New England Patriots fans were surprised by the fact that Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe both played in Monday night’s 33-14 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick told ESPN after the game that the plan was to play both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe at QB. Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers, when asked if he knew Zappe would replace Jones after the first three drives of the game, he said “not necessarily.”
“I would say it’s a shock, but we don’t really have time to focus on it too much,” Meyers said. “The bullets are already flying by the time we realized it. You have to go out there and keep making plays.”
Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson said “we weren’t aware” when asked about Belichick’s decision to play both Jones and Zappe. Guard Michael Onwenu said the same thing. “I didn’t expect that,” Onwenu told the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan of Zappe coming into the game.
Jones and Zappe said they were both aware of their coach’s plan, though Zappe said he found out that Jones would be starting at the same time as everyone else.
Belichick said his decision to remove the second-year Jones following his interception on his third drive wasn’t performance-based.
“I think we had a good plan, as always, just to go throughout the week and figure out what we want to do for the game,” Jones said. “Coach Belichick was very good about communication and felt like I was good to play, and we had a good plan there, and obviously didn’t play well enough there.”
Belichick wouldn’t say who will start at QB in their matchup against the 5-2 New York Jets on Sunday.
New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. Photo courtsey of AP Photo/Michael Dwyer