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EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots passes the ball against the New York Jets in the first quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on September 19, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

As Tom Brady nears both his return to Foxboro and continues his never-ending rampage across the NFL, here is something he should pause and be grateful for: that he landed here, at the beginning, and not someplace else.

Like the Meadowlands.

Mac Jones got his first professional victory in the Patriots’ 25-6 win over the New York Jets in a game that was never especially competitive. As it turned out, neither was the first meeting between two of the five quarterbacks taken in the first 15 picks of the 2021 draft, namely Jones and Zach Wilson, the latter of whom looked, more than anything else, ill-prepared.

Joejuan Williams of the Patriots hits Jets quarterback Zach Wilson in the second half as the New England Patriots defeated the NY Jets 25-6 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on September 19, 2021.
The New England Patriots Came To Play The Ny Jets At Metlife Stadium In East Rutherford Nj On September 19 2021

Here’s a stat for you: through two games this season, there are 26 NFL quarterbacks who have thrown at least 50 passes. Jones ranks 14th in passer rating, pretty much right smack dab in the middle. Wilson ranks 26th, dead last, which is appropriate.

If you think about that in football terms, Jones has pretty decent field position to start his NFL career. Wilson is pretty much at his own goal line.

Huge difference.

Here’s the point: can Bill Belichick alone make Jones into a great quarterback? No. But as was the case with Brady, they can at least give him the chance to reach his full potential. Wilson, meanwhile, seems destined for failure unless somebody in New York can figure out how to put him in any position to succeed, which is something Wilson clearly did not possess Sunday at the Meadowlands.

And it wasn’t even close.

MORE: Patriots Personnel Report: What worked (and didn’t work) against the Jets?

You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.

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