Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots
Getty Images

After refusing all week to commit to a starting quarterback, Bill Belichick stuck with Mac Jones to open the Patriots' Week 12 matchup with the Giants. He changed his mind after two quarters, benching Jones for backup Bailey Zappe at halftime.

Up against one of the NFL's worst-ranked defenses, Jones managed to go just 12 of 21 for 89 yards and two interceptions in the first half, helping New York enter the break with a 7-0 lead, even as undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito served as their QB. Zappe then warmed up with the starters before the second-half kickoff and replaced Jones as New England's signal-caller in the third quarter.

It marked the fourth time in 2023 alone that Jones has been benched for Zappe, and the fifth time since 2022. Jones entered the contest without Belichick's public support, and now has just 10 touchdown passes compared to 12 interceptions on the year, with the Patriots hoping to avoid a 2-9 start against the Giants. Zappe, a 2022 fourth-round pick who's bounced on and off the active roster this year, hasn't fared much better when called upon, going 10 of 25 with a pick in his three previous appearances of 2023.

Jones, who was drafted No. 15 overall in 2021, helped guide the Patriots to a 10-7 finish and playoff berth as a rookie, but he's gone downhill since then, going 8-16 amid offensive staff turnover and sluggish production from his supporting cast. Belichick was reportedly not enamored with the QB coming into the 2023 campaign, and with the coach potentially on the hot seat for his own struggles since longtime QB Tom Brady's departure in 2020, Jones' days as a New England starter could be nearing their true end.