Throughout the past week of joint practices with the Raiders, the Patriots have endured many challenges on both sides of the ball, and Mac Jones has been vocal about it.
It has been clear all summer long that the team is not on the same page and has a lot of work to do before the regular season begins. But now that it’s only two weeks away, there was hope the team would look better Friday night in their preseason finale in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately, that would end up not being the case.
What happened during the game?
The offensive starters would take the field for the first four drives, starting with two 3-and-outs and a drive ending with an interception.
When the Patriots defense took the field, Jones was seen on the sideline showing obvious frustration with how the game was progressing.
On the final drive the offensive starters would partake in, there was a sign of improvement from how the night began. Although it would only end with a field goal, they managed to put points on the board despite the long list of struggles they were dealing with.
The starters’ night would end there, in an underwhelming and disappointing way. With little to show through their limited time this preseason, the offense proved to have a lot of figuring out to do and growing pains to overcome before week one.
What was the reaction from Jones after the game?
The frustration within the team has been felt in recent weeks and Jones is one who hasn’t hesitated to share that.
When speaking to the media after the game, he was asked about his level of frustration and how he felt he performed.
"“I think I care a lot about this game. I sometimes get a little bit too passionate. But at the same time, it’s a great point. Don’t let it carry over. I don’t think I did that. After the interception and all that, I tried to just clean the plate, and start fresh. Sometimes it’s getting the frustration out and moving on. Obviously, I need to do a better job of just playing the next play. And don’t let one little play get frustrating."
Jones is not one to finger point or get too specific about what went wrong. He’s a familiar type of quarterback in New England that bears much of the responsibility of success on his shoulders, and that was apparent once again after this game.
"“It starts with me and just doing the individual things right. Once 10 other guys do it right, then we’ll have a collective football play,. We have to do that more consistently. It’s not about rah-rah speeches or things like that. It’s just pure execution. We’re going to work on it and grind through it. I think it’s good to kinda be where we are and learn from everything and have good conversations. That’s the important part. Don’t just sit there and say it was bad. It is what it is. What happened on this specific play? What could I have done better? What could we have done better as a group? What could have been explained better?"
The quarterback’s night ended totaling only 9-of-13 completed passes for 71 yards and an interception. The offensive line also struggled again in keeping Jones upright, allowing two sacks for a loss of 19 yards.
He would mention the struggles he and the offense had during the game and what their biggest points of improvements needed going forward.
"“We want to go out there and execute better. That’s all it comes down to. Individually I think we can all play better, and once that happens, collectively it’ll look a lot better. A good drive at the end. Obviously, I wish we scored (a touchdown), but we want to try to do that every drive and keep the consistency there. Just not a good enough effort from us, and from me. I have to do a better job. It’s one game, one day. You dwell on it, or learn from it and move on.”"
With so much chaos from everyone outside of Foxboro regarding the season fast approaching and how the team has performed thus far, Jones made it a point that they are collectively aware of what they’re facing and the urgency needed to turn things around over the next two weeks.
"“It’s real football now. It’s the season. We have to practice well, put a good piece together, and whenever we play, we play. We know that every day at practice we have a chance to be better than the last day. I felt like we were building some good momentum, and now we just need to continue to do that, learn from this and move on.”"