By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — Technically, the Patriots’ season ended less than two weeks ago. But it feels like it’s been two years. A 47-17 drubbing tends to have that effect.

In the time since that blowout loss, the NFL offered up arguably the best weekend of football of all time. Four playoff games, all decided on the final play, featuring three upsets and a game that saw 25 points scored in the final two minutes of regulation. It was bananas.

And part of the reaction in New England involved a conclusion that the Patriots simply do not have a quarterback capable of putting forth some of the performances we saw over the weekend. Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen were obviously otherworldly, but Joe Burrow threw for 348 yards despite getting sacked nine times. Matthew Stafford was excellent, throwing for 366 yards and two touchdowns with no picks and also rushing for a TD. Aaron Rodgers was mediocre. Tom Brady was Tom Brady.

The comparables for Mac Jones found last weekend involve Ryan Tannehill (15-for-24, 220 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs) or Jimmy Garoppolo (11-for-19, 131 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT). That’s at least been the takeaway for many.

And hey, maybe it’s true. There are some obvious physical differences that will prevent Jones from ever becoming Allen, and Mahomes is one of the most gifted quarterbacks in history. The odds are against Jones — or anyone — from replicating those two styles of play.

But in terms of putting a Tannehillian or Garoppoloistic ceiling on Jones right now? That would be premature. And a look at what Jones did as a rookie is the reason why.

While we all obviously observed Jones for a full NFL season, it was important that we did so under the lens of looking at a rookie quarterback. It’s important to remember that what Jones was in 2021 is not what he’ll be in 2022 or beyond.

For comparison’s sake, here’s a look at Jones’ rookie stats compared to those of the four quarterbacks who will be playing on championship weekend.

MATTHEW STAFFORD, 2009
2-8 record, 10 games played
201-for-377, 53.3%
2,267 yards, 6.0 Y/A
13 TDs, 20 INTs
61.0 rating
20 rushing attempts, 108 yards, 2 TDs

JIMMY GAROPPOLO, 2014
0-0 record, 6 games played
19-for-27, 70.4%
6.7 Y/A
1 TD, 0 INT
101.2 rating
10 rushing attempts, 9 yards,

PATRICK MAHOMES, 2017
1-0 record, 1 game played
22-for-35, 62.9%
284 yards, 8.1 Y/A
0 TD, 1 INT
76.4 rating
7 rushing attempts, 10 yards

JOE BURROW, 2020
2-7-1 record, 10 games played
264-for-404, 65.3%
2,688 yards, 6.7 Y/A
13 TDs, 5 INTs
89.8 rating
37 rushing attempts, 142 yards, 3 TDs

MAC JONES, 2021
10-7 record, 17 games played
352-for-521, 67.6%
3,801 yards, 7.0 Y/A
22 TDs, 13 INTs
92.5 rating
44 rushing attempts, 129 yards

Of the five QBs, Jones started the most games, completed and attempted the most passes, amassed the most passing yards, threw the most touchdowns, and had the best passer rating among those who had actually started a game.

If you want, you could include the four losing quarterbacks from the divisional round in the discussion, too.

TOM BRADY, 2000
0-0 record, 1 game played
1-for-3, 33.3%
6 yards, 2.0 Y/A
0 TDs, 0 INTs
42.4 rating

AARON RODGERS, 2005
0-0 record, 3 games played
9-for-16, 56.3%
65 yards, 4.1 Y/A
0 TDs, 1 INT
39.8 rating
2 rushing attempts, 7 yards

RYAN TANNEHILL, 2012
7-9 record, 16 games played
282-for-484, 58.4%
3,294 yards, 6.8 Y/A
12 TDs, 13 INTs
76.1 rating
49 rushing attempts, 211 yards, 2 TDs

JOSH ALLEN, 2018
5-6 record, 12 games played
169-for-320, 52.8%
2,074 yards, 6.5 Y/A
10 TDs, 12 INTs
67.9 rating
89 rushing attempts, 631 yards, 8 TDs

That list now encompasses all of the QBs involved with last year’s conference championship weekend, too.

Jones’ rookie season was better than all of them — including Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

Of course, a variety of factors influence those numbers. Nobody would ever say that the stats are compiled in a vacuum. Jones had a strong offensive line (for most of the year), a reliable running game, and a decent array of receivers for his rookie campaign. Burrow had one of the worst O-lines in pro football, and Stafford joined a Lions team that was coming off an 0-16 season. They didn’t have it easy. Brady, Rodgers and Garoppolo sat behind some all-time talents at QB, while Mahomes sat behind Alex Smith. They really didn’t get to play much at all.

So the point of all of this isn’t to say “Mac did better, Mac will be better.” It’s just to remind the world and the region that there’s no need to explicitly put a cap on what the Patriots’ quarterback will be capable of during his career. We really don’t know yet, and it’s OK to say that.