For the first time since 2001, the Patriots have opened a new NFL season with an 0-2 record.
It’s been a disappointing start for Mack Jones and the rest of the Patriots, who have yet to get in the win column despite mounting two fourth-quarter rallies against the Eagles and Dolphins.
New England trailed the Eagles 16-0 at the end of the first quarter in Week 1, but a game-winning chance ended with a failed fourth-down conversion in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.
Against Miami, New England fell behind 10-0 at one point and walked off the field to boos at halftime after a 17-3 deficit.
Once again, the Patriots had a chance to orchestrate another game-tying drive with just over two minutes left in regulation. But it ended with another turnover after Cole Strange came on after a quick lateral toss by Mike Gaskey.
The Patriots’ offense has struggled through the first two weeks of the 2023 season, especially when it comes to the run game and pass protection.
But even with some positive gains made by Jones and company in crunch time, the Patriots QB admitted there are no silver linings to draw from games where New England ultimately falls short. Is.
“I just have to get better at them and keep growing,” Jones said WEEI’s “Jones and Mego” show on Monday evenings. “I think we’re 20 yards away from being 2-0, but at the same time, it’s the NFL.”
“I think it’s just execution,” Jones added when asked about New England’s stalled comeback. “Just simple football. For me, footwork, timing and all that stuff. Trying to get it to the right guy. It applies differently to different guys. Definitely execution, passing plays and getting better.” It has to be.
New England’s struggles on critical drives in the fourth quarter could be negated if the Patriots avoid falling into big deficits going forward — along with most of their early woes.
After their two losses, the Patriots have given up 33 points in the first half, 20 of those points coming off turnovers.
“You guys keep talking about how close it is,” Jones said of the Patriots’ result. “Just trying to close the gap at close, right? The only way to do that is to work harder, work smarter. Longer days. Whatever you can do to bring everybody together.” We just have to do it.”
The Patriots still have 15 games remaining in 2023. But the odds aren’t exactly in favor of New England’s playoff odds after an 0-2 start. Since the 1990 season, only 11.5% of teams that start 0-2 have gone on to earn a playoff spot.
Jones and the Patriots will look to right the ship Sunday afternoon in a key road game against Zach Wilson and the Jets. New England has had little to show for its collective play so far this season, but Jones believes the team’s confidence hasn’t wavered amid two weeks of setbacks.
“There’s definitely a lot of football to be played, and [Matthew] Slater is definitely a good person to lean on,” Jones said of the New England veteran. “He’s seen a lot, been on a lot of good teams, so just trying to learn from him. I am, David [Andrews]All old people.
“And for me, just try and think back to 2021 when we didn’t start well and just keep pushing and really that’s all you can do. So just looking forward to the challenge. Definitely a big one this week. Got it and just got to go out there and focus on us. That’s really where it starts.”
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