FOXBORO, Mass. — Don’t blame Mac Jones for the rookie quarterback’s late-game pick-six.
Speaking Wednesday at Gillette Stadium, New England Patriots wideout Kendrick Bourne admitted he ran the wrong route variation on that pivotal play. Jones’ pass deflected off Bourne’s fingers and straight to cornerback Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, who returned it 42 yards for a touchdown.
“That whole sequence, I’ve been thinking about that,” Bourne said. “I didn’t touch the ball before that play, and it came off my fingertips. I looked at the film, and I took a one-step slant. I was supposed to run a three-step slant. It’s things like that that I can’t do, and that’s on me. So when I did that, that’s all I thought about.
“And then that play, it’s like, what kind of mindset do you have? Are you going to go to the sideline and cry or throw your helmet or yell at Mac? Is it his fault? But I literally took it all (on) myself. I was supposed to run a three-step slant. (The defense was) kind of all over the place, so I was like, I’m about to just go in the window. But that goes away from my technique.”
“That’s how you have to think as a player,” Bourne said. “And I feel like me thinking like that, blaming myself, made that play happen the next play. My mindset was in the right place. Instead of getting down on myself, I just thought about the next opportunity, and it was just a crazy play how it happened.”
Bourne’s touchdown and the ensuing two-point conversion put New England ahead 29-26 with 2:11 remaining, but the Cowboys rallied to win in overtime. The Patriots had the ball first in the extra session but went three-and-out, with Jones throwing incomplete to receiver Nelson Agholor on third-and-3.
The loss dropped the Patriots to 2-4 on the season. Three of their losses have come in one-score games.
“We’re doing the wrong things at crucial times,” Bourne said. “It’s nothing crazy, but it affects the result of the play. Through the game, I thought we were playing well, but when we get to the end or a crucial drive, we’ve just got to execute better.”