Bedard makes the case for Jones over Zappe here:
- Zappe has faced the two worst defenses by DVOA, including a Browns team that was missing its second-best pass rusher (Jadeveon Clowney) and cover man (Denzel Ward). The Lions were just awful on defense, and the Browns weren't much better. Both played a very high percentage of man-to-man coverage, which is easier for QBs against poor defenses. There were very little coverage changes after the snap. Pretty much what Bailey saw before the snap was what he got after the snap. That's very easy for a QB.
- The defenses Jones faced in the first three games were ranked 18.3 on average (including the Dolphins being now 26th due to injuries — they're better than that and were in Week 1). Average pass defense DVOA: 19.3 for Jones, 29.5 for Zappe. All three defenses (MIA, PIT, BAL) against Jones mix their coverages often between pre- and post-snap. It is much more challenging for the QB.
- Zappe has rarely been under duress. Zappe has felt pressure on just 21 percent of his snaps — less than 1 in 4. He has been able to step into virtually all of his throws. That's very important when your arm strength is a limitation — and it is for Zappe, and it's still a question for Jones, which we have asked in the past. Virtually any NFL QB can make a vast majority of throws when they can step into them. The measure of a franchise QB is how you perform under pressure. Zappe has not really gotten sped up. He did a bit in this game after the strip sack, and his accuracy weakened on the next drive with errant throws.
- Jones was under pressure on 33.2 percent of his snaps in the first three games — 1 in 3. Lest we forget that he suffered serious injuries in the first and third games. Six games into his rookie season, Jones was under pressure on 35 percent of his snaps.
- Zappe has yet to trail in either of his starts. While the Patriots never trailed against the Steelers, Jones and the Patriots trailed for more than 26 minutes against both the Dolphins and Ravens.
- Matt Patricia has done a good job of setting up Zappe for success by using the running game to set up the pass, including a high percentage of playaction passes. Zappe has used playaction on 31.6 percent of his throws for 15.3 yards per attempt. Without playaction, he is averaging a pedestrian 5.6 yards per attempt.
- Only 10.8 percent of Jones' dropbacks this season were playaction (9.8 YPA). Jones averaged 7.9 yards per attempt without the aid of playaction. As a rookie, Jones used playaction 26.8 percent of the time (8.8 average; 6.6 without it).
- The Patriots have used much more motion before the snap with Zappe, which not only helps the QB identify coverage but also creates mismatches. The offense was largely stagnant in Jones' three starts.