We’re already in the middle of January, which means it’s NFL playoff season and, at least in this millennium, that meant it was time to see quarterback Tom Brady lead the New England Patriots to Super Bowl contention.
For there is no deadline that is not met and for the first time since January 1999, that is 23 years ago, there had not been a quarterback not named Tom Brady who had opened a postseason game.
A “first” for Bill Belichick
This Saturday, January 15, New England will visit Orchard Park, New York to face the Buffalo Bills for the third time in the campaign and the man who will have the responsibility of commanding the offense of the team led by Bill Belichick is rookie Mac Jones.
Prior to Jones, it was Scott Zolak who opened the Wild Card Round game for the injured Drew Bledsoe in the Pats’ 25-10 away loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on January 3, 1999.
To be blunt, it was still a year before Belichick made his debut as New England’s head coach and owner Robert Kraft’s team selected Brady, in the sixth round of the 2000 Draft (#199 overall).
Mac Jones’ milestone
With Belichick at the helm, Mac Jones has become the first rookie quarterback with at least 10 starts to be selected in the first round of the Draft and have a winning record since 2013.
You’ve got to stick to what you know
“I think it’s all about doing a little bit more, but you’ve got to stick to what you know and you just have to prepare how you always have, regardless of the situation,” Jones said.
In the game between the Patriots and Bills with Niagara Falls as a witness and winds in excess of 120 miles per hour, Belichick decided to have Jones throw only three passes, but New England won 14-10 on December 6, 2021.