The Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones Thread

Van Everyman

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Lazar's observation and analysis certainly match the eye test for me.

One thing I think he touches on that has maybe flown a bit under the radar with all the hysteria about the offensive line is that McDaniels is having to transition that line from the 2018 to 2020 ground and pound edition back to a pass protection line and he’s having to do so without not only Scar but also probably the most important player on that line: Joe Thuney.

I also wonder a bit about how much some of the OL struggles are on Mac – specifically, how well Mac is or isn’t calling protection audibles at the line. That strikes me as something that would require a learning curve for even a bookworm like Jones. And you saw improvement there.

Lastly, Sunday night you are saw a few pretty key things, not least of which was that Mac was absolutely capable of abusing an old, out of shape and with no practice Richard Sherman. It’s one thing to say that Mac should have his way with the player like that. But it’s another thing to actually do it. Mac did.
 

luckiestman

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The Mac air yards average comparing him to Kyler and Herbert seems to be a great “how to lie with statistics” example. The potential problem is the inability to go deep leading to the offense having to sustain drives and play perfect. I saw this movie with Chad Pennington (who was successful, btw). My comment isn’t to say Mac will or won’t be good just that the example seems to be a disingenuous use of statistics in sport which is already an epidemic.
 

Cellar-Door

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The Mac air yards average comparing him to Kyler and Herbert seems to be a great “how to lie with statistics” example. The potential problem is the inability to go deep leading to the offense having to sustain drives and play perfect. I saw this movie with Chad Pennington (who was successful, btw). My comment isn’t to say Mac will or won’t be good just that the example seems to be a disingenuous use of statistics in sport which is already an epidemic.
Yeah air yards doesn't tell you much.
If I were worried about Mac it would be that he's been abysmal on throws 20+ yards (eyeballing the charts it looks like 3/17 with 0TD 2 INT),
15+ is (eyeballing charts again) 10/31 0TD 2 INT.

He definitely hasn't been a threat down field.

Edit- looked back at Lazar's piece linked. PFF has him at 4/17 on 20+ (so one of the completions I thought was 19 was 20, one of the incompletions I had at 20 was 19)
 
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Gash Prex

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Jones had 11 incompletions in the Saints game of anything 20+ so that's probably going to skew those numbers until we get a larger sample size over the course of the season. Generally you are looking at 35-40% completion for the best QB's post 20 yards.

BTW, Daniel Jones was the best deep passer in 2020 according to the metrics. I personally think its overrated as it correlates to effective offenses - and mostly just anecdotal. I feel like I'm back in 2002 with everybody complaining about Tom Brady and the dink and dunk offense/game manager trope.

The Patriots offense for 20 years has been a precision short to medium range attack with seam and PA shots deep (except for 2007). A non-functioning offensive line has taken away the pats PA shots at the moment.
 
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Cellar-Door

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Jones had 11 incompletions in the Saints game of anything 20+ so that's probably going to skew those numbers until we get a larger sample size over the course of the season. Generally you are looking at 35-40% completion for the best QB's post 20 yards.

BTW, Daniel Jones was the best deep passer in 2020 according to the metrics. I personally think its overrated as it correlates to effective offenses - and mostly just anecdotal. I feel like I'm back in 2002 with everybody complaining about Tom Brady and the dink and dunk offense/game manager trope.

The Patriots offense for 20 year has been a precision short to medium range attack with seam and PA shots deep (except for 2007). A non-functioning running game has taken away the pats PA shots at the moment.
I think the idea that the Patriots didn't pass deep is not really true, nor that it is all PA shots. Brady in 2019 with that terrible offense and facing a ton of pressure makes that listhttps://www.nfl.com/news/dak-prescott-russell-wilson-headline-nfl-s-top-10-deep-passers and he does it with high pressure and such a quick average release I really doubt much of that is PA.

Brady may have dinked and dunked 20 years ago, but that NFL was a different sport practically. the last 5+ years he was here he threw deep often and generally pretty well. PFF likes to use 10+, but they had him as one of the best 20+ as well. And it was high frequency, PFF went on a little tweetstorm about 2016-2018 passing stats, and Brady was throwing about 41% of his passes 10+ yards in the air. This is one of the tweets: (you can search his feed around that day for the whole storm)
"View: https://twitter.com/PFF_Steve/status/1149715415398047744
"

Brady threw down field a lot with the Patriots as he got further into his career, and it was what drove a lot of success as we transitioned from an early 2000s "play good defense, score just enough to win" team to a 2010's "put up points and defend well enough to win" team (as the whole league moved that way.

The Patriots haven't been a run first team in at least 10-15 years, and you don't have to be able to run to use PA, that's been shown time and again. Now, the line's struggles in pass-blocking is likely effecting our moderate and deep passing game, but some of it is definitely Mac. Whether it's a long term issue, or just a rookie getting his feet wet remains to be seen, but his struggles in the 15+ and 20+ areas so far are something to keep an eye on, it effects how defenses play, and the potential for explosive plays.
 

elias

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If Cam were having the exact same season Mac is, people would be losing it. The 19 in a row along with all the passing stats would be unilaterally poo poo’d as the D giving it to him because he can’t do this or that…empty stat. More interceptions than touchdown passes by week 4 would have been the end of the leash for Cam. All the new weapons, all the money spent, and people would be pinning almost all of it on him as the reason why and they’d be furious.

