The Patriots nearly pulled off an upset over Aaron Rogers and the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday, and it was largely due to the performances of a trio of New England rookies.
The visitors received major contributions from third-string quarterback Bailey Zappe, who was called on to replace an injured Brian Hoyer, as well as first-year cornerbacks Marcus Jones and Jack Jones. The latter made the first big play of his young NFL career in the first half of the Patriots’ eventual overtime loss, picking off the two-time defending league MVP and taking it back for six.
Jones, the 121st overall pick in this year’s draft, showcased his confidence during and after the game, claiming it was “disrespectful” of Rodgers to target him with an out route. The 24-year-old’s bold declaration got a rise out of NBC Sports’ Peter King.
“Hey kid: They threw out routes on Deion Sanders! (Not many, but some.),” King wrote in his latest Football Morning in America column. “How did the 121st pick in the draft get so big-headed to think one of the best quarterbacks ever was insulting him by throwing the kind of route that’s thrown 162 times a week in the NFL? Man, that was weird.”
The Arizona State product probably should rack up some more NFL mileage before he starts taking aim at the best players in the league, or any respected veterans for that matter. But confidence is an essential trait for a true, lockdown cornerback, and it’s safe to say this Patriots rookie has it in spades.