Will Mac Jones remain the Patriots starter? Bill Belichick’s answer is unclear.

"Yeah, the plan is to try to beat Cincinnati, alright" Belichick said when asked about Jones's job status.

Rick Scuteri
Mac Jones (center) appeared to be frustrated with some play-calling in Monday night's victory.

Instead of answering the question about whether Mac Jones will remain the Patriots’ starting quarterback for the rest of the season, Bill Belichick chose to dodge it.

“Yeah, the plan is to try to beat Cincinnati, alright,” Belichick said.

Jones went 13-of -31 for 112 yards with no touchdowns against the Raiders on Sunday, a lackluster performance that was overshadowed by Chandler Jones stiff-arming him on a 48-yard return for touchdown on the final play of the game.

More than a third of Jones’s yards came on one 39-yard completion to Jakobi Meyers. Pierre Strong was the only Patriots player with more than two catches.


The Patriots have three games left. Maybe four, if they surpass expectations against Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Miami and somehow sneak into the playoffs.

Belichick could have said that Jones will be the starter, as he did earlier in the season when the second-year quarterback returned from his high-ankle sprain.

Instead, he deflected the question.

Despite playing in seven more games, Jones only has two more passing touchdowns than rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe, who filled in for Jones while he was injured. Jones also has more interceptions than touchdowns. His QBR, which is at 30.7, is 32nd in the NFL.

It’s not all on Jones. The offensive line has struggled to protect him, and the play-calling has been questionable. But, his numbers simply aren’t good, and Belichick’s comments weren’t exactly a ringing endorsement.

“There’s always things that everybody can improve on every week,” Belichick said Wednesday. “Just point those out on the film and try to correct them. That’s players, coaches, every position, that’s what it always is.”


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