Patriots Preview: Zappe's First Start
This weekend, Western Kentucky rookie Bailey Zappe will get his first start under center as the Detroit Lions come to town to face off in Gillette. It will be their fourth 4 o'clock game in the first 5 weeks and based off of their previous opponent's records, should be their easiest game to this point.
The Lions come in 1-3 so far after losing their previous two games by one possession. They also are scoring the most points per game and giving up the most points per game both at a mark of 35. Same goes for their yards per game totals as the Lions continue their ridiculous pace and offensive shootouts.
This could benefit the Patriots who have had some troubles scoring this season, as the Lions have given up the third most passing yards and the third most rushing yards. They're also second to last in the league for turnovers, with 2 fumble recoveries and only one interception through their first four games. On the opposite hand, the Patriots have one of the slowest paces in the NFL, complimented by their defense which has only allowed 211 passing yards per game.
The major headline that will be on everyone's mind is the first start for rookie QB Bailey Zappe. After Mac Jones went down two weeks ago and Brian Hoyer suffered a concussion in the first quarter of last week's game against the Packers, the rookie stepped in and led his team to multiple successful drives in a game only lost in overtime. Zappe would also complete two-thirds of his passes including a 25 yard strike to DeVante Parker for a touchdown.
The story of this game will again be the Patriots defense. While their defense was stellar in the first two games of the season, they have let up 3 touchdowns + in back-to-back games albeit to Lamar Jackson and Aaron Rodgers. While Jared Goff and the Lions is an obvious step down in competition, the Pats will nonetheless need to get back to their stifling ways to get a win this Sunday. Hopefully the Lions continue their poor form on defense as well to give the rookie some leeway in the biggest game of his life.
The Patriots are 3-point favorites right now this weekend in a game they are expected to win. The Patriots have started the year 1-3 only twice since the turn of the century and both years they ended up turning the ship around and making the playoffs, including an eventual Super Bowl win in 2001. The over-under in this game is 45.5 and we expect this game to be higher scoring than that for all of our betting viewers out there. Watch out for a high-scoring slugfest this week and don't be surprised if Zappe throws multiple touchdowns!
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