New England Patriots’ third string quarterback Bailey Zappe looked great on Sunday. Could be actually be better than Mac Jones? On Sunday, the Patriots played their most complete game of the season. The offense put up 29 points on the backs of solid play from Bailey Zappe and automatic kicking from Nick Folk, and the defense shut down the NFL’s highest ranked scoring offense.
Several game balls should be handed out for today’s beatdown. The defense would get one. Nick Folk would also get one. Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for a career high total today, so he should get one as well. And lastly and perhaps most importantly, Bailey Zappe should get one.
Zappe was excellent today, going 17/21 through the air for 188 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The interception was clearly not his fault as the ball popped out of the hands of Nelson Agholor, who may find himself on another team before the trade deadline.
It was a complete offensive performance. Zappe threw for nearly 200 yards. The Patriots also had a 100 yard receiver and rusher, which is a notable accomplishment for an offense that has been struggling to score points this season. With all of that said, I am wondering something, and perhaps it’s a massive overreaction: Could Bailey Zappe be better than Mac Jones?
Mac Jones will take over the starting role once he gets healthy, for obvious reasons, but I’m just imagining what could happen if Zappe was left as the starter. What if he put together some great quarterback play and started leading the Patriots to wins? We can all kind of see what kind of quarterback Mac Jones is and can turn into.
He’s falling into that Kirk Cousins/Derek Carr/Ryan Tannehill/Andy Dalton tier of averageness. I’m not sure we’ll see him reach any higher levels than that. However, what if Bailey Zappe could be better than that? Has the Patriots’ coaching staff even considered such an idea?
What would the story be if Mac Jones was handed back the starting job when he got healthy and the Patriots offense then began returning to their below average habits from the first few games of the season? What happens if Mac Jones finishes the year as the starter and the Patriots don’t win enough to make the playoffs?
I do think, at the very least, Bailey Zappe will have done enough to be promoted to the backup quarterback position, especially since Brian Hoyer is on injured reserve, but I do wonder if we will ever get the chance to see if Zappe is genuinely more talented than Mac Jones.