Mac Jones has the perfect Patriot mentality heading into the playoffs

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New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones has experience playing on the national stage, between primetime games on Thursday night, Sunday night and Monday night. He also won the College Football National Championship last year. But he’s never experienced an NFL playoff game.

Ahead of his postseason debut, the 23-year-old rookie quarterback seems to have a mentality his coach Bill Belichick would appreciate.

“There’s more at stake and you have to realize that there’s not a lot of room for error. That’s kind of what makes it fun,” Jones said Wednesday during a press conference. “There’s more pressure and, like I said, you prepare well, you feel comfortable, and at that point, you go play the game that you’ve played since you were little.”

Jones played some of his best games in the college football playoffs, with a 83.3 completion percentage for 297 yards and four touchdowns against Notre Dame in the semifinal and an 80% completion rate for 465 yards and five touchdowns in the national championship against Ohio State. He’d never played in the college football playoffs until those two starts. He’ll experience something similar as he heads into the playoffs to make his debut.

“I just try to listen to the advice they have, whether it’s Josh, Coach Belichick, or anybody, even the older players that’ve done this before,” Jones said during his press conference.

Jones may not know what, exactly, to expect in terms of playoff speed, noise and intensity. But he can make an effort to control his routine in an effort to make it feel like just another day. The quarterback, who repeatedly called his Week 18 performance “embarrassing,” discussed how he’ll control his emotions.

“Football’s obviously an emotional game, but at the end of the day, it’s more of an execution game,” Jones said. “You just have to go out there, depending on your position. Some guys like to get real hyped up and stuff. Some guys don’t. You’ve just got to be you.”

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