Patriots fans should not fall for the Malik Cunningham hype

Aug 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham (16)
Aug 10, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Malik Cunningham (16) / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Every year, the NFL preseason has teams and fanbases overrating young players. For the New England Patriots, rookie quarterback Malik Cunningham is now a player that is getting that treatment.

After an exciting and sparkling performance that featured a rushing touchdown on Thursday night against the Houston Texans, the discourse around Cunningham has reached absurd levels.

Patriots fans must remain level-headed and not fall for the Cunningham hype after one game.

With the amount of one-hit-wonder players in the preseason every year, I find it shocking that fans are so quick to anoint labels on Cunningham and his play. Since the end of the game against the Texans, I’ve seen comparisons to Lamar Jackson/Cam Newton and people saying he should be considered for the starting quarterback job. 

All of these outlandish takes are absurd, considering Cunningham played one game, and it was primarily against players who will not make an NFL roster.

All Cunningham did was make one excellent juke play that has shifted fans' minds. It was an exciting play, but getting overly excited about it is unnecessary.

The reaction of some fans shows how quickly they are to go against Mac Jones. After one meaningless preseason game, people are already anointing Cunningham as the next good mobile quarterback.

The same happened last season when Bailey Zappe started and won two games, and then Zappe fever emerged. At least in the situation of Zappe, he won two games against real NFL players.

Cunningham, on the other hand, still has to prove over the next few weeks that he can play against starting NFL players. The former Louisville quarterback has not done enough to secure a roster spot, let alone be on the quarterback depth chart.

Ultimately, Cunningham is a fun player that belongs on the practice squad and nothing more.