Was Sunday's win over the Buffalo Bills a turning point for New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones?
To say it's been a rough season for Jones would be an understatement, but in Week 7, the third-year signal-caller finally had his signature moment. He drove the Patriots down the field late in the fourth quarter and tossed a touchdown pass to tight end Mike Gesicki to seal a 29-25 comeback victory.
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After Tom E. Curran explained on Patriots Postgame Live how the big win would boost the morale in the locker room, Phil Perry touched on how Jones' performance would affect his confidence heading into Week 8.
"Well, I think on two different fronts, it helps a great deal," Perry said. "Number one, Mac Jones' belief in himself, I think, has to be helped by a performance like this one. To play the way he did late in that game on that game-winning drive against the team you have not been able to beat and to execute the way he did down the stretch has to improve his confidence.
"He has played like a player devoid of confidence for so much of this season that I think that drive could go a long, long way on just Mac Jones' belief in himself. He told me after the game, 'I always believe in myself,' but that confidence has been shaky it appears to all of us watching, and he's even mentioned it a few times at press conferences this year.
As for the team's confidence in Jones, Perry adds that while players stated their belief in their QB, they made sure to mention it was a total team effort.
"I got a chance to talk to David Andrews soon after he stepped off the podium today, and he said, 'I think we have great belief in Mac.' But he also pointed out -- and wanted to -- that this was a team win, this was a complementary football win in some ways for the Patriots. They have not been able to put those types of games together in a long, long time," Perry said.
"You got contributions in the kicking game from the punter, Bryce Baringer, and from your kicker, Chad Ryland, a couple of rookies. Defensively you make some big plays, and offensively obviously come through at the end. It just felt to me, whether it was Andrews or any other of the players that I spoke to after the game, when you wanted to bring up Mac Jones, they were complimentary of him for sure, but it was, 'This was really a team win, every unit contributed to this one.' It wasn't just the quarterback and it's not just the quarterback when they lose either."
Jones' belief in himself, and the Patriots' confidence in their 2021 first-rounder, will only improve if New England can pull off another upset next week in Miami. They'll visit the Dolphins next Sunday with kickoff set for 1 p.m. ET.