NFL

Josh McDaniels explains why he went away from Mac Jones against Bills

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels didn’t ask Mac Jones to do much during Week 13 against the Buffalo Bills. McDaniels was OK with how little the rookie had on his plate and justified the decision with a 14-10 win before their bye last week.

McDaniels explained why he seemingly avoided his signal-caller.

“Could we have thrown it 15 times? Yeah, probably. Would it have incurred some risk? Most definitely, depending on the way you were going. And the wind the other night was not one direction only. It wasn’t like it was going like this, and that was it. There was some cross-wind, and there was some this way,” McDaniels said Monday. “It was mostly going towards the tunnel end, but there was definitely a switching of the wind there, too. I have a lot of confidence in him. I watched every throw he made in pregame. I watched every throw in warmups. I was aware of how his ball was traveling, as well as Buffalo’s.”

Jones ended up completing 2 of 3 passes for 19 yards. Bills quarterback Josh Allen, meanwhile, was 15 of 30 for 145 yards and a touchdown while taking two sacks. It wasn’t a pretty day statistically, though Allen did flash his uniquely powerful arm during the game — even if it didn’t bring a win.

“I just know that I’m keenly aware after 18 years of doing this of how the game is kind of taking form,” McDaniels said. “And if the game requires us, as you’ve seen, if the game requires us to throw it 50-some times, like it did against Tampa this year and we didn’t run it very well, and we didn’t run it very much, either, then we were willing to do that, because that’s what was required based on circumstance and situation.”

No matter what the offensive coordinator asks his rookie quarterback to do, he does just that. That’s one of Jones’ many redeeming qualities.

“Mac’s great. I think that the No. 1 thing I can say about him is that he cares most about winning,” McDaniels said. “This is not for personal statistics or glory or anything like that. I think that’s why you have a lot of people feel the way they do about him as a person, as a young guy on our team.”

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