EAST, RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Somewhere deep down, perhaps not even that deep, Mac Jones might believe that Bill Belichick’s coaching and personnel decisions are to blame for his stark regression. And there would be plenty of truth to that.

But the reality is that Jones has played so poorly this season that he’s out of excuses — and he knows it.

The third-year quarterback was benched at halftime during the Patriots’ 10-7 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. It marked the fourth benching of the season for Jones, who completed 12 of 21 passes for 89 yards while throwing two picks and fumbling once during the first half at MetLife Stadium.

“Coach O’Brien told me I was out and I understood,” Jones said during his postgame news conference. “I wasn’t moving the ball, and I wasn’t scoring points. So, I understood why that happened.”

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Jones added: “It was just bad quarterback play, and not good enough by me.”

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New England’s offense looked completely hopeless against the Giants, whose middling defense didn’t even have its best player in the lineup. Every time the Patriots started to move the ball, Jones made a mistake to torpedo a drive.

“It’s my job to go out there and play well regardless of the circumstance, so there’s no excuses not to,” Jones said. “I had a few bad throws and just wasn’t on the same page as the offense today, so I gotta do a better job of creating that standard and making sure we communicate.”

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Bailey Zappe replaced Jones for the second half and wasn’t much better. He did put the Patriots in position to send the game to overtime, but rookie kicker Chad Ryland missed a 35-yard attempt in the final seconds.

After the game, Jones, Zappe and Bill Belichick offered no clues about which quarterback will start in next Sunday’s home game against the Los Angeles Chargers. But at this point, it probably doesn’t even matter.

Featured image via Kevin R. Wexler/USA TODAY Sports Images