Patriots Talk Podcast

Why Patriots need to start Bailey Zappe for rest of season

It's time for Bill Belichick to make the switch at QB.

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A disastrous season for Mac Jones only got worse in the New England Patriots' Week 12 matchup vs. the New York Giants.

The third-year quarterback tossed two interceptions before being benched in favor of Bailey Zappe for the entire second half. It was the fourth time this season Jones was benched midgame.

Although Zappe threw a pick of his own and didn't fare much better than Jones, he did lead a touchdown drive in the third quarter and put the Patriots in a position to tie or win the game in the final seconds. The performance, albeit uninspiring, was enough to show he deserves a chance to start over Jones in Week 13 and beyond.

Our Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry believe it's time for Belichick to make the switch at QB. They explained why on a new episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast.

🔊 Patriots Talk: Bill O’Brien goes deep on what’s ailing Mac and who should take blame | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"Since Mac is unusable at this juncture -- I mean, it's the definition of insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over -- they have to start Bailey Zappe," Curran said. "There's also the benefit of starting Bailey Zappe and giving him an extreme amount of run over the final six games or until he shoots himself out of the position to establish whether or not entering his third year he's a suitable NFL backup, or could even be a spot-starter which we thought he was coming out of 2022. ...

"That's why I would argue Bailey Zappe for the next five games. You know what you've got with Mac at this juncture. You've got to figure out what you've got with the other guy."

Perry agrees it's time to roll with Zappe, adding that we still need to see if he's capable of being a reliable No. 2 QB in the NFL.

"I like this point by you," Perry told Curran. "And I would add to it, in order to find out if he can be a backup, you have to allow him to run an offense that's different from the one he ran at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. And it's not going to be easy, because the competition's gonna get tougher. And so, even if you give him the next month, the next five or six weeks, whatever it is.

"In order to see if he has the goods to even be a number two, you cannot be this 'We throw it sideways and we throw it sideways alone.' Because that's not a backup quarterback. You can't win that way. You become way too easy to defend. I think Zappe's pick on Sunday was the result of the Patriots being incredibly easy to defend."

The Patriots added a wrinkle to the QB conversation on Tuesday, re-signing Will Grier to the practice squad just a few days after waiving him. Zappe, Grier, and Malik Cunningham are the current options for New England if it's looking to make a chance under center this Sunday vs. the Los Angeles Chargers.

Also in the episode:

  • What will the QB plan be this week? 
  • Did players know who was starting last week? 
  • Would Bill O’Brien deem Mac Jones fixable?
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