After a 17-14 win in Week 2 vs. the Steelers, Patriots QB Mac Jones talked about a risky, 44-yard TD pass he threw in the second quarter to wideout Nelson Algholor, who leaped over a Pittsburgh defender to haul it in.
“I think all of our receivers can do that,” the second-year QB said.
“If they’re 1-on-1, I’m going to give them the chance. Kind of a different philosophy, but that’s what we need to do,” he added
Jones’ quote was telling: New England’s margin for error isn’t what it used to be. Strictly playing a ball-control style of football and rolling out a top-five defense probably aren’t in the cards this season. Timely deep shots are a necessary development in the offense, and it’s already clear Jones has new directives from the Patriots staff.
Jones is pushing the ball farther downfield more, posting an average depth of target of 9.2 yards/attempt to start 2022 (1.2 yards/attempt more than his 2021 average). Sometimes the ball will bounce the wrong way, like it did on the opening drive interception against the Dolphins in Week 1.
Other times fortune appears to favor the bold.