Was preparing to turn in for the night when it started. A cold sweat. Scratchy throat. Body aches and itchy eyes.
The irony, of course, is that it’s all starting to look like Bill Belichick undoubtedly envisioned it, the Patriots hitting their stride in Weeks 5 and 6, against weaker competition, the New England defense leading the way. The Patriots feel like a run-first team. They lack a signature wide receiver. But a team is a team is a T-E-A-M, right down to a nondescript quarterback who generally makes good decisions, protects the football, manages the game.
The quarterback isn’t whom anyone expected it to be.
Yesterday in Cleveland, Bailey Zappe turned in the best game by a New England quarterback this season, completing 24-of-34 passes for 309 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 38-15 Patriots victory that moved Bill (Baby Bear) Belichick into a tie with George (Papa Bear) Halas for No. 2 on the NFL’s list for all-time coaching victories. Mac Jones appears to be getting closer and closer to a return from a Week 3 ankle injury, but one can only wonder now whether Zappe has more done than just keep Jones’ seat warm in the Patriots huddle.
Maybe he has just taken it.
Should Zappe remain the starter now?
Here are the reasons you should say yes, starting with the most obvious: