(4) Who will start as a quarterback for the Patriots?
New England has not announced whether Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe will be under center Monday night. Jones is the starter, but has missed the last three games with an ankle injury. He trained from Thursday to Saturday on a limited basis and is listed as questionable on the injury report.
Zappe is a fourth-round rookie pick who has led the Patriots to victory over the past two weeks, beating the Lions 29-0 and the Browns 38-15. In two and a half games this season, he has completed 72.9% of his passes for four touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 111.4 which leads among 37 NFL quarterbacks with at least 50 attempts to pass this season.
Not knowing which quarterback they’ll be up against didn’t cause the Bears much of a problem this week in practice, as Jones and Zappe have similar styles of play.
“You have to prepare for two different guys if you have a quarterback in a different style of offense where they’re running all the RPOs and different things in quarterback runs versus a setback passer,” said coach Matt Eberflus. “But we see these quarterbacks as a similar style.”
As a first-round rookie last season, Jones led the Patriots to a 10-7 record and a playoff berth, throwing for 3,801 yards with 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 92 passer rating. 5.
“For a young player, he has a very good balance in the pocket, he delivers the ball on time, he is very precise, he is tough,” said Eberflus. “He did a lot of good things. His last year as a rookie was amazing, so he’s a great talent.”