Patriots

Why Saban isn't surprised Mac Jones is succeeding with Patriots as a rookie

Patriots

Mac Jones has been the best rookie quarterback in the NFL this season.

The former University of Alabama star has completed 68 percent of his passes for 2,135 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions through nine games for the New England Patriots.

Jones was labeled by many draft experts as the most pro-ready quarterback in his class, and that has been proven right so far.

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"It's not surprising to me that Mac is doing well," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Sunday on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown" show.

"I think it's a really good fit with Bill (Belichick) because Mac has got the same kind of mindset. He's a very intelligent guy, he's very instinctive. He does a great job of preparing for games, and he can go out and execute what coaches want him to do. That's exactly how Bill likes it."

The Patriots have won three consecutive games and climbed above .500 (5-4) ahead of Sunday's pivotal Week 10 matchup versus the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium.

New England has an established an identity in recent weeks with a successful power rushing attack and one of the league's top 10 defenses. Jones doesn't need to throw for 300 yards and multiple touchdowns every week for the Patriots to reach the playoffs. He just needs to take care of the football and convert on crucial downs.