Mac Jones can’t escape one doubt in promising Patriots start

Mac Jones has had a strong start to his NFL career with the Patriots – but there is still one major question plaguing him and the team.

Jones has completed nearly 74 percent of his passes through two games, but he is not exactly gunning the ball down the field. His average completion has traveled 3.1 yards past the line of scrimmage, which is by far the lowest number of any quarterback with at least 50 pass attempts.

The Alabama product was asked about his tendency to dink and dunk early in the season, and Jones suggested that it has been the result of taking what the defense has given him.

“I think it’s just trial and error,” Jones said in a Wednesday press conference. “Just trying to run the play correctly and get it to the first read if he’s open. Just stick to my reads. Plays will come. You can’t chase plays that aren’t there or you think might be there. You can’t over complicate it.

“There are definitely times I watch the film and wish I threw the ball down the field more. But at the same time I’m just going to continue to do what I do and take what they give me.”

Mac Jones before the Patriots’ game against the Jets.
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Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has also fielded questions about the conservative passing game, and the 45-year-old insisted that the entire playbook is open for his rookie quarterback.

“I trust him completely,” McDaniels said of Jones. “Believe me, there’s not a whole lot we’re holding back for him.

“You want to be able to test those areas of the field as we go forward, but I also want him to make smart decisions, I want him to protect the football, and I want him to be aggressive when there are times to be aggressive.”

It’s hard to argue the results. The Patriots theoretically should be 2-0 if not for two brutal fumbles in their Week 1 loss to the Dolphins. Jones will have the chance to test the Saints’ battered secondary in Week 3.