NFL

Mac Jones: Patriots 'don't really do moral victories'

By Sports Desk October 04, 2021

Mac Jones emerged from the New England Patriots' loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with great credit, but that was of little interest to the rookie quarterback after a defeat that dropped them to 1-3.

The 15th overall pick in this year's draft and the man the Patriots hope will be the long-term successor to Tom Brady came up short as the seven-time Super Bowl champion made a winning return to Gillette Stadium.

Yet Brady was arguably outperformed by Jones during an unexpectedly close battle, which saw the defending champions hold on to claim a 19-17 win.

Nick Folk's 56-yard field goal as time expired amid driving rain hit the left upright, denying Jones a game-winning drive on his resume that would have been well deserved.

Jones finished 31 of 40 for 275 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, at one point completing 19 consecutive pass attempts.

But the former Alabama star was clearly not in the mood for looking on the bright side, telling his post-game media conference: "We could be 90 per cent or 85 per cent and you lose, so we don't really do moral victories.

"Those are always forgotten. But you just kind of have to take it for what it's worth and move on.

"I think we moved in the right direction. We made plays and played hard the whole game and I turned the ball over.

"That's one of the problems, you know, turnovers can kill you, and you know if you turn the ball over — If you don't turn the ball over, you have a 90-something per cent chance to win, and it's just statistics but I have thought we moved the ball, passing well and the run game needs to improve and we'll come up with ways to do that.

"I thought everyone fought really hard. It sucks we lost but yeah, look at it, like you said, that we're making some progress."

The night did ultimately belong to Brady, though, as he made history by breaking Drew Brees' NFL passing yards record.

Brady, who finished 22-of-43 passing for 269 yards without a touchdown or interception, eclipsed the 80,291-yards mark in the opening quarter – the 44-year-old's 28-yard completion to Mike Evans seeing him surpass Brees.

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