Team Mac or Team Zappe?

My QB1 is


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    363
  • Poll closed .

Time to Mo Vaughn

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Mar 24, 2008
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There's plenty of back and forth of who should start and trusting Belichick. But let's put you in charge.

Let's say Mac is fully healthy. Who are you starting Monday night?
 

rslm

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I'm not saying Zappe should be THE starter, but I do think he should be the starter on Monday night.
 

Bowser

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Voted for Mac though have been very impressed with Zappe. Despite underwhelming over the last 10 or so games, Mac hasn't yet, to me, played himself out of the starting gig.

Having said that, I don't think Mac has optimized his physical skills for the league. He's got good feet but inconsistent, and sometimes lazy, footwork. He's smart, accurate, and has a stronger arm than he's given credit for, but he rarely uses it. Instead, he seems to think he can throw receivers open by lollypopping the ball into any tight window. Not a recipe for long-term success.
 
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Ale Xander

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Zappe seems to have better feet (both for mechanics and for scrambling). Start him at least until team loses with him once.
 

Caspir

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Honestly, this week it’s Zappe. Doesn’t mean I want him as QB1 all year, but I want to be careful with Mac. He isn’t mobile to begin with, ankles are fickle, he hasn’t been a good QB since 3/4 through last season (roughly). I want him healthy and ready to roll. Admittedly, I also would keep going with Zappe until he gives a reason not to (and L or an awful performance).

I haven’t been big on Mac as “the guy” from the perspective of contending for a championship, and I do fear he’s a good, but not good enough solution, which is the worst case scenario for me as a fan. I do think he’s probably better than Zappe overall, but I’d ride the hot hand until it’s time to move back to Mac. This all assumes no impact on team chemistry, which is unlikely to be true since we’re talking about humans and not Madden players.

If I were paid to make these decisions, I’d be stressed.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Im saying Zappe, because Im not buying into the caveat that Mac is 100% healthy.

That high ankle sprain looked gnarly. There is very little to lose by letting Mac rest it out this week. If he reinjures it in a game that Zappe can win, and we're left with Zappe as the meat of the schedule arrives, we may be kicking ourselves.
 

streeter88

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Nothing I’m going to say is original thought. I’ve been listening to patriots unfiltered as well, and there are a variety of opinions all over Boston talk radio (which I only hear 2nd hand as I am out of market), Twitter, etc.

If it were my team, I would lean toward holding back a still healing Mac from taking any snaps for another week even against a crap team like the Bears.

Zappe is probably perfectly capable of beating the Bears. The flipside though, is that Mac would be rusty understandably, and starting him on a short week against a team that suddenly seems to have teeth like the Jets might not be the best idea either.

I think long-term where they’re trying to go with Mac is the right answer, but is he healthy? And I’ll leave any comments about footwork, movement in and out of the pocket, diagnosing reads, making throws on time, throwing down field, avoiding critical mistakes, and in general being a quarterback who can lead a playoff contender to people who know better than me.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Like others, I want Zappe to start this week because I think Mac could benefit from another week of rest. But the question assumes Mac is 100% healthy, so that doesn’t matter. I vote Mac
 

Ferm Sheller

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I voted for Mac largely for the reasons that @Bowser laid out in post #4 AND because the OP asks us to assume that Mac is "100% healthy". (If Mac's not 100% healthy, I'm going with Zappe.)
 

Cellar-Door

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100% healthy I think you have to go to Mac. He showed last season he can do the things you just saw Zappe do when handled the same way against bad defenses, probably more. You also invested far more in him and he appears to have strong locker room support. Zappe did a great job at the "protect the QB" script against bad competition, but we need to see if Mac can be the guy, and ideally we need to know a lot more by end of this season. If you start Zappe over a "100% healthy" Mac that's a statement to the player and the team that you've decided he's not the guy long term and you're moving on.
 

djbayko

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The assumption that Mac is 100% kind of ruins this poll for me. Because he’s not going to be 100%. Maybe he’s really close, and sure professional athletes don’t wait until they’re 100 before coming back. But in this situation, as long as there’s room for recovery, start Zappe. See more of what we have there, let Mac rest, and you don’t have to take away his starting role.
 
