CNN – It might have been ‘super bye week’ in the 2023 NFL season – six teams weren’t taking the field – but the action that did take place didn’t disappoint.
From Bill Belichick claiming a milestone victory after weeks of disappointment to both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles claiming wins declaring their Super Bowl ambitions, here’s everything you need to know from Sunday’s games in Week 7.
Legendary coach joins legendary company
The New England Patriots have had a tough time of it lately.
Three defeats in a row – including two by record margins – had sucker-punched an organization that’s become accustomed to success.
But, as they’ve done so many times before, the Patriots dragged themselves off the mat to record a stunning 29-25 victory over the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw for two touchdowns and running back Ezekiel Elliott ran for one more as New England snapped its three-game losing streak in the most remarkable fashion.
And in doing so, the franchise’s legendary coach, Bill Belichick, earned his 300th regular season win to become only the third head coach in NFL history to reach that milestone, joining Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318).
Belichick earned the majority of those 300 wins during his time with the Patriots – he joined New England in 2000 – claiming 36 victories during his five seasons with the Cleveland Browns.
And, as has become customary, the 71-year-old played down his achievement afterwards.
“I mean, it’s great. I’m really more focused on our team and this year,” the 71-year-old told reporters. “Worry about that later. Thank you.”
Belichick is the clubhouse leader in all-time playoff wins, Super Bowl appearances and Super Bowl wins, but Sunday’s victory couldn’t have come at a better time for the New England coach, with pressure beginning to mount on him following weeks of disappointing results.
It was a victory that came in the most impressive fashions too, upsetting their high-powered division rivals.
The Patriot’s defense did an excellent job in stifling Josh Allen and the Bills just enough, while the New England offense broke out of the slump it has been in almost all season.
The Bills fought back in the second half and the Patriots needed a late score to win the game. That came from Jones leading his team on an impressive drive before connecting with Mike Gesicki for the winner – fitting given it was ‘National Tight End’ day.
“I think just keep fighting and it’s just a crumb, right?” Jones told reporters afterwards. “That’s what I always say. And you’ve got to build off that.
“You’ve got to build off that and attack every day the same. It’s all about playing for each other, playing for the guy next to you and understanding why. So we did that today and we need to continue to do that every day in practice and in the games.”
The Patriots improve to 2-5 while the Bills slip to 4-3.