passes under 10 air yards,” Walder wrote. “And while he didn’t do it a lot, Jones was very efficient when throwing on the run with the second-best QBR on those plays and the seventh-most EPA.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Walder is concerned about Jones’ play-action passing.
“Jones’ numbers took a dive relative to his peers on play-action,” Walder wrote. “He ranked just 24th in QBR (and 23rd in total EPA) on those plays. A split like this in a rookie year could just be a sample thing (same with the aforementioned throws on the run), but it’s worth keeping an eye on.”
Josh Allen, with whom Jones will go toe-to-toe Saturday night in Buffalo, is fourth on Walder’s list. Only Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers rank ahead of the Bills’ superstar QB.