New England Patriots team captain Matthew Slater introduced the six Ps a few years back — a saying that he learned from his father, Hall of Fame offensive lineman Jackie Slater: Proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance.
Their 27-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 15 saw plenty of bad performance on the Patriots’ part. The team turned the ball over twice, gave up 226 rushing yards, and had a punt blocked that was returned for a touchdown.
According to quarterback Mac Jones, some poor preparation leading up to the game contributed to all of that.
“I don’t think it was our best effort,” the rookie said. “Starts with me throughout the week. We didn’t have a great practice every day. It is what it is. You just have to move on and keep your head high and keep working, because no one’s going to feel sorry for ourselves. You feel that way, you can’t do that and you just have to move on and work harder. That’s all you can do is just work harder.”
When asked to clarify his comments, Jones pointed to a low energy level and that he was not alone in his assessment of the in-week situation.
“I just think, starting with me, the energy was just kind of low,” he said. “Maybe like feeling a little sorry for ourselves, because, coming off the bye and stuff, not to get into details, but we just didn’t practice well. And that just reflects how we played. I didn’t practice well, and I know a lot of guys on our team felt the same way.”
Jones finished the day with 26 pass completions on 45 attempts for 299 yards and a pair of touchdowns to tight end Hunter Henry. He also threw two costly interceptions, however: the first ended a promising scoring opportunity just before the half, while the second set up a Colts touchdown.
Jones also added 12 yards on a scramble, the team’s third-longest run of the day. At the end, however, his efforts did not help the Patriots extend their winning streak to eight consecutive victories.
With a crucial AFC East matchup against the Buffalo Bills coming up next Sunday, Jones knows the Patriots need to put their loss in Indianapolis behind them rather quickly.
“We have to come to work every day and be positive,” he said. “It’s one game, it’s not the end of the world. But, at the same time, we can play with those guys. They played great, but we also just shot ourselves in the foot. So, we have to move on.”