FOXBOROUGH – In a game that seemed over at halftime, Mack Jones finished the day with two touchdowns to help the Patriots pull off a potential comeback that fell short once again.
Here’s everything he had to say after Saturday’s Christmas Eve loss to the Bengals:
Q: Mack, about six minutes into the third quarter, the team had about 70 yards of offense. Obviously, you end up with 285, which means a lot of offense in the last 18, 20 minutes of the game. what did you click Was it a different play call? Staff groupings? What caught your eye?
Mc Jones: I think it’s obviously a tough loss for us here. Of course, I want to do things better. And I’ve just got to keep working, I’ve got to watch film and keep working together, I guess. We didn’t give up. We fought and at the end of the day we got more points. And we ball was moving a little. But I just want to capitalize and score more points. So I fall like a quarterback. And very disappointing, but also a lot to look at and realize that we have fighters on this team. And it’s hard to tell in a loss, but we have, we have fighters on this team. I thought everyone on our offense and defense and special teams fought until the end.
Q: Just your interpretation of what caused the unsportsmanlike penalty on you?
Mc Jones: I think it’s clear that there’s a bit of a pile there and then the ball is thrown into another pile. I went over there and tried to catch the ball to save the game. So at the end of the day, you have to take your chances and try to get the ball, you have to fight for the ball because it’s a live ball until somebody catches it in the air. You have to go to get it and that’s what I tried to do.
Q: We saw the impact Kendrick Bourne had when he was the focal point of the offense. Why do you think the opportunities for him to consistently get the ball in big situations like this are few and far between, especially when it comes to pitching?
Mc Jones: I think KB, he’s a great teammate and he’s one of my closest friends. Every time I saw him, he had a smile on his face, even in a situation at the end of the game where we’re trying to pull back and there’s a lot of pressure, he’s there smiling, like, “Let’s go do it.” When you see that from a guy, and I’m saying the same thing in a hug, I want to look for a guy like that who wants to compete and play and play hard.
He’s one of those guys. And we have all those guys, the receivers have done a great job. Obviously, we have serious injuries. Hope these guys are ok. and running backs competed. and Scott [Washington] Went in there, obviously did a great job. It’s a tough situation because a guy who hasn’t played all year jumps in there. Thought the O-line was good. I’m just super disappointed. You have to watch the tape and evaluate yourself as an individual and evaluate yourself as an offense and as a team. We are going to do it. We just have to move on from it.
Q: You’ve had a lot of crazy finishes this year as a team. When you look at those one, three timeouts, red zone scoring chances, it’s obviously frustrating. But when you look back, it’s hard to believe you didn’t hit it there, right?
Mc Jones: Yes, I think, first of all, probably nobody believed that we would come back with 22 points. But we fought and we are there. You score a goal and it’s a completely different game. It is such a difficult situation. Just need to perform better. It’s coming to me, do things better. Then when we get the ball back, that’s when you have to have a better performance. To know where to go, to know where to throw. There is not much time in this situation. So it’s the same, I just have to learn from it and be better at situational things. And it starts with me.
Q: Do you think Marcus Jones has been a spark for your guys on all sides of the ball?
Mc Jones: He’s just funny. Great player, great teammate, explosive, lines up, runs full speed on offense, lines up and goes full speed on defense. It’s the same on special teams. I love the boy. I’m worried when you have such a great performance, we won’t get the win. He’s a great person, a great player. And we have many such good guys in our team. It’s hard when you fail. But I fall like a quarterback. And you have to do things better.
Q: I know you’re running in and out. Did you actually see the tip on Jacoby Meyers’ tackle?
Mc Jones: Yes, just a great game. It was good to see, it’s an example of competition, isn’t it? Scott jumps in there, trying to make a play. Then Jakob is waiting there. And the offensive line, in the games we’re looking at, has done a great job of competing. I roll this way, I roll like that. Blocks were thrown left and right. Love it for those guys. At the end of the day he just lacked in other situations and started playing faster and maybe the game is a little different. So of course disappointed.
Q: It sounds like you guys were rolling with 12 personnel. At first Hunter Henry is clearly going down. Did his injury bother you because you knew it might be a big part of the game plan?
Mc Jones: I think Hunter is one of our best players. It’s the same with Jonu [Smith], when they are on the field together, it creates matchup problems for the defense. Scott goes in there again, he hasn’t played all year, he probably didn’t expect to be in this situation, but he planned it and did everything he could. I’m just proud of those guys. It shows you that this group is really well coached and all of our guys are. So we just have to do better and make better plays and all that.
Q: On the 48-yard touchdown pass, how proud are you that you could make that throw in cold conditions?
Mc Jones: I mean, it’s third and 29, right, or whatever. So at that point I did a lot of things to put us in that situation, which is not good. And I have to watch the tape to see what I could have done better if I wasn’t in that situation. But at some point you just have to let it rip. He just played a good game.
Q: We noticed after the game that you have a big wrap on your shoulder. Maybe like an ice pack. Did it happen today and how are you feeling health wise?
Mc Jones: I always do that. It is preventive. Try and keep everything and stick to my routine. Like everyone else, just take the treatment and move on. I need to put this to sleep and it just wasn’t our day. Very disappointed, but we feel there is a lot we can build on.
Q: Jacoby Meyer was asked about you. And he said I’d come down any time with Mac; He’s tough, he gets up, mentally tough. What does it mean to have some guys like Kendrick Bourne in the locker room talking about you and your toughness?
Mc Jones: I think we have a lot of tough players in this team. I look up to a lot of guys like Jakobi and KB and (Mathew) Slater and Devin (McCourty). I was able to watch my first two years here. And the best players on our team are the toughest players and there are times when I need to be tougher and stand there and screw it up and all that. We are all out there competing. That’s the point. Just don’t quit and keep competing and we’ll do it as an offense. We will do this as protection. Do it as special teams. I think the guys themselves, we’re all going to compete. So it will never change.