The Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones Thread

Eddie Jurak

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An interesting question: All other things being equal, would you rather have a QB with great touch and accuracy but a weak arm, or a QB with a cannon but no touch and little accuracy? There are advantages to both situations, of course. And disadvantages too.
A good example of a successful NFL QB who lacked something in the 'touch' department is our own Drew Bledsoe.
 

SMU_Sox

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For me it’s the consistency. They left meat on the bone vs the Chargers and the Panthers. The defense though, luckily, is a good unit and picked up the slack. Also, the Darnold Panthers were just wretched at that point in the season. Shutting Herbert down though was thoroughly impressive even if the Chargers are going through a bad stretch of play offensively. What they did against the Browns was a clinic. The offense hasn’t been consistent this year but I look forward to seeing them string some games together with a healthy and dominant OL. They should have a good night on Thursday but let’s see them keep doing it. This is also a situation with even a good rookie QB where sometimes you go two steps forward and one step back.
 

Eddie Jurak

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For me it’s the consistency. They left meat on the bone vs the Chargers and the Panthers. The defense though, luckily, is a good unit and picked up the slack. Also, the Darnold Panthers were just wretched at that point in the season. Shutting Herbert down though was thoroughly impressive even if the Chargers are going through a bad stretch of play offensively. What they did against the Browns was a clinic. The offense hasn’t been consistent this year but I look forward to seeing them string some games together with a healthy and dominant OL. They should have a good night on Thursday but let’s see them keep doing it. This is also a situation with even a good rookie QB where sometimes you go two steps forward and one step back.
His first Thursday night football experience. After that they have a whole calendar month with just 2 games.
 

MikeStanley728

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Pats offense last four games...

vs Jets
- Jets vs everyone else: 30.3 points, 400.4 yards
- Jets vs New England: 54 points, 551 yards
- NE vs everyone else differential vs Jets: +23.7 points, +150.6 yards

vs Chargers
- Chargers vs everyone else: 25.1 points, 362.3 yards
- Chargers vs New England: 27 points, 352 yards
- NE vs everyone else differential vs Chargers: +1.9 points, -10.3 yards

vs Panthers
- Panthers vs everyone else: 18.8 points, 281.6 yards
- Panthers vs New England: 24 points, 273 yards
- NE vs everyone else differential vs Panthers: +5.2 points, -8.6 yards

vs Browns
- Browns vs everyone else: 21.8 points, 309.7 yards
- Browns vs New England: 45 points, 452 yards
- NE vs everyone else differential vs Browns: +23.2 points, +142.3 yards

So pretty impressive overall, I'd say, regardless of opponent.
The points don’t adjust for defensive TDs vs the Chargers and Panthers which changes the way those numbers look a bit. I think we can be encouraged by the performances against the Jets and Browns and the general upward trajectory of the offense since the beginning of the season but there is still some inconsistency.
 

BaseballJones

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The points don’t adjust for defensive TDs vs the Chargers and Panthers which changes the way those numbers look a bit. I think we can be encouraged by the performances against the Jets and Browns and the general upward trajectory of the offense since the beginning of the season but there is still some inconsistency.
Of course there’s some inconsistency. No team puts up 35 points every single week.
 

MikeStanley728

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Of course there’s some inconsistency. No team puts up 35 points every single week.
I agree with that, I’m just saying that the offense only scored 20 points against the Chargers and 17 points against the Panthers when you take out the defensive TDs, which changes the way the offensive stats look like for those 2 games. I still think there’s a lot to feel encouraged about the way the offense has looked overall over the past 4 games.
 

BaseballJones

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I agree with that, I’m just saying that the offense only scored 20 points against the Chargers and 17 points against the Panthers when you take out the defensive TDs, which changes the way the offensive stats look like for those 2 games. I still think there’s a lot to feel encouraged about the way the offense has looked overall over the past 4 games.
Yes but that happens with every team you want to measure, if you look at points per game and points ranking and all that.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I don't get the sense that most posters are at risk of irrationally making Jones' performance to date out to be more than it is which is promising. That means absolutely nothing going forward but the reality is that most people here seemed to have realistic or even low expectations for a rookie QB, even with Mac's high floor.

