FOXBORO, Mass. — Some Patriots fans still have a case of “Zape fever.”
Of course, during New England’s Week 7 home loss to the Chicago Bears, the demand for Mack Jones’ replacement reached an embarrassing fever pitch. However, the chants, usually quiet and short-lived, emerged a few weeks later as Jones and the Patriots struggled to move the ball.
But Saturday was different. “Zape” chants were loud in the first half of the Patriots’ 22-18 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, despite the crowd at Gillette Stadium. among the thinnest in recent memory. From Zapp’s call to enter the game to New England’s lifeless offense, the fans in Foxboro let the Patriots hear it.
The chants died down during the second half as Jones and the Patriots came back with a spirited effort that was ultimately interrupted by a last-minute (and controversial) Ramondre Stevenson fumble. Jones stepped up in the final two quarters, finishing the game with 240 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-33 passing.
After the game, receiver Jacoby Myers was asked specifically about Zapp’s chants and Jones’ performance in the scrimmage.
“Just his tenacity,” Myers said. “To be honest, this is not the first time this has happened this year. It concerned him all year. It’s just guys willing to pass it on to the next guy. But he just keeps fighting there. He takes hits, gets back up. He makes mistakes, comes back and tries to correct them.
“Shout out to Mack, man. This is a physically and psychologically tough guy. I can roll with him any day. Because at the end of the day, you know, no matter what people say, he’s going to go out there and fight his hardest. “