When the New England Patriots take the field against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon, they will be led by Brian Hoyer. With starter Mac Jones ruled out due to an ankle injury sustained a week ago, the team will turn to its veteran backup quarterback.
The start will be the 40th of Hoyer’s career in the NFL, but only his second as a member of the Patriots. His last one, of course, was a debacle.
Going up against the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on the road, Hoyer went 15-for-24 for 130 yards and a pair of turnovers. He also cost the team three points when he allowed himself to get sacked to run out the clock before the half. The Patriots eventually benched him for Jarrett Stidham in the fourth quarter and ended up losing 26-10.
While the circumstances were less than favorable — Hoyer was elevated into the starting spot in place of Cam Newton right before the trip to Kansas City — this history in combination with Hoyer’s status as a we-know-who-you-are player, likely contributed to this week’s SB Nation Reacts results. Patriots fans, after all, were asked whether they would like to see Hoyer or rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe start with Jones out.
Only 36 percent of fans gave the 14-year veteran their vote. The other 64 percent, meanwhile, would prefer to see fourth-round pick Zappe get some starting reps.
Obviously, the Patriots have other ideas: Hoyer was already confirmed as the starter by head coach Bill Belichick, with Zappe moving up the depth chart to the QB2 spot. Whether that arrangement remains in place has to be seen, but it seems unlikely that the youngster will get any starting opportunities even with Jones nursing an ankle issue.
That injury paired with a 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week played a major role in the Patriots’ fan confidence number. As can be seen in the graphic above, only 28 percent of participants feel good about the team’s direction at the moment. That is the lowest such number since Mac Jones was drafted in the first round last spring.
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