The Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones Thread

Van Everyman

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When Brady retires this year and moves into coaching after a year off and immediately takes the Lawrence led Jags to an improbable Super Bowl win, he'll get another Sportsman of the Year. Ho hum.
You’re mistaken. Steve Belichick’s Bears will edge the Jags in that game.
 

54thMA

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It's astounding to me that the greatest QB to ever play the game leaves here after the 2019 season, the Patriots sign Newton and hope and pray he's still got something in the tank, finish 7-9/below 500 for the first time in 21 years, then draft the last QB taken in the first round, basically the one left and he is the perfect Patriot, really IMO has not had a bad game, does what is asked of him, is a sponge and just wants to get better.

Again; it's astounding how they in theory found their QB of the future in one year while other teams keep trying and failing over and over and over.

Talk about being blessed as a football fan who lives and dies with the Patriots, every year for me since 1968.

Truly blessed.
 

Euclis20

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One thing I've noticed this year is that Mac tends to take some really bad sacks relative to other QBs. Taking a closer look at the sack numbers for QBs with enough playing time to qualify for football reference's leaderboards seems to confirm this - among 33 qualifying QBs, Mac is dead last in average yards lost per sack. Here's the five best and five worst:

Mac Jones - 8.5
Zach Wilson - 8.44
Kyler Murray - 8.42
Jared Goff - 8.37
Matt Stafford - 8.35

Lamar Jackson - 5.14
Patrick Mahomes - 5.19
Trevor Lawrence - 5.73
Sam Darnold - 5.86
Dak Prescott - 5.94

I'm not sure what to make of this just yet, but worth sharing.
 

Silverdude2167

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One thing I've noticed this year is that Mac tends to take some really bad sacks relative to other QBs. Taking a closer look at the sack numbers for QBs with enough playing time to qualify for football reference's leaderboards seems to confirm this - among 33 qualifying QBs, Mac is dead last in average yards lost per sack. Here's the five best and five worst:

Mac Jones - 8.5
Zach Wilson - 8.44
Kyler Murray - 8.42
Jared Goff - 8.37
Matt Stafford - 8.35

Lamar Jackson - 5.14
Patrick Mahomes - 5.19
Trevor Lawrence - 5.73
Sam Darnold - 5.86
Dak Prescott - 5.94

I'm not sure what to make of this just yet, but worth sharing.
This is what you would expect for a Rookie QB. They make mistakes but you would rather a sack than an INT.
I am willling to bet that he has been drilled on not turning the ball over which has led to him both holding onto the ball longer and not throwing it away for fear of making a mistake.
 

Chance17

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I’ve been remarking to a friend all season about the bad (by yards lost) sacks Mac seems to take pretty regularly. My (entirely anecdotal) impression has been that it’s not so much because he’s worried about throwing the ball away and making a mistake— but that he isn’t very good yet at “feeling” pressure coming (and then either throwing it away, or doing things like shifting around in the pocket to gain an extra second or two).

It frustrates me a little, but mostly it seems like something he can definitely learn. I won’t be surprised if this is much improved next year. Seems a lot better than seeing ghosts and being gun-shy.
 

Euclis20

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This is what you would expect for a Rookie QB. They make mistakes but you would rather a sack than an INT.
I am willling to bet that he has been drilled on not turning the ball over which has led to him both holding onto the ball longer and not throwing it away for fear of making a mistake.
Maybe, but the rookies are all over the place. Obviously Zach Wilson is just as bad as Mac, but only Mahomes and Jackson lose fewer yards per sack than Lawrence, and Fields and Mills are middle of the pack.
 

Cesar Crespo

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It's astounding to me that the greatest QB to ever play the game leaves here after the 2019 season, the Patriots sign Newton and hope and pray he's still got something in the tank, finish 7-9/below 500 for the first time in 21 years, then draft the last QB taken in the first round, basically the one left and he is the perfect Patriot, really IMO has not had a bad game, does what is asked of him, is a sponge and just wants to get better.

Again; it's astounding how they in theory found their QB of the future in one year while other teams keep trying and failing over and over and over.

Talk about being blessed as a football fan who lives and dies with the Patriots, every year for me since 1968.

Truly blessed.
Getting rewarded for the Rod Rust and Dick MacPherson years. We deserve it for watching Hugh Millenation and Tom Hudson.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Looking at Steve Grogan, it's amazing how the game has changed. Brady averages 11.6 Y/C and 7.5 Y/A. Grogan averaged 14.3 Y/C and 7.3 Y/A.

Grogan is also 17th all time in that category and the current leader in that category is Jameis Wnston at 58th, 12.6 YPC. Every player ranked ahead of him played before the 00s. Mahomes and DeShaun Watson are tied for 2nd (tied 80th all time) among current players at 12..3. Brady is 145th.

It's obviously not a measure of success and I'm guessing mostly a product of completion % judging by the guys at the top of the list. Interesting to see DeShaun and Mahomes relatively high considering Watson is 1st all time and Mahomes 7th when it comes to completion %.
 

MuppetAsteriskTalk

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I feel like early on a lot of Mac's sacks were when the o-line was a turnstile and the defense got to him just about exactly when he reached the end of his drop back, and given that he is not really the escape artist/runner type, those were like 6 to 8 yards every time. I don't recall Mac making more than a handful of the terrible kind of sack where the QB tries to escape by conceding more and more yards and failing to escape or throw it away before he gets caught. I have no idea how to even research this, but just based on memory it doesn't seem like he's had too many sacks for big losses in recent games.
 

lexrageorge

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IIRC, in the Falcons and Titans games Mac seemed to take a couple of bad sacks from interior pressure. It appeared as if he misread the pressure and so found himself scrambling backward. He did lose an average of close to 10 yards per sack in those 2 games.

The Pats offense does put the responsibility on the QB to find where the pressure is coming from and adjust accordingly. Brady was known to be a master of this particular art form. Mac obviously ain't Brady, but it does seem as if the Pats coaches believe these are likely the growing pains Mac will need to go through. Hopefully, he'll improve as time goes on, and there's really no reason to think he will not. He is still seeing a lot he never saw in college for the very first time. Also, losing yardage but getting sacked in a more controlled manner is better than a sack-fumble.

