Pats Preseason: QB Edition

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Cellar-Door

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I think this was the first game where Mac was clearly better than Cam even taking into account the difference in opponent players.
 

heavyde050

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I think this was the first game where Mac was clearly better than Cam even taking into account the difference in opponent players.
I thought he was better against the Eagles too (especially factoring in the drops), but I definitely get what you mean that this was the game where one would be hard pressed to say Cam was better.
 

BroodsSexton

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Isn’t forcing him to play with the second team equivalent to making him workout in the rain and with noise and in the snow and everything else?
 

Super Nomario

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Sure, the ability to run with the QB is always better. And they’ll definitely run the ball a lot regardless.

My broad point is that we have a couple decades of evidence regarding what kinds of things they like to do on offense and there are a bunch of boxes Cam simply doesn’t check (very well at least) in terms of ability to win pre-snap, run a high efficiency short passing offense, change tempo effectively, etc. It’s not just a question of whether this guy is better than the other guy, it’s also which guy is a better fit for the offense they want to run and team they want to be.
We saw the offense they ran with Brady, but I don't know how much of that is based on what kind of offense they want to run versus what played to Brady's strengths and weaknesses. Certainly they showed a lot of ability throughout the years to adapt the offense to the kind of personnel they had at other positions. Cam makes sense for the run-heavy scheme they've been trying to play the past three years or so. He might not make sense to helm the 2007 offense, but obviously they can't run that anyway.

(Worth pointing out that "the offense" can mean a lot of things and here it is probably more accurately described as "the playcalling.")
 

simplyeric

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Why is there this narrative that Mac doesn’t have “game day” experience? The kid played at Alabama. We’re not talking North Dakota State. That college program is the most NFL-like in the entirety of college football. He played on the national stage in huge games and all he did was win. The thought that the speed of the NFL is going to shock this kid seems really silly to me. It’s not like he’s been just ok in the preseason either. He already has a firm grasp on the playbook and is showing elite level completion rates. Completely understand that it’s not “real NFL” but it’s pretty damn close and he’s killing it. I also understand that we need to temper expectations but the way Mac has played and conducted himself has me exited for Patriots football. The thought of Cam Newton playing QB sparks no joy.
it’s been kindof covered but…all the Alabama stuff is playing against a hands full of NFL caliber pre-rookies. If you took any of those guys out of their game last November and plopped them into an nfl game, how do you think they’d fare?
I was going to say it’s saying ‘McCorkle dominated in AAA ball’ but it’s kindof more like someone playing really well in the Japanese league. It’s just…different.
moat of those guys he played against are trying to figure out what to do with their lives, not trying to figure out NFL playbooks as starters.
‘As close as you come to the NFL’ isn’t worth a lot.
A crazy German Shepard might be ‘as close as you come to a wolf’, but it’s not a wolf.
 

simplyeric

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Yes. Hoyer brings absolutely nothing, except a knowledge of the system but no actual ability to enact it in a game. He should be cut.
Really? I don’t think cam looked all that competent. I have been rooting for cam all off-season, but I’ve given up.
Hoyer looked like ‘an nfl QB’ throwing the ball today. Cam didn’t.
i was sipping cheap bourbon at a bar watching the game, so I don’t claim deep insight here. But cam didn’t look good, at all. (That interception wasn’t entirely his fault though)
 

Cellar-Door

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Really? I don’t think cam looked all that competent. I have been rooting for cam all off-season, but I’ve given up.
Hoyer looked like ‘an nfl QB’ throwing the ball today. Cam didn’t.
i was sipping cheap bourbon at a bar watching the game, so I don’t claim deep insight here. But cam didn’t look good, at all. (That interception wasn’t entirely his fault though)
Cam just played a season where he was about as bad as he could be, and was still a top 30 QB, He missed a game and Hoyer couldn't even complete a half without just collapsing so bad we had to go to Stidham.

Cam is an NFL QB, what is arguable is whether he's an NFL Starting QB. Hoyer isn't an NFL QB anymore.
 

