Alabama Football: Grading Mac Jones’s NFL Debut

Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

How did Alabama football’s Mac Jones perform on Sunday?

Mac Jones had to wait his turn after committing to Alabama football. He redshirted his first year, was on the third string in his second and only started as a junior when Tua Tagovailoa went down with a season-ending injury. As a senior, he won the locker room and became one of the best quarterbacks in the Tide’s history.

Jones didn’t have to wait to win the locker room in New England. He started his first game in the NFL against the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots lost by a single point, but wins aren’t a quarterback stat.

So, how did the rookie look in his NFL debut?

Accuracy: B+

Mac Jones completed 74% of his passes against the Dolphins. This is despite Miami having one of the toughest secondaries in the AFC. This shouldn’t be a surprise. During his Alabama football career, Jones’s accuracy set himself apart. Still, it’s nice to see that translate to the NFL.

There were a few passes that could have been thrown better, but he was easily the most accurate rookie QB this week. He trusted his ability to make passes, and that led to long drives for the Patriots.

Poise: B-

Jones only had one unforgivable play, but it jumped off the page. Trying to avoid a sack, he carelessly threw the ball behind him to his running back. If the play would have worked, it would have been an elite decision. However, it was a fumble that the Patriots almost lost.

Besides that play, Jones kept his poise. He didn’t let the pass rush affect him. He went through his reads and found the open receivers. His mistakes were fixable, and that is all you can ask for this early in a quarterback’s career.

Leadership: A

Mac Jones was one of the best leaders that Alabama football has ever seen. He showed that in this game. He acted like a veteran quarterback on the field. He refused to take the game ball from his first touchdown because he knew they weren’t done. He communicated with the offense on the sideline, and they gained energy from his presence.

Next. Alabama's report card vs. Mercer. dark

At the end of the day, the Patriots would’ve taken a late lead if it weren’t for a fumble by Damien Harris. Jones led three scoring drives and looked impressive while doing so. If he continues to improve, the future is bright in New England.