Bailey Zappe reflects on 'dream come true' NFL debut originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
New England Patriots rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe was active for the first time Sunday vs. the Green Bay Packers. Little did he know he would make his NFL debut.
Zappe replaced Brian Hoyer in the first quarter after the veteran QB exited with a head injury. The Western Kentucky product went on to complete 10 of his 15 passes for 99 yards and his first NFL touchdown.
Get Connecticut local news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Connecticut newsletters.
While Zappe's effort kept New England in the game and helped force overtime, it wasn't enough to escape Lambeau Field with a victory. The Packers ended up winning the Week 4 showdown on a Mason Crosby field goal, 27-24.
After the defeat, Zappe took a moment to reflect on his first taste of regular-season NFL action.
"Of course, it was exciting at first. It was a dream come true to play in an NFL game," Zappe said. "It's obviously not the outcome we wanted at all.
"I just want to first give credit to all my teammates. They kept me calm, they kept me -- you know, getting the nerves out of me. They kept me in my space and cool, calm, and collected. And everybody played well tonight. O-line played well, we ran the ball well. It really just comes down to me. I've just got to make more plays."
Zappe's disappointment is understandable. The Patriots converted only three of their 11 third downs in the loss. The 23-year-old's third-and-5 incompletion to tight end Hunter Henry in overtime was the nail in the coffin.
Still, it was an admirable showing given the circumstances. New England entered as a 10-point road underdog with starting QB Mac Jones sidelined due to an ankle injury. If there's such thing as moral victories, this certainly qualifies as one of them.
The Patriots may have to lean on Zappe again when they host the Detroit Lions next Sunday. The statuses of Jones and Hoyer will be worth monitoring leading up to the Week 5 matchup.