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Robert and Donna Manning donate a generous $50 million to the University of Massachusetts

High school sweethearts utilized their studies at UMass Lowell to launch successful careers and give back to the school who taught them. (Courtesy of: UMass Lowell)

Sophia Boucher
Connector Contributor

As one of their most recent acts of generosity to the higher education system, Robert and Donna Manning have begun distributing their donation of $50 million to the University of Massachusetts. The gift is the largest cash donation ever gifted to the UMass institution and, as a reflection of Mr. and Mrs. Manning’s dedication to the student population and the Commonwealth, will improve students’ opportunities for learning and experience on all five campuses.

UMass President Marty Meehan spoke on the impact of the Mannings’ generosity in the UMass Office of Communication’s press release: “The significance of this gift cannot be overstated. Rob and Donna are two of our own. As first-generation college graduates, they experienced the transformational impact UMass has on students’ lives. Rob and Donna have always led by example in their philanthropy, and this remarkable gift is a call to action to the philanthropic community.”

The Swampscott couple grew up in Methuen and attended UMass Lowell together in the 1980s. Robert Manning graduated from the university with an information systems management degree in 1984, and he earned the positions of president, CEO and chair (consecutively) at MFS Investment Management after working as a research analyst for the company’s High Yield Bond Group. Currently, he is a dedicated chair of the UMass Board of Trustees and plans to retire this year from MFS.

After earning her nursing degree in 1985 and a master’s in business administration in 1991, Donna Manning dedicated the following 35 years as an oncology nurse at the Boston Medical Center before retiring in 2018.

The plan for the first $15 million distribution out of the $50 million, which was announced by the university on the first of September, suits Mrs. Manning’s observation regarding the lack of diversity among nurses in the healthcare field. The gift will provide support for the diversity of student nurses as well as the advancement of education in UMass Boston’s nursing program. In turn, the program will be renamed the Robert and Donna Manning College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The positive impact that the gift will have on the UMass Boston campus and community is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other injurious effects of the pandemic on one’s financial and physical wellbeing, medical centers are struggling with the continuously incoming COVID cases while handling a nursing shortage.

In a letter to the campus community on the day of the first distribution, UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco said, “Amidst a pandemic, rampant medical disinformation, nursing shortages, and the heroism of healthcare workers, we are more committed than ever to cultivating extraordinary nursing talent. We work every day to instill in our students not only health and wellness expertise, but humanity, empathy, and cultural awareness — caregiving in its truest sense.”

Strengthening the diversity, knowledge and magnitude of the nursing workforce is a priority even without the present pandemic. Mrs. Manning said in the UMass Office of Communication’s press release, “diversity in the nursing workforce can improve patient care and address health inequities. We look forward to actively working with the college on these important goals.”

Previously, the Mannings generously donated over $11 million to the university amongst other considerate gifts specifically for the UMass Lowell campus, such as financially supporting several faculty chairs, a nursing simulation lab and the Robert and Donna Manning Endowed Scholarship Fund. The Mannings also demonstrated their support for UMass professors in 2016 by creating the Manning Prize. Since then, the prize has recognized the excellence of 30 faculty members and awarded each honoree with a $10,000 award.

The naming of the Manning School of Business, which is situated in the Pulichino Tong Business Center on the UMass Lowell campus, occurred in respect of the Mannings’ previous donations.

As for the remaining $35 million of the $50 million, the couple will distribute the donation to the other UMass campuses within the upcoming months. The Mannings’ goal as UMass Lowell alumni: to give students a hand in creating a better future for the Commonwealth.


Better call “Nobody” but Bob Odenkirk

“Nobody” is Odenkirk’s first lead role in an action film (Photo Courtesy of Universal Studios 2021)

Harrison Lee
Connector Editor

Ever since Chad Stahelski’s “John Wick” was released in 2014, a new collection of films has emerged with simple but sweetly stylized stories to accompany ever-audience-pleasing action. Ilya Naishuller’s “Nobody”, released March 2021, is no exception. However, do not mistake this movie for being a “John Wick” copy. After all, John Wick isn’t a nobody. At the same time, “Nobody” certainly isn’t “John Wick”.

The film follows Hutch Mansell, played by Bob Odenkirk, a family man who appears to lead the traditional American dream of working a 9 to 5 job to simply return home and repeat the cycle the next day. But, when a pair of home invaders ignite a mob to take up arms against his household, a darker side of Hutch’s past awakens as he wages war against an entire criminal elite.

