Sports

The dynamic Mac Jones-Matt Patricia gets more awkward, even with the win


Mac Jones was very angry… Again.

The New England Patriots the midfielder was clearly unhappy with his coaching staff against Arizona Cardinals on the second night. The Patriots team won 27-13 against the Cardinals, the team lost Kyler Murray in the first quarter that the team feared could be a knee injury at the end of the season.

But New England’s offense looks no less bad than it did a week ago. Jones’ disappointment seemed more noticeable than when the Patriots beat a depleted Arizona team on Monday night. It marks second week in a row that we saw Jones yelling at his coach.

There were several points in both the second and third quarters where Jones was clearly frustrated with the Patriots’ offense. He let out a loud f-bomb as he returned to the sidelines after New England unnecessarily burned through the timeout in the opening of the third quarter. Jones raised his hand on the sideline after throwing the ball away in the red area. And most notably, Mr seems to have fired with the coaching staff while returning to the group chat.

“It was an emotional game and everyone had emotions,” Jones told ESPN after the game. “And I think sometimes we’re too flat. That’s what I try to do… motivate my boys. Get everyone on my team to respond.”

That’s one way to spin it.

It seems Jones just doesn’t have the patience for the Patriots’ offensive coordinator Matt Patricia, whose play is conservative and unimaginative. Patricia didn’t want to call the concept downline. He was struggling with the distance for his receiver. And he has stifled Jones’ growth this season.

No wonder he became the laughing stock on Twitter and even on ESPN broadcasts.

On ESPN2’s “Manning Cast,” comedian Keegan Michael Key mocked Patricia’s patented pencil – which the coach always wears in his ear – by Call it a pacifier. Eli Manning pitches at Patricia with some analysis of the Patriots’ header in the second half. After they selected 12 yards on a simple concept, Manning commented that the game was in every book, including high school books.

“They played that play last week,” Manning said. “They’ve got an open-minded guy. It’s like a good idea for them.”

A good concept of them? No wonder Jones was disappointed.

A week after Jones was discovered telling Patricia that “fast game sucks,” that’s exactly what the Patriots offensive player wrote into his playbook. Jones has run more screens than he has ever done in a single game in his NFL career.

The Patriots’ second-year QB didn’t seem enthusiastic about throwing too many passes when asked about it after the game.

“A play is a play,” Jones told ESPN. “At the end of the day, you have to have a game plan to win. And that was our game plan. And it worked.”

But the team’s callous play isn’t the only point of disappointment for Jones this season. The begin of the year, there was frustration between Jones’ camp and the patriots’ coaching staff with how they handled his return from an ankle injury. There was clearly animosity between Jones and the staff throughout the year, and in this primetime game, frustration appeared on the sidelines, on the field, in and out of the melee, and after important play.

In the third quarter, the awkward dynamic between Patricia and Jones seemed likely to peak. But just when things looked to be messed up for New England, the team’s defense made the game open, with a forced touch to fumble and score.

Then, during the Cardinals’ next trip, the patriots returned Marcus Jones made a timely interception.

It’s perfectly appropriate for defense to save Patricia, isn’t it?

Because he is – or was he? – a defensive coach, by trade. That’s what makes it so strange to see him commit the offence this year.

After being intercepted, the Patriots put together their most impressive shot in weeks – in part a product of broken coverage that resulted in Jones being headed by Jones at distance. 39 yards Hunter Henry.

It’s not like Patricia has designed something great. He simply calls the play that Madden’s youngsters love to use: Four Verses. It simply sends each of the pass catchers straight down the field. No one loved that play 12 years more than I did.

After Henry’s great catch, the rookie ran back Pierre Manh punched in a 3-yard touchdown. After that, Jones’ frustration eased. He gave Patricia some side love as the two embraced in a friendly embrace. Patricia even smiled.

But Jones didn’t smile or stay with Patricia for long. He appears to leave Patricia with the message: Come back. The QB patriots were not content. He wants to continue the offense.

But New England did not score any more points.

Bottom line is: Patriots are in trouble. Well, even after winning.

Jones and Patricia are struggling to get through this season with a seemingly strained relationship. And it’s hard to be optimistic as Jones seems to be playing significantly worse this year under Patricia than last year under Josh McDaniels, now the head coach of the team. Las Vegas raid.

And when the Patriots head to Las Vegas next weekend to take on the McDaniels and Raiders, everyone knows what the top talking point around the NFL will be: Jones can weather this strained relationship with Patricia and lead the patriots to the knockout round? Because right now, New England is the 7th seed at the AFC – and that’s because of Patricia, not because of him.

More from Week 14 of the NFL:

Prior to joining FOX Sports as an AFC East correspondent, Henry McKenna spent seven years covering patriots for USA TODAY Sports Media Corporation and Boston Globe Media. Follow him on Twitter at @McKennAnalytics.


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