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Seels

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It's a good problem to have. Keep Zappe as the backup, cut Hoyer, and give Zappe a small slice of practice time/
 

cornwalls@6

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Mac. Still think he's the long term answer, but if he somehow crashes, Zappe has shown enough to step in and provide solid play at the position. And I don't think sitting him back down does any damage to his confidence, psyche, etc. I actually think Bill is in a very good place with real depth at the position.
 

pokey_reese

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Yeah, another vote for 'I think it should be Zappe this week, but voted Mac because of the 100% healthy assumption' camp. I've had a bad ankle sprain in the recent past, and it's just not going to be fully healed that fast.
 

Cotillion

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The assumption that Mac is 100% kind of ruins this pool for me. Because he’s not going to be 100%. Maybe he’s really close, and sure professional athletes don’t wait until their 100 before coming back. But in this situation, as long as there’s room for recovery, start Zappe. See more of what we have there, let Mac rest, and you don’t have to take away his starting role.
This. There is no way he is 100%.
 

ponch73

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Because my layman's understanding of the injury is such that 3 weeks isn't enough. I could certainly be wrong.
Hasn't it been nearly 4 weeks? Ravens game was on Sep 25th. Bears game will be on Oct 24th.

I voted Zappe, but clearly BB has forgotten more about football than I could ever know. I'm such a great prognosticator that I predicted Matt Groh would be fired after the season after going 0-for in the most recent draft.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Those of you who are speculating that Mac's not 100% healthy are dodging the OPer's question, which is really, if I may speak for the OPer, "Which QB are you riding with WHENEVER Mac becomes 100% healthy?"
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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FWIW, people keep saying that Mac would do the same thing against shitty defenses, but I like Zappes pocket awareness and movement more than Mac this season. Macs seeing ghosts. Zappe isn't.
 

heavyde050

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FWIW, people keep saying that Mac would do the same thing against shitty defenses, but I like Zappes pocket awareness and movement more than Mac this season. Macs seeing ghosts. Zappe isn't.
Here is an article (may already be linked somewhere else) that may shed some light on that.
The key point is that the Pats had 7 or more blockers over 14% the last two weeks. It was only 4% when Mac was playing. With so much better protection, pocket awareness and movement may be a bit easier.
https://www.nfl.com/news/debate-between-patriots-mac-jones-bailey-zappe-not-as-close-as-it-appears
 

radsoxfan

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About 4 weeks come Monday but @radsoxfan , I believe, said 4 - 6 weeks.
These predictions are sort of a moving target as we get more info. I actually thought more like 8-10 weeks initially when they said "severe" for the grade. Once it became clear he wasn't going to have surgery, it seemed as if they were treating it as more of a moderate sprain (in the 4-6 week range).

Sounds like Mac didn't want surgery, but I have a feeling he would have gotten it if they told him it would have him back in 4 weeks with surgery but more like 10 weeks without it. Have to imagine he didn't get it because he got some opinions that it wouldn't change the timeline too much.

Unlike ACL tears (a pretty set timeline for recovery), there is a lot of variability in these ankle sprains. Even with the MRI, the return to play is a bit of guesswork and healing is variable.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Here is an article (may already be linked somewhere else) that may shed some light on that.
The key point is that the Pats had 7 or more blockers over 14% the last two weeks. It was only 4% when Mac was playing. With so much better protection, pocket awareness and movement may be a bit easier.
https://www.nfl.com/news/debate-between-patriots-mac-jones-bailey-zappe-not-as-close-as-it-appears
He's definitely had more inline blockers. But when the pocket breaks down, he's made some fantastic movement. I'd link the plays, but I'm not going to waste the time.

Mac, rightly or wrongly, seems to be locked in real early. It's almost like he makes his initial read, decides on going deep, short, etc, and if option 1 or 2 isn't there, he either gets happy feet or turtles.

Maybe he should start patting the ball ala Bledsoe to keep his feet from pattering in the pocket when he has time.
 

heavyde050

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He's definitely had more inline blockers. But when the pocket breaks down, he's made some fantastic movement. I'd link the plays, but I'm not going to waste the time.

