23 months ago on a live stream from the gambling cave in Hoboken I made a comment that Mac Jones' skill set "grows on trees" referencing his average (at best) arm strength and limited mobility. Minutes later, Mac led the Patriots on a very long drive capped by a beautiful touchdown pass and Dave Portnoy let me have it.
The next day, we revisited it in a long back and forth. The debate was would you rather have Mac Jones for the rest of his career or Tom Brady for the rest of his. This is 2021. Certainly a #HealthyDebate, especially considering Mac was in his rookie year and admittedly even by me, playing the best, at that time, of all the rookie QBs (Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields included).
My argument goes back to how you group plays in the scouting process. There are players you win because of, players you win with, and players you win in spite of. At that time, the Patriots defense was tops in the league and they were running the ball with incredible efficiency. There was a three week stretch the Pats outscored their opponents 94-13. In one of those games, Jones threw the ball 18 times. It was clear that the Patriots were not winning because of Mac Jones, they were winning with him. Meanwhile, the Bucs were winning because of Tom Brady and I figured he was going to return for another season after that.
And while it's not good practice to box score scout, these two are not close enough to even compare from 2021 on:
Dave went on to say Mac had at least 4 Super Bowls in his future and I don't blame him for that at that time. Coming off the Brady era where he only needed to care during the AFC Championship game or later can give yourself a false sense of reality.
But now the reality has fully set in.
Now you've got guys who've gameplanned against QBs like Rex Ryan talking about how he has the weakest arm in the league and would've LOVED to play against him.
And damning evidence about Mac's inability to get his team over the hump.
And now Mac got yanked yesterday and looked real bad before he did.
Bill Bellichick was frustrated post game and didn't appear to want to answer questions about him starting next week, though he reluctantly did.
Now there are reports that Bailey Zappe, who the Pats originally let go during final cutdowns before bringing back may get some 1st team reps this week.
Recency bias is obviously a thing, but this is still a pretty relevant questions. Jones is much better a processing information right now, but Wilson has a wayyyy better arm and can move a bit.
Any way you slice it, this isn't good for Patriots Nation and they'll likely be in the Quarterback market again this off-season, hopefully this time for a guy whose skill set doesn't grow on trees.