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Grading NFL’s next generation of quarterbacks in Week 3: Mac Jones flashes vs. Ravens despite interceptions

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Trevor Lawrence’s Jaguars and Justin Fields’ Bears enter October with the same 2-1 record. As we all expected. Despite their winning records, Lawrence and Fields performed very differently in three weeks, and we got an exciting performance from Mack Jones in the Patriots’ home loss to the Ravens.

A total of four quarterbacks drafted in the last two classes of the NFL Draft – all from 2021 – had significant playing time during week 3.

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Let’s dive into each quarterback’s individual efforts and assign him a score for each snap, taking into account every single aspect of their performance. Published every Tuesday during the NFL season, a minimum of 10 attempts are required to qualify for this feature.

Trevor Lawrence

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Trevor Lawrence

SAC • QB • 16
CPM%69.4
yards772
TD6
INTone
Yard/Att6.95
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High caliber shots:

  • His touchdown to Zay Jones demonstrated his ability to improvise and throw on the run.
  • Later in the second, Lawrence tossed a fastball to Jones down the center for a 14-yard lead that came just behind the bottom linebacker.
  • After checking his options, Lawrence cleared a pocket to his left and found Evan Angram near the touchline in the end zone to score a goal against fairly tight cover.
  • In the fourth, Lawrence waited very patiently in his pocket after reading his reads and found Marvin Jones in the middle with a positive win.
  • His last shot of the day was an absolutely magnificent touchdown to Jones on a corner route in the end zone through a tiny window.

Small caliber shots:

  • Early in the game, Lawrence beat Jones in the long haul to the sideline.
  • At the end of the first, he airmailed a shot into the end zone, which turned out to be incomplete.
  • In the second quarter, Lawrence missed a short, punchy route that was narrowly missed.

Summary: Lawrence again showed skill in a landslide victory. There were important throws scattered all over the place, but I was more impressed by his understanding of Doug Pedersen’s setup, how often he hit it right and accurately. Away, against a quality defense, Lawrence was very good, not great, in the win.

Grade: B-
Seasonal rating: C

Mac Jones

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Mac Jones

MW • HF • 10
CPM%66.0
yards786
TD2
INT5
Yard/Att8.1

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High caliber shots:

  • On his first shot of the game, Jones looked correct, then returned to center field and hit DeVante Parker.
  • A few throws later, Jones dropped him into the basket due to a deep overtake by Parker for a big win.
  • His second-quarter touchdown scramble was one of the most sudden footwork he had in the NFL.
  • Later, Jones again threw a long ball to Parker over the touchline with perfect accuracy and trajectory.
  • His next throw was a great throw back shoulder to Parker near the end zone.
  • Jones hit a fastball through the center – and out of range of the bottom guard – at an intermediate level to Nelson Agolor in the fourth quarter.
  • In the fourth quarter, on 3rd and 17th, Jones was bouncing in the pocket before somehow finding Kendrick Bourne open deep in the seam. Jones put it on to miraculously move the chains.

Small caliber shots:

  • Midway through the second quarter, he opened up Parker in the end zone, but missed a longer pass, allowing him to be taken down.
  • After Parker’s back shoulder hit, Jones should have been intercepted on a short shot at the goal line, but the ball was lost.
  • His interception for the middle in the second half was late and he simply was not there. The pass should not have been thrown.
  • Jones’ first choice in the fourth quarter was abysmal, forced to slip the shot under pressure and threw it well over the target into the hands of a Ravens defenseman.
  • He missed a shot to the flat in the fourth quarter as the pressure mounted.
  • Jones’ final interception came on Bourne’s deep dig that flew over the receiver’s head.

Summary: Believe me, I did not hate this game from Jones. At the beginning of his career, I saw much worse from him. It seemed that Jones chose a different style for this game. Much more shots down the field – with good results – than usual, more athletic movements in, around and out of the pocket. It wasn’t a game plan that was all about screens, check-downs, and conservative flat shots. Interceptions take Jones down, but I was impressed with his aggression and efficiency as he pushed the ball farther down the field than he ever did in the NFL. Unfortunately, Jones jumped off the field after suffering a severe ankle sprain late in the game and was reportedly in danger of missing some games.

Grade: C+
Seasonal rating: C-

Justin Fields

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Justin Fields

CHI • QB • 1
CPM%51.1
yards297
TD2
INTfour
Yard/Att6.6

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High caliber shots/games:

  • After Fields didn’t pull the trigger while looking to the right, Fields forced the defenseman to miss center for 29 yards.
  • In the fourth, Fields waited for Cole Kmet’s shooting lane to clear and then shot with perfect ball placement with a pistol.
  • His best shot of the day came in the fourth quarter after a long throw to Darnell Mooney in deep field. The ball arrived just before the diving defender could get it.

Small-caliber shots/games:

  • Fields’ first interception was due to an inaccuracy. He had a wide open Cole Kmet leading a skinny stance down the joint, but the pass was too far ahead and was caught by the fuse.
  • In the second, after faking game action, he toppled Darnell Mooney on the route.
  • Near the end of the third, Fields mistakenly threw himself to his right. He had a tight end open at the second level, but he missed it completely.
  • Fields’ second interception appeared to have been predetermined before the snap, thrown into a treble and inaccurate.

Summary: The Bears won in Week 3 despite Fields’ shots. It was pretty ugly. As usual, he fiddled with his feet, but he still doesn’t make quick decisions and his accuracy doesn’t improve.

Grade: D+
Seasonal class: D+

Davis Mills

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Source: www.cbssports.com

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