The Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones Thread

cshea

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I will say this - when Mac went down, I thought the season was over. Now I don't.

I do really wonder how we'd be doing right now if Mac stayed healthy. Would they have adapted the offense like they have with Zappe? Hard to tell.
You could probably make the case they'd be 4-2. They probably still roll the Lions and Browns. Mac may have pulled out the Packers game. Not that Zappe was at fault for the loss, but they probably don't run as conservative an offense in that game. Of course, flip side is Mac could've continued the turnover binge he was on.
 

RedOctober3829

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Mac Jones should unquestionably get his job back once he's healthy. He's a first round pick, a captain, and I think if he cleans up the turnovers he will be a much better option than Bailey Zappe. There's a ton invested in Mac and the coaching staff has a responsibility to put him back in. For Mac to lose his job to Zappe, he has to completely crater and be the sole reason they are losing games.
 

SMU_Sox

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I don't disagree with any of that. I will note that several times in the last few games Zappe has shown his inexperience by not making the first read throw when it was there. That's not a knock on him, rather an indication that he's still learning to process at NFL speed.
It is funny you all brought up Matt as he's my film buddy and we actually spent about 30 minutes last night talking on the phone during SNF about this tweet and this conversation. Some of you all are in the slack we're in and we had the same discussion about Mac here on SOSH there. I feel like the three places I live online: here, slack, and Twitter, this topic is on FIRE.

Since Matt isn't here let me speak for him as his argument isn't just this one tweet. The guy is really smart and watches a ton of tape. And before we start if the argument is Mac should start//Matt's-Tweet (100) vs Bailey should start (0) I am a 97 and I wasn't a Mac guy. The one point I disagreed with Matt on to some degree was re: ADOT. The ADOT last night was partially from responding to the Browns blitzes.

The argument fleshed out a bit more is that they went to a more dink-and-dunk run heavy offense with Zappe (though they threw it more yesterday) and we saw that offense with Mac last year. That offense can't play from behind well and defenses will start to adjust by rushing 3 and dropping 8 and taking away the underneath and in-breaking stuff. It's more beneficial in the long run for Mac to get comfortable in an offense that consistently drives the ball more. He needs some time to get there. Mac has a bad habit of missing people drifting into his lanes and that's dated back to last year and even in college. That's something to keep an eye on. The Patriots don't want to run an offense similar to last year because it's not dynamic enough. Mac might not be the guy but we won't know that until he has time to show them if he can play in this new offense or not. Mac ran this offense at an above average clip last year but it was inconsistent. So we know Mac can do this kind of stuff. And the last point from both Matt and me is just not to overreact to a 2 game sample of anything. My worst takes here are when I overreact and my best ones are usually nuanced and based on a long-enough time frame.
 

BaseballJones

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Wiggie on WEEI this morning was talking about how it's bad to have your backup be good because then it creates a QB controversy. I'm like....that's so stupid. I mean, would we rather have Zappe be BAD? I get that you don't want a QB controversy, but wouldn't you rather have your backup be a good player so if your starter goes down your season isn't sunk?
 

SMU_Sox

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Wiggie on WEEI this morning was talking about how it's bad to have your backup be good because then it creates a QB controversy. I'm like....that's so stupid. I mean, would we rather have Zappe be BAD? I get that you don't want a QB controversy, but wouldn't you rather have your backup be a good player so if your starter goes down your season isn't sunk?
Lol…View: https://twitter.com/nemediapitchbot/status/1581823131978588160?s=46&t=JvlL4M3_dCMI0YrS4PJ4bw
 

astrozombie

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I know people on this board can back up their positions with stats (advanced or otherwise). I know that the Browns and the Lions are two teams that are not that great. I know that a lot was invested in Mac. But to this slightly-more-than-casual observer, Zappe just looks more comfortable back there. It seems like every pre-snap this year, Mac was screaming or looking around or someone was looking confused. Every time the pocket collapsed or a defender was within 7 feet of him, Mac seemed terrified. But with Zappe, it seems like he actually knows what is going to happen pre-snap. He goes through a progression. Now, part of that is the O line seems to be playing better too. But even when Hutchinson was bearing down on Zappe in the Lions game, he seemed collected enough to try to make a play rather than turtle.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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As far as the "Zappe is running a more conservative offense", without reviewing the film, it seemed to me that they were using more 11 personnel in the second half of yesterday's game, and Zappe didn't miss a beat. While they can still run conservative routes, it neuters the ability to fake run or keep alot of beef in to block.
 

