With Mac Jones out of the lineup for the near future, should the New England Patriots defer to Bailey Zappe instead of Brian Hoyer? Playing quarterback is the hardest thing to do in sports. There aren’t even 32 starting caliber quarterbacks in the NFL.
And playing the position as a rookie is even harder. For the New England Patriots, they struck a bit of gold with their rookie quarterback. Mac Jones’ rookie season was a historic one. It’s rather unheard of to see a rookie play as efficiently as he did.
He’s out of the lineup with a severely sprained ankle, and he could be out for a significant amount of time. Right now, the Patriots’ primary backup is Brian Hoyer, who is likely going to start in the absences of Mac Jones.
However, I’m not sure this is the best path forward. Sure, Brian Hoyer is a solid backup. He’ll likely play reasonably well. He won’t fill the stat sheet, but he’s thrown 53 touchdowns against 35 interceptions during his career. He’s fine.
The thing is, though, is we know what and who Brian Hoyer is. We can reasonably expect what he’ll produce on the field. Someone who could be a difference maker is Bailey Zappe. There’s something fascinating and enticing about the uncertain.
What if Bailey Zappe can make an immediate impact? What if he can indeed play in the NFL? When will he ever get a shot? I think now is the time to try something like this. Just imagine the benefit to the team if he can indeed play.
I don’t expect Brian Hoyer to be able to lead the Patriots against the Packers or Lions. Again, that’s not a slight on Hoyer, but it’s a confirmation of what he’s done in the NFL. Bailey Zappe deserves a shot, I think. Sure, it might create an unwanted quarterback situation between him and Jones, but I don’t see a noticeable negative that could come out of that situation.
Zappe threw for 62 touchdowns against 11 interceptions and nearly 6,000 yards during his 2021 season at Western Kentucky, so he has shown the ability to have a strong passing volume. The most likely scenario is that Zappe comes in and struggles quite a bit.
However, the Patriots won’t know that unless they give it a try.