In the current state the Patriots find themselves in, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in the NFL media even attempting to compare anything about their team to that of a reigning Super Bowl Champion. But a writer at CBS Sports did just that with his latest article.
Cody Benjamin wrote a lengthy piece for the sports website discussing one thing we have learned about every NFL team from their first preseason games this year. What he shared about the Chiefs is a common thread between them and New England; they both have under-the-radar star players in the making.
Much like the rest of the national media, Benjamin wrote about the rising star of the offense, Malik Cunningham, and believes he will be the secret weapon for the Patriots in 2023.
"They must find ways to get Malik Cunningham on the field. The undrafted Louisville QB was electric on the ground against the Texans, providing a welcome contrast to the more scripted styles of Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. Whether or not he actually makes noise under center in Bill O'Brien's return as offensive coordinator, the Pats need that kind of dynamism."
The Chiefs have a wide receiver making waves so far this offseason, which is significant since they lost Tyreek Hill last year. But the Patriots having another potential drama within the quarterback room is not exactly what they need right now.
The good thing, however, is that there doesn't appear to be a quarterback battle that many in New England seem to want to see or believe is happening. Mac Jones is the starter, and Cunningham's recent success, if continued, may push Bailey Zappe out as the backup.
But before that happens, the rookie UDFA will need to prove he can maintain that explosive play he displayed on the field against the Texans last week. His potential could be game-changing for the Patriots, primarily since both current quarterbacks signed are not known for their mobility.
Cunningham provides more opportunities to be creative on offense and very well could be the team's secret weapon this upcoming season only if O'Brien and Belichick can figure out how to utilize him properly.