The Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones Thread

jose melendez

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I think what's really pleasing is that there were indication last night that Mac could, in fact, be a good NFL QB. I'd be very surprised if he's ever elite, but the guy we saw last night, as a second year player, could plausibly, in his third or fourth year be the starter on a team that could compete for a ring with a great defense and good offensive players. The guy we'd seen the rest of the season was a guy who would keep an extremely talented team from winning.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think what's really pleasing is that there were indication last night that Mac could, in fact, be a good NFL QB. I'd be very surprised if he's ever elite, but the guy we saw last night, as a second year player, could plausibly, in his third or fourth year be the starter on a team that could compete for a ring with a great defense and good offensive players. The guy we'd seen the rest of the season was a guy who would keep an extremely talented team from winning.
Yup. I was hard on Mac this year but he was very good last night. The issue, as many continue to point out, is now with the rest of the team and not him. The OL is truly pathetic. The WRs are decent but a mediocre group. Patricia's coaching is just not good enough. Red zone offense continues to just be terrible.

This remains a team that is begging for a legitimate talent infusion. Otherwise, we're going to be stuck in offensive purgatory, IMO barring some unforeseen major leap from Mac.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Being essentially the worst team in the league in the red zone (while having an average offense) falls mainly on coaching (Patricia / Judge, and of course Belichick for putting them in that position).
 

FL4WL3SS

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What last night made me realize about Mac was that when he's getting rid of the ball quickly and not thinking too much, he can deal. Which means a lot of short to mid-range throws and the right play calling for his abilities. He threw one really nice dime to Agholor, but otherwise everything was pretty in front of him.

It was nice to see him have a good game. The play calling and OL play was also WAY better, which helped a lot. The game itself didn't do much to change my opinion of him (he had a handful of similar games last year). You can win with that type of play from your QB, but without improving his pocket presence and being able to make tougher throws, he's going to remain a mediocre QB. I don't think these are things he can improve in-season, so best we can hope is for more games like last night and improve during the offseason.

This team is going nowhere without an effective redzone offense however. That's a discussion for the offense thread.
 

Ed Hillel

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What last night made me realize about Mac was that when he's getting rid of the ball quickly and not thinking too much, he can deal. Which means a lot of short to mid-range throws and the right play calling for his abilities. He threw one really nice dime to Agholor, but otherwise everything was pretty in front of him.
He threw an absolutely perfect bomb to Parker, too, and that throw on 4th and long was pretty darned good. Aghlor woulda had it without the hold. Or he would have dropped it, I suppose.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Seemed like they made a conscious decision to get to the line quicker and Mac seems way better when he has the team lined up fast. When he gets to the line late it is virtually always a throw away or worse. You can tell whether a Patriots play is going to be ok before the ball is snapped. I still don’t understand why there are so many plays that look so ragged before the snap with guys not being in the right place and Mac seeming befuddled, but there were fewer yesterday.

But there are definitely times when the game seems to be going too fast for everyone on the team. Coaches included. Mac never rescues those situations.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Harping on the Agholor “hold” seems misplaced. Much worse contact goes uncalled all the time, and he actually stops and seems to momentarily lose the ball in the lights.
 

BaseballJones

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It's not really "harping" on it to point out that it was a kind of important play. If you watch it, Agholor gets held up for three yards by the defender, which impedes Agholor's route - Agholor is trying to fight through it. He ends up missing the catch by inches. Now, he may have not caught it anyway (he's not the most sure-handed receiver out there), but 100% that contact had a material impact on the play and definitely impeded Agholor's path. It wasn't the most egregious DPI (or hold) ever, but it definitely WAS a penalty, but not called. And a rather huge no-call at that.
 

Eddie Jurak

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He threw an absolutely perfect bomb to Parker, too, and that throw on 4th and long was pretty darned good. Aghlor woulda had it without the hold. Or he would have dropped it, I suppose.
This is part of why having poor pass protection such a problem. Mac needs the protection to be able to throw passes like these.
Seemed like they made a conscious decision to get to the line quicker and Mac seems way better when he has the team lined up fast. When he gets to the line late it is virtually always a throw away or worse. You can tell whether a Patriots play is going to be ok before the ball is snapped. I still don’t understand why there are so many plays that look so ragged before the snap with guys not being in the right place and Mac seeming befuddled, but there were fewer yesterday.

But there are definitely times when the game seems to be going too fast for everyone on the team. Coaches included. Mac never rescues those situations.
That's an interesting point, and how much of that is on Mac vs on the team more generally is an open question.
 

Ed Hillel

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Harping on the Agholor “hold” seems misplaced. Much worse contact goes uncalled all the time, and he actually stops and seems to momentarily lose the ball in the lights.
I’m not harping on the penalty, I’m saying it was a good throw.
 

Cellar-Door

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Best game of the year for sure. Positives were all the usual ones when he plays well, accuracy, placement and touch.

Still some concerns, but a solid performance against a pretty bad defense riddled with injuries.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Just curious what was your opinion of last night's proformance? Some posters are blaming Mac Jones for the loss. I thought those folks are crazy but what do I know? I do think it's been good that Mac has cut down on the turnovers the past couple of games.
As noted above I thought he played well and it was a vast improvement from earlier games this season.
 

FL4WL3SS

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In a vacuum, sure it's not bad, but you're not being fair by ignoring the repeated pattern from Mac. That's what makes it look bad, not one individual play.

There are a handful of posters that rush to defend him anytime he does something good. I think overall the board has been pretty measured in their evaluation of him (myself included, even though folks want to take everything I say as me hating him). He can have a good game and still have stuff to work on.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I mean, it’s clear that right now he’s not good enough to win a Super Bowl. That’s fine, he’s in his second year and has to improve on a few things. He’s not Zach Wilson, we’re all grateful for that.

The things he needs to improve on (pocket awareness, general game management, stopping the self-inflicted wounds) are naturally what people are going to focus on.
 
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brandonchristensen

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I mean, it’s clear that right now he’s not good enough to win a Super Bowl. That’s fine, he’s in his second year and has to improve on a few things. The things he needs to improve on (pocket awareness, general game management, stopping the self-inflicted wounds) are naturally what people are going to focus on.
Right. I don’t think it helps that we had 20 years of Brady who stepped up at the end of games. The same way Allen got the Bills in FG range at the end of their game earlier yesterday. Or how Mahomes always does.

We are used to that, and that’s what it takes to win these days when games are so tight.

Mac had a few wins like that last year (IIRC) which is how he captured the locker room. This year hasbeen the opposite.

So while Mac played great overall, and the loss (IMO) is squarely on the ST with two absolutely massive blows (uncalled penalties or not) - he’s brought up and judged harshly because we are so used to having the ability to come back at the end. You can’t win without being able to have those clutch moments.

Anyway, he played some great football overall and I hope it’s a huge confidence boost for him and he can build on it.
 

EricFeczko

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This was Mac Jones best performance all year -- and this was a great performance.
58125

Despite the injuries, MN is not a *terrible* defense; just two weeks ago they limited Josh Allen to three turnovers with this line:
58124
58123
 

SMU_Sox

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His best game of the season. I guess to me it’s not that he can’t improve on not taking sacks, as one of the three sacks was most likely his fault, the one where he scrambled for a loss of 1 (IIRC), but that compared to the rest of the league he’s been better at not taking them when it is his fault. (Or better phrased maybe he is good at not putting himself into position to take sacks - most of his sacks are on the OL and not him). He’s not great at getting out of very difficult pressure situations either. Overall though when you stack up his performance and OL protection circumstances to others he’s in the top half, top third of the league. The Trent Brown sack was on a long developing play, no one was open, and he for whatever reason used a cut block. Mac would have had to immediately find someone he could then throw it away too without sailing it or throwing it to a possible defender. We’re talking right away. That’s not on him. In that situation your best bet is to ground it to the closest eligible receiver but if they are all running downfield you’re just going to eat the sack there. No roughing on the shot to the helmet he took after the sack or being tripped. So TWO missed calls.

Another thing… earlier this year I was saying if he kept on making turnover worthy plays at his rate he was not the guy. He’s cut down on them. Now if you give him protection he can make big throws and not turn it over. That’s why to me you have to build a line around him. That and the running game is still shit because they are losing so much on individual matchups. Ferentz in particular is so bad with run blocking it pains me to watch.
 

ZMart100

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Yeah, cutting down on the turnovers is huge. I thought he was too aggressive early in the season and he seems to have cut down on that.

I thought he was better against the Jets, but the Jets were a better defense. His ball placement wasn't great at times yesterday (still better than what Zappe showed), but his receivers were open enough to adjust. He also had some game management errors. Overall, this was still a good game for him and encouraging.
 

Eddie Jurak

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In a vacuum, sure it's not bad, but you're not being fair by ignoring the repeated pattern from Mac. That's what makes it look bad, not one individual play.
I think this is unfair. Either Mac had a chance or he didn't on that play, regardless of any patterns.
I mean, it’s clear that right now he’s not good enough to win a Super Bowl. That’s fine, he’s in his second year and has to improve on a few things. He’s not Zach Wilson, we’re all grateful for that.

The things he needs to improve on (pocket awareness, general game management, stopping the self-inflicted wounds) are naturally what people are going to focus on.
That is clear. It's not clear that he ever will be that good, and at this point the safer bet is that he never will.

That said, Tom Brady never had to work with this level of dumpster fire of a line and offense while he was here. Put him on this team and he's probably having one of his worst years.

And from the beginning of the season to now Mac has made progress despite difficult circumstances. It needs to continue, if Mac is ever going to be actually good, but it is there, starting with the reduction in turnovers.
Another thing… earlier this year I was saying if he kept on making turnover worthy plays at his rate he was not the guy. He’s cut down on them. Now if you give him protection he can make big throws and not turn it over. That’s why to me you have to build a line around him. That and the running game is still shit because they are losing so much on individual matchups. Ferentz in particular is so bad with run blocking it pains me to watch.
When everything goes right, he's able to get the ball downfield. At the same time he doesn't have the arm to make the types of high percentage shorter throws that were a Brady staple. And his mechanics are bad so his arm plays down especially under pressure. I agree, the OL and pass protection needs to be an offseason focus. But he has cut down significantly on the unforced errors.
 

BaseballJones

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Mac's last four games...

24-35 (68.6%), 194 yds, 5.5 y/a, 1 td, 1 int, 79.9 rating
20-30 (66.7%), 147 yds, 4.9 y/a, 1 td, 0 int, 89.2 rating
23-27 (85.2%), 246 yds, 9.1 y/a, 0 td, 0 int, 104.6 rating
28-39 (71.2%), 382 yds, 9.8 y/a, 2 td, 0 int, 119.8 rating

Next week will be a tough test against Buffalo in what will be a hugely important game for the Pats.
 

lexrageorge

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If there’s one good piece of evidence that the Patriots offensive line has fallen apart, it is that.
The team will absolutely need to rebuild its OL next season. Wynn is likely to leave via free agency. Trent Brown has a very cuttable contract and will almost certainly be cut. Onwenu and Strange will be back and will probably remain as starters in the interior. As for Andrews, he will be 31 and is a retirement risk due to his past health and concussion issues. Strange will benefit from the typical first offseason of NFL conditioning and hopefully will make the year 1 to 2 leap that we want from first round picks.

I assume Cannon will retire and Cajuste will be left unsigned. Ferentz could return as backup depth but hopefully does not see much game action. I'm not expecting much from the NFI/IR players they picked up at the tail end of last year's draft. Bottom line is that there are only 2 or 3 players from this season's rotation that are locks to return, and no clear understudies in the depth chart.
 

joe dokes

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It's not clear that he ever will be that good, and at this point the safer bet is that he never will.
Isn't it always the "safer bet" that a particular QB will never win a Super Bowl?
Other than that, the level of certainty as to the future, long-term limitations of a team with him at QB seems to rest on some pretty thin evidentiary ice.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Isn't it always the "safer bet" that a particular QB will never win a Super Bowl?
Other than that, the level of certainty as to the future, long-term limitations of a team with him at QB seems to rest on some pretty thin evidentiary ice.
Yes. I guess what I would say though, is that Mac is further away that he appeared at the end of last season.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Is he? He just played the best game of his career.
Come on. For the same reasons we shouldn't anoint Zappe, we should be cautious here. There is way more suck this year than good. Let's see if he can repeat his good games before saying anything more about his career prospects.

They odds of him having a decent game against Buffalo are not in his favor. If he plays well, I might even start to feel a little positive about him.
 

Nator

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Come on. For the same reasons we shouldn't anoint Zappe, we should be cautious here. There is way more suck this year than good. Let's see if he can repeat his good games before saying anything more about his career prospects.

They odds of him having a decent game against Buffalo are not in his favor. If he plays well, I might even start to feel a little positive about him.
Even if he plays well, there will be the, "Yeah but Von Miller was out." gravity he will have to overcome to please some people.
 

Remagellan

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I mean, it’s clear that right now he’s not good enough to win a Super Bowl. That’s fine, he’s in his second year and has to improve on a few things. He’s not Zach Wilson, we’re all grateful for that.

The things he needs to improve on (pocket awareness, general game management, stopping the self-inflicted wounds) are naturally what people are going to focus on.

Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, Joe Flacco, Nick Foles, and Peyton Manning's corpse won Super Bowls. After a season and a half, it's way too early to declare that Mac Jones is incapable of winning Super Bowls. Take a look at the failure rate of highly drafted QBs over the past five years and tell me that the Pats should flush him for a high pick in hopes of drafting the next Mahomes, because that would be like selling your fledgling business to use the money to buy lottery tickets because you've decided that's a sounder plan for financial success.

Young QBs are not popcorn kernels. Just because they don't pop the first time they're thrown into the fire doesn't mean their potential to bloom later is extinguished.
 
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Jimbodandy

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The degree to which people have dug in with their opinions on Mac Jones is really reminiscent of the treatment that Jaylen still gets in MBPC. People make up their minds on something, and no evidence, stats, or anything else will change their minds.

Last night Jaylen went for 25 on 16 shots, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, with 1 turnover. If the Cs had somehow kicked that game away, there would be people noting that turnover and complaining about his loose handle.

Ftr, I was decidedly unpumped when we drafted Jones and am still not at all sure whether he's the guy or not. But when the guy has a great game, it really isn't showing weakness to appreciate it.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Even if he plays well, there will be the, "Yeah but Von Miller was out." gravity he will have to overcome to please some people.
I mean, sure. I'll def still have my doubts, it's going to take a string of good games and proving he can beat a good defense at some point. He needs to start checking boxes: big game with no mistakes (check), beat a good defense, come from behind, etc etc.

The "there will be some people" will always be true.
 

BaseballJones

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Come on. For the same reasons we shouldn't anoint Zappe, we should be cautious here. There is way more suck this year than good. Let's see if he can repeat his good games before saying anything more about his career prospects.

They odds of him having a decent game against Buffalo are not in his favor. If he plays well, I might even start to feel a little positive about him.
He’s been playing a lot better recently. That much is obvious.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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The degree to which people have dug in with their opinions on Mac Jones is really reminiscent of the treatment that Jaylen still gets in MBPC. People make up their minds on something, and no evidence, stats, or anything else will change their minds.

Last night Jaylen went for 25 on 16 shots, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, with 1 turnover. If the Cs had somehow kicked that game away, there would be people noting that turnover and complaining about his loose handle.

Ftr, I was decidedly unpumped when we drafted Jones and am still not at all sure whether he's the guy or not. But when the guy has a great game, it really isn't showing weakness to appreciate it.
I literally had the same thought a handful of posts before getting to your post.
 

luckiestman

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Vikes game didn’t show me much. He faced no pressure and played well. I thought the Vikes D was as bad as I’ve seen. On the other hand, I thought the Pats D played well even though the score didn’t reflect it. Untimely penalties and Justin Jefferson being one of the best receivers I have ever watched.
 

joe dokes

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He played a lot better in this last game. Against the Colts and Jets he played at a similar level to his other performances.
I think the basic point is that making a determination that this guy is unlikely to be a high-enough quality player based on one+ seasons, or how badly he sucked in *that* game seems to be an unsound methodology. Maybe if he had shown absolutely nothing in 25 games, the evidence would count for something. But like most turned-out-good QBs in their 2nd season, he's shown some really good, some really, bad and some good and bad in between.
 

rodderick

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I think the basic point is that making a determination that this guy is unlikely to be a high-enough quality player based on one+ seasons, or how badly he sucked in *that* game seems to be an unsound methodology. Maybe if he had shown absolutely nothing in 25 games, the evidence would count for something. But like most turned-out-good QBs in their 2nd season, he's shown some really good, some really, bad and some good and bad in between.
Sure, I agree with that. I just disagree with the assessment that he has been trending up. He had one great game. I've never seen a QB get praised so much for a 3 point performance, he wasn't good against the Jets in either game and did nothing against the Colts. This is his first above average game since coming back from injury and it wasn't just above average, it was really, really good, so yeah, I'm also excited to see he can put it together, but it's not part of a trend.
 

BaseballJones

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Sure, I agree with that. I just disagree with the assessment that he has been trending up. He had one great game. I've never seen a QB get praised so much for a 3 point performance, he wasn't good against the Jets in either game and did nothing against the Colts. This is his first above average game since coming back from injury and it wasn't just above average, it was really, really good, so yeah, I'm also excited to see he can put it together, but it's not part of a trend.
Really? I've never seen a QB crapped on so much on a day when he completed 85% of his passes, threw for nearly 250 yards, for a 9.1 y/a, with zero turnovers, in very windy conditions against a top shelf defense.
 

rodderick

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Really? I've never seen a QB crapped on so much on a day when he completed 85% of his passes, threw for nearly 250 yards, for a 9.1 y/a, with zero turnovers, in very windy conditions against a top shelf defense.
Maybe if you watch the game and actually see those completions you'll begin to understand. I really hope we go beyond box score scouting to evaluate performance here, he was asked to do very, very little in that game.
 

BaseballJones

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Maybe if you watch the game and actually see those completions you'll begin to understand. I really hope we go beyond box score scouting to evaluate performance here, he was asked to do very, very little in that game.
Please, I ask you politely to not be condescending to me by saying things like this.
 

Justthetippett

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Mac could shut a lot of us up if he had a defining moment in a meaningful game, e.g. winning a game the Pats should have lost, leading a game winning drive, etc. For better or worse, it seems like he’s “OK” in wins with the whole team playing well, and unspectacular or very bad in losses, unable to pick up the D or Special Teams. That’s a guy that’s going to catch criticism a lot in a league where one or two plays often decides a game.
 

brandonchristensen

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Mac could shut a lot of us up if he had a defining moment in a meaningful game, e.g. winning a game the Pats should have lost, leading a game winning drive, etc. For better or worse, it seems like he’s “OK” in wins with the whole team playing well, and unspectacular or very bad in losses, unable to pick up the D or Special Teams. That’s a guy that’s going to catch criticism a lot in a league where one or two plays often decides a game.
Yeah. He can win if the defense stops any late drives, but so many quarterbacks now win at the end when they have to - and I don't think Mac is that guy yet. Or just hasn't had the right opportunity to do so.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Mac’s essential problem, when it comes to opinions about him, is that the things he was supposed to be good at were the mental and finer points of the position, not physical skills, but so far those strengths have not really stood out in his young career. He was supposed to be the safe, low-ceiling but high floor pick. He’ll never be able to scramble like Fields or throw laser beams but he was supposed to be accurate, smart and a good leader. So when he has a stretch where he turns the ball over a lot and takes a lot of sacks and doesn’t see the field well, the frustration is doubled because he’s already “known” not to have the extreme physical attributes that might make up for the lack of smart play.

I’m not saying this is an entirely fair or even accurate look at his abilities. I don’t even agree with a bunch of it. I’m merely trying to give some context as to why he’s judged so harshly.
 

BaseballJones

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I think he's judged so harshly because he's not Tom Brady. And we were absolutely spoiled by Tom Brady.

For his career - and remember, he didn't "redshirt" a season and learn from the sidelines...he was thrown right into the mix instantly - he's:

14-11 (.560)
514-755 (68.1%), 5,569 yds, 7.4 y/a, 28 td, 20 int, 90.9 rating
led the team to the playoffs as a rookie
made the Pro Bowl as a rookie (I know this isn't the be-all, end-all, but it's not nothing either)
finished #2 in the NFL as offensive rookie of the year
last year, QB'd the Patriots to the #6 scoring offense in the NFL

I mean, we ALL agree that he's no Tom Brady or Dan Marino or even in the top half of NFL QBs right now. But for a guy in his second season, who is coming back from an injury, who started as a rookie right out of the gate, he's done pretty well.
 

luckiestman

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Please, I ask you politely to not be condescending to me by saying things like this.
It’s because you do Baghdad Bob style apologetics in these Mac Jones conversations that people respond this way.

He is playing for a guy that was 11-5 with Matt Cassell and 7-9 with a Cam who could no longer throw a forward pass so saying Mac “led” a team to the playoffs is a bit much. He won 3 more games and the season was one game longer than a man who legitimately can no longer throw a football.