The cool thing to me is that he has already surpassed what I was expecting (something closer to the production of the other rookie QBs who are getting run) and appears to be improving each week.

Mac Jones is still a raw product but its getting easier to see the team succeeding with him behind center going forward, even with mistakes, missed receivers and bad reads.
 

Jimbodandy

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It only grows more and more impressive as time goes on.
A great part of it is making chicken salad out of chicken shit, but Goff also ended up in one of football's graveyards for offense and--in particular--quarterbacks.

McVay deserves a lot of credit, but peak Jesus would look bad in that Lions offense. Google "great Detroit Lions" quarterbacks some time.
 

ponch73

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I agree with that, I’m just saying that the offense only scored 20 points against the Chargers and 17 points against the Panthers when you take out the defensive TDs, which changes the way the offensive stats look like for those 2 games. I still think there’s a lot to feel encouraged about the way the offense has looked overall over the past 4 games.
Efficiency statistics with possessions as denominator are pretty much standard practice in basketball, but, interestingly enough, don't seem to be widely considered in football circles. To come up with my own QB-centric offensive efficiency stat, I looked at total points scored by the offense (when a particular QB was playing) in relation to drives where they were trying to score (this excludes drives to kill clock at the ends of halves, for example). Here are Mac's stats thus far this season. Bear in mind that the adjusted column at the far right excludes drives where a teammate turned over the ball (e.g., Harris' fumble late in the Miami game).

Mac Jones 2021


46553

What surprised me was how favorably Mac's stats compared to Cam in 2020, Brady in 2019 and Brady in 2018.

Cam Newton 2020

46554

Tom Brady 2019

46555

Tom Brady 2018

46556

It's still early, and there's a reasonable chance that Mac hits the rookie wall in a few weeks, but, so far, the results have been very encouraging.

For reference, here are some other comps.

Tom Brady 2009 (coming back from an injury year)

46557

Tom Brady 2020 (with the Bucs last year)

46558

Justin Herbert 2020 (rookie year)

46559

Dak Prescott 2016 (rookie year)

46560
 

Super Nomario

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Those are great @ponch73 . The drive is the fundamental unit of opportunity in football so I'm a big fan of per-drive rather than per-play statistics.

One thing this highlights is how extreme the two dominant offensive performances vs NYJ and CLE were this year - two games north of 5 points per drive, a mark that we only see twice on the other eight seasons you detail. They're raising the average considerably. The median per-drive points is only 2.14 (2.45 adjusted), actually lower than 2020's 2.33 (though the adjusted is better than 2020's 2.33). It will be interesting to see whether the offense moving forward tracks more to the average or to the median.
 

ponch73

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This plus are you able to share more data @ponch73 ? I would actually like to see what the long-term league-wide averages vs the individual numbers for context. This is fascinating stuff.
I have to pull the data on a game per game basis from Pro Football Reference and/or ESPN.com, so I don't have long-term or league-wide averages to share, unfortunately. Maybe there's a sophisticated web scraper/Python guy/gal here who is exponentially more productive than I am at pulling this data.

My rough sense from what I've seen thus far is that anything approaching 3.0 pts per drive on a season-long basis is elite. 2.0 pts per drive or below is subpar (Brady in 2019, although he dealt with extenuating circumstances, and didn't get outstanding field goal kicking like Cam did a season later). I'll try to compile Brady in 2007 and 2010 in short order, and am expecting to see a 3.0-type number.
 

Mystic Merlin

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This is rough, manual math - I included some final garbage time drives that weren’t kneel downs - but I got around 3.7 points per drive for the ‘07 Pats.

For a frame of reference, the ‘13 Broncos - which actually scored more points - were like 0.5 points per drive less.
 
