The Patriots lost a heartbreaker to the Green Bay Packers in overtime, 27-24. The Patriots lost starting quarterback Brian Hoyer to a concussion in the first quarter, forcing rookie third string quarterback Bailey Zappe to come into the game. Zappe played admirably all things considered but it wasn’t enough.
Here are seven points from today’s game.
1. Zappe plays: Kudos to you if you had Bailey Zappe playing today. Zappe was forced into action after Brian Hoyer left the game in the first quarter with a concussion. I thought Zappe played well considering the circumstances. He completed 10-15 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. When asked about Zappe’s performance, Belichick kept it simple. ““It was good. I thought he competed well.”
It is too early to tell if Zappe will have to start next week against Detroit but if he does, he should be more comfortable after today.
2. Matty P called a good game: Hat tip to Matt Patricia for the game he called today. It is not easy to adjust your game plan to your back up let alone your third string quarterback. Patricia did that by slowing things down and calling plays that played to Zappe’s strengths and made the game easy for him.
I know fans still don’t like Patricia as a play caller but you have to give him credit the last two weeks. He’s done a good job.
3. Jack Jones introduces himself to a national audience: Rookie cornerback Jack Jones introduced himself to NFL fans across the country when he picked off Aaron Rodgers and returned it for a touchdown right before halftime.
Jones played well and proved if nothing else, he needs to play more snaps. He has the size and ball skills to be an effective player in the Patriots system.
4. Ground and pound: The Patriots game plan was going to be run heavy today no matter who the quarterback was. Well, the plan worked as Damian Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for a combined 152 yards and a touchdown.
Both ran hard and the offensive line did a great job of opening holes for them. The Patriots will be leaning on the running game heavily until Mac Jones comes back. Harris and Stevenson proved today that they can carry the load.
5. Defense fades in the second half again: The defense started strong in the first half but faded once again in the second half. It was the same thing last week. This unit needs to play well for four quarters in order for this team to win. If they don’t, the Patriots will struggle to win games the rest of this season.
6. Wynn struggles mightily: Isaiah Wynn really struggled at right tackle. He got beat throughly by outside linebacker Rashaun Gary on several occasions and was ultimately benched for Marcus Cannon.
Cannon played a bunch when the Patriots went to their six offensive lineman package but I would suspect that moving forward, he will play more. Don’t be surprised if he’s the starting right tackle next week.
7. Disappointing loss: The Patriots could have easily won this game. Winning at Lambeau is hard. Beating Aaron Rodgers is hard. Despite playing without their top two quarterbacks and some key players, they still could have won this game. It is a game you have got to have when it plays out the way this one did.