Late in the third quarter of their Week 4 game against the Dallas Cowboys, the New England Patriots have seen enough of starting quarterback Mac Jones. After playing arguably the worst football of his career, and taking a major role in the team falling into a 31-3 hole, he was benched in favor of backup Bailey Zappe.
Jones had a disastrous game against Dallas. The former first-round draft pick started off with a promising-looking field goal drive, but things went downhill fast from that point on.
Jones lost a fumble in the second quarter that was scooped up by Cowboys defender Leighton Vander Esch and returned 11 yards for the touchdown. The scoop-and-score put New England behind 18-3.
Two drives later, Jones threw an interception that was run back 54 yards for another touchdown. DaRon Bland’s pick-six put the Patriots into a 28-3 hole.
Jones later hit Bland for another interception to end the team’s opening drive of the second half. The Cowboys turned that interception into a field goal to go up 31-3.
Jones remained in the game after his third turnover of the day, but the offense quickly went three-and-out. At that point, it was time for Bailey Zappe.
A fourth-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2022, Zappe originally served as New England’s third-string QB as a rookie. However, with Jones and then-No. 2 Brian Hoyer both suffering injuries, he went on to see prominent action in four games with two starts. Nonetheless, he was unable to make New England’s initial 53-man roster this year.
After staring the year on the practice squad, he was elevated ahead of the season opener to serve at QB2 behind Jones. At least for now, he’s on the field over him.