GREEN BAY, Wis. -- New England Patriots rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe threw his first career touchdown pass in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, connecting with receiver DeVante Parker on a 25-yard score.
It was the first touchdown pass thrown by a rookie in the NFL this season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research, although the Patriots appeared to catch a break when officials didn't penalize them for delay of game. The play clock hit zero well before the snap, with CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore saying on the broadcast that a penalty should have been called. The touchdown gave the Patriots a 17-14 lead in a game in which they were down to their third quarterback, Zappe.
Veteran Brian Hoyer started the game in place of injured Mac Jones (ankle) but was knocked out on the final play of the second offensive series due to a head injury.
Zappe, the fourth-round pick from Western Kentucky, took over from there. His emotion came out after the touchdown pass, with veteran tight end Hunter Henry wrapping him in a celebratory embrace.
Week 4 is the latest into a season that the first passing touchdown by a rookie has been thrown since 2007, when Bills rookie Trent Edwards threw the first in Week 4 against the Jets.