Bill Belichick is being praised for finally benching Mac Jones

New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots
New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots / Winslow Townson/GettyImages

With the Sunday slate of Week 13 games just hours away, the Patriots will have even more eyes watching them as Bill Belichick finally decided to bench quarterback Mac Jones for his backup, Bailey Zappe.

It appears the second-year player won't be all on his own, though, with reports revealing rookie Malik Cunningham was elevated to the 53-man roster for the matchup with the Chargers and will likely be used in some way during the game.

It's been a long time coming for what seemed like Jones' inevitable fate this season, as his struggles remained the focus of a struggling offense, some of which led to the team's eventual loss. This will be the first time in his career that he will be kept on the sideline with Zappe heading in as the starter instead, a decision Belichick is being praised for despite it coming a bit too late in the season for some.

Besides Patriots fans applauding the tenured head coach for handing the keys to Zappe for at least one game, local reporters are also jumping on the bandwagon to compliment Belichick for making the now commonly decided right choice at quarterback.

That's a sentiment that the Boston Herald's Andrew Callahan expressed in a piece published last Friday, acknowledging that Jones appears to be a broken player; while Zappe may not be the long-term answer, he fits the need for the team right now.

"Belichick is sitting Jones, a broken player, in favor of a worse passer whose confidence is intact. Zappe represents a bridge from the basement to wherever this treacherous season leads next. Now it’s time for fans to rally behind the change.

Not because Zappe’s necessarily earned your cheers or to settle a tired Mac-versus-Zappe debate or because he offers an appreciably better option than Jones. It’s for the rest of the team.

A defense holding opponents to 10 points or fewer in consecutive games deserves support. Veterans like Matthew Slater, a future Patriots Hall of Famer, are owed a chance – however slim it might be – to win at the end; something to keep them warm in the winter of their careers. Zappe has inspired meager hope in the locker room that a full workload in practice might allow him to give the Patriots just that."

Making a quarterback change in Week 13 may not be the best decision since most of the season has come and gone. But the Patriots are in a position they are unfamiliar with; they have virtually nothing to lose as their postseason hopes could be eliminated with a loss against the Chargers.

It's possible Zappe could electrify a stagnant offense that has been troublesome for Jones all season long, and testing it out against a team that has historically not fared well against them since Justin Herbert was drafted doesn't seem like a bad idea.

It'll be interesting to see how the experiment ultimately turns out since a majority of fans and media were calling for Zappe's callup. If he doesn't look any better than Jones did through 11 games, then how will they react? Will they still feel Belichick made the right decision? Time will tell, but if it ends up going just as badly, that means they'll keep their top-3 draft pick and move on to next week, as the Patriots always do.

And who can complain about that?

Jabrill Peppers is done with one part of the Patriots 2023 season. dark. Next. Story link

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