5 takeaways from Patriots second straight win with Bailey Zapp
The Patriots beat the Browns 38-15 in Cleveland on Sunday. New England improved to 3-3 on the season as rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe went 2-0 because the starter instead of the injured Mack Jones.
Zappe’s environment friendly and expansive day was the story, with the Patriots protection having one other good efficiency.
It was removed from an ideal sport, as Invoice Belichick’s crew dedicated 12 penalties for 92 yards. A late Cleveland rating additionally briefly brought on a couple of moments of concern, however a pair of Browns turnovers (adopted by a Patriots landing) ended the menace.
Listed here are some acceptable methods:
Bailey Zappe states his case.
From labored out what gave the impression to be a easy continuation of the no-frills game-plan Lions win last weekZappe exceeded expectations in opposition to the Browns.
By day’s finish, Zappe had accomplished 24 of 34 passes for 309 yards with two touchdowns.
Past the numbers, it was the best way he was in a position to arrange the offense that appeared reassuring. As a substitute of specializing in only one possibility by the air, Zappé spreads the ball round in a manner that belies his youth.
5 completely different New England receivers have had 4 catches. 4 Patriots topped 60 receiving yards, the primary time that has occurred Since 2017.
As a result of it was clear from the beginning that the Browns’ defensive strategy was to attempt to load up and cease the Patriots’ operating sport, Zappé was capable of finding area in opposition to Cleveland’s protection. He made good throws and flashed the power to flee the frenzy and discover the open receiver.
Whereas the Patriots’ future on the quarterback place will definitely be debated — particularly when Jones returns — it is simple that the 23-year-old Zappe gave the Patriots precisely what they wanted in an early-season crunch.
The protection was stable once more.
Whereas the Browns’ offense is unlikely to set many scoring information in 2022, the Patriots had been nonetheless underneath stress to include the league’s main rusher, Nick Chubb.
With each early stops and hard cross protection, Belichick’s protection produced one other robust week.
Chubb, although he was capable of finding area periodically, by no means gained constant traction and was held to 56 yards on 12 carries. Cleveland’s dashing assault as a unit, one of many NFL’s greatest coming into the day, completed with simply 70 complete yards.
The Patriots as soon as once more received the turnover battle (4-1), setting the tone early with Kyle Duggar’s interception of former Patriot Jacoby Brissett on the sport’s opening drive. It was a robust day total for Dugger, who completed because the crew’s main tackler.
Tyquan Thornton has been a dominant contributor.
After making two catches in his NFL debut every week in the past, rookie second-round huge receiver Tyquan Thornton confirmed a bit extra of his capacity in opposition to the Browns.
Thornton completed with 4 catches for 37 yards and a landing. He additionally confirmed off his velocity with a late fourth quarter catch for a 19-yard landing.
It is nonetheless early days for Thornton, who missed a number of weeks on injured reserve, however his capacity to affect video games even with restricted touches bodes nicely for his future within the Patriots offense.
The rookie class is taking part in an vital position.
For all of the criticism in regards to the Patriots’ capacity to draft and develop expertise in recent times, the 2022 class is off to a fairly good begin.
First-round decide Cole Unusual has been the starter all season. Thornton added two scores and seems to own dynamic expertise.
Zappe, a fourth-round decide, far exceeded practical expectations for him even two weeks in the past.
Defensively, each Zach Jones and Marcus Jones have finished extra than simply present depth by contributing significant snaps.
Taken along with the affect of second-year gamers like Christian Barmore and Ramondre Stevenson, Belichick seems to be constructing a good core of younger expertise on the roster.
The nice, the dangerous and the fortunate from particular groups.
After the Browns scored 24–15 within the fourth quarter (lacking the two-point conversion), Cleveland elected rookie kicker Cade York to try an onside kick.
With a mix of poor protection from the Patriots and talent on York’s facet, the Browns almost recovered the kick. Certainly, they recovered the ball, however had been dominated out of bounds (thus giving possession again to New England).
Zappe and the offense went three-and-out on the following possession, however any lasting drama within the sport ended when the Browns fumbled the punt restoration and free agent Brendan Schooler (A hero in Week 2’s win over the Steelers) gratefully pounce on the free ball.
Thornton scored on the subsequent play and the sport was basically over. It wasn’t the prettiest day from Patriots particular groups, however Schooler’s well timed layup helped salvage a late probability for a Cleveland comeback.
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