After getting blown out by a combined score of 72-3 in the last two weeks, the New England Patriots clearly need to shake things up in Week 6 against the Las Vegas Raiders. Bill Belichick admitted as much after the team's most recent defeat by saying they need to "start over."
Belichick hasn't been right about much lately, but he's absolutely correct on that front. Whatever the Patriots are doing isn't working, and they need to make some changes if they want to get better results. They need something new if they want to upset the Raiders on the road this week.
That includes benching some starters and giving other players a chance. A little fresh blood certainly couldn't hurt at this point.
With that in mind, here are three New England players who need to play more this weekend.
3 Patriots Who Should Play More Week 6
1. Malik Cunningham
The Patriots' quarterback situation is an absolute dumpster fire right now. Mac Jones can't take care of the football and seems utterly broken, looking nothing like the Pro Bowler he was in 2021.
His main backup, Bailey Zappe, has also scuffled in limited action, completing just 7-of-18 passes for a brutal 38.9% completion rate.
Neither one is getting the job done right now, so it's time for New England to go in a new direction under center.
Enter: Malik Cunningham.
Cunningham has yet to play a snap for the Patriots, but they might as well give him a chance. What do they have to lose? He couldn't possibly be much worse.
New England hasn't had an athletic, mobile quarterback like Cunningham in a long time (if ever), so playing him could unlock something in the team's offense. The Patriots are having issues running and throwing the ball, but at least maybe Cunningham could pick up some yards with his legs and give the offense a boost.
There's also no tape of Cunningham at the NFL level, which would make it more difficult for the Raiders' defense to prepare for him.
The undrafted rookie was a star at Louisville. Could he be a star in the NFL as well? Maybe not, but we'll never know until he gets a chance.