Late in the Patriots’ 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, backup quarterback Bailey Zappe found himself in a rather unenviable position.
His mission was to come off the bench cold, revive a stagnant offense and orchestrate an 86-yard drive in 1 minute, 52 seconds. Zappe, in place of starter Mac Jones, hit Hunter Henry for 11 yards on third-and-5, then Demario Douglas for nine before Rhamondre Stevenson picked up a first down on fourth-and-1.
On the next play, Zappe cleared the fake spike and then threw the ball into triple coverage. Rodney Thomas picked it up with ease, and that marked the end of the comeback that never was.
When ESPN’s Mike Reiss asked Zappe afterward what he saw on the final pitch, Zappe hesitated, cocked his head and said, “I can’t say what I want to say.”
Zappe then explained that the Patriots were behind on time, and they talked about gaining one yard per second in those situations.
“We tried to get ahead of the time by making an attempt,” Zappe said. “We were thinking about the play we had, the fake spike, trying to catch the defense off guard.”
“That worked, but it was kind of an attempt by me to force it, to make an attempt to give us an advantage over the time. Looking back, like I said, I probably could have just said, hey, throw it incomplete, live the next one, try to see if you can make another shot.
Zappe said the Patriots will look at it Monday or Tuesday and he will learn from it.
He said he believes in himself 100 percent when asked to start.
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