FOXBORO — Jones Fever doesn’t fairly have the identical ring or zing to it as Zappe Fever.
In reality, Jones doesn’t have a lot of a pulse proper now. Zappe Fever is the craze.
Or is it?
Judging by how issues performed out at Gillette Stadium Monday evening, Zappe Fever might very properly be right here to remain, if solely by default.
After what transpired, it’s laborious to consider Bill Belichick can flip again now, particularly after yanking Jones.
Whatever the case, it’s a large number.
Bailey Zappe seems to be the person for higher or worse, and proper now, it’s worse on all counts. The Patriots misplaced 33-14 to the lowly Bears and didn’t look good in any section of the sport.
The mighty Zappe couldn’t save the workforce on this evening. The protection couldn’t get off the sector. They couldn’t cease Justin Fields and the league’s second-worst scoring offense, and worst passing offense.
And Zappe, after a short spark and flurry of scoring, did no higher than Jones. He led two landing drives, but additionally surrendered the ball with a fumbled snap and two interceptions.
He completed finishing 14 of twenty-two passes for 185 yards, a landing, and two picks.
So the Fever in the end took on a giant chill, as neither quarterback might brag or boast.
The Patriots head coach had appeared to decide on the place his bread was buttered by beginning Mac Jones, which wasn’t essentially a shock, however when that didn’t work early on, gave the followers what they had been pleading for from the beginning.
Belichick sat Jones after simply three collection, and Zappe got here on in aid early within the second quarter, with the Bears main 10-0 and Jones struggling mightily.
And their hero shortly turned the sport round, placing the Patriots within the lead for what turned out to be a cup of espresso.
It was a bit magical, even for a short while, because the minute Zappe entered, the offense got here alive.
On his first collection, he led a landing drive in simply 4 performs, ending with a 30-yard TD cross to Jakobi Meyers.
Zappe might need thrown it to the incorrect facet of a large open Meyers, however the receiver turned in mid-air and made an incredible play to catch the ball, and lunge into the top zone.
Gillette Stadium went nuts, and continued to roar throughout his second collection, as he hit DeVante Parker with a 43-yard bomb. Parker made a spectacular catch down the left facet, grabbing the ball between two defenders to arrange the following landing and go-ahead rating.
No one was making performs with Jones (3 for six, 13 yards, 1 choose) within the sport.
But the second Zappe got here in, the Patriots began making highlight-reel performs. It can’t be an accident. Zappe does have one thing that evokes his teammates.
But that was short-lived.
After these transient highlights, it was again to a tractor pull for the offense. Zappe couldn’t produce any extra, regarded no higher than Jones, and the protection couldn’t cease Fields.
And now, Jones, the workforce’s first-round choose who had an unprecedented rookie season final 12 months, is caught in no man’s land.
The fandom booed his each transfer. He’s undoubtedly not the favored alternative in Patriot Nation, no less than by those that packed the stadium Monday Night.
But then once more, the followers had been additionally agitated by sport’s finish, with the offense mustering solely 14 factors.
So who’s going to be the starter subsequent week?
Who is aware of, as a result of proper now, we’re taking a look at a full-blown quarterback controversy.
Belichick will clearly do what he thinks is greatest for the workforce going ahead. But the best way it was arrange, Jones needed to rating each time he touched the ball, to be able to cease the clamor for his understudy.
And the primary half couldn’t have gone a lot worse for Jones, who was 4 weeks faraway from struggling a excessive ankle sprain.
He began with a pair of three and outs. Then on the third collection, after lastly transferring the ball, threw a foul choose.
Jones had appeared skittish and unsettled within the pocket all through, taking off on the first signal of bother. Before throwing the interception, Jones had extra dashing yards (24) than passing yards (13).
He wasn’t in a position to get comfy and get settled in, as a result of Belichick had already seen sufficient. He spoke to Jones on the sideline after the interception and made the swap to Zappe, who had received two straight video games, and drawn a legion of followers within the course of.
As it was, there was ton of stress on Jones to attempt to fight Zappe Fever. And the followers let him comprehend it, beginning the Zappe chants within the first quarter.
But it wasn’t all rosy for the fourth-round wunderkind and third-string quarterback. A botched handoff between Zappe and Meyers led to a fumble restoration and rating by the Bears earlier than the half.
Zappe, who isn’t the tallest quarterback, additionally had 4 passes batted, one which led to a second half interception.
In the top, neither quarterback benefited from having a run sport, and the offensive line, Trent Brown specifically, struggled.
With the 5-2 Jets on deck subsequent week, the Pats, who sit in final place within the AFC East, actually need to place their greatest foot ahead to attempt to preserve inside shouting distance within the division.
And it’s on a brief week.
So who might be below heart?
Your transfer, Bill.