Drew Brees finds positives in Patriots QB Mac Jones' performance vs. Saints

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Drew Brees finds positives in Mac Jones' performance vs. Saints originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Mac Jones' stats weren't particularly good in Sunday's Week 3 loss to the New Orleans Saints, but that didn't stop a future Hall of Famer from finding several good things about the New England Patriots quarterback's performance.

Jones completed 30 of 51 pass attempts for 270 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions (the first turnovers of his career). He also was sacked twice and hit 11 times.

Recently retired Saints quarterback Drew Brees, now an NFL analyst for NBC Sports, liked the way Jones handled adversity throughout the game.

Perry's Report Card: Not many bright spots in Pats loss to Saints

“I’m impressed with his poise and composure,” Brees said during NBC's "Sunday Night Football" postgame show. “Even at the end of this game, he throws a touchdown to bring it to within one possession and it’s just kind of a straight face. It wasn’t a lot of celebration, but what that told me was, ‘I expected to do that and there’s still work to be done.’  And there was just a poise and a composure to it. As I watched him in the pocket -- and he was under duress today -- the Saints’ defensive line was getting after him. He was poised, he was composed, he was standing firm in the pocket. His eyes were in the right place.

“He didn’t look like a rookie quarterback who was frazzled or didn’t know where to look with his eyes, lost track of his progression. He seemed to be a guy who was very much in command of what was happening on his side of the ball, around him. I just think he needs more help. He needs guys who are going to be get separation and get open and make some plays for him.”

Patriots wide receiver Kendrick Bourne had similar take on Jones' composure and demeanor Sunday amid a tough game.

"Mac, I thought he played poised, even through adversity," Bourne said at his postgame press conference. "He was still relaxed. He didn't look rattled or anything in the huddle.

Next up for the Patriots is a Week 4 showdown against Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who will be playing in New England for the first time since leaving the Pats as a free agent in 2020.

Curran: Brady and the Bucs come to town at the worst possible time

The Bucs defense might actually be a decent matchup for Jones. 

Tampa Bay has allowed the most passing yards, the most passing touchdowns and the fifth-highest opposing QB completion percentage in the league through three games. The Bucs secondary also is dealing with injuries.

If the Patriots are going to pull off an upset next week, Jones will need to pick apart the Buccaneers defense to help his team keep pace with Brady's high-scoring offense.