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Bills-Patriots Thursday Night Football: Why has Mac Jones gotten a pass?

Bill Belichick hasn’t proven he can run an offense without Tom Brady

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The numbers for Mac Jones have been terrible.

In his second season, Jones has been mostly overlooked by NFL fans even as classmates have dominated the attention of the NFL for various reasons: Zach Wilson gets lambasted by fans and media for having comparable numbers to Jones, while Justin Fields gets praised as a savior... despite having much worse passing stats as Jones.

Jones ranks 30th in the NFL with six touchdown passes over his eight starts. Third-string backup rookie fourth rounder Bailey Zappe had two strong starts earlier in the season but likely isn’t seen as ready by head coach Bill Belichick. The veteran winner of six Super Bowls may need to reconsider that and there are even rumors of the Patriots being open to a reunion with Tom Brady in 2023.

Jones is 4-4 as a starter this year, completing 69% of his passes for 1,768 yards (221 per game), six touchdowns, seven interceptions, 7.6 yards per attempt, and a passer rating of 87.3. The numbers are reminiscent of Cam Newton’s forgettable 15 starts with the Patriots in 2020 and that relationship did not last much longer. New England is likely re-open for business at quarterback but nobody outside of Pats nation seems to want to talk about that.

That could change on Thursday as the Patriots take on the Buffalo Bills. Talk about it here.