Thanks to incredible play from rookie Bailey Zappe, the New England Patriots find themselves back at .500 following a blowout road win over the Cleveland Browns.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones missed his third straight game as he continues to recover from a high ankle sprain. And one week after leading New England to a shutout win over the Detroit Lions, Zappe had a career outing in a 38-15 win over Bill Belichick’s old team.
The Patriots are now 2-0 in starts by Zappe. And predictably, much of social media is calling for New England to start the Western Kentucky product over Jones going forward.
Jones was injured in the Patriots’ Week 3 home game against the Baltimore Ravens, a 37-26 New England loss. Longtime backup Brian Hoyer started the team’s Week 4 road game against the Green Bay Packers, but he left the game after suffering a head injury.
The rookie fourth-round pick pieced together an admirable performance against Aaron Rodgers’ Packers at Lambeau Field, but they dropped a 27-24 heartbreaker in overtime. In Week 5 against the Lions, Zappe completed 17 of 21 pass attempts for 188 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Zappe was even better in Week 6, completing 24 of 34 pass attempts for 309 yards and two touchdowns without zero interceptions. Zappe also got plenty of support from Rhamondre Stevenson, who racked up 19 carries for 76 yards and two rushing scores.
Belichick, of course, is the last person who will offer any hints on a potential quarterback controversy. In his own words, the Patriots will continue to take it “day by day”.
For now, the Patriots will enjoy the victory and get ready for their Week 7 Monday night home game against the Chicago Bears. A win there would bring New England above .500 for the first time in 2022.