In terms of game flow, Sunday’s 6-0 New England Patriots loss to the Los Angeles Chargers felt familiar. However, there was one notable difference.
After entering games in relief four times this year – including a halftime switch last week – second-year quarterback Bailey Zappe made his first start of the 2023 season on Sunday. This came after weeks of external calls for a quarterback change with 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones struggling significantly for the better part of the last two months.
At a certain point, a quarterback change seemed inevitable. Some expected it coming out of the bye week last week, but Jones started in New York against the Giants with Zappe replacing him at halftime. Neither quarterback played particularly well in that 10-7 loss.
So, why the switch this week? Bill Belichick was asked that question following Sunday’s game, and seemed to give a genuine answer.