Patriots rookie quarterback, Bailey Zappe, played well in the preseason opener against the Giants, but he wore his nerves on his sleeves throughout the game.
The Patriots do not have a quarterback competition in their camp. However, they do need to name a backup to Mac Jones. Brian Hoyer seems to be riding off into the sunset of his career while the rookie jumps on the horse.
On Friday night, Zappe hopes to improve his first game in the NFL against the Panthers, a team with a better defense than the previous one he faced.
Zappe’s Second Performance As A Patriot Had Its Ups & Downs.
In Week two, Zappe played most of the game for the Patriots. He finished with under 173 yards but failed to throw a touchdown. Instead, he tossed an interception in the second half, where the defensive back jumped the route, snatched the pass, and ran it back for the score. He did try to tackle him, but there was no chance of making a play.
At least he continued building chemistry with Lil Jordan Humphrey caught five of his six targets for 71 yards
The rookie struggled throughout the contest, which could be the fault of the play-calling. Unfortunately, the team has yet to name a play caller with one game remaining. When asked about the issue, Belichick responds in the most Belichick way possible.
“It’s a process.”Bill Belichick explaining the play-caller job’s vacancy
What Can Zappe Improve On Heading Into The Patriots’ Last Preseason Game?
The past week of practicing with the Panthers seems to have evolved into a Royal Rumble match. The two teams cannot keep their hands off each other. It has the undertone of a regular season matchup in August, precisely what the fourth-rounder needs in this contest.
Zappe struggles with keeping momentum on his side throughout his possessions. His decision-making ability declines with every interception thrown. He needs to take a seat and watch the 15th overall pick show him how it is done.
He has the tools to put on a show for the Foxboro Faithful. His receivers prove to be a massive upgrade from a year ago. They have done well against the Panthers’ secondary. It is time to execute.
What Could Go Wrong For The Rookie?
Besides getting in his head, Zappe’s performance relies on the offensive line. They need to protect the rookie like he was the Big Mac. It is no secret that the Patriots’ offensive remains the team’s most significant question mark heading into the regular season. Allowing what would be sacked in practice will only lead to Zappe getting bundled or even worse, injured.
Also, the Patriots refuse to name a play caller. Matt Patricia, Joe Judge, and even Bill Belichick have swapped off calling plays in practice and the lone game. This minute detail could spell disaster for Zappe. If too many cooks are in the kitchen, the final product loses its luster—same with play callers.
I am excited to see what Zappe does against the Raiders. Yes, he most likely will not see the field in 2022. However, you are only as strong as your weakest link.
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