Mac Jones, New England Patriots look to postseason after rookie's 'super embarrassing' performance

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Rookie quarterback Mac Jones had an interception returned for a touchdown in the New England Patriots' 33-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Sunday's regular-season finale, and later lost a fumble, as he was critical of himself while the team looks ahead to the playoffs.

"It's super embarrassing, honestly, just from my point, just how I played -- wasn't good enough," Jones said. "I can be better. It starts with me. I'm the quarterback and that's my job, is to make people around me have success."

Jones finished 20-of-30 for 261 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The interception was a pick-6 that put the team in a 14-0 hole in the first quarter, while his lost fumble came on a center-QB exchange in the third quarter when the team was at the Miami 22-yard line.

The Patriots, who finished the regular season 10-7, will be on the road on wild-card weekend. They were awaiting the result of Sunday's game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Las Vegas Raiders to learn who they would be playing.

If the Chargers win, the Patriots travel to face the Cincinnati Bengals. If the Raiders win, the team visits the Buffalo Bills.

"You have to watch the film and learn from it, and realize how embarrassing it is to play that way," said Jones, the 15th overall pick from Alabama. "But at the same time, we have a great opportunity next week and that's all you can ask for."

Jones and the Patriots made a late charge in the fourth quarter Sunday -- when he was 9-of-9 for 121 yards and a touchdown -- but the hole they dug themselves early in the game proved too much to overcome.

"He's tough, he's resilient," veteran tight end Hunter Henry said. "He didn't play his best early, had some crucial mistake; I know he's going to learn from them and grow. He's young. But still, just the resiliency of him, the toughness, taking some shots. He's a tough, tough dude."

Jones, however, wasn't interested in any silver linings.

"We lost and that's all that matters," he said. "We put the other units in kind of a bad position the way we played. You can't blame or point fingers at anybody besides me and the offense. We know we can play better."

Of the pick-6, he said: "I knew what coverage they were playing. I just didn't see the outside guy and I threw it too wide. It was my fault. It was Cover 2, there's nothing to it. It's simple, and I have to read it out and do a better job getting the ball to the right guy."

Of the fumbled snap, which came with backup center Ted Karras in the game, he said: "I've been doing that since Pop Warner. Just get the ball from the center. It doesn't matter who the center is. It wasn't Ted's fault. It was my fault. I have to get the ball and hand it off to the running back. It wasn't some giant play that required a bunch of things."

Jones, who started every game in his first season, finished with a 67.57 completion percentage, the second highest by a rookie in NFL history, behind on Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys (67.76% in 2016).

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Jones accomplished the feat despite being blitzed at the highest rate in the league -- 34% of his dropbacks.

Before the team departed Miami on Sunday night, Jones was looking ahead to the playoffs.

"I feel like we got to put a better product out there, especially to win big games," he said. "At the same time, you can't feel sorry for yourself. You have to move on and learn from your mistakes."