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Patriots Promise: Rookie QB Bailey Zappe's Upset Bid Falls Short Against Packers

New England Patriots rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe entered the season listed at No. 3 on the depth chart but found himself in the heat of the action in Week 4.

Quarterbacks selected in the fourth round don't often hit the field within the first four weeks of their NFL careers, but that was exactly the case for rookie Bailey Zappe in the New England Patriots' 27-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Entering the season, Zappe was slated as New England's No. 3 quarterback, but following a high ankle sprain to incumbent starter Mac Jones, was elevated to the role of backup. 

When Patriots' Brian Hoyer went down with a head injury, Zappe was suddenly forced onto the field in one of the NFL's most hostile environments. Just two years removed from playing his home games at a Houston Baptist stadium that held 5,000 people and was located across from a CVS, he was taking snaps at Lambeau Field.

Instead of a pharmacy, the 101,000-capacity Lambeau held four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers on the opposite sideline. 

And still, with the intimidating environment and towering presence of Rodgers, Zappe managed to hold his own, finishing 10 of 15 for 99 yards, one touchdown and a fumble caused by a blindside hit on a sack from Rashan Gary.

Zappe's touchdown pass was lofted over the head of Packers linebacker De'Vondre Campbell and into the waiting arms of receiver DeVante Parker, who jogged into the end zone.

While Zappe's outing was efficient, New England's offense became inept as the clock ticked down, as the unit went three-and-out in its final three drives

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Running backs Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson combined for over 150 yards on the ground, but conservative play calling by offensive coordinator Matt Patricia led to many underneath throws from Zappe and allowed the Packers to key in on the run.

Going on the road to Green Bay without Jones and winning was always a daunting task, but Zappe surprisingly gave New England a shot. In the end, his lack of reps and experience shined brightest when the stakes were the highest, and Rodgers simply wasn't going to let three chances go by the wayside.

From Houston Baptist and Western Kentucky to Lambeau Field, Zappe was thrown into the fire in a far-from-ideal situation.

However, considering all of the external factors working against him, the 23-year-old Zappe created a solid foundation to build from moving forward. Depending on the severity on Hoyer's injury, he may need to put the lessons learned to work next Sunday, when New England plays host to the Detroit Lions in the friendly confines of Gillette Stadium.


You can follow Daniel Flick on Twitter @DFlickDraft

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