FOXBORO, Mass. — When the Patriots traded for DeVante Parker in 2022, they hoped they were getting a dangerous deep-ball weapon capable of winning 50-50 battles. He rarely has lived up to that billing since arriving in New England.

However, there are a few exceptions, most of which came with Bailey Zappe at quarterback. And that could be good news for Parker, as Zappe reportedly will start over Mac Jones in Sunday’s home game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

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Zappe was on the field for four of Parker’s seven longest gains — 22, 25, 29 and 43 yards — in a Patriots uniform. Overall, Parker has 10 catches for 190 yards and one touchdown on passes from Zappe, with the 190 yards representing the most of any pass-catcher on New England’s roster.

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The 25-yard gain came in last season’s road loss to the Green Bay Packers and represented the first Patriots TDs for both Zappe and Parker.

The 29-yard gain was made two weeks later in a road win over the Cleveland Browns and is the fourth-longest play of Parker’s Patriots career.

The 43-yard gain occurred a week later, shortly after Jones was benched in the infamous Monday night loss to the Chicago Bears. It still stands as Parker’s biggest play in New England.

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Finally, the 22-yard gain remains Parker’s biggest play this season. And it also is the only catch he made on a go-route in the first 12 weeks.

None of this is to say that Parker and Jones haven’t had their moments.

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The two connected on five catches for 156 yards, including a 40-yard gain, in last season’s home loss to the Baltimore Ravens. At the time, it looked like a potential sign of things to come for both players, but the game ended with Jones suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for three-plus weeks. Parker hasn’t surpassed 100 yards since.

Still, the results with Zappe speak for themselves, and Jones and Parker have whiffed on multiple deep-ball attempts this season. But Parker on Wednesday downplayed his connection with Zappe when asked whether there’s anything different about playing with the second-year QB.

“We just did a good job of hitting them,” Parker told “It all started in practice, just getting the work in practice, and we were able to showcase it on Sunday.”

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A Patriots player told MassLive’s Mark Daniels on Wednesday that Zappe has more “zip” on his passes than Jones and “better arm strength.” Parker neither confirmed nor denied those claims, but agreed with the notion that Zappe throws a good deep ball.

“Oh yeah, most definitely,” Parker said with a laugh. “Dude threw for almost 7,000 yards in college. So, I’d think so.”

Parker also praised Zappe for his leadership.

“I’d say he’s very poised,” Parker said. “Just his communication with everyone. Just sounds like a leader.”

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Most of the Zappe-Parker stats were posted last season when the Patriots offense somehow was better than it is now. These days, New England can execute little more than screens and running plays.

There’s no reason to believe Sunday’s game will be any different.

But don’t be surprised if Zappe’s first start of the season coincides with Parker’s biggest play of the campaign. The obvious chemistry between the two might represent the Patriots’ best chances of keeping pace with the Chargers offense.

Featured image via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images