Mac, rightly or wrongly, seems to be locked in real early. It's almost like he makes his initial read, decides on going deep, short, etc, and if option 1 or 2 isn't there, he either gets happy feet or turtles.

Maybe he should start patting the ball ala Bledsoe to keep his feet from pattering in the pocket when he has time.
Zappe has moved around really well. I just linked the article because it had some details I had not seen before.
I just want the Pats to win and I would think if both guys are 100% healthy that BB would go with Jones, but I could be wrong.
 

mauf

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Im saying Zappe, because Im not buying into the caveat that Mac is 100% healthy.

That high ankle sprain looked gnarly. There is very little to lose by letting Mac rest it out this week. If he reinjures it in a game that Zappe can win, and we're left with Zappe as the meat of the schedule arrives, we may be kicking ourselves.
I voted Mac because I took the poll literally. Two solid performances against poor defenses don’t vault Zappe ahead of Mac. But I agree with you — Mac won’t be 100% on Monday, so I’d give Zappe at least one more start.
 

Justthetippett

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I want to see Zappe fail before Mac comes back in; love how he’s been climbing in the pocket and making mostly good decisions, neither of which Mac has been doing recently. Ride the heater.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I think they have to figure out what they have in Mac by the end of this season, so for that reason alone I vote Mac. If he crashes and burns and you have to go back to Zappe then you know. They are a fringe playoff team with either guy anyway, so its not like you are tossing away another Lombardi. I think it is more important at this stage to get a longer look at Mac in a grown-up offense to see if he can deliver.

All of that said I’d probably start Zappe on Monday and give Mac another week, but I’ll trust BB.
 

Cellar-Door

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FWIW, people keep saying that Mac would do the same thing against shitty defenses, but I like Zappes pocket awareness and movement more than Mac this season. Macs seeing ghosts. Zappe isn't.
Not sure about others but I actually said we have seen him do it, not he would do it, because Mac did this and more against the worst defenses he played against last year.
Zappe was really good, but he played in a very heavily "protect the QB make things easy for him" offense for 2 weeks against literally the two worst defenses in the league. Comparing that to Mac in a more aggressive offense against not horrific defenses isn't a real 1 to 1 comparison.
 

rodderick

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Not sure about others but I actually said we have seen him do it, not he would do it, because Mac did this and more against the worst defenses he played against last year.
Zappe was really good, but he played in a very heavily "protect the QB make things easy for him" offense for 2 weeks against literally the two worst defenses in the league. Comparing that to Mac in a more aggressive offense against not horrific defenses isn't a real 1 to 1 comparison.
I don't think Mac did more than what Zappe did against the Browns in any game last year in a similar offense.

I'd still go with a healthy Mac because he has more experience and I trust him more not to blow games they should be winning, but the leash is short.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don't think Mac did more than what Zappe did against the Browns in any game last year in a similar offense.

I'd still go with a healthy Mac because he has more experience and I trust him more not to blow games they should be winning, but the leash is short.
I mean, The Jets and Titans games last year are essentially identical performances to Zappe's Browns game, and he had several games at least with better performances that the Lions game (CLE, JAX come to mind).
People are getting wild about these Zappe games. He was shockingly good for a rookie 4th rounder, that's awesome. He wasn't better than the best of Mac last year.
 

BigJimEd

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The flipside though, is that Mac would be rusty understandably, and starting him on a short week
I know this quote wasn't specifically about the short week but I've seen several people bringing up that point. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see the issue with the short week. Mac might be rusty from lack of game day reps but that's true no matter when he comes back. I think Jones would be better prepared for a short week than Zappe.
 

PedrosRedGlove

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I mean, The Jets and Titans games last year are essentially identical performances to Zappe's Browns game, and he had several games at least with better performances that the Lions game (CLE, JAX come to mind).
People are getting wild about these Zappe games. He was shockingly good for a rookie 4th rounder, that's awesome. He wasn't better than the best of Mac last year.
He wasn't any worse though. Zappe's line in just his 2nd start is as good as any game Mac put up last year over 17. Both Zappe's game and all 4 of Mac's best efforts came against trash or injured defenses. It's not that people are going wild about Zappe, it's that Mac didn't set a particularly high bar last year.