FWIW, Brady's average yards lost per sack over the past 5 seasons: 5.7, 7, 6.9, 6.8, 6.8.
 

NortheasternPJ

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IIRC, in the Falcons and Titans games Mac seemed to take a couple of bad sacks from interior pressure. It appeared as if he misread the pressure and so found himself scrambling backward. He did lose an average of close to 10 yards per sack in those 2 games.

The Pats offense does put the responsibility on the QB to find where the pressure is coming from and adjust accordingly. Brady was known to be a master of this particular art form. Mac obviously ain't Brady, but it does seem as if the Pats coaches believe these are likely the growing pains Mac will need to go through. Hopefully, he'll improve as time goes on, and there's really no reason to think he will not. He is still seeing a lot he never saw in college for the very first time. Also, losing yardage but getting sacked in a more controlled manner is better than a sack-fumble.

FWIW, Brady's average yards lost per sack over the past 5 seasons: 5.7, 7, 6.9, 6.8, 6.8.
I have high hopes for Mac with a full offseason with the Patriots where he can spend the entire time on NFL level strength and conditioning, a year of game film he can go over and not spend significant amounts of time learning this offense. Should give him more time to work on these types of things and better understand why he got into those situations. He'll 99.9999% likely never be Brady, but he seems to have all the tools to be a Top 10 NFL QB if he can improve his arm strength even slightly.
 

Saints Rest

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One thing I've noticed this year is that Mac tends to take some really bad sacks relative to other QBs. Taking a closer look at the sack numbers for QBs with enough playing time to qualify for football reference's leaderboards seems to confirm this - among 33 qualifying QBs, Mac is dead last in average yards lost per sack. Here's the five best and five worst:

Mac Jones - 8.5
Zach Wilson - 8.44
Kyler Murray - 8.42
Jared Goff - 8.37
Matt Stafford - 8.35

Lamar Jackson - 5.14
Patrick Mahomes - 5.19
Trevor Lawrence - 5.73
Sam Darnold - 5.86
Dak Prescott - 5.94

I'm not sure what to make of this just yet, but worth sharing.
It seems to me that the latter category consists of more mobile QBs who likely get sacked scrambling near the LOS, thereby reducing the average yards lost. OTOH, the former list is made up of guys who likely get sacked in the normal pocket at a 7-step drop. (Although Murray throws that theory off)
It would be interesting to see the ranges.
 

DJnVa

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In the last 5 games he's been sacked 9 times for 86 yards, so it's not really improving. It's likely a function of him not being very mobile and, while he's doing really well, he's not at the point yet where he's fully adjusted to NFL speed. One might think that would come--the trade off will likely be fewer sacks, but maybe more incompletions as he throws it away.
 

Dogman

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We all knew of the weather and anticipated a heavy run game, I just don't think any of us anticipated 3 throws the entire game. It is nice to see Josh essentially tell us that he and BB drew up the game plan to minimize throwing mistakes and ensure Mac was calling proper protection schemes for running the ball. Honestly, I feel like we are getting so much more from coaches not named BB. I wouldn't have seen this otherwise so thanks for posting.
 

MuppetAsteriskTalk

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Does anybody know (or can they tell me the # directly) how to figure out how many 15+ air yard completions Mac has year? (Has to be air yards)
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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The Athletic NFL show just had a podcast with Robert Mays talking to Kurt Warner about lots of QB related issues, including guys who win with athleticism versus guys who win with their minds, a little bit on Mac and Joe Burrow specifically, and then a bunch of topics related to the mental side of playing the position - timing and its relationship to footwork, not just moving through progressions but timing your move through progressions, looking at defenders versus looking at receivers when making decisions, and the importance of coaches giving guys good route concepts with some stuff on both the Pats and Andy Reid. It wasn't earth shattering but Warner is a good listen.
 

ManicCompression

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The Ringer did an in-depth article on Zach Wilson that really highlighted how unimportant "arm strength" is if the rest of the package isn't there. https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2021/12/15/22836791/zach-wilson-new-york-jets-struggles

I don't want to make it a Zach Wilson thread, but the differences are substantial, and I think it speaks well to Mac's ability to transition to the NFL in a way that other QBs haven't. The things that stick out:
- Mechanics - yeah, ZW has a cannon, but it might as well be shooting strawberry jelly if his feet aren't set correctly. Velocity doesn't make a difference if it's off target and I feel like we rarely see Mac throwing off his back foot or other bad habits as often
- Processing - you can probably narrate what ZW is thinking about as he runs through his options each play. Since it's not instinctual, he takes a while to get to that second receiver or the check down. Defenders can anticipate easier, which either leads to them breaking up passes or tackling the receiver where they stand. For all the talk about the "situations" that certain QBs are in, it doesn't take much to hit an RB in the flat, yet we see rookie QBs fail at it time and again because they're late to the read. Mac has done fairly well at this so far, I think.
- Looking off receivers - ZW will get in staring contests with his receivers, which again leads to awful INTs because the defender can beat the WR to the ball. Mac has done exceptionally well at this so far for a rookie IMO.

That's not even considering the pre-play adjustments that occur. Just generally, all of the physical tools don't pay off if you can't do the above - ZW and Lance and Lawrence may still get there, but Mac has shown some level of proficiency in the hardest aspects of the position.
 

simplyeric

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I’m so glad we finally have a handsome and charismatic qb on our team!

it’s interesting aboutthe mental aspects of the game. Watching the game on Monday, and how manic Kyler Murray looks sometimes, amd also how the last few plays went… I’m not sure if it was him (KM) or his coaches, but there seemed to be some mental mishaps there.

The video was interesting. Of course, McCorkle looked like he could tone up some more, but we all know that’s completely erroneous, so…
 

soxhop411

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For those who missed his postgame after todays loss to the colts you can watch it below

View: https://youtu.be/vL448DO4f6c?t=2629

he takes responsibility for the loss and says among other things that they did not have a good practice this week. If you did not follow football as much as the average fan, you wouldn’t be able to tell that Jones is a rookie
 

djbayko

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For those who missed his postgame after todays loss to the colts you can watch it below

View: https://youtu.be/vL448DO4f6c?t=2629

he takes responsibility for the loss and says among other things that they did not have a good practice this week. If you did not follow football as much as the average fan, you wouldn’t be able to tell that Jones is a rookie
Oooh, Bill was extra ornery tonight.
 