Rook05

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It’s entirely possible that I’m overrating Mac BECAUSE of how much Cam sucks. I hope Bill doesn’t announce it until game day.
 

streeter88

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I am very far removed from New England these days, so this is a question for locals... What is the feeling of the fanbase as regards the QB competition? Is the average fan at all invested in Cam? Are people watching the QB competition and making their own judgments? Are fans excited about having Mac Jones take over (1st round draft pick = shiny new toy / seems to be able to make quick reads / makes the offense hum better / etc.), or still thinking it's Cam's job to lose?
 

scottyno

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Really? I don’t think cam looked all that competent. I have been rooting for cam all off-season, but I’ve given up.
Hoyer looked like ‘an nfl QB’ throwing the ball today. Cam didn’t.
i was sipping cheap bourbon at a bar watching the game, so I don’t claim deep insight here. But cam didn’t look good, at all. (That interception wasn’t entirely his fault though)
The whole 5 passes that Cam threw, which included 2 throwaways because no one blocked and a pick that Meyers should have caught vs Hoyer throwing against guys that will be on the street by this time next week?
 

radsoxfan

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If forced to guess right now I'd say Cam starts. But BB has pretty clearly said Cam is the starter since he got here, and tonight was a noticeable departure from that.

If Cam does start, it does feel like the leash is short.
 

Euclis20

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Cam just played a season where he was about as bad as he could be, and was still a top 30 QB, He missed a game and Hoyer couldn't even complete a half without just collapsing so bad we had to go to Stidham.

Cam is an NFL QB, what is arguable is whether he's an NFL Starting QB. Hoyer isn't an NFL QB anymore.
Yeah, Hoyer is (at best) a well below average backup with no path for improvement. Cam is still a legit starter in a league with 32 starting QBs, but like everyone outside the top 20 whose best days are behind them, his job security is basically nothing (even if we hadn't just picked another QB in the 1st round). If he could accept a backup role (who knows), he'd immediately become one of the best backups in the NFL, even if the game plan would have to be totally different for him vs. Mac.

There's real value in having a backup with a similar skillset to the start, but not so much to make up the gap between Hoyer (who very well might have thrown his last regular season pass) and Newton (who is still talented enough to win a game or two all on his own).
 

soxhop411

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If forced to guess right now I'd say Cam starts. But BB has pretty clearly said Cam is the starter since he got here, and tonight was a noticeable departure from that.

If Cam does start, it does feel like the leash is short.
Yah. That caught my attention today. The fact that he said no decision on who the starting QB will be after saying it’s Cam the past few months…
 

Sille Skrub

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I am very far removed from New England these days, so this is a question for locals... What is the feeling of the fanbase as regards the QB competition? Is the average fan at all invested in Cam? Are people watching the QB competition and making their own judgments? Are fans excited about having Mac Jones take over (1st round draft pick = shiny new toy / seems to be able to make quick reads / makes the offense hum better / etc.), or still thinking it's Cam's job to lose?
People here have seen what he can do and are done with Cam. From my small sample size, it seems like most locals are very much rooting for Mac to take the reigns. Look at the reaction Mac got from the crowd during his first game at The Blade. Furthermore, try finding a Patriots Mac Jones jersey anywhere.

I didn’t like the pick at the time. I thought Mac was a one year beneficiary of playing with the best player in college football, Devonta Smith. I was a Trey Lance guy and after he went off the board so early, was hoping the Pats would move up to grab Fields.

Mac has been better than advertised. The kid is the real deal.
 

BroodsSexton

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People here have seen what he can do and are done with Cam. From my small sample size, it seems like most locals are very much rooting for Mac to take the reigns. Look at the reaction Mac got from the crowd during his first game at The Blade. Furthermore, try finding a Patriots Mac Jones jersey anywhere.

I didn’t like the pick at the time. I thought Mac was a one year beneficiary of playing with the best player in college football, Devonta Smith. I was a Trey Lance guy and after he went off the board so early, was hoping the Pats would move up to grab Fields.

Mac has been better than advertised. The kid is the real deal.
System quarterback. Game manager.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I agree. One constant under Belichick is that he plays who he thinks will give them the best chance to win that week.

Watching Cam all of last season - he’s just not very good. Could he lead this team to 9 wins? Sure. But this team is built to do more than that. And I don’t think Cam is capable of much more than that. He really struggles to throw the ball.

