Bill O’Brien takes share of blame for Patriots offensive struggles

Coming off an offensive performance like Sunday’s, it would be easy for people to start pointing fingers and blaming each other for everything that went wrong. Mac Jones in particular would be ripe for criticism for his numerous miscues and poor decisions, but offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien said the performance wasn’t all on Jones and that he and the coaches deserved their share of blame as well.

“We’re all in it together, we’ve got to do a better job of coaching up some things with him a little better, he’s got to do a better job of making good decisions for us, he knows that. He takes a lot of ownership, you guys saw that after the game, he blames himself,” O’Brien said. “The game wasn’t lost because of one guy, the game was lost on our part because of how poorly we played and coached in the game. Mac is here today, he’s working very hard to get back on the right track and we have a lot of belief in Mac.”

Jones endured arguably the worst game of his NFL career on Sunday, going 12 for 21 with 150 yards passing and no touchdowns along with two interceptions and a lost fumble. O’Brien acknowledged that Jones played particularly poorly and that many of his decisions were uncharacteristic, but they aren’t chalking it up as “a bad day at the office” and plan to examine what went wrong and how they can help Jones avoid repeating those mistakes in the future.

“I think we can do a lot of things to help Mac’s decision making,” O’Brien said. “He can do things himself to be better, I’m sure he’d be the first to tell you that, so we’re going to work hard on that this week.”

Once the game was well out of reach Jones was pulled in favor of back-up quarterback Bailey Zappe, who did not make the initial 53-man roster and spent time on the practice squad before eventually earning back his spot as Jones’ understudy. O’Brien praised the second-year signal caller, saying he’s improved a lot over the past month.

“I thought when he got into the game he did some good things,” O’Brien said. “Obviously the game was not very close at that point in time but he did some good things and for him that’s definitely something to build on and he’s a guy that works very hard, a great guy to coach.”

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