Mac Jones nearly got destroyed on vicious Browns helmet-to-helmet hit

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 14: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 14: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots looked like the dynastic teams of old during their dominant win against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. A stout defensive showing was supplemented by Mac Jones putting together the best game of his young career in what ended up as a 45-7 drubbing.

Jones recorded almost as many touchdown passes (3) as incomplete passes (4) despite going up against one of the best defenses in the game. His passer rating of 142 put him near the forefront of the Rookie of the Year hunt.

One of the main reasons that Jones was able to be so effective in this one was due to the offensive line play. The return of Trent Brown helped New England finally get some stability up front.

… Except for one play when the Patriots were in the red zone.

With the Patriots driving in the first quarter, Jones was nearly taken out by Browns defensive lineman Malik Jackson when he and Myles Garrett combined for a sack.

Somehow, Jones had the pocket awareness to duck down and avoid what could’ve been a very concerning helmet-to-helmet hit.

Mac Jones and the New England Patriots avoided disaster on this play.

Despite that one blown protection, the offensive line managed to hold up fairly well against a Browns front seven that’s one of the unquestioned best in the entire NFL. The line was able to keep Jones clean for the most part, which helped Rhamondre Stevenson lay waste to the Cleveland defense and Jakobi Meyers find the end zone for the first time in his career.

Jones put together his fifth game with a passer rating over 100. None of the other rookies in this class have even managed to do that once. While he might not be the most mobile quarterback in the league, he has already shown that he has enough arm talent and accuracy to consistently deliver the ball in an accurate manner when he’s kept upright.

The Patriots would’ve no doubt been in big trouble if Jackson made contact with Jones’ helmet and caused an injury. Luckily, the eyes in the back of Jones’ head helped him avoid Jackson, and he went on to put up 45 straight points before the final whistle blew.

The Browns are still going to contend for the postseason given how they have one of the most complete rosters, but they were brutally exposed by a rookie in Jones. The resiliency he showed to pop back up after that hit and play his best game as a pro was sensational.

And it’s why he’s the best rookie so far in this 2021 draft class.