FOXBORO (CBS) — Mac Jones knows how to play football and he has a pretty good handle on the NFL rule book. So when he signaled for a first down despite being well short of moving the chains during Sunday’s Patriots win over the Titans, everyone was a bit confused.

But Mac had a good explanation for it after New England’s 36-13 win.

The play in question happened early in the second half, when the quarterback called his own number on a third-and-10 on New England’s first possession of the third quarter. He picked up seven yards before breaking into a slide, where Jones was met by Tennessee’s Buster Skrine. The slide meant that Jones was well short of the line to gain.

But when he shot up after taking a hit from Skrine, Jones signaled for a first down. He looked just as confused after everyone else for a few seconds before he made his way off the field.

It turns out that Jones never thought that he got the first down. He was waiting for a penalty that never came.

“I thought they were going to call it. But I slid, so it didn’t count,” Jones laughed after New England’s win. “I didn’t know there wasn’t a flag thrown. Just a rookie error there.”

Jones has had a remarkable rookie season thus far, with a lot more highlights than lowlights. But there are a few throws that he would like to have back on Sunday — including that first down signal that he threw out when he was very much short of the line.

CBSBoston.com Staff