Somehow, Mac Jones trying to make a tackle was the New England Patriots’ last hope to force overtime in what ended up being a 30-24 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
In the final seconds of regulation, Rhamondre Stevenson took a draw nearly 25 yards down the field but decided to pitch the ball back to Jakobi Meyers to try and keep the play alive. With the game tied, Meyers decided to throw the ball back to Jones. But Raiders defensive end Chandler Jones intercepted the ball and stiff-armed the Patriots’ quarterback, allowing him to run into the end zone to give Las Vegas the win.
What just happened?? The @Raiders win on the final play!! #NEvsLV pic.twitter.com/cmKNUuab1k
— NFL (@NFL) December 19, 2022
Jones took responsibility for the result of the play following the game.
“I’ve got to tackle the guy,” Jones said. “It’s on me. It’s my fault.
“If I tackle him we play for overtime,” Jones added. “Not good enough by me. It is what it is.”
Jones also came to the defense of Meyers following the loss.
“I think Jakobi is one of the best teammates I’ve ever had,” Mac Jones said. “He’s a fighter and he does everything he can to help the team. Obviously, you have to ask coach about it and see what our plan was. But, at the end of the day, the guy is out there fighting and trying to win the game. There’s a lot of things I could have done better in the game.
“I love Jakobi and I love all the guys on our team. It’s not Jakobi’s fault,” Jones added.
Mac Jones: "Jakobi is one of the best teammates I've ever had.. it's not Jakobi's fault"
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— NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Coverage (@NBCSPatriots) December 19, 2022
Mac Jones certainly didn’t have his best game on Sunday. He completed just 13 of 31 passes for 112 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.
As he did with the final play, Jones took responsibility for the Patriots’ loss, saying “there were things that I could’ve done better so that we weren’t in that situation.”
“It’s a tough situation, and it definitely falls on me,” Jones said. “It’s a tough deal, but we just have to keep working.”
Jones wasn’t the only player to take blame following the game. Meyers said he “tried to be a hero” and make a play when he shouldn’t have. Stevenson took blame for lateraling in that situation in the first place.
No matter who takes the blame though, the Patriots will still head home on Sunday with a 7-7 record with three games to go. The loss on Sunday knocked the Patriots out of the seventh and final playoff spot in the AFC playoff picture.
With three games to go, Jones knows the Patriots have to accept what happened in Sunday’s game and turn the page as they’re set to face three teams currently in the playoff picture.
“We just have to finish better. It’s a tough situation that falls on all of us,” Mac Jones said. “A tough way to go out, but we have to watch the tape and get better.”