The New England Patriots are off to their worst start at home in nearly 30 years. That's the bad news.
The good news is that New England continues to look like it's in good hands at the quarterback position.
Rookie Mac Jones completed 15 of 21 passes for 229 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the Patriots' 35-29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Jones' interception was a back-breaker -- a pick-six to cornerback Trevon Diggs that gave Dallas a five-point lead with 2:27 to play -- but the rookie followed that up one play later with a 75-yard touchdown bomb to Kendrick Bourne that put New England back in front.
In a postgame conversation with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, NBC Sports' Peter King noted he was impressed by Jones' ability to bounce back from that interception, as well as Jones' toughness after taking several hard hits throughout the game.
At that point, Prescott interrupted King to second his praise of the young QB.
"Those two things that you just said, honestly, are the two most important things to be really good at this position," Prescott told King. "You gotta be able to take a lick and not flinch and make the play when the hard hit’s coming.
"And when you have a bad play or an interception and the game changes right there, you gotta have the water-down-a-duck’s-back mentality. Let it go. It’s over.
"Mac’s got that. I really like what I see out of him. He’ll be a good quarterback for a long time."
Patriots fans can't be pleased with the team's 2-4 record through six games, and Jones is still a work in progress. He's averaging just 7.0 yards per pass attempt (tied for 24th in the NFL) for a team that's struggled to score points all season.
But if you take the long view, Jones appears to have a very bright NFL future. He leads all rookie quarterbacks in completion percentage and passing yards and has shown a poise beyond his years in the pocket despite facing constant pressure behind a patchwork offensive line.
Jones' NFL peers agree with Prescott, as well. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians lauded Jones' ability to handle pressure in the Patriots' Week 4 loss to Tampa Bay, while New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich was surprised by how professional the Alabama product looked at such a young age.
So, while the results haven't been there for the Patriots, they appear to have a legitimately good player at their most important position.