How Bailey Zappe Explained Horrific, Game-Sealing Interception
The Patriots threw two ugly fourth-quarter interceptions Sunday, one by each quarterback atop their depth chart.
Mac Jones threw his pick in the red zone, where New England had a golden opportunity to take a late lead over the Indianapolis Colts. Instead, Jones missed a wide-open Mike Gesicki and was benched in favor of Bailey Zappe.
Minutes later, Zappe sealed a Patriots loss in Germany when he threw an interception into triple coverage after a fake spike. The back-breaking pick was bad enough that Bill Belichick couldn’t contain his frustration on the sideline in Frankfurt.
After New England dropped to 2-8 on the season, Zappe tried his best to explain the game-deciding play while not interfering with any Patriots/NFL policies.
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“Uh, yeah. I mean, can’t say what I want to say,” Zappe told reporters, as transcribed by the Boston Herald’s Doug Kyed. “But there’s just, we were kind of behind on time the way we talk about yards — one yard for every second. So, we were trying to get ahead of the time by taking a shot. We figured the play that we had — fake spike, trying to catch the defense off guard, not get the rush going. That worked, but that was just me trying to force it and make a play, get us ahead on time. Looking back at it, I’d probably just say, throw it incomplete, move on to the next down, try to see if we could take another shot. But I’m sure we’ll look at it tomorrow or Tuesday, and we’ll learn from it.”
Belichick stiff-armed a question about Jones’ job security after the Patriots’ third straight loss. New England also isn’t up against the clock to make a quarterback decision since it will be on bye in Week 11.
But at this point, it probably doesn’t matter who is behind center for Belichick’s team. Neither Jones nor Zappe gives the Patriots a good chance to win, which could force New England to target a quarterback early in the 2024 draft.