Patriots

How Mac Jones did in his first NFL start, according to Dolphins players

"Mac looks like he fits perfectly into their offense and system. I was happy for him.”

Mac Jones first touchdown
Mac Jones had a completion rate of 74.4 percent as a starter for his season-opening game. AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Mac Jones’s first NFL performance was much anticipated as the New England Patriots faced the Miami Dolphins in the first game of the 2021 season for both teams Sunday afternoon.

Although the game wasn’t “good enough” for the rookie quarterback, Jones had a completion rate of 74.4, finishing 29 of 39 for 281 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Dolphins defense back Jason McCourty praised Jones, calling him “poised.”

“He gave his team a chance to win,” said McCourty. “He didn’t really make any mistakes, didn’t throw any errant passes and he is a poised young guy. It was fun to see him and Tua [Tagovailoa] as college teammates being on opposite sidelines and it is obviously a lot more fun when you come out with a win.”

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Cornerback Xavien Howard piggybacked on McCourty’s observation that Jones played mistake-free football, saying Jones “put his team in position to win.”

Sunday’s game also marked the first time that two quarterbacks from the University of Alabama were starting against each other since 1983.

“Well, I was happy for him,” Tagovailoa said about Jones after the game. “You know, it being his first real game with a crowd like this, I mean, I thought he made some really good throws. And their execution on third down I think was really good, and Mac looks like he fits perfectly into their offense and system.”

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Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, who played with Jones last season at Alabama, said of playing in his first NFL game against Jones and with Tagovailoa, said, “It was great. I think both of them did really good for their teams. It was great knowing guys on the other side. It was pretty cool.”

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores expressed his praise for Jones and the decisions he made.

“I thought he did a really nice job. Got the ball out, was able to kind of move their offense, pick up first downs, drive them down field,” Flores said.

The Patriots will next face the New York Jets on Sunday, Sept. 19.

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