Patriots’ Bill Belichick, Mac Jones React to Historically Poor Start

Bill Belichick

Bill Belichick and the Patriots fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2001.

Inches short again, the New England Patriots fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2001, and head coach Bill Belichick talked unceremoniously about it.

“Not too much to say after that one.  Tough loss. Gotta learn from it. Keep working harder and move on,” Belichick told the media about the 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 17. “We learn from every game. We learn from all of them.”

The Patriots trailed 17-3 for most of the second half against the Dolphins, but New England quarterback Mac Jones and company rallied in the fourth quarter again — only to fall short again. Jones led two fourth-quarter scoring drives, and only a call against a successful flip stymied the Patriots’ chances of tying late.

Jones, 25, who was three years old when the Patriots last started 0-2, expressed his thoughts on the team’s biggest early hole in 22 years. He finished with 231 yards and a touchdown versus an interception on 31-24 passing plus five carries for 25 yards.

“It wasn’t our day for the last two weeks, and we’ve got to learn from it and get better,” Jones. “I think about past experience. My rookie year, we didn’t start off too hot and [we] went on a winning streak.”

When New England last started 0-2 in 2001, Drew Bledsoe started a quarterback before an injury led to the emergence of Tom Brady. Bledsoe and Brady tallied more than 30 game-winning drives in their careers with the Patriots, but fourth-quarterback comebacks continue to elude Jones, the team’s No. 15 draft pick in 2021.

A Strange but Eerily Similar Ending for Patriots

With no place to go, Patriots tight end Mike Gesicki flipped the ball on fourth down with a minute left in hopes to keep the final drive alive.

It worked for a moment as offensive lineman Cole Strange caught the ball and barreled into a swarm of Dolphins defenders, only to come a half yard short of the first down. The officials called it short after an official review, and the Dolphins knelt on offense the next play to end the game.

“You should talk to the officials,” Belichick said regarding the call on Strange’s play.

New England came up short a week ago in Foxboro when Jones threw a fourth-down pass to rookie wide receiver Kayshon Boutte, which got called out of bounds late. The Philadelphia Eagles hung on for a 25-20 victory as a result.

Bill Belichick: ‘Can’t Turn the Ball Over’

For a second straight week, New England fell behind quickly and turnovers emerged as a major culprit — two turnovers back-to-back weeks.

Against the Eagles, a pick six and a fumble led to a 16-0 hole for the Patriots in Week 1. New England fell behind 10-0 against the Dolphins after a fumble in the second quarter on Sunday.

The Patriots also couldn’t gain ground, trailing 17-3, with an interception in the second half. New England’s defense at least held the Patriots to a three-and-out afterward.

New England will now need to clean up the turnovers and other issues to avoid the franchise’s first 0-3 start since 1993. The Patriots face the New York Jets (1-1) in Week 3.