Cotillion

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This was one of the expected "off" games a rookie is going to have, but even then one of the interceptions the LB made a pretty sweet full layout stretch dive to catch the ball.

I do wonder if the disguised blitzes, late blitzes threw Mac off that he was calling the wrong protections cause a lot of times (as people mentioned) this looked like the early o-line from all their losses early in the year.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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The whole team was poor throughout the first three quarters, but...

Any possibility Mac had some extra rust on him? He definitely started playing better in the second half. Not just did he have his first NFL bye week, but he also only threw 2 passes the week before (not counting the screen, suppose we could make it 3 total passes). Thats nearly a month without a real NFL game for him.

Not making excuses, just pontificating a bit a few days removed from the game.
 

BaseballJones

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Can I just point out that if Saturday was his "worst" game as a pro, where he looked the most like a rookie, then we have an unbelievable QB on our hands. Because this was a "terrible" game by him:

26-45 (57.8%), 299 yds, 2 td, 2 int

I mean, definitely not a "good" game. Poor completion percentage, two bad interceptions. And yet we all saw what happened. He hung in there. He rallied. He took the reins and marched them down the field and nearly made a dramatic comeback.

He lost though. He didn't win. And so we can't say he played *well*. But if this is his "worst" game? Holy smokes.
 

MillarTime

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Can I just point out that if Saturday was his "worst" game as a pro, where he looked the most like a rookie, then we have an unbelievable QB on our hands. Because this was a "terrible" game by him:

26-45 (57.8%), 299 yds, 2 td, 2 int

I mean, definitely not a "good" game. Poor completion percentage, two bad interceptions. And yet we all saw what happened. He hung in there. He rallied. He took the reins and marched them down the field and nearly made a dramatic comeback.

He lost though. He didn't win. And so we can't say he played *well*. But if this is his "worst" game? Holy smokes.
This is where I am at too. Even in the midst of an ugly game, he hung in there, made plays down the stretch and brought them back. Bigger picture, I remain incredibly excited.
 

Justthetippett

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Can I just point out that if Saturday was his "worst" game as a pro, where he looked the most like a rookie, then we have an unbelievable QB on our hands. Because this was a "terrible" game by him:

26-45 (57.8%), 299 yds, 2 td, 2 int

I mean, definitely not a "good" game. Poor completion percentage, two bad interceptions. And yet we all saw what happened. He hung in there. He rallied. He took the reins and marched them down the field and nearly made a dramatic comeback.

He lost though. He didn't win. And so we can't say he played *well*. But if this is his "worst" game? Holy smokes.
I agree with this. It’s hard to watch that red zone pic and not throw up, but he definitely hung in there, which we’ve seen consistently all season (Dallas, for example). Mac’s career will be defined by whether his acumen and competitiveness can, in key moments, overcome his physical limitations. (Or I guess whether he can minimize those physical limitations working with Tom House or whomever….). I’d bet on him, because the mental part makes the rest, but his margin for error is always going be small.
 

Gash Prex

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tims4wins

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Some of the "Mac is was lost for 3 quarters" or "Mac was still on bye" or "Macs rookie game" are a bit much. Clearly not his A game but the hyperbole surrounding his performance is a bit much IMO. He graded out ok on advanced metrics and the All 22 showed a lot of good throws. The throw to Harry was 60 yards in the air so that's something.

View: https://twitter.com/ezlazar/status/1472979546219720713


View: https://twitter.com/ezlazar/status/1473002348821819393
Right - was Mac playing like a rookie or still on bye when he made the perfect throw to Meyers? The offense put together a decent first drive that stalled due to the multiple penalties. The second drive ended after the drop from Meyers. You can play what if all day, but in another universe both of those drives might end up with points.
 

Beomoose

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The whole team was poor throughout the first three quarters, but...

Any possibility Mac had some extra rust on him? He definitely started playing better in the second half. Not just did he have his first NFL bye week, but he also only threw 2 passes the week before (not counting the screen, suppose we could make it 3 total passes). Thats nearly a month without a real NFL game for him.

Not making excuses, just pontificating a bit a few days removed from the game.
A couple of the early-game close shots of his face had him looking like he was about to barf, thought maybe it was a head cold but could just have been how things were going.
 

BrazilianSoxFan

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A couple of the early-game close shots of his face had him looking like he was about to barf, thought maybe it was a head cold but could just have been how things were going.
I commented on this on the game thread, he looked ill to me on a close shot right before his first interception.

Overly sweaty, red-faced, like someone recovering from a cold.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Right - was Mac playing like a rookie or still on bye when he made the perfect throw to Meyers? The offense put together a decent first drive that stalled due to the multiple penalties. The second drive ended after the drop from Meyers. You can play what if all day, but in another universe both of those drives might end up with points.
One of the multiple penalties was Mac losing track of the play clock. The 2 interceptions were bad enough to be the difference between a win and a loss. He could have been better at the end. It isn't that he did not play well in spots, it is that he made a lot of costly mistakes. He needs to cut down on those.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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One of the multiple penalties was Mac losing track of the play clock. The 2 interceptions were bad enough to be the difference between a win and a loss. He could have been better at the end. It isn't that he did not play well in spots, it is that he made a lot of costly mistakes. He needs to cut down on those.
He also took a 15 yard sack. As he gets older, he'll learn how to navigate the pocket better. He doesn't do the best job of stepping up. It's the best way to escape the pressure as well as not take those monster sacks.
 

Eddie Jurak

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He also took a 15 yard sack. As he gets older, he'll learn how to navigate the pocket better. He doesn't do the best job of stepping up. It's the best way to escape the pressure as well as not take those monster sacks.
This is painting with too broad a brush. No doubt he can improve in the pocket, but a lot of these sacks are breakdowns by the OL where he can’t even get set before the pressure is on him.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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This is painting with too broad a brush. No doubt he can improve in the pocket, but a lot of these sacks are breakdowns by the OL where he can’t even get set before the pressure is on him.
I mean, I'd hope you'd give me more credit than assuming that every sack is on the QB. Should probably go without saying.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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One of the multiple penalties was Mac losing track of the play clock. The 2 interceptions were bad enough to be the difference between a win and a loss. He could have been better at the end. It isn't that he did not play well in spots, it is that he made a lot of costly mistakes. He needs to cut down on those.
The delay of game penalty was as much on the coaching staff as it was on Mac. Once the sideline saw the play clock at 5 seconds and the offense was clearly not ready to snap the ball, someone on the sideline has to be ready to call a TO before the play clock runs out.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The delay of game penalty was as much on the coaching staff as it was on Mac. Once the sideline saw the play clock at 5 seconds and the offense was clearly not ready to snap the ball, someone on the sideline has to be ready to call a TO before the play clock runs out.
Disagree. I think it is far more likely that the coaching staff did not want to spend a time out there than it is that they too did not watch the play clock. Mac's job is not to put the team in that situation. He's been alternatively quite good and quite bad at that during the season, probably a sign of a rookie QB.
 

Jimbodandy

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Disagree. I think it is far more likely that the coaching staff did not want to spend a time out there than it is that they too did not watch the play clock. Mac's job is not to put the team in that situation. He's been alternatively quite good and quite bad at that during the season, probably a sign of a rookie QB.
This is true.

It's bizarre the lengths that people will go to absolve Mac Jones of his mistakes.

Yes, sometimes the OL sucks. Sometimes the gameplan/play-calling sucks. Sometimes receivers drop the ball. That's true of every QB.

And sometimes the defense throws some looks that the QB hasn't seen before, and the rookie makes some wrong reads and either misses open guys or forces to covered guys. Or he hesitates and eats the ball, or he hears ghosts and throws too early unnecessarily. All of this happened on Saturday. Delay of game is on the quarterback, unless the officials messed up the play clock or something.

If Mac didn't have any games like this, I'd start checking his scalp for "666" or throwing holy water on him to see if it hurts. The fact that the offense got their shit together and Mac dusted himself off and performed well in the second half is GREAT for his development. We should be commending his response to the poor play, not pretending that the poor play didn't happen.
 

BaseballJones

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Rewatching the game this morning. A few thoughts...

1st possession:
- Mac threw an absolute dart to Meyers for a first down.
- Mac with a great scramble for 11 for a first down under pressure.
- Gorgeous screen pass to Jonnu for a big gain, negated by a penalty, and then another penalty when Mac couldn't get the play off in time. Rookie mistake there.
- The sack Mac took - not too much to be done about that but there's an instance where a guy like Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields probably escapes, and Mac's physical limitations...well...limit him there.

2nd possession:
- Mac threw a GORGEOUS ball to Meyers down the left sideline on third and nine - an absolutely perfect pass, dropped it right in the bucket. The throw went 38 yards in the air in a tiny window and it was absolutely perfect. Meyers should have caught it and that right there would have changed the entire complexion of the game because (a) it would have given the Pats a first down at about the Indy 35, and (b) the next play was the blocked punt for an Indy TD to make it 14-0.

3rd possession:
- Little 3-yard completion to Jonnu was a nice play by Mac. Play action, he was immediately under pressure. He rolled right to avoid it and made the smart throw, getting a short gain instead of a loss or an incompletion.
- Pretty sharp sideline throw across the field to Agholor for five yards.
- Brutal job by the Pats "blocking" on the -2 yard run to the right by Bolden. Leonard, of all people, left totally unblocked, and he makes the play to snuff out that drive.

4th possession:
- First play, Mac does a nice job moving in the pocket and throws a beautiful pass to Bourne for 15 yards and a first down.
- Deep ball down the middle to Jonnu Smith. Nearly picked. Yikes. Almost a gorgeous play, but it was a little overthrown and was pretty dangerous.
- Mac immediately follows that up with a beautiful pass deep right to Henry. Showing great touch on the ball. 25 yard gain with no RAC so that was all Mac.
- Not on Mac, but coming out of the 2-minute warning, on 2nd and 1, Jonnu with a false start. UGH. Killer.
- Now the huge interception on 3rd and 3. Desperately needing points of any kind, the only thing they couldn't have there was a turnover. Just a brutal throw by Mac. I love the guy but I can't sugarcoat this one. Henry looked open, but Leonard was lurking underneath and Mac obviously didn't see him at all. Was it because Mac didn't recognize the coverage pre-snap? Or was it because Leonard made an adjustment? Either way, Mac just didn't see him and threw it right to him. Absolutely crippling play there.

5th possession:
- Good, sharp out pass to Meyers for 7.
- Then the second INT. Bolden was open, but Mac didn't put enough on it and Okereke made a terrific diving INT. Not Mac's best throw, but I'm going to give more credit to the defender on this one than say it was a huge mistake by Mac. Just a fantastic diving play that you don't normally see LBs make.

6th possession:
- Nice long pass to Agholor down the right sideline. Maybe should have been caught. Nice play by the DB to break it up.
- 2nd and 20 after a penalty, nice rope down the left side to Agholor for 9.
- Next play, needing 11, he throws another absolute rope down the left side to Agholor for 10. Agholor came back for it and his momentum made it a ten yard gain instead of an eleven yard gain. But a rocket throw by Mac.
- Then on 4th and 1, there was a nice gap for Mac to just sneak it, and I don't know why he didn't. Brady would have just tapped the center and "audibled" into that right there, but Mac didn't do that. Then he rolls right and throws to absolutely nobody. Bad play call, bad execution, just a terrible job on 4th and 1 there by basically everyone.

7th possession:
- Mac manipulates the defense by looking left and throwing a dart to Henry for 14 yards to start the drive.
- VERY tight window throw to Agholor for 10 yards. Not sure how he fit it in there, but a nice catch by Agholor. Helmet to helmet hit by Leonard on Agholor that goes unflagged. Agholor leaves the game wobbly. Olsen: "Shot by Darius Leonard, right in the face." Yeah, that's illegal, Greg.
- Deep ball down the middle to Jonnu, incomplete. Another tiny window, another dangerous throw. Overthrown. Those are the kinds of plays that make your heart thump a little harder.
- Mac makes an incredible play on the next play. Scrambles to avoid pressure, throws across his body, across the field - normally a big No-No - to Henry for the first down. He had to put a LOT on that pass, going away from him. He got crushed as he released it too.
- Simple little pass to Henry on the left. Not too hard a play but executed flawlessly.
- Nice screen pass to Bolden following two straight NE penalties. Gives them a chance.
- Great throw by Mac to Henry for the TD. Stepped up to avoid the pressure, threw on the run, found Henry in the end zone.