This plot may sound familiar. It would not be the first time a filmmaker explores the family man who takes up arms against the big bad who attacked his family. However, in comparing “Nobody” to contemporary films in the same genre, there are enough creative differences in this movie that allows it to stand out on its own.

Considering that “John Wick” co-director, David Leitch was a producer on this film, it also seems clear that he had intended to write a different movie as the narrative stakes in “Nobody” are in direct contrast to “John Wick”. So, even without comparing “Nobody” to its fellow genre colleagues, this movie stands quite well as a film on its own.

Much of what makes this film so well-rounded as a single cinematic product is the combination of ingredients making up this movie. Bob Odenkirk was perhaps a surprising initial choice to star as Hutch Mansell, especially since Odenkirk is best known for his role as Saul Goodman in the more dramatic “Better Call Saul”. However, here he plays a strikingly different character who, although he may seem out of his element, is rather a joy to watch on screen. Odenkirk is also accompanied by Christopher Lloyd, RZA and many others who all play their parts accordingly in the script’s simplicity.

“Nobody” is also another example of a film that continues to move the action genre away from the shaky-cam grittiness of the 2000s. This film is still dark, violent and can be taken seriously. However, it is not excessive in those aspects, and instead possesses an understated humor that contributes alongside an upbeat soundtrack and clear-cut cinematography to balance a consistent tone.

It’s truly a virtue that Ilya Naishuller and David Leitch have prioritized the entertainment factor of the film over pretty much everything else. Despite a lack of plot complexity, the heart and effort that the filmmakers have put into the story of “Nobody” more than make up for it and create a memorable and entertaining watch.

Ultimately, for those who are seeking out an hour and a half of action that doesn’t require too much thinking, “Nobody” will most likely reel in everybody with an interest in the genre. For those who loved the “John Wick” series or “Atomic Blonde”, this is a must-see film that still has many refreshing elements to offer on its own accord.

Grade: A-

A very mischievous god entices audiences for Season 2 of “Loki”

With positive reception from both critics and audiences alike, Loki is scheduled for Season 2. (Photo Courtesy of Marvel Studios)

Emily Teague
Connector Contributor

Joining the popular Marvel Studios series, “WandaVision”, “Loki” was released on Disney+ this past June. “Loki” has something for everyone including fans of comedy, drama, action and sci-fi.

Directed by Katie Herron, known for her work in comedy, and written for television by Michael Waldron, “Loki” combines quality performances and dialogue with believable effects and beautiful set design. With six episodes, each around 50 minutes, the show’s cast has plenty of screen-time to share, with strong performances from Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Wunmi Mosaku as Hunter B-15 and Owen Wilson as Mobius.

The show begins at the conclusion of “Avengers: Endgame”, following Loki, a Norse trickster god, as he takes a chance to escape the Avengers by jumping through time. Loki ends up captured by the Time Variance Authority (TVA) for disrupting the sacred timeline. The aptly named Mobius, likely referencing the twisted mobius-strip or also the French sci-fi comic artist Jean Giraud’s pseudonym, takes Loki’s case, allowing Loki to work with him for the TVA to find other variants. In doing so, Mobius becomes a conduit for viewers to determine the real “villain” of the story by providing insight to both sides.

The TVA’s animated hologram assistant Miss Minutes, voiced by Tara Strong, aligns with set and costume design references to mid-century, atomic age modernism, which makes sense given the TVA’s supposed role—to maintain universal order and prevent catastrophic, apocalyptic deviations from this order. This design helps viewers better understand the TVA, and also suggests something sinister underneath the cheerful façade. Careful design choices throughout the show build up the world, and work with the score to emphasize different moods, suggesting tension, building suspense and revealing emotion.

The God of Mischief brings a good deal of humor to the show with his sharp wit, some slight slapstick and the overall irony of being an imprisoned god working for his captors. This irony, particularly in his partnership with Mobius, highlights a larger conflict carried throughout the season—the conflict between bureaucratic rule-following and creative risk-taking.

This pairing of opposites supports the overarching theme of the show: there is always lightness in dark and darkness in light—good in evil and evil in good. Character development, action scenes and thoughtful effects like dim, flickering lighting effectively carry the theme throughout.

Loki’s identity changes as he faces other versions of himself, versions he never imagined as parts of him. By talking and connecting with other people, and, well, himself, Loki’s mask of wit starts to fade, revealing other parts of his personality, like a particular sentimentality for his home.

