‘Everyone is frustrated,’ but Bill Belichick says Mac Jones is still New England’s quarterback


“Obviously it wasn’t very good and everyone is frustrated,” Jones said. “We have to do things differently and better to put out a better product.”

Mac Jones. Barry Chin/Globe Staff
  • New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones, right, is seated on bench near wide receiver DeVante Parker, left, during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass.

    Patriots fall to the Saints, 34-0: Quick observations from another embarrassing loss

  • Watch: Mac Jones throws his third pick-6 of the season

Mac Jones is still the Patriots starter despite being benched for the second straight game, according to coach Bill Belichick.

“Yeah, there were other problems, it certainly wasn’t all on him,” Belichick said.

The Patriots removed Jones from the action with 13:03 remaining in the third quarter. New England was down 31-0 by then. Jones threw a pair of interceptions, including one that Tyrann Matthieu returned 25 yards for a touchdown.

“It was just early and I’ve got to watch the film, but definitely don’t want to start like that,” Jones said of the interception. “We have to start faster in these games. It’s been a trend here. I want to improve and try to learn from it, and do everything I can to get better.”

Belichick said the 31-0 score was the reason Jones was taken out of the game. Last week, after benching Jones during a blowout loss to Dallas, Belichick said he didn’t see any point in leaving Jones in a game with the score so lopsided.

Jones has thrown four interceptions with no touchdowns over the past four games. He now has as many interceptions [5] as touchdown passes [5]. He has four turnovers that were returned for touchdowns.

The Patriots played the entire game from behind, yet again. They’ve been outscored 85-16 by opponents in first halves this season, through five games.

“Really, just not being ready to go I guess, as an offense,” Jones said. “You want to go out there, you’ve practiced all week and you feel confident, so you definitely want to get improvement on that. None of these games are starting off so hot, so obviously you’ve got to improve.”

Despite his struggles, Jones still has at least some public backers. Defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. is among them.

“It’s still strong,” Wise said of his belief level in Jones.

For the second week in a row, it was Bailey Zappe who finished the game for the Patriots instead of Jones. Last week, the team was on the road. This week, Jones got benched at Gillette Stadium, where fans chanted Zappe’s name.

“Obviously it wasn’t very good and everyone is frustrated,” Jones said. “We have to do things differently and better to put out a better product. So, everyone is frustrated, of course, we’re frustrated. At the end of the day, you just have to turn that into action. We have to work hard and try to fix this.”