BOSTON (CBS) -- Everyone was baffled when Patriots center David Andrews was hit with a taunting penalty during Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills. Andrews was assessed the penalty for simply running over to protect his quarterback following a late hit.
While no one really understands the call, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones certainly values having a center who is willing to stick up for him. Jones had nothing but praise for Andrews during his Monday afternoon chat on WEEI.
"I really appreciate him having my back, along with the offensive line," Jones said. "It's football and we're all going to go out and compete. It was one of those plays where the refs made the call and it is what it is. We have to go execute the plays between the whistles. But I can't thank them enough for having my back in all situations."
The Patriots offensive line is not going to just sit back and let an opposing team take liberties with their rookie quarterback, but they also know it's important not to take things too far. Jones said that the team discussed the new taunting penalties when the league came out with the rule, though the NFL certainly isn't making it easy on players to understand exactly what the zebras will consider taunting.
But the Patriots know it's best not to toe the line when it could cost them yards on the field.
"They are pretty strict on it and it is what it is, we have to follow the rules. It's football and things happen," said Jones. "We already talked about it and we know what we have to do moving forward in those situations, so we're all on the same page."
That play was likely on the film that the Patriots watched Monday, following their 33-21 loss to Buffalo, a defeat that knocked New England down to the six-seed in the AFC playoff picture. It wasn't a pretty rewatch, but it is an important part of the process -- especially for a rookie QB.
"It's just like every other week, we try to learn from it and see what we can do better and improve next week. I didn't play the way we wanted, so there is a lot of things to improve on," said Jones. "All we can do is be ready for practice and make those improvements.
"Anybody that is a competitor wants it to be great, but at the same time part of being a competitor is learning from what you didn't do well," Jones added. "I want to be able to learn from any little thing that I can, even if it's not something I did. If I can help in any way – that's what we're trying to do. Learn and move on, shut the book and get ready for next week."
The Patriots will now host the 2-13 Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17 before closing out the regular season in Miami against the Dolphins. Miami is 8-7 on the season after a Monday night win over the New Orleans Saints and sits in the final Wild Card spot in the AFC.
Tune in to Sunday's Patriots-Jaguars game on WBZ-TV — the flagship station of the New England Patriots. Pregame coverage begins at 11:30am with Patriots GameDay, kickoff is set for 1pm, and after the game stick around for full reaction and analysis on Patriots 5th Quarter!
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