In a way, the New England Patriots’ 54-13 beatdown of the New York Jets in Week 7 was business as usual for the team’s rookie class. While the majority of first-year players did not see the field, those who did were given prominent roles within their respective units.
With that being said, let’s take a look at how they fared — starting, of course, with Mac Jones.
QB Mac Jones
- Offensive snaps: 64 of 76 (84%)
- Special teams snaps: N/A
The 15th overall selection in this year’s draft continues to get better by the week. After already looking very promising against the Dallas Cowboys despite two turnovers, Mac Jones played the best game of his young career against the Jets. Sure, New York is not on the same level as the Cowboys but Jones showcased what you want to see out of a player making just his seventh NFL start: he was in control throughout the game.
All in all, the Alabama product finished the game with 24 completions on 36 pass attempts for 306 yards as well as a pair of touchdowns. The game was Jones’ first 300-yard outing, and another step in the right direction. Not only did he take what the defense gave him, he also was more aggressive pushing the ball down the field (see: his 46-yard completion to Kendrick Bourne).
All in all, he played a very strong game and continues to make his case as an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate.
DT Christian Barmore
- Defensive snaps: 41 of 64 (63%)
- Special teams snaps: N/A
While he was not among the two Patriots to register a sack in Week 7, Barmore was the most disruptive player of the team’s defense: he registered a combined four quarterback pressures in the form of two hits and two hurries. The second-round pick did all that despite seeing a hefty workload yet again.
In fact, Barmore played more snaps than any other defensive lineman on the Patriots’ roster. His 41 snaps led the position group by quite a significant margin: the next closest defensive tackle — Lawrence Guy — played only 28 snaps. Sure, the game script might have played a role in that and allowed New England to rest its more experienced players, but the point remains: Barmore keeps getting chances, and he continues to produce.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson
Coming off the best game of his career until this point, the Patriots opted to deactivate Rhamondre Stevenson ahead of their game against the Jets. The team instead opted to use second-year back J.J. Taylor — a shiftier player with more upside in the passing game — as a complementary piece alongside Damien Harris and Brandon Bolden. Stevenson therefore remains at three in-game appearances and 21 touches for 96 yards and a touchdown.
LB Ronnie Perkins
The 96th selection in this year’s draft will have to wait another week for his NFL debut. After missing the early parts of the regular season due to a shoulder injury and later struggling with an ankle issue, Ronnie Perkins was again declared inactive against the Jets. He was not listed on the injury report heading into the weekend, meaning that he was a healthy scratch.
CB Shaun Wade
The Patriots’ trade acquisition via way of Baltimore was added to the injury report two weeks ago after sustaining a concussion. He has yet to be cleared to return to practice and was once again ruled out. Like Ronnie Perkins, the fifth-round pick still awaits his first NFL action.