Pats' Jones benched after 'terrible throw' on INT
Julian Blackmon comes up with a huge interception for the Colts late in the fourth quarter. (0:31)
FRANKFURT, Germany -- New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was pulled from Sunday's 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Frankfurt Stadium after throwing a fourth-quarter interception, with coach Bill Belichick turning to backup Bailey Zappe with 1:52 remaining.
"I thought it was time for a change," Belichick said after the game.
Jones' benching sparks questions on whether he will keep the starting job for the second half of the season. He had already been pulled from two games earlier in the season -- against the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints -- but the outcome was well in hand in those games.
This was different, as the Patriots took over at their 14-yard line with a chance to drive for a game-winning score. Zappe was ultimately intercepted, extinguishing the team's comeback hopes.
Asked about the quarterback position going forward, Belichick said, "We'll worry about next week next week. The game just got over."
The Patriots are 2-8 and have a bye next weekend.
"I've played well in my career before, but not right now," Jones said. "It's peaks and valleys. I'm kind of in a valley right now. I just have to bounce back."
New England had been driving for a potential go-ahead touchdown, advancing to the Colts' 15-yard line, when Jones was intercepted by safety Julian Blackmon on a throw well short of his intended receiver with 4:24 remaining.
"It was a terrible throw. Hit it in practice, just not a good throw. I knew where to go, just didn't do it right," Jones said. "There were some things I was working through, but it doesn't matter. No excuses."
Jones said he was informed on the sideline that he wouldn't be returning to the game after the play.
"It's hard, right? It's a difficult situation, but at the end of the day, I want the team to win. I'll always be that person. We didn't win, so it's hard for everybody," Jones said. "I have to play better and not even be in that situation."
Earlier in the game, Jones drew the wrath of offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien on the sideline.
With 8:38 remaining in the third quarter, the Patriots had a drive stall at the Colts' 17-yard line after Jones attempted a dangerous underhand pass to running back Rhamondre Stevenson that fell incomplete. As Jones sat next to O'Brien on the bench and reviewed plays on a computer tablet, O'Brien repeatedly pointed at the tablet as he animatedly spoke to Jones.
Asked about the exchange, Jones hinted that O'Brien was pointing out open receivers he wasn't seeing.
"I just try to go through my reads and hit the open guy. I have to do a better job at that," Jones said. "It's really hard out there in the NFL -- it's really good defense -- but there were a lot of open guys I could have hit."
Asked whether he feels Belichick still believes in him, Jones said: "To make people believe, you have to be better. I'm not sure. I don't know."
Jones, who said he still believes in himself, visited the X-ray room after the game. He relayed it was the result of a bruise but added, "I'm good."