ponch73

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As for Mac being able to "do more", he should at least have a greater command of the playbook and be able to play with different personnel sets, etc. I just think we haven't seen much of it as the team was running the offense differently. Also, the OL seemingly has had more time to gel, and Zappe has gotten some help from his defense when it comes to game situations:

IOW, Zappe hasn't had to play against the Dolphins defense yet, or really any similar quality of defensive squad.

Playing with a mostly complete offense against a lousy Bears team should be a better comparison point for Mac Jones.
Are we sure that the Dolphins defense is high quality? Or do they just have the book on how to defend Mac?

29th ranked in DVOA

Here's how the other 5 QB who faced them this year fared:

Lamar Jackson 21-29 318 PaYd 11.0 YPA 3 TD 0 INT
Josh Allen 42-63 400 PaYd 6.3 YPA 2 TD 0 INT
Joe Burrow 20-31 287 PaYd 9.3 YPA 2 TD 0 INT
Zach Wilson 14-21 210 PaYd 10.0 YPA 0 TD 0 INT
Kirk Cousins 20-30 175 PaYd 5.8 YPA 2 TD 0 INT

And then there's Mac's stat line:

Mac Jones 21-30 213 PaYD 7.1 YPA 1 TD 1 INT
 

koufax32

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Of course, the second you pull him for Zappe, his time as a starter is probably over. If Zappe just never relinquishes the job, Mac has potential trade value. If Mac gets it back then loses it, that value diminishes significantly.

That said, I don’t think that should factor into any decision. This is why we should all take solace in knowing that BB is in charge of this team.
 

jezza1918

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This is from a pats.com article after the Lions win, cant recall where I originally read it (here or one of too many patriots centric group threads):

"Ultimately, the Patriots want to compete for championships. Although five interceptions outweighed the positives from Jones's first three starts, the direction they were moving in had the bigger picture in mind that a low-risk offense wasn't competitive against elite teams in the NFL...If the Patriots want to compete with the Buffalo's and Kansas City's late in the season, New England needs a playmaker at quarterback. It's good enough to beat the Lions at home when the defense pitches a shutout, but it won't be good enough against better opponents."

If that quote is accurate, and I believe it is...Bill isn't going to pull Mac this season once he returns unless shit really hits the fan IMO. What we've seen from Zappe the last couple games has been awesome, in the same exact way what we saw from Mac against these types of teams last year was awesome. If Mac shows no signs of having the playmaking ability needed to run a higher risk offense by the end of the season, I can see Bill looking to see if Zappe can do that next year, but not any sooner.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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These Tweets are interesting but they likely won't sway the debate from Zappe to Jones. Instead, it may confirm for some that the analytics are garbage.
 

Jungleland

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The article Jezza is referencing is far and away the sentiment most in line with how I view the situation right now. Mac looked bad, Zappe has looked good, but I can buy it's more about training wheels or lack thereof than a trustworthy indication yet that the latter is a superior option to the former. That said, what's the statistical definition of big time throw? (I'm assuming there is one and I just don't know, it's an honest question.)

Parker's first catch and the Thornton play Giardi tweeted about this morning were both of the 'this guy might actually have it' variety to my eye.
 

Super Nomario

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I will defer to better eyes than mine … but the catch that Parker made yesterday was not dissimilar to the one that he didn’t make in week 1. Jump balls, and on one he wasn’t being restrained from jumping.
 

