Mac Jones was no longer available for the New England Patriots when they went to Green Bay to face the Packers, leading to Brian Hoyer being named the starter for Bill Belichick’s group.
But a head injury sidelined Hoyer from the game, leaving Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky’s fourth-round pick and the Patriots’ No. 3 quarterback, to take charge the rest of the way.
It wasn’t a good first half for Zappe once he got into the game while working his first career snaps in front of a raucous Lambeau Field crowd. He too was fired by Rashan Gary.
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But Zappe ended up getting his bearings and moving the ball downfield to create an opportunity for the first touchdown pass of his career. And he did exactly that, finding DeVante Parker for 25 yards to put New England up 17-14.
However, there was a bit of controversy surrounding the score, as it seemed the Patriots should have been given a game delay penalty. The clock marked zero and the center-back had not yet moved the ball.
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Packers fans were furious and audibly disappointed that the call didn’t go through, but the Patriots nevertheless took the lead, and Zappe had his first career touchdown.
Fans watching on social media also took notice of the move.
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Zappe caught fire with Western Kentucky last season, throwing for 5,967 yards with 62 touchdowns in 14 games, which got him noticed around the league.
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Although Jones is their young quarterback they hope to be under center for years to come, Zappe’s development is also important for the Patriots.