New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick, who normally doesn’t heap on the praise, had some heavy compliments for some young players. The Patriots had the most dominant performance of the NFL season so far, shutting out the Detroit Lions 29-0 on Sunday.
On both sides of the ball, New England showed competency, and it was the most complete win of the season. The defense was able to force a ton of pressure on Jared Goff and scored an offensive touchdown, and the offense was able to do some damage on the ground and through the air.
To me, the main story of the game was Bailey Zappe and Rhamondre Stevenson. Zappe was incredibly efficient, passing for 188 yards, a touchdown, and an interception that wasn’t his fault. Stevenson also rushed for a career high in yards.
Pariots’ head coach Bill Belichick, who is normally a bit short on the praise, had some high praise for both Zappe and Stevenson.
"“Bailey made a lot of good decisions,” the Patriots head coach said during his postgame press conference. “Was accurate with the ball. Thought he showed some poise there in some pressure situations where he got out of it and found an open receiver, made good decisions.”"
He continue on:
"“He does a good job of seeing the game and can come off and identify and articulate what he saw, what happened — and that’s usually right.”"
Not only did he have high praise for Zappe, he also gave Rhamondre Stevenson some much deserved praise as well:
"“Yeah, he is always good. He does a great job with the ball in his hands. He is a strong runner, but he can make people miss. He is a really good football player. Really a good football player. So glad we have him."
Perhaps hinting at just how good the future could be, both Bailey Zappe and Rhamondre Stevenson could have significant roles on the Patriots going forward. Bill Belichick has gotten a bit of criticism over the years for not being the best at drafting players, but he appears to have found something with the rookie and second year player.
Going forward, the New England Patriots do have some very winnable games on their schedule. They travel to Cleveland to face the Deshaun Watson-less Browns on October 16th. After that, they’ll return home for a Monday night game against the Chicago Bears and Justin Fields.
Their last two games after that and before their bye week are matchups against the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts. Of their last four games before the bye week, could Bill Belichick guide this team to three wins?