Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. Maybe the New England Patriots should have called Drew Bledsoe to see if there is any juice left in that big arm. It’s not like he was able to move when he was young, anyway.
I hope no one came away from the Patriots’ Week 12 game thinking that Zappe played better than Jones. Yes, Jones was out of rhythm, off target and committed more turnovers. But that’s only because Bobby Okereke couldn’t hang onto a bad Zappe pass. If the New York Giants’ opening second-half kickoff doesn’t go out of bounds, I highly doubt the Patriots score a single point.
The Patriots pulled Jones after his ugly first half performance. Following the Giants’ special-teams error, the Pats scored a touchdown. On that drive, Zappe completed one pass that wasn’t a screen. A pass that was late and almost intercepted.
Every completion of Zappe’s for the rest of the game was a screen until the Patriots’ final drive. Jones passed for 89 yards in the first half. In the second half Zappe only managed 54 yards, and averaged fewer pass yards per attempt — only 3.9 on the day.
While New England did not bring any air yards to MetLife Stadium, the ground game traveled. In total, the Pats ran for 147 yards on 31 attempts in Week 12, 89 of which were gained during the second half.
The Giants’ offense managed only 65 second-half yards. Both scores in their 10-7 victory followed turnovers that put the G-Men deep into New England territory. The Tommy DeVito story is fun, but he played average, at best, on Sunday.
The task before the Patriots to win this game was not a mountain climb. It was more of a playground ladder that they kept slipping off of and falling onto the wood chips in tears. The combined performance by Jones and Zappe was not at an NFL level. If they had played even that basic level, the Patriots would have defeated the Giants.
When the Patriots were defeated by 30-plus points in consecutive weeks against the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints earlier this season, at least those teams had strong defenses and are in the playoff picture. The Giants have miraculously patched together a 4-8 record, but are in no way good enough to contend for the postseason.
Yet, DeVito and his Jersey Juice continue to take the NFL by storm. As an undrafted rookie, he appears to be better suited to run an NFL offense than the Patriots’ two QBs who have registered far more professional pass attempts than him.
Someone out there who cares about Bill Belichick and Pats’ defense, put in a call to Bledsoe. Tell him he can play in the shotgun all game, and require him to throw the ball in 1.5 seconds. How much worse can it get behind center than what Jones and Zappe did during an ugly loss to a bad NFL team?