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Mac Jones 2021 stats: Can Patriots rookie replicate Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl run?

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Mac Jones 2021 stats: Can Patriots rookie replicate Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl run?

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During Tom Brady’s first season as an NFL starter, the Patriots were able to win the Super Bowl. Can they repeat this feat with Mac Jones?

It won’t be easy. No rookie starting quarterback has ever won the Super Bowl, and the No. 6-seeded Patriots face a daunting road to reaching the big game. It starts in Buffalo against the No. 3 seeded Bills, who Jones has struggled against in two starts, so Buffalo has the advantage in the game.

But are the Patriots really need Jones to carry the load? Or do they just need him to be useful here? Eventually, they’ll have to get a good game from him or a clutch to win a championship, but as we saw in the Week 13 Bills-Patriots game where Jones threw three passes, the Patriots can win with their rushing offense. . and their rock-solid defence.

This will sound familiar to Patriots fans. It was how Brady won his first championship – and maybe even championships – with New England. It will give Jones a plan to follow as he looks to get the Patriots back to the Super Bowl.

Here’s a look at Brady’s first playoff run and how Jones’ numbers compare to those Brady posted during his rookie season.

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Tom Brady’s first playoff series with the Patriots

Brady won all three of his postseason starts in his first year as a starter. This included the team’s upset 20-17 win over the Rams in Super Bowl 36, in which Brady led the team to a game-winning field goal despite the famously late John Madden proclaiming he would play to overtime.

That drive — along with the famous “tuck rule” call — is Brady’s lasting memory of that playoff run. His main responsibility this post-season was to avoid mistakes, which he was largely successful in doing, with the exception of one interception.

Below is an overview of Brady’s stats from this post-season:

Statistics Tom Brady (post-season 2001)
Completion % 61.9
Yards per game 190.7
Total Touchdowns 2 (1 pass, 1 run)
interceptions 1

Incredibly, Brady recorded 52 of his 97 total pass attempts in Game 1 against the Raiders. He also had more passing yards in this contest (315) than in the other two contests combined (260). That means he averaged just 130 passing yards per game in the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl.

The NFL was a little less happy with assists in 2001, but that’s still an abnormally low number for a quarterback. Belichick simply chose to rely on defense and running play to help carry the inexperienced Brady to a title.

Belichick will likely attempt to replicate that again in 2021 with Jones. Will Jones be able to do it? His 2021 numbers suggest he should have a chance to do so.

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How Mac Jones’ 2021 stats compare to Tom Brady’s 2001 stats

All told, Jones’ rookie year numbers are close to what Brady produced in his first year as a starter. Jones made 17 starts while Brady appeared in 15 games, making 14 starts after Drew Bledsoe suffered a lung injury while playing against the Jets.

To compare the two as accurately as possible, we’ve added numbers from Brady’s three playoff starts to those he released during the regular season. This gave us a sample size of 17 starts with which to compare it to Jones. We could also have extrapolated his numbers from a 14-game starting roster to a 17-man player, but adding actual game results seemed like the better record.

Here’s how the two stack up after one season.

Statistics Jones Totals Brady’s Totals
Achievements 352 324
Attempts 521 510
Percentage complete 67.6 63.5
passing yards 3,801 3,415
Yards Per Attempt 7.3 6.7
Pass the tutorials 22 19
interceptions 13 13

Jones is a little more efficient, as evidenced by his advantage in completion percentage and yards per attempt, but he also has the advantage in passing yards and passing touchdowns. Again, part of that is due to increasing passing volume at the NFL level, but it’s a testament to Jones handling the game effectively, much like Brady did when he was a starter in first year.

We’re not comparing Brady to Jones flat out. It wouldn’t be fair to say that a rookie, no matter how good, is going to go up against the best quarterback of all time in the long run. However, we can say that his rookie numbers compare favorably to what Brady produced in his first Super Bowl run. So if Belichick can get his defense and running game up to speed this month, Jones should theoretically give the Patriots a chance to win.

That theory will be put to the test on wild card weekend as the Patriots travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills.

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Mac Jones 2021 stats: Can Patriots rookie replicate Tom Brady’s first Super Bowl run?

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