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New England Patriots links 12/06/23 - With Rhamondre out, should Zappe sling it?

Daily news and links for Wednesday.

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NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots
Bailey Zappe set to throw
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The headline was suggested by Murph (@TMurph207) in this week’s Monster Keys column, noting that opposing defenses have been all over the Patriots’ short game — i.e. their entire offense. And with the New England Patriots run game taking a huge hit after Rhamondre Stevenson suffered a high ankle sprain — would it make sense for Bailey Zappe to take advantage of the Steelers’ injured defense and throw it deep on Thursday?

My only response to that is, “To who?” The few remaining Pats receiving options may not be up for the task. I’m guessing this game plan has the potential to get ugly, but to be fair, there aren’t many palatable options. This could be the game the players pull all that we have together and it’s enough to work. Or not. Either way, I’ll be watching tomorrow night and rooting for, to borrow from Bill Belichick, “what’s best for the football team.” ...and probably with at least one eye squinted shut.



  • Murph has no use for the terrible towel wavering Steeler fans and gives us this week’s Monster Keys to a Patriots victory. 1. Sling it. ...Now I don’t just mean slinging it in the sense of hitting that short crosser, but getting deep. Ten - Twelve - Fifteen - Eighteen yards down the field.
  • Michael Hurley warns America to buckle up for for the upcoming offensive debacle between the Patriots and Steelers: This. Could. Be. Ugly.
  • Mark Daniels identifies five things to watch Thursday night in Pittsburgh. Can the Patriots offense get any worse?
  • Andrew Callahan argues that the Steelers are who the Patriots should have been. /Except, what Patriots fan wants to be the Steelers? They’re not winning anything this year.
  • Tom E. Curran issues 22 takes about the 2-10 Patriots amid a lost season.
  • Mark Daniels finds that Bailey Zappe remains level-headed as the Patriots starting QB.
  • Karen Guregian notes Bailey Zappe says he likes having a tough coach, and breaks down his sideline chats with Bill O’Brien.
  • Alex Barth reports four players were removed from the injury report on Tuesday, but were still without some key members of the offense.
  • Mike Reiss passes along a report that tests showed Rhamondre Stevenson suffered a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss “a few weeks.”
  • Mark Daniels notes the Patriots defense looks healthy, but you can’t say the same for the offense.
  • Mark Daniels writes, ‘Another game means another reminder of the Patriots failures at wide receiver.
  • Karen Guregian talks with JuJu Smith-Schuster about the Steelers knack for selecting top receiver talent.
  • Chris Mason highlights Hunter Henry on what he shares with younger players about playing on a short week: “Recovery is the biggest thing.”
  • Dan Kelley (PatsFootballNow) New England’s 2024 starting QB is not on the roster.
  • Alex Barth’s Patriots Mailbag: Coaching in focus on a short week.
  • Zack Cox points out three ways the Patriots could use the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.