SMU_Sox

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Without crunching the numbers, that strikes me as a bad tradeoff. You'd need to hit more big time throws to offset the turnover rate, I would think. I don't know average EPA on "BTTs" but the ANY/A formula has INTs more than twice as negative (45) than TDs are positive (20).
Oh yeah, for sure. His current rate of TWP% would have tied him for worst in the league with Jimmy G last year. COMPLETELY unacceptable.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brLNcJeSAhw
 

tims4wins

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I feel like everyone is forgetting that Mac and the Patriots did exactly this sort of thing last year against crappy / mediocre teams. Here were some of his lines:
15-21, 229, 2 TD, 1 INT, 29 points
24-36, 307, 2 TD, 0 INT, 54 points
19-23, 198, 3 TD, 0 INT, 45 points
22-26, 207, 1 TD, 1 INT, 25 points
23-32, 310, 2 TD, 0 INT, 36 points

The Pats were a front-running team last year, and they continue to be this year. When they run the ball well, play from ahead, play good D, mix in play action, they have the potential to destroy bad and mediocre teams. The exact same formula happened the last two weeks. It is very encouraging that Zappe can run that type of offense and not throw up all over himself. But Mac played exactly like this for a long stretch of last year.

I wrote it upthread, but this formula is good enough to beat like 60-70% of the teams in the league consistently. I think they decided it's not good enough to beat the elite teams. Whether or not that assessment is correct may be up for debate (after all, Buffalo beat KC 24-20 yesterday; the Rams didn't score a ton of points in the Super Bowl; etc.).
 

SMU_Sox

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what exactly is a "big time throw?"
Big Time Throw: Big Time Throws - a pass with excellent ball location and timing, generally thrown further down the field and/or into a tighter window

Turnover Worthy Plays: Turnover Worthy Plays - a pass that has a high percentage chance to be intercepted or a poor job of taking care of the ball and fumbling
 

SMU_Sox

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Sounds like a term some analytics types invented for something they do not know how to quantify. If there is no objective definition, then it’s a useless stat.
I don't think it's useless but it's not something I look at often. Turnover worthy plays are subjective too but when I track them I often come away with the exact same number so I think they are fairly common sense.
 

DourDoerr

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Once Mac's healthy, I'm in the camp that he'll be the starter again. It's clear that BB handpicked assistants that would install his vision of an offense built to compete in today's game. With Judge and Patricia, he didn't have to unlearn an OC or worry about stepping on someone's ego/area of expertise. It'll be interesting to see if the Zappe interlude gave them any insight on how they might mesh this year's experiment with last year's model. This game highlighted a couple of welcome wrinkles. Thornton's end-around (especially love the vision and cut upfield TT made) came from a full sprint past the QB rather than a pitch. It's an aggressive embrace of the speed it takes to put modern defenses on their heels. Also loved Parker's snatch of an underthrown ball (by design, I think) as well as the Davante Adams-like PI call on Parker's defender in the endzone. This is a real weapon today and Parker may finally allow the Pats' offense to regularly exploit this badly needed wrinkle or at least give a defense another worry..

Mac was struggling with the changes early on, but that's to be expected - they're changes and it's hard to deviate from the comfortable. He'll get his second chance to make it work sooner than later and he'll be under the gun, no doubt, to get quick results given the pressure Zappe's performance has created. This is an excellent outcome for BB. There's nothing he likes more than competition at a position. It gets him roster depth along with a higher level of performance from whichever player wins.
 

gammoseditor

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Big Time Throw: Big Time Throws - a pass with excellent ball location and timing, generally thrown further down the field and/or into a tighter window

Turnover Worthy Plays: Turnover Worthy Plays - a pass that has a high percentage chance to be intercepted or a poor job of taking care of the ball and fumbling
How many does an elite quarterback have in an average game?
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Us not knowing what the objective definition is doesn't mean that there isn't one.
It does for those not bothered to wait for the answer. And I swear I didn't know these posts were coming, however this isn't my first SoSH rodeo (I am one of the clowns after all).

I do want to be clear about something. Zappistas absolutely have two wins and some signs of what appears to be nifty QBing by Bailey . The analytics - and I am generally a fan of the ongoing attempts to refine how production defined in terms of output and quality - are doing a lot of "yeah but..." work here.

