Given all the new faces, it's been a solid start for Mac Jones and the Patriots offense. Through two games, they're converting 50 percent of their third downs, good enough for fourth in the NFL, however, they're dead last in the red zone and that is perhaps the most critical area for improvement going forward.
The team kicked off training camp with extensive work inside the opponent's 20-yard line, with Bill Belichick providing some insight as to why. "Everything happens in a lot shorter space," said Belichick on the third day of camp. "It happens faster and the decision-making has to be quicker and more precise as does the execution on both sides of the ball."
So it shouldn't be all that surprising that it's an area to improve.
"I think we've definitely improved, and we just have to continue to do that, so we will, and it just goes back to practice and fixing what we can fix, and then keeping everything that we know and that we're good at in our back pocket, and when it comes up, we know how to do it," said Jones on Wednesday afternoon.
It's hard to nitpick the shortcomings too much after just a couple games. Just five months ago, the team had a giant question mark at the most important position in the game. Now, it looks like they've found someone to work with in Mac Jones and the future is looking a lot brighter.
"I say its consistency," said Jonathan Jones of what has impressed him about the rookie quarterback. "He didnt come in arrogant, 'I'm a first round pick'... everything he's gotten he's worked for."
"Mac's confidence in on 10," said Adrian Phillips. "He's a different dude. Seeing that from a rookie is cool."
While there's a lot to be excited about, it's the process that is most intriguing. There will be ups and downs, but the rookie has been rapidly acquiring experience since his arrival and each week is a new chance to see what strides he and the offense have taken after digesting another game's worth of experience.
"We're trying to get every detail right so that everyone, all 11 are doing their job, and it starts with me calling the play correctly, getting to the line, running it," said Jones, "That makes it fun when we complete it or we have a big run or whatever it may be and the play works how you talked about the play in meetings."