Yahoo Sports Senior NFL Writer Charles Robinson and NFL Writer Frank Schwab discuss the New England Patriots dominant 38-15 win over the Cleveland Browns, and debate if the Patriots might have a QB controversy on their hands as Bailey Zappe continues to play well with Mac Jones sidelined with an ankle injury.
FRANK SCHWAB: Let's move along to a game that-- I mean, this was-- look, this is what I led off "Winners and Losers" with-- New England 38, Cleveland 15. And I know it's early and they're only 3 and 3, but what a job Bill Belichick is doing right now, man. I mean, he's great. All the people who want to be like, bring up Spygate from 16 years ago or whatever, I don't care. He's winning with Bailey Zappe, who we all laughed at. We were like, what? Bailey, they're going to go 0 for whatever when he's starting. Bailey Zappe threw 309 yards, two touchdowns today.
I mean, a year after Mac Jones surprised everybody by being the best rookie quarterback last year, they blasted the Browns here. The Browns-- and I thought about this. The Browns on paper have a better offensive player at every single position, one through 11, if you count the offensive line as five. They have a better offensive line. Amari Cooper is better than any receiver the Patriots have. David Njoku is better than any tight end the Patriots have. The quarterbacks-- probably even Brissett, you'd say, is more talented. Chubb is probably better than Rhamondre, even though Rhamondre is really good, too.
And yet, the New England Patriots, because their coaching is so freaking good, put up 38 points and blasted the Browns. I can't say enough. This was impressive. I don't know where the Patriots season is going and they might not go to the playoffs. They might not do anything this year, but what Bill Belichick has done in the past few years is really underrated. Because we all want to pile on, say, he's not so great without Tom Brady, right? Well, you know what he's really good with the old bones of Cam Newton, Mac Jones learning on the job, and now Bailey Zappe, who pretty much nobody had ever heard of three weeks ago. It's really impressive.
CHARLES ROBINSON: It's weird because this is like-- Zappe is like changing our opinions about-- I mean, let's be honest. A couple of games ago we're like, what the hell? You know, we didn't feel remotely good about New England or what was going on or, you know, Mac Jones has an ankle injury and we're just like, oh, [BLEEP] well, all right, this is about to get a lot worse. And I don't know. I don't know what to think of this.
I really don't. The thing is, if he had come out today and it was a game where it's like, OK, throws it 20 times-- just minimize-- I mean, threw it 34 times today.
FRANK SCHWAB: I know. And he looked good.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Like, that--
FRANK SCHWAB: He looked good.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I know.
FRANK SCHWAB: He made a couple really, really nice throws.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I don't-- I'm dumbfounded. I really am. I'm dumbfounded because--
FRANK SCHWAB: I am too.
CHARLES ROBINSON: --I don't think there's a controversy. I think when Bill came out and people asked about Zappe last week and they gave him a couple of opportunities to say Mac Jones is going to be the starter when he returns and he didn't, da, da, da, da. I think that was Bill-- I think that was more Bill's kind of warning to Mac Jones. Just I don't think it was indicative of hey, there's really a quarterback controversy here. I think it was the way he was warning like Mac. Like, hey, man, the big part of your game that's great is how smart you are, how you can process all these different things, you don't turn it over, and then that's sort of not what you were. Like you started not in that vein.
And if you can't do that for us, then it's going to open the door. So my thing is, when I look at this kid now, I'm thinking, could there be a quarterback controversy? Yeah, if Mac Jones comes back and he struggles and he's not processing and he's throwing interceptions and it's just-- if you take away the mental edge that he had, the mastery of being able to pick things up and all these things that all these teams loved about him-- if he's not bringing that out and then you got this other kid who Bill has said-- and I don't even really understand totally what this means-- he kind of sees the game the way I do.
I'm like, oh [BLEEP]. That's a really scary remark from a coach. Yeah, then I could see, you know, if-- I don't think Mac Jones can come back and struggle a whole hell of a lot without Bill going we might think twice about this and let this kid roll.
FRANK SCHWAB: Out of all the people, Bill doesn't care. He doesn't care. Like, he's went through this-- I know it was 18 lifetimes ago in Bledsoe-Brady but--
CHARLES ROBINSON: You're going to fry a first-round pick, like, already? You're going to fry a first-round pick--
FRANK SCHWAB: He doesn't care, though, man.
CHARLES ROBINSON: --a year and a half in?
FRANK SCHWAB: We both know that if Bill thinks that Bailey Zappe gives them a better chance to win, that's who he's going to play. We both know that. He's got the job security for it, too.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Jesus, what a crazy--
FRANK SCHWAB: Who would have thought two weeks ago we'd be talking about this? Unbelievable.
CHARLES ROBINSON: This is nuts!
FRANK SCHWAB: It really is. It's unbelievable. And I-- again, nothing against Bailey Zappe. He's playing well, he had a really, really productive college career, all that kind of stuff, but this, to me, is coaching. This, to me, is Bill Belichick being the greatest coach ever. And he has less talent than the Cleveland Browns do. I think Cleveland Browns easily has a better roster--
CHARLES ROBINSON: I agree with that. Absolutely.
FRANK SCHWAB: --and just blasted them. Blasted them. And you look to Cleveland now. Cleveland might be bad. They're 2 and 4, and their two wins, Charles, last second against the Carolina Panthers and against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Really? That's all you got? And they might not be able to be relevant by the time Deshaun comes back.
CHARLES ROBINSON: You're. Right. I agree with that. That definitely-- I'm wondering.