This weekend Mac Jones and the Patriots will look to get back on track against Jones' hometown team, as the Jacksonville Jaguars arrive in Foxborough with New England badly needing to re-find their pre-bye-week mojo after dropping back to back contests that have left them amongst the AFC's Wild Card teams.
"Just try to focus on what you can control," said Jones, the Jacksonville native, of the team's mentality this week after Wednesday's on-field session. "That's this week and that's today's practice. The energy was there, the positivity, whatever you want to call it. We were all ready to work.
"That's how it has to be every day. It's a group effort. We're trying to be able to do that consistently. That's the other thing. It's just being consistent, knowing what you're going to get every day. Coming in at this point in the year, that's all we're guaranteed is today. That's what we can focus on. I think it's just X's and O's and execution that it comes down to."
Despite the disappointment of the losses to the Colts and Bills, the Patriots still have plenty to play for but they have also left themselves with plenty to prove. After they reeled off a seven-game win streak they were atop the conference, and now, though still near locks to make the playoffs, the feel-good narrative around the team has taken a significant blow.
However, if they can get back on track with a win over Jacksonville, then go to Miami next week and avenge their opening-day loss, the Pats might be able to recapture some of their mid-season momentum and turn that into a strong performance in the playoffs.
"Like I always say, just focus on what's important to you," said Jones. "That's coming into work every day and doing your job. Obviously, there are going to be ebbs and flows with every season that you play. The only week that matters, if you're lucky enough to get to next week, we know that that's this week. That's all we're guaranteed. When next week comes, we'll focus on that. Our 100% focus is on this week and how we can come out, come to practice, fix the issues that we've had, try to get better, focus on our fundamentals and things like that, just so that we can focus on today today and then tomorrow comes, we'll be ready for tomorrow."