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Replay: Patriots Postgame Show Sun Nov 28 - 06:00 PM | Mon Nov 29 - 08:55 AM

Notebook: No looking back for Mac

2021113_PDC_Mac_Adler

Mac Jones will round the halfway point of his rookie year after this weekend's game against the Carolina Panthers and thus far, he's answered the bell with the kind of performances that has Patriots fans excited about the future in New England.

"Obviously we've made progress but we're not looking back at this point," said Jones during his weekly Wednesday afternoon press conference. Now 4-4 with their season back on track, the team's fate is in their own hands. But it won't be easy, as the team will play an assortment of good football teams in the coming weeks, starting with the Panthers.

"I think it's just stacking days together," said Jones. "You can't focus on the outcome, you just gotta focus on the process of having a good week and just trying to do things the right way and stick to your routine."

The Panthers defense will be one of the team's more formidable opponents this season and should provide one of Jones' toughest challenges to date in his young career. They come in at third on third down, second in yards and fifth in points, and there's little dropoff when it comes to advanced metrics like DVOA which ranks them as the eighth-best defense in the league.

"They have a bunch of talented players and they do a good job with the scheme," observed Jones. "They're all hard-nosed football players that come ready to work and you can see it on the film. They're coming to hit, they're doing their job, they play together and they rally to the ball. It's definitely one of the top defenses in the NFL, no doubt."

With a chance to get over the hump with a winning record for the first time in 2021, opportunity is knocking for the Patriots this week. They'll have to earn it by defeating a fellow 4-4 team that will be in pursuit of the same goal.

"We've got to be ready to go," said Jones. "It should be a good experience. Just go down there and have fun and go against a really good team."

"I think it's just stacking days together," said Jones. "You can't focus on the outcome, you just gotta focus on the process of having a good week and just trying to do things right the right way and stick to your routine."

The Panthers defense will be one of the team's more formidable opponents this season and should provide one of Jones' toughest challenges to date in his young career. They come in at third on third down, second in yards and fifth in points, and there's little dropoff when it comes to advanced metrics like DVOA which ranks them as the eighth best defense in the league.

"They have a bunch of talented players and they do a good job with the scheme," observed Jones. "They're all hard-nosed football players that come ready to work and you can see it on the film. They're coming to hit, they're doing their job, they play together and they rally to the ball. It's definitely one of the top defenses in the NFL, no doubt."

With a chance to get over the hump with a winning record for the first time in 2021, opportunity is knocking for the Patriots this week. They'll have to earn it by defeating a fellow 4-4 team that will be in pursuit of the same goal.

"We've got to be ready to go," said Jones. "It should be a good experience. Just go down there and have fun and go against a really good team."

Practice & Injury Report

J.C. Jackson was the only player not spotted on the upper practice fields as the Patriots held their first practice of the week on Wednesday. Jackson was listed on the Injury Report with an illness, obviously, his status will be a key thing to monitor this week. Carolina's top receiving target is easily D.J. Moore, who leads the team with 50 catches. With already thin depth at cornerback, Jackson's presence is one the Patriots cannot afford to be without.

Quotes of Note

Jakobi Meyers on the team's progress:

"We definitely knew what kind of talent we had in the locker room, we just had to go out there and execute better and it's been slowly getting better every week. But we still don't feel like we are our best version yet and we're looking to get there."

N'Keal Harry on the team's mindset:

"We've been slowly building, day in and day out. We've got a chip on her shoulder coming out to practice. We know the type of team that we can be and it's about making strides every day and improving every day so that's what we've been doing and want to continue to do that moving forward."

Myles Bryant on what he learned from Stephon Gilmore:

"I learned how to play more with an edge. Watching him every day in practice, he was treating those reps like game reps... It's remarkable the things he's able to do and has done in his career."

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