8th possession:
- First throw into triple coverage down the left sideline incomplete. Not really dangerous as he threw it where nobody could get it.
- Harry gets absolutely mugged on a pass on the left sideline, still almost came up with the catch.
- Good play by Mac on 3rd and 10 with the blitz coming, finding the hot receiver in Bolden for 12 yards and a first down.
- Then came the weird flea flicker. It was just botched a little, but Harry was pretty open, and so was Meyers. The problem was that Mac was under pressure the moment he got the ball back. Still, an opportunity for a huge gain or TD lost by poor execution, not really on Mac there.
- Completion to Harry over the middle, the throw was a little behind him so it was a nice catch by N'Keal.
- Fourth down and one, nice little completion over the middle to Meyers for the first down.
- On the Bourne reverse, a nice block by Mac to help spring him for a big gain.
- Incomplete pass to a double covered Meyers - again, more of a throw where nobody could get it. Too tight of a window and don't want to risk a turnover.
- Following the brutal false start that pushed them back to the 7, Mac is under huge pressure and has to throw it away. Ugh golden chance for a TD with 1st and goal from the 4, and they choose to kick the FG.

9th possession:
- Great pass to Bourne deep middle to start the drive. 20 yard completion to start it off.
- Nobody open, he throws it away.
- Short completion bringing up 3rd down. Then on the next play (following a redo after offsetting penalties), he hits Harry for 43 yards deep. Gorgeous throw. Excellent catch. This is what Harry is capable of. Add on a penalty and the Pats are in business.
- Slant incomplete to Meyers. Good coverage.
- Incomplete with nobody open and Mac under pressure.
- Third down play, Mac with an absolutely PERFECT throw to Henry in a tiny window. JUST got it past Leonard. Gorgeous play, perfect ball placement.

10th possession:
- 9 yard completion to Meyers, who hilariously tries to get out of bounds even with the 2-minute warning coming up.
- Nice screen to Bolden, who's had a really nice season, for 16 yards.
- Then a rocket to Harry over the middle, and he gets crushed by Sendejo on a clear and obvious helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver. It could have been DPI. It could have been targeting. It could have been a personal foul, unnecessary roughness. They called nothing. Just an awful, terrible non-call, and it knocked Harry out of the game. But a dime of a throw by Mac.
- Three straight incompletions end the game, including the underhanded pass to avoid a sack.

So on the whole, I didn't at all think Mac looked overwhelmed. He made some excellent throws, even early on. Penalties and the blocked punt killed them. That first INT was also a killer and that one was totally on Mac. But otherwise, he made a bunch of really good plays and, without the help of a running game, nearly brought them back for the win. I believe, after rewatching it, that he played a lot better than people thought.
 

Justthetippett

New Member
Aug 9, 2015
2,816
Rewatching the game this morning. A few thoughts...

1st possession:
- Mac threw an absolute dart to Meyers for a first down.
- Mac with a great scramble for 11 for a first down under pressure.
- Gorgeous screen pass to Jonnu for a big gain, negated by a penalty, and then another penalty when Mac couldn't get the play off in time. Rookie mistake there.
- The sack Mac took - not too much to be done about that but there's an instance where a guy like Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields probably escapes, and Mac's physical limitations...well...limit him there.

2nd possession:
- Mac threw a GORGEOUS ball to Meyers down the left sideline on third and nine - an absolutely perfect pass, dropped it right in the bucket. The throw went 38 yards in the air in a tiny window and it was absolutely perfect. Meyers should have caught it and that right there would have changed the entire complexion of the game because (a) it would have given the Pats a first down at about the Indy 35, and (b) the next play was the blocked punt for an Indy TD to make it 14-0.

3rd possession:
- Little 3-yard completion to Jonnu was a nice play by Mac. Play action, he was immediately under pressure. He rolled right to avoid it and made the smart throw, getting a short gain instead of a loss or an incompletion.
- Pretty sharp sideline throw across the field to Agholor for five yards.
- Brutal job by the Pats "blocking" on the -2 yard run to the right by Bolden. Leonard, of all people, left totally unblocked, and he makes the play to snuff out that drive.

4th possession:
- First play, Mac does a nice job moving in the pocket and throws a beautiful pass to Bourne for 15 yards and a first down.
- Deep ball down the middle to Jonnu Smith. Nearly picked. Yikes. Almost a gorgeous play, but it was a little overthrown and was pretty dangerous.
- Mac immediately follows that up with a beautiful pass deep right to Henry. Showing great touch on the ball. 25 yard gain with no RAC so that was all Mac.
- Not on Mac, but coming out of the 2-minute warning, on 2nd and 1, Jonnu with a false start. UGH. Killer.
- Now the huge interception on 3rd and 3. Desperately needing points of any kind, the only thing they couldn't have there was a turnover. Just a brutal throw by Mac. I love the guy but I can't sugarcoat this one. Henry looked open, but Leonard was lurking underneath and Mac obviously didn't see him at all. Was it because Mac didn't recognize the coverage pre-snap? Or was it because Leonard made an adjustment? Either way, Mac just didn't see him and threw it right to him. Absolutely crippling play there.

5th possession:
- Good, sharp out pass to Meyers for 7.
- Then the second INT. Bolden was open, but Mac didn't put enough on it and Okereke made a terrific diving INT. Not Mac's best throw, but I'm going to give more credit to the defender on this one than say it was a huge mistake by Mac. Just a fantastic diving play that you don't normally see LBs make.