Mac Jones has been throwing the ball like a veteran QB. I think he starts week 1.
I find it hard to believe that there is an open competition for the QB job or that BB will start Jones in Week 1. Cam got very little time in preseason game 3, but he got it with the starters, while Jones played exclusively with the backups. If BB were committed to Jones as the starter, Jones would have played with the starters more. If this was a competition, Newton would have got more time last night. To me, decision is made and it is Newton.
We saw the offense they ran with Brady, but I don't know how much of that is based on what kind of offense they want to run versus what played to Brady's strengths and weaknesses. Certainly they showed a lot of ability throughout the years to adapt the offense to the kind of personnel they had at other positions. Cam makes sense for the run-heavy scheme they've been trying to play the past three years or so. He might not make sense to helm the 2007 offense, but obviously they can't run that anyway.

(Worth pointing out that "the offense" can mean a lot of things and here it is probably more accurately described as "the playcalling.")
Last year is the season in recent memory where the Pats actually ran more than they threw. Even in the Matt Cassel year, they threw more than they ran, although it was close. I find it impossible to believe that BB wants to run an offense where the Patriots run more thn they throw - a team that is overly dependent on running the ball is so limited in certain situations. I can buy BB wanting a run heavy offense because that fits his QB (Cam) better, but not that he'd prefer to have a run heavy offense with limited ability to pass rather than a balnced or pass-oriented one.
 

Fisks Of Fury

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People here have seen what he can do and are done with Cam. From my small sample size, it seems like most locals are very much rooting for Mac to take the reigns. Look at the reaction Mac got from the crowd during his first game at The Blade. Furthermore, try finding a Patriots Mac Jones jersey anywhere.

I didn’t like the pick at the time. I thought Mac was a one year beneficiary of playing with the best player in college football, Devonta Smith. I was a Trey Lance guy and after he went off the board so early, was hoping the Pats would move up to grab Fields.

Mac has been better than advertised. The kid is the real deal.
When Cam started that first preseason game, the crowd was behind him. Plenty of applause, and lots of "Let's go Cam!"... which transitioned to "C'mon Cam!". Then the applause you thought you heard for him was put to shame when Mac ran out on the field. I think the hometown crowd would love to see Cam do well, but also know what they see when he's out there, and can see the "future" with Mac.

Sadly, if he starts and struggles, there WILL be boos.
 

Super Nomario

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I find it hard to believe that there is an open competition for the QB job or that BB will start Jones in Week 1. Cam got very little time in preseason game 3, but he got it with the starters, while Jones played exclusively with the backups. If BB were committed to Jones as the starter, Jones would have played with the starters more. If this was a competition, Newton would have got more time last night. To me, decision is made and it is Newton.Last year is the season in recent memory where the Pats actually ran more than they threw. Even in the Matt Cassel year, they threw more than they ran, although it was close. I find it impossible to believe that BB wants to run an offense where the Patriots run more thn they throw - a team that is overly dependent on running the ball is so limited in certain situations. I can buy BB wanting a run heavy offense because that fits his QB (Cam) better, but not that he'd prefer to have a run heavy offense with limited ability to pass rather than a balnced or pass-oriented one.
I think 2020 was at the extreme end and agree they'd like to be more balanced than that. But I do see a multi-year effort to de-emphasize the passing game and emphasize the run (and defense). They had the best passing offense in the league in 2017, so they traded away their top receiver to draft an OL, let their #2 WR walk and didn't replace him with anybody, and drafted a running back in the first round. From watching the "Do Your Job" documentary, they were explicit that the Buffalo game - where they ran for 273 yards and only passed for 117 - was the blueprint for success in 2018 (though I would argue that the importance of the running game in the playoff run is overstated). In 2019 they invested in a couple WR, but Harry and Sanu were both big dudes who can block. But the OL/FB injuries took away the run game that year. Last year obviously they stood pat on WR and went with the power run. Even after drafting Michel they've put mid-round picks into early-down runners. This offseason they invested a lot in pass-catchers, but the two biggest tickets were tight ends (after drafting 2 TE fairly high last year). It all points to the same thing to me: they want to run the ball up the gut a lot on early downs and in short yardage, and have the ability to pass out of run looks.

