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Mac Jones’ reason for declining first career TD ball would make Bill Belichick proud

Mac Jones, Patriots, Dolphins, Bill Belichick

Right off the bat, Mac Jones made New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick a genius once again. Not that the veteran tactician needed any further validation. But Belichick’s bold choice to go with the rookie as the team’s starting quarterback and let go of veteran Cam Newton wasn’t entirely popular.

On Sunday, in his first NFL game, Jones showed Belichick made the right decision indeed. He had a stellar debut for the Patriots, finishing 29-of-39 for 281 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions against the visiting Miami Dolphins.

Jones, the 15th overall pick, recorded his first touchdown pass in the second quarter, connecting with wide receiver Nelson Agholor. While it’s customary for rookie quarterbacks to take home the ball after his first touchdown, the 23-year-old Jones declined to do so (via ESPN’s Mike Reiss).

“It doesn’t really matter. It’s just one touchdown. We have to score more. It’s not like the game was over right there. We gotta do better in the red zone and get more touchdowns. And we will.”

Spoken like a veteran.

Despite Jones’ impressive maiden contest, the Patriots ended up losing to the Dolphins, 17-16. Running back Damien Harris committed a fumble in the Patriots’ last drive, awarding Tua Tagovailoa and company the escape victory.

Still, Mac Jones lived up to the pressure in his much-awaited debut, especially after all the debates involving Cam Newton. According to ESPN Statistics & Information, his 281 passing yards are the most by a Patriots quarterback in his first start.