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A Conundrum

THE OLD SACHEM Bill Stewart-2
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“The Old Sachem”

  I’m back after a long vacation. It’s time to review the Patriots situation. If Mac is back, then Zappe is probably not happy.

  Mac Jones was injured on the last play of the fourth game, a severe ankle injury. Through his three games this season his record is one win and two losses; his completion percentage was 66.0; yards per game were 262.0; two touchdowns, five interceptions and five sacks. Brian Hoyer was the quarterback for the fourth game and suffered a loss against the Green Bay Packers. Bailey Zappe came into the game when Hoyer was injured and completed 10 of 15 passes for 99 yards and one touchdown while being sacked three times. Since then, Zappe has made the fans very happy with two wins, a 74.5 completion rate, yards per game of 248.5, three touchdowns, one interception where the ball bounced off the receiver and into the defenders arm, and two sacks.

  Now, the question becomes, do we stick with a winner or do we return to our high draft pick, Mac Jones, who had a pretty good year in 2021.

  The story gets more complicated when we look at the game results. In Zappe’s first win, the defense shut down the number one offense, the Detroit Lions, then they faced a Cleveland Browns offense which averaged 192 rushing yards per game, and the Patriots held them to 70 yards on 18 carries, a 3.9 average. The Patriots have frequently run the ball through the first six games, which has the advantage of running the clock. I have to submit this article before the Bears game on Monday night as a critical situation develops, which may or may not change the Patriots as a contender. The Patriots have used a rushing offense to assist the young quarterbacks.

  Let us get a better picture of Zappe. He was a graduate student at Western Kentucky after transferring from Houston Baptist College. In the short 2020 season, the Baptist quarterback completed 141 of 215 passes (65.6%) for 1,833 yards with 15 touchdowns and a single interception. He passed the 10,000 yard mark in his four years at Houston – completed 900 passes on 1,477 attempts (60.9%) for 10,004 yards, 78 touchdowns and 39 interceptions.

  Transferring to Western Kentucky in 2021, Zappe completed 475 passes from 686 attempts for a 69.2% rate – 5,987 yards, 62 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. At Western Kentucky in the Conference USA, Zappe was selected Most Valuable Player, All CUSA first team, and selected Offensive Player of the Week four times. His successful appearance with the Patriots should not be a surprise to the media and to the New England fans.

  Let’s hope the winning runs for whichever quarterback the Patriots decide to use.

  (Editor’s Note: Bill Stewart, better known to Saugus Advocate readers as “The Old Sachem,” is back after a hiatus from writing his weekly column about sports. He wrote this article before the New England Patriots’ disappointing loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday night (Oct. 24). But the column is still very relative as the quarterback controversy continues to swirl around the New England Patriots.)

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