The battle of the Alabama quarterbacks opened in Gillette Stadium today, as rookie Mac Jones made his first NFL start against former teammate Tua Tagovailoa. Tua would take the first victory of the duel, as the Dolphins edged out the Patriots in a 17-16 Miami win.
Mac Jones looked very impressive in his debut, going 20/39 for 281 yards and one TD and no interceptions. The Dolphins did win the turnover battle, as the Pats were driving in the redzone at the end of 4th, but a costly Damien Harris fumble ended up being the backbreaker. Other than the fumble, Harris had a solid game, getting 100 yards on the ground.
Mac spread the ball around very effectively, hitting all his offensive weapons and had his first NFL touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor. Agholor also led all receivers with 72 yards on 5 catches.
Overall it was a very promising outing for the 2021 Patriots, as there is plenty to work on, but this team does show a lot of potential. The addition of Matthew Judon was felt immediately today, as he led the way on several QB pressures.
The Patriots move on to New York to take on the Jets and rookie Zach Wilson next week, September 19th at 1:00 PM.
Would love to have had a win today, but at least the pressure of an undefeated season is no longer a burden.