For the third time in 10 video games this season, Mac Jones was relegated to the bench within the closing minutes.
With lower than two minutes to go in regulation, Invoice Belichick opted to place the ball in Bailey Zappe’s arms for a possible game-winning drive towards the Colts — giving the second-year QB his first snaps since Week 5 at a crucial stage of a must-win recreation in Germany.
Belichick’s sudden roster reshuffle was not unwarranted, particularly with Jones knocked for a brutal backfoot throw that resulted in an interception on the Colts’ two-yard line.
Jones’ lapses in decision-making and errant throws have usually value New England in essential spots all through the 2023 season, with Jones now main the NFL with 10 picks by 10 video games.
As anticipated, Belichick didn’t elaborate a lot on the choice to drag Jones from the sport in favor of Zappe following New England’s eventual 10-6 loss.
“I simply thought it was time for a change,” New England’s coach mentioned.
Patriots gamers had been additionally requested about Jones’ newest benching and the long-term ramifications of such a transfer.
A number of Patriots captains opted to take a web page out of Belichick’s ebook when requested about Jones’ newest stint on the bench.
“I play soccer. That’s what I do. I play,” middle David Andrews mentioned. “I don’t make these selections. Coaches do what they suppose [is] finest for the soccer crew.”
“I don’t make all of these selections,” tight finish Hunter Henry added. “I feel you’ll need to ask Coach about that one.”
Talking to reporters within the Patriots’ locker room, JuJu Smith-Schuster said he was “surprised” to see Jones benched, per Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald.
When requested about his degree of confidence in Zappe as a possible substitute at QB, Smith-Schuster added: “I’m very assured in him. He exhibits spurts in apply, what he can do. I don’t doubt that he can are available and do the job.”
Even when New England’s gamers might not need to remark concerning the strikes made by Belichick, the query stays as to how a lot religion Jones’ teammates have in him after a poor throw resulted in one other shut win slipping by their fingers.
“We put a whole lot of work in so I nonetheless have religion,” Henry mentioned of Jones’ standing as QB1.
No matter whether or not or not Jones will get the nod as New England’s starter in its subsequent recreation towards the Giants on Nov. 26 at MetLife Stadium, it’s clear that New England should increase its strategy on offense, particularly if it results in fewer throws from its quarterbacks.
When requested if New England must make a change at QB, Ezekiel Elliott told Chad Graff of The Athletic: “I feel at present we confirmed how good of a working crew we’ve.”
New England’s floor recreation was one of many few positives in what was an in any other case irritating recreation at Deutsche Financial institution Park. Each Rhamondre Stevenson and Elliott mixed for 142 complete speeding yards, with each backs averaging over 4 yards per carry.
For captain Matthew Slater, an important factor for Jones shifting ahead is limiting the skin noise following one more crushing end result.
“He’s bought to remain optimistic,” Slater mentioned of Jones. “Proper now, everyone’s counting him out. I’m positive there’s a whole lot of negativity. There’s a whole lot of negativity surrounding our crew. We bought to disregard all that, as a result of it shouldn’t affect how we function day after day.
“You possibly can’t let people who don’t know half of what’s occurring contained in the constructing affect what’s occurring contained in the constructing. So he’s bought to remain optimistic. He’s bought to disregard the noise. Hold his head down. And hold working similar to the remainder of us.”
Warding off of social media stands as a sound transfer for Jones shifting ahead, as even just a few former Patriots in Julian Edelman, James White, and Deion Department couldn’t masks their frustration following his pricey interception within the fourth quarter.
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