A video clip showing Mac Jones taking a ball from a confused Bailey Zappe has emerged after Bill Belichick appeared to question his starting quarterback’s arm power following the New England Patriots’ embarrassing defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Pats slipped to a horrendous 30-24 loss to the Raiders on Sunday after an ill-fated lateral from receiver Jakobi Meyers towards Jones was intercepted. The match was tied 24-24 with overtime beckoning when Meyers pitched an ambitious ball awards his quarterback.
Raiders star defensive end Chandler Jones appeared rather shocked to see the ball land in his grateful arms, and he simply stiff armed quarterback Jones before taking it to the house. The last-gasp touchdown secured a memorable win for the Raiders while it was a forgettable and frankly embarrassing defeat for the Patriots.
Throughout the 2022 season, Pats head coach Belichick has already dealt with a brewing quarterback controversy when Jones went down injured. Zappe, a rookie selected in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, impressed and helped the team to successive wins while the starting signal-caller was absent.
While reports have claimed Jones and Zappe enjoy a healthy relationship, a clip has emerged that appeared to show the starting quarterback somewhat flex his role above the rookie in the pecking order. Ahead of the match against the Raiders, Zappe was warming up with a coach as Jones jogged out and snatched the ball they were using.
The two quarterbacks then throw the ball between them, but Zappe was clearly confused as he was seen standing around on the field at Allegiant Stadium. The incident could indicate another issue Belichick could do without following his comments after the loss to the Raiders.
When asked why a Hail Mary-type pass wasn’t called, Belichick appeared to throw Jones under the bus. According to Mass Live, the 70-year-old said: “Couldn’t throw it that far.”
Given where the Patriots were on the field, a heave into the end zone from Jones would have required a throw of around 55-60 yards. While not every quarterback needs to possess arm talent like Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, but that distance is believed to be fairly elementary for an NFL-calibre quarterback - especially in late-game situations.
The agonising defeat leaves the Patriots with a 7-7 record while the Raiders, who have struggled in 2022 following lofty expectations, improved to 6-8. The Patriots could now miss out on the postseason for the second time in three years, so they will be desperate for a win when they welcome the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals to Foxborough on Saturday.