For the first time since Tom Brady left, the New England Patriots have made it into the NFL playoffs. On top of that, they did it with a quarterback who might be prepared to keep the position in the long term.

Bill Belichick has found in Mac Jones an ideal candidate to play for him for the years to come. He adjusted to the playbook quickly and has proven that he will respond to whatever the legendary head coach asks of him.

Besides, the 23-year-old has handled pressure incredibly well for a rookie. Even with mistakes, Jones gave the Patriots reasons for optimism in his first year in the league. But the season isn't over yet and he's about to play the biggest game of his career so far.

Mac Jones' optimistic message before the Patriots-Bills Wild Card game

On Saturday, the Patriots' Super Bowl aspirations will be on the line when they hit the road to take on division rivals Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card game of the playoffs. It will be a huge challenge for Jones as he'll be in the national spotlight.

However, the pressure seems to motivate him. There’s more at stake and you have to realize that there’s not a lot of room for error. That’s kind of what makes it fun,” Jones said in his press conference, per USA Today's Patriots Wire“There’s more pressure and, like I said, you prepare well, you feel comfortable, and at that point, you go play the game that you’ve played since you were little.

I just try to listen to the advice they have, whether it’s Josh, Coach Belichick, or anybody, even the older players that’ve done this before,” Jones added. “Football’s obviously an emotional game, but at the end of the day, it’s more of an execution game. You just have to go out there, depending on your position. Some guys like to get real hyped up and stuff. Some guys don’t. You’ve just got to be you.

Patriots fans will probably feel encouraged by their quarterback's words. Despite the challenging outlook, Jones looks calm and ready to play his first NFL playoff game. Then, of course, we'll have to wait and see if things go according to plan for him.