FOXBORO, Mass. — Mac Jones likes to take a day to process each game before moving on to the next.
But after the Miami Dolphins handed him his first loss in nearly two years, the New England Patriots’ rookie quarterback couldn’t resist sneaking a quick peek at his upcoming opponent.
Jones said he pulled up film of the New York Jets within hours of Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.
“I usually wait for a little bit of time,” he said Wednesday. “It just depends. But sometimes when we lose, I always look ahead just to get a sneak peek of what we want to look at. It just depends on the game, but definitely early this week for sure.”
Processing a loss is an unfamiliar experience for Jones, who went 12-1 as a high school senior and then spent the last four seasons at college football powerhouse Alabama. The Crimson Tide racked up 51 wins with just four losses during Jones’ time there, including an 18-1 mark in games Jones started.
With Bama going undefeated en route to a national title last season, Jones’ most recent loss before Sunday came on Nov. 30, 2019 — a 48-45 defeat in the annual Iron Bowl against Auburn.
“It’s not fun to lose, so just learning from what we could have done better is the only thing you can do, really,” Jones said. “You can sit there and feel bad for yourself for a little bit because you’re human and that’s what you’re supposed to do, or you’re in the wrong profession, but you’ve just got to move on.
“So, like, the 24-hour rule. After 24 hours — for some people it’s less, but for me, after that, just move on and play the next play. Play the next game, and you’re only as good as your last game. We lost, and that’s what people remember, so we’ve just got to move forward.”
Despite the loss, Jones was excellent in his first NFL start, completing 74.4 percent of his passes (29 of 39) for 281 yards and one touchdown. He didn’t turn the ball over — though he had a scare on his very first dropback — and shined both under pressure (6-for-8 when being hit; 16-for-20 when blitzed) and on third down (9-for-12, seven conversions).
But the Patriots as a team were uncharacteristically undisciplined, committing eight penalties for 84 yards, losing two of their four fumbles and finding the end zone just once in four red-zone trips.
With matchups against the surprisingly formidable New Orleans Saints and defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers looming in Weeks 3 and 4, the season-opening loss put New England in a precarious position. The Patriots will visit the Jets this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
“We need to not press, but there needs to be more of an urgency,” Jones said. “It just all goes back to doing what we’re supposed to do every day. If I’m supposed to hand it off, hand it off to the right guy. Make the right calls. Everyone has to do that, and once we kind of come together — and we are every day — that’ll just total up to 11 guys doing what they’re supposed to do.
“But if I mess something up — you know, it starts with me — if I mess one thing up, then no one knows what to do. So I just need to be confident. I feel like I’ve done that, and I’ll just continue to do that.”