Patriots QB battle: How Cam and Mac fared in preseason finale


The auditions are officially over.

Cam Newton and Mac Jones played their final exhibition snaps Sunday in the New England Patriots' third preseason game against the New York Giants as they compete for the starting quarterback job.

Newton acted as the starter Sunday, leading two offensive drives in the first quarter with the Patriots' first-team offense before Jones took over to play the second and third quarters of New England's 22-20 victory.

So, how did Newton look after missing five days earlier this week due to COVID protocols? And was Jones able to build on his strong week of practice to further his case to earn meaningful playing time this season?

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Here's how Newton and Jones fared in the Patriots' final preseason game.


Player Cmp/Att Yards TD INT Sacks
Cam Newton 2-for-5 10 0 1 0
Mac Jones 10-for-14 156 1 0 4

After a strong effort last Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles, Newton had a relatively uneventful preseason finale.

His first completion was a well-placed dart to wide receiver Jakobi Meyers to pick up a first down, but the Patriots' first drive stalled after Newton incompletions on second and third down.

After finding Nelson Agholor for a four-yard gain, Newton threw his first interception of the preseason when Giants linebacker Blake Martinez made a fantastic play to steal the ball from Meyers on third down.

Jones took over on New England's third possession and made a rookie mistake by taking a delay of game penalty on his second snap.


The first-round pick quickly found his bearings, though, completing passes of 21 yards and 19 yards to Kristian Wilkerson and Devin Asiasi, respectively, to set up a Quinn Nordin field goal.

Jones delivered his first touchdown pass in a Patriots uniform in the third quarter, finding Isaiah Zuber with a 19-yard strike to complete a six-play, 75-yard drive.

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The 22-year-old showed occasional moments of indecision that led to four sacks against a tough Giants defense. But Jones also led the Patriots on three scoring drives and completed a preseason-high 71.4% of his passes, showcasing impressive precision when he got the ball out on time.

While it's hard to draw many conclusions from Newton's small sample size, Jones continued to make a compelling case for playing time by delivering another efficient passing night.

Third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer entered in the fourth quarter and finished the game.


One of Newton's two completions was a well-placed ball that Meyers snagged with an impressive dive.

Newton put another ball in a tight window looking for Meyers, but Martinez made a better play to come down with the interception.

Jones' first big strike was a 17-yard completion to Wilkerson for a first down:

Jones threw a dart to Zuber on a seam route to pick up his first touchdown pass of the preseason: