"I try to never give parenting advice because we’re all just doing our best, we’re all just guessing. And last week I broke that rule and I was punished for it. I said, ‘Hey, let Mac Jones not order off the kids menu.’ And the Patriots were like, ‘Hey, Nick’s Wright, let’s let him not order off the kids menu.’ Twenty minutes into the meal, he’s having an allergic reaction, they’re breaking out the EpiPen. They’re like, ‘Damn it, we knew it should’ve been chicken fingers. This shrimp primavera is no good.’ Because they let him try to be a big boy, and he wasn’t wearing his big boy pants, I’m sorry to tell you. It was a rough night for Mac Jones." - Nick Wright
On the temperature scale, there is:
--The core of the sun, which is 27 million degrees
--The Red Spider Nebula, which is 50 times hotter
--A quasar, which burns 100 times the energy of the Milky Way and reaches temperatures of 80 million degrees
--The takes on FS1.
You might think no one can compete with "Undisputed" when it comes pulling white hot opinions out of the blast furnace with welder's gloves and cast iron tongs. But don't sleep on "First Things First." It's a veritable factory. And Nick Wright is the shift supervisor, in charge of bringing the heat. His brand of dismissive, smarmy, anti-Patriots vitriol might have started about three championships ago, but it didn't leave when Tom Brady did. His opinions might be derivative and unoriginal - a poor man's Max Kellerman, who is already the broke man's Skip Bayless - but he's got no let up when it comes to his Pats rhetoric.
And while I'm confused as to whether he thinks the Patriots are babying Mac Jones to much or he's saying Mac Jones plays like a baby, that's irrelevant. I'm just glad Wright is shitting all over this team. Because that is the world I'm accustomed to. That is a return to the Old Normal that I've been waiting for. It's when national TV opinionbots aren't set to attack mode that I get uneasy.
As far as whether Josh McDaniels needs to let Jones off the leash more, I agreed after the win over the Jets. The defense forced four interceptions and two turnovers on downs, and we are naturally conditioned around here to take killshots at times like that, when the opponent just suffered a letdown, their defense is getting dragged back onto the field and the momentum is ours. Either McDaniels by design or Jones by his own judgment chose to play it Breitbart-level conservative, and won the game easily. Over my objections. So good on them.
If the argument here is that Jones "is dinking and dunking and is one of the worst quarterbacks in football," which he also says, that's where I have to step in and chill the hot takez with liquid nitrogen. Sunday, Jones didn't complete a lot of balls downfield. But it was not for lack of trying. According to Jones spray chart from Next Gen Stats (I'm afraid if I include the chart Ginger Satan's Copyright Cops will kick my door in and drag me off, and I don't want to miss the game Sunday) I count 13 passes of more or less 20 yards. One was completed. One was picked (late in the game when he had to literally throw caution into the wind), and the other 11 were incomplete. We can debate the reasons for that. But not the fact he was airing it out.
Personally, I can't see any way it doesn't start with the offensive line, who's pass protection has been abysmal. Especially when it comes to picking up blitzes. Even more especially when faced with defending games and stunts. Jones is seventh in the league in dropbacks, which doesn't sound very babyish to me. But according to ESPN Stats & Info, he's taken 22 QB hits, which tied for 3rd most.
By Pro Footballl Focus' reckoning:
--Jones is tied for 12th in total pressures with 41 and 15th in time to throw.
--But in terms of pressures that turn into sacks, he's only at 14.6%, which is 25th lowest. And he's in the middle of the pack with nine 1st downs with the pocket caving in on him. So he's avoiding negative plays when he's facing pressure.
--Still, when pressured he's getting the ball out for the most part. He's at 50% completions which is 15th in the league. With an average air yards per throw of 11.3, which 17th. Both figures are slightly below Tom Brady's.
--Jones' under pressure passer rating is 69.9. Which is far from great. But almost equidistant from terrible. That's 21st in the league. Which puts him one spot behind Jimmy Garoppolo. And ahead of veterans like Jameis Winston (25th), Jared Goff (26th), Aaron Rodgers (29th), Baker Mayfield (31st), and the decaying corpse of Ben Roethlisberger (33rd).
Though the better comparison is not between Jones and all NFL quarterbacks after three months, it's against the guys taken ahead of him in the Class of 2021.
Passer ratings under pressure:
--Zach Wilson: 37.2
--Trevor Lawrence: 24.1
--Justin Fields: 7.0
With Davis Mills doing well at 82.4. But just for further context, Tua Tagovailoa is at 5.4.
The point being, being a rookie thrown into the quarterbacking waters in the first month of your first season rarely results in anything but a vicious beating on a weekly basis that will destroy your confidence as well as your soul. In no way has that been the case with Jones.
Like I said in the Knee Jerk Reactions to the Saints game, you cannot show me a one minute clip of Mac Jones quarterbacking where it looks like he doesn't belong in the league. Where he's confused or seeing ghosts or comes off like the moment is too big for him. Of course there are plays here and there. There are with everyone. What matters is that, whatever has ailed this team through the first 17.6% of the season, it has not been Jones.
It begins upfront. Both with the offensive line, but also his running backs who, aside from James White, have been awful at picking up blitzers. They can keep asking him to play adequately when he's got rushers coming at him on all sides like henchmen bearing down on John Wick for a while, but not forever. His chemistry with his receivers is still developing, but those chemical reactions are a lot harder when you're taking more shots than all but two QBs in football. Clean that up, clean up Jones' pocket, give him time to throw and stay on his feet, and the Nick Wright's will be saving the family restaurant analogies for some other team.