Mac Jones

Eagles star gives Patriots QB Mac Jones special shoutout after Week 1

Slay admitted Jones "had a great game" in Week 1.

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Mac Jones didn't make enough plays late in the fourth quarter to deliver the New England Patriots a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 1, but the third-year quarterback still earned the respect of at least one of his competitors.

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay came away impressed with the Patriots QB, especially his play after the reigning NFC champs jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the quarter.

“I gotta give a shoutout to Mac Jones,” Slay said on his "Big Play Slay Podcast" earlier this week. “He had a great game. We stopped him early, we got (two turnovers). … But he got his groove going. He was making great checks, making accurate throws. He missed some throws, but he was just making great plays. He made great plays on fourth down.”

Jones completed a career-high 35 passes on 54 attempts for 316 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in the 25-20 loss to the Eagles. He had just two 300-yard and two three-TD games last season, so he's off to a pretty good start under new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien in 2023.

Plenty of work remains for Jones, though. Sunday night's Week 2 matchup is a pivotal one for the Patriots.

They probably need to beat the Miami Dolphins at least once this season to get the 9-10 wins that likely will be required to reach the AFC playoffs. Jones hasn't played poorly against the Dolphins in his career, but he hasn't performed great, either. He has completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 959 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions in four career games. The Patriots have won only one of those four matchups, though.

Jones' Week 1 performance was encouraging, but he still has a lot of room for improvement. An excellent outing and a victory over the Dolphins in Week 2 would give the Patriots loads of confidence entering a very winnable Week 3 road matchup with the rival New York Jets.

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