Patriots

Mac Jones joins exclusive QB group after career day vs. Jets

Patriots

Say what you want about Mac Jones' performance through seven games, but the numbers suggest he's off to one of the best starts by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

The New England Patriots' first-round pick completed 24 of 36 passes for a career-high 307 yards with two touchdown passes and zero interceptions in Sunday's 54-13 rout of the New York Jets.

The first 300-yard effort of Jones' NFL career gives him 1,779 passing yards through seven games (ninth in the NFL), and he ranks fourth in the NFL among qualified passers with a 70.4% completion rate.

Perry's Pats-Jets Report Card: Jones passes with flying colors

But how do Jones' stats stack up against rookie QBs of years past? Pretty darn well, actually.

Check out these two historical nuggets the NFL shared about Jones after Week 7:

  • With 174 completions, Jones is just the third rookie QB in NFL history with at least 170 completions in his first seven starts. The other two: Joe Burrow (195 completions in 2020) and 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert (181 completions).
  • Jones is the fourth rookie QB in NFL history with at least 225 passing yards and a TD pass in five consecutive games. The other three: Dak Prescott (eight consecutive games in 2016), Herbert (seven in 2020) and Deshaun Watson (five in 2017).

That's pretty good company to keep -- especially for the fifth QB taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Jones has outplayed all of his rookie QB counterparts by a decent margin this season, leading all first-year signal-callers in virtually every offensive category. And while the Alabama product benefited early in the year from some conservative play-calling, he's been airing it out more in recent weeks with impressive success.

Jones' improvement in the passing game has shown on the scoreboard, too: He has seven TD passes in his last four games after recording just two over his first three contests.

 

The 23-year-old may not possess the upside of talented rookies like Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields or Trey Lance, and it's possible his contemporaries could put up better numbers in better situations. But for now, Jones and the Patriots look like a very, very good match.