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Why Mac Jones playing this year is important

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Oct 9th
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BobDigital

Pro Bowl Player
How important is it that Mac starts this year exactly? Let's try to find out by looking at every season from 1994-2020 (the salary cap era)

Notes – I consider someone a starter if they start the majority of the games in a season.

1994 – Steve Young won in arguably his 4th or 5th year starting and 10th year overall. After 2 to 3 failed post-season runs (depending on if you count one where he want in half way into a game for an injured Montana)
1995 – Troy Aikman won in his 4th, 5th and 7th year starting and overall (this being year 7). He lost in the playoffs 1 time,
1996 – Brett Favre – won in his 5th season starting. 6th overall. And lost in the playoffs 3 times before winning.
1997 – John Elway – won his 15th and 16th season starting and overall. He had 8 playoff eliminations before winning.
1998 – John Elway
1999 – Kurt Warner – won his 1st year starting and 2nd year in the league (at the age of 28). He had no playoff loses before this. It is worth noting that where he did play in the arena leagues he went to the championship game and lost twice. If that experience at all prepared him in anyway for the NFL, or if it was just maturity due to age that played a factor in the playoffs is something to ask yourself.
2000 – Trent Dilfer – won his 6th year starting and 7th in the league. He also went to the playoffs 1 time before this.
2001 – Tom Brady – Won his 1st year starting and 2nd year in the league. No one needs to be told it was his first playoff run.
2002 – Brad Johnson – Won his 6th year starting and 9th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs twice before winning.
2003 – Tom Brady
2004 – Tom Brady
2005 – Ben Roethlisberger – Won his 2nd year starting and 2nd year in the league. He lost in the playoffs once before.
2006 – Peyton Manning – Won his 9th year starting and 9th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 6 times before winning
2007 – Eli Manning – Won his 3rd year starting and 4th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 2 times before.
2008 – Ben Roethlisberger
2009 – Drew Brees – He won his 8th year starting and 9th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 2 times before.
2010 – Aaron Rodgers – He won his 3rd year starting and 6th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 1 time before.
2011 – Eli Manning
2012 – Joe Flacco – He won his 5th year starting and 5th year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 4 times before.
2013 – Russell Wilson – He won his 2nd year starting and 2nd year in the league. He lost in the playoffs 1 time before.
2014 – Tom Brady
2015 – Peyton Manning
2016 – Tom Brady
2017 – Nick Foles – He won his 6th year in the league and with 3 years starting before coming in late as a back up to win. He also had 1 playoff loss.
2018 – Tom Brady
2019 – Patrick Mahomes – won his 2nd year starting and 3rd year in the league. He lost 1 playoff game before winning.
2020 – Tom Brady

So now we have some data to go by. What can we draw from it?

Only 2 times in the salary cap era (maybe overall if you give allowances for early in the leagues history) have we had a QB win their first time in the playoffs. Both cases were very strange. A 28 year old rookie FA who came onto a super team and the GOAT. I think there is a reason these cases are outliers. Due to this, we can assume a team lead by a QB on first time in the playoffs will fail. But it will be a good learning experience to build on for future runs.

Most of the QBs who won, won in their first 5 years. In large part due to their contracts. This only supports the value of getting the maximum out of your rookie deal. The exceptions being HOFers who broke through late like Manning, Elway and Brees or low contract guys like Foles or Dilfer. Rodgers won in year 6, but he was on a cheap contract that year due to not playing and still being partly unproven.

Generally unless you get the GOAT or something crazy happens, you generally need a HOF QB or you have a 5 year window to win before your odds drop way down. Generally no one wins their first time in the playoffs. This means we need to get Mac in there at least twice. We also need to have Mac play the majority of games this year. We don't need a full season, but the switch must come with enough time to give him some good experience to build on for year 2 and beyond, historically speaking.

Finally, and perhaps most controversially. If Mac isn't HOF level, but a good starter. It is in our best interest to trade him if we don't win if the first 5 years. Guys you need to pay a lot of money to who are not HOF QBs have PROVEN to hurt more than help. You are better off looking to build the rest of your team, then get lucky at QB with a low paid guy over producing than to try to win without a HOF player at the spot.

Dilfer was paid 1M out of a 62M cap 1.6%
Johnson was paid 5.5 out of a 71M cap 7.8%
Manning (in 11') was paid 14M out of a 120M cap 11.6%
Foles/Wentz was paid 7.6M out of 208M cap cap 3.7%

Generally if you want to win a super bowl you have 2 options at QB. Either get a HOF guy or skimp on the position while building up the rest of your team and hope for a good cheap option to come along who will be serviceable enough, or get hot at the right time. A half measure of paying a good but not great QB in the salary cap era has been shown to be the WORST thing you can do.