He faces his failures and flaws, both figuratively and literally, and through some ego-death and self-acceptance, he starts to change. Hiddleston’s performance sells these changes, with subtle tone and expression changes that reveal his character’s internal development.

The beauty of a series like “Loki” is the extended amount of time that viewers get to understand intriguing characters and their motivations, watching them develop in greater detail than “Avengers”-ensemble movies allow. Having this additional time, along with Herron’s directing and Waldron’s writing, has allowed this show to replace the montages Marvel has become known for in their movies with full, more satisfying scenes building up suspense and action.

“Loki” might leave fans of the intense, quickly developing action found in “Avengers” movies a bit bored, not to say there isn’t thrill. There are plenty of intense moments of action throughout, from knife fights and hand-to-hand combat to escaping apocalyptic events, all balanced with humorous and dramatic dialogue. Those looking for lots of dialogue, character development and world building won’t find the show lacking.

Despite beginning where “Avengers: Endgame” concluded, “Loki” stands on its own and is enjoyable for viewers completely new to the MCU as well as devout fans. A show based around multiple timelines and time-travel has the potential to be confusing or choppy, but “Loki” successfully transitions between time and space with visual cues and/or text indicators. It is well-paced, giving the audience enough information in each episode while leaving various potential endings to be revealed in the final episode.

“Loki” asks the questions: Is there a such thing as free will, or is it all predetermined? If life is predetermined, who or what is determining it? Can people change? In a “Wizard of Oz” reminiscent quest, “Loki” answers some of these questions by the final episode, leaving a somewhat unsatisfactory amount of room for expansion on the story in the second season, which is confirmed in the season finale credits. Despite the extremely open-ended resolution, Loki was overall well-made and consistently entertaining, setting a high standard for season two.

Grade: A-

Lorde’s return and her new album brings a refreshing energy in “Solar Power”

“Solar Power” is Lorde’s third studio album, released on Aug. 20, 2021. (Photo Courtesy of Universal Music Group 2021)

Kyle Kelley
Connector Contributor

After a four-year hiatus following the release of her second studio album, “Melodrama”, Lorde has finally returned to the music industry with her new pop album, “Solar Power”. The much-anticipated album was released on Aug. 20, following the drop of the title track back in June.

The album was co-produced by her long-time friend and frequent collaborator, Jack Antonoff, and uses dreamlike melodies along with fun pop vocals to depict the 24-year-old singer’s journey into adulthood.

“Solar Power” marks a transition from Lorde’s more melancholic past that defined her previous albums, “Pure Heroine” and “Melodrama”, into a brighter, yet similarly uncertain future. The album comes after a trip to Scott Base, a research facility in Antarctica, which inspired many of the environmental themes heard throughout the songs.

The opening track, titled “The Path”, seems to display Lorde’s personal journey with fame as she is growing up. She reflects on the nightmares given to her from the paparazzi as a teenager. Now, she is a full-grown adult avoiding the music industry as a result of that trauma. Her breathy vocals trigger a sorrowful feeling as she questions where her once youthful dreams have disappeared to, ultimately looking toward the sun to light the way. This opening track maintains the sentiment of fleeting time that Lorde has become so well known for and sets the stage for the entire album.

“Solar Power”, which the album is named after, opens as a slow, yet bubbly acoustic tune, perfectly capturing the sun-kissed vibes of the song. Lorde’s own voice is supported by backup vocals from two of the music industry’s newest and most talented resident sad girls, Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo. She uses that same breathy vocal style, leading into a soulful chorus that hits you all at once, despite it just being the title of the song repeated five times.

The environmental influences of the song cannot go unnoticed, especially with the trash-filled beaches that appear as the setting of the music video. Lorde is not only sharing her story of fame in young adulthood with her audience, but she is also pushing a valuable message of environmentalism. Lastly, it is worth noting that this song was written during a visit to Martha’s Vineyard.

“California” is a deeper reflection on Lorde’s feelings concerning the upbringing of fame within her life. She recounts accepting her first Grammy back in 2014, acknowledging that her life would never be the same afterwards due to the fame that followed.

The song acts as a farewell to the famous lifestyle representative of California. Lorde expresses her willingness to leave that life behind in search of true contentment that must be found elsewhere. Her once blissful view of desert landscapes has become tainted. She was left wanting to wake up from the dream she once perceived California to be.

“Stoned at The Nail Salon” has a peaceful melody accompanied by wistful lyrics that contemplate both Lorde’s place in the present as well as what the future may bring. The opening lyrics of the song act as almost an appreciation of her tranquil complacency in the present, reflecting on things such as a “wishbone drying on the windowsill” along with a “dog that comes when [she] calls.” The song moves toward an existential pondering of the future, questioning what effects time will have on all of the beauty around her.

