New England Patriots: The one issue with Mac Jones after Week 3 loss

Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

My only issue with New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones after the New Orleans Saints debacle has nothing to do with his three interceptions thrown, or anything else on the field.

His receivers and offensive line had a lot more to do with that than he did. His struggles were primarily due to their struggles.

My issue with Jones is with him hanging his head (in shame?) on the bench as the shellacking the Patriots took at the hands of the New Orleans Saints at his home stadium.

No matter what the end result of that miserable game was, that posture was unacceptable for the quarterback of the Patriots as the youngster has to learn in his first NFL season.

The one thing he can’t do is show that he is defeated. He can be beaten but not defeated. And he showed he was defeated by the Saints on his own bench.

It’s a lesson all young NFL quarterbacks (not named Tom Brady, who had a full year plus to prep for his intro) probably have to learn and they’d better learn it quickly or they may face more of the same.

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has to step up and take charge

Look, there has probably been no stronger and more consistent supporter and defender of the young former Alabama quarterback than this space. Please tell me if I missed someone else.

Jones is a star in the making. There’s no doubt about that here. Yet, seeing him drop his head down on the bench after the Saints clobbered him and his teammates isn’t what we’re looking for.

What we are looking for is grit. You take your beatdown but you still stand tall, with your head held high, and you make it clear to yourself and your teammates that this isn’t darn near good enough.

light. Related Story. Mac Jones is New England's only hope for a Week 4 win

You go down the sidelines, rally those teammates who are downcast as well as you are, and let them know that this is unacceptable. You, well, “Tom Brady” them.

Jones didn’t seem to do any of this during or after the beatdown by the Saints. He held his head down on the bench in abject submission and acknowledged that he messed up as did his team.

Frankly, it was disappointing. Jones is a product of the Crimson Tide, Alabama football. Excellence is their only acceptable standard. Is anyone thinking that’s not what the Patriots’ standard is too?

Mac, you’re a winner as your college coach, Nick Saban thought, the head coach of the Patriots, Bill Belichick thought and this writer certainly thinks.

Belichick, the all-time Super Bowl-winningest coach in history, drafted you higher than any other quarterback in his coaching history. What’s that mean to you?

Look, this 2021 Patriots team may go 4-13 and sink to the bottom of the AFC East. That’s not what this is about. It’s about teamwork, togetherness, leadership, and the future, now or later.

New England Patriots Mac Jones has to be the leader of the team

Jones has to acknowledge the fact that this New England Patriots team is not the Alabama Crimson Tide. It’s not the accepted champion every year anymore. So then, just what is it?

That’s the key question and the one that Jones has to answer if he and his team are to realize future success in the National Football League.

The answer is that it’s an up-and-coming team competing, just competing for the prizes. The prizes are the AFC East title for the New England Patriots and a bye week in the playoffs.

Then, it’s a playoff run that goes deep. Deep means the AFC Championship game. And, the ultimate prize, of course, is taking back the Lombardi Trophy to Gillette Stadium.

So, the final thought to convey to Jones from this space, which thinks he is the real deal my friends, is this.

Mac, you have to keep your head high, keep your teammates’ heads high, and treat a loss as only one thing, a learning experience.

It’s a learning moment on what not to do again on the way to the Pats’ next victory. Nothing more, nothing less.

Mac, you’re the top guy, the tone-setter although you’re young and just learning about the NFL. But regardless, the first lesson to learn is leadership. You are the leader, it goes with the turf.

Perhaps the best way to learn that is through losing. It’s the toughest lesson but the winning will always come later if you learn the awful lesson of losing well.

It stinks. But you move on. And above all, you move forward, learn from the mistakes, and take charge of this outfit which is now all yours, lock, stock, and barrel.

So, it’s on to face the greatest ever. The odds are not in your favor. But, let me ask this, are you up to a challenge, the biggest challenge, and a good scrap?

If you are you have to act like it whether the New England Patriots are up by 10 points or down by 30.

dark. Next. 3 players that will be looking to sack Tom Brady

And show no fear only professional courtesy to the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And then rally your side to try to beat that best ever and his championship team.

If you do, win or lose, you prevail and you set the foundation then and there for the team’s future success.

Hold that head up high, always. Stay strong. Then the winning is going to begin and who knows what you can and will accomplish when it does.