During Tom Brady’s first season as an NFL starter, the Patriots were able to win the Super Bowl. Will they be able to repeat this performance with Mac Jones?
It will not be easy. No rookie quarterback has ever won a Super Bowl and a seeded 6th Patriots faces a depressing path to get into the big game. It starts in Buffalo against the third seeded Bills, whom Jones struggled against in two starts, so Buffalo is ahead of the game.
But do the Patriots really need Jones carry the load? Or do they just need him to be serviceable? Eventually, they will have to get a strong game or clutch drive to win the championship, but as we saw in Bills-Patriots in Week 13, where Jones threw three passes, the Patriots can win with their quick attack. and their rock-solid defense.
This will sound familiar to Patriots fans. So Brady won his first championship – and maybe a championship – with New England. That gives Jones the plan he should follow if he wants to take the Patriots back to the Super Bowl.
Here’s a look at Brady’s first playoffs and a comparison of Jones’ numbers with those Brady published during his rookie season.
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Tom Brady’s first playoff with the Patriots
Brady won all three playoff starts during his first year as a starter. This included Team 20-17’s unfortunate victory over the Rams in Super Bowl 36, during which Brady led the team to a winning game from the field, although the famous John Madden deceased said he would play for extra time.
This ride – along with the famous call of the “stuck rule” – is Brady’s enduring memory of this post-season run. His main responsibility during this postseason was to avoid mistakes, which he largely succeeded in, except for one intervention.
Below is a look at Brady’s stats from this postseason:
|Statistics||Tom Brady (2001 after the season)|
|Yards per game||190.7|
|Total touchdowns||2 (1 pass, 1 rush)|
It’s unbelievable that Brady recorded 52 of the total 97 attempts to pass in the first match against the Raiders. He also had more yards in this competition (315) than in the other two competitions combined (260). That means he averaged just 130 yards per game in the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl.
The NFL was a little less satisfied in 2001, but that’s still an abnormally low number for the quarterback. Belichick simply decided to rely on defense and running to help bring the inexperienced Brady to the title.
Belichick will probably try to repeat this in 2021 with Jones. Will Jones be able to do that? His figures from 2021 suggest he should have a chance.
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Comparison of Mac Jones statistics for 2021 with Tom Brady statistics for 2001
Overall, Jones’ rookie numbers are close to what Brady produced in his first year as an appetizer. Jones played 17 starts, while Brady played 15 games and 14 starts after Drew Bledsoe suffered a lung injury while playing against the Jets.
To compare the two as accurately as possible, we added numbers from Brady’s three post-season starts to those he published during the regular season. This gave us a 17-fold sample size that we could compare it to Jones. We could also extrapolate his numbers from the starting list with 14 games to 17 players, but adding the actual results of the game seemed like a better record.
Here’s how these two come together after one season.
|Statistics||Jones sums||Brady’s sums|
|Overtaking yards||3,801 th most common||3,415 th most common|
|Yards to try||7.3||6.7|
Jones is a bit more efficient, as evidenced by his advantage in terms of completion percentage and yards per attempt, but he also has an advantage in passes and passes. Again, this is partly due to the increased volume of passes at the NFL level, but it speaks to the fact that Jones manages the game efficiently, similar to Brady when he started his first year.
We don’t compare Brady and Jones. It wouldn’t be fair to say that any newcomer, no matter how good, will face the best quarterback of all time in the long run. However, we can say that his rookie numbers are favorable compared to what Brady produced during his first Super Bowl race. So if Belichick manages to get his defense and running at a high level this month, Jones should theoretically give the Patriots a chance to win.
This theory will be put to the test over the weekend with a wild card when the Patriots go to Buffalo to compete with the Bills.
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