FOXBORO — Mac Jones sat dealing with his locker, towel over head in full uniform 20 minutes after the Patriots’ newest distressing loss.
Last week, the Patriots misplaced after rookie large receiver couldn’t get a second foot in bounds on fourth down. This week, they misplaced after officers decided that guard Cole Strange got here inches away from the first-down marker after a heads-up lateral from tight finish Mike Gesicki on fourth down within the 24-17 loss.
Jones lastly picked himself off his chair, checked his telephone, showered and got here as much as the Patriots’ press convention podium with a optimistic angle. He wasn’t the one Patriots participant who appeared heartbroken by the workforce falling to 0-2 on the season. So, he was requested how to ensure the workforce doesn’t spiral from right here.
“Yeah, I think about past experience and my rookie year when we didn’t really start off too hot and then went on a really good winning streak,” Jones stated.
The Patriots began simply 2-4 in 2021 earlier than they did win seven straight and wound up making the postseason.
“So, for me, that’s all I can do is look back on experiences I’ve already had in my life and hopefully the guys on the team can respond,” Jones continued. “Definitely got to play better and learn from it and, you know, be here early and leave late and do it together. I think that’s the biggest thing. If a couple guys are doing it, it’s not good enough, clearly. So we’ve got to put more into it and get more out of it.”
After final week’s loss, Jones was extraordinarily onerous on himself. He had thrown a pick-six, mounted a comeback and had a number of probabilities to win it in the long run however got here up quick.
Sunday evening’s recreation wasn’t a precise facsimile, however the Patriots bounced again a number of occasions from a 10-0 deficit, then a 17-3 deficit after which a 24-10 deficit. They bought the ball final with 2:14 left within the recreation from their very own 45-yard line after Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders missed a 55-yard discipline purpose.
Jones accomplished 3- and 13-yard passes to Kendrick Bourne after which was sacked for an 8-yard loss behind an offensive line lacking beginning left sort out Trent Brown. After an incompletion to tight finish Hunter Henry, Jones chipped away at a third-and-18 scenario with a 14-yard completion to tight finish Mike Gesicki. He threw wanting the first-down marker to Gesicki on fourth-and-4 earlier than the tight finish lateraled the ball to Strange. Officially dominated the play a primary down dwell however reversed the conversion on overview. The recreation was over.
The faculty nationwide champion went 31-of-42 for 231 yards with a landing and interception.
Just one other scenario when the Patriots got here shut however couldn’t shut.
“I think in the long run, it’s going to help us at some point during the season or, you know, when we all play together,” Jones stated. “So I think, obviously, it sucks. But, really, when you’re close, you just have to do more, I think. Weight room, film, practice. Like, everyone just has to do more. And hopefully if you do that, I mean, you know you did everything you could do, right? So at that point, some of it’s out of your control. Some of it is luck, some of it’s other things. But for us, just got to do more.”
Jones nonetheless has only one fourth-quarter comeback and one game-winning drive on his resume. He’s now 2-13 as a starter when the Patriots are underdogs. There isn’t an apparent signature win from his two-plus years as an NFL starter.
Jones wasn’t as clearly onerous on himself after this loss. Time in some unspecified time in the future will run out on the 2023 Patriots if they’ll solely preserve coming “close.”