It would be safe to say Mac Jones did better than expected in his first year in the NFL. The New England Patriots have been looking for a dependable quarterback since Tom Brady left and it didn't take long for the Alabama Crimson Tide product to adjust to Bill Belichick's playbook.
He finished the regular season having completed 67.6% of his passes, throwing for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Those are not bad numbers for a rookie quarterback at all, and mistakes are part of the process.
However, Jones has usually been too hard on himself after a bad performance. That has been the case this week again, following the Patriots' loss to the Miami Dolphins in the regular season finale. “I think we just need to execute better and that starts with me. Just in practice, in the game, you’ve got to go out there and do much better than I did. It’s super embarrassing honestly — just from my point — just how I played,” he said postgame. A day later, he reflected on those comments.
Patriots QB Mac Jones speaks up on being self-critical
“I want everything to be perfect and all that, but it’s a team sport and we’re all in this together. It all starts with me, trying to do the best job I can to get everybody the ball and operate the offense,” Jones said on WEEI sports radio on Monday, as quoted by USA Today's Patriots Wire.
“I think I just didn’t have my best day,” Jones continued. “Moving forward, that’s something that I have to do better: get off to a faster start and put my team into a position to win and play from ahead early.”
While being able to recognize his own mistakes could be a strength for the rookie quarterback, it is also true that he can often be excessively hard on himself when things don't go according to plan.
At the end of the day, mistakes are part of the game and it's up to Jones to learn from them. But he also needs to see the bright side, the Patriots are in the postseason again and he played a big part in it.