Patriots

Mac Jones ‘moving on’ from Saints loss right into Tom Brady and the Bucs

Jones took the brunt of the blame for the Patriots' offensive struggles against the Saints while acknowledging there will be "trial and error" early in the season.

Mac Jones Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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A day after Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was spotted hanging his head on the sidelines after his team lost to the New Orleans Saints, WEEI hosts Lou Merloni and Christian Fauria did a mini-wellness check on the rookie passer during their weekly Monday afternoon conversation.

“Yes, we’re all good,” Jones said when asked how he was doing after the loss. “We’re just going to learn from it and flip the page and move on.”

The game itself was one Jones and the Patriots would like to forget.

The young quarterback took a barrage of hits, connected on just 3-of-19 passes longer than 15 yards and threw the first three interceptions of his NFL career during Sunday’s 28-13 defeat at the hands of the Saints.

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Obviously, it wasn’t all on Jones, especially not the pick-six that came as a result of Jonnu Smith tipping a very catchable ball into Malcolm Jenkins’s hands: “It takes all 11 of us, not one person to blame or one person to give all the credit to.”

But the theme of Jones’s recap of the Patriots’ second straight home loss to open the season remains the same as it did in Week 3: the self-described perfectionist says he personally has to play better.

“I think a lot of it has to do with me, just getting the ball out quick and reading the defense quicker,” he said of his performance (30-of-51 passing, 270 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT).

“It starts with the quarterback because that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he added. “You’re the leader. You have the ball every play.”

Of course, Jones didn’t give up all those quarterback hits, drop passes or get closed out by Taysom Hill on the final defensive drive of the game.

But he still left a number of plays on the field Sunday – both the ones he simply misfired on or the chances he missed altogether — as he navigates life in the NFL.

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“I think it just shows you that every week is a new week, and you have to be ready to go,” he said. “And if you’re not, you won’t win the game. It’s hard to win in the NFL, but I feel like we can definitely do a better job of not beating ourselves, starting with me just focusing on my job even better. Then everyone else will play well, and we’ll hopefully win more.”

What a week Jones and his team will be moving on to.

Not only must the Patriots try to stave off a 1-3 start, they’ll have to do it against the reigning Super Bowl Champion Tampa Buccaneers and their famous quarterback Tom Brady – the man Jones is essentially the heir to.

“Tampa Bay is a great team, and it’s a new week. We’re excited,” he said.

The 22-year-old didn’t talk much about the saga surrounding the game, saying he was too focused on his college career to focus much on the Brady-Bill Belichick drama that led to Brady’s defection to Tampa Bay.

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In true Patriots fashion, he kept his comments on Brady and the Bucs short and gridiron-related: “The only thing we can do is focus on each day. Then when Sunday comes, we’ll just go out there and play as hard as we can.”

With a vengeful Brady coming to town with NFL history in his sights, Jones might have to play the game of his life to steal the spotlight back from his predecessor.

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