The Patriots had their seven-game winning streak come crashing to a halt on Saturday night against the Colts. After the game, rookie quarterback Mac Jones tried to make sense of it.
“I just don’t think it was our best effort,” Jones told reporters. “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.”
On the notion of the Patriots feeling sorry for themselves, Jones made a confusing remark as it relates to the bye week.
“The energy was kind of low [at practice],” Jones said, “maybe like feeling a little sorry for ourselves because we’re coming off the bye and stuff. 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.”
It’s unclear why the Patriots would be “feeling a little sorry for ourselves because we’re coming off the bye.” If anything, they should have been rejuvenated after getting a break following 13 games in 13 weeks. And their win over the Bills should have given them a lift as they embarked on the final four games before the start of the postseason.
Perhaps the better explanation is that the Patriots got a little complacent after defeating the Bills, a little too satisfied with where they were and what they were doing. And that doesn’t fall to a rookie quarterback to keep it from happening; that lands on the coaching staff.
Now, the Pats have until next Sunday to get ready for the second half of their annual home-and-home with Buffalo. If the Bills beat the Panthers today, the stakes for the next one will be every bit as significant as they were for the last one.