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.
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.
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.