December 4, 2023


Mac Jones put the ball the place it wanted to be on the three greatest throws of the sport however two of them ended up being drops.

Mac Jones’s receivers did not do their half on his greatest throws of the sport. Picture by Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos
  • Barry Chin/Globe Staff

    What JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mac Jones stated about game-ending interception

  • Invoice Belichick was requested about J.C. Jackson and Jack Jones after Patriots’ loss to the Commanders


FOXBOROUGH — The outcomes aren’t there proper now, it stinks, and there are not any excuses.

That’s what Mac Jones stated in regards to the Patriots’ efficiency after a 20-17 loss at Gillette Stadium dropped the Patriots to 2-7 on the season.

The ending was acquainted for New England, which discovered itself with the ball trailing by one rating with about two minutes to go but once more. Most of New England’s losses this yr have been determined by a landing or much less.

“The exhausting half is realizing what you’re able to doing, and never having the ability to do it,” Patriots receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster stated after the sport.

The Patriots’ incapability to shut was on show when Mack Wilson was whistled for offsides on a punt try that allowed the Commanders to maintain the ball after New England secured a key third-down cease late within the fourth quarter.

Then, it resurfaced even after the protection bought one other cease when Mac Jones threw a go that hit Smith-Schuster within the fingers and bounced into the ready fingers of Washington’s Jartavius Martin. The turnover successfully ended the sport.

Listed below are a number of closing ideas from the motion.

The receivers should step up.

Whereas it’s Jones’s identify that goes subsequent to the interception within the field rating, the turnover clearly wasn’t his fault. Smith-Schuster stated so after the sport.

Jones’s efficiency (22 of 44 for 220 yards, a landing, and an interception) wasn’t flawless. However, one may argue that he put the ball the place it wanted to be on the three greatest throws of the sport: the Smith-Schuster drop, a deep ball that went by Jalen Reagor’s fingers, and his lone landing go to Hunter Henry.

Reagor was a step forward of his defender however the ball went proper by his fingers. He was properly into the pink zone on the time of the drop, and the Patriots would have been well-positioned to tie the sport or take a lead within the third quarter if he caught it. It was an aggressive name on first-and-10 that just about paid off.

Jones hit Henry with a well-placed go on a 14-yard seam route for the landing. The catch, which was New England’s first rating of the day, was a wanted breakthrough that shortened a double-digit deficit within the second quarter.

The Patriots had been shorthanded at receiver with Kendrick Bourne out for the season, DeVante Parker out with a head damage, and Kayshon Boutte inactive for the sport.

That’s not an excuse for Sunday’s efficiency, however Jones says he’s targeted on exhibiting New England’s receivers that he nonetheless has confidence in them.

“I feel only for me, simply hold speaking, hold instilling confidence in everyone, letting them know that I belief them as a result of I do,” Jones stated. “I wouldn’t throw it in there, fireplace it in there if I didn’t assume they had been going to get open. So, that’s a part of the sport. Generally it’s days like that, it’s weeks like that the place there’s bang bang performs all spherical.”

The protection pressured two large turnovers, and it wasn’t sufficient.

Jahlani Tavai pressured a fumble on a Brian Robinson carry within the second quarter. The Patriots recovered the ball on the 25-yard line, establishing Jones’s landing go to Henry.

Later within the second quarter, Washington quarterback Sam Howell had first-and-goal at New England’s 5-yard line and squandered it by throwing an interception proper to Kyle Dugger.

It was Dugger’s second recreation in a row with an interception.

Jawhaun Bentley added 13 tackles and two sacks.

New England’s solely turnover was Jones’s interception on the ultimate drive. For the second straight week, the Patriots misplaced the sport regardless of successful the turnover battle 2-1.

“Very annoyed. I do know everyone is in that locker room,” tight finish Hunter Henry stated. “I really feel like I’ve been saying it each week, we put lots of work in so it’s irritating, and it hurts. Yeah, it’s robust.”

Play of the Day: Rhamondre Stevenson’s 64-yard landing run.

One of many vivid spots from the Patriots’ offense was a 64-yard landing run from Rhamondre Stevenson.

It was the Patriots’ longest offensive play since 2021. Blocking from David Andrews, Sidy Sow, and Reagor helped pave the best way for Stevenson’s rating.

“They had been in a good extensive entrance, when groups do that basically not on a pass-rush down you’ll be able to form of count on one thing coming inside,” Andrews stated. “They introduced a blitz and we did job of choosing it up and giving these backs house. They did a terrific job, and Mondre did a terrific job studying it. It was play. Simply should construct on it.”

Matthew Slater and David Andrews mentioned the highway forward.

Patriots particular groups ace Matthew Slater was requested why it’s essential for the crew to maintain believing in themselves when success has been so scarce this season.

“If you happen to reside life with out religion, in my view, you’re misplaced,” Slater stated. “So, If our soccer crew needs to be misplaced for the remainder of the yr then we may depart our religion outdoors.

“However, if we’re bringing our religion in then we’ve got an opportunity to play for the issues that matter,” Slater continued. “Your satisfaction, the best way you respect the sport, the best way you respect your teammates, the best way you respect the method. All that issues whatever the circumstances. So, I hope our group will proceed to do this.”

Whereas the end result was disappointing, Andrews stated he’s targeted on preparing for subsequent week.

“It’s not going to interrupt my spirit, it’s not going to interrupt our spirit,” Andrews stated. “We’re going to take tonight, come again to work tomorrow, and see what we will do to right it and prepare to go to Germany to play Indy.”