How Mac Jones helped make NFL history in Week 1 start

/ by Darren Hartwell
Presented By DraftKings

The NFL's next generation has arrived.

Rookie Mac Jones generated plenty of buzz in New England on Sunday, making his NFL debut against the Miami Dolphins after beating out Cam Newton for the Patriots' starting quarterback job.

But Jones was far from the only young QB seeing action in Week 1. Two other rookie signal-callers also made their first NFL starts -- Zach Wilson for the New York Jets and Trevor Lawrence for the Jacksonville Jaguars -- while Miami's Tua Tagovailoa was among four second-year quarterbacks getting the start Sunday.

Watch Mac Jones throw first career TD pass for Patriots

If that seems like an unusually high number of first- and second-year QBs starting for their teams ... it is.

Only in one other season has more rookie or sophomore quarterbacks started in Week 1: 2012, which featured the likes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and ... Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Jones wasn't expected to be among this year's seven young Week 1 starters, as Newton appeared to have the QB job locked during the offseason and training camp. But the Alabama product showed consistency and poise throughout the preseason to the point where the Patriots released Newton outright, handing the reins to Jones right off the bat.

Curran: How Mac Jones beat out Newton for starting job

This list of seven also doesn't include first-round picks Trey Lance, who threw a TD pass for the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday while backing up Jimmy Garoppolo, and Justin Fields, who soon should overtake Andy Dalton as the Chicago Bears' starter.


Long story short: We could see this new generation of QBs hang around for quite some time -- especially in the AFC East, which features three players on this list in Jones, Tagovailoa and Wilson as well 25-year-old Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

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