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In joint practice with Giants, Mac Jones is as hot as the Foxborough weather

With Cam Newton not available, Mac Jones (above) had another strong showing, this time in a joint practice with the Giants.Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

FOXBOROUGH — Mac Jones is enjoying his time as QB 1.

Jones again took advantage of his opportunity to run the Patriots starting offense Wednesday, turning in a sizzling performance on the searing back fields at Gillette Stadium.

With Cam Newton serving what should be his final day of a reentry cadence under COVID-19 protocols, Jones blistered the Giants during the first of two joint practices between the clubs. Jones completed 35 of 40 passes, including 22 of 26 in full-team sessions and 13 of 14 in seven-on-sevens.

The rookie was a cool customer on a day when several players appeared to be affected by the strong sun and tropical humidity. At one point, Jones completed 18 straight passes during competitive drills.

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Jones moved well in the pocket, made good decisions, and fired accurate passes of all lengths. He looked off defenders and spread the ball around nicely, with four players snagging at least five catches.

“He’s working extremely hard. He’s getting a lot of reps now,” said James White, who caught six passes. “He’s taking control of the huddle and just trying to do the best he can, just making sure everybody is on the same page so we can go out there and execute, not just for one period but throughout the entire practice.”

White was involved in one of the best plays of the day, catching a perfectly placed back-shoulder toss from Jones on a wheel route after he had spun around defender Blake Martinez.

Given first-team reps Wednesday, Mac Jones rose to the challenge.Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

“I kind of got jammed up on the route a little bit,” said White. “I actually heard somebody scream, ‘Ball!’ so that was kind of letting me know the ball was coming. It was perfect timing, but a perfect throw and a big play in the two-minute drive.”

In a later hurry-up session, Jones was at his best, completing 5 of 7 passes, a sequence that included several sterling snags.

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Though the series started with a false start (Shaq Mason and Trent Brown questioned the flag, and rightfully so) and an incompletion (Kendrick Bourne nearly made the diving catch), Jones was unaffected.

He completed five of his next six passes, including a diving sideline grab by Isaiah Zuber (who showed great body control on what was his best play of camp) and a beautiful deep, accurate spiral to Jakobi Meyers, who hauled it in after torching defenders Darnay Holmes and Adoree’ Jackson. At close to 50 yards, it was one of the longest connections of camp.

After a smart throwaway, Jones hit a wide-open White in the end zone to cap the drive.

White said it was important for Jones to stay focused and finish off the situational series with points.

“You never know how many times those situations are going to come up in a game,” he said, “but when they do come up, if you’re in a position where you need to score a touchdown, you have to do it. If you need a field goal, you have to get in a position to do it.

“We’re all working, and it is definitely good to finish off with a touchdown. It’s not easy, especially once you get down in the red area. The field is kind of shrunken a little bit and it’s tough to score points right there, but got to have your best execution.”

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Mac Jones fires a laser toward Jakobi Meyers at practice Wednesday.Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

The Patriots quarterback also won the battle of Joneses, clearly outplaying Giants signal-caller Daniel Jones, who struggled mightily against New England’s first-stringers.

“I think Mac is doing a good job, taking leadership, controlling everybody, having everybody in the right place and stuff like that — making the team be a real team,” said Bourne, who caught a half-dozen Jones passes but was upset at the one he missed.

Center David Andrews, who is building a rapport with Jones and will settle him down when he’s upset, liked what he saw Wednesday.

“I thought we had a good team day,” said Andrews. “We’ll have to go back and, you know, correction stuff, but, like I said before about these joint practices, you don’t really prepare for them. You sort of get a gist, but they did some things today we didn’t talk about, so, to see us up front, to go out there, and figure it out ourselves to some extent, I thought it was really good.

“I thought the receivers really worked their ass off today. Everyone just really worked hard. We’ve got to keep stacking these days together as a team and keep making those strides.”


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him @globejimmcbride.