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DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I have to pull the data on a game per game basis from Pro Football Reference and/or ESPN.com, so I don't have long-term or league-wide averages to share, unfortunately. Maybe there's a sophisticated web scraper/Python guy/gal here who is exponentially more productive than I am at pulling this data.

My rough sense from what I've seen thus far is that anything approaching 3.0 pts per drive on a season-long basis is elite. 2.0 pts per drive or below is subpar (Brady in 2019, although he dealt with extenuating circumstances, and didn't get outstanding field goal kicking like Cam did a season later). I'll try to compile Brady in 2007 and 2010 in short order, and am expecting to see a 3.0-type number.
Understood and thank you.

saw those ~2.9 handles with Brady and assumed that this would translate to an elite sort of season. I love this approach because like other efficiency measures, it eliminates the noise of how it happened. It really feels like even in the day and age of better analytics, football evaluations still take aesthetics into account (e.g. cannon arm, game changing speed etc and the plays that result from these attributes). It kind of explains why many people stuck with the idea that Brady was a system QB even after he had a track record of sustained success.
 

BaseballJones

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This is where complementary football matters. Expected points change considerably based on field position. The Pats having a very good defense and excellent special teams tends to help the Pats with field position. But the crazy thing about this past week is the three 90+ yard drives.

A team's EP is at zero when they take possession at about their own 12 yard line. The Pats had a TD drive from their own 1, their own 5, and their own 8. The expected points in those cases were -1, -0.5, and -0.3. Thus, given that field position, their expected points were actually a total of -1.8. But they put up 21 points on those three drives. And on a fourth drive, they started on their own 17, which comes with an EP of +0.2, so in the four long drives, they could have expected to score -1.6 points, but came up with 28 instead.

(Obviously you can't score negative points in football; it's just the linear math.)
 

Big McCorkle

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Efficiency statistics with possessions as denominator are pretty much standard practice in basketball, but, interestingly enough, don't seem to be widely considered in football circles. To come up with my own QB-centric offensive efficiency stat, I looked at total points scored by the offense (when a particular QB was playing) in relation to drives where they were trying to score (this excludes drives to kill clock at the ends of halves, for example). Here are Mac's stats thus far this season. Bear in mind that the adjusted column at the far right excludes drives where a teammate turned over the ball (e.g., Harris' fumble late in the Miami game).

Mac Jones 2021

View attachment 46553

What surprised me was how favorably Mac's stats compared to Cam in 2020, Brady in 2019 and Brady in 2018.

Cam Newton 2020

View attachment 46554

Tom Brady 2019

View attachment 46555

Tom Brady 2018

View attachment 46556

It's still early, and there's a reasonable chance that Mac hits the rookie wall in a few weeks, but, so far, the results have been very encouraging.

For reference, here are some other comps.

Tom Brady 2009 (coming back from an injury year)

View attachment 46557

Tom Brady 2020 (with the Bucs last year)

View attachment 46558

Justin Herbert 2020 (rookie year)

View attachment 46559

Dak Prescott 2016 (rookie year)

View attachment 46560
Something that stands out here is the delta between Mac's raw and adjusted points per drive. 0.14 isn't some massive number, but it really is a lot bigger than the numbers for Cam, Brady, and Herbert. It's definitely nice that the really terrible turnovers by the skill positions have largely gone out of style ever since the Houston game, because before that it was fucking rough.
 

ponch73

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Something that stands out here is the delta between Mac's raw and adjusted points per drive. 0.14 isn't some massive number, but it really is a lot bigger than the numbers for Cam, Brady, and Herbert. It's definitely nice that the really terrible turnovers by the skill positions have largely gone out of style ever since the Houston game, because before that it was fucking rough.
100% agree. This was one of the reasons that pundits were underrating Mac, in my opinion, whereas we Patriots diehards were not. Here's Brady's 2007 numbers -- I get lower numbers than @Mystic Merlin on a weighted average basis, perhaps because some non-offensive scores were in his/her calculations and perhaps because he/she wasn't including the postseason. Regardless, 3.31 is a spectacular number (notice how the numbers regressed after the Week 13 game -- we should keep this in mind with Mac going forward -- I noticed the same thing with Dak in 2016).

Tom Brady 2007

46582
 

tims4wins

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100% agree. This was one of the reasons that pundits were underrating Mac, in my opinion, whereas we Patriots diehards were not. Here's Brady's 2007 numbers -- I get lower numbers than @Mystic Merlin on a weighted average basis, perhaps because some non-offensive scores were in his/her calculations and perhaps because he/she wasn't including the postseason. Regardless, 3.31 is a spectacular number (notice how the numbers regressed after the Week 13 game -- we should keep this in mind with Mac going forward -- I noticed the same thing with Dak in 2016).

Tom Brady 2007

View attachment 46582
Thanks. I didn't remember the offense being quite that good in the regular season NYG game and the Jax playoff game.

LOL @ BUF 7.00
 

ponch73

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Thanks. I didn't remember the offense being quite that good in the regular season NYG game and the Jax playoff game.

LOL @ BUF 7.00
Offense was great in that regular season NYG game (scored on 7 of 9 drives, but kicked FG in 3 of first 4 drives). Defense was not great in that game.

In the JAX playoff game, Ghost missed a FG. Other than that, they scored on 5 of 6 drives.

Hard to do much better than 7 pts per drive. Why wasn't BB going for 2 point conversions? :D
 

tims4wins

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Offense was great in that regular season NYG game (scored on 7 of 9 drives, but kicked FG in 3 of first 4 drives). Defense was not great in that game.

In the JAX playoff game, Ghost missed a FG. Other than that, they scored on 5 of 6 drives.

Hard to do much better than 7 pts per drive. Why wasn't BB going for 2 point conversions? :D
Obviously because he didn't want anyone to think he was running up the score :rolleyes:
 

ponch73

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If you were as blindly pro-Mac as me, you could argue that Jonnu should really get dinged for the pick-6 in the NO game. You could also argue that the TB Dallas game numbers are artificially deflated by overly conservative play calling and Agholor's crucial drop in overtime. That would get Mac up into the 2.8 range on an adjusted basis.
 

tims4wins

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If you were as blindly pro-Mac as me, you could argue that Jonnu should really get dinged for the pick-6 in the NO game. You could also argue that the TB Dallas game numbers are artificially deflated by overly conservative play calling and Agholor's crucial drop in overtime. That would get Mac up into the 2.8 range on an adjusted basis.
You could also argue that the pick-six in the Dallas game wasn't his fault, but I think he at least deserves partial blame for that
 

Big McCorkle

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If you were as blindly pro-Mac as me, you could argue that Jonnu should really get dinged for the pick-6 in the NO game. You could also argue that the TB Dallas game numbers are artificially deflated by overly conservative play calling and Agholor's crucial drop in overtime. That would get Mac up into the 2.8 range on an adjusted basis.
I'm probably more blindly pro-Mac than you are, and I'd like to add on that the adjusted number would also go up if the drives where Harris fumbled in the red zone and on the goal line against the Dolphins and Texans, Bolden fumbled against the Bucs, and Bourne fumbled against the Chargers ended up getting at least 3, and more likely 7 in at least a few of those cases, points. Four of the five non-QB TOs from this team have happened in rather high-leverage situations (i.e., in contrast, the Stevenson fumble was decidedly not high-leverage).

Obviously some not-insignificant portion of this comes from the addition of Agholor, Bourne, and Henry, but the Patriots have a passing DVOA of 18.5% this year, compared to -10.6% last year. That's a 28.5% swing, and the run DVOA is about the same as it was last year (-1.2% last year compared to -2.1% this year). I'm actually somewhat surprised by the run DVOA being so high, as it was a lot worse a few weeks ago, but I suppose that makes sense; the offensive line gelling, getting healthy, and no longer having Yodny Cajuste and Justin Herron playing tackle has obviously been a big help.
 

