New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 12: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots calls out the snap count against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Gillette Stadium on September 12, 2021 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

From an individual standpoint, Mac Jones‘ debut went as well as anyone could have realistically hoped. He completed 29-of-39 pass attempts (the highest ever completion percentage by a quarterback in his debut with at least 39 pass attempts) for 281 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps more importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over once. Outside of a wild fumble on his first drop back, the 15th-overall pick held his own, and didn’t seem phased by the NFL game.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was short on words after the game, given the overall disappointing nature of his team’s performance. Yet he briefly touched on Jones’ performance, and seemed to view it as a positive.

“Mac competed hard,” Belichick said. “I thought we had a lot of guys competing hard. We’ve just got to perform better as a team.” That’s not the most ringing endorsement, but it stood out given the tone of the rest of Belichick’s brief media session.

Jones’ teammates spoke more openly about his performance. “He definitely has a lot of poise. He stayed composed throughout the game,” running back and captain James White noted. “Obviously, everything wasn’t perfect, but he kept us in it, keeping everybody motivated in the huddle.”

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at