After six losses in seven games, the New England Patriots finally got some relief last week. The bye week couldn't have come at a better time for the 2-8 Pats, who've earned the reputation as one of the NFL's worst teams this season.
Bye weeks are used to address issues and that's exactly what New England must do. While the playoffs are essentially out of reach, that doesn't mean the team can't improve its play to give fans something to cheer about down the stretch.
If any semblance of a turnaround is to happen, several individuals must step up to be better than they have been. With that in mind, here are five Patriots who are still on thin ice after their bye week.
4 Patriots on Thin Ice After Bye Week
1. Mac Jones, QB
There's a good chance that you knew Mac Jones would be somewhere on this list before you even opened the article.
The Patriots' No. 1 quarterback has played anything like that this season and his play has only declined with each passing week. It's never a good season when your QB has as many touchdowns as he does interceptions (10) at any point unless the season hasn't started yet. His 80.2 passer rating also ranks 27th among 44 eligible players.
Additionally, Jones has already been pulled three times this season, but the latest incident was the most embarrassing. With a chance to have a game-winning drive against the Indianapolis Colts in Germany last week, the Patriots opted to go with Bailey Zappe over Jones for the two-minute drill.
Even though New England didn't get the win, the benching sent a message. It just doesn't get lower than that, especially with reports emerging that the 25-year-old signal-caller has now lost the locker room.
For Jones' sake, if he wants to have a future playing in the NFL, he must use the break to find a way to get off thin ice before showing if he's capable of better play down the stretch.