Mac Jones put together a showing Thursday that did more than lead the Patriots to a shutout victory over the Atlanta Falcons. The effort from New England’s quarterback was convincing enough to make him the sole favorite for the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
As of Saturday, Jones is the favorite to win the award at DraftKings Sportsbook with even-money odds (a $100 bet would win $100). That’s a clear improvement from where he was after a Week 9 win over the Cleveland Browns when he was at +125 behind Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (+110).
Chase now is +125 and it’s clear that this is a race is between two players. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris is next in line at +1000.
Jones has 2,540 passing yards to rank seventh in the league, and his completion percentage (70.2) ranks third among starters behind Kyler Murray and Dak Prescott — though Jones has played in 11 games, while the others each have appeared in eight.
Chase has 835 yards (fifth in the NFL) on 44 receptions with seven touchdowns for the 5-4 Bengals. His 19 yards per reception rank third in the league.
While his performance certainly is enough to make him worthy of the award, history may also be on Jones’ side. Quarterbacks have won Rookie of the Year in each of the last two years (Justin Herbert and Kyler Murray), and Jones on Thursday joined Dak Prescott and Ben Roethlisberger as the only rookie quarterbacks to start 5-0 on the road — and both won Rookie of the Year.
Jones will look to further his case for the award next Sunday at Gillette Stadium as the 7-4 Patriots host the Tennessee Titans (1 p.m. ET.)