Football

Zappe goes from awful to … well, acceptable?

We pause in the debate over where Bill Belichick will work in 2024 to consider Bailey Zappe’s future employer.

While history will condemn Belichick as the architect of the 2023 fiasco, Zappe will certainly go down as a featured contributor to this sorry mess.

And Patriots owner Bob Kraft has been a Mac Jones fan since a grumpy Belichick drafted him. When interviewing coaching candidates he may strongly suggest that Jones be given a shot at his old job.

Might Zappe Fever catch on in Toronto, or Ottawa, or Saskatchewan?

Probably not. For one thing the CFL field is a lot bigger. On that expanse there is more room for him to get into trouble.

A few NFL teams are in the market for a new QB. Of course, none of them wanted anything to do with Zappe earlier in the season when he was nothing if not available.

Could it be that Zappe is going nowhere?

Since the 2024 Patriots are going nowhere, they could take that ride together.

Kraft’s soft spot for Jones aside, it isn’t as outlandish as it seemed in the opening minutes Sunday in Buffalo.

If nothing else, the kid did show some resilience Sunday after the worst start an NFL quarterback has ever endured.

OK; let’s call it the worst start for an NFL quarterback these eyes have taken in.

Consider how he buried Jalen Reagor’s 98-yard return of the opening kickoff.

The Patriots had a 7-0 lead after 12 seconds. 

Then Zappe went into his terrified cat mode. His first pass, deflected at the line of scrimmage, was intercepted by defensive lineman Ed Oliver. 

The Pats defense limited the damage to a field goal.

On their third possession, Zappe was picked off by Rasul Douglas. The Bills turned that into seven points.

In the second quarter, Douglas picked off Zappe again and trotted 40 yards into the end zone.

The Patriots were down 20-7.

But Zappe kept showing up in the huddle every time the Patriots defense got them the ball.

He finished the day 16 for 26 for 209 yards. That wasn’t enough to rescue his team from the hole he dug, but was presentable.

“Those are things I have to fix,” Zappe said. “Over the course of my career, trust me, I’ll get better at that.”

Maybe he’ll fix himself working in Foxborough.

Maybe he’ll do it under Belichick’s unyielding glare.