Learned ‘more than anything I could have imagined’ in 2022
Statistically, it’s been a tough year for Mac Jones. But the struggles provided experience that might help in other ways.
Mac Jones stood at the podium and shrugged his shoulders six times within the first 30-seconds of his postgame press appearance.
The Buffalo Bills eliminated Jones and the Patriots for the second year in a row.
Despite his final stat line, Sunday’s season-ending loss was one of the better performances this season for the second-year quarterback. He finished 26-for-40 for 243 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Bad bounces off of the hands of intended receivers accounted for a pair of the interceptions. A questionable decision brought his total up to three.
But, he completed 13 of his first 15 passes and kept the Patriots in it for the majority of the game. The Patriots gave up 14 points on special teams and lost by 12.
“Tough result,” Jones said. “I’m proud of the guys, wouldn’t trade them for anybody. It wasn’t our day. Got to have a better result than that. But, we fought hard and it’s tough. It’s over, so you just watch the tape and try to become a better football player, I guess.”
With his sophomore season complete, Jones was asked if he was satisfied with the progress he made this season.
“No, obviously you look at each year of your football life and you want to get better as a player. I did,” Jones said. “I learned a lot. I think a lot of guys on our team learned a lot, but it wasn’t the progress any of us wanted to make. It starts with me. Not to talk about last year or anything, but it’s the same story here. Just at the end of the season we have to play better.”
As far as statistics go, Jones regressed in nearly every category this year compared to last year. He threw the ball less, completed a smaller number of his passes, had fewer yards and touchdowns, was sacked more, and the team lost more games.
But, this year gave Jones some experience with handling adversity that he didn’t face during his rookie season. After playing in 17 games last year, Jones missed three games with a high-ankle sprain. Backup Bailey Zappe played reasonably well in his absence, sparking “Zappe” chants at Gillette Stadium multiple times this season.
And of course there was the frustration of having to deal with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge running the offense this season.
Going through this season was tough, Jones said. He hopes it will only add to his game and leadership skills.
“I think you want to win every game you play. You want to win the tough ones and all that. We didn’t get to do that,” Jones said. “As a quarterback I put the blame on me because it’s my offense, my group of guys, and we have to put a better product out there. It starts with me. It was a tough, uphill battle but I learned a lot, learned more than anything I ever could imagine in a football season. I just want to build on it.”
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