Chris Long explained why he is ‘low-key excited’ for Mac Jones and the Patriots

Morning Sports Update

“So from the Pats’ standpoint, I’m pretty excited for them,” said Long. “Not like high-key excited, like low-key excited.”

Mac Jones Patriots
Mac Jones during the Patriots’ season-opening loss to the Eagles. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Chris Long’s take on Mac Jones and the Patriots: Though the Patriots came up short against the Eagles in Sunday’s 25-20 season-opening defeat, the team’s performance — specifically that of Mac Jones — has drawn a few plaudits.

Former Patriots defensive lineman Chris Long was impressed. During a Monday interview with The Rich Eisen Show, Long shared his thoughts on both his former teams (he also played with Philadelphia following his one year stint in New England). Regarding the Patriots specifically, Long was cautiously optimistic.

“From the Patriots’ side, I think you’ve got to come away a little bit encouraged,” said Long. “I don’t know if that sounds weird to Pats fans, but Mac Jones looked more like Mac Jones. I mean that’s more like the guy I know.”

Long conceded that not all of Jones’s performance was good (including the interception he threw in the first quarter that was returned for a touchdown), but that he looked better than the 2022 version in overall terms.

“He threw some really nice tight-window balls over the middle of the field,” Long added. “They’ve got to get back to that. The touchdowns were nice. He’s got a real offensive coordinator, and I think the stuff that Bill [O’Brien] ran at Alabama, you can draw some things from that. I think Mac’s going to be a lot more comfortable.”

Regarding his area of expertise, Long also praised the Patriots’ defense.

“I thought that there’s something there with this defense,” he said following the game against the defending NFC champions. “They kept the points down, they took the middle of the field away. [Dallas] Goedert didn’t really get involved.

“They heated Jalen up in key situations, and honestly you’ve got 10 points that come off of the [Ezekiel Elliott] fumble, and the pick-six,” Long explained. “So from the Pats’ standpoint, I’m pretty excited for them. Not like high-key excited, like low-key excited.”

Trivia: Chris Long was the second overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. What quarterback was taken third overall that year?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He came from an ACC school.

Scores and schedule:

The Red Sox and Yankees were rained out on Monday. As a result, the two teams will play a day-night doubleheader today. The first game begins at 1:35 p.m. with the second getting underway at 7:10 p.m.

The Patriots will be at home on Sunday for the second game of the season, facing the Dolphins at 8:20 p.m.

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The latest on Aaron Rodgers: Only a few minutes into his first start as quarterback of the Jets, Rodgers went down with an injury and did not return to the game.

“Concerned with his Achilles,” said Jets head coach Robert Saleh after the game. “The MRI is probably going to confirm what we think is already going to happen. So prayers tonight, but it’s not good.”

Without Rodgers, the Jets managed to rally against the Bills and win 22-16 on a walk-off punt return from rookie Xavier Gipson.

On this day: In 2011, the Patriots defeated the Dolphins 38-24 in the season opener. The game was highlighted by a 99-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker.

Daily highlight: Garrett Wilson’s touchdown catch, with live reactions from Eli and Peyton Manning (and Ryan Fitzpatrick).

Trivia answer: Matt Ryan