She ends these sentiments by concluding that maybe all of these things really do matter in the grand scheme of life, or maybe she’s just “stoned at the nail salon.” The song captures the same existential dread that her previous two albums so heavily depicted, but ultimately reminds the listener that there is still time left no matter how quickly it may be moving.

“Mood Ring” is arguably the most pop-like song featured in the album. It is filled with energetic melodies and colorful lyrics. It mimics trends of both our modern-day era, as well as the 1960s flower child aesthetic which contribute to the fun-loving, joyful mood of the song. It acts as a satirical take on pop-culture’s current infatuation with the 1960s and 1970s hippie culture, commenting on meditation, sage, crystals and mood rings.

Lorde enters a new era with the release of her third studio album. She creates a pleasing blend of both pop and indie music. Her previous two albums sulk in the somber realities of life as a young person seeking love, acceptance and a place of one’s own in the world. Although this album takes a brighter approach, that sentiment is not lost at all. In the era of “Solar Power”, Lorde remains a true original.

Grade: A

Virtual classes versus on campus classes: what do students prefer?

(Photo courtesy of UMass Lowell)

Hamza Chaudhry
Connector Contributor

UML students are coming back on the Lowell campus for a conscientious, productive, and exhilarating fall semester once again. The COVID-19 pandemic has inhibited many individuals from accessing on campus classes due to the tragic repercussions caused by the virus not just domestically but internationally.

In the preceding semesters, collegiate institutions across the United States and the U.K. have adapted their students to transition to online classes while the virus subsides and for vaccination production to increase substantially before coming back onto campus. As we are assimilating back onto campus again, students globally are experiencing strenuous difficulties trying to adapt to on campus classes again, while on the latter side other individuals prefer on campus classes as opposed to classes relegated online.

Individuals across social media apps such as TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat have also voiced their opinions in terms of whether or not they prefer classes in person or online. Which subsequently led me to the idea of asking our fellow UML students on their opinions in terms of their underlying preferences.

Do they prefer online over on campus? Were classes online more counterintuitive and distressing as opposed to on campus classes?  Max Churchill, a current sophomore and sound recording major, says that “Being on campus has been much more educational for me personally, I’ve learned a lot more in a shorter period of time and the bigger part of that is because of the interactions between other individuals.

Learning through Zoom was fine and I still learned about various concepts but I’ve never got the chance to apply them in the same way as I do now.” Furthermore, Max believes that majoring in a field such as music is built off the small interactions of others that frankly can’t be replicated through a computerized screen.

Music is inherently a major that necessitates practicality in terms of doing in person classes, and that is just something Max requires due to his choice of major. Moreover, Max unequivocally believes that having in person classes is an essential imperative due to the job sphere requiring individuals to be sociable, meticulous, and pragmatic.

These are skills which are centrally achieved through an on-campus setting as opposed to classes situated online. Individuals such as Lamond Frost, a current junior and mechanical engineering major, also says “I like on campus because of the sheer productivity and the ability to remain sociable with other friends in person instead of being online.

On-Campus classes have consolidated my ability to remain disciplined while the latter option of remaining online has been anything but intuitive and productive for me personally. Seeing other individuals working around me helps me to stay focused on the tasks I need to finish at hand as a mechanical engineering major.

When I was in my household the preceding semester, it was extremely difficult for me to stay on task and remain productive.” Lamond’s beliefs pertaining to online classes is something that doesn’t deviate from the beliefs of the vast majority of students across US and U.K. collegiate institutions.

Remaining disciplined online and focally understanding the subjects we’re required to learn, which are subjects that include music or engineering can seem inherently difficult to conceptualize, understand, and comprehend thoroughly while situated at home. Nonetheless, UML students are profoundly grateful at having the opportunity of coming back to the Lowell campus again this fall to not just have a productive semester, but also a time to have a memorable and sociable time with friends and faculty on campus!


LASA to host Alumni Social offering networking and Career advice to students

(Photo courtesy of UMass Lowell)

Ashley Rose Rivera
Connector editor

On September 22nd, the Latin American Student Association (LASA) will be holding an alumni networking event that focuses on introducing under-graduate students to career and networking conversations. The event provides an opportunity for all underclassmen, in particular Latinx students, the opportunity to engage with successful Latinx alumni.

