ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — There are some things to like about Bailey Zappe as a quarterback. But if he’s ever going to make it in the NFL, he must cut back on the turnovers.

Zappe threw three interceptions in the first 20 minutes of the Patriots’ 27-21 road loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The sophomore quarterback now has thrown interceptions in three of his five starts this season and seven overall. In 2022, Zappe threw a pick in one of his two starts and two more after relieving Mac Jones early in New England’s infamous home loss to the Chicago Bears.

In total, Zappe has 10 interceptions in 13 career games, including seven starts. That kind of sloppy football simply isn’t sustainable.

After Sunday’s loss, Zappe was asked to break down the second of his three interceptions, which occurred while targeting DeVante Parker on a slant. Zappe lamented not throwing to rookie DeMario Douglas, who was open while coming out of the backfield.

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Here’s the play:

And here’s Zappe’s explanation, which includes a confident promise:

“I just gotta do what I’m coached to do and throw the little swing pass that we had going. It’s just as simple as that. I mean, if I do that, who knows what happens? It’s a 10-yard gain, 15-yard gain. You’re getting the ball in (Douglas’) hands — I mean, it’s never a bad thing.

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“It’s just things that I gotta fix. And over the course of my career, trust me, I’ll get better at that.”

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Whether Zappe actually improves at protecting the football remains to be seen. But he better make those improvements quickly, or else he won’t get many more opportunities to play quarterback for the Patriots — or anywhere else, for that matter.

The progress Zappe’s made in other areas of his game suggests he’ll deliver on his promise. But time is running out.

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Featured image via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images