Super Nomario

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A team's EP is at zero when they take possession at about their own 12 yard line. The Pats had a TD drive from their own 1, their own 5, and their own 8. The expected points in those cases were -1, -0.5, and -0.3. Thus, given that field position, their expected points were actually a total of -1.8. But they put up 21 points on those three drives. And on a fourth drive, they started on their own 17, which comes with an EP of +0.2, so in the four long drives, they could have expected to score -1.6 points, but came up with 28 instead.

(Obviously you can't score negative points in football; it's just the linear math.)
Negative expected points means it's a more favorable position for the opponent even though you have the ball. Like if you run through all the scenarios where you have the ball on the 1, the expectation is the opponent on average will score 1 point next (whether a safety or an offensive score set up by great field position).

100% agree. This was one of the reasons that pundits were underrating Mac, in my opinion, whereas we Patriots diehards were not. Here's Brady's 2007 numbers -- I get lower numbers than @Mystic Merlin on a weighted average basis, perhaps because some non-offensive scores were in his/her calculations and perhaps because he/she wasn't including the postseason. Regardless, 3.31 is a spectacular number (notice how the numbers regressed after the Week 13 game -- we should keep this in mind with Mac going forward -- I noticed the same thing with Dak in 2016).
Cold / inclement weather tends to depress offense, I'd expect. Also, in a lot of these you have playoff games (not 2020 and 2021 yet), which tend to be against better-than-average defenses. So some of those effects might counter-act the improvement we might expect this year.
 

OnTheBlack

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The per drive analysis is great. Would be very interesting to factor in expected points per drive to normalize for field position. You could create an expected points above or below average type figure. Almost a WAR type number for offensive play. As someone earlier stated defense and special teams matter and I would expect have a larger role in offensive production than we give them credit for.
 

m0ckduck

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Efficiency statistics with possessions as denominator are pretty much standard practice in basketball, but, interestingly enough, don't seem to be widely considered in football circles. To come up with my own QB-centric offensive efficiency stat, I looked at total points scored by the offense (when a particular QB was playing) in relation to drives where they were trying to score (this excludes drives to kill clock at the ends of halves, for example). Here are Mac's stats thus far this season. Bear in mind that the adjusted column at the far right excludes drives where a teammate turned over the ball (e.g., Harris' fumble late in the Miami game).

Mac Jones 2021

View attachment 46553

What surprised me was how favorably Mac's stats compared to Cam in 2020, Brady in 2019 and Brady in 2018.

Cam Newton 2020

View attachment 46554

Tom Brady 2019

View attachment 46555

Tom Brady 2018

View attachment 46556

It's still early, and there's a reasonable chance that Mac hits the rookie wall in a few weeks, but, so far, the results have been very encouraging.

For reference, here are some other comps.

Tom Brady 2009 (coming back from an injury year)

View attachment 46557

Tom Brady 2020 (with the Bucs last year)

View attachment 46558

Justin Herbert 2020 (rookie year)

View attachment 46559

Dak Prescott 2016 (rookie year)

View attachment 46560
Great stuff, as others have said.

What jumps out looking through Mac's weekly totals is TWO games so far with efficiency over 5. That's really rare territory. In all the other tables you posted, there are only two other instances: 2009 59-0 game against Tenn and Dak Prescott's week 9 game. It really puts into perspective how great Jones was against CLE last week.
 

Cellar-Door

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https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2021/11/18/22788563/mac-jones-bill-belichick-young-quarterback-master-class?utm_campaign=theringer&utm_content=chorus&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

I thought this was interesting, mostly about the process of developing/supporting a young QB, and how the Patriots are doing it. Covers how (likely) overpaying in FA makes sense because it creates a platform for your QB, how the playcalling and execution has been very conservative (50% run, heavy focus on screens, outs, and non-blitz checkdowns, all safe, easy throws for the young QB).