How McJones’ first comeback in the NFL was designed – The Boston Herald
The past two weeks have been a lesson for McJones in patience.
Since going 1 of 11 in pitches against the Saints, Jones and the Patriots have brought the passing game back to basics. They primarily attack with early touchdown throws, quick kicks out of spread sets and the occasional screen. Nothing too aggressive.
Once Jones threw his only interception early in the third quarter in Houston, the Bates curbed their junior even further. He took six in a row compared to five playing throws and four screens the rest of the way. The game’s winning campaign consisted mostly of nine runs, and Jones’ drop points earned him 32 yards. The Patriots also benefited from a ruthless penalty kick that revived what should have been three times in the final minutes.
Because while they were managing Jones, the Butts waited for Houston, one of the league’s least talented and most punished teams also led by a first-year coach, to collapse. Texas bound. This is life in the NFL.
Opponents have been relying on the Patriots to do the same since they flopped four times in the season opener. Until they wipe out those turnovers — two more came on Sunday — the Bates will struggle to tug-of-war with teams like Houston.
What happens next — against the other team from the Texans, the Cowboys 4-1 — will reveal more about where the Jones and Patriots stand near the middle of the season.
Until then, here’s what the movie revealed about Houston’s win on Sunday:
Adjusted completion percentage: 82.1%
under pressure: 4-7, 29 yards, y
Against blitzkrieg: 5-5, 60 yards
behind the line: 4-4, 5 yards
0-10 yards: 11-12, 87 yards
10-19 yards: 8-10, 139 yards, TD, INT
20+ yards: 0-2
Notes: Jones started 9 of 9, hitting four slashes and two flat receivers, plus a touchdown pass, screen and one return. It wasn’t pressed at all until the two-minute workouts that closed out the first half, when the problems started brewing. After Jacoby Myers’ brutal touchdown, Jones threw a dangerous ball that was picked up almost from the middle.
He finished with two interceptions dropped and a third pass that could have been flipped. Jones blamed himself for the neglect in Friday’s interviews. Fortunately for him, the Texans cleared the middle during nearly every pass he played on his first descent, helping him rediscover his rhythm and directing four scoring strokes until the end of the game.
T Hunter Henry
Henry scored touchdown points in consecutive weeks and captured the most tight reps in 11 singles (sets with one running back and one tight end). After his game-tying points, Henry earned Jones’ last pass, my third and sixth throws that took the Patriots into the Houston area. He also grabbed two more passes that resulted in a touchdown at the start.
LT Justin Heron
Putting a tough start to the season behind him, Herron only allowed one sprint in 33 shots to block passes and block the run better than he had all year. The Patriots needed a major lift from their backup offensive line, and that’s exactly what Heron provided on Jones’ blind side.
LP Matt Godon
A weekly staple in the button division, Goodon Show has added two more bags, hitting QB and the fastest one in Houston. It’s scary to imagine where Butts’ defense would be without the highest-paid player.
CB Joyjuan Williams
Williams started in place of Galen Mills, who was left out hours before kick-off with a hamstring injury. It would be surprising to see him start over.
He allowed a 37-yard touchdown in the second half to flash the flea, his last defensive shot. Earlier, he gave up a long finish in fourth and second, which caused him to be replaced by staff with Jonathan Jones outside. Williams finished with two steps.
The Texas team received several first defeats at the expense of Jackson, starting with the penalty for defensive interference in the first command. He also gave up landing in front of Chris Moore. This was not the expected performance of the No. 1 booming corner.
S Kyle Dogger
Dugger was covered on Davis Mills’ first touchdown pass, and allowed a third downward turn on another pass to a spare tight end later in the game. It allowed the team five worst receptions, with the Houston attack targeting it for the second consecutive season. Dogger defended the race well, but Butts needed more of someone playing 76% of all defensive shots.
- Staff breakdown: 48% of shots in 11 individuals, 23% in 12 individuals, 21% in 21F individuals, 5% in 21 hours and 3% in jumbo individuals.
- production staff: 6.0 yards/playing in 11 people, 5.2 yards/playing in 12 people, 7.2 yards/playing in 21 people, 1.6 yards/playing in 21 hours and 1 yard/playing in jumbo.
- Allowable pressure rating: 25.8%
- Play rate: 39%
- yards per load: 4.2
- First defeats: 56% run (3.8 yards per game), 44% pass (7.6 yards per game)
- Third drop: 6-11
- Red Zone Efficiency: 2-5
- broken handle: Damian Harris 6, Ramander Stevenson 3, Brandon Bolden 2, Kendrick Bourne, Juno Smith
- Allowed bags: James Ferenc
- QB strikes are allowed: Team, Yudni Cajost, Hunter Henry, Ferenc
- Allowed calf: Justin Heron, David Andrews, Cajost
- Running materials allowed: Team 4, Ferencs
- drops: Jacoby Myers
- Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels opened with a dramatic wrinkle, trying Henry, Smith and Stevenson at centre-back during the opening drive. His idea was, probably, to send their most explosive personnel out while maintaining the ability to carry out back-running concepts typically performed by Damian Harris and the bruised, but less threatening, Jacob Johnson.
