Mac Jones said he let the Patriots down against the Eagles. Here’s Bill Belichick’s response.

Patriots

“I think we all know how Mac feels. We all feel the same way.”

Mac Jones. AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper
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Mac Jones shouldered the blame for New England’s season-opening loss to the Eagles.

The Patriots let him throw the ball 54 times on Sunday, and for the most part, it went well. He threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns against one interception.

However, the interception proved costly and could be considered as the deciding factor in the game. Darius Slay caught a high pass that bounced off of Kendrick Bourne’s fingertips and returned it 70 yards for Philadelphia’s first touchdown of the season.

The Patriots put themselves in an early hole that they didn’t have the strength to climb out of. New England came close, with a pair of opportunities to pull ahead late in the fourth quarter.

But in the end, Jones and the Patriots came up short.

“They gave me the ball twice to win the game, and I couldn’t do it,” Jones said. “I’ve just got to go back and watch and see what I can do better, but as a quarterback, that hurts, right? You get a chance to win the game twice and can’t do it. You’ve just got to learn from it. You only get so many opportunities in the NFL to do that, and I felt like I definitely let the team down.”

Some people, including Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon, would argue that Jones’s assessment of his performance was a bit harsh. Judon told reporters after the game that Jones “played his butt off.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked for his opinion on Jones’s postgame comments on Monday morning during a conference call with reporters.

“Well, look, I think everybody did a lot of good things in the game,” Belichick said. “And I’m sure everybody feels the same way that Mac does, that if we had all done one or two things a little bit better, it could’ve made a difference.”

“So, I’m sure everybody feels the same way that Mac does,” Belichick continued. “Every player and coach that participated in the game. That said, there were a lot of – there were positives in the game that we have to build on, but in the end, any of us could have helped a little bit more, and it might have made a difference. I think we all know how Mac feels. We all feel the same way.”

Jones appeared to complete a pass to Kayshon Boutte on a key fourth down on the final drive, but Boutte was ruled out of bounds which gave Philadelphia one last possession to run out the clock.

On the drive before, a fourth-down pass from Jones intended for Hunter Henry fell incomplete.

But, there were positives too. Jones hit Demario Douglas on a corner route for a big gain. Kendrick Bourne snagged a pair of touchdowns. Henry had a key fourth down catch earlier in the game to keep a drive alive.

Jones played well in New England’s opener. Statistically speaking, he outplayed Jalen Hurts even though Philadelphia got the win. Jones had more touchdowns, more passing yards, more yards per completion, and had a higher quarterback rating than Hurts.

But, as Jones said, it wasn’t enough to get the win.


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