We’d be seeing his unprecedented (worst football play I’ve ever seen) panic throw backwards from week 1 over and over…and it would be endlessly discussed as the first of several under pressure panic moves he’d made every game since.

Now, having to watch the media time and again discuss Mac Jones’ 4.0 intelligence is just further evidence of what I think at least part of the reason for all this is, but that is another topic for another thread…

I understand Bayless said it early so it made it trendy to slam it…but this team is 3-1 with Cam. Maybe his legs push the Pats over the edge in the last one in the rain like with Baltimore last year. They definitely don’t rush for -1 and they definitely don’t let their best player (Gilmore) go at this point of the season…and who really knows what Cam would have been looking like with all the plus factors he had to start this season vs. last.

Just an absolute bungle of a move starting this kid, and the consequences might extend beyond this one now punted season, depending on which degree of rose colored Jones glasses might happen if we are lucky.

Haven’t posted in over a decade, and maybe that’s an easy first poke back at me to not again…but the double standard was really sticking in my craw. The standard by which Mac Jones is being graded is different than Cam, and I don’t think “because he’s a rookie” is an adequate response.

This could end up being an NY Jets level move the same way it could be the next step in the dynasty. Right now my bet is on the former. I am unimpressed by the guy entirely, and his demeanor is a significant concern.
 

rodderick

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I think it's somewhat fair to point out that Mac is struggling to put up points in a manner similar to Cam last year and that Cam would likely be facing a lot more criticism if he were playing at this same level this year, but Mac is a rookie and Cam would be a 11 year vet, former MVP. Mac will grow while Cam looked like he was cooked. A lot easier to be lenient and hopeful with the guy that's trending up and not down.
 

djbayko

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If Cam were having the exact same season Mac is, people would be losing it. The 19 in a row along with all the passing stats would be unilaterally poo poo’d as the D giving it to him because he can’t do this or that…empty stat. More interceptions than touchdown passes by week 4 would have been the end of the leash for Cam. All the new weapons, all the money spent, and people would be pinning almost all of it on him as the reason why and they’d be furious.

We’d be seeing his unprecedented (worst football play I’ve ever seen) panic throw backwards from week 1 over and over…and it would be endlessly discussed as the first of several under pressure panic moves he’d made every game since.

Now, having to watch the media time and again discuss Mac Jones’ 4.0 intelligence is just further evidence of what I think at least part of the reason for all this is, but that is another topic for another thread…

I understand Bayless said it early so it made it trendy to slam it…but this team is 3-1 with Cam. Maybe his legs push the Pats over the edge in the last one in the rain like with Baltimore last year. They definitely don’t rush for -1 and they definitely don’t let their best player (Gilmore) go at this point of the season…and who really knows what Cam would have been looking like with all the plus factors he had to start this season vs. last.

Just an absolute bungle of a move starting this kid, and the consequences might extend beyond this one now punted season, depending on which degree of rose colored Jones glasses might happen if we are lucky.

Haven’t posted in over a decade, and maybe that’s an easy first poke back at me to not again…but the double standard was really sticking in my craw. The standard by which Mac Jones is being graded is different than Cam, and I don’t think “because he’s a rookie” is an adequate response.

This could end up being an NY Jets level move the same way it could be the next step in the dynasty. Right now my bet is on the former. I am unimpressed by the guy entirely, and his demeanor is a significant concern.
Good thing for us that Mac is just a rookie while Cam was fully baked.

I see flashes of a good player in him - a foundation to build on.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The Patriots have struggled to score points for close to two calendar years now; under three different QB, one of whom is the greatest of all time.
 

Bergs

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If Cam were having the exact same season Mac is, people would be losing it. The 19 in a row along with all the passing stats would be unilaterally poo poo’d as the D giving it to him because he can’t do this or that…empty stat. More interceptions than touchdown passes by week 4 would have been the end of the leash for Cam. All the new weapons, all the money spent, and people would be pinning almost all of it on him as the reason why and they’d be furious.

We’d be seeing his unprecedented (worst football play I’ve ever seen) panic throw backwards from week 1 over and over…and it would be endlessly discussed as the first of several under pressure panic moves he’d made every game since.

Now, having to watch the media time and again discuss Mac Jones’ 4.0 intelligence is just further evidence of what I think at least part of the reason for all this is, but that is another topic for another thread…

I understand Bayless said it early so it made it trendy to slam it…but this team is 3-1 with Cam. Maybe his legs push the Pats over the edge in the last one in the rain like with Baltimore last year. They definitely don’t rush for -1 and they definitely don’t let their best player (Gilmore) go at this point of the season…and who really knows what Cam would have been looking like with all the plus factors he had to start this season vs. last.

Just an absolute bungle of a move starting this kid, and the consequences might extend beyond this one now punted season, depending on which degree of rose colored Jones glasses might happen if we are lucky.