The event offers an opportunity for students to receive advice, with the intention of showing underclassmen real world examples of people who share similar lived experiences that it is possible to strive and achieve. Some of the alumni who will be attending the event are a senior cyber risk analyst, an attorney that founded her own law firm, an onboarding specialist, a consultant at Bain and Company/PHD candidate and the dean of FAHSS Luis Falcon.

LASA plans to tackle topics like career advancement and graduate school. Focusing on general advice for undergrads, a lot of the topics that are being delved into with more detail speak on the anxieties regarding graduate school and academic life. The event will touch on the pressures of succeeding whilst being from a marginalized community, with a focus on how people of color navigate the world in these settings.

Resources for students will be discussed as well, with alumni being asked which resources they believe current students should take advantage of while attending school. Interviewing advice will be given, with networking tips and tricks spotlighted. First generation students can expect a more intimate experience at the event, with their exposure to knowledge being one of the main goals of the event.

“Sometimes, if you are first gen, or like a minority, there’s things out there that you don’t know…or you don’t know the extent to which using or doing something matters for your future.” said Douglas CorreaOspina, the vice president of the Latin American Student Association.

Knowledge of how to access higher education is scarce and not easily accessible to those from disenfranchised backgrounds.

“For example, when I was in high school, I knew that you had to take the SATs to get into college, but I never realized the SATs also determine your financial aid and if you get a scholarship or not. It’s those kinds of things where if no one tells you, you can’t go ask anyone. “said CorreaOspina.

A major purpose of the event is to have someone from a similar lived experience to the students talk about themselves and how they got to where they are. Another main purpose of the event is to offer opportunities to network with alumni and to provide an open dialogue between students and professionals in the field they’re interested in. This annual event has occurred every year, even last year during the pandemic over zoom.

“Knowledge that may not be easily accessible to first gen, or racial minorities, or anyone who feels like they need knowledge about careers and graduate school and…networking, that’s what I want them to take.”

The alumni social event will be held on Wednesday, September 22nd   2021 from 6:00pm to 7:30 pm in Alumni Hall, located at 84 University Avenue. There will be free food available and prizes as well. Poetry, music and more will be showcased from students within the Latinx community.  RSVPS can be made on the UMass Lowell engage website.

Spirituality without religion, One mans take on modern religion

Jeffery Theriault
Connector Contributor

Spirituality without religion seems to be one of the fastest growing convictions upheld in modern life. When asking a young person today about their spiritual practices, one will frequently receive an answer like, “Spirituality is important, but I don’t think I have to be religious.” Why might this notion be becoming so popular? And why would traditional religious practices of all kinds be de-emphasized in this way?

I hold two main factors as culprit: Poor accommodation for the changing of the times in religious communities and a waning need to bind oneself to established religion. Everyone on Earth continues to need community, security and identity, and all religious institutions across the world continue to afford these to their members. There is a great blindness in many religious communities, formal and informal, toward the shifting wants and needs of newer generations of people.

I do not believe the need for what religion gives a person has diminished or shifted dramatically with time. What has changed and continues to change, is society and the needs of its developing members. If the Catholic practice of confession was wonderfully in-tune with the needs of 11th century Christian society, it is hard to believe that it can continue to be as in-tune with the needs of societies separated from its inception by 800 years and at least three global ages.

To be clear, I believe it is perfectly fine for modern people to accept the way confession is practiced today. But, the Catholic church must recognize the demographic of Catholics who have struggled their whole lives to gain something from this outdated practice, and take at least some remedial action.

That said, most institutions don’t seem to be taking enough remedial action toward their outdated practices. It is not enough for an institution to put a rainbow striped sign in their front lawn touting “All are welcome here!” in an attempt to minimize the negative effect on weekly turnouts that traditional theology on LGBTQ affairs creates.

For clarity, it would be silly for religious institutions to crumble at the foot of modern society and make drastic changes to their services and tenets to appease it. There is a happy middle ground where religious institutions can keep their traditional identities while conforming to the changing needs of their peoples. What if religious officials take the time required to understand the differences between the community’s needs they are currently satisfying and the  needs they aren’t satisfying that need to be approached differently ?

A religious institution must keep a finger on the pulse of the community it exists to serve. After all, an institution is not the formal religious tenets laid out in the holy book, but rather the people who choose to identify as members of the institution. If there is a disconnect between the formal religion and the everyday follower, expect to see the religion collapse.