I hope Mac can be HOF caliber, so we have a chance to win not only in these next 5 years, AND in the future after that. If not, then win or lose, he should be traded for value so the team can reset and try again.
 
Last edited:

BobDigital

Pro Bowl Player
All of this...........and because Cam is not a very good NFL QB anymore.
For all the crap we give Cam. He is exactly the kind of player and contract the Patriots should be looking for if they can't get that top QB and their draft picks don't work. A cheap option with lightning in the bottle upside. And I say this not being a fan at all of Newton. Typically if you can't get a HOF player or a solid cheap rookie, what you want is a pocket passer with a lot of talent that has failed to put it together consistently (or stay healthy who is now a journeyman), who has a dangerous deep ball and knows how to shift gears and be a game manager when given the lead and told to not turn it over.
 

NYCPATS4LIFE

In the Starting Line-Up
I’m not a cam fan i wanna see jones sooner rather than later but bill seems to always go with experience. Jones was one of the most ready to play QBs entering the draft. I just hope he plays this year.
 

Bill Lee

What, me worry?
PatsFans.com Supporter
Cam was signed to a 1 year contract that makes him easy to cut, and at a time when we didn't know if we'd even draft a rookie QB, never mind have one like Mac fall to us. Basically Cam was signed so FAs had a name and a face at QB.

Cam is a mercenary, the more wins he gets in 2021 the better he does in 2022, but each win he gets lowers our 2022 draft position.

The only reason to not start Mac is if BB really, truly feels he still needs to learn more to be effective at the position, or if he feels starting him now will stunt his future growth.

Otherwise, all Cam is doing is stopping Mac's progress, and in turn the team's progress, because we all know Cam isn't the long term answer.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

Not the kind of guy to say I told you so ...
PatsFans.com Supporter
Good post Bob. This is has been mentioned before several times in different places but you hit it all in one post.

Good QB's are rare. Good QB's on the cheap are a lot harder to come about. Its the biggest cheat code in the league. Maybe by a large margin?

You want to know what you have as early as possible. 99.9% of rookie QB's are bad. You want to make sure you have the right kind of bad. You could argue the best thing about Bill's personality/philosophy is his ability to cut bait. Reggie Wayne, Chad Brown, Duke Dawson, Chad Jackson and a bunch of others. Bill has shown time & again he can detach pretty easy.

Cam's ceiling isn't that high compared to Mac. Recent & past history indicates a streaky player that has had a tough time the last few years excluding what's around him - he's just not playing that well. Put it this way - are we winning a SB with Cam & going 6-10 with Mac? Of course not.

Coaches don't go into a season thinking ... "I'll start this guy for 4 games and switch bc of this reason" ... That's casual and media talk. Coaches are a hell of a lot more concerned about the 53 > 1. And that's not even close with Bill. These decisions effect the team as much or more than an individual player. You don't make or even contemplate things like that. You're not a fortune teller & again you're missing the big picture if you're thinking like that. Now Bill very well may believe neither can complete a season. Which is probably the biggest obstacle for Mac rn between his body & experience. Just not a lot of starts and obviously needs to work on his body. But no coach is saying I'll start him game 2 bc Flores will eat him alive or game 5 bc Brady will break him mentally. That's casual talk. It's the NFL, the guys that are cut are some of the best at what they do and ridiculous athletes. I believe that could be real though. Neither inspires confidence & thoughts of a 20 game run.

It's pretty obvious Bill leans on & prefers experience but we know what kind of QB the team prefers. We just spent the 15th overall pick on him.
 

NYCPATS4LIFE

In the Starting Line-Up
Good post Bob. This is has been mentioned before several times in different places but you hit it all in one post.

Good QB's are rare. Good QB's on the cheap are a lot harder to come about. Its the biggest cheat code in the league. Maybe by a large margin?

You want to know what you have as early as possible. 99.9% of rookie QB's are bad. You want to make sure you have the right kind of bad. You could argue the best thing about Bill's personality/philosophy is his ability to cut bait. Reggie Wayne, Chad Brown, Duke Dawson, Chad Jackson and a bunch of others. Bill has shown time & again he can detach pretty easy.

Cam's ceiling isn't that high compared to Mac. Recent & past history indicates a streaky player that has had a tough time the last few years excluding what's around him - he's just not playing that well. Put it this way - are we winning a SB with Cam & going 6-10 with Mac? Of course not.

