Bill Belichick on the starting quarterback going forward: “We just finished the game”

Chicago Bears v New England Patriots
Getty Images

It was a strange night for the Patriots, in more ways than one. And they’ll now be picking up the pieces on a short week before the first of two 2022 meetings with the resurgent Jets.

Quarterback Mac Jones started. After an interception, he was benched for Bailey Zappe. The rookie gave the team a spark, but it was short-lived. He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

Along the way, Belichick told Lisa Salters of ESPN that it was the plan all along to play both quarterbacks, and that Mac Jones would be back at some point in the second half. He wasn’t.

Through it all, the New England defense had no answer for the Chicago offense, which had nearly as many rushing yards (243) as the Patriots had total yards (260).

So now the question becomes who will be the quarterback going forward. As defensive back Devin McCourty told reporters after the game, the quarterback won’t matter if the defense gives up 33 points, as it did tonight.

Coach Bill Belichick inevitably was asked who the starting quarterback is.

“We just finished the game,” he said in response to that question. He added that the health of Mac Jones was a factor in the decision to not put him back in the game. And Belichick denied that the removal of Jones after an interception was a benching for performance.

Belichick added that Jones was aware he would play only part of the game. Belichick added that Jones would have re-entered in the second half, if the score hadn’t gotten out of hand.

As to the possibility that the team will rotate starting quarterbacks, Belichick said he doesn’t see that happening. He said tonight’s approach was “the best thing to do” based on “the situation.”

What about the situation?

“The whole situation,” Belichick said.

The whole situation for the Patriots is that they’re 3-4. As Belichick said, they played “poorly” in all phases, and that they have “a lot of work to do.”

Indeed they do. For the first time in a long time, the Jets will be ready to give them everything they can handle.

56 responses to “Bill Belichick on the starting quarterback going forward: “We just finished the game”

  1. Matty Ice with a separated shoulder has a stronger arm than Jones, I bet they could get him for a 2nd rounder

  2. Belichick, his coaches, the players, and even the media and fans have been chalking up this game as a win since the summer. Belichick’s treatment of the QB situation like a preseason game was a huge tell, and the attitude permeated the Patriots top to bottom. Steve Belichick (he’s really the DC), did not have the defense prepared, to go along with the fact he may be the worst defensive play caller, and can’t make adjustments. Patricia will have to learn to play to Mac Jones strengths, and is also lost when it comes to adjustments. It’s tough to go through a rebuild with an unqualified DC and an inexperienced OC who is having trouble feeling his way along. It’s going to be a long regular season for Pats fans, and a non-existent post season.

  3. Bill is going to have to play a lot of 3 dimensional chess to figure this one out. He’s got 2 quarterbacks who are mediocre and neither one is noticeably better than the other.

  4. What a great story it would have been if Bailey Zappe entered the game and played like the second coming of Tom Brady in his prime! And for a few minutes, it seemed to be coming true. Then reality reasserted itself. Now instead of another Brady, the Pats have a quarterback controversy where neither of the choices are good options.

  5. So fun to watch the Pats revert to their true form as cellar dwellers. Check back in a few decades when they finally decide on a QB.

  6. It doesn’t matter which bust starts at QB for this irrelevant, last place joke team.

    They’ve been terrible from the second Brady finally had enough of Belichick living off him and left.

    The smart thing would have been to retire before getting completely exposed and humiliated.

  7. Gotta believe that BB is speaking truth here – lying in this situation would would be incredibly stupid. Perfectly fine if Jones knew everything going in – completely the opposite if this is all “news to him” – sure, he wasn’t playing well, but the hook came pretty early – early enough that it could rattle confidence. Stay with Jones – stay with Zappe – pick one, roll with it, and don’t give them the feeling that they are ever a mistake away from being benched – you want a CONFIDENT QB. Keep the very old saying in mind – a team with two QBs doesn’t have a QB at all.

  8. Lose to the Jets next week and the following game may be the most important TANK game of the year, the Colts. Given schedule it is a roster that should win more than six games. Not a roster to build on.

  9. HahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaHahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you think your team has 2 QBs in this league. You have no QB in this league.

  10. Over the past 2-3 seasons the New England Patriots look like the Denver Broncos after Peyton Manning’s retirement. Listless,rudderless and void of true leadership. Bill Belichick is finding it difficult replacing a top 5 all-time first ballot HOF QB.

  11. Mac Jones has been poor ever since he started last season, Zappe is showing that, he is a much better QB

  12. The Patriots are in last place in the NFC East. Let’s not overreact. Let’s pray…that we can get twenty more years of this. That is how long they dominated the division and unless we get such a correction, the Patriots are still ahead of the curve.