Understanding that traditional religious institutions largely fail to properly accommodate, it is obvious why people would want to disassociate with such an institution. Uniquely, what exists in society today is the ability to do so. In the past, one could not truly remove themselves from their native religion because it was synchronous with society.

One could leave their church and shed their rituals, but they could not immerse themselves in any other form of spirituality because the society they lived in was inextricable with the religion.

In our modern secular world, religion informs very little of our society compared to how much it used to, and we can get away with living completely atheistic or agnostic, or as a Buddhist in a community generally considered Jewish and more.

If I don’t need to bind myself to the out of touch established institutions of Christianity, why would I? I have the freedom to practice as much of Christianity as I want without facing any persecution, and spiritually I’ll be all the better for it. If I want to practice zero Christianity, there is no force opposing me, and this truth leads to the propagation of those who freely establish their own spiritualities independent of religion, and quite understandably so.

No wonder spirituality without religion is favored by so many people: it is simply a better option for a newer generation. Should everyone turn back toward established religion? Perhaps not, but if no one does, then religion as it has been known for millennia is doomed.

Mac Jones Continues Pre-Season Success Despite Week 1 Loss to Dolphins

(Photo courtesy of ESPN) The Patriots’ defense squares off against Miami’s offense on their September 12th showdown


Zach Lunghi
Connector Contributor

Mac Jones and the New England Patriots lost their 2021 season opener at Gillette Stadium to the Miami Dolphins with a final score of 17-16. The game featured a showdown between two former University of Alabama quarterbacks in Jones, and in the Dolphin’s Tua Tagovailoa. This was Jones’ NFL Debut and he put together a very promising stat line with a 29/39 in passing attempts, 281 total passing yards and delivered his first touchdown pass in the NFL. It was a back and forth bout throughout the course of the game, but ultimately an untimely fumble by New England’s Damien Harris would seal the deal for the Dolphins.

Despite the loss, there still is a lot to appreciate and be excited about when reviewing the Patriots’ performance on Sunday. Jones worked hard during the offseason and proved to Bill Belichick that he can effectively manage the team’s offense. It did not take long for Jones’ confidence to build as he seemed comfortable standing in the pocket and absorbing hits to make plays. Early in the first quarter, the pocket collapsed around Jones and he was still able to get a 4-yard pass off to running back James White.

Nelson Agholor, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Las Vegas Raiders, seems to have a lot of faith in Jones’ ability, and vice versa. Agholor finished the game, ranked 1st for New England’s receiving core and collected a 7-yard pass for a touchdown. He would total 72-yards for the day off of 5 receptions; this included a 25-yard catch coming in the second quarter, which led to the team’s first touchdown of the game.

Tagovailoa’s game featured a 3-yard touchdown pass to tight-end Jaylen Waddle accompanied by a 3-yard rushing touchdown from Tagovailoa. Despite the pair of touchdowns, Tagovailoa did throw one interception which came at a critical point late in the fourth quarter. His pass was intended for Albert Wilson but was intercepted by rookie cornerback Jonathan Jones.

The interception of Tagovailoa was a defining moment for the game as the Patriots’ defensive line put the Dolphin’s quarterback under pressure and forced him to make a rushed pass while on the run. This came with 8:07 left to go in the game and the Patriots down 17-16. Jones marched the Patriots down the field, and they eventually had themselves well within scoring distance at the Dolphin’s 9-yard line. The ball was given to Damien Harris, who was having himself a good game with 23 carries for 100 yards, and had the ball stripped away.

Although this game marks Belichick’s first loss when coaching a rookie quarterback in their debut game, it is hard to really consider this a loss. Jones proved he can run the offense and finished the game with a 102 rating. In addition, he stood up for his running back Harris when reporters made the claim that it was his fault for the loss.

Mac Jones was not the only rookie quarterback getting their first look at the NFL in week one. He was joined by Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Zach Wilson of the New York Jets.

Lawrence and the Jaguars dropped a 37-21 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday. The rookie quarterback threw for 300 plus yards and three touchdowns, but at the cost of three interceptions. Wilson and the Jets also lost to the Carolina Panthers. Wilson went 20/37 on his passing attempts, threw for 258-yards, had two passing touchdowns and had one interception. He had a rough start in the first half but turned it around in the second.

Jones and Wilson will get the chance to go head-to-head Sunday, as the Patriots will be visiting the Jets. The Jets will need to emphasize protecting their quarterback as they allowed six sacks against the Panthers in the previous week. The Patriots will hope to build off their quarterback’s performance from last week and find success behind Belichick’s’ 22-8 record against rookie quarterbacks.

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