Haven’t posted in over a decade, and maybe that’s an easy first poke back at me to not again…but the double standard was really sticking in my craw. The standard by which Mac Jones is being graded is different than Cam, and I don’t think “because he’s a rookie” is an adequate response.

This could end up being an NY Jets level move the same way it could be the next step in the dynasty. Right now my bet is on the former. I am unimpressed by the guy entirely, and his demeanor is a significant concern.
This might be the across-the-board most insane post I've ever read on SoSH. What a complete load of horseshit. There is not a single sentence here that stands up to any level of intellectual/factual/logical scrutiny beyond that employable by your average high school freshman. May god have mercy on your soul.
 

BroodsSexton

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This might be the across-the-board most insane post I've ever read on SoSH. What a complete load of horseshit. There is not a single sentence here that stands up to any level of intellectual/factual/logical scrutiny beyond that employable by your average high school freshman. May god have mercy on your soul.
I, for one, would like to see his “other thread for another topic.”
 

lexrageorge

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This might be the across-the-board most insane post I've ever read on SoSH. What a complete load of horseshit. There is not a single sentence here that stands up to any level of intellectual/factual/logical scrutiny beyond that employable by your average high school freshman. May god have mercy on your soul.
There was a poster that defended Matt Cooke's blindside hit on Marc Savard. But that was over 10 years ago (wow!), so the statute of limitations may have expired by now.
 

Bergs

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I, for one, would like to see his “other thread for another topic.”
You know what? There are LOTS of "fans" that don't like Cam for *ahem* non-football *ahem* reasons. But his throwing that shit out here on SoSH is fucking bullshit.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Alright, let's stop the pile on.

@elias your football opinions can always be posted here but not the "didn't say it but said it" part of it. Please consider this a strong suggestion.
 

Bowser

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Sep 27, 2019
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If Cam were having the exact same season Mac is...
It's very difficult to imagine Cam performing as well as Mac is. He doesn't process what he's seeing as quickly, can't feel pressure in the pocket, and isn't as accurate. Other than that, your point stands.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'll defend Cam some... I think we'd have scored more points this year if Cam Newton were our quarterback. He brings elements, particularly in the red zone that Mac doesn't, and defenses tend to gameplan differently to account for his ability to break contain, and his willingness to go deep.

We'd likely also have turned it over more and had more 3 and outs.

Mac is the better choice, because he's a rookie growing into the role, but people have consistently WILDLY exaggerated how bad Cam was and is at QB.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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@elias I deleted your latest post. The place where the other stuff belongs in is the V&N.

As a lurker, you do not have access to it. This is not a matter of fairness, it is a matter of policy. I understand that you may not have been aware of it. More importantly, now you are.
 

nighthob

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If Cam were having the exact same season Mac is, people would be losing it. The 19 in a row along with all the passing stats would be unilaterally poo poo’d as the D giving it to him because he can’t do this or that…empty stat. More interceptions than touchdown passes by week 4 would have been the end of the leash for Cam. All the new weapons, all the money spent, and people would be pinning almost all of it on him as the reason why and they’d be furious.

We’d be seeing his unprecedented (worst football play I’ve ever seen) panic throw backwards from week 1 over and over…and it would be endlessly discussed as the first of several under pressure panic moves he’d made every game since.

Now, having to watch the media time and again discuss Mac Jones’ 4.0 intelligence is just further evidence of what I think at least part of the reason for all this is, but that is another topic for another thread…

I understand Bayless said it early so it made it trendy to slam it…but this team is 3-1 with Cam. Maybe his legs push the Pats over the edge in the last one in the rain like with Baltimore last year. They definitely don’t rush for -1 and they definitely don’t let their best player (Gilmore) go at this point of the season…and who really knows what Cam would have been looking like with all the plus factors he had to start this season vs. last.

Just an absolute bungle of a move starting this kid, and the consequences might extend beyond this one now punted season, depending on which degree of rose colored Jones glasses might happen if we are lucky.

Haven’t posted in over a decade, and maybe that’s an easy first poke back at me to not again…but the double standard was really sticking in my craw. The standard by which Mac Jones is being graded is different than Cam, and I don’t think “because he’s a rookie” is an adequate response.

This could end up being an NY Jets level move the same way it could be the next step in the dynasty. Right now my bet is on the former. I am unimpressed by the guy entirely, and his demeanor is a significant concern.
I agree that this team might be better in the short term had Newton started. And had it been Justin Fields left on the board at #15 they might have gone in that direction (i.e. drafting Fields and letting him apprentice behind Newton). But I'm not sure how much Mac Jones could learn from watching a running QB, so I also understand why the Patriots decided to throw him into the fire. I also wish that the 49ers had picked Jones and New England had traded up for Lance (according to Kyed they were set to do that). Lance also likely apprentices behind Newton, but he also has the highest ceiling after Lawrence from this QB class.
 

djbayko

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It's very difficult to imagine Cam performing as well as Mac is. He doesn't process what he's seeing as quickly, can't feel pressure in the pocket, and isn't as accurate. Other than that, your point stands.
Yeah, all of this. Just imagine how many sacks Cam would have behind this OL.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'd like to take a moment to point out that Bill spent a trillion dollars in free agency to address the obvious roster gaps after a disappointing 7-9 season, including a bunch of new ball catchers. Now we're 1-3. Let's relitigate how Cam was the problem though.
 
