The New England Patriots got hit with a double whammy on Sunday. The team lost to the Baltimore Ravens in its home opener, then watched as Mac Jones hobbled off the field in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Jones was injured while attempting to drag his team back from a two-score deficit. The news of Monday has not been positive; multiple reports indicate Jones suffered a severs high ankle sprain. This effectively eliminates all possibility that Jones won't miss any games and instead forces everyone to jump right into wondering how many games he'll miss in his effort to recover.
This is terrible news for everybody who lives in New England and/or watches RedZone because the Patriots, already a boring and unlikable team, are now even more so. Why is that? Well, Brian Hoyer is the second-string quarterback and will presumably get the nod to start once Jones is officially out. Which will make an already-anemic offense even worse and sink the Patriots down a tier from middling to outright bad. It'll be like last year's Bills game where Jones threw three passes, except that's the gameplan the whole time regardless of the wind.
It is understandable if most of you forgot about it but we have actually seen Hoyer play somewhat recently. Back in 2020, Cam Newton tested positive for COVID ahead of New England's trip to Kansas City. Hoyer was tasked with the starting job. It was a catastrophe. He completed 15 of 24 passes for 130 yards and one interception. Even worse, Hoyer lost his mind near the end of the first half and took a sack that cost his team three points. Veteran guys like him aren't supposed to make that sort of mistake. It's part of the whole draw to start them instead of a rookie or unproven option. As a result, Hoyer was benched for Jarrett Stidham and neither guy has taken a meaningful snap in a regular-season game since.
But the Patriots have another option at their disposal this year! His name is Bailey Zappe. He was picked in the fourth round of this year's draft after setting FBS records in both passing yards and touchdowns at Western Kentucky last season. He has a cannon for an arm and absolutely no conscience. His preseason appearances mostly featured tight spirals being thrown into non-existent windows. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. But trust me, reader -- it was far more entertaining than Hoyer game-manage his way through possessions.
If Jones is only out for a week or two, you could see the logic in starting Hoyer. He isn't going to win you any games and he may end up the reason you lose a couple but he probably isn't going to turn the ball over or make multiple boneheaded decisions in one quarter. Zappe, as a rookie with most of his college starts coming at a place called Houston Baptist University, could very easily lose the game by himself in the span of, like, four possessions. Hoyer could, too, but there's less of a chance.
But should Jones end up out for the long run, i.e. until Thanksgiving or so, there is no damn reason to start Brian Hoyer. He has nothing to offer. He will not be good and the Patriots will lose most of, if not all, games he starts. Zappe will probably lose most of, if not all, the games he would start but at least he would be more fun. And he may even be good! The arm talent is obviously there. History could be repeating itself, for all we know. Zappe could pull a Tom Brady on Mac Jones.
Alright, that probably won't happen, but we won't know unless Bill Belichick gives up on Hoyer. Which I implore him to do. Please.
Anyone but Hoyer.