BOSTON — Rookie cornerback Jack Jones made his first career start on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. It was rather eventful.
The fourth-round pick out of Arizona State forced two turnovers in the first half of the Patriots’ game against the Packers, with the second resulting in a pick-six for the rookie.
With just 22 seconds left in the first half and the Packers leading 7-3, Aaron Rodgers threw a pass up the right sideline intended for Allen Lazard. Jones had good coverage on the receiver, who fell to the ground as Jones jumped the route, picked off the pass, and ran it 40 yards for a touchdown.
That play gave the Patriots a lead before halftime, in a game where Brian Hoyer — playing quarterback for the injured Mac Jones — departed due to an injury of his own after just two series. With rookie QB Bailey Zappe in at quarterback, Jones helped put points on the board on a day when points would be at a premium.
It wasn’t the first turnover forced by Jones, though, as he stripped fellow rookie Romeo Doubs on the Packers’ first drive of the game. Jones not only forced that fumble but also recovered it, killing a Packers drive at midfield.
Jones did get sucked into the middle of the field, helping to open a lane to the end zone for Christian Watson on the Packers’ lone touchdown of the first half, so it wasn’t a perfect showing. But forcing two turnovers certainly helps to offset that defensive lapse. And a pick-six of Aaron Rodgers — just the quarterback’s fourth pick-six ever — is something Jones will remember forever.
Prior to Sunday, Jones had only played 33 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps through three games, recording two solo tackles and no other stats.