Pats QB Jones on outburst: ‘We needed a spark’

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones’ frustration boiled over on the sideline during Thursday night’s 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills, but he said it wasn’t directed at anyone specifically.

The Prime Video broadcast showed Jones at one point as he appeared to be saying, “Throw the f—ing ball! The quick game sucks!”

The Patriots played from behind for the final three quarters, and Jones detailed afterward that he was calling for deeper throws down the field.

“Obviously, I just kind of let my emotions get to me,” he said. “What I said was about throwing it deeper within the short game. I got to execute that part better. But it’s the short game that we kept going to, which is working. But I felt like we needed chunk plays. I shouted that out to kind of get everyone going. That’s emotional. That’s football. I’m passionate about this game.

“Obviously, you don’t want to let your emotions get the best of you. I think that’s pretty much it. It wasn’t directed at anybody. Just emotion coming out. We kind of needed a spark.”

Jones said he felt he was on the same page as the coaching staff, specifically with Matt Patricia, who calls in the plays to him.

“It was just [saying], ‘Let’s go for it, let’s be aggressive, let’s take those shots. Just go down fighting,'” Jones said. “Matty P was on the same page. We kind of did it there at the end and moved it a little bit more.”

Jones finished 22-of-36 for 195 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions. He hasn’t looked like the same quarterback for most of his second season after a rookie year in which he was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.

There have been significant changes around Jones. Coordinator Josh McDaniels left to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders after the 2021 season and head coach Bill Belichick tapped former NFL head coaches Patricia and Joe Judge as top replacements despite their primary backgrounds in the NFL coming on defense and special teams, respectively.

Belichick also oversaw a streamlining of the offense, with players saying a goal was to simplify it and allow them to play faster.

But the Patriots (6-6) have sunk to near the bottom of the league rankings in several key areas, including red zone (31st), third-down conversion (25th) and first downs gained per game (27th). Those areas proved problematic again Thursday night against the Bills, who held a time-of-possession edge of 38:08 to 21:52.

Jones pointed the finger at himself.

“When you’re playing from behind against a pretty good team and a good offense, you need to go out there and make better plays,” he said. “That starts with me. Definitely wasn’t good enough by me. I didn’t do a good enough job of getting ahead early, making it work. … It’s tough to watch the defense play a great game, not being able to give them anything back.”

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