When Mac Jones went to the locker room in obvious pain against the Ravens, Patriots fans panicked. Jones led the Patriots to the playoffs last year after Cam Newton failed to do so the year before. So this injury was a massive blow for the Patriots.
Veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer took over for the former Alabama quarterback the week after the Patriots traveled to Green Bay. The Patriots chose the more experienced quarterback over rookie Bailey Zappe. This makes sense, as Lambeau field is a challenging place to play.
Early on, Hoyer left with an injury that he sustained to his head after being sacked by LB Rashan Gary. Head coach Bill Belichick had no choice but to turn to the third-string rookie quarterback.
The former Hilltopper broke many records at WKU, including the most FBS passing touchdowns (62), beating former LSU quarterback Joe Burrows record (60). Zappe led WKU to a 9-5 overall record.
Most to none were expecting Zappe to fold under pressure. I mean, coming in mid-game, on the road, in Lambeau field, as a rookie, what could go wrong, may you ask, everything! So we thought, at least.
Zappe took over, threw for 99 passing yards, and even threw his first career touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. Zappe looked shaky in some parts, as expected from a rookie. The Patriots were defeated 27-24 in overtime, but this was a promising step in Zappe’s career, as he looked, well, not so bad.
The following week, Zappe was allowed to start in his first NFL game against the Detroit Lions as Mac Jones was still not 100% ready to go. The Patriot’s defense stole the show giving up no points, but the offense is something that will catch your eye as well.
Zappe completed 17 passes out of an attempted 21 targets. He threw for 188 yards, one touchdown pass, and one interception, which many argue was not his fault, as he hit the wide receiver, Nelson Agholor, right in the hands. Zappe and the Patriots posted 29 points on the Lions and rolled into week six with some confidence.
Now, week six has a little different story as Zappe packed the scoresheet and had his best NFL performance yet in Cleveland. The 2-3 Browns (now 2-4) got picked apart by the Patriots as Zappe threw for 309 passing yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. Nevertheless, the Patriots escaped with a 38-15 win.
Ok so what is the issue?
Here is the thing. Mac Jones led the Patriots to the playoffs last season, and looked strong as well. This season, the quarterback is beginning to head in the wrong direction. Jones has thrown two touchdown passes and five interceptions and does not look like the same quarterback that took the field last year. Bailey Zappe and the Patriots have dominated for two weeks and are on a roll. The main question is, do the Patriots go with their primary quarterback? Or do they go with the kid out of a small school in Kentucky that is tearing it up right now?
It may be too soon to compare Zappe to Tom Brady, but the internet is already doing its thing.
For real though, looking at the history of the Patriots, it seems Zappe is shaping out to have a similar career beginning. Who will the Patriots ride with? We do not know. Who should they ride with? Well, that is a tough decision Bill Belichick is going to have to make.
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