Despite entering the game on a massive win streak, Mac Jones and the New England Patriots were defeated by their longtime rival, the Indianapolis Colts. Thanks to a stellar performance from Colts running back Jonathan Taylor, the Patriots could not keep ahold of the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Several factors contributed to the Patriots’ loss. For starters, the Colts are one of the hottest teams in the NFL at the moment and roster an elite offensive line. Even Bill Belichick was no match for the Colts’ ground-and-pound style of offense.
However, after the loss, Mac Jones offered some insight into why he feels New England came out flat for the big-time AFC showdown.
Mac Jones blames the Patriots’ loss on bad practice habits
When asked about the Patriots’ loss in Indy, Jones actually had a pretty insightful answer, which isn’t the norm for New England players. He blamed the defeat on bad practices the week prior.
“I just don’t think it was our best effort,” Jones said. “It starts with me just throughout the week. We didn’t have a great practice every day, so it is what it is. You just have to move on and keep your head high and keep working because no one’s going to feel sorry for ourselves. If you feel that way, then — you just can’t do that, and you just have to move on and work harder. That’s all you can do is just work harder.”
Bad practices would make sense if this were the Jacksonville Jaguars or Detroit Lions. However, this is Bill Belichick and the New England machine we’re talking about. They’re famous around the NFL for their intense, no-nonsense approach to preparation. Hearing that they failed to practice accordingly for a massive AFC game with profound seeding implications is surprising.
Mac Jones also said Patriots players were feeling sorry for themselves
To add even further confusion to the situation, Jones also went on record saying the Patriots were feeling sorry for themselves during the week leading up to their game with the Colts.
“..maybe like feeling a little sorry for ourselves because we’re coming off the bye and stuff,” said Jones.”Not to get into details, but we just didn’t practice well, and that just reflects how we played. And I didn’t practice good, and I know a lot of guys on our team felt the same way. So, we have to come to work every day and just be positive. It’s one game. It’s not the end of the world, but at the same time, we can play with those guys. They played great, but we also just shot ourselves in the foot. So, we just have to move on.”
Again, this is a surprising revelation. The Patriots were coming off their bye week and a massive win streak — why were they feeling sorry for themselves?
Did the Patriots’ momentum end in Indy?
The NFL is a tricky business. Despite all the on-field winning, it’s possible the Patriots weren’t experiencing the best of emotions behind the scenes. Belichick has been criticized in the past for being too anti-fun. It’s possible the team’s locker room has grown tired of it over the past few weeks, as pressure increased.
Regardless, the Patriots are still right in the thick of the AFC playoff race and need to find a way to finish strong. Bad practices and feeling sorry for themselves certainly won’t get the job done.