Mac Jones is certainly having a rough start to the season in 2023 to say the least; through five games, the starting New England quarterback has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns (6 INT and 5 TDs) and the Patriots sport an uncustomary 1-5 record. It’s a regression from Jones’ Pro Bowl year in 2021 under former Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, where Jones threw for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on the season. Jones also led the Patriots to a 10-7 record in 2021, securing a playoff spot for them. Unfortunately, as of this writing, it looks like Jones and the Patriots’ playoff hopes are merely a pipe dream.
McDaniels, now the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders — who the Patriots will face in Week 6 — thinks it’s too soon to count Jones out however.
“He’s played big in big games,” McDaniels said in a recent Raiders press conference. “He’s battled against really good teams, made some high-level throws, and hung in there. Very tough in the pocket, gets hit and gets right up and goes to the next play. So, a lot of respect for him, a lot of admiration for what he did when I was there. It’ll be a big challenge for us this week.”
In spite of Mac Jones’ struggles with the Patriots this season, McDaniels thinks the third-year quarterback will bounce back in the face of adversity.
“He’s a very talented player. Accuracy has always been a huge part of his game, touch, anticipation. He has all those things at a very high level,” McDaniels continued.
“They’ve battled the same bug we’ve battled honestly, with the turnovers and losing opportunities through change of possession,” McDaniels added. “So, I’m sure that’s something that they’re going to work hard at limiting and getting rid of, and it’s the same thing we’re talking about. But this is a guy who’s a very capable passer in every situation.”
The Patriots face the Raiders this Sunday at 4:05 PM on CBS.