Mac Jones Saw This Change Pay Off In Patriots’ Win Over Jets

'I felt like we did extra things together ... that showed up on the field'

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October 31, 2022

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Sunday’s game against the New York Jets was a tremendously important one for the New England Patriots, and they treated it as such.

Quarterback Mac Jones said he and the rest of the Patriots’ offense dedicated additional time to prepare for this Week 8 matchup. Jones believed that work paid off in New England’s 22-17 win at MetLife Stadium.

“A good attribute that I have is my communication, and I felt like we did extra things together as a team and really as an offense that showed up on the field,” Jones said after the game. “And if we continue to do that, we’ll see better results.”

Jones, who hadn’t played a full game in over a month as he recovered from a high ankle sprain, said these “extra things” included film sessions beyond the ones prescribed by the team, as well as an increased emphasis on communication.

“I think just talking through some things and watching extra film together is obviously very beneficial,” the QB said. “Getting more reps in our own time and talking through things. Whatever we had questions on, we were just more, ‘All right, how do we do this? What do we need to do here?’ Obviously, that’s important. You want to be on the same page, and I felt like we’ve made strides there. But we’ve got to continue to do that.”

Running back Rhamondre Stevenson, who powered the Patriots’ offense with 143 yards from scrimmage, said the added film work “of course” helped.

“Just watching any extra film on our downtime is going to help us tremendously, and I feel like that’s what it did,” Stevenson said. “The whole team came together. We knew we had to get a win. We knew we had to be focused on the Jets this week. So we got a couple extra film sessions, and yeah, it helped.”

Stevenson called those sessions “a group effort,” saying players were “all in there just talking about the play and just getting used to the calls.”

The win over New York came six days after the Patriots were blown out at home on “Monday Night Football,” losing 33-14 to the underdog Chicago Bears. Head coach Bill Belichick said he noticed an increased work rate from his players and coaches after that surprising defeat.

“I think everybody really tried to put a little more into everything after our performance last week, and we were able to perform a little better,” Belichick said Monday on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show.”

A little better, certainly, but this extra film study didn’t suddenly turn this Jones-led group into the 2007 Patriots. New England still managed just one touchdown against a stout New York defense, and its pass protection was shaky throughout, with Jones taking a career-high six sacks.

Jones also had a pick-six wiped out by a controversial roughing the passer penalty and another would-be interception dropped by a Jets linebacker. The Patriots’ defense and special teams carried the day, intercepting three Zach Wilson passes and getting a flawless five-field goal effort from Nick Folk.

“Obviously, we want to score more points, and we know that,” Jones said. “We’ll have plenty of stuff to work on. But I’m super proud of the guys on offense for just sticking with it and trying to battle through against obviously a really good defense.”

The win pulled the 4-4 Patriots back to .500 on the season, keeping them squarely in the playoff hunt in the competitive AFC. They’ll host the 3-4-1 Indianapolis Colts this Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

“The process is there, and we’re just super happy to be a part of this,” Jones said. “Obviously, we want to continue to grow, because one game is not good enough, so we’ll be ready for next week.”

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Thumbnail photo via Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports Images
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