Home > Sports > Williams Watch & Enter Zappe – 2023 New England Patriots Preview Week 13

Williams Watch & Enter Zappe – 2023 New England Patriots Preview Week 13

New England Patriots Preview

Scott Logush


Just when you thought things could not get worse, they did. The New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants by a score of 10-7. This marks the second time in a row that New England has lost a game while only allowing ten points. Mac Jones looked awful again, to the point where it seems Bailey Zappe will be getting the start as Jones did not take any reps at practice on Wednesday when it was open to the media, according to Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald.

Notable Injuries

For New England, offensive tackle Riley Reiff did not participate in practice on Thursday as he deals with a knee injury. On the other side of the line, Trent Brown has been limited on both days with an ankle and chest injury, and center David Andrews has been limited with a foot injury. Protecting Zappe is key, especially against a Chargers defensive front that features Khalil Mack who’s in the middle of a very strong season.

For the Chargers, wide receiver Keenan Allen’s status is up in the air for Sunday as he missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday. He’s been the main, and often only, threat for the Chargers on offense and easily Herbert’s best option. Both offensive tackles are banged up as Rashawn Slater deals with a back injury and Trey Pipkins deals with a wrist injury. Pipkins has been limited on Wednesday and Thursday while Slater was a full participant on Thursday.

Key Matchups

The trench battle is always a key one, with Zappe being the likely starter he needs to be kept clean. With Los Angeles not having Joey Bosa, the task becomes easier but Khalil Mack has been flying under the radar this season. Mack ranks eighth in pressures with 54, tied with Aaron Donald. Mack 32 run stops in 2023 have already eclipsed his 2022 total of 25, per PFF. The Chargers still have a top-tier edge defender with Bosa out, and New England will have their hands full with the likely matchup being Trent Brown. On the flip side, the Chargers have a poor offensive line while New England really doesn’t have a real threat. With Keenan Allen injured and either not playing or will be playing well below one hundred percent, the group of pass weapons for Los Angeles will not impress, and be a good matchup for New England’s secondary that outside of Jabrill Peppers, has left a lot to be desired. Austin Ekeler looks like a shell of himself, the explosiveness is just gone.

New England’s receiver group is worse, so it will need to be a strong ground game to keep New England in the contest. New England’s offensive line is the best part of the team, and is the only chance their offense has to be watchable. Even with that, this is going to be another low-scoring affair.

Prediction: 24-14 Los Angeles Chargers

The better team, with a better quarterback, and I have no faith in New England. Like I said in my Thanksgiving takeaways, New England has not just entered the Williams Watch tier, but they are the worst team in the NFL now.

2023 Prediction Record: 7-4

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