If it was possible for every team in the NFL to win seven straight games going into their bye week, they would simply do it. Not only have the New England Patriots accomplished that, but they’ve done so in convincing fashion, out-scoring their opponents by nearly 20 points in those contests.
For obvious reasons, the Patriots’ win over the Bills on Monday night has garnered the most praise of the seven victories. After all, they did so with rookie sensation Mac Jones throwing for fewer than 20 yards.
Though Jones didn’t play a huge role in the win, he clearly had to undergo a ton of preparation thanks to Bill Belichick’s masterful coaching. While the Pats’ running backs carried the load offensively, Jones had to be perfect in his role. And he was, which is a testament to his attention to detail.
Unfortunately, Jones’ obsession with being perfect came at a price … for one Peyton Manning, who was left on read by the No. 15 overall pick after he reached out for some insight before Monday night’s “Manning Cast.”
Patriots QB Mac Jones explained why he initially ignored Peyton Manning’s text leading up to Week 13.
That’s right, folks. Jones was so preoccupied preparing for Buffalo that he didn’t answer Manning’s text. At least not right away.
"“I texted him (Manning), and I’m not gonna get into details, but I think we were just trying to focus on the game,” Jones said Tuesday on WEEI’s Merloni & Fauria. “The Patriots do a great job of just helping me focus on what I need to be focusing on. I always liked that in college, too.“I’ve talked to him and his family. They’re great people. I’ve been in contact with them throughout the whole process. Even with (Peyton and Eli’s father) Archie, too. He’s been a great resource to me.”"
Being the quarterback whisperer he is, Manning likes to chat with each signal-caller before his Monday night telecast on ESPN. That insight has helped make the Manning Cast a huge hit amongst football fans. Unfortunately for the newly-minted Hall of Famer, he had to improvise on this rare occasion.
Manning later acknowledged he wasn’t offended that Jones snubbed him. Why is that? Well, the rookie is barely on his phone during the season.
"“I don’t know if it’s off but I definitely don’t go on my phone that much,” Jones added. “I just don’t really look at it or focus on it unless I’m talking to my family.“I just focus on being at work and not looking at my phone, like I said just check it to talk to my girlfriend or my family. Other than that, I feel bad sometimes not being able to talk to everybody, but it’s a busy life.”"
Putting aside the hilarity in a first-year player ignoring one of the great quarterback talents of all time, these quotes prove that Jones was built for this. And by “this,” we mean the NFL and playing under Belichick.
Even after a game in which he attempted three passes, Jones somehow managed to improve his stock. If that doesn’t prove the franchise found something special in the Alabama product, then what does?
Turning a blind eye to a former Pats rival certainly helps, too.