How Bill Belichick Explained Bailey Zappe Replacing Mac Jones

Zappe replaced Jones after a second-quarter interception


Oct 24, 2022

Mac Jones was not benched for performance-related reasons Monday night, according to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick told ESPN sideline reporter Lisa Salters at halftime of New England’s matchup with the Chicago Bears that replacing Jones with rookie Bailey Zappe “was the plan all along.” Salters also relayed that Belichick told her Jones and Zappe both would play in the second half.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter suggested this was a possibility when he tweeted pregame that “it would not be a surprise” if both quarterbacks saw action for the Patriots.

Jones, who missed the previous three games with a high ankle sprain, started and played the first three series. The Patriots went three-and-out on the first two, and Jones threw an interception on the third before giving way to Zappe.

Zappe entered and immediately led back-to-back touchdown drives, hitting Rhamondre Stevenson, Jakobi Meyers and DeVante Parker for gains of 20, 30 and 43 yards, respectively. He finished the first half 5-for-6 for 109 yards and one touchdown with no interception. Jones was 3-of-6 for 13 yards and no touchdowns with one pick at halftime, adding three scrambles for 24 yards.

The Patriots trailed the underdog Bears 20-14 at the break. Zappe remained in the game for the first New England possession of the second half, which resulted in a three-and-out.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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