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Patriots QB Mac Jones wants to turn the clock back and return to ‘just playing football’

Jones was benched for a fourth time this season in the Patriots’ 10-7 loss to the Giants on Sunday.

New England Patriots v New York Giants Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After poor performances from both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe at MetLife Stadium in Week 12, it seems another week of question marks at the quarterback position are on the horizon for the New England Patriots.

For Jones, he hopes to turn the clock back in a sense as he prepares for whatever role he will hold this upcoming week.

“For me, I do put a lot into it; I prepare very well,” he said Monday on WEEI’s Jones & Mego. “But at the end of the day, I just need to go out there and and play football, and trust my training. I’ve done that at times, and I feel like I can do a better job of that at other times. And that’s one of the biggest things: taking that to the game, and really just playing football the way I did when I was little.

“Because I prepare, I work hard, so does everybody else on our team, and it just has to start to translate. And one of the biggest things is just playing football, and not thinking too much.”

Thinking too much has often seemed to be the route of Jones’ issues this season. The quarterback once praised for his cerebral ability coming out of Alabama now looks broken. On Sunday, those issues were highlighted with another pair of poor interceptions that led to him being benched for the fourth time this season.

While Jones’ play has certainly regressed throughout the season, the third-year quarterback is making sure his effort and attitude does not waver.

“I learned from my high school coach, a lot of it is just your attitude and your effort,” he said. “When things are not going well, you have to focus on those things. I will do that, and I’ve done that, and will continue to do that. Obviously, the results haven’t been there, but you have to be able to focus on those two things. And once those two things are in place, at that point anything can happen and the results will come and everything will come back around eventually.”

As the Patriots now prepare for a home matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, Jones and Zappe will likely battle it out once again for the right to start on Sunday — which turns Jones’ attention back to that process.

“I think the biggest thing for me is that’s a result,” he added. I’m going to focus on the process this week; focus on competing and getting better. That’s all I’ve ever done at every sport. I know that if I do that, we will be in good hands. That’s something I need to focus on as always. I do have confidence in myself, and I have confidence in the guys around me.”