FOXBOROUGH — Before the Patriots walked onto the practice fields this summer, before taking a step into training camp, McJones was expected to make a leap.

After all, every high-achieving, high-profile rookie quarterback skips the proverbial Year 2, right? Last season, Jones won the Patriots’ starting job, then reached the playoffs and appeared in the Pro Bowl. Now, it was time to take this team with us.

Except progress, especially in football, isn’t always linear. So far, Jones’ average outing in Miami and subpar showing in Pittsburgh have some wondering if he’s stopping. Or worse.

Could Jones really be destined for horror? Regression?

If he continues to play like this, yes. But as a quarterback, Jones’ performance will also depend on the aforementioned players, coaches and system around him. That is the nature of the position.