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Bill Belichick did not answer directly when asked if Mac Jones will start final three games

Mike Florio and Chris Simms rip through keys to Week 16, including confidence in Gardner Minshew, what’s more likely between the Vikings and Giants, Mac Jones’ temper and Aaron Rodgers vs. Tua Tagovailoa.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t willing to say that starting quarterback Mac Jones’ job is safe.

Asked directly whether the plan is for Jones to start the final three weeks of the season, Belichick didn’t answer, instead just saying they’re focused on this week’s game against the Bengals.

“Yeah, the plan is to try to beat Cincinnati,” Belichick answered Wednesday.

Jones had perhaps the worst game of his career in Sunday’s loss to the Raiders, completing just 13 of 31 passes for 112 yards. The Patriots lost in spectacular fashion at the end, but it’s surprising that the game was even close with Jones completing just 41.9 percent of his passes and averaging just 3.6 yards per pass.

Belichick has acknowledged that the Patriots’ passing offense needs to improve, but he isn’t saying whether that improvement will come in the form of benching his quarterback.

“There’s always things that everybody can improve on every week,” Belichick said. “Just point those out on the film and try to correct them. That’s players, coaches, every position, that’s what it always is.”

Rookie backup quarterback Bailey Zappe started two games while Jones was injured this season, and the Patriots won both of those games, and some fans want to see Zappe get another chance. Belichick isn’t giving those fans what they want just yet, but he isn’t ruling it out, either.