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New England Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones avoided critical errors during the team’s seven-game win streak — even if he wasn’t wowing statistically.

Over the last two games, he has thrown four interceptions, and the Patriots have lost back to back. Jones has thrown 18 touchdowns to his 12 interceptions this season through 15 games. But it doesn’t sound like he’s struggling mentally. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels brushed off the idea that Jones had hit a rookie wall. And Jones’ favorite target, Hunter Henry still seems impressed with the young quarterback.

“He never wavers. He doesn’t back down from adversity,” Henry said on Thursday. “It’s hard to win in this league. It’s hard to execute at a high level and he’s done a good job with that. He’s continued to get better and continued to learn. His growth is only going to continue to go up. I feel like he’s faced it head-on, and I think he’s done a terrific job of it.”

The Patriots have just two ways to respond to their two-game skid. Either they find ways to improve so that they can compete with these playoff-caliver AFC teams. Or they remain where they are — and likely suffer a first-round loss in the postseason, if they make it.

Jones will need to play a bigger role in the team’s success — rather than contributing to their struggles.

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