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How Does Mac Jones Stack Up?

This Sunday the Colts face a QB who is being given a 2nd chance. Does he deserve it?

New England Patriots v New York Jets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Thanks to the nflFastR project and NFL NextGen Stats for the timely sources of data.

For those of you new to this, I will publish key QB stats each week judging how well the Colts passing game performed. Yes, O-Line, receivers, and play-calling impact these numbers but they are primarily QB measures. I will probably modify the charts throughout the season. Commentary will be brief but feel free to let me know in the comments that stats aren’t everything. (click charts for larger view)

NOTE: All references to rankings are of the top 32 QBs by dropbacks through the current week.

Starter, then bench warmer, then starter again, Mac Jones has only played 4 games this year, but that’s enough to compare him to his peers.

So far, he has played a very easy slate of passing defenses with a pass-first offense in games where they ran the ball pretty well (32nd opd, 6th edp, 10th arsr).

He hasn’t faced a lot of pressure, yet he has a high scramble and sack rate (22nd pr%, 6th scr%, 11th sck%), suggesting he’s not too comfortable in the pocket. When he does throw the ball, he does so quickly and with depth (23rd ttt, 5th adot). Of all QBs, he has the highest rate of 20+ yard attempts, however, he is not very successful with those throws (1st 20+, 22nd 20+e).

He has decent accuracy, but his receivers aren’t providing much yac (10th cpoe, 29th yacoe). His high rate of abandoned attempts (6th aa%) drags down a fairly decent 7.4 yards per attempt to a just average overall 6.3 net yards per dropback (13th).

He is highly turnover-prone and has difficulty throwing for first downs or TDs (2nd to%, 27th 1st%, 28th td%). That is a further drag on his efficiency and so he lands at 23rd by epa/d and 18th in passing success rate. That puts him in the lower left quadrant of the next chart (hiding behind Aaron Rodgers).

He’s far from the worst QB in the league, but he isn’t so far ahead of Bailey Zappe that he should feel comfortable in the starting role.


There’s no real trend to Jones’ progression. He is basically about average with a few pretty good games thrown in the mix.


He had been trending towards being a deep ball passer, but his first game off the bench saw him go back to short throws.


Jakobi Meyers has been his favorite target, but the ball is spread around pretty well.


His overall accuracy has been pretty good.


Sometimes he throws it quickly and other times not so much, but relative to his overall passing depth though, he has a quick trigger.


He likes the deep ball, but his success has primarily been within 10 yards.