Bill Belichick pulled Mac Jones after two series during a brutal loss on “Monday Night Football” to the Bears back in late October.
One former NFL QB with local roots suggests Jones isn’t over the slight.
On ESPN’s “Get Up” Wednesday, Tim Hasselbeck said he doesn’t possess much confidence in the Patriots’ ability to keep up with the Bills. “I think people are somehow looking at Mac Jones’ performance last week and saying the offense is going to get on track. I just don’t think that’s the case,” he said. “He’s thrown two touchdown passes in a game only once this season, and it was on Thanksgiving. He’s thrown for over 250 yards only twice this season, and one of them was last week. They are not a big play offense.”
Those critiques aren’t notable: it doesn’t take a degree from X’s and O’s University to figure out the Patriots aren’t a potent offensive team. But at the end of his take, Hasselbeck dropped a hint about Jones’ mindset that’s worth highlighting.
“I will say, I’m not sure that Mac Jones is over the whole scenario of what happened with Bailey Zappe,” he said. “I don’t know if the team is over that.”
It’s possible Hasselbeck is just editorializing, but he didn’t preface his remarks with any caveats. It seems as if he was speaking from an area of knowledge.
It’s apparent Jones’ teammates are on his side. Just this week, Jakobi Meyers commended Jones’ leadership.
“I feel like he had a rough patch and people looked down on him for a second,” said Meyers. “But he stayed the same. Guys all the way through the locker room, we still respect him. Just seeing that resiliency to him, the respect for him has grown.”
Meyers added Patriots players “love” Jones and are ready to “roll with him.”
Jones has protected the football better since his benching, only throwing one interception over the last four games. But as Hasselbeck mentioned, the Patriots haven’t been explosive. While they dropped 26 points on the Vikings, they were shutout in the fourth quarter.
The Patriots are 0-10 when opposing teams score more than 25 points with Jones under center. Interestingly enough, Tim's brother, Matt Hasselbeck, recently spoke with ESPN's Mike Reiss about his issues with the Patriots' offensive approach.
New England needs its offense to put up more points if it wants to seriously contend. But that will be even more difficult if Jones is resentful of the coaching staff.