The New England Patriots and Mac Jones will host the Miami Dolphins today at Gillette Stadium. Both teams are still in the hunt for a postseason spot. Jones’ season two as the Patriots’ first-choice quarterback hasn’t exactly gone to plan, but he’s still expected to start today against the Dolphins.
Most of his statistics have decreased this year, including his completion percentage, yards gained on each attempt and his passer rating (which has dropped from 92.5 to 84.6 for the year).
Jones recently came under fire for an illegal block on Cincinnati Bengals defender Eli Apple. The move was seen as dirty and highly unnecessary given where it occurred in conjunction with the ball.
This is a hugely important AFC East rivalry game with playoff implications and the Patriots have to win it by any means necessary. Mac Jones simply has to step up and hold nothing back here, as a loss would be disastrous for their postseason ambitions.
Can Mac Jones still help the Patriots qualify for the playoffs?
Despite losing four of their past five games, the New England Patriots still have a shot at making the playoffs after the Miami Dolphins’ late-season meltdown. Today, the Dolphins will try to snap a four-game winless skid and take a step towards securing a postseason berth.
This campaign, Mac Jones has regularly been inconsistent with his dropbacks as opponents have swarmed him at an astounding rate. Due to the pressure, his precision has suffered, and his decisions have been questionable.
The 24-year-old has underperformed in practically every facet of the game this season compared to his debut season.
Some of the most obvious are the dips in touchdown percentage (from 4.2 to 2.4), completion percentage (from 67.6 to 65.6), adjusted yards per attempt (from 7.0 to 6.4), and quarterback rating (from 92.5 to 85.6). Additionally, while having fewer attempted and successful air yards than he did in 2021, the former first-round pick is spreading the ball less now.
After losing their previous two games, Jones and New England will enter this game attempting to establish their identity. Mac Jones has not performed as well as the rookie who was chosen for the Pro Bowl in 2021/22 and that has to change here.
There is cause to assume the Patriots will take substantial steps to remedy the issue before the start of the 2023 season, but this campaign is not over yet.
To be eligible for the postseason, the Patriots need to come out on top in their final two outings (they play the Buffalo Bills on the road in Week 18). It’s harder than it sounds, with these two sides being very strong. However, with Tua Tagovailoa once again in the concussion protocol, the Patriots will fancy their chances today.
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