BOSTON (CBS) — Mac Jones did not do much for the Patriots throughout their Monday Night win over the Buffalo Bills. But the rookie QB did make some NFL history thanks to his light workload.
With windy conditions in Buffalo, throwing the ball wasn’t really the best option for either team, though the Bills certainly tried. Jones, on the other hand, attempted just one pass in the first half.
That one pass was a 13-yard connection with Jonnu Smith, who made a juggling catch on the play. And that was it for pass attempts by the Patriots in the first half.
With that single throw in the half, Jones and the Patriots had the fewest first-half pass attempts since 1978, according to Elias Sports.
Jones finished the 14-10 win with just three pass attempts, connecting on two of them for 19 yards. The three attempts are the fewest in a single game in Patriots history, and the two completions are tied for the fewest. As far as NFL history, the three attempts were the fewest by any team since (wait for it) the Buffalo Bills attempted just two passes in Week 3 of the 1974 season.
It was a pretty unique experience for the rookie, who gushed about the offensive line and New England’s rushing attack, which picked up 222 yards on 46 carries.
“It was a crazy game to be a part of,” Jones said after the victory. “But we knew if we didn’t turn the ball over we’d be good. It was a weird day. But at the end of the day if you get more points than the other team, it’s a good day.”
Jones didn’t mind at all that he was called upon to throw just three passes.
“We had the looks we were looking for running the ball, so we just kept on doing it. The offensive line opened the holes and the guys ran hard, not mentioning the receivers who made their blocks too,” Jones said of the team effort in Buffalo. “It was incredible to watch and see everyone have that effort.
Center David Andrews said that he’s never played a game where his team threw just three times in his 26 years of playing football. He will certainly never forget such a quirky victory in a career that has included a lot of victories.
“How could that not be a memorable thing?” Andrews said after the game.
After the win, Bill Belichick was asked if he’d ever been part of a game with so few pass attempts, whether it was the pros, college or high school. The Patriots head coach used it as a opportunity to crack a joke.
“We didn’t throw the ball much in high school,” Belichick said as he cracked a smile.