Bill Belichick of the Patriots wins his 300th game in a regular season

Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots, achieved his 300th career regular-season victory in a thrilling manner on Sunday. Quarterback Mac Jones orchestrated a touchdown drive in the final minute, securing a 29-25 victory over the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots (2-5) found themselves on the brink of letting a game they had led for most of it slip away, but Jones masterminded an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive after taking control with just 1:58 left on the clock. Jones connected with tight end Mike Gesicki on a 1-yard pass with a mere 12 seconds remaining.

This dramatic final drive was reminiscent of the kind of late-game heroics often seen during Tom Brady’s era but had been a rarity for Jones, who is now in his third season.

“I want to continue to do that and make people believe,” Jones stated.

In the fourth quarter, Jones completed 11 of 13 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the game with 25-of-30 passing for 272 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions, boasting an impressive 83.3% completion rate, the third-highest in franchise history for games with at least 30 pass attempts.

Jones had previously been benched in the face of blowout losses to the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints in Weeks 4 and 5, as costly turnovers had raised questions about his starting role. However, his teammates rallied around him following the