Hope can be something that keeps people going. It can be the only thing some people can hang onto in desperate situations.
Being an NFL fan is a life that is built on hope. Every year, fans all across the country look at their squad with hope. They see the free agent signings or draft picks their team made with copious amounts of optimism.
There is no position that lends itself to undeserved levels of optimism than NFL quarterback.
Every year, several teams that did awful the previous season draft a QB and expect the world of them. Some of those teams get the pleasure of doing this almost every year. You know what I mean Jaguars, Jets, Dolphins and Browns fans.
One team that hasn’t had to go through this for a while is the Patriots. They had Tom Brady for the better part of 20 years, and even had Drew Bledsoe before that. That’s some high quality quarterbacks for one team to have right after each other.
So I wasn’t too shocked when I saw the complete overreaction to the Patriots 1st round QB choice Mac Jones’ performance in the teams first preseason game.
I’ll be honest, Jones looked pretty good from what I saw. He was throwing the ball well and actually hitting receivers. Unlike his teammate Cam Newton who couldn’t hit the Great Wall of China with a screen pass if he was standing 3 yards away. The kid was good against a watered down preseason Washington Football Team defense.
Then the bad comparisons started. I heard someone on the broadcast say that Jones’ throws were “Brady like” and reminded people of “TB12.” Now, I get the preseason broadcasts are just local honks like Scott Zolak that would say anything to be on the good side of the team. But come on.
Then, I looked on Twitter. Even national media figures were enamored with the Alabama products’ preseason performance. Pat McAfee had this to say, “I don’t want to overreact but, I think 31 different team’s fans were hoping Mac Jones would stink.. I HATE to say this but, it sure seems like he will not.” Barstool sports football blogger and known Patriots worshipper Jerry Thornton had this to say about Jones’ performance in his blog, “The offense just runs smoother with Jones in there, if that makes sense. More in sync. It looks and feels more like it did when it was at its peak…”
Let’s be real here. Even these so-called “experts” know that there have been plenty of QBs that have shown something in the preseason and then fell apart. There have even been guys who had a good half season then collapsed.
People like McAfee and Thornton make their living by trying to out “hot take” everyone else. McAfee is a well known Patriot hater that is trying to be a super contrarian and Thornton is just trying to appease his Patriot loving followers. But there have been so many examples of overreacting to QB performances.
Every year the Jets pick a new QB and we hear about how great he is going to be and how tremendous his preseason looked, and guess what, they inevitably fail. Ask Sam Darnold how quickly the shit hit the fan in New York. The Browns have had too many QBs to count that they thought were the “savior” of football in Cleveland.
This overreaction is even worse when it comes to teams that just had a great QB. Ever since Dan Marino retired, the Dolphins have been saying that their rookie QBs have “Marino-esque” attributes. The same goes for the 20 years or so my fellow Broncos fans compared draft picks to John Elway. The list goes on and on. I mean the Jets have been looking for the next Joe Namath since the late 70s.
My ultimate message here is to the Patriots fans that surround me. Have some cautious optimism. Don’t throw all your hope in one QB basket. You’re going to be very disappointed if you do that. Take from a fan who has put his hope into some bad QBs. And you better get used to being disappointed. It’s going to happen over and over again. Mac Jones could be pretty good, but the odds say he won’t be. Just face it, you will never have another Tom Brady, and you’ll be lucky to have another Drew Bledsoe. So you better get used to the mediocrity that was last year, because it is likely here to stay.