Mac Jones has taken a beating this season. The team’s 13 sacks, ranked 16th in the NFL, hardly show just how often Jones has dealt with pressure and quarterback hits during his rookie season in 2021.
He may have taken his biggest hit of the season in Week 6 in the team’s 35-29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Defensive end Randy Gregory blew by his blocker, Yodny Cajuste, and pummeled Jones, who fumbled away the football. Not only did the Cowboys score a touchdown on the following drive, but they also seemed to scare the Patriots into a different game plan, with New England turning to the run after that sack.
“I think getting hit is always fun because it makes it more fun,” Jones told WEEI on Monday. “That’s part of the game. The best part is getting back up and knowing that you’re fine and you can just go out there and keep playing. Sometimes you don’t get hit all the time in practice, obviously. So, it’s OK to get hit a little bit and pop back up and it just adds a little bit of competitive juices to the whole situation. At the end of the day, it’s part of the game. The best quarterbacks in the world, they all pop up quick and play the next play.”
Jones took five quarterback hits and two sacks, both from Gregory. Jones, however, said he’d taken bigger hits on his career that the second sack by Gregory.
“I just turned around and looked at my reads and he had a jump on the snap count and it kind of was just unfortunate because it was almost like he timed up my cadence,” he said. “I think that is something I can address and work on just so we have a little bit of a changeup. He was there and I wish I would have held onto the ball. It’s just one of those bang-bang plays and those happen all the time.”
What went wrong for the Patriots in their loss to the Cowboys in Week 6