Coaches don't go into a season thinking ... "I'll start this guy for 4 games and switch bc of this reason" ... That's casual and media talk. Coaches are a hell of a lot more concerned about the 53 > 1. And that's not even close with Bill. These decisions effect the team as much or more than an individual player. You don't make or even contemplate things like that. You're not a fortune teller & again you're missing the big picture if you're thinking like that. Now Bill very well may believe neither can complete a season. Which is probably the biggest obstacle for Mac rn between his body & experience. Just not a lot of starts and obviously needs to work on his body. But no coach is saying I'll start him game 2 bc Flores will eat him alive or game 5 bc Brady will break him mentally. That's casual talk. It's the NFL, the guys that are cut are some of the best at what they do and ridiculous athletes. I believe that could be real though. Neither inspires confidence & thoughts of a 20 game run.

It's pretty obvious Bill leans on & prefers experience but we know what kind of QB the team prefers. We just spent the 15th overall pick on him.

People say Jones doesn’t have a high ceiling like fields or lance but i disagree. I think he will get better and better.
 

rochrist

Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal
2019 Weekly Picks Winner
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Cam was signed to a 1 year contract that makes him easy to cut, and at a time when we didn't know if we'd even draft a rookie QB, never mind have one like Mac fall to us. Basically Cam was signed so FAs had a name and a face at QB.

Cam is a mercenary, the more wins he gets in 2021 the better he does in 2022, but each win he gets lowers our 2022 draft position.

The only reason to not start Mac is if BB really, truly feels he still needs to learn more to be effective at the position, or if he feels starting him now will stunt his future growth.

Otherwise, all Cam is doing is stopping Mac's progress, and in turn the team's progress, because we all know Cam isn't the long term answer.
Or he feels that he isn't ready to stand up physically to the rigors of a 17 game NFL season.
 

Zuma

I like the Patriots
PatsFans.com Supporter
I agree with starting Mac ASAP due to his rookie contract. I hope he starts a high percentage of games this season…otherwise something is very wrong.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

Not the kind of guy to say I told you so ...
PatsFans.com Supporter
People say Jones doesn’t have a high ceiling like fields or lance but i disagree. I think he will get better and better.
That doesn't really make sense though? It's just a different ceilings, so to speak.

Those guys are trying to utilize and maximize certain things, just different aspects and starting points.

The biggest thing Jones has going for him is he was drafted by NEP. Everything he needs, we have. BFF OC in Josh, top tier OL - running game, route runners - plenty of MOF options (Mac was 2nd/3rd best QB working that area) , defense that looks much improved *if* Gilly is back and stable organization/HC.

For Jones it's to be as sharp as he can be mentally. Not that others don't want to be but specifically he needs to play within the system and maximize it for all its worth. Creating on his own, at least early won't be his friend. Learn it inside & out and maybe he can be the system one day.

Work on his physique and tighten up his mechanics to help his whip/arm strength as much as he can and he could be a top 12 QB in this environment.
 

NYCPATS4LIFE

In the Starting Line-Up
That doesn't really make sense though? It's just a different ceilings, so to speak.

Those guys are trying to utilize and maximize certain things, just different aspects and starting points.

The biggest thing Jones has going for him is he was drafted by NEP. Everything he needs, we have. BFF OC in Josh, top tier OL - running game, route runners - plenty of MOF options (Mac was 2nd/3rd best QB working that area) , defense that looks much improved *if* Gilly is back and stable organization/HC.

For Jones it's to be as sharp as he can be mentally. Not that others don't want to be but specifically he needs to play within the system and maximize it for all its worth. Creating on his own, at least early won't be his friend. Learn it inside & out and maybe he can be the system one day.

Work on his physique and tighten up his mechanics to help his whip/arm strength as much as he can and he could be a top 12 QB in this environment.

He’s gonna be better than lance and Fields. I don’t wanna hear about arm strength. He has the arm strength. Don’t be surprised if he ends up being the best QB in this draft or the second. I was high on him coming out and still feel that way.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

Not the kind of guy to say I told you so ...
PatsFans.com Supporter
He’s gonna be better than lance and Fields. I don’t wanna hear about arm strength. He has the arm strength.
You make it tough to have a real conversation when say stuff like this and pretend there's nothing wrong. It's fanboy-ish with respect. The idea that he doesn't need to improve his velocity is silly.
Don’t be surprised if he ends up being the best QB in this draft or the second.
Not much surprises me after ten years of grading prospects.
I was high on him coming out and still feel that way.
It's in all of your post.
 

Zuma

I like the Patriots
PatsFans.com Supporter
BCG...you made a reference to Duke Dawson in a previous post...please do NOT do that again...I get PTSD flashbacks at the mere mention of his name.
Seriously…I’m not going to be ok for a while now.
 

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