3 takeaways from the New England Patriots demoralizing Wild Card loss

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

New England Patriots takeaway No. 2: Mac Jones cannot be blamed for this loss

You are probably going to read something over the next few days pinning this loss on Mac Jones. I would advise you close out of that tab rather than wasting your time reading that, because it’s blatantly incorrect. On a night where there really wasn’t anything to be happy about, Jones provided Patriots fans with the only silver lining of the game.

Now, I’m not going to act like this was some otherworldly performance from Jones. He posted a fairly mediocre line (24/38, 232 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT), but given the circumstances he faced, this was not a bad outing at all. It also wasn’t his fault the Pats defense couldn’t do anything against the Bills on the other side too.

Jones fought hard throughout this game, even as the deficit continued to increase. For the most part, he moved the ball pretty well, and it would have been interesting to see how this game would have played out had Buffalo not scored everytime they touched the football. He found Kendrick Bourne for a pair of touchdown passes on fourth down in the second half, the second of which was a particularly pretty throw.

Jones threw two interceptions, but neither was that bad. His first pick was the result of a fantastic play by Micah Hyde, as he took away what would have surely been a touchdown to Nelson Agholor by undercutting him at the last possible second. The second pick was a tip drill that was barely scooped up by Levi Wallace. Jones could have thrown the ball a bit farther in front of Hunter Henry, but it was still unlucky.

Jones could have asked out at any point in the second half, and nobody would have faulted him. But he stayed with it, and ultimately led a pair of touchdown drives late in the game that made you believe that there was at least one person wearing a white uniform that wanted to win the game. While the result didn’t go his way, the Patriots are in good hands for the foreseeable future with Jones under center for them, and things can only get better from here.