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The current offensive line would make any QB look bad. Maybe 2015 Cam would have survived, but 2021 Cam would likely be getting pummeled.
 

Cellar-Door

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Yeah, all of this. Just imagine how many sacks Cam would have behind this OL.
Honestly probably a few more, but not necessarily a ton more, and they'd be different in nature, because he wouldn't face quite the same massive blitz rate, and he'd make the edge on more of them, particularly the up the middle pressure.

The line is playing like garbage, but also teams are blitzing the hell out of us because they know our QB can't run, and when our interior lineman get beat Mac can't get away. Cam took sacks more from holding it forever or not feeling blindside pressure.

Also we'd run more option and designed QB run packages I assume, which would help.

The Patriots are the most blitzed team in the league so far, in part because teams aren't worried about the QB escaping contain either to run of free himself up for a pass.

Though also... Mac isn't taking that many sacks, or really facing THAT much pressure, middle of the league in sack%, middle of the league in PRS%.

THe line hasn't been good and has had some really bad misses that were noticeable, but part of it is just that Mac has the 6th most attempts. It's not so much that he's facing a ton of pressure compared with the average QB, it's that we have an offense built for better or worse around trying to string together, 10, 12, 15 play drives. So it FEELS like Mac is getting an inordinate amount of pressure, but it's really about average, it's just where Rodgers faces the exact same PRS%... it's 25% less pressures because he throws it way less.
 

Big McCorkle

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Honestly probably a few more, but not necessarily a ton more, and they'd be different in nature, because he wouldn't face quite the same massive blitz rate, and he'd make the edge on more of them, particularly the up the middle pressure.

The line is playing like garbage, but also teams are blitzing the hell out of us because they know our QB can't run, and when our interior lineman get beat Mac can't get away. Cam took sacks more from holding it forever or not feeling blindside pressure.

Also we'd run more option and designed QB run packages I assume, which would help.

The Patriots are the most blitzed team in the league so far, in part because teams aren't worried about the QB escaping contain either to run of free himself up for a pass.

Though also... Mac isn't taking that many sacks, or really facing THAT much pressure, middle of the league in sack%, middle of the league in PRS%.

THe line hasn't been good and has had some really bad misses that were noticeable, but part of it is just that Mac has the 6th most attempts. It's not so much that he's facing a ton of pressure compared with the average QB, it's that we have an offense built for better or worse around trying to string together, 10, 12, 15 play drives. So it FEELS like Mac is getting an inordinate amount of pressure, but it's really about average, it's just where Rodgers faces the exact same PRS%... it's 25% less pressures because he throws it way less.
First of all, I'm really curious where you're getting your pressure numbers for Rodgers, mine don't have his pressure rate anywhere close to Mac's.

Second, and more importantly, raw pressure rate doesn't tell you much because it really doesn't adjust for average time to throw. Obviously, the longer you hold the ball the more pressure you're going to generate on yourself. When under pressure, Jones's average time to throw is 2.91, which is the fourth lowest in the NFL. Tannehill and Cousins are tied for the lowest, at 2.75, and they've been the kings of surviving and thriving behind horrendous pass blocking for a little while now; Prescott has the third lowest. Jones's pressure rate is roughly the same as Tannehill's and Cousins's. None of them (them being Tannehill, Cousins, and Jones) are middle of the pack in pressure rate because they are getting middle of the pack pass blocking, they're middle of the pack because they're getting the ball out fast enough that the inevitable pressure doesn't always have enough time to get there.

Also, I was curious and decided to look to see if the Patriots were getting any special treatment in terms of how often they were being blitz'd. From what it seems, the answer is not really.
Miami NYJ New Orleans Tompa Bay
0.525
0.361​
0.162​
0.532​
0.333​
0.182
0.366​
0.313​
0.457​
0.276​
0.304
0.308​
0.235​
0.228​
0.302​
0.511


Obviously this is an incredibly noisy sample, especially since there are a lot of factors that'll go into whether or not a team decides to blitz, but there's not really anything in the dataset here that suggests that Jones is being singled out for blitzing. Miami treated him like Derek Carr, the Jets blitz'd him at a lower rate than any other QB they've faced, New Orleans didn't treat him any differently from Darnold and Daniel Jones (which, okay, doesn't sound great when I type it out like that, but at least both of them have been rather good this year...), and Bowles sent blitzes at him as though he were Dak Prescott. I don't think there are any conclusions to draw from this dataset besides that the relative rate at which the Patriots are being blitzed probably has more to do with who their opponents have been so far than anything else.
 

Cellar-Door

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First of all, I'm really curious where you're getting your pressure numbers for Rodgers, mine don't have his pressure rate anywhere close to Mac's.

Second, and more importantly, raw pressure rate doesn't tell you much because it really doesn't adjust for average time to throw. Obviously, the longer you hold the ball the more pressure you're going to generate on yourself. When under pressure, Jones's average time to throw is 2.91, which is the fourth lowest in the NFL. Tannehill and Cousins are tied for the lowest, at 2.75, and they've been the kings of surviving and thriving behind horrendous pass blocking for a little while now; Prescott has the third lowest. Jones's pressure rate is roughly the same as Tannehill's and Cousins's. None of them (them being Tannehill, Cousins, and Jones) are middle of the pack in pressure rate because they are getting middle of the pack pass blocking, they're middle of the pack because they're getting the ball out fast enough that the inevitable pressure doesn't always have enough time to get there.

Also, I was curious and decided to look to see if the Patriots were getting any special treatment in terms of how often they were being blitz'd. From what it seems, the answer is not really.

Obviously this is an incredibly noisy sample, especially since there are a lot of factors that'll go into whether or not a team decides to blitz, but there's not really anything in the dataset here that suggests that Jones is being singled out for blitzing. Miami treated him like Derek Carr, the Jets blitz'd him at a lower rate than any other QB they've faced, New Orleans didn't treat him any differently from Darnold and Daniel Jones (which, okay, doesn't sound great when I type it out like that, but at least both of them have been rather good this year...), and Bowles sent blitzes at him as though he were Dak Prescott. I don't think there are any conclusions to draw from this dataset besides that the relative rate at which the Patriots are being blitzed probably has more to do with who their opponents have been so far than anything else.
I'm using PFR for pressure, and blitzes. I will say that whoever NBC uses has them as among the most blitzed team as well, or at least going into SNF, I believe they ran a graphic on it.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I'd like to take a moment to point out that Bill spent a trillion dollars in free agency to address the obvious roster gaps after a disappointing 7-9 season, including a bunch of new ball catchers. Now we're 1-3. Let's relitigate how Cam was the problem though.
Cam was almost certainly part of the problem last year. Do you dispute this?

Mac may or may not be the long term answer at QB. I don't think we've seen anywhere near enough to answer that question. But Mac has at least been able to mostly put the ball where his receivers have a chance to catch it, something Cam wasn't able to do consistently for most of last year.

Mac is also a rookie who has played 4 NFL games so, yeah, he's going to be judged on a slightly different scale than a 10 year veteran.

Also I don't think "we are 1-3" tells us much of anything about whether they made the right decision at QB. It is four games, two of them have been close and could have gone the other way, and Mac generally played well in those two swing games, including in close 4th quarters of both.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I'll defend Cam some... I think we'd have scored more points this year if Cam Newton were our quarterback. He brings elements, particularly in the red zone that Mac doesn't, and defenses tend to gameplan differently to account for his ability to break contain, and his willingness to go deep.

We'd likely also have turned it over more and had more 3 and outs.

Mac is the better choice, because he's a rookie growing into the role, but people have consistently WILDLY exaggerated how bad Cam was and is at QB.
Cam started 15 games last year, threw the ball much less often than Mac, threw only 8 TDs on the whole year and was picked off 10 times. Mac is at 4 TD/4 INT through 4 games, with comparable (slightly higher) TD% and (slightly lower) INT%. Cam was sacked 31 times and Mac 40, which is a wash given how much more frequently Mac throws.

On the other hand, Cam ran for nearly 600 yards and 12 TDs. Non-Cam Patriots ran for 1,750 yards and 8 TDs.

Through 4 games, the Patriots have run for 275 yards and 2 TDs, which would be 1,100 yards and 8 TDs if pro-rated to 16 games.

It is also worth noting that the Mac's Patriots are averaging 17.5 points while Cam's averaged 21.1 (if you ignore the game Cam did not play and the Pats scored 10 points).

All of which is to say, one's view of how Newton would be doing in the current Pats offense depends on what one thinks about the line play and the Pats skill position players. Presumably, the latter are better, although maybe we haven't fully seen the upside. Also, Newton had a few games of Edelman (who would be a huge help to Mac). Also, Newton dealt with Covid 19 and this was his first year in a new system, both of which weigh in his favor.

But the line. The Pats running game (beyond Newton) was excellent last year and is crap this year. The Pats best offensive lineman last year (Thuney) is gone. Other guys who were good last year (Wynn, Onwenu) seem to have slipped considerably.

My gut feeling is that Newton would not be playing as well as he did last year because the OL is a mess, the running game would be putting the Patriots into more 3rd and longs and forcing Newton to throw more which he didn;t do all that well. Only a gut feeling - it could be that with Newton back running a more Cam-oriented offense the line would be playing better. I would need to be convinced of that.
Though also... Mac isn't taking that many sacks, or really facing THAT much pressure, middle of the league in sack%, middle of the league in PRS%.