The interesting question to me is why: was it to make up for a declining Brady in his twilight years? Was it to ease the transition to a younger QB by putting him in an O where he wasn't asked to throw 35-40 times a game? Is it to take advantage of defenses going smaller personnel, 220-lb LBs and dime defenses? Is it because he sees RBs as undervalued by modern analytics and WRs as overpriced, and is trying to buck the market and build an effective offense cheaper? All of the above?
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I think 2020 was at the extreme end and agree they'd like to be more balanced than that. But I do see a multi-year effort to de-emphasize the passing game and emphasize the run (and defense). They had the best passing offense in the league in 2017, so they traded away their top receiver to draft an OL, let their #2 WR walk and didn't replace him with anybody, and drafted a running back in the first round. From watching the "Do Your Job" documentary, they were explicit that the Buffalo game - where they ran for 273 yards and only passed for 117 - was the blueprint for success in 2018 (though I would argue that the importance of the running game in the playoff run is overstated). In 2019 they invested in a couple WR, but Harry and Sanu were both big dudes who can block. But the OL/FB injuries took away the run game that year. Last year obviously they stood pat on WR and went with the power run. Even after drafting Michel they've put mid-round picks into early-down runners. This offseason they invested a lot in pass-catchers, but the two biggest tickets were tight ends (after drafting 2 TE fairly high last year). It all points to the same thing to me: they want to run the ball up the gut a lot on early downs and in short yardage, and have the ability to pass out of run looks.

The interesting question to me is why: was it to make up for a declining Brady in his twilight years? Was it to ease the transition to a younger QB by putting him in an O where he wasn't asked to throw 35-40 times a game? Is it to take advantage of defenses going smaller personnel, 220-lb LBs and dime defenses? Is it because he sees RBs as undervalued by modern analytics and WRs as overpriced, and is trying to buck the market and build an effective offense cheaper? All of the above?
Could be said almost everytime you post in here, but: great post.
 

Bowhemian

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I was optimistic on Cam, mostly because I thought he would be our week 1 starter.
After seeing him throw last night, I am not so sure. Can he run the offense? Sure he can. But he really just can't throw. Him mechanics are just plain bad. Doesn't matter the reason, because I don't think it's fixable.

If I had a say in it, I'd say give Cam 4 starts to see what he can do. If he remains the same or gets worse, then it's Mac Jones time.
 

rodderick

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I think 2020 was at the extreme end and agree they'd like to be more balanced than that. But I do see a multi-year effort to de-emphasize the passing game and emphasize the run (and defense). They had the best passing offense in the league in 2017, so they traded away their top receiver to draft an OL, let their #2 WR walk and didn't replace him with anybody, and drafted a running back in the first round. From watching the "Do Your Job" documentary, they were explicit that the Buffalo game - where they ran for 273 yards and only passed for 117 - was the blueprint for success in 2018 (though I would argue that the importance of the running game in the playoff run is overstated). In 2019 they invested in a couple WR, but Harry and Sanu were both big dudes who can block. But the OL/FB injuries took away the run game that year. Last year obviously they stood pat on WR and went with the power run. Even after drafting Michel they've put mid-round picks into early-down runners. This offseason they invested a lot in pass-catchers, but the two biggest tickets were tight ends (after drafting 2 TE fairly high last year). It all points to the same thing to me: they want to run the ball up the gut a lot on early downs and in short yardage, and have the ability to pass out of run looks.

The interesting question to me is why: was it to make up for a declining Brady in his twilight years? Was it to ease the transition to a younger QB by putting him in an O where he wasn't asked to throw 35-40 times a game? Is it to take advantage of defenses going smaller personnel, 220-lb LBs and dime defenses? Is it because he sees RBs as undervalued by modern analytics and WRs as overpriced, and is trying to buck the market and build an effective offense cheaper? All of the above?
Then Brady put up .500 EPA/Play against the Chargers and Chiefs and they 100% lose to the Chiefs without a top tier passing game. That part of Do Your Job III always bothered me, the way they talked about how relying on the running game is what made the offense successful down the stretch. Always felt like they took the wrong lessons from that after needlessly giving away the pass catchers that made the 2017 offense deadly.
 

Captaincoop

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I was optimistic on Cam, mostly because I thought he would be our week 1 starter.
After seeing him throw last night, I am not so sure. Can he run the offense? Sure he can. But he really just can't throw. Him mechanics are just plain bad. Doesn't matter the reason, because I don't think it's fixable.