Two wins, regardless of the quality of opponent, are simply more meaningful than any yeah-but stats.
 

SMU_Sox

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It does for those not bothered to wait for the answer. And I swear I didn't know these posts were coming, however this isn't my first SoSH rodeo (I am one of the clowns after all).

I do want to be clear about something. Zappistas absolutely have two wins and some signs of what appears to be nifty QBing by Bailey . The analytics - and I am generally a fan of the ongoing attempts to refine how production defined in terms of output and quality - are doing a lot of "yeah but..." work here.

Two wins, regardless of the quality of opponent, are simply more meaningful than any yeah-but stats.
I feel like I am trying to be the middle ground here. Yes, Zappe has played well in his two starts but there are a lot of factors that suggest making him the starter going forward based on games vs the Lions and Browns is not the optimal long-term solution. I don't think I can possibly disagree more with using QB wins as a stat. QB wins don't get into what the QB did well or how they won or what you think they will continue to do well going forward. Those aren't even stats just observations. If you want to project who will be the better starter going forward then yes Mac's turnovers are an enormous issue but so is the kind of offense Zappe is executing. Football is a nuanced game with a lot of context and distilling things down to something like well he is 2-0 as a starter doesn't help sort through anything. No disrespect intended of course.
 

Cellar-Door

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Here is last year's season chart for TWP v. BTT
View: https://twitter.com/Ihartitz/status/1442516666038902786/photo/1


I don't have PFF pro, but from an article I found that Mac has a 5.1% TWP rate this year that's around Jameis/Zach Wilson last year.
Now I can't find an accurate BTT number, I'll go with 6 since we have the tweet that he averaged 2 a week (note, I can find that he had 5 against BAL, so that would mean 1 total the first two weeks). that would put him a bit over 6% BTT rate, so in the Josh Allen/Tannehill area of last year's chart. So he'd be basically by himself in the upper right quadrant... which isn't as bad as the upper left, but concerning (even more so if he really had 5 of his 6 BTT against one team).
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I feel like I am trying to be the middle ground here. Yes, Zappe has played well in his two starts but there are a lot of factors that suggest making him the starter going forward based on games vs the Lions and Browns is not the optimal long-term solution. I don't think I can possibly disagree more with using QB wins as a stat. QB wins don't get into what the QB did well or how they won or what you think they will continue to do well going forward. Those aren't even stats just observations. If you want to project who will be the better starter going forward then yes Mac's turnovers are an enormous issue but so is the kind of offense Zappe is executing. Football is a nuanced game with a lot of context and distilling things down to something like well he is 2-0 as a starter doesn't help sort through anything. No disrespect intended of course.
None taken and I need to clarify.

Wins >> yeah-but-stats in terms of results. Wins << yeah-but-stats in terms of projecting.

I am a process person but we live in a results world. My mangled point here is that while the stats show that Zappe is succeeding despite not doing elite-QB things, he IS helping to win games. If that continues while the stats suggest different outcomes we probably need to take closer look at what is going on.
 

SMU_Sox

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@DeJesus Built My Hotrod I gotcha. I'm the same way - process oriented//methodology person. One of the things we are seeing this year that I can't quantify with stats available to me but have seen is how frequently their receivers are beating man coverage. Henry wasn't early on but he has been the last 2-3 games. Parker hit his stride by Baltimore. Agholor beats man but also beats himself with his damn errors. Meyers is... Meyers is playing like a true versatile all-around receiver. Thornton has been getting open too. Once Mac starts throwing it to him deep he's going to explode. He has such an arsenal of release moves. Jonnu still has issues with route running but is performing better than last year even if it is marginally better. So I do think last years offense would be better this year because their skilled players have gotten better.