THe line hasn't been good and has had some really bad misses that were noticeable, but part of it is just that Mac has the 6th most attempts. It's not so much that he's facing a ton of pressure compared with the average QB, it's that we have an offense built for better or worse around trying to string together, 10, 12, 15 play drives. So it FEELS like Mac is getting an inordinate amount of pressure, but it's really about average, it's just where Rodgers faces the exact same PRS%... it's 25% less pressures because he throws it way less.
Again, only a gut feeling on my part, which could be wrong, but I think the fact that the Patriots are clearly running an offense where Mac gets the ball out quickly makes the pressure stats look less bad than they really are. The fact that the line has also sucked in run blocking this year also suggests that overall line play is bad.
 

joe dokes

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Cam would be running for his life (which Mac cant do very well) with this line. Mac is throwing quickly for *his* life (which Cam didn't do very well). Cam as a running threat is nice, but it becomes (became) somewhat irrelevant as his inability to throw well eclipsed every other aspect of his play. Mac has upside if the OL gets its shit together. Cam probably does not. So right now, maybe the results are similar. But the path to those results, and what those paths and results portend are very different.
There probably aren't too many teams whose plan is "we're going to have a shitty OL, so lets keep the QB who can run better but isn't very good at throwing."
 

Harry Hooper

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From PFT:

Chandler Jones had five sacks of Tannehill all by himself as the Cardinals dropped him six times in a 38-13 Week One romp over the Titans. Last week, the Jets sacked Tannehill seven times en route to picking up their first victory of the year, 27-24, over Tennessee.

Tannehill has been hit the third-most of any quarterback in the league through four games. Only Carson Wentz of the Indianapolis Colts (35) and Mac Jones of the New England Patriots (34) have been hit more than the 33 times Tannehill has been hit. Tannehill was sacked just 24 times all of last season and has already been sacked 17 times this year.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Obviously this is an incredibly noisy sample, especially since there are a lot of factors that'll go into whether or not a team decides to blitz, but there's not really anything in the dataset here that suggests that Jones is being singled out for blitzing. Miami treated him like Derek Carr, the Jets blitz'd him at a lower rate than any other QB they've faced, New Orleans didn't treat him any differently from Darnold and Daniel Jones (which, okay, doesn't sound great when I type it out like that, but at least both of them have been rather good this year...), and Bowles sent blitzes at him as though he were Dak Prescott. I don't think there are any conclusions to draw from this dataset besides that the relative rate at which the Patriots are being blitzed probably has more to do with who their opponents have been so far than anything else.
Generally speaking, what we usually see in blitz data is that its much more about the defense's tendencies than the offense's tendencies. I don't have access to the date but just going from memory about what this kind of data has looked like in past years, usually teams in the top five in blitz percentage are somewhere in the 40s and teams with very low blitz percentage are in the teens. So two of the Patriots' four games have been against teams with very high blitz rates (TB, MIA), the other two against teams that are probably middle of the pack.

I also think that if teams are blitzing the Patriots slightly more than their overall tendencies, its likely far more driven by (a) rookie QB with questionable ability to handle the blitz and (b) Patriots haven't shown they can hurt teams deep due to a lack of weapons and, perhaps, Mac not having shown yet that he can take advantage of those opportunities than (c) Mac isn't much of a runner. In the cost-benefit analysis of blitzing (especially on first and second down), what you're most worried about is the blitz being picked up and then the other team making you pay deep down the field in a bad matchup against single coverage.
 

Cellar-Door

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All of which is to say, one's view of how Newton would be doing in the current Pats offense depends on what one thinks about the line play and the Pats skill position players. Presumably, the latter are better, although maybe we haven't fully seen the upside. Also, Newton had a few games of Edelman (who would be a huge help to Mac). Also, Newton dealt with Covid 19 and this was his first year in a new system, both of which weigh in his favor.
So one thing, which was my point, that I may have no clearly articulated is:

The offense would be different if Cam were starting, and defenses would likely attack it differently.

It's a hard comparison to really make, because they are QBs with almost opposite skillsets, and Josh/Bill are good enough coaches to know that. Generally one thing I'd caution against is comparing non-QB runs across years and declaring that the line is the difference. The run plays were different plays last year, and the defensive calculus was often totally different because you had an extra man to account for in Newton. How a team defends a handoff to Harris by Mac in the pocket, and how we block it, is very different from how you block, and how the defense defends something like an option look where Harris or Cam could end up with the ball. Someone had the data on it in this forum before, but teams with rushing QBs tend to have better RB running numbers too.

I agree, Mac is the right choice, because if his current performance is worse than what Cam was going to give you, it isn't by a significant amount, and there is more upside, and it lets you run closer to the offense you'd like (I would guess Josh would like a more aggressive downfield game, but rookie Mac isn't really set for that, and neither is the line). I just caution people against the idea that if a different QB (like Cam) was here it would play out the same way. Cam wouldn't be dropping back for 40-50 attempts, and I'd guess the overall run game would be better.
 

Harry Hooper

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Generally speaking, what we usually see in blitz data is that its much more about the defense's tendencies than the offense's tendencies. I don't have access to the date but just going from memory about what this kind of data has looked like in past years, usually teams in the top five in blitz percentage are somewhere in the 40s and teams with very low blitz percentage are in the teens. So two of the Patriots' four games have been against teams with very high blitz rates (TB, MIA), the other two against teams that are probably middle of the pack.

