Mac Jones: 'There's a lot to look forward to' entering 2022 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones had a very successful rookie season, but it ended in disappointing fashion.
The Patriots lost 47-17 to the Buffalo Bills in Saturday night's AFC Wild Card Round playoff loss at Highmark Stadium. It's the second-largest playoff defeat in Patriots playoff history.
Jones played fairly well in his first career playoff game. He completed 24 of 38 pass attempts for 232 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jones told reporters after the game that this defeat will "motivate me for next year."
The Patriots got off to another slow start and trailed 14-0 after the first quarter. It didn't get any better for New England as Buffalo scored on all seven of its drives in one of the most dominant postseason performances in recent memory.
"We didn't play how we wanted to play, and every game is different. We didn't have a chance to win the game, and that starts with me, just getting momentum early and not putting ourselves in that position," Jones explained.
"Like I said, I could play better. A lot of guys would agree with me that we can push each other harder to get that product on the field. I think there will be a lot of strides this offseason to get there and just working together however we can."
The experience Jones gained this season will be very valuable, and it's clear that he feels a lot more comfortable not only as a starting NFL quarterback but also as a leader on this team.
"Anything you do in life, I always relate it to being a pilot. If you're a pilot and you've only flown so many times, by the time you have hundreds of flight hours, it's just an everyday thing for you," Jones said. "For me, I was a rookie, and I played like that sometimes and I shouldn't have. I can play better.
"That's my goal this offseason is just to advance and bring the guys along with me because we have great players all around me. We have a lot of progress to make and I'll just feel more comfortable, like anything you do a second time around."
Despite the frustrating end to the year, Jones saw plenty of good things throughout the season that the Patriots can build on as they prepare for the 2022 campaign.
"Losing is terrible and none of us wanted to do that tonight. There's nothing we can do about it," Jones said. "There's a lot to look forward to and be positive about and learn from. There's nothing to hang our heads on.
"I'm super proud of the people who helped me grow as a person -- the coaches, players, support staff. There's a lot to look back on and just learn. There's nothing to feel sorry about. It's just a learning experience to get better for next year."