Patriots' Mac Jones 'proud' of how Jakobi Meyers has responded to game-losing blunder 

We've spent plenty of time attempting to determine why Jakobi Meyers and Rhamondre Stevenson did what they did on the final play Sunday in Las Vegas.

Mac Jones is ready to move on, and sees the same desire in Meyers after nearly a week of ridicule.

"I think Kobs is just a very routine person, kind of like myself," Jones said Wednesday. "We just, no matter what happens the week before, we're running the same schedule. I see him at the same times every day and on the off-day -- everything. He's a very routine person, and he's not going to let results affect his performance. He's going to grind and do whatever he can to help the team, like he's done since he's been here. He definitely had a great practice today, and I'm just proud of the way he's responding."

It would be understandable if Meyers went into a shell after what happened in Week 15, or if he'd deflected some blame toward Stevenson for pitching him the ball when the Patriots didn't need to do anything but fall down. Meyers didn't, though, explaining immediately after the wild finish -- in which he attempted to throw a backwards pass to Jones and instead connected with the Raiders' Chandler Jones, who returned it for a walk-off touchdown -- that he thought Jones was open. He later acknowledged attempting the throw was foolish, no matter the target.

Such losses can send teams spiraling. At 7-7, the Patriots can't afford a trip down such a slide, especially considering they're still in the thick of the playoff hunt.

Credit is due to Meyers and Jones, two relatively young players who wear the Patriots uniform, but aren't quite versed in the greatness of the Tom Brady-led Patriots era. They still have to earn their own achievements, and they know their work isn't done, even after a crushing defeat.

"That's what football is all about," Jones added. "Sometimes when things don't go your way, you've just got to bounce back, and I definitely look at him as a great leader on our team. So he's setting a great example, and now we're just getting ready for this week. He's done a great job."

Things get even more difficult from here on out. The Patriots begin a final three-game stretch Saturday in which they face Cincinnati, Miami and Buffalo -- three teams currently ahead of New England in the playoff race. Tough sledding would be an understatement.

But if Meyers finds himself in another moment of desperation, he'll at least know better than to throw it back toward his quarterback. And he'll know Jones will have his back.

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