I also think that if teams are blitzing the Patriots slightly more than their overall tendencies, its likely far more driven by (a) rookie QB with questionable ability to handle the blitz and (b) Patriots haven't shown they can hurt teams deep due to a lack of weapons and, perhaps, Mac not having shown yet that he can take advantage of those opportunities than (c) Mac isn't much of a runner. In the cost-benefit analysis of blitzing (especially on first and second down), what you're most worried about is the blitz being picked up and then the other team making you pay deep down the field in a bad matchup against single coverage.
Collinsworth noted mid-game how the Bucs were doing less blitzing after Mac had made them pay for it. Whether that was a one-time adjustment given Tampa Bay's threadbare secondary or it continues in future Pats games remains to be seen.
 

tims4wins

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Generally speaking, what we usually see in blitz data is that its much more about the defense's tendencies than the offense's tendencies. I don't have access to the date but just going from memory about what this kind of data has looked like in past years, usually teams in the top five in blitz percentage are somewhere in the 40s and teams with very low blitz percentage are in the teens. So two of the Patriots' four games have been against teams with very high blitz rates (TB, MIA), the other two against teams that are probably middle of the pack.

I also think that if teams are blitzing the Patriots slightly more than their overall tendencies, its likely far more driven by (a) rookie QB with questionable ability to handle the blitz and (b) Patriots haven't shown they can hurt teams deep due to a lack of weapons and, perhaps, Mac not having shown yet that he can take advantage of those opportunities than (c) Mac isn't much of a runner. In the cost-benefit analysis of blitzing (especially on first and second down), what you're most worried about is the blitz being picked up and then the other team making you pay deep down the field in a bad matchup against single coverage.
This makes sense. Feels like in general fewer teams are game plan teams on either side of the ball and just do what they do best, although in-game adjustments are a real thing.
 

SMU_Sox

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I’d throw in that the Pats pass pro has communication issues on blitz pickups. Not just blitz pickups but any time there is an extra rusher. As coach Vass brought up some coaches define a blitz (like Belichick) as bringing 6 not 5. Either way they can’t handle 4 of its a twist or stunt and they can’t figure out 5 if it’s a blitzer. Mac is a pocket passer. He’s not a Herbert who can slip the tackle and jet outside and throw 45 yards down the field on a strike while on the move. Putting Mac behind this line severely impacts how he wins.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The offense would be different if Cam were starting, and defenses would likely attack it differently.
I think this is right. But the fact remains the line was very good last year and has been poor this year. Either the change in QBs is the cause of that, or either QB would have been better last year. The fact that this Pats line cannot even run block - Harris has been hit behind the line on many of his runs - suggests to me that overall worse play of the line is more a factor than the QB change. (If the Pats OL was simply "great run blocking, not so great pass blocking" then that could explain why it was better with Cam than Mac... but it would not explain why Harris gets hit behind the line so often and the running game is mostly terrible.
It's a hard comparison to really make, because they are QBs with almost opposite skillsets, and Josh/Bill are good enough coaches to know that. Generally one thing I'd caution against is comparing non-QB runs across years and declaring that the line is the difference. The run plays were different plays last year, and the defensive calculus was often totally different because you had an extra man to account for in Newton. How a team defends a handoff to Harris by Mac in the pocket, and how we block it, is very different from how you block, and how the defense defends something like an option look where Harris or Cam could end up with the ball. Someone had the data on it in this forum before, but teams with rushing QBs tend to have better RB running numbers too.
I think this is probably overstated. I think the Pats put in Cam-specific plays last year and these probably worked well. But I don't think they round-filed their entire offensive playbook last year and then brought it back this year.
I agree, Mac is the right choice, because if his current performance is worse than what Cam was going to give you, it isn't by a significant amount, and there is more upside, and it lets you run closer to the offense you'd like (I would guess Josh would like a more aggressive downfield game, but rookie Mac isn't really set for that, and neither is the line). I just caution people against the idea that if a different QB (like Cam) was here it would play out the same way. Cam wouldn't be dropping back for 40-50 attempts, and I'd guess the overall run game would be better.
Better, yes. As good as last year? I'm skeptical.
 

BusRaker

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I'm not sure how anyone can stake the claim that Cam would have given us a better chance again Tompa Bay than Mac against a great run defense and poor pass defense. I think with Cam we win the Miami game and get throttled by Saints and Bucs (top two run defenses in the league thus far, but they did get to play the Pats in one of their games)
 

Cellar-Door

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I'm not sure how anyone can stake the claim that Cam would have given us a better chance again Tompa Bay than Mac against a great run defense and poor pass defense. I think with Cam we win the Miami game and get throttled by Saints and Bucs (top two run defenses in the league thus far, but they did get to play the Pats in one of their games)
Maybe, but Cam actually had some good passing games against bad pass Defenses last year (SEA, NYJ, HOU), Cam's problem was he struggled against the mediocre and good pass defenses a lot because he couldn't consistently have good placement on throws. Which matters less against bad pass D when guys are more open. (4 games against those teams he put up an average line of 26/37 for 320 yards and a 5:1 TD/INT ratio). I think if he starts this year we probably beat MIA (should have anyway) and the Jets, are similarly competitive against the Bucs and gets smoked by the Saints. Overall, I don't think the Patriots would necessarily be a better team with Cam, but I do think we'd score more points to this point. In part because while Cam might have gotten us to the RZ less, he was even in last year's lessened form a red zone monster, and the current team is STRUGGLING in the RZ.

