However, the rookie QB is responding quite well to the challenge of being the starter in his first year in the league. It may be too soon to tell if he will continue to be the right man for the job, but he's starting to make a case.
Mac Jones showered in praise by Bill Belichick, Patriots teammates
The outlook wasn't encouraging for the Patriots on Sunday, trailing by 7 to the Texans in the fourth quarter. But Mac Jones stepped up and dealt with the pressure, helping the team tie the game and winning yards to set up Nick Folk's game-winning field goal.
The way he kept calm to turn things around and get the win hasn't gone unnoticed, with center David Andrews first praising Mac Jones: “I think I’ve said it every week, just how much we believe in him. The poise you’ve seen out of him these first (five) weeks, I can’t imagine,” he said, as quoted by Clutchpoints via ESPN. “What a great win for him, what a great win for this football team. We needed it.”
Jones kept on drawing praise from his teammates as tight end Hunter Henry, who received crucial passes from the Alabama Crimson Tide product to beat the Texans, appreciated his toughness. “He’s tough, man. He stands in there,” Henry said. “It says a lot to the older guys who have been around, to be that young and stand in there and fire the ball, it gives a lot of confidence to the receivers, tight ends and offensive linemen, too.”
And it's not a secret how much Belichick likes him, having trusted Jones to run the team's offense in his rookie season. So it wasn't surprising to hear him praising the QB after the game. “Mac’s been good for us all year in terms of his leadership, his resilience, and kind of always counting on him to do the right thing. And he really does it at a high level. It’s been impressive,” Belichick said.
The Patriots are 2-3 in the 2021 NFL regular season and still have a long way to go. Mac Jones also has a long path ahead of him but these kinds of performances bring reasons for optimism in Foxborough, where they hope to have found the right replacement for Tom Brady.