Bill Belichick was asked about J.C. Jackson and Jack Jones after Patriots’ loss to the Commanders


Belichick was asked if Jones hadn’t started because of disciplinary reasons, and why rookie Kayshon Boutte hadn’t been activated for the game.

Bil Belichick
Bill Belichick during the Patriots’ loss to the Commanders. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Following the Patriots’ 20-17 loss to the Commanders, Bill Belichick acknowledged the fine margins that decided the contest in his postgame press conference.

“Once again, a game where we had our chances,” said Belichick. “Had our chance at the end, just couldn’t make enough plays, and obviously had plenty of opportunities along the way that we need to make more out of.

“Disappointing result,” he added. “Have to do a better job of making the plays when we have an opportunity to make them. It’s a simple as that.”

The game was determined by a Mac Jones interception with 32 seconds remaining with the Patriots at Washington’s 41-yard line. The third-year quarterback finished his day completing 24 of 44 passes for 220 yards, one touchdown, but also the costly pick.

“I think that was really the read,” Belichick said on whether Jones should have tried to find wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster over the middle. “Just don’t want to lose the ball there. We’re in field goal range, or it’s a long kick. Ball gets tipped up in the air, and they made an interception.”

New England’s passing game was unable to keep pace with Washington. Commanders quarterback Sam Howell threw for 325 yards, allowing him to overcome a 14-10 halftime deficit.

One ongoing issue for the Patriots has been consistency from wide receivers. Belichick was questioned why — having praised the practice performance of Kayshon Boutte during the week — the rookie had not been activated for the game.

“We activated the players that we felt like were the best players for the game,” he said in response.

Another topic was why cornerbacks J.C. Jackson and Jack Jones hadn’t started the game.

“No,” Belichick replied when asked if they had been benched to begin the game, adding after a follow-up question that, “Everybody played. They all played.”

Eventually, Belichick was asked if Jones hadn’t started because of disciplinary reasons.

“We played all the corners,” he said. “We played all the safeties. Really we played everyone on the defense.”

Regarding Howell, Belichick gave a simple summary of how he felt his defense played.

“We kept him in the pocket a lot,” he explained, “but there were times when he got out. That’s not a good thing.”

And on the subject of New England’s poor third down defense (Washington converted nine of 17 attempts), Belichick shared his view succinctly.

“We didn’t tackle well. That was obvious.”