I think the games that Mac is clearly going to be better for are the ones where the other team can cover, like NO would hurt Cam because maybe he hits the bomb Mac misses, but he also probably throws far fewer of the short passes complete and the pass rush forces a fumble, etc.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Bedard defended Mac today.

https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2021/10/05/Patriots-mac-jones-brady-bucs-issue-progress

Jones just made his fourth NFL start, with a team that had 10 wins in its previous 25 games, in only the biggest Patriots regular-season game arguably ever. Tom Freaking Brady was on the other sideline ... and Jones went toe to toe with him, especially in the final quarter. Let's leave out the fact that most rookies would have leaked down their leg in that environment. Jones should take heat ... because a third-down pass that probably would have ended the game, was tipped on a great play by Lavonte David?

Gasper said Jones, at 1-3, has not elevated his team enough. He could be right, but let's also keep in mind that Jones got this jalopy of a team to the verge of victory against the Dolphins (Damien Harris fumble) and Brady and the Bucs (tipped pass). Didn't work out, but that's football.
The much bigger issues:

Offensive line: Everyone knows this has not been good enough, both in pass protection and the running game. Jones has been under siege with a pressure rate of 36 percent. Anything over 30 is a serious issue for a pocket quarterback. Jones has been hit 42 times or a rate of 23 percent — basically one out of every four times he drops back, Jones is getting blasted. A stuff percentage of nearly 40 percent is flat-out embarrassing and it was 89 percent against the Bucs!

For comparison's sake, I went back to the first four games of 2019 to see what stood out. Not exactly an offensive juggernaut that group, and it also had some serious issues on the line, with Marshall Newhouse and Ted Karrasplaying a lot, and Shaq Mason having an off year. Brady was pressured 29 percent in the first four games — not great, but not terrible — and he was hit 24 times (14.9 percent). The stuff percentage was 29.2 percent.
 

Cellar-Door

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I really dislike the line comparison using pressure rate and particularly hit rate between different QBs. Rookies almost always get pressured and hit more. It's VERY difficult to parse what was line performance vs. the QB in two different years. Top veteran QBs take less pressure and hits for a number of reasons (better identification pre-snap, ball coming out faster, audibles, etc.). Brady is an all-time great at avoiding pressure and hits on all those counts.
 

Eddie Jurak

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I really dislike the line comparison using pressure rate and particularly hit rate between different QBs. Rookies almost always get pressured and hit more. It's VERY difficult to parse what was line performance vs. the QB in two different years. Top veteran QBs take less pressure and hits for a number of reasons (better identification pre-snap, ball coming out faster, audibles, etc.). Brady is an all-time great at avoiding pressure and hits on all those counts.
But no one watching these games would come away thinking “the problem with Mac is that he holds the ball too long” or that the OL has been good.
 

Cellar-Door

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But no one watching these games would come away thinking “the problem with Mac is that he holds the ball too long” or that the OL has been good.
oh no, the O-line has been bad, but comparing it to 2019 and Brady is a disengenuous move to try to imply that Mac has had it terrible compared to Brady and make the Brady connection. There is no reason to jump back to 2019, except to try to make you think "Ah Mac is like Brady" instead of say going to 2020. It's a classic hack move that Bedard uses... because he's a hack.

Edit- honestly that whole article is absolute trash. From the framing to the content. He consistently leans on record, and argues that guys on much worse rosters "didn't elevate" their team. He basically brings no content other than "Rookie QBs are bad" which yeah.... we know. He ignores QB rushing value, he ignores team quality, he just basically wanted to write a "Mac is great, the Haters don't want you to know it" crazy person piece so he did. It's the worst type of journalism.
 
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Eddie Jurak

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oh no, the O-line has been bad, but comparing it to 2019 and Brady is a disengenuous move to try to imply that Mac has had it terrible compared to Brady and make the Brady connection. There is no reason to jump back to 2019, except to try to make you think "Ah Mac is like Brady" instead of say going to 2020.
Sorry, no. The reason to go back is to compare pocket QB to pocket QB.
 

Cellar-Door

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Sorry, no. The reason to go back is to compare pocket QB to pocket QB.
No it's really not. Comparing the best pocket QB in the history of the league in his 18th year to a rookie while behind completely different lines with almost no teammates in common, has no value and even Bedard as clueless as he is knows that. Like the rest of the article, it's cheap and playing to the crowd while having less than zero actual value, it would be a shitty use of data as a tweet, in what is allegedly an article of analysis it's even worse. There are a lot of people writing positive articles about Mac that have substance (see Lazar's actual useful analysis, which has been pretty pro-Mac throughout). This is not one of them.