6th possession:
- Nice long pass to Agholor down the right sideline. Maybe should have been caught. Nice play by the DB to break it up.
- 2nd and 20 after a penalty, nice rope down the left side to Agholor for 9.
- Next play, needing 11, he throws another absolute rope down the left side to Agholor for 10. Agholor came back for it and his momentum made it a ten yard gain instead of an eleven yard gain. But a rocket throw by Mac.
- Then on 4th and 1, there was a nice gap for Mac to just sneak it, and I don't know why he didn't. Brady would have just tapped the center and "audibled" into that right there, but Mac didn't do that. Then he rolls right and throws to absolutely nobody. Bad play call, bad execution, just a terrible job on 4th and 1 there by basically everyone.

7th possession:
- Mac manipulates the defense by looking left and throwing a dart to Henry for 14 yards to start the drive.
- VERY tight window throw to Agholor for 10 yards. Not sure how he fit it in there, but a nice catch by Agholor. Helmet to helmet hit by Leonard on Agholor that goes unflagged. Agholor leaves the game wobbly. Olsen: "Shot by Darius Leonard, right in the face." Yeah, that's illegal, Greg.
- Deep ball down the middle to Jonnu, incomplete. Another tiny window, another dangerous throw. Overthrown. Those are the kinds of plays that make your heart thump a little harder.
- Mac makes an incredible play on the next play. Scrambles to avoid pressure, throws across his body, across the field - normally a big No-No - to Henry for the first down. He had to put a LOT on that pass, going away from him. He got crushed as he released it too.
- Simple little pass to Henry on the left. Not too hard a play but executed flawlessly.
- Nice screen pass to Bolden following two straight NE penalties. Gives them a chance.
- Great throw by Mac to Henry for the TD. Stepped up to avoid the pressure, threw on the run, found Henry in the end zone.

8th possession:
- First throw into triple coverage down the left sideline incomplete. Not really dangerous as he threw it where nobody could get it.
- Harry gets absolutely mugged on a pass on the left sideline, still almost came up with the catch.
- Good play by Mac on 3rd and 10 with the blitz coming, finding the hot receiver in Bolden for 12 yards and a first down.
- Then came the weird flea flicker. It was just botched a little, but Harry was pretty open, and so was Meyers. The problem was that Mac was under pressure the moment he got the ball back. Still, an opportunity for a huge gain or TD lost by poor execution, not really on Mac there.
- Completion to Harry over the middle, the throw was a little behind him so it was a nice catch by N'Keal.
- Fourth down and one, nice little completion over the middle to Meyers for the first down.
- On the Bourne reverse, a nice block by Mac to help spring him for a big gain.
- Incomplete pass to a double covered Meyers - again, more of a throw where nobody could get it. Too tight of a window and don't want to risk a turnover.
- Following the brutal false start that pushed them back to the 7, Mac is under huge pressure and has to throw it away. Ugh golden chance for a TD with 1st and goal from the 4, and they choose to kick the FG.

9th possession:
- Great pass to Bourne deep middle to start the drive. 20 yard completion to start it off.
- Nobody open, he throws it away.
- Short completion bringing up 3rd down. Then on the next play (following a redo after offsetting penalties), he hits Harry for 43 yards deep. Gorgeous throw. Excellent catch. This is what Harry is capable of. Add on a penalty and the Pats are in business.
- Slant incomplete to Meyers. Good coverage.
- Incomplete with nobody open and Mac under pressure.
- Third down play, Mac with an absolutely PERFECT throw to Henry in a tiny window. JUST got it past Leonard. Gorgeous play, perfect ball placement.

10th possession:
- 9 yard completion to Meyers, who hilariously tries to get out of bounds even with the 2-minute warning coming up.
- Nice screen to Bolden, who's had a really nice season, for 16 yards.
- Then a rocket to Harry over the middle, and he gets crushed by Sendejo on a clear and obvious helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver. It could have been DPI. It could have been targeting. It could have been a personal foul, unnecessary roughness. They called nothing. Just an awful, terrible non-call, and it knocked Harry out of the game. But a dime of a throw by Mac.
- Three straight incompletions end the game, including the underhanded pass to avoid a sack.

So on the whole, I didn't at all think Mac looked overwhelmed. He made some excellent throws, even early on. Penalties and the blocked punt killed them. That first INT was also a killer and that one was totally on Mac. But otherwise, he made a bunch of really good plays and, without the help of a running game, nearly brought them back for the win. I believe, after rewatching it, that he played a lot better than people thought.

Thanks for this. Brings into stark relief how the timing/situation around one play can determine the flow of a game. Pats, and Mac, have been great for two months on making those plays. On Saturday they obviously did not. Sunday’s game really will be the inflection point.
 

JohnnyTheBone

Member
SoSH Member
May 28, 2007
37,682
Nobody Cares
Rewatching the game this morning. A few thoughts...

1st possession:
- Mac threw an absolute dart to Meyers for a first down.
- Mac with a great scramble for 11 for a first down under pressure.
- Gorgeous screen pass to Jonnu for a big gain, negated by a penalty, and then another penalty when Mac couldn't get the play off in time. Rookie mistake there.
- The sack Mac took - not too much to be done about that but there's an instance where a guy like Lamar Jackson or Justin Fields probably escapes, and Mac's physical limitations...well...limit him there.

2nd possession:
- Mac threw a GORGEOUS ball to Meyers down the left sideline on third and nine - an absolutely perfect pass, dropped it right in the bucket. The throw went 38 yards in the air in a tiny window and it was absolutely perfect. Meyers should have caught it and that right there would have changed the entire complexion of the game because (a) it would have given the Pats a first down at about the Indy 35, and (b) the next play was the blocked punt for an Indy TD to make it 14-0.

3rd possession:
- Little 3-yard completion to Jonnu was a nice play by Mac. Play action, he was immediately under pressure. He rolled right to avoid it and made the smart throw, getting a short gain instead of a loss or an incompletion.
- Pretty sharp sideline throw across the field to Agholor for five yards.
- Brutal job by the Pats "blocking" on the -2 yard run to the right by Bolden. Leonard, of all people, left totally unblocked, and he makes the play to snuff out that drive.

