The New England Patriots are now 5-4 following a three-game winning streak. Behind rookie quarterback Mac Jones and a stellar defense, the Pats are only a game behind AFC East division-leading Buffalo who suffered a surprising (9-6) loss to the Jaguars on Sunday.
During his game against the Carolina Panthers, Jones came under fire for a “dirty play” in which he held the ankle of Panthers defensive end Brian Burns following an interception. Burns tried to twist away and in doing so he was hurt. Many believe the intent was blatant and all angles of the replay show it may have been.
— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) November 8, 2021
Tom Pelissero of NFL Media said the NFL will review the ankle twist, but Jones “faces a possible fine, but nothing more than that. “That might be enough.”
Overtime on Twitter:
“Point blank it wasn’t a football play.”
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has this to say on Monday, “I think he thought Burns had the ball.”
Fellow Panthers linebacker Haason Reddick called it a “completely dirty” play.
Haasan Reddick did not hold back on Mac Jones' "dirty" play on Brian Burns and the "egregious" call the officials missed.
— Grace Remington (@GraceRemiTV) November 8, 2021
Jones defended the play on Monday on Twitter.
Mac Jones to @MerloniFauria: “After I got hit pretty hard, I didn’t know what was going on. I thought he had the ball…”
Jones must have attended the Aaron Rodgers school of explanations, where Black quarterbacks aren’t eligible for the pass.
Jones is a highly competitive player by nature but this was taking it too far. The media has been presenting him as somewhat of a choir boy. Even comparing him to Tom Brady. We all know that Brady has a mean streak and he doesn’t mind teetering the line between legal and unscrupulous when it comes to winning. Jones’ dirty play, if anything, let’s the Pats know that he has the same competetive edge.
Mac Jones Is No Choir Boy
As a true freshman at BAMA, Jones was arrested for DUI, and having an improper ID by a minor (fake ID). He was involved in a car accident with another vehicle and then proceeded to fail a field sobriety test.
At the time of the incident, he was suspended for a game and it was basically swept under the rug. Alabama head football coach Nick Saban had this to say at the time:
“We are disappointed in Mac’s actions and this is obviously not the kind of behavior we expect from our players.”
Mac Jones was a member of the much ballyhooed Alabama Crimson Tide 2017 recruiting class which brought the likes of Tua Tagovailoa, Najee Harris, Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs to Tuscaloosa. After originally committing to Kentucky, Alabama flipped the four-star commit after he competed in the prestigious Elite 11 Finals (Best 11 Signal Callers In HS).
At ‘Bama, Jones was a part of a QB room that featured current NFL starters Tagovailoa (Dolphins) and Jalen Hurts (Eagles). Jones was listed as the third-string QB his first two seasons, the backup his third season, and as a senior he was handed the keys. He didn’t disappoint, leading the Crimson Tide to a wire-to-wire national championship by performing at the highest of levels.
That senior season be passed for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions, while completing 75 percent of his passes. He finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting which propelled him to the No. 15 overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft by the Patriots.
Leading up to the draft there was a lot of rumors and belief that the San Francisco 49ers were going take him third overall, but looking back on it, he ended up in the pefect place.
Prior to the NFL draft the question remained how Jones’ off-field issues didn’t get nearly as much attention as other high profile players who’d had run-ins with the law such as Christian Barmore and Oklahoma defensive end Ronnie Perkins, another first-round talent whose draft stock plummeted following a marijuana related suspension.
All three were drafted by Bill Belichick.
Jones just happens to be a white quarterback, while the aforementioned Barmore and Perkins are Black defensive linemen. So there’s no way one could say race and the position they play wasn’t a factor in how they were treated versus how Mac Jones was coddled for his indiscretion. Baker Mayfield embarrassed himself leading up to the 2018 draft when he was stopped by campus police while intoxicated, tried to run and wound up busting his face open.
Dak Prescott had a similar DUI situation and his draft stock was seriously damaged.
Mayfield’s indiscretion didn’t hurt his stock one bit as the Cleveland Browns picked him No. 1 overall and ignored any trangressions he had, dismissing them as youthful exuberance. Some would see these circumstances and the way they were handled as a double standard when it comes to Black athletes and white athletes.
It seems the proverbial goalposts are always going to be moved to make them look good. Mac Jones injuring a player on a scumbag play and it not getting more than a quick mention on news outlets tells us all we need to know.