Coming off of Sunday’s 37-26 loss to the Ravens, New England Patriots QB Mac Jones’ immediate future is obviously the biggest question, which now changes the tenor of things moving forward.
The second-year quarterback suffered what appeared to be a significant ankle injury at the end of Sunday’s game, which will likely see him miss some time, with the only question being how long he’ll potentially be sidelined.
The injury occurred on the Patriots’ final offensive possession of the game where Jones threw up a pass to DeVante Parker that was picked off, but Jones ended up being taken down by Baltimore defensive lineman Calais Cambpell, who landed on the quarterback’s left leg as Jones hit the ground following the throw.
Initially, you could audibly hear Jones scream during the broadcast and he was in significant pain as he made his way to the sidelines. He was then spotted being carried down the stairs to the locker room.
Fortunately, the initial report on the QB appear to be promising. According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jones underwent X-rays on the ankle following the game and they were negative, however, he’s expected to undergo further evaluations.
With the quarterback seemingly avoiding anything that was potentially season-ending, everything still isn’t exactly rosy. Sunday’s performance by Jones was about as uneven as we’ve seen in a while, especially given the three extremely frustrating interceptions he threw.
Jones did show some fire on Sunday and was visibly frustrated by the pick he threw in the end zone early in the fourth quarter that ended a chance for them to take the lead. That was a blown opportunity because that possession came thanks to the fact Jonathan Jones forced a fumble, which gave the Patriots the football at the Ravens’ 39yd line.
Unfortunately, they came up empty and in disastrous fashion. On that play, Jones threw the ball up as he was falling back on a 3rd-and-10 with two defenders bearing down on him, clearly hoping DeVante Parker would go up and make a play for it as taking a sack just wasn’t an option.
Instead, Parker seemed to be out of position and didn’t go up and make a play for it, with the throw ending up in the hands of Ravens defender, Marlon Humphrey for the turnover.
Jones was heated at that point after he sat down on the bench on the sideline, screaming a clear “what the f***?” and was obviously upset with how that play went.
Parker remains a frustrating player where it seems to be all or nothing with him. (PHOTO:Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)
Oddly enough, Jones had gotten off to a good start after he and Parker had finally seemed to get on the same page. He made some solid throws to the veteran wideout, including the first of the game that went for 31-yards as well as another on the next series that went for 40-yards.
He followed those up with a few others that sort of made it feel like they were on the verge of turning the corner. Jones connected with him on five passes for 156-yards, which was a career-high total for Parker.
But two of Jones’ targets to Parker resulted in interceptions, increasing the overall total to four with Jones’ targeting him so far this season. Overall, their success rate on Sunday still wasn’t ideal, with the results essentially being all or nothing after Jones targeted him 10 times with just five – albeit significant – completions.
Whether or not that was his call or Matt Patricia’s is obviously a question, but there were moments where the ball was forced when it shouldn’t have been.
That’s really the bigger story, as it played a role in how the wheels eventually just fell off and it ruined an outing that seemed like it was heading toward a better result.
Now, it’s also one that people will instead be talking about for all the wrong reasons.
The most frustrating part about Jones’ performance wasn’t the turnovers, but the fact they weren’t throws where the Ravens just happened to make a good play on the football. These were clear mental errors and unfortunately, they’re also black marks that are going to lead to weeks of misery for the quarterback.
Worse yet, normally, he would be able to just turn the page and try and put it behind him next week. Now, it’s unknown when he’ll next see the field, which will prevent him from being able to get the opportunity to quiet all of the critics who will likely continue to grow the longer he’s out.
We’ve seen enough from Jones to believe he’s got a bright future. While we know part of this certainly falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff, there are still mistakes that Jones has to know he can’t make.
At this point, the one common denominator obviously involves Parker, and the insistence of over-targeting him – even with some of the success they had – certainly appeared to be an issue on Sunday. Give former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels credit, he gave Jones a variety of targets and mixed things up enough to keep him from putting the football in harm’s way. That hasn’t seemed to be the case so far this season.
However, when Jones does eventually get back out there, he’s got to force himself to avoid temptation and stay out of those situations. Especially when he’s about to find out that fans and media in New England are fickle enough that he’ll likely be playing from behind with them as well by the time he eventually gets back under center.
Posted Under: 2022 Patriots Season
Tags: Baltimore Ravens Mac Jones New England Patriots