4th possession:
- First play, Mac does a nice job moving in the pocket and throws a beautiful pass to Bourne for 15 yards and a first down.
- Deep ball down the middle to Jonnu Smith. Nearly picked. Yikes. Almost a gorgeous play, but it was a little overthrown and was pretty dangerous.
- Mac immediately follows that up with a beautiful pass deep right to Henry. Showing great touch on the ball. 25 yard gain with no RAC so that was all Mac.
- Not on Mac, but coming out of the 2-minute warning, on 2nd and 1, Jonnu with a false start. UGH. Killer.
- Now the huge interception on 3rd and 3. Desperately needing points of any kind, the only thing they couldn't have there was a turnover. Just a brutal throw by Mac. I love the guy but I can't sugarcoat this one. Henry looked open, but Leonard was lurking underneath and Mac obviously didn't see him at all. Was it because Mac didn't recognize the coverage pre-snap? Or was it because Leonard made an adjustment? Either way, Mac just didn't see him and threw it right to him. Absolutely crippling play there.

5th possession:
- Good, sharp out pass to Meyers for 7.
- Then the second INT. Bolden was open, but Mac didn't put enough on it and Okereke made a terrific diving INT. Not Mac's best throw, but I'm going to give more credit to the defender on this one than say it was a huge mistake by Mac. Just a fantastic diving play that you don't normally see LBs make.

6th possession:
- Nice long pass to Agholor down the right sideline. Maybe should have been caught. Nice play by the DB to break it up.
- 2nd and 20 after a penalty, nice rope down the left side to Agholor for 9.
- Next play, needing 11, he throws another absolute rope down the left side to Agholor for 10. Agholor came back for it and his momentum made it a ten yard gain instead of an eleven yard gain. But a rocket throw by Mac.
- Then on 4th and 1, there was a nice gap for Mac to just sneak it, and I don't know why he didn't. Brady would have just tapped the center and "audibled" into that right there, but Mac didn't do that. Then he rolls right and throws to absolutely nobody. Bad play call, bad execution, just a terrible job on 4th and 1 there by basically everyone.

7th possession:
- Mac manipulates the defense by looking left and throwing a dart to Henry for 14 yards to start the drive.
- VERY tight window throw to Agholor for 10 yards. Not sure how he fit it in there, but a nice catch by Agholor. Helmet to helmet hit by Leonard on Agholor that goes unflagged. Agholor leaves the game wobbly. Olsen: "Shot by Darius Leonard, right in the face." Yeah, that's illegal, Greg.
- Deep ball down the middle to Jonnu, incomplete. Another tiny window, another dangerous throw. Overthrown. Those are the kinds of plays that make your heart thump a little harder.
- Mac makes an incredible play on the next play. Scrambles to avoid pressure, throws across his body, across the field - normally a big No-No - to Henry for the first down. He had to put a LOT on that pass, going away from him. He got crushed as he released it too.
- Simple little pass to Henry on the left. Not too hard a play but executed flawlessly.
- Nice screen pass to Bolden following two straight NE penalties. Gives them a chance.
- Great throw by Mac to Henry for the TD. Stepped up to avoid the pressure, threw on the run, found Henry in the end zone.

8th possession:
- First throw into triple coverage down the left sideline incomplete. Not really dangerous as he threw it where nobody could get it.
- Harry gets absolutely mugged on a pass on the left sideline, still almost came up with the catch.
- Good play by Mac on 3rd and 10 with the blitz coming, finding the hot receiver in Bolden for 12 yards and a first down.
- Then came the weird flea flicker. It was just botched a little, but Harry was pretty open, and so was Meyers. The problem was that Mac was under pressure the moment he got the ball back. Still, an opportunity for a huge gain or TD lost by poor execution, not really on Mac there.
- Completion to Harry over the middle, the throw was a little behind him so it was a nice catch by N'Keal.
- Fourth down and one, nice little completion over the middle to Meyers for the first down.
- On the Bourne reverse, a nice block by Mac to help spring him for a big gain.
- Incomplete pass to a double covered Meyers - again, more of a throw where nobody could get it. Too tight of a window and don't want to risk a turnover.
- Following the brutal false start that pushed them back to the 7, Mac is under huge pressure and has to throw it away. Ugh golden chance for a TD with 1st and goal from the 4, and they choose to kick the FG.

9th possession:
- Great pass to Bourne deep middle to start the drive. 20 yard completion to start it off.
- Nobody open, he throws it away.
- Short completion bringing up 3rd down. Then on the next play (following a redo after offsetting penalties), he hits Harry for 43 yards deep. Gorgeous throw. Excellent catch. This is what Harry is capable of. Add on a penalty and the Pats are in business.
- Slant incomplete to Meyers. Good coverage.
- Incomplete with nobody open and Mac under pressure.
- Third down play, Mac with an absolutely PERFECT throw to Henry in a tiny window. JUST got it past Leonard. Gorgeous play, perfect ball placement.

10th possession:
- 9 yard completion to Meyers, who hilariously tries to get out of bounds even with the 2-minute warning coming up.
- Nice screen to Bolden, who's had a really nice season, for 16 yards.
- Then a rocket to Harry over the middle, and he gets crushed by Sendejo on a clear and obvious helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver. It could have been DPI. It could have been targeting. It could have been a personal foul, unnecessary roughness. They called nothing. Just an awful, terrible non-call, and it knocked Harry out of the game. But a dime of a throw by Mac.
- Three straight incompletions end the game, including the underhanded pass to avoid a sack.

So on the whole, I didn't at all think Mac looked overwhelmed. He made some excellent throws, even early on. Penalties and the blocked punt killed them. That first INT was also a killer and that one was totally on Mac. But otherwise, he made a bunch of really good plays and, without the help of a running game, nearly brought them back for the win. I believe, after rewatching it, that he played a lot better than people thought.
Wow, this is an awesome post. Thanks for taking the time. I was able to relive the game through your descriptions, and it helped put Mac's performance into proper perspective. He really did play better than the numbers, and pundits, would indicate. Can't wait for Sunday!
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
9,072
Philly
A few minor notes because I think you can point to things Max can’t do or is struggling with. 1) Mac tries to scramble backwards to avoid pressure when he’s better off eating the sack. Sure pressure is coming from the OL but it’s on him moving backwards. Take the 7-8 yard loss and stop making it a 15 yard loss. His yards per sack numbers are atrocious and that’s on him and not the OL.

