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According to reports, Mac Jones is going to start for the Patriots tomorrow night in their game against the Bears. Jones took the majority of the reps with the ones during the week and on Saturday.
Barring a setback, Patriots QB Mac Jones is expected to start tomorrow night against the Bears, per source. Jones missed the last three games with a high ankle sprain.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 23, 2022
So, with Jones back what does this mean for a Patriots offense that has averaged 31.3 points per game in his absence?
It means more straight three step, five step and seven step drop passes and less play action and bootlegs in the passing game. It is not to say that the Patriots won’t utilize play-action. It will be different.
The one thing the Patriots will do regardless of who is under center is run the football. New England has rushed for 367 yards in the games Jones was out. Rhamondre Stevenson has emerged as a reliable complement to Damien Harris who missed most of the Lions game and the Browns game last week with injury. When healthy, the two backs are one of the best tandems in the NFL.
There is no doubt the Patriots will be different offensively with Jones under center. As long as he plays within the offense, takes care of the ball and completes passes when he is called upon, the Patriots will be fine.
Bailey Zappe played well because the Patriots watered things down and they faced two of the worst defenses in the league statistically Detroit and Cleveland. I am not knocking Zappe. I think he proved he can play in this league. I am simply pointing out that the coaching staff and schedule allowed him to thrive.
Now the Patriots can get back to doing more in the passing game and building on what they have done up until this point in the season. They can also take comfort in knowing that not only can Mac Jones be the guy but so can Bailey Zappe if need be.
This is Mac’s team. As long as he is playing well, it will stay that way. It starts tomorrow night. He needs to prove that he is healthy and ready to take this team where they need to go.