Bill Belichick not ready to name starting QB after Patriots’ preseason finale

A majority of NFL teams have named their starting quarterback with just two weeks remaining before the regular season begins. But not Bill Belichick.

The New England Patriots head coach said he is not ready to name a starting quarterback following Sunday’s preseason finale against the New York Giants.

“No, we still have a lot of decisions to make,” Belichick said after Sunday night’s 22-20 win, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Veteran quarterback Cam Newton started against the Giants and played two series, all with the starting offense. He completed 2-of-5 passes for 10 yards and ended the night with an interception. 

Rookie signal-caller Mac Jones took over for Newton and played deep into the third quarter, all with the second string. He had a rough start but bounced back in the second half, finishing 10-of-14 for 156 yards and a touchdown. He also led three scoring drives. 

Belichick has said throughout training camp that Newton is his starting quarterback. However, the former MVP’s absence from practice last week due to a COVID-19 protocol misunderstanding provided Jones a significant opportunity to shine, and he did not disappoint. 

The No. 15 overall pick finished the preseason 36-of-52 for 389 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions. He saw much more time on the field than Newton, who finished the summer 14-of-21 for 162 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

Although Jones likely won’t be thrown into the fire in Week 1, Belichick could name him the team’s starting quarterback at any point during the season if Newton struggles as he did in 2020.

At this point, it seems like the Patriots will stick with their veteran, but don’t count out Jones just yet. 

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