BOSTON (CBS) — Through just two games, Mac Jones has generated quite a bit of chatter during his brief NFL career. Some of the louder cries have been complaints that the rookie quarterback has been too conservative, settling for shorter throws instead of airing out some deep passes.
While the validity of such criticism has varying levels of truth — he didn’t have to do much to help the Patriots blow out the Jets with ease last weekend — it has nevertheless created a narrative on the 15th overall pick. That story’s sure to change several different ways between now and January, of course.
For now, though, there is one rather incredible factoid that’s come to light about Jones through his first two starts.
NFL Network’s Mike Giardi likely tapped into the NFL research department to share this nugget: Dating back to 1950, Mac Jones is the first quarterback to throw at least 30 passes in his first two career starts while completing more than 70 percent of those passes.
The more shocking nugget came next: Since 1950, only Mac Jones and one other quarterback have thrown more than 60 passes with a 70 percent or better completion rate and no interceptions.
That other quarterback? Aaron Rodgers.
Mac Jones is the 1st QB since at least 1950 with 30+ pass attempts & a 70+ completion % in each of his first 2 career starts. Only one other QB since '50 has had 60+ pass atts, a 70+ comp % & not thrown an INT in his first 2 starts. That QB was Aaron Rodgers, who sat 3 years.*
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) September 22, 2021
As Giardi noted, Rodgers was in his fourth season when he finally made his first two career starts in 2008. That year, Rodgers completed 42 of his 60 passes (70 percent) for 506 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
Jones is currently 51-for-69 (73.9 percent) for 467 yards with just one touchdown and no interceptions.
While no quarterback’s career is ever defined by the first two starts, that is nevertheless some solid company for the rookie out of Alabama to have made thus far. And with Trevor Lawrence (4 TDs, 5 INTs, 50 percent completion rate) and Zach Wilson (2 TDs, 5 INTs, 55.7 percent completion rate) showing that there are certainly some rougher ways for a career to begin, the Patriots are likely quite happy with what they’ve gotten from their rookie QB in 2021.