Why Mac Jones is relishing big stage of Patriots-Bills on 'Monday Night Football'


Mac Jones doesn't play like a typical rookie. He shows poise, maturity and a football IQ beyond his years.

But for all of the impressive traits the New England Patriots quarterback has shown through the first 12 games of his NFL career, he lacks experience in a bunch of different situations.

One of them is "Monday Night Football".

He'll get a taste of that this week when the Patriots visit the Buffalo Bills for the first of two meetings between these AFC East rivals over the next month.

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Jones is relishing the opportunity to shine on such an important stage with the AFC playoff race intensifying.

"I think people who love football want to get a chance to play in games like these," Jones told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.

"I know all the guys on both teams want to play in games like this. It’ll be a great experience. I know they have a bunch of great fans, and it’s football, so you’ve just got to go out there and play the game that we’ve all played since we were little kids."

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Buffalo fans, often referred to as "Bills Mafia", are a very passionate group. Given the importance of this game, the energy in the stadium Monday night should be higher than normal.


"They bring a lot of energy, and they have a great fanbase," Jones said. "They love football. It’s two great franchises going against each other. A lot of football history. This game coming up, like I said, both teams are going to be excited, and there’s going to be energy, so we’ve just got to be ready to go."

The Patriots enter this matchup with an 8-4 record, a half game ahead of the Bills for first place in the AFC East. If the Patriots win this Week 13 game, they will have a 78 percent chance of claiming the division crown, per FiveThirtyEight.

Buffalo is a tough place to play, but Jones has done quite well on the road this season. In fact, he's a perfect 5-0 away from Foxboro as a rookie. 

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The Bills are by far the toughest opponent the Patriots have played on the road so far, though, and their defense is one of the league's best.

"They present every challenge. They’re one of the top defenses in the whole country," Jones said. "They lead almost every category or they’re in the top 10. They don’t do a lot of things bad, so we’ve just got to be ready to go.

"They have great experience in most parts, and some of the young guys have stepped in and played really well. They have a really good mix of experience and team speed. They play hard, and they play together. It’s a great defense, and they don’t really have many flaws."

Kickoff on Monday night is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.