If I had a say in it, I'd say give Cam 4 starts to see what he can do. If he remains the same or gets worse, then it's Mac Jones time.
After watching Bill and Brady lap the AFC East for 20 years, I think we've gotten too casual about just blowing off the first quarter of the season here. When you win the division by 3 games every year, you can do that.

That being said, I can't imagine that Belichick would give Mac zero snaps with the starters last night and then start him in game one.
 

cornwalls@6

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After watching Bill and Brady lap the AFC East for 20 years, I think we've gotten too casual about just blowing off the first quarter of the season here. When you win the division by 3 games every year, you can do that.

That being said, I can't imagine that Belichick would give Mac zero snaps with the starters last night and then start him in game one.
This is where I am as well. Mac not getting any snaps with the 1's last night was basically, IMO, and despite his post game comments, Bill naming Cam the starter for week 1. But as you point out, this is a lesser team than the TB years, playing in a tougher division, with one team currently a little better than them(at least in terms of roster). I can't imagine Cam not being on a very short leash. If he comes out and delivers a performance or two similar to so many of his post-COVID games last year, I think, and really hope, he gets a quick hook. And then it's Mac's job the rest of the way.
 
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8slim

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Its hard for me to envision Cam not starting in week 1, after he's been firmly lodged in the starting QB spot all pre-season.

I've been thrilled with Mac's development, though. He's far ahead of every other rookie QB I've seen come through New England (at least the ones we got to see for any meaningful time). Honestly, if he weren't a rookie, I suspect he'd be the starter in week 1. I know nothing (obviously) but I have a hunch that Bill is reluctant to go with a rookie QB out of the gate, for a host of reasons. However, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Mac is starting by October.
 
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The thing that bugs me about waiting is they could lose some games unnecessarily. If they are playing and Cam isn't great but they are winning, are they likely to make the switch? I would say no. So that likely means they need to be losing with Cam struggling in order to pull the trigger. And maybe those are losses that didn't need to happen.

In any case, I think we just have to assume if Cam starts that Belichick thinks, for whatever reasons he has, that Cam gives them the best chance to win.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I think that the plan will be to start Cam but to get Mac some meaningful snaps here and there to break him in slowly. I also think that Mac will take over as starter by the end of October after some so-so play by Cam.
 

Cellar-Door

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I definitely think that if Bill were really thinking about Mac as the week 1 starter he'd have gotten some time with the starters, I can't think of any team where they had a clear pecking order all through camp and pre-season, never rotated it, then named the guy taking the backup snaps the starter.

I think Cam is going to be the starter, and for how long will depend on a combination of health and performance. Assuming health, if Cam comes out of performance I think the weeks to watch are:
Week 5, soft game after 2 very tough defenses
Week 12: Long week of prep
Week 15: Post bye
 

Captaincoop

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We're just scarred from last year, when Cam was absolutely atrocious and couldn't do anything to lose the job. Hopefully with Mac showing NFL-caliber skills, Bill won't hesitate to make a change.

edit: Week 12? Week 15? If Cam plays remotely like he has so far in a Patriots uniform, there will be riots before then. There are fans in the stands this year.
 

Mooch

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I have this really odd feeling that the Pats trade or release Cam this week. I know that this is a long-shot, but it would be the most dramatic way for Belichick and the staff to make the obvious choice to install Mac as the starter while eliminating the obvious distraction that Newton would be as a high-profile backup. I just find it difficult to believe that the offense the Pats want to run can work with two drastically different QB styles.

We've seen Belichick make these kind of surprise moves in the past. Wouldn't put it past him.
 

tims4wins

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I have this really odd feeling that the Pats trade or release Cam this week. I know that this is a long-shot, but it would be the most dramatic way for Belichick and the staff to make the obvious choice to install Mac as the starter while eliminating the obvious distraction that Newton would be as a high-profile backup. I just find it difficult to believe that the offense the Pats want to run can work with two drastically different QB styles.