(I know Mac was and is being asked to do more than Zappe, the results have also been very mixed there)
 

PedrosRedGlove

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I know this quote wasn't specifically about the short week but I've seen several people bringing up that point. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't see the issue with the short week. Mac might be rusty from lack of game day reps but that's true no matter when he comes back. I think Jones would be better prepared for a short week than Zappe.
I've seen the short week argument used differently. That having the short week following Chicago is a reason to hold Mac back on Monday night, so that he can be available, rusty but fresh and rested, against the Jets, rather than starting Monday night and having to manage his ankle's recovery over a short week before going again.
 

BigJimEd

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I've seen the short week argument used differently. That having the short week following Chicago is a reason to hold Mac back on Monday night, so that he can be available, rusty but fresh and rested, against the Jets, rather than starting Monday night and having to manage his ankle's recovery over a short week before going again.
Yeah, I can see that and makes sense assuming the ankle is still a potential issue.
 

rodderick

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I mean, The Jets and Titans games last year are essentially identical performances to Zappe's Browns game, and he had several games at least with better performances that the Lions game (CLE, JAX come to mind).
People are getting wild about these Zappe games. He was shockingly good for a rookie 4th rounder, that's awesome. He wasn't better than the best of Mac last year.
He wasn't better than the best of Mac last year against the Browns. I'm just arguing his best wasn't any worse than Mac's best.
 

Ed Hillel

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I like competition! Mac comes back on a semi-short leash. He gets one crappy game mulligan, but if we're stretching into 2-3 games, go with Zappe. If Zappe plays crappy, go back to Mac. Let them do this for the year if worse comes to worst, and then figure out a starter in the offseason/camp next year and stick with it. I don't think Mac has done enough to prove himself as having the benefit of the doubt if he's not playing well.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Apr 12, 2005
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I picked Mac.

Of course, I look forward to him playing like shit on Monday night, and then hearing all of the bullshit from the talk radio assholes on Tuesday about it.

None of them will say a word about it pouring rain though. If it doesn't rain, and the wind lays down, Mac should lead them to a double digit victory.
 

TomTerrific

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I picked Zappe. I agree with whoever said it, possible @Bowser , that Mac likely has a better arm but just doesn't utilize it in a way that is required for a number of throws. Zappe seems to make good use of his arm.

Moreover, I've seen Zappe do things I just don't recall Mac doing. Exhibit A on that was his pass to Meyers last week where someone, probably Garrett, threatened him on his left, he had to move slightly right and up into the pocket and then to his left because he was also getting pressure there from the right. He slid left into the last remaining bit of space and cocked and threw the ball just before that closed at the only time that the play (to my eye) would have worked. The whole time, he sensed the pressure and moved accordingly while keeping his eyes downfield and keeping ready to throw. That seems like an innate skill, and I've just never seen Mac do it at that level.

I readily admit this isn't an airtight case, but that's my vote.
 

brendan f

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I think it should pretty clearly be Mac. He has the better ability to throw the ball downfield and has the higher upside. I'm surprised at how many are choosing Zappe. I agree his pocket presence has been impressive and he hasn't made many mistakes, but he still looks limited in the types of throws he is able to make. If Mac gets the same play-action plays that Zappe has gotten, he should do well. As for his health, if he's at 70% that should be good enough to beat the Cubs...err Bears. It's hard to make much of Bill's comments but he didn't sound like someone who was looking to pivot from Mac.
 

BusRaker

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I agree with most here (although I voted Mac due to the 100% clause). Mac is QB1 but Zappe starts this week. If Zappe improves as much as he has the last two weeks then this is a Tuesday question.
Although I have a feeling that Zappe starts and has a bad week but gets bailed out by Rham
 

Toe Nash

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I am shocked that 36% of SoSH is going with Zappe, unless they didn't read the post and see the fully healthy point. Yeesh
 

streeter88

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Winning is fun to watch, and so far Zappe has done more winning than Mac this season.

I read the OP fully, but I just don’t think we can ignore that Mac is still regaining health. Defiant of the poll's fundamental premise maybe, but IRL a fully healthy Zappe beats a Mac who is still healing.