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Do Your Job - With Mac out, it's "Next Man Up" time; but for who?


An Account of the 2022 New England Patriots Season

Yes, Brian Hoyer is back. But just because he is, I'm not sure he should play. PIC: Eric Canha

There's been a lot of change in the Patriots organization over the past few years. But almost one thing that's consistent of late; there's a lot less confidence in the quarterback room than there ever was.

Mac Jones has been decent, at best, this year. He showed he was uncomfortable in Week One against Miami. Week Two's win over Pittsburgh proved he was capable of something other than a ten-yard pass in between the hashes. Week Three, coming home to Foxboro, he made some good decisions, and some bad ones. But his fate against the Ravens wasn't only a loss - it was a high ankle sprain.

So now, back to the drawing board go Bill Belichick, and his "star-studded" room of NFL head coaches-gone-wrong. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, who - judging by their replacements - were not the right choices for the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, are left to scheme the offense. And they'll have a new choice to make this week.

The QB room is now down to two...and they couldn't be more different.

Brian Hoyer, who turns 37 in just a few weeks, was the true epitome of a journeyman. While he started his career with the Pats - and had two other stints in Foxboro - he is second to only Ryan Fitzpatrick by making starts for 8 NFL teams. He's a career backup, by and large, with the exception of really only two seasons - 2014 in Cleveland, and 2015 in Houston - both of which he threw for no better than 60%. Hoyer, at this point, is Mac Jones' personal QB coach; likely preparation of what's to come when his athletic ability runs out.

You'd have to think Hoyer could make a spot start out of the proverbial QB bullpen if he needed to. But then, you look back to 2020, when Hoyer pinch-hit for the Covid-stricken Cam Newton. It ended about as poorly as it could have - the Pats turned the ball over 4 times, and Hoyer made mistake after mistake.

It was enough for ESPN's "Get Up" to have a 6-minute segment.

Hoyer also is a record holder for all the wrong reasons - he's the sole owner of the longest active losing streak of any active rostered NFL quarterback. Yep, that's right...his last 11 starts have ended in losses. (Fun fact, courtesy of Chad Henne ranks second with 7.)

So it begs the question - even if Bill has been forward about the fact he'll start Hoyer this weekend against the Packers, what if there was a better option?

Perhaps a quarterback that stunned a decent amount of Pats fans when he was picked in the 4th round this year?

Bailey Zappe was a total stud at Western Kentucky, leading the FBS in passing yards (5,545) and touchdowns (56). He had nearly 1k more passing yards than the QB ranked second in the FBS, and nearly broke Joe Burrow's passing touchdown record that he set in 2019 with LSU.

Zappe had some jitters early in the preseason, but settled in later on to rack up just under 500 yards in 3 games.

It seems right now, the coaches' confidence is in Hoyer. When the media asked "offensive assistant" (what a joke of a title) Joe Judge if Zappe could take on a significant role, he answered noncommittal and honestly just frustrated everyone.

One thing is for sure - the fans want something new. I can't say I disagree, either. How about we give the kid a shot and see what he can do?

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