The New England Patriots took a chance on Mac Jones with the No. 15 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and so far the gamble has paid off.
The rookie quarterback is completing 68.1 percent of his pass attempts for 1,997 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions through eight games. He ranks eighth among all QBs in both completion percentage and passing yards.
But his impact goes beyond the box score. The way he carries himself, his attitude, his strong leadership and his preparation for each opponent continues to impress his teammates.
"I've been blown away by how consistent he's been," Patriots safety Devin McCourty said at a press conference Wednesday. "He's been able to just be the quarterback on the Patriots. Nothing else, nothing more, nothing less. Just show up, and that's his job title, day in and day out. As players what's all we can ask of all of us in the locker room.
"Be the role that has been called for you and perform it at the highest level possible. If we can do that consistently, we'll be able to string some wins together."
The Patriots have won back-to-back games for the first time all season after beating the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24 last week.
They are 4-4 and a half-game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chargers for the last two wild card playoff berths in the AFC.
Securing a playoff berth is a realistic goal for the Patriots, and for that to happen, they need Jones to keep improving and take care of the football. Based on his first eight games as a pro, he's more than capable of doing that.