The Patriots Are On The Verge Of Another Quarterback Controversy


Graphic / Max Grant

The past month has been an interesting time for the New England Patriots as backup quarterback Bailey Zappe has won his first two NFL starts. This has happened because incumbent Mac Jones has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain that he suffered in a loss against the Baltimore Ravens. Expectations for Zappe were set low for the season as was predicted to be a rookie quarterback drafted in the fourth round, but he outperformed numerous analysts’ goals. 

Last year when playing at Western Kentucky (WKU), Zappe set two NCAA records throwing for 5,967 yards and 62 touchdowns, while Jones’ first year in a Patriots uniform was tremendous, throwing for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions earning him a trip to the Pro Bowl. This season however, Zappe has thrown for 781 yards, five touchdowns, three interceptions and has a perfect record while starting at 2-0. Jones, on the other hand, has thrown for 993 yards, three touchdowns, seven interceptions and has a negative record while starting this year at 2-3. 

Jones, who came out of the University of Alabama, a very gifted football school that has won 18 National Championships, was surrounded by other star-studded offensive pieces. Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, fierce running back Najee Harris and more star NFL players today, all played a key role in the offense that won the 2021 National Championship for Alabama. Selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Jones was given the opportunity to start Week 1. 

Similar to another first round draft choice by the Patriots drafted 28 years prior, Patriots Hall of Famer Drew Bledsoe started right away for the Patriots after being selected with the first overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft. Jones led the Patriots out of a horrible 2020 season and made them a playoff team the following year.

Zappe was drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft out of WKU, which is not very well known as a football school. He started the year on the practice squad, having to work his way up by practicing well and eventually earn his starts through an injury. After veteran Brian Hoyer was injured against the Green Bay Packers, Zappe filled in and never looked back.

Zappe’s story has been compared to Patriots legendary quarterback Tom Brady who went to college at the University of Michigan and won a National Championship. Brady got his start after Bledsoe suffered a life threatening injury in 2001 and the rest is history.

Jones was listed as the starter for Week 8 against the New York Jets and got the win for the Patriots, but maybe the Patriots should explore the option of Zappe starting.