  13. What a genius you are Bill! Really fooled da Bears with you’re “who’s on first” quarterback routine.In the end it never mattered, average quarterbacks on an average team playing for an average coach

  14. As a Patriots fan, this game was the worst possible result.

    1. They lost
    2. The clock finally struck midnight for Zappe
    3. Jones didn’t get a real chance to knock the rust off and now could be impacted by getting yanked so early.
    4. The defense and o-line went from dominance the last two games to putrid.

    Playing both QBs was one of the most un-Belichickian things I’ve seen him do in 20+ years. Lots of work to do for sure.

  15. the defense stunk! could NOT contain the edge! I have a feeling Joe Judge should be called Joe Paralegal. Not that Matt Patricia’s offense did anything but after the early TO’s and watching their Defense get scorched , think it just deflated them.

    bad loss to a bad team

  16. Mac is the guy. Zappe had 2 picks and 4 batted balls. Zappe’s only TD pass was against a broken coverage (again). Other than that, Bears ate him up. Dak Prescott struggled after a month off as well. Mac will be fine. In Mac we trust.

  17. I guess all this twisting and turning could make sense at some level. Jones is coming back from an injury. Go out and give it a shot. Have Zappe ready to limit the stress on Mac’s ankle. But the execution of that plan….woof. None of the teammates on the Pats seemed to know the plan. Pulling Mac after an INT just can’t happen — it’s too much of a negative statement. And if the game got out of hand in the second half, who cares? Put Mac back in if that was the plan and let him get the reps and get closer to being back 100%. Maybe, I don’t know, run the dang ball against a putrid run defense? Maybe change things up on defense and stop getting run on all night? Maybe not set your QBs up to play hero ball as a means to stay in the game?

    What a train wreck. I am a huge Pats fan, a fan of BB, a fan of whoever is playing at the moment, a fan of Mac…a fan of Zappe…a fan of what Brady did all those years…it doesn’t matter. We all cheer for our teams through thick and thin. But it’s time for Kraft to clean house and start fresh. I doubt it happens in the middle of a season out of respect for BB (and because this team isn’t going anywhere anyway), but I really hope they find a way to part ways after the season. Get younger and faster at the LB position. Lean on the run game. Pick a QB and develop them.

  18. Let’s see what happened.

    The “defensive guru” BB got absolutely destroyed by a terrible Chicago Bears’ offense, at home. They were bottom 5 in yards per game.

    The Patriots managed to create a QB controversy. After all of the Pats’ fans crowing about Zappe, he did nothing outside of the initial two drives. And frankly it took fantastic catches by their WRs for those two drives to amount to anything.

    Patriots, has one of the weakest schedules in the NFL. Steelers 2-5; Ravens 4-3; Packers 3-4; Lions 1-5; Browns 2-5; Bears 3-4. Yet they are 3-4 and in last place.

    The vaunted BB is not coaching up this team at all.

    BTW, for all of you who said the Hawks should have kept Wilson and canned Carroll because the game had passed him by…

    BLAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    The Hawks have way over performed and improved every game.

  19. If Belichick goes back to Mac Jones then he is giving up on this season and needs to be fired. There is no controversy Mac Jones is terrible. Slow reads, no poise other than to run for ten yards on third down, ducks, and looked like he did not even want to be a Patriot last night. The locker room has already decided Bill do not be a fool and go back to Jones.

  20. It’s really just one game. This season is one of a kind. No one would have reasonably predicted the current standings in all divisions of both conferences. The Patriots quieted the busy bodies who were whining and whinging over the offensive play caller(s) before the regular season. Settle down folks.

  21. Belichick knows Mac isn’t healthy, is forcing things, and that only leads to more issues. He might also know that Mac isn’t the future.

    I don’t care how the optics look, he needs to do what’s best for the team. What’s best is to move on, from Mac, if that’s what he thinks. No matter how it looks. Or how it is dealt with. Sure, you’ll have people second guess, it happens when you lose. Win and no one cares.

  22. 4. The defense and o-line went from dominance the last two games to putrid.

    Trent Brown in particular.

  23. The long Zappe TD pass was in fact a terrible throw that was completed due to an unbelievable effort by the WR. Jones, given all of the same circumstances (lots of time to throw, a completely wide open receiver) probably makes that look a lot easier.

    Zappe had a chance to grab that job by the throat last night and he didn’t do it. Jones is the starter. Nothing to see here.

  24. 4. The defense and o-line went from dominance the last two games to putrid.
    ==============

    Oh you mean when they played two teams with a combined 3-8 record? I guess having lived in the AFC East for all those past years those are the teams you expect to get to play each week.

    Let’s admit the verdict is in.

    Brady made BB look good. BB is not a great coach.

    Carroll made R Wilson look good. RW is not a great QB.

  25. As Pats fan I am thankful for all Bill has done. It was NOT ALL BRADY especially for first half of the 20 year dynasty. Ask Peyton. However last night was a total debacle on multiple levels. Part of me is thinking when can we just start over completely new GM new Coaches …every thing.

