It was no Mac Jones, no problem for the Patriots once again Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium.
New England received a great effort from Bailey Zappe in the rookie quarterback’s second career NFL start. Zappe completed 24 of his 34 pass attempts for 309 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions in the Patriots’ 38-15 win over the Cleveland Browns. The Week 6 victory signaled the second in as many games for New England and improved its record to .500 on the campaign.
Of course, it was tough to imagine Zappe seeing the field for the Patriots this season, let alone playing well. In fact, there were plenty out there who thought the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Western Kentucky product didn’t have what it took to be a capable NFL quarterback in general. Zappe’s agent, Nicole Lynn, has held onto the receipts of those criticisms.
“Trying to restrain myself from texting every team who told me Bailey Zappe couldn’t play in the NFL,” Lynn tweeted after Sunday’s game.
Zappe’s impressive play has given the Patriots the luxury of being able to take it slow with Jones. Unless the sophomore QB is unequivocally 100% next Monday night, it should be Zappe who starts behind center for New England when it hosts the Chicago Bears for a primetime Week 7 matchup.
And judging from what we’ve seen over the past two-plus weeks, Bill Belichick and company should have confidence that Zappe can lead the Patriots to their third consecutive win.