New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones solidified the hype around his rookie season on Sunday, as he helped his team capture their first win of the season over the New York Jets (0-2). The game was also Jones’ first win as an NFL player, as the Patriots (1-1) notched a 25-6 victory at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.
“I think it starts with me,” Jones said after the win. “[I’ve] got to be more vocal … We [have] to do a review of the week and make sure [we] can learn from [our] mistakes from practice, from the game, from [our] routine, whatever it may be,” Jones said of the Pats’ win over the Jets.
Jones faced off against another rookie quarterback, the Jets’ Zach Wilson, and turned out to be the big man on top. Jones completed 22 –of –30 passes for 186 yards. But his lack of touchdowns proved irrelevant when Wilson handed four interceptions to the Patriots’ defense.
That was the difference between Wilson and Jones — Wilson threw too many passes while Jones didn’t seem to throw enough. His success in doing so, however, led the Pats to their first regular-season win in Week 2.
“We’ve played two games and won one and lost one,” Jones said. “You’ve got to take it for what it’s worth and we’ll get better. I think everybody, including anybody that’s watched the game, can agree that the offense can play better, and we will,” Jones said after the game.
Jones’ strongest emphasis was not so much on him, but the entire offensive team when reviewing the game for the media early Sunday evening.
Last week in its season opener against the Miami Dolphins, New England fumbled the ball four separate times due to both a lack of ball security and protection over passes. The Pats came up short in that game, losing 17-16.
Patriots players, personnel and fans all alike were content with the win, but still seemed to want more. After the game, Jones expressed how the team feels “blessed” to win on offense. At the same time, however, he noted that the Patriots must “correct the things [they] need to work on.” Mac Jones already possesses Bill Belichick’s trademark “on to the next one” attitude, which has been quite successful in the past.
But Jones knows he still has many opportunities and places for improvement, even with the Miami loss behind the team.
“My ball security can improve. I’ve put the ball on the ground twice,” Jones said at the postgame press conference, referring to his two fumbles against the Jets.
This reaction was similar to Week 1 with regard to how reluctant Jones was to celebrate any sort of achievement, as he refused to keep the ball he threw for his first NFL career touchdown.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Jones said. “It’s just one touchdown. We have to score more. It’s not like the game was over right there.” he said following the Patriots’ loss to Miami.
The red zone remained Jones’ downfall during Week 2, as the inconsistent offensive line protecting him allowed three sacks. In trying to avoid a fourth sack, Jones ended up throwing the ball away on one play, which led to an intentional grounding penalty.
Still, he rose to the challenge of pushing running back Damien Harris through the tackle pile to complete a 26-yard touchdown run later in the Jets game.
“I think, ‘just do my job,’” Jones said of Harris’ touchdown after the game. “Obviously, sometimes it’s not running down the field on the play, but just to see Damien trying and the offensive line running down there. I [felt] like I [could] help.”
With these early performances by the 15th overall draft pick, the Mac Jones hype gained new momentum after the Patriots’ first win. All of New England is excited for Week 3’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints in Foxborough, MA on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m.
(Featured photo courtesy of New England Patriots Instagram)