We've seen Belichick make these kind of surprise moves in the past. Wouldn't put it past him.
If he were to do that - and I think it's a long shot - the sooner, the better in terms of getting the team mentally ready to go on 9/12
 

Captaincoop

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I have this really odd feeling that the Pats trade or release Cam this week. I know that this is a long-shot, but it would be the most dramatic way for Belichick and the staff to make the obvious choice to install Mac as the starter while eliminating the obvious distraction that Newton would be as a high-profile backup. I just find it difficult to believe that the offense the Pats want to run can work with two drastically different QB styles.

We've seen Belichick make these kind of surprise moves in the past. Wouldn't put it past him.
I would love that, but given any kind of alternative I don't know how you can go into a season with a decent-looking team and have Brian Hoyer one twisted ankle away from being your QB starter.
 

simplyeric

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Cam just played a season where he was about as bad as he could be, and was still a top 30 QB, He missed a game and Hoyer couldn't even complete a half without just collapsing so bad we had to go to Stidham.

Cam is an NFL QB, what is arguable is whether he's an NFL Starting QB. Hoyer isn't an NFL QB anymore.
I guess what's getting me is that Cam doesn't look like and NFL QB out there. His mechanics are terrible. He just looks...wrong.

The whole 5 passes that Cam threw, which included 2 throwaways because no one blocked and a pick that Meyers should have caught vs Hoyer throwing against guys that will be on the street by this time next week?
That is entirely fair, and yeah Meyers should have caught that.
But still. Hoyer looks better.

The thing that bugs me about waiting is they could lose some games unnecessarily. If they are playing and Cam isn't great but they are winning, are they likely to make the switch? I would say no. So that likely means they need to be losing with Cam struggling in order to pull the trigger. And maybe those are losses that didn't need to happen.

In any case, I think we just have to assume if Cam starts that Belichick thinks, for whatever reasons he has, that Cam gives them the best chance to win.
my prediction at this stage is that Cam will start, we will cobble together a couple of wins, and then Cam will get crushed while holding the ball too long. If he goes out for a half, or a whole game, then BB might just pop the McCorkle and never look back.
I would love that, but given any kind of alternative I don't know how you can go into a season with a decent-looking team and have Brian Hoyer one twisted ankle away from being your QB starter.
Yeah seriously. Hoyer sucks. What kind of fool would want Hoyer over Cam...?
 

rodderick

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I would love that, but given any kind of alternative I don't know how you can go into a season with a decent-looking team and have Brian Hoyer one twisted ankle away from being your QB starter.
I mean, Bill went into the 2009 season with Tom Brady coming off an ACL tear and UDFA rookie Brian Hoyer as the only QBs on the roster. If there's one guy who could do it, I think it's him.
 

8slim

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We're just scarred from last year, when Cam was absolutely atrocious and couldn't do anything to lose the job. Hopefully with Mac showing NFL-caliber skills, Bill won't hesitate to make a change.

edit: Week 12? Week 15? If Cam plays remotely like he has so far in a Patriots uniform, there will be riots before then. There are fans in the stands this year.
I think we've come to realize that Cam "couldn't lose the job" because Stidham was an absolute mess. Bill rode the devil he knew. Agree that it would seem this season there is another, viable option should Cam falter.
 

Saints Rest

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The thing that bugs me about waiting is they could lose some games unnecessarily. If they are playing and Cam isn't great but they are winning, are they likely to make the switch? I would say no. So that likely means they need to be losing with Cam struggling in order to pull the trigger. And maybe those are losses that didn't need to happen.

In any case, I think we just have to assume if Cam starts that Belichick thinks, for whatever reasons he has, that Cam gives them the best chance to win.
My sense is that BB is not simply thinking about who gives them the best chance to win week 1, but rather what scenario gives them the best chance to win the most games over a 17-game season and, hopefully, in the playoffs. So maybe BB thinks that letting Mac watch the first x number of games, even if it means losing a game or two in that span they might win with Mac under center, allows them a better chance to win a higher percentage of the games remaining after the switch.

It's almost like regular-season Tito's use of pitching staff vs playoff-Tito. Long view over short-term.
 

