By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- For the duration of the Patriots' seven-game winning streak, things were going smoothly for rookie quarterback Mac Jones. On Saturday night, he hit a roadblock.
With a pair of bad interceptions, a huge sack, a delay of game penalty, and three scoreless quarters of football, Jones and the Patriots suffered their first loss since Oct. 24 on Saturday night in Indianapolis. The comeback bid was worthy but ultimately came up short, with the early mistakes being too much to overcome in the 27-17 loss.
After the game, Jones said it's best to just move on from the loss as quickly as possible.
"We didn't do very much well," Jones said. "So we have to look at ourselves, and [have] a quick turnaround, flush this game down the toilet, and just roll -- starting [Saturday] night. Get on to the next game and be ready to roll for next week."
Jones made some costly errors in the game, notably throwing two interceptions -- one deep in the red zone before halftime -- and throwing incomplete on a fourth down for a turnover on downs midway through the third quarter.
Though he did throw a pair of touchdowns to Hunter Henry -- the second of which was legitimately impressive -- but the mistakes were critical. The 23-year-old took blame for the mistakes and for the team coming out flat in a big game on the road.
"I just don't think it was our best effort. It starts with me, just throughout the week, we didn't have a great practice every day. So it is what it is," Jones said.
When pressed for more, Jones added: "I just think we -- starting with me -- just the energy was kind of low, maybe like feeling a little sorry for ourselves because, whatever, we come off the bye and stuff. Not to get into details, but we just didn't practice well. And that just reflects how we played. And I didn't practice good, and I know a lot of guys on our team felt the same way, so we have to come to work every day and just be positive. It's one game, it's not the end of the world. But at the same time, we can play with those guys -- and they played great -- but we also just shot ourselves in the foot. So we've just gotta move on from it."
Jones also didn't make any excused for his interceptions.
"Yeah I just threw it right to him," Jones lamented after the game. "I mean, that was a good play [by Darius Leonard], but unacceptable. And you can't win until you stop from losing. And I mean, I handed the ball to the guy. I did that twice, and that hurt us. I thought the defense played pretty well, and I just shot 'em in the foot myself by giving them a short field and giving them the ball. So that's just my fault. I'll learn from it but I'm not gonna be gun-shy or anything. Just learn from it and move on."
Jones and the offense will have to shake off the sloppy night -- which also featured critical false start penalties, an ineligible player downfield penalty, a holding penalty, and an illegal block penalty -- because there's a big one on the docket next weekend. Bills-Patriots, Part II is scheduled for Sunday at Gillette Stadium, the day after Christmas. Jones threw just three passes in the Patriots' win in windy Buffalo two weeks ago, but he'll likely have to do a lot more for the Patriots in a game that could decide the AFC East winner.
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