During the third quarter of Sunday’s matchup between the Patriots and Dolphins, Mac Jones and James White connected on one of the top plays from the game.
Facing 3rd-and-11 from his own 29-yard line, with New England trailing Miami by a touchdown, Jones hit White on a wheel route for a 26-yard gain. It was the kind of play Patriots fans got used to seeing when Tom Brady was under center in Foxboro.
The throw was great, as were White’s route, reception and run after the catch.
But what made it possible? How did Jones and White look so comfortable completing a play that requires a significant amount of chemistry?
Well, it all started on the practice field.
“It’s what (Jones) does in practice,” White told reporters Thursday. ” … Practice execution turns the game around. We’ve done it in practice, and got the exact look in practice that we got in the game. Just gotta make it happen. He does a great job of finding the open receivers.”
White, when asked how he feels this season following a difficult 2020 campaign, added: “You do it out there on the practice field, and nine times out of 10 you probably execute it in the game.
” … You do it on the practice field, you’re gonna be more confident, and your ability to do it in the game — probably make it a little bit easier for you.”
Yeah, that sounds like Patriots-speak, but it’s clear that New England’s players are serious when they stress the importance of practicing well.
Ultimately, however, the Patriots clearly didn’t prepare well enough ahead of their game against the Dolphins, who looked sharper and more disciplined in their 17-16 victory at Gillette Stadium.
New England will look for better results when they visit the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon.