Mac Jones Injured as Pats Drop Home Opener 37-26

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Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The New England Patriots dropped their home opener to the Baltimore Ravens 37-26, but they may have lost more than just a game. Starting quarterback Mac Jones left in the final two minutes of the game after suffering a left leg injury. Reports suggest initial X-rays were negative but the Patriots coaching staff are holding their collective breaths as Jones undergoes more testing.

OFFENSE FINALLY CLICKING

The injury comes at a most unfortunate time for New England as their offense finally looked to be clicking most of the day. Mac Jones had been rather pedestrian in the first two games but he was finally hitting receivers; completing 22 of 32 passes for 321 yards. He still struggled at times; throwing three interceptions and failing to find the end zone. But he was finally looking like the Mac Jones who, at times, looked like the best rookie quarterback in 2021. Admittedly, it came against the 32nd-ranked defense in the league, but I was excited to see what the Patriots could do next week as they go to Green Bay to take on the Packers. Now, it doesn’t matter if it’s Mac Jones or Brian Hoyer under center, I’m wondering how inept the offense is going to look.

DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES

While the offense had its best game of the season, the defense had its worst. Yardage-wise, it didn’t look bad. The Patriots only gave up 394 yards. But, the Ravens’ dual-threat QB made them pay with both his arm and his legs. Lamar Jackson tossed four touchdown passes and rushed for 107 yards and another touchdown. In the end, New England gave up 37 points in one game, more than the 34 combined they gave up against Miami and Pittsburgh. Granted Lamar Jackson is a former MVP who most would view as a tougher opponent to face than Tua Tagovailoa or Mitchell Trubisky. But you have to wonder which defense will show up next week because you’ve got to believe Aaron Rodgers will pick apart this defense if they play like this in Green Bay.

HOW BAD IS MAC’S INJURY?

As I previously mentioned, initial X-rays on Jones were negative. New England is now wondering if he suffered any tendon or ligament damage in his ankle. Jones will undergo further testing on Monday. If he can’t go, the Patriots will likely hand the ball off to Brian Hoyer. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; Hoyer is a quality backup quarterback. But he’s just that a backup quarterback. If New England has to turn to him for more than just a game or two, things will be bleak in Foxboro. I’m not saying Mac Jones is the answer to New England’s woes, but he’s the best quarterback on their roster and they will need him if they plan on making a postseason run.

LAST PLACE IN AFC EAST

For 20 years, the Patriots were the class of the AFC East. The last two seasons have been struggles, but they were better than this. Right now, they are tied with the Jets for last but lose the tiebreaker due to their loss to Miami in week one. There are still 14 games left in the season, but things aren’t looking good right now. They need an offensive spark. They need their defense to play better than they did Sunday. The Patriots need a lot, or it’s going to be a long season.

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