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New England Patriots links 11/16/23 - Bye Week blues: QB roulette, Bring the buzz back; More!

Daily news and links for Thursday.

Indianapolis Colts v New England Patriots
One cheerleader found something to cheer about
Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The Patriots held their only practice of the week yesterday and all eyes were on which quarterback was getting the first team reps. From all reports Mac Jones was in the starting role, but that didn’t stop either the speculation or the media from pushing the idea that the Patriots should see what they have with Bailey Zappe or Will Grier starting in an actual game. The season is lost, so why not?

Rob Gronkowski disagreed, noting there are too many games left to throw in the towel. The best QB on the roster should start. Bill Belichick said he’s still going to field the players who deserve to play - the ones who perform best in practice, who know their role in the game-plan for the week, etc. That course of action to me seems the only reasonable one to take. Accurately evaluating the roster would be near impossible if a game is being played like it’s preseason. Decisions will still have to be made on player extensions and free agency, where to spend the cap and who to either release or entice to stay. The Patriots record may indicate otherwise, but the season’s not over yet.



  • Karen Guregian says the best way for the Patriots to recapture relevance, head back into the realm of being a contender, and get some buzz back in Foxborough is landing the right quarterback.
  • Michael Hurley points out the real shame of Patriots’ dismal season is that the AFC is wide open.
  • Mark Daniels reports the Patriots held their only bye-week practice on Wednesday and it looks like Mac Jones might keep his job.
  • Karen Guregian suggests the Pats give QB Will Grier a shot at starting, find out what he can do in an actual game.
  • Ian Logue explains why it’s time for the Patriots to get off the Mac Jones train for the rest of 2023.
  • Darren Hartwell thinks momentum is building toward Bailey Zappe as Patriots’ starting QB.
  • Mark Daniels explains why it’s not going to be easy for the Patriots to find a franchise quarterback, and looks at their options.
  • Alex Barth says yesterday’s practice offers a glimpse into quarterback rotation and players returning.
  • Mark Daniels notes Trent Brown still isn’t with the Patriots. On Wednesday, it looked like the Patriots might gain another veteran tackle.
  • Ian Logue (PatsFans) Five Patriots thoughts heading into the Bye Week. 1) The Patriots should definitely spend this week exploring what they have behind Mac Jones at quarterback.
  • Mike Kadlick issues his Bye Week Patriots Report Card: Grading each position after 10 games.
  • Andy Hart gives us his latest Pats Stats Check-In: Rushing to improve.
  • Alex Barth’s Patriots Mailbag: Bye week check-in.
  • Zack CoxPatriots Mailbag: Who should replace Bill Belichick if fired, and who would want the job?
  • Gayle Troiani relays Rob Gronkowski who thinks there are still too many games left to throw in the towel just yet.
  • Next Pats Podcast: Draft analyst Mike Renner explains why Drake Maye is the QB the Patriots should target in the 2024 draft.
  • Sophie Weller (AtoZSports) Why the Giants’ latest news is extremely good for the Patriots. According to a report, Daniel Jones, Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen (GM) will be back.


  • NFL Nation (ESPN) NFL offensive coordinators, from Bill O’Brien to Kellen Moore: What has gone right and wrong for every NFL OC, playcaller this season.
  • Chris Bengel (CBS Sports) Rob Gronkowski thinks Mac Jones should ask Patriots for his release, sign with Browns.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) If a Belichick trade happens later, it likely will be set up sooner. /Entire article is speculative. I’ve seen it linked to online as a “report”.
  • Albert Breer (SI) Week 11 NFL Mailbag: Jim Harbaugh’s next stop if he leaves Michigan for the NFL; Plus: Who coaches the Patriots if it’s not Bill Belichick; Brandon Staley’s future in L.A.; Texans’ and Vikings’ playoff chances; hot GM candidates and more.
  • John Breech (CBS Sports) 14 teams projected to make postseason. No Pats.
  • Luke Easterling (SI) Midseason NFL Mock Draft 2024: First-round picks and predictions for all 32 teams. Patriots: Penn State OT Olu Fashanu at No. 3 overall.
  • MMQB Staff (SI) NFL Week 11 picks: Chiefs host Eagles in Super Bowl rematch.
  • John Breech (CBS Sports) NFL Week 11 picks: Eagles upset Chiefs in Super Bowl rematch, Browns beat Steelers in AFC North showdown.
  • Pete Prisco (CBS Sports) Week 11 NFL picks: Ravens get back on track vs. Bengals; Browns beat Steelers without Deshaun Watson.
  • Sheil Kapadia (The Ringer) Week 11 NFL Picks against the spread.