The Patriots' start to the 2022 NFL season has been more complicated than predicted. Though many expected them to build on a great 2021, New England heads into the Week 4 matchup against Green Bay in a tough spot.
Not only they are bottom of the AFC East with a 1-2 record, but the Patriots may also have to face games without Mac Jones. The second-year quarterback is in doubt for Sunday game after suffering a high ankle sprain in the Week 3 loss to the Ravens.
His performances weren't great this year, but Jones' presence is still important for Bill Belichick. However, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur respects Patriots backup QB Brian Hoyer just as much as Jones.
Matt LaFleur has equal respect for Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer
“Brian Hoyer is a guy I’ve got a lot of respect for,” LaFleur said, via Mike Cole of NESN. “My brother was on that staff in Cleveland when he was a starter, and they had him again when he was in San Francisco as well. I remember watching a lot of the cut-ups from the ’14 season, and you could make the case and take all his great plays he made, and you would have thought he was one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
“He’s been doing it for a really long time, and he’s going to know their system inside and out. That always presents some challenges when you have a veteran versus a more inexperienced player. Although I don’t wanna take anything away from Mac. Mac has been unbelievable, obviously, having a Pro Bowl season last year and doing some great things this year, as well. Whoever’s out there, you just gotta adjust and adapt.”
It's been two years since Hoyer started an NFL game. Even so, LaFleur's mindset looks the same regardless of who's behind center for the Patriots on Sunday. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters for him is that the Packers get the job done.