3 positives from the New England Patriots loss to the Indianapolis Colts

Hunter Henry #85 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Hunter Henry #85 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots positive No. 2: The passing game showed up when called upon

Another misconception from this game is that Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones didn’t play well for the first three quarters of this game. Yes, he threw a pair of untimely interceptions, but truth be told, he was put in some fairly poor circumstances thanks to some horrible playcalling from offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. When Jones was called upon throughout this game, he was generally as solid as he’s been all season long.

Think about it. The play right before the blocked punt touchdown for Indy, Jones put a beautiful pass right in the hands of Jakobi Meyers, only for him to drop it, forcing the Pats to punt. After that, when the ball was in Jones’ hands, the offense moved up and down the field pretty easily. Even if his redzone interception to Darius Leonard at the end of the first half falls incomplete, the Patriots would have gotten a field goal and the game probably ends up going to overtime.

Even if you want to say Jones struggled in the first three quarters, you cannot ignore his performance in the fourth quarter. He very nearly led the Patriots back from a 20-0 deficit in one quarter, and had he gotten the ball back with the score at 20-17, I bet he finds a way to tie the game up. Jones admittedly looked a bit tentative early in the game, but once things got rolling in the fourth quarter, he was unstoppable.

There were a number of throws Jones made that could end up on his top throws of the season highlight reel. He hit Hunter Henry on a big 25 yard gain towards the end of the second quarter on a perfectly thrown ball. He also had an incredible cross body throw while getting hit to Henry in the third quarter that somehow was completed and kept a drive alive. His deep shot late in the fourth to N’Keal Harry was perfectly placed, and also required a spectacular grab from Harry.


His most impressive throw of the night though was his second touchdown pass to Henry. It’s 3rd & goal, the pocket is collapsing and Jones has a defender right in his face, and he somehow manages to squeeze this ball into an incredibly tight window for Henry. This isn’t a throw that many NFL quarterback can make. Heck, we saw Wentz nearly get intercepted on a similar pass earlier in the game.

McDaniels tried to keep the training wheels on Jones for too long in this one, and once he took them off, the Patriots actually had a fighting shot to win this game. Jones is going to make mistakes, but he’s also going to give this team a shot to win games, and he needs to be trusted more with the postseason fast approaching. Here’s hoping the coaching staff sees things the same way.