FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Patriots fans got their first taste of third-string quarterback Bailey Zappe last Sunday when Brian Hoyer went down with a head injury in the first quarter against the Packers.

Now, with Hoyer on injured reserve and Mac Jones still recovering from an ankle injury, Zappe is expected to get the first start of his young career at home against another NFC North opponent.

Both the Patriots and Lions are 1-3 and looking to get their seasons back on track after three-point losses last weekend.

The last time these two teams met was in 2018 when then-Detroit head coach Matt Patricia led his team to a 26-10 victory over New England. Patricia will be on the opposite sideline Sunday after returning to the Patriots as a senior advisor and offensive line coach.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Below are some notes and quotes to get you ready for the game:


  • The Patriots will be wearing their red throwback uniforms for the first time in a decade.
  • The Lions are #1 in the league in scoring, but also #1 in points allowed.
  • Bill Belichick is two wins away from tying George Halas for the second-most wins all-time as an NFL head coach.


Bill Belichick on the Lions: “This is an interesting team to look at. We haven’t seen them in several years here. It’s a very talented team. They are explosive, aggressive, and they really play that way consistently. Special teams is a real strength of the team.”

Zappe on how he’s preparing this week: “The same way I have for the past four weeks. Just taking it day by day, continuing to get better every day. Kind of have the mindset of one percent better every day. Kind of taking it that way and just going to practice every day with the mindset of taking every rep like a game rep. Just getting better every day.”

Zappe on his comfort level: “I’m sure there will be a little bit more comfortability with it. But, like I said, I’m going to lean on my teammates a lot. They helped me a lot at the Packers, and I’m going to lean on them even more this upcoming game, or whenever it is. I’m really excited for just going to practice every day and getting better.”