By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Mac Jones believes he only got hit one time on Sunday in Houston. It was, however a big one.
With the quarterback desperate to make something happen on a third-and-18 play in the fourth quarter of a tied game, Jones threw down field despite pressure coming at his face — literally. The pass was incomplete (and was nearly picked off), but Jones took a shot to the chin from the helmet of Maliek Collins.
Jones didn’t hit the deck or show any pain; instead, he showed some exuberance, happy to have been given new life on the drive.
— Mike Giardi (@MikeGiardi) October 10, 2021
With blood now visible on his jersey, Jones completed a 10-yard pass to Hunter Henry to convert a third-and-6. Two plays later, Brandon Bolden broke off a 24-yard run to move the ball into the red zone. On a second-and-1 from the Houston 9-yard line, Jones alertly checked into a QB sneak to move the chains and allow the Patriots to drain the clock down to 17 seconds before kicking the game-winning field goal.
It wasn’t a drive that required a ton of throws from the rookie quarterback. But it definitely required a lot of toughness.
“Number 10, man. He’s a tough son of a gun,” center David Andrews said after the 25-22 win. “So hat’s off to him.”
Jones is well-known for a picture of him sporting a much bloodier face during a training session at Alabama. Sunday’s blood work wasn’t quite as severe, but it was nevertheless difficult to miss on the broadcast.
Did anyone else notice how Mac Jones was absolutely covered in blood? pic.twitter.com/omyd67okcO
— 𝐁𝐚𝐧𝐧𝐞𝐝 🥷 (@BannedKidd) October 10, 2021
Jones threw a bad interception to start his second half, but he finished once again with solid numbers. He was 23-for-30, completing a highly efficient 76.7 percent of his passes for 231 yard with a touchdown and the one interception. That touchdown was a beautiful pass to Hunter Henry, a 13-yard strike that tied the game 5:24 into the fourth quarter.
The Texans were credited with four quarterback hits on the day. Yet considering how many times Jones got hit through his first four weeks of the season, and considering this game was played with four backups starting on the O-line, it was easy to understand why he felt like he got out of this game largely unscathed.
And the cut on the chin? That’s a small price to pay for a chance to win a game in the NFL.
“Yeah, I’m good,” Jones said with a laugh. “I just got bumped, and it just was bleeding. It’s part of the game. Nothing’s hurt, so I feel great.”