  26. realitycheckbaby says:
    October 25, 2022 at 9:40 am
    4. The defense and o-line went from dominance the last two games to putrid.
    ==============

    Oh you mean when they played two teams with a combined 3-8 record? I guess having lived in the AFC East for all those past years those are the teams you expect to get to play each week.

    Let’s admit the verdict is in.

    Brady made BB look good. BB is not a great coach.

    Carroll made R Wilson look good. RW is not a great QB
    ———————————–
    When looking at the evidence, this post is 100% correct. Brady was the Key to BB’s winning. Even the drives they scored were because of the Wide Receivers, not the bad passes Crappe came off the bench to throw….

    As the season continues, it seems quite clear that Brady made the Patriots, and that Pete Carroll is the Best Coach in the NFL.

    Go Hawks!

  27. Comparing Zappe to Mac is a tough one at this point. Zappe makes good quick decisions and throws at times, but he doesn’t have the strongest arm. Mac is the same to a degree. Mac’s last interception was a throw that can be made, but you have to throw it on a rope and he doesn’t have the arm / athletic ability to do that when he is squeezed out of the pocket.

    One physical difference is Zappe’s height. His is small for a QB and you can see that balls will get tipped from the opposing D line more than they will with Mack.

    However, they move the ball much better with Zappe behind centre.

    Tough choice for BB at this time for the short term and the long term

  28. New England has become an irrelevant last place team.

    Belichick’s Super Bowl this year will be trying to beat a 5-2 Jets team now decimated by injury.

  29. touchback6 says:
    October 25, 2022 at 12:51 am
    BB will make the right decision.

    Always does.

    ———————————-

    You mean like letting Tom Brady walk and win a Super Bowl for another team? Yup, great decision that one.

  30. Remember when young terrible quarterbacks couldn’t win against Belichick? And then this happened.

  31. How does “we finished the game” answer the question of who’s your QB? Reminds me of Rasheed Wallace’s famous statement, “both teams played hard.”

  32. I guess there’s a reason BB’s coaching tree looks like someone dumped 50 gallons of weed killer on the roots.

    Hard to “learn” how to have TB at QB

  33. njeffrey says:
    October 25, 2022 at 9:56 am
    As Pats fan I am thankful for all Bill has done. It was NOT ALL BRADY
    ——————-

    Narrator: it was ALL Brady

  34. Every Patriots comment section is full of the same nonsense comments, saying that Belichick was never great to begin with.

    How great was Walsh without Montana? Noll without Bradshaw? Johnson without Aikman? Greatness in football is never a solo act. We see how Brady is flailing now; you think he’d have that 7th ring if he’d have gone to the Bears or Jags? Uh-uh.

    No QB alone is enough to sustain 20 years of success and 6 Super Bowls. No coach alone, either. Both have to be in top form along with a lot else going right across the roster. To keep the thing running at such a high level with so many different rosters over two decades is resourcefulness that the league has never seen before and likely never will again.

    Name the coach who’d be dominating now with the Pats roster. Apart from potentially Andy Reid, there are no other all-time-great coaches working right now. Everyone in the league now just coaches downhill.

  35. Oh you mean when they played two teams with a combined 3-8 record? I guess having lived in the AFC East for all those past years those are the teams you expect to get to play each week.

    Let’s admit the verdict is in.

    Brady made BB look good. BB is not a great coach.

    Carroll made R Wilson look good. RW is not a great QB.

    **************
    Loco! What you’re saying is that Matt Flynn would have been as good as Wilson. That’s nuts! Without Russell Wilson, nobody would be able find Seattle on a map. There’s a reason they threw all that money at Flynn. Why didn’t Carroll make Wilson’s predecessor great? BTW, who was it? I bet you don’t know.

  36. How great was Walsh without Montana? Noll without Bradshaw? Johnson without Aikman? Greatness in football is never a solo act. We see how Brady is flailing now; you think he’d have that 7th ring if he’d have gone to the Bears or Jags? Uh-uh.
    ————
    Not true. Although Walsh retired before Young became a starter, is there any doubt he’d have won as much as seifert did with Young at QB? Gibbs won with many different QBs.
    Yes, greatness is not a solo act. But we can safely say that Belichick is not a great coach and a worse GM.

  37. ladyjet says:
    October 25, 2022 at 12:15 pm
    So much for that 6-7 game winning streak someone predicted recently
    _______________
    The prediction that the Jets would be 0-7 at this point is amusing as well.

  38. bawlzich says:
    October 25, 2022 at 1:16 pm
    ladyjet says:
    October 25, 2022 at 12:15 pm
    So much for that 6-7 game winning streak someone predicted recently
    _______________
    The prediction that the Jets would be 0-7 at this point is amusing as well.

    ————-

    You guys beat me to it!!!! Let’s take the opposite of what he says and become filthy rich

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.