Bailey Zappe's career has been a roller coaster ride since he was drafted in 2022. He went from serving as the backup as a rookie to unexpectedly stepping in for an injured Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer in a tough matchup against the Packers in Lambeau. He went on to go 3-1 as the starting quarterback and looked like a player who was a solid addition to the roster, even if it was only in a backup capacity.
But then Zappe's impressive run came to a sudden halt when he was shockingly waived during initial roster cuts in August. Other than it seemingly coming out of nowhere, the move left Jones as the only quarterback on the team. It joined other questionable decisions Bill Belichick made when forming the final 53-man roster.
And although Zappe was re-signed to the practice squad after clearing waivers, it has remained a confusing situation, especially since he was later signed to the game-day roster and has since become the starter after Jones's benching.
He has now been the guy under center for four straight games, going 2-2 and appearing to have re-energized a stagnant offense. Whether or not that indicates how the team felt about Jones is unclear, but the support for Zappe is apparent and keeping the morale up in what is otherwise a disappointing season.
The excitement could be felt after he led the team to a solid win over the Steelers two weeks ago, with the long-awaited locker room celebration video being posted shortly after. It had been over a month since we last heard the "Aww yeah!" from the players, which made fans run to watch the latest addition as they've become few and far between.
It quickly went viral once it was posted online for an awkward reason.
The post-game interaction between Belichick and Zappe was uncomfortable to watch. The quarterback had just shared a celebratory hug with Bill O'Brien, followed by a straight face handshake with his head coach.
The moment overshadowed the rest of the video, which Zappe saw, of course. And that's why he went in for a hug after their Sunday Night win over the Broncos, which Zappe spoke about during his appearance on WEEI's "Jones and Mego" earlier this week.
It was good to see the two in good spirits and share the excitement of winning another game everyone counted them out of. It is also the most joyous we've seen Belichick with one of the quarterbacks this season, prompting some to believe Zappe may be in line to be QB1 in 2024.
But that seems far too early to assume just yet.