Patriots: Mac Jones gets his first NFL win, but knows there’s plenty of room to improve


I’m sure Mac Jones had a bit of a different picture in his head when he dreamed of his first win in the NFL.

It wasn’t a 300-yard, four-touchdown performance. It wasn’t a blowout. It wasn’t even all that entertaining, but New England’s 25-6 win over the Jets on Sunday gave Jones the first victory of his career. Jones finished with 186 yards and 22 completions on 30 attempts, he didn’t have a touchdown but also didn’t turn the ball over. The biggest play of the day for Jones was actually when he helped push Damien Harris into the end zone on an explosive touchdown run in the third quarter.

Still, Jones can’t win two, three or 10 games before he wins one, so getting the first win out of the way on Sunday was a big step for the youngster’s development.

“I think it feels good. Obviously, it’s hard to, it’s just what everyone is saying, it is hard to win in the NFL,” Jones acknowledged after the game. “We’ve played two games and won one and lost one, you got to take it for what it’s worth and we’ll get better. I think everybody, including anybody that’s watch the game can agree that the offense can play better, and we will.

“The defense did a great job creating the turnovers. We talk about it all the time, playing together, complimenting one another, offense, defense and special teams. On offense, I think we definitely feel blessed to win but at the same time you got to take it for what it’s worth and move on and try to correct the things that we need to work on.”

The play with Harris is obviously something coaches and fans would like to see Jones avoid in the future to prevent against any freak injuries, but the kid has a little bit of that “psycho” gene in him – the same one Tom Brady has – and you can see the team’s confidence growing in him by the second with effort like the one he displayed during the end of that particular run.

“Yeah, I think we wanted to score,” he said. “Everybody was down there pushing, and my job is to make sure nothing bad happens and try to be by the ball, but maybe I should just stay back (laughs). At the end of the day, just trying to get the touchdown. The offensive line created the holes and Damien made a guy miss and I kind of carried out my fake, and there he goes, kind of shot-out the back door and I was like, ‘All right, here we go.’ So, he did a good job getting it in. I thought we ran the ball hard and made improvements there.”

What makes a quarterback decide to take that risk though, is it calculated? Is it spur of the moment?

“I think just doing my job. 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 feel like I can help,” Jones explained. “But at the end of the day, they made the big hole for him, and he did all the work. It shouldn’t be anything about me and then the reverse, my job was to get the end guy to the line of scrimmage and that was what I was supposed to do, and KB (Kendrick Bourne) did a good job of getting around the edge. I think for the receivers they played well. I need to get them the ball more and I will. So, we’ll get the ball out and let them make plays because we have good skills players, we have a really good offensive line but I thought the Jets obviously had a good defensive line as well so that plays into it as well.”

It’s a bit frustrating to see the coaching staff holding back – or so it seems – with some of the red zone play calling, but you’ve got to think that breakout game is coming soon. For now, Jones will just keep earning the respect and trust of his teammates hoping it leads to many more victories over the next decade or so.

“He’s going to compete for four quarters, no matter what’s going on – good plays, bad plays. He stays motived,” said James White. “It’s tough being a rookie quarterback, there’s a lot is being thrown at you. That’s a tough defense we played. They’re well coached and they’re going to get after you for four quarters. He stayed locked in mentally throughout the entire game and stayed motivated no matter what was going on.”