I am so excited to see this receiving group now that Henry is healthy, TT is back, Parker is in a groove, and the OL minus Wynn is in sync. Mac should blow up when he gets back. But if not they can at least compete and win with Zappe in the short run.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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@DeJesus Built My Hotrod I gotcha. I'm the same way - process oriented//methodology person. One of the things we are seeing this year that I can't quantify with stats available to me but have seen is how frequently their receivers are beating man coverage. Henry wasn't early on but he has been the last 2-3 games. Parker hit his stride by Baltimore. Agholor beats man but also beats himself with his damn errors. Meyers is... Meyers is playing like a true versatile all-around receiver. Thornton has been getting open too. Once Mac starts throwing it to him deep he's going to explode. He has such an arsenal of release moves. Jonnu still has issues with route running but is performing better than last year even if it is marginally better. So I do think last years offense would be better this year because their skilled players have gotten better.

I am so excited to see this receiving group now that Henry is healthy, TT is back, Parker is in a groove, and the OL minus Wynn is in sync. Mac should blow up when he gets back. But if not they can at least compete and win with Zappe in the short run.
This post has me wanting it to be next Monday already. I really want to see what the Patriots offense looks like with most of their offensive pieces available. Parker and Thornton, in particular, seem like weapons the likes of which the Patriots haven't had in ages.

It will also be interesting to see how the Patricia-Judge play-calling looks going forward. They were abject failures before but now maybe not. Results people must have a tough time with whiplash.
 

Toe Nash

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One thing is that they control Zappe for another year and he's not as expensive. Even if you thought they were similar I would give Mac his job back no question, because you really need to understand how he can develop or not in year 2. If he's not there then you still have three years of Zappe before you have to make any contract decision. I am firmly in the camp that avoiding QB purgatory is rule #1 of team-building and you shouldn't give someone a second contract unless they are definitely top ten or the rest of your roster is extremely good (and even then, rosters can turn over extremely quickly in the NFL).

As for beating the Bills / Chiefs / etc., obviously the more explosive you can be the better but it's still going to come down to the defense making some stops. If the Bills don't punt it doesn't really matter how aggressive you are unless you can literally match that. And you probably want to run a ball control slow paced offense to reduce the number of possessions in the game. So I don't see a reason why you'd need to trade conservative QB play with few interceptions for more risk-taking, other than you might be forced to if you're down and it's good to have some practice in that kind of offense when it's not the playoffs.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I don't think it's useless but it's not something I look at often. Turnover worthy plays are subjective too but when I track them I often come away with the exact same number so I think they are fairly common sense.
If his back shoulder to Parker wasn't a big time throw, then the "stat" is dumb.
 

radsoxfan

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As soon as it was determined that the injury would keep him about about a month, surgery was 100% off the table. Surgery was an option when we all thought this was an 8-10 week injury
There is no way they knew at the time (or even know now) that this is a 4 week injury. High ankle sprain return to play is notoriously hard predict (and hard to grade on MRI!). Symptoms can linger for awhile.

One of the biggest benefits of the surgery they were considering was having some certainty that he would be ready to go in a month without any risk of instability. It sounds like Mac didn't want it, and he probably got some outside opinions that going non-op was reasonable in his situation. Let's hope is right.

I also hope he doesn't try to rush back this week in an effort to prove his decision was correct or because he feels some Zappe heat. Mac is a team captain, recent 1st round pick, had a good rookie year, and by all accounts highly respected in the locker room. He deserves his job back, I just hope he's not rushing back at less than 90-100%.

A poor game or two from a hobbled Mac certainly would muddy the waters.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Here is last year's season chart for TWP v. BTT
View: https://twitter.com/Ihartitz/status/1442516666038902786/photo/1


I don't have PFF pro, but from an article I found that Mac has a 5.1% TWP rate this year that's around Jameis/Zach Wilson last year.
Now I can't find an accurate BTT number, I'll go with 6 since we have the tweet that he averaged 2 a week (note, I can find that he had 5 against BAL, so that would mean 1 total the first two weeks). that would put him a bit over 6% BTT rate, so in the Josh Allen/Tannehill area of last year's chart. So he'd be basically by himself in the upper right quadrant... which isn't as bad as the upper left, but concerning (even more so if he really had 5 of his 6 BTT against one team).
What does this stat tell us when a bunch of mediocre QBs are around Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield is both lower and further right?

