EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Just when you think they’ve hit rock bottom, Mac Jones and the Patriots find a way to fall a little further.

Jones was benched — this time for good, right? — after a miserable first-half performance against the New York Giants on Sunday. Bailey Zappe took over in the second half and wasn’t much better, but he put Chad Ryland in position to kick a game-tying 35-yard field goal as time expired.

But the rookie somehow missed the kick, and the Patriots suffered a 10-7 loss. Just brutal.

Before getting benched, Jones completed 12 of 21 passes for 89 yards to go along with two interceptions and one fumble that the Patriots recovered. He also was sacked once.

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Zappe completed nine of 14 passes, mostly short throws, for 54 yards to go along with one interception. Rhamondre Stevenson scored New England’s lone touchdown, and Demario Douglas paced the Patriots with six catches for 49 yards before exiting the game due to a head injury.

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On the other side, Tommy DeVito completed 17 of 25 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown. Rookie receiver Jalin Hyatt was the Giants’ top offensive performer, catching five balls for 109 yards.

Overall, the Patriots racked up more total yards (283 to 220) and first downs (18 to 10) than New York but still lost. At least they now have the inside track toward a top three pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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New England dropped to 2-9 with the loss, while New York improved to 4-8 with the win. The Patriots will host the Los Angeles Chargers next Sunday.

Here are three studs and three duds from an entirely forgettable afternoon at MetLife Stadium:

RB Rhamondre Stevenson
Stevenson was one of the team’s top performers in the first half, and he kept it rolling in his first game after the bye week. The third-year back finished with 21 carries for 98 yards and a score to go along with five catches for nine yards. Once again, Stevenson ran hard and picked up tough yards after contact. Where would this offense be without him?

DL Christian Barmore
His hot streak continued. Barmore was especially good in the first half, racking up one sack, two tackles and a batted pass. He also generated multiple pass-rushes and appeared to hold up well in the run game. Barmore is starting to make his case as one of the top interior defenders in the NFL.

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S Jabrill Peppers
Registered a sack, a fumble recovery and three tackles. Peppers has been involved in over half of the Patriots’ turnovers and is one of the defense’s top performers on a weekly basis. There haven’t been many positives this season, but Peppers’ emergence as a cornerstone of the defense is an undeniable bright spot.

Honorable mentions: Demario Douglas, Keion White, Ezekiel Elliott, Jahlani Tavai, Anfernee Jennings

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QB Mac Jones
What else can you say at this point? Jones looks completely broken, and it’s entirely possible he has a case of the yips. This might’ve been his worst performance as a pro, as it’s hard to think of any good play he made that wasn’t checkdown to an open receiver. Jones is better than this, but it’s hard to make a case for him seeing any snaps the rest of the season.

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Everyone responsible for missed tackles
Coaches, players — everyone. Missed tackles have been an issue beginning with the Week 4 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and they cropped up again on Isaiah Hodgins’ first-half touchdown. Some of it could be due to bad effort, but Patriots defenders — especially the defensive backs — also have displayed alarmingly poor technique.

Bill Belichick
He had an extra week to prepare his team to face one of the three worst teams in the NFL, and his players still came out sluggish and with little sense of purpose. The poor discipline that’s plagued the Patriots all season still was present, as was their glaring lack of talent. All of this, including Jones’ complete unraveling, is on Belichick.

Honorable mentions: J.C. Jackson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, DeVante Parker, Bailey Zappe

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