The Mac Jones hype needs a limit, right?
The New England Patriots quarterback is generating considerable buzz as he enjoys a strong rookie season. Jones was named the AFC Rookie of the Month on Thursday, ranks third in the NFL in completion percentage and is already drawing comparisons to Tom Brady.
But the 23-year-old isn't on Josh Allen's level, is he? Jones' quarterback opponent Monday night finished second in NFL MVP voting last season and has the second-best odds to win this year's award, per PointsBet. Allen ranks seventh in the NFL in passing yards (3,071), is tied for third in passing touchdowns (25) and also is second on the Buffalo Bills in rushing yards with 383.
On a new Patriots Talk Podcast ahead of Monday's showdown between the Patriots and Bills in Buffalo, Tom E. Curran asked former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel point-blank if he'd rather have Jones or Allen.
"Josh Allen still," Cassel said. "He is a wild card at times in terms of his play and forcing balls downfield or trying to make a play when he should just eat it or throw it away. But he's so dynamic, particularly when it gets to third down.
"If you watched the Saints game last week, there were so many times where guys aren't open downfield and he scrambles, makes plays with his legs, picks up a first down, extends a drive. He's special in that form of quarterback play, because there's not a lot of guys who can throw the ball the way he does as accurately, then can run the zone read, and at the same time drop back in the pocket.
"You're worried about the dangerous weapons they have and all of a sudden he takes off and you don't have a spy on him and he gets 40 yards. I mean, he's the second-leading rusher on the team behind Singletary. He's just got so much talent that it's hard to figure out to address it when you're a defensive opponent."
Curran sided with Cassel on the Allen vs. Jones debate with a bit more colorful explanation.
"I would rather rein in the wild stallion that I found on the High Chaparral than take the little hothouse flower that is Mac Jones and try to add things to his game," Curran said.
Fellow Patriots Insider Phil Perry agreed with Curran and Cassel, ranking Allen as one of the six or seven best QBs in the league. But he brought up an interesting caveat to the debate that could sway it in favor of Jones.
"I think where it becomes a discussion is when you're talking about the contract," Perry noted. "If you want to talk about how much you have to pay Josh Allen versus Mac Jones and the situation you can surround Mac Jones with versus Josh Allen, then I do think it becomes a conversation as to which team is better set up for the next few years.
" ... It's not a discussion in terms of the individual player right now, but when you factor in the money, then it becomes a conversation."
To Perry's point, Jones carries just a $2.8 million cap hit this year on his rookie contract that gave New England the flexibility to splurge in 2021 free agency. Meanwhile, the Bills recently handed Allen a massive six-year, $258 million contract extension.