Super Nomario

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I've been thrilled with Mac's development, though. He's far ahead of every other rookie QB I've seen come through New England (at least the ones we got to see for any meaningful time). Honestly, if he weren't a rookie, I suspect he'd be the starter in week 1. I know nothing (obviously) but I have a hunch that Bill is reluctant to go with a rookie QB out of the gate, for a host of reasons. However, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Mac is starting by October.
Mac has been great, but I think there's some recency bias to the idea "he's far ahead of every other rookie QB":

View: https://twitter.com/McKennAnalysis/status/1432144335760498692


• Brian Hoyer: 29/44, 354 yards, 1 TD
• Jimmy Garoppolo: 46/79, 618 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
• Jacoby Brissett: 38/55, 387 yards, 1 TD
• Jarrett Stidham: 61/90, 732 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT
• Mac Jones: 36/52, 389 yards, 1 TD

Sure, Mac played better than his numbers (given he had a drop on a deep ball every week), but a rookie QB having a great preseason is nothing new. We thought Stidham played well enough in the preseason that they could just hand the reins to a fourth-round pick who had barely played. Jimmy G was good enough that reporters were asking whether Brady's job was secure three games into the season.

Does that take anything away from his preseason? No, he's been great, and he's done everything he was supposed to do. But we should be careful about taking too much from the preseason. It's preseason.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Jul 2, 2006
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My sense is that BB is not simply thinking about who gives them the best chance to win week 1, but rather what scenario gives them the best chance to win the most games over a 17-game season and, hopefully, in the playoffs. So maybe BB thinks that letting Mac watch the first x number of games, even if it means losing a game or two in that span they might win with Mac under center, allows them a better chance to win a higher percentage of the games remaining after the switch.

It's almost like regular-season Tito's use of pitching staff vs playoff-Tito. Long view over short-term.
I agree and would also add that there may be a physical/mental fatigue dimension to this as well. QB isn't as demanding physically as other positions. Nevertheless, you're still going through the paces physically, working your arm out a lot, running around, and occasionally getting plastered by a defender. Mac played a 13 game season last year in his only year as a starter at Alabama and is probably used to similar schedules in HS ball. Going from that to a 17-20 game season (with playoffs) is a big jump. And being an NFL player is just more demanding in other ways too (practice/film/weights/etc time). The NFL season is a serious grind and there may be advantages in easing a guy like Mac into the mix over the first 4-5 games, rather than throwing him in there immediately.
 

axx

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Jul 16, 2005
7,100
I have this really odd feeling that the Pats trade or release Cam this week. I know that this is a long-shot, but it would be the most dramatic way for Belichick and the staff to make the obvious choice to install Mac as the starter while eliminating the obvious distraction that Newton would be as a high-profile backup. I just find it difficult to believe that the offense the Pats want to run can work with two drastically different QB styles.
Pats need 3 QBs on the roster and/or practice squad. If they were going to do that, that would require signing a QB or trading for one unless the third QB is Stidham who I assume is going to end up on season ending IR if he hasn't already.
 

DourDoerr

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Oct 15, 2004
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Berkeley, CA
After watching Bill and Brady lap the AFC East for 20 years, I think we've gotten too casual about just blowing off the first quarter of the season here. When you win the division by 3 games every year, you can do that...
I posted along these lines a little bit ago along with some other reasons that lead me to believe Mac starts game 1 and still think they're valid. Add to that - again we're all working with crumbs - is BB not declaring Cam the starter. Sure, it might be a misdirection intended to give Flores extra work, but it's a departure from the earlier policy, so it's worth noting.

The post from Super Nomario on earlier pre-season performances from rookie QB's was interesting. One point I'd add is that I don't believe any of those QB's were getting starter reps during practices all camp (I could be incorrect here). If so, that's a huge advantage for Mac as it'd give him a better feel and knowledge of starter's tendencies, etc.

Finally, The Athletic claimed that Cam played with the O starters against the Giants' D starters. They also state that Mac then came in and played with O backups - but against the Giants' D starters too (at least for a time). If so, that's an interesting data point (I don't know if this true - don't really know the Giants that well and the broadcasters were busy with "This Is Your Life, Carl Banks"). Looking at Cam's INT with a wide open WR along the sidelines is damning. BB and McD watch film. Seeing that, along with Cam's ball placement, pocket presence, etc., should point them to Mac as the starter. He's just better. Add to that the big role that the RB's will play along with the safety blankets of the TE's, and Mac is in a rare position and I'd be surprised if BB doesn't roll with that. He wants to win and doesn't complicate things.
 
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