Ex-NFL MVP explains why Patriots' Mac Jones 'undoubtedly' will win Rookie of the Year

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Ex-NFL MVP explains why Mac Jones 'undoubtedly' will win Rookie of the Year originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Mac Jones is making a strong case to be the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year winner, and one former league MVP is pretty confident the New England Patriots quarterback will take home the award.

The former University of Alabama star has tallied 2,540 passing yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions through 11 games. His 70.2 completion percentage is No. 2 behind Kyler Murray for the league lead.

Over the last five games, Jones has thrown seven touchdown passes with two interceptions and the Patriots won all of those matchups. They are 7-4 and lead the AFC East as a result of that win streak.

Not too bad for the No. 15 pick (and the fifth QB draft overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft, right?

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Former Bengals quarterback and 1988 MVP Boomer Esiason sees Jones as the favorite to claim Rookie of the Year honors.

“He’s making it look easy, but I also felt when the season started that he had the best chance of all the rookies to have the biggest impact because he was in the best system,” Esiason said Monday on CBS Sports Network.

"Remember how much money they spent on offense and defense in free agency this year. They brought in Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne as wide receivers. They revamped the offensive line.  And this kid has been taught ‘Patriot critical theory’ and he is programmed perfectly by (Patriots offensive coordinator) Josh McDaniels. It has been a thing of beauty to watch, and undoubtedly he will be the Offensive Rookie of the Year in the NFL.”

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Oddsmakers agree with Esiason. They've made Jones a -105 favorite for the award. Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, who had been the betting favorite for most of the season, is right behind Jones with +120 odds. No other player has better than +1300 odds. 

It's hard to see Jones not winning the award if the Patriots hold off the Buffalo Bills and win the AFC East. The Patriots defense is the strength of the team, but they wouldn't be in their current situation without Jones' responsible play at quarterback.

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