Mac Jones is getting upset.
Weeks after the Bailey Zappe drama resolved itself, there’s another issue. New England’s starting quarterback isn’t pleased with the play calling.
Cameras captured an agitated Jones yelling (via some fairly basic lip-reading skills), “Throw the fucking ball. The fucking running game sucks.” (He may have said “quick game.” Either way, he wasn’t happy.)
The message undoubtedly was intended for Matt Patricia, the former defensive coordinator who has become the post-Josh McDaniels play caller for the Patriots.
Jones’s frustration isn’t new. The issues that bubbled up when Jones was kept out of the lineup as he healed from a sprained ankle trace to the decision to put Patricia and Joe Judge in charge of the offense. Jones has a vested interest in his overall development as a quarterback, and there had been indications that he simply wasn’t happy with how the offense had been going, the first year after McDaniels left to become head coach of the Raiders.
While Jones has become a full-fledged Stepford Patriot when speaking to reporters, in those candid moments where it’s not obvious that his messages are being captured for millions to see, his true feeling are bubble through his otherwise robotic, say-all-the-right-things facade.
After the game, he explained that he wanted to get the ball down the field, at a time when the Patriots were playing from behind.
“I felt like we needed chunk plays,” he said. He also said the comment wasn’t directed to anybody. Common senses suggests that a comment like that wouldn’t be directed to nobody.
It makes for some interesting times as the 6-6 Patriots have five more games that will determine whether they make it back to the postseason, or not. The visit the Cardinals next Monday night, and then they have a Sunday night (subject to flex) date with the Raiders in Las Vegas.
After that, New England finished with a pair of home game against the Bengals and Dolphins, followed by a Week 18 visit to Buffalo.
The Patriots should win the next two. They’ll likely be underdogs in each of the final three. If that’s how it plays out, they’ll finish 8-9 — and likely out of the seven playoff spots in the AFC.