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Mac Jones’ Patriots legend grows with apparent wink, missing football

Mac Jones might have already added something to his lore in the blink of an eye.

During Sunday’s game, the signal-caller appeared to wink at the opposition. The snap of Jones’ left eye came seconds before a play during the Patriots’ 17-16 loss to the Dolphins.

Jones bent down to take the snap from center David Andrews, but then glanced up and appeared to wink in the direction of Elandon Roberts, who left New England for Miami in free agency in 2020 after four years with the Patriots.

The Alabama product went 29-for-39 with 281 yards and a touchdown, without an interception.

But the two other storylines that emerged — the reaction after his first touchdown pass and the pre-snap wink — could reflect a personality that continues to emerge more as Jones evolves as a professional quarterback.

Also in his NFL debut, Jones — New England’s 2021 first-round pick — threw his first touchdown with 2:30 left in the second quarter when he fired a pass to Nelson Agholor. The offense jogged back toward the sideline, and Agholor handed the ball to Jones. But the rookie stuffed it back in his wideout’s gut. Agholor tried again. This time, Jones took it before turning toward his right, the opposite side, and giving it to Brian Hoyer instead.

The backup quarterback clenched the ball with his one hand and just tapped Jones’ helmet with the other. On Monday, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said “I don’t really know where that football is.”

Mac Jones
Mac Jones

“That doesn’t really matter,” Jones said about that reaction postgame. “It was one touchdown. We gotta score more. It’s not like the game was over right there.” 

Jones continued his answer by referencing the need for more red-zone touchdowns. Three drives into Miami territory ended with field goals, and the touchdown to Agholor was the one TD the offense managed.

“Mac competed hard,” head coach Bill Belichick said, while also repeatedly referencing the need for everyone — players at all positions and coaches — to make improvements before their Week 2 game against the Jets.

The wink, and the lack of a first touchdown celebration, might just reflect how easy those developments could come for the quarterback.

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