Mac Jones Throws for 87 Yards in Impressive Outing as Patriots Beat WFT in Preseason

Blake SchusterContributor IAugust 13, 2021

FOXBOROUGH, MA - AUGUST 12: New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) rears back to pass during a preseason game between the New England Patriots and the Washington Football Team on August 12, 2021, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to New England, Mac Jones.

The Patriots' No. 15 overall pick out of Alabama took the field in front of the home crowd for the first time Thursday as New England opened the preseason against the Washington Football Team with a 22-13 victory.

Even before taking a single snap, Jones, who replaced starter Cam Newton late in the first quarter, was embraced by the fans at Gillette Stadium:

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Mac Jones gets a warm welcome in New England <br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/5B0hyiMi6I">pic.twitter.com/5B0hyiMi6I</a>

In limited action, Jones played well enough for New England to earn the win. The Patriots also got three field goals from Quinn Nordin—including a 50-yarder—to go with two fourth-quarter touchdowns from running back Rhamondre Stevenson.

Washington's Lamar Miller and Peyton Barber accounted for WFT's two touchdowns.

QB Numbers

Cam Newton, Patriots: 4-of-7, 49 yards, 78.9 rating

Mac Jones, Patriots: 13-of-19, 87 yards, one sack, 78.2 rating

Brian Hoyer, Patriots: 2-of-4, 14 yards, 58.3 rating

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington: 5-of-8, 58 yards, 84.4 rating

Taylor Heinicke, Washington: 9-of-15, 86 yards, one sack, 76.0 rating

Steven Montez, Washington: 17-of-24, 108 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, one sack, 76.4 rating

Mac Jones Shines in Debut

It's not often a first-string quarterback serves as the warm-up act, but that was the role Newton found himself in. It's his job to lose, but people were there to see Jones.

A year after Tom Brady left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones was drafted to lead a new era in New England.

Jones played five series, continually spread the ball across the field and could've had at least one touchdown if not for a drop in the end zone. He was accurate and showed touch in getting the ball to the spots he wanted:

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

Mac Jones throwing darts 🎯<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a>)<a href="https://t.co/gYp7QSiSHd">pic.twitter.com/gYp7QSiSHd</a>


.<a href="https://twitter.com/MacJones_10?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MacJones_10</a>' first completion as a pro goes for a first down!<br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WASvsNE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WASvsNE</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a> (or check your local listings)<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/QXoNWCGPHr">https://t.co/QXoNWCGPHr</a> <a href="https://t.co/jflvL4aW90">pic.twitter.com/jflvL4aW90</a>

Matt Miller @nfldraftscout

*whispers*<br><br>Mac Jones looks pretty good

Granted, it's the first preseason game and no one who has a guaranteed roster spot is looking to go full throttle just yet, but it's hard not to get excited by Jones' potential. That was the case for Patriots fans, many of whom headed for the exits after Brian Hoyer replaced Jones in the third quarter.

Jones did get to lead the first series after halftime and used 13 plays to go 53 yards in 5:12 before stalling out at the Washington 22-yard line. The drive ended with a field goal.

Chase Young Makes Big Impact in Little Time

In just a few snaps, defensive end Chase Young proved he's more than ready to follow up his Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign. In fact, he may have announced his candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year.

Young came out ready to attack, with Newton taking the brunt of his efforts. The Ohio State product burst off the line of scrimmage in the first quarter, promptly pushed his way through single coverage and took down Newton in the backfield, though it wasn't officially a sack since the QB was ruled to have released the ball before Young got to him:


Chase Young already in backfields 🔥 <a href="https://twitter.com/youngchase907?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@youngchase907</a> <br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WASvsNE?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WASvsNE</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@nflnetwork</a> (or check your local listings)<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/QXoNWCGPHr">https://t.co/QXoNWCGPHr</a> <a href="https://t.co/jbf7EZ9JU6">pic.twitter.com/jbf7EZ9JU6</a>

"We don't look at it as preseason, man," Young told the NFL Network broadcast after he came out of the game. "I knew I wasn't going to get much time, so I thought it was good practice for me to start early. ... I felt good about what we did."

Nicki Jhabvala @NickiJhabvala

Chase Young talking to <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeSilver?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MikeSilver</a> on the sideline about Cam Newton: "Hey, that boy is very big. He's very big. But the goal was to get the ball out, and it came out."<br><br>(Newton released the ball just before Young got to him, so it was a QB hit for Young &amp; inc. pass for Newton.)

Young also ended Newton's night by drawing a holding call on tight end Jonnu Smith on third down, forcing the Patriots to kick a field goal and derailing a solid drive.

John Keim @john_keim

One other thing I liked about Chase Young's action: Awareness on a screen to his side. Started to rush, reads; there to stop for no gain if pass completed. Liked the stop on 2&amp;20 when he appeared shielded, moves TE aside, sprints to ball. 3 yard gain. Not just about flash

Young entered training camp with the fourth-best odds to win Defensive Player of the Year, with DraftKings Sportsbook listing him at +850 (bet $100 to win $850). Only T.J. Watt (+800), Myles Garrett (+500) and Aaron Donald (+500) held better odds.

That may look like a value play by the time the regular season rolls around.

What's Next?

WFT will take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday, Aug. 20, at 8 p.m. ET at FedEx Field. The Patriots will be back in action Thursday, Aug. 19, at 7:30 p.m. when they travel to Lincoln Financial Field versus the Philadelphia Eagles.