FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — This has been a season of resets for the New England Patriots.
Training camp provided the first chance to put a dismal 2022 campaign behind them.
Patriots are reportedly releasing cornerback Jack Jones
Peter King: Mac Jones’ latest interception could have been ‘career-ruining’
A win over the Jets in Week 3 would also serve as a restart after an 0-2 start.
The hope for another Mulligan came after a Week 7 win over Buffalo, which halted a 1-5 start.
But Sunday’s 10-6 loss to Indianapolis in Germany not only gave New England its second three-game losing streak of the season, it’s also the clearest sign yet that this team’s problems may not be solvable at this point.
The underhanded, seriously underplayed interception that Mac Jones threw in the red zone late in the fourth quarter not only denied his team a chance to take the lead.
It also brought the futility of a third-year quarterback’s season to an international audience, raising questions about who will have the starting job when the Patriots emerge from the bye week.
“We’ll look at everything,” coach Bill Belichick said Monday. “We will look at everything across the board.”
While Belichick made it clear that these evaluations would include every position on the roster, the fact that Jones was benched in favor of backup Bailey Zappe after his pick was an indication that Jones’ status as a starter is tenuous at best.
“We’re not there yet, but I always use the bye week to evaluate myself and the team and anything I can do better, and there’s a lot of things I obviously need to do better,” Jones said. “I always go to work. I know that.”
The same criticism has been leveled at Belichick, whose team is last in the AFC and 2-8 for the first time since his first season in New England at 5-11 in 2000.
If a complete overhaul of the quarterback position is planned this offseason, the Patriots remain in position to land a high draft pick. If the season were to end today, the Patriots would select third overall.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
While Jones’ play and injuries haven’t helped, the Bill O’Brien-led offense has taken huge steps backwards.
Points per game (14.1), yards per game (308.4) and third down efficiency (34.9%) are all down from a season ago.
A slow start also continues to plague the Patriots, who have yet to score a touchdown on an opening drive this season.
“There are things we can build on,” Belichick said. “We are certainly doing a lot of things better than earlier this year. But it doesn’t take much to stop a drive or have a bad game.”
Rookie punter Bryce Baringer continues to shine this season. He dropped his 23rd punt in the NFL on Sunday.
Jones. He was 15 of 20 for 170 yards, but didn’t see any open receivers down the field and his incompletions were doomed by poor mechanics. His 10 interceptions are tied for the most in the NFL. When he was pulled in favor of Zappe prior to the Patriots’ final drive, it marked the third time he has been benched this season.
“I’ve played well before in my career, but not now,” he said. “There are peaks and valleys, but I’m in a bit of a valley at the moment and just have to bounce back.”
Running back Rhamondre Stevenson was treated for a back injury in the fourth quarter but returned. Defensive tackle Christian Barmore left the field for treatment in the fourth quarter. Offensive tackle Conor McDermott, promoted from the practice squad on Saturday, also left the field for treatment in the fourth quarter.
27-33 — Patriots’ record since Tom Brady left after the 2019 season to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Patriots have a bye this week. They visit the New York Giants on November 26.
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