The New England Patriots don’t have much of anything to play for in the regular season finale on Sunday after being eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago. The only thing that the Pats could improve is their draft position, as they currently have the third-worst record in the NFL.
New England head coach Bill Belichick was asked on Wednesday if he would consider shutting down this weekend due to health, according to Mike Giardi of Boston Sports Journal. Belichick said, “Players want to play… if they can play, I wouldn’t not play them.”
With the current state of the Patriots, it doesn’t make sense to rest guys for Sunday’s game.
It is a perfect chance for players to make their final case on why they should be on the team next season or get some film for their next opportunity. One of those guys is second-year quarterback Bailey Zappe, who has played well since taking over Mac Jones in Week 13.
In his last five starts, Zappe is completing 67.1% of his passes for 1,026 yards, six touchdowns, and five interceptions.
As for Patriots fans, they would probably prefer the team rest guys and lose on Sunday to the New York Jets in hopes of securing the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
If the Patriots can land a top-three pick in the draft, it puts them in Caleb Williams territory, meaning they might land the top quarterback in this year's class.
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