He didn't get off to a good start against the Chicago Bears, going three-and-out on his first two drives of the game before throwing an interception on his questionable decision in his third drive.
While Jones struggled, Patriots fans booed the player who led their team to the playoffs as a rookie last season and called for Bailey Zappe, who went 2-0 in the two starts he made in Jones' absence, to enter the game. Patriots fans got their wish as Zappe entered the game on New England's fourth drive, leading the Patriots to two touchdowns when he entered before falling, 33-14.
While Zappe replaced Jones after the interception, it was Bill Belichick's decision all along to play both quarterbacks on Monday night. Several Patriots players on offense didn't know that was going to be the case at the time. However, that didn't stop them from feeling bad for Jones about the situation he was dealt with on Monday.
“Not even as a football player, it’s tough as a man to see somebody who worked so hard get that kind of treatment,” Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers said of Mac Jones getting booed and benched. “But at the end of the day, we’re all trying to feed our families, so we’ve got to go out there and make plays for whoever’s throwing it.”
Meyers later called it “an ugly situation” all around.
"It's tough to see somebody who worked so hard get that kind of treatment" 👀
Jakobi Meyers on the Patriots QB situation pic.twitter.com/IP9rpJZxd7
— NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Coverage (@NBCSPatriots) October 25, 2022
Patriots safety Devin McCourty, who's a captain and the second longest-tenured player on the team, gave a message to both players through the awkward moment.
“My message to every individual is that we've got to do our job,” McCourty said. “Not just Mac and Zappe – it's every individual in the locker room. We can't turn this into what the fans said or what the media said. Each guy has a role. Each guy has a job in the locker room.
“We've shown this season that when everybody does that, we can go out their play well enough to win and good enough to win. When we don't do that, like tonight, whether you want to talk about who the quarterback was, who the tackles were, who's at defensive ends, who's the linebackers, the safeties, the corners, like no matter who was in there, what it looked like, obviously overall, it didn't look good. I think each individual needs to go home tonight and figure out what we're going to do this week and give our best shot.”
The Patriots will look to give it their best shot against the 5-2 New York Jets on Sunday, a matchup that their 3-4 squad might have to win to help their playoff hopes later in the season. We'll see if Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe gets the start.