Mac Jones is under a great deal of pressure to succeed in Year 2.
Through his rookie season with the New England Patriots, the former No. 15 overall pick exhibited some consistently solid play for his new NFL organization. That being said, his Year 1 performance wasn't enough to propel the Pats to a postseason victory.
Team owner Robert Kraft hopes Jones is able to get over that playoff hump in 2022.
“This year will be very telling,” Kraft said, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic. “To come into something as new as this, as established, I think he got beat up pretty bad, and he kept coming back and getting up and really doing some great stuff. Just the way he handles himself, he took some real beatings and hopped up. He has developed a good relationship with the whole cadre of receivers. I’m very happy with what I’ve seen. But this is a big year, the second year.”
Unfortunately for Kraft, Jones and the Patriots, this year's AFC East division is looking much more powerful than previous years.
The reigning-division-champion Buffalo Bills are primed for another impressive season under Josh Allen with the addition of free-agent linebacker Von Miller. The Miami Dolphins also bolstered their roster with the acquisition of superstar wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
Jones finished his 2021 season with a Pro-Bowl selection, 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and a 10-7 starting record.
An upward trend in these numbers will be necessary in order for the Pats to claim the division in 2022.