Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots appear to have seen enough of quarterback Mac Jones.
Jones tossed the Patriots' chances of knocking off the Indianapolis Colts into the hands of safety Julian Blackmon down near the goal line in the fourth quarter of Sunday's contest, before finding himself on the bench in Frankfurt, Germany for the remainder of the game.
This wasn't the first time that Jones has been benched, having been yanked from games previously this season, while at the helm of a Patriots offense that entered Sunday's game ranked 27th in the NFL in total offense.
Jones has completed 64.8 percent of his passes this season for 1,861 yards but with just 10 touchdowns to nine interceptions. Shortly after he was benched, cameras caught Jones arguing on the sideline both with Patriots' offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien and with Belichick.
Bill O?Brien PISSED at Mac Jones pic.twitter.com/AclbRTblL7
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) November 12, 2023
Zappe entered the game with 1:52 remaining, with the Patriots having one more opportunity to come back to win the game. But, it is entirely possible that this is the benching that will end Jones' tenure as the Patriots starting quarterback, even after backup Baily Zappe ended the game on a fake-spike interception that sealed New England's 10-6 loss.
Sunday's loss drops the Patriots to 2-8, one of the worst starts of Bill Belichick's entire coaching career, so it stands to reason there could be major changes looming before New England takes the field for its next game.
"I don't make those decisions," Patriots tight end Hunter Henry told reporters after the game. "So, I think you have to ask coach on that one."
If the Patriots decide to make the switch from Jones to Zappe, Belichick and the coaching staff would have extra time to get the 24-year-old up to speed, as New England returns from Germany into the bye week prior to taking on the struggling New York Giants in Week 12 at MetLife Stadium.
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