- Oddly enough, despite the wrinkle success of their initial drive, the Patriots ditched that plan for more traditional two-backs along the distance—and it worked. He finished 7.2 yards per game with Johnson on the field as his highest singles play rate of the season.
- That average is mostly credit for completing long-playing actions of 24 and 20 yards, as well as the 15-yard run by Harris on the Patriots’ second-half touchdown drive.
- The Bates tackled the action game all day, punishing Texans quarterbacks for breaking the line of scrimmage in favor of their district responsibilities. Jones went 9 of 11 for 127 yards and spread play.
- Otherwise, the Butts go on to play more effectively on 11 offs than on two tight ends on the field simultaneously. Juno Smith finally broke his first tackle of the season, but struggled to block the run – against it.
- Outside, Jacoby Myers and Nelson Agulor snatched their longest winnings by working in the middle of an empty field. Bourne’s longest catch, 15 yards, was on a diagonal versus man cover.
- Up front, the patchwork offensive line far exceeded expectations.
- Ted Karas was the only O-lin man to post a clean sheet, even though he was in the vicinity of one things. It could be argued that he was among the top five O-linmen Bates this year.
- There is an issue to split Case Ferencz with Brandon Bolden, who was in the area when Jones fell. But don’t expect this play to stop the technical staff from pushing him to the third landing.
- Bolden again led their backs to run in shots on the scroll down. Stevenson didn’t make a pass once, though Harris was given a bigger chance and played well.
- Staff breakdown: Triple safety nickel pack 48%, 23% triangular nickel, 15% dime, 8% base, 3% blocker, 2% quart. **
- pressure rate: 22%
- Raid rate: 22% of shoppers
- Blitz Efficacy: 4.8 yards allowed per game
- yards per permitted load: 2.8
- Third drop: 6-14
- red zone efficiency: 1-2
- bags: Matt Godon 2, Jimmy Collins
- QB hits: Ja’Whun Bentley, Lawrence Jay, Goodon
- In a hurry: Donta Hightour, Kyle Van Noy, Goodon
- running material: Kyle Dugger and Adrian Phillips
- Objections: Nobody
- Passing deviations: JC Jackson
- Missed Interventions: Devin McCurty 2, Bentley, Dogger
- It can’t be said enough that Davis Mills, perhaps the worst quarterback in the NFL, looked like the first pro against the Patriots. The depth of the outer corner outward is a big problem.
- The Bates had to seat one of their players, Joejuan Williams, starting late in the second quarter.
- Although, when the Texans needed the first descent early, they sought the safety of Bates in cover man: Dogger and Devin McCourty, who allowed the first fourth turn downhill on a fast mile.
- The Butts have sent three safety points in 68% of their shots, so this position is and will continue to lead for this defense. Sunday was bad, and so are they.
- In years past, the Patriots linebacker has been leading, but they continue to rotate with the group’s long-term health in mind. Godon saw 53 of his 59 shots, mostly between linebackers, followed by Kyle Van Noy (43) and Donta Hightower (38).
- Hightower enjoyed his best game of the season, finding the ball at a pre-2020 level. He scored five tackles and was in a hurry.
- Jimmy Collins’ role remains unknown, though he does make him play more in the down pass, as the sportiest of the Pats’ inboard midfielders. He got a sack in just three defensive hits.
- On the edge, Josh O’Shea has been quiet for two straight weeks. Chase Winovich took on some early reps at the end of the opening round, but he sat for most of the match.
- Rookie defensive tackle Christian Barmore drew two penalties, in the second week in a row he scored two.
- Another spare D-handling, Carl Davis, pushed the pocket well.
- Schematically, the Patriots played much more coverage against the Mills than expected. He’s only been attacked seven times, roughly the same number of shots he’s faced eight times in coverage.
- What finally started to kill the Texans’ drives in the second half was the third missing flag on Jackson for defensive pass interference, hanging attack, and solid third-place defense against Branden Cox and Collins. It should take a lot to beat Dallas this weekend.
Statistics for passing depth, broken tackles and missed tackles from Pro Football Focus.
*11 straights = 1 run back, 2 tight ends; 12 ups = 1 run back, tight end; 10 individuals = 1 running backwards, no tight ends; 21 straights = one running back, one linebacker, one limb clenched; Personnel 21H = Half-back, one limb clenched.
** nickel defense = five defensive backs; Ten defense = six defensive back; quarter defense = seven defensive backs; Defense block = Eight defensive appearances.