Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is sacked by Colts defensive end Tyquan Lewis during Sunday’s game at Deutsche Bank Park Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany. Doug Benc/Associated Press

The Patriots have stuck with Mac Jones through thick and thin this season.

Last week, while he wasn’t the biggest reason the Patriots lost to the Washington Commanders, he continued to have issues that have impacted the effectiveness of the offense.

Whether it’s poor footwork, throwing off his back foot or less than sound decision-making, Jones has struggled to maintain any kind of consistency.

While he’s also been hurt by dropped passes and a stable of receivers who don’t exactly strike fear into any defense, Jones hasn’t been able to rise above.

Would playing in Germany against the Indianapolis Colts change the narrative?

With the Colts defense playing a lot of Cover-3, that was right in Mac’s wheelhouse. Heading into the game, the Patriots’ quarterback was one of the most efficient against that type of coverage.


How did it turn out?

Hint: The Patriots benched Jones and switched to Bailey Zappe with 1:52 to play, trailing by four.

Here’s the rundown:

For Jones, it’s gone from bad to worse. Getting benched for a possible winning drive could be his final act this season.

Basically, Jones failed time after time with chances in the fourth quarter to put the Patriots ahead. There were mistakes, poor choices, throwing off his back foot, and yet another pick.

As a result, we witnessed the first Bill O’Brien explosion. It came in the third quarter on a third-down play that was an incompletion but was nearly picked off, as Jones, who was trying to fight off a Colts defender, wildly flipped the ball with his left hand toward Rhamondre Stevenson.


It looked like Demario Douglas was open before all the trouble began.

So O’Brien erupted, screaming at Jones on the bench.

It didn’t get better for Jones on the next drive, or the one after that, all of which led to his being benched.

Jones just couldn’t get out of his own way in the fourth quarter.

First, he failed to convert on a third-and-goal, nearly throwing a pick in the end zone.

The Patriots had been effective running the ball on the drive, with Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott moving New England into scoring range. But Jones couldn’t convert, throwing a ball up for Hunter Henry that was overthrown and almost picked off by Colts defensive back Julian Blackmon.


Then Jones hit rock bottom, if that was possible. Trailing 10-6, the Patriots were on the Colts 15, facing a second-and-12.

Jones had tight end Mike Gesicki open in the end zone, only he panicked, throwing off his back foot. The ball was well short, and was picked off by Blackmon.

Just a devastating play.

Jones was benched for Zappe, who came in cold and wound up throwing a game-ending interception.

Jones just can’t handle being under duress. He had weathered a first half in which he was sacked five times, and thanks to a strong running game, the Patriots still had a chance to win.

Jones just couldn’t deliver.


The Colts only rushed four but were creative with their stunts. The Patriots’ offensive line was no match. And the failures were across the board. David Andrews, Sidy Sow, Cole Strange all allowed first-half sacks.

Jones & Co. pieced together a scoring drive on their first series, but settled for three points.

While Jones was 10 of 11 for 105 yards early in the game, the Patriots could not sustain drives, with four of the sacks coming on third down.

Jones was pressured on 50 percent of his dropbacks in the first half, and his receivers weren’t getting open. It was a familiar refrain. Demario Douglas was the only wide receiver with a catch in the first half.

Even with that, the Patriots moved the ball in the second half. Receivers finally got open, the running game was effective.

But Jones couldn’t finish off drives.

It could be time to see what Will Grier can do. That’s the biggest takeaway here, because Jones is cooked.

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