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Zappe’s Chance Coming? It Sounds Like It Might Be

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
November 22, 2023 at 3:18 pm ET

Zappe’s Chance Coming?  It Sounds Like It Might Be(PHOTO: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)
Posted: Nov 22, 2023 03:18
🕑 Read Time: 3 minutes

Let the games begin.

As we head into Week 12, the Patriots currently sit at 2-8 with nothing seemingly but pride and improvement left as motivating factors over these final seven weeks.

When it comes to who will be under center on Sunday, that’s obviously been the big question this week.  Bill Belichick will be the one who will ultimately make that decision and on Tuesday, he wasn’t willing to say anything.

One day later, Mac Jones seems to feel like he’s still got a shot at being out there down at MetLife Stadium, and that’s the way he’s approaching this weekend’s game.

“Hope so. I mean, that’s the plan,” said Jones. “I think I always work really hard for that, really put a lot of attention and detail into the week, like I talked about.”

But when it comes to things on the practice field, it sounds like there have been changes.

According to MassLive.com’s Mark Daniels, things are lining up where it could be Bailey Zappe who might potentially get the starting nod this weekend.  Daniels cited a team source who said that Zappe has seen an “uptick” in reps at practice, with both he and Jones rotating in with the club’s starting offense.

The question now will be how things unfold from here.  While Jones has seemingly been the better of the two players in practice situations to this point, his performances in the games as of late have obviously been the issue.

Since their win against the Bills back in Week 7, Jones has thrown an interception in each of the last three games, with the one he threw two weeks ago in Germany costing the team what would have been a go-ahead touchdown against Indianapolis.

On the play, Jones badly underthrew Mike Gesicki, who had slipped past the coverage for what would have been a sure-touchdown.  Instead the third-year quarterback let it go as he was falling back after feeling pressure that wasn’t there, with the ball ending up in the hands of Indianapolis’ defense to kill the drive.

That turnover happened one series after throwing a near-pick to Hunter Henry in a similar situation, which the Patriots managed to at least salvage and come away with a field goal.

While Zappe didn’t fare well either after throwing an ill-advised pick of his own when he came in to close out the contest, Jones may have simply worn out whatever currency he had. Belichick said after the game he felt, “I just thought it was time for a change,” likely feeling that way after seeing things end so badly on back-to-back drives.

However, behind the scenes, it sounds like Zappe has been quietly on the upswing after a preseason that saw him end up on the outside looking in during roster cutdowns.

Belichick said following the game that Zappe had shown improvement, including praising his recent work in the two-minute offense ahead of that match-up.

“He’s got a lot of opportunities on that, and he’s actually done pretty well with it,” said Belichick.

It’s still early, but it’s possible the coaching staff might finally take a shot at seeing if the Western Kentucky standout can extend his winning streak to 3-0 as a starter this weekend against the Giants.

After eight losses, they certainly have nothing to lose.  With seven games remaining in their season, their margin for error is already thin enough as it is and unfortunately, Jones has had too many moments that make it hard to feel he can get things back on track.

Still, the former first-round pick seems to believe he’ll get another opportunity this weekend.  We’ll find out on Sunday if that truly ends up being the case, or if it will be Zappe who will be the one to try and make the best of what’s left of this 2023 Patriots season.

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.


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