The New England Patriots are gearing up for their third matchup against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills this year, as Mac Jones will try to bounce back from a disappointing showing in Foxborough. Sean McDermott’s defense overwhelmed the rookie in a game that made some worry about his potential in the playoffs.
New England is not feeling that same heat, however. Jones is stretching the field more than he did at the beginning of the season while still getting the ball out accurately and on time. This style of play has helped the Patriots turn from a seven-win question mark into a 10-win dynamo.
Some Patriots fans might be a bit scared of Allen because his ability to throw for 300 yards in any given game and make every throw humanly possible gives Buffalo the chance to run away with a win. However, if you look at some of the advanced stats, Jones and Allen have been right next to each other in some of the more advanced analytical metrics.
In terms of EPA and completion percentage over expected, Jones is very similar to Allen, showing that the box score stats in favor of Allen can be a bit misleading. The only stats where Allen is outpacing Jones considerably are PFF grade (the most subjective grading matrix ever conceived) and sack rate.
Patriots QB Mac Jones will need to win a shootout against Josh Allen.
The two are getting it done through contrasting styles. While Jones is more composed in the pocked and willing to keep the chains moving while avoiding turnovers, Allen’s supreme arm strength and mobility have helped Brian Daboll and Buffalo build an explosive vertical passing game.
Jones’ ability to avoid interceptions is why he’s been able to rank up there with some of the league’s best quarterbacks. Of his 13 interceptions this season, seven of them have come in just three games against the Bills, Saints, and Colts.
The Patriots are going to be involved in yet another bad weather game, which could lead to New England leaning on Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. Whichever quarterback ends up winning the turnover battle may be the one who takes home the victory in this game.
While Allen is certainly more exciting to watch and capable of creating big plays at this point in time, that doesn’t make what Jones provides any less effective when it comes to winning games. If Jones plays the same brand of football he normally does against Buffalo, look for the Patriots to take this game down to the wire.