Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns in New England’s win over Tennessee, a performance offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is happy with. Winslow Townson/Associated Press

There have been plenty of different views of Mac Jones’ performance against the Titans.

The outside opinions have run the gamut from great to not so good, even with Jones throwing for over 300 yards, with two touchdowns, and a 123.2 quarterback rating.

Josh McDaniels’ view? The Patriots offensive coordinator believes it’s a mix of both, and that’s just fine for a rookie quarterback.

“I think the other day was very similar to a lot of other games this year, where there’s a lot to be happy with, and then there’s definitely things to coach and correct,” McDaniels said on a video call Tuesday. “I think he touched on a few things after the game that he felt like he had an opportunity to maybe capitalize on and didn’t. I think that’s probably pretty commonplace right now.

“I’m still waiting for the perfect game. Haven’t had that yet. It’s just difficult to go through an entire NFL game and not have some things that you either make mistakes on, or learn from. I think the big thing for us is we are seeing growth in his ability to process the opponent every week. His ability to change from one week to the next, in terms of the mindset of handling, let’s just say, the problem players. Or the problem schemes that come up. But that’s an ongoing process.

“Buffalo’s defense is quite a bit different from Tennessee’s. Tennessee’s was similar to Atlanta in some ways, but there was definitely some other things that were different. So this week is going to be another big challenge there.”


Through 12 games, Jones has completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 2,850 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His 97.1 passer rating is 14th in the league, the best among his fellow rookies.

McDaniels said he appreciates Jones’ approach of always wanting to do things the right way.

“He’s a very good listener,” McDaniels said. “He’s in tune with what happened. He usually gives me very good feedback for what he saw, which is a great sign for a young player . . . he usually has a really good grasp of what happened on the series that he was just out there for. We have good dialogue about it and he has good answers to any questions that I have.

“But he has a great attitude about going out there and trying to do everything right, which I love.”

Jones has shown an ability to recognize coverages quickly. He also has been able to absorb a ton of information, which comes in handy for McDaniels.

Best of all, he corrects mistakes. If he makes one, it usually doesn’t happen again in the same circumstance.


“He’s a guy that wants to do everything the best that he can, so if we, for some reason, didn’t have great success in a series, then he’s got an urgency about him and a desire to do it better,” said McDaniels.

JOSH ALLEN, Buffalo’s quarterback, can beat teams any number of ways. With 25 touchdown passes, he can certainly beat you with his arm. But Allen’s ability to run off script, or even with designed plays, has been a significant edge against most teams.

It’s an element of the offense the Patriots know they’ll have to deal with Monday night.

Allen is the team’s second leading rusher behind Devin Singletary. He not only takes off on his own, but also has read-option plays, and run-designed sweeps.

With that, the Bills quarterback has taken off with the ball a whopping 69 times in 11 games for 383 yards. He’s averaging 5.6 yards per carry. And, he’s used his legs to rush for 30 first downs.

He only sits behind Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson (707 yards) and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts (695 yards) in terms of yards and overall carries for a quarterback.


Jerod Mayo, the Patriots inside linebackers coach, says Allen’s ability to throw on the fly, or take off if no one’s open makes it extremely difficult for a defense to defend.

“It’s tough. Any time you have a big, fast, strong guy that can run and also has a cannon for an arm, he definitely poses a threat to the defense,” Mayo said on a video call Tuesday. “I wish I could say one person could stop him, but honestly, I haven’t seen anyone do it yet.

“It’s going to take all eleven guys on the field as well as a good game plan to keep this guy contained in the pocket. We’ll see what happens.”

BUFFALO OPENED ITS week on a healthy note with starting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and starting right guard Spencer Brown cleared from the COVID-19/reserve list.

Coach Sean McDermott also announced starting guard Jon Feliciano practiced Tuesday after missing the past four games on injured reserve with a calf injury. Buffalo (7-4) returned to practice following a 31-6 win at New Orleans on Thursday, and in preparation to host the AFC East-leading New England Patriots (8-4) on Monday night.

Lotulelei, Buffalo’s top run-stuffing lineman, missed three games and Brown the past two.

The potential return of three key starters helps in part to offset the loss of starting cornerback Tre’Davious White, who will miss the remainder of the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee against New Orleans.

The Bills have relinquished their division lead to the Patriots after losing three of their past six and have not won consecutive games since a four-game run was snapped in a 34-31 loss at Tennessee on Oct. 18.

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