DO YOUR JOB
An Account of the 2022 New England Patriots Season
WEEK FOUR: NO MORAL VICTORIES
The Pats went toe-to-toe with the Packers on Sunday, but it wasn't enough.
PIC: David Silverman
Well, that was disappointing.
I must say, this was an absolutely entertaining bout between the Pats and the Packers, especially given that the Pack were a 10-point favorite. Ultimately, even though there are some signs of optimism in this one, it was still a loss - there are no moral victories.
And now, the New England Patriots start their season 1-3 for the second straight year.
Last week, I noted that although Brian Hoyer has certainly paid his dues to this franchise, maybe it was time for another younger option to step up in Bailey Zappe with Mac Jones out. When Hoyer was removed from the game after a head injury, the Western Kentucky product finally got his time to shine.
As I noted during his preseason stint, he certainly had the jitters. And, understandably so - making an NFL debut at Lambeau Field is probably as daunting as they come.
Overall, I was happy with the way Zappe performed, as it was enough to keep the Pats in the contest. 10-of-15 passes for 99 yards in 3 quarters of football and his first career touchdown is something I can get behind for having no NFL experience.
My question, which I'll get to below...Zappe wasn't given enough creative freedom. Was this a matter of being too cautious with only one QB on the roster (and a rookie at that), or systemic mayhem within the organization? You'll find out ;)
One thing is for sure - Bailey Zappe was always the one. He embodies the grit the Pats have...I got a real kick out of this one.
"Personally, I find it disrespectful to throw an out route on me. If you can get the ball outside of me, I’m no good.”
This came out of rookie Jack Jones' mouth after the game. The Arizona State product was taken in the fourth round of the 2022 draft, and many didn't think he'd be an instant contributor. Well, with secondary contributors Jalen Mills and Joshuah Bledsoe out this week, someone had to rise to the occasion.
Next thing you know, Aaron Rodgers threw a pass that ended up in the end zone. Spoiler: it was a touchdown...just not for his team.
The Patriots are usually routine producers of one-or-two under-the-radar secondary threats each season. Jack Jones could certainly be a candidate for a big lift reps-wise this year if he honors the New England system and continues to perform like this. One thing is for sure - in a tough season for the Pats, he could be a bright spot.
The play calling is still treacherous
I mean, what in God's name are we doing here?
The last three drives of the game (including OT):
6:14 in the 4th quarter: Rush for 4 yards, sack for -9 yards, pass for 6 yards, punt
1:52 in the 4th quarter: Rush for 2 yards, rush for 5 yards, rush for 2 yards, punt
Overtime: Rush for 5 yards, rush for no gain, incomplete
I get it, Matt Patricia. You want to be cautious. But there is a fine line between having a bad day and a bad career. I hate to be dramatic, but please shoot this guy into the sun. It is clear he is not the #1 play caller that he once was.
***Disclaimer - I reserve the right to rescind this take if he has a good game against a good team
I'll leave you with this.
This is the ninth time in club history that the Patriots started the year 1-3. The most two recent times?
Last year, when the Pats rallied around rookie quarterback Mac Jones and made the playoffs.
2001, when a rookie quarterback from Michigan (that shall remain nameless) Wally Pipp'ed Drew Bledsoe. The result? A ring on their fingers.
History will decide whether the Patriots are a story of luck or fate.
Let's see what happens in a home contest with the Detroit Lions next week, who are fresh off a total slugfest 48-45 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Two teams hungry for change...