When the Patriots and the Payments met for the primary time through the 2021 NFL season, it was anticipated to be a grind-it-out divisional showdown. It definitely become that, as highly effective wind that gusted as much as 50 miles per hour turned the sport right into a short-yardage slugfest.
The Payments have been capable of throw the ball, as Josh Allen has one of many strongest arms within the NFL. In the meantime, the Patriots did not belief rookie Mac Jones to hold the load, in order that they leaned closely on their operating recreation. In actual fact, 93.9 p.c of their offensive performs have been operating performs.
In some way, the Patriots have been nonetheless capable of pull out a win. They outgained the Payments by 11 yards and bested them 14-10 on the scoreboard. Jones threw simply three passes complete, the fewest in a win since Joe Ferguson threw three passes in a Payments win through the 1973 season.
Let’s revisit Mac Jones’ historic recreation and why precisely the Patriots refused to throw it with him throughout that “Monday Night time Soccer” showdown.
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Why did Mac Jones throw so few passes vs. the Payments in Week 13?
Jones threw solely three passes in opposition to the Payments due to the climate. The circumstances for that night — which featured sturdy winds blowing all through the evening and getting probably as excessive as 50 miles per hour — would have made it troublesome for Jones to throw the ball precisely and will have resulted in poor throws and turnovers.
As such, Invoice Belichick elected to maintain the ball on the bottom and be certain that Jones would not need to make too many massive performs to remain within the recreation.
“We didn’t know what it was going to be,” Belichick mentioned of the sport plan. “It’s the best way it labored out.”
Certainly, the Patriots did discover quite a lot of success on the bottom. They ran for 222 yards through the contest and averaged 4.8 yards per try. They wore down the Payments’ defensive entrance and have been capable of lead three scoring drives through the recreation. That included a 64-yard landing run by Damien Harris.
Jones did not thoughts taking up a restricted function. He knew that his skilled teaching employees knew what they have been doing.
“Coach Belichick and Coach Josh (McDaniels), they’ve been in each kind of factor there may be, they usually know what it takes to win,” Jones mentioned. “I feel we knew that if we simply held onto the ball, we’d be OK.”
Jones additionally thought the ground-dominant game-plan was a great one and praised his teammates for executing it.
“We had a recreation plan, and clearly that adjustments slightly bit with the weather. However, on the finish of the day, I feel we had the seems to be that we have been in search of to run the ball and we simply stored doing it,” Jones mentioned in his postgame information convention. “Like I mentioned, the offensive line created the holes and people guys did some powerful operating, not even to say the receivers getting in there to dam, too. Everybody performed a job and it was simply nice to observe and see everybody have that effort.”
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Mac Jones highlights, move makes an attempt vs. Payments
Under, you’ll be able to see all three of Mac Jones’ move makes an attempt in opposition to the Payments.
Jones’ first move try got here on the finish of the primary quarter. He discovered Jonnu Smith broad open close to the primary down marker and was capable of get it in vary for him to make a play on the ball. The throw wasn’t fairly due to the wind, but it surely received the job executed.
The second throw by Jones did not come till the 6:50 mark within the fourth quarter. The Patriots ran the ball 34 consecutive instances earlier than letting Jones attempt a play-action move. He tried to get it to Nelson Agholor, but it surely was damaged up.
Jones’ ultimate move try got here proper after that incompletion to Agholor. He dumped off a brief display to Brandon Bolden. That was his final try of the evening, and he completed going 2 of three passing for 19 yards.
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Mac Jones stats vs. Payments
Jones’ numbers in opposition to the Payments have not been spectacular in two video games. That is comprehensible, contemplating that the Payments have allowed only one landing and 6 interceptions in 5 video games in opposition to rookie quarterbacks this 12 months, however they’re nonetheless a departure from his numbers in opposition to different groups.
In actual fact, what Jones has executed in two video games in opposition to the Payments has paled compared to his yearly single-game averages.
|Mac Jones||Completion %||Passing yards||Move TDs||Interceptions|
|vs. Payments (complete)||45.7||164||2|
|vs. Different groups (per recreation)||69.1||242.3||1.3||0.7|
After all, Jones did solely throw three passes in Week 13, however his complete document in opposition to the Payments over 35 move makes an attempt is way from glowing. That mentioned, the Payments do have the perfect scoring protection and have allowed the fewest yards within the NFL this season, so Jones is way from the one participant who has struggled in opposition to them.
Nonetheless, Jones might want to do a bit higher as a passer for the Patriots to beat the Payments within the wild-card spherical. They are going to nonetheless lean closely on the operating recreation, however a sub-50 completion share and no touchdowns most likely will not reduce it on this matchup.