This stat seems worthless.
 

Cellar-Door

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What does this stat tell us when a bunch of mediocre QBs are around Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield is both lower and further right?

This stat seems worthless.
Couple things:
1. There is more to passing than "big time throws"
2. Neither of these stats care about rushing, which in Allen's case is pretty key to why he's so good
3. Baker Mayfield doesn't turn it over much, and makes some big time throws.... his issues have always been decision making, and consistency.

I would say, to me, Big time throws aren't a 1 to 1 for TWP, turnovers are a lot worse than big-time throws are positive. You can have a great game and win easily with no big time throws (we just saw Zappe do it), but if you have a lot of turnover worthy plays you're probably hurting your team badly.
 

Jimbodandy

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What does this stat tell us when a bunch of mediocre QBs are around Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield is both lower and further right?

This stat seems worthless.
It's not WAR, no.

It's a comp between two things that are good to know and kind of opposite, but not really. Like assist to turnover ratio in basketball doesn't tell you whether a point guard shoots 38% from 3pt or 28% or whether he gets to the line or can play defense. It does tell you whether he finds other people while taking good care of the ball or not. This stat tells you something useful. It doesn't say that Tyrod Taylor is a better QB than Dak Prescott. It's not trying to tell you that.
 

FL4WL3SS

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It's not WAR, no.

It's a comp between two things that are good to know and kind of opposite, but not really. Like assist to turnover ratio in basketball doesn't tell you whether a point guard shoots 38% from 3pt or 28% or whether he gets to the line or can play defense. It does tell you whether he finds other people while taking good care of the ball or not. This stat tells you something useful. It doesn't say that Tyrod Taylor is a better QB than Dak Prescott. It's not trying to tell you that.
Good context, thank you.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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There is so much noise surrounding the last few weeks and so much we don't know about the offensive game VISION that at this point I really do feel that we're going to have to trust the coaching staff to make the best decision for the team as to when Mac is healthy and if/when he starts again.
 

Bowhemian

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There is so much noise surrounding the last few weeks and so much we don't know about the offensive game VISION that at this point I really do feel that we're going to have to trust the coaching staff to make the best decision for the team as to when Mac is healthy and if/when he starts again.
No offense but....you don't say.
 

johnmd20

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Here is last year's season chart for TWP v. BTT
View: https://twitter.com/Ihartitz/status/1442516666038902786/photo/1


I don't have PFF pro, but from an article I found that Mac has a 5.1% TWP rate this year that's around Jameis/Zach Wilson last year.
Now I can't find an accurate BTT number, I'll go with 6 since we have the tweet that he averaged 2 a week (note, I can find that he had 5 against BAL, so that would mean 1 total the first two weeks). that would put him a bit over 6% BTT rate, so in the Josh Allen/Tannehill area of last year's chart. So he'd be basically by himself in the upper right quadrant... which isn't as bad as the upper left, but concerning (even more so if he really had 5 of his 6 BTT against one team).
Baker Mayfield being where he is invalidates this.
 

johnmd20

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Couple things:
1. There is more to passing than "big time throws"
2. Neither of these stats care about rushing, which in Allen's case is pretty key to why he's so good
3. Baker Mayfield doesn't turn it over much, and makes some big time throws.... his issues have always been decision making, and consistency.

I would say, to me, Big time throws aren't a 1 to 1 for TWP, turnovers are a lot worse than big-time throws are positive. You can have a great game and win easily with no big time throws (we just saw Zappe do it), but if you have a lot of turnover worthy plays you're probably hurting your team badly.
Mayfield was 29th last year in terms of INT percentage. Objectively bad.

He also had 6 fumbles.
 

BigJimEd

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It does for those not bothered to wait for the answer. And I swear I didn't know these posts were coming, however this isn't my first SoSH rodeo (I am one of the clowns after all).
This seems a bit harsh and I'd also disagree with the bolded. The definition seems subjective to me. Doesn't necessarily mean the stat is useless but we should acknowledge what it is.