2) The flea flicker is an example of the difference between someone who can throw off platform in a hurry vs someone who needs to be able to step into his throw. Sure probably only 5-10 QBs in the NFL can make that throw facing the pressure that he did but Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers can probably launch it and get it there.

The difference between an average QB and a good to great one is probably 3-5 plays a game. Average QBs do a lot of good stuff too. Average is a mixed bag. When I see stuff like “he played a lot better than we remember” I’m skeptical. I thought he had a below average game. He did some nice things but he made quite a few mistakes. That’s below average.

3) Last note: @BaseballJones The Bolden pick was absolutely on Mac. He threw that late. The defender had too much time to recover, Mac didn't snap it off when Bolden hit his break (and Mac needs to throw that ball harder) and then Bolden drifted anyway making it easier to intercept. The Henry pick was late too. You can throw that to Henry over the middle or just past the middle but you can't assume that Leonard abandoned his zone just because he shuffled over a few steps. And even if you assume he did why wait? Your best time to throw that with an open lane was just a second or half a second before he threw it. The Colts disguised their coverages a lot against Mac (like they did against Josh Allen as I mentioned in the pre-game thread). I think it took threw off his timing and anticipation. It's something that we noted about him pre-draft and is normal for rookie and non-great QBs to struggle against. Even the GOAT can be got by that.
 

Dahabenzapple2

Mr. McGuire / Axl's Counter
SoSH Member
Jun 20, 2011
8,949
Wayne, NJ
A few minor notes because I think you can point to things Max can’t do or is struggling with. 1) Mac tries to scramble backwards to avoid pressure when he’s better off eating the sack. Sure pressure is coming from the OL but it’s on him moving backwards. Take the 7-8 yard loss and stop making it a 15 yard loss. His yards per sack numbers are atrocious and that’s on him and not the OL.

2) The flea flicker is an example of the difference between someone who can throw off platform in a hurry vs someone who needs to be able to step into his throw. Sure probably only 5-10 QBs in the NFL can make that throw facing the pressure that he did but Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers can probably launch it and get it there.

The difference between an average QB and a good to great one is probably 3-5 plays a game. Average QBs do a lot of good stuff too. Average is a mixed bag. When I see stuff like “he played a lot better than we remember” I’m skeptical. I thought he had a below average game. He did some nice things but he made quite a few mistakes. That’s below average.

3) Last note: @BaseballJones The Bolden pick was absolutely on Mac. He threw that late. The defender had too much time to recover, Mac didn't snap it off when Bolden hit his break (and Mac needs to throw that ball harder) and then Bolden drifted anyway making it easier to intercept. The Henry pick was late too. You can throw that to Henry over the middle or just past the middle but you can't assume that Leonard abandoned his zone just because he shuffled over a few steps. And even if you assume he did why wait? Your best time to throw that with an open lane was just a second or half a second before he threw it. The Colts disguised their coverages a lot against Mac (like they did against Josh Allen as I mentioned in the pre-game thread). I think it took threw off his timing and anticipation. It's something that we noted about him pre-draft and is normal for rookie and non-great QBs to struggle against. Even the GOAT can be got by that.
I thought the second pick was worse than the great play by Leonard / “not seeing” a defender happens to the best of them. It’s been rare with Mac, I think. Picks to the outside not throwing outside far enough are disturbing to me. These are the types we see from average or below average QB’s that we don’t see much from top QB’s. With Mac’s average at best arm he needs to be ultra careful on these sort of throws.

I second that Mac MUST stop running backwards to avoid sacks. He simply doesn’t have the athletic ability to escape that type of rush. Russell Wilson he isn’t.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
9,072
Philly
Let's zoom in on the Henry pick and answer what Mac saw and didn't see. Mac initially tries to look off the defenders on the left side of the field with Harry running a clearing route (a go/9 route). Leonard is reading Mac's eyes playing in zone. He initially shifts a few feet over to Harry but keeps reading Mac as Mac looks off Harry. Mac then brings his eyes back to Henry and instead of throwing it right away or shortly after waits for Henry's over route to get to Leonard. Leonard though hasn't taken the cheese on the clearing route and is still in his zone. Leonard is reading Mac and sees Henry's route. Now Leonard has time to adjust and can make a play underneath. Mac might have missed him there but it shouldn't have mattered because the throw should have been out earlier. If he is going to throw it that late he needed to loft it over Leonard but instead Leonard has a relatively easy jumping interception. It's possible Mac thought that Leonard took the cheese when he saw him shuffle over. It's also possible Mac didn't think Leonard could recover enough to make the interception. I don't think Mac saw him or he made a bad throw and knew it right after he threw it ("I didn't put enough air under it - damn" - his body language speaking to me lol). Either way if the pass is out on time we're not having this conversation.

As for the Bolden pick - it reminded me of the Agholor pick against Houston when he either ran the wrong route and/or drifted away from his leverage allowing the defender to undercut it. You can't drift away from your leverage. Work back to the QB. Work back in a path that HELPS your leverage. That being said the throw was late so it's probably a PD even if Bolden doesn't drift. I would put that pick on Mac primarily because late throws are problematic but also on Bolden too.

Quick edit: the clearing route from Harry is designed to take the coverage on the left side of the field away leaving open grass for Henry's over route. Leonard however didn't clear out.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
9,072
Philly
I thought the second pick was worse than the great play by Leonard / “not seeing” a defender happens to the best of them. It’s been rare with Mac, I think.
I second that Mac MUST stop running backwards to avoid sacks. He simply doesn’t have the athletic ability to escape that type of rush. Russell Wilson he isn’t.
He was late on the Jonnu INT against Tennessee too. He’s got to realize that NFL safeties and linebackers can recover and get in the right place a lot faster than college guys. He’s a rookie though so I’m not expecting him to be at NFL speed year 1.
And yeah it’s really counterintuitive to not try and escape sacks but Brady and others like Brady have learned to just take it. You aren’t going to escape and resistance is futile/makes it worse. That’s something like his adjustment to how fast defenders can recover is something I think we see change in year 2.
Mac is playing like an average QB in year 1. That’s really impressive. I’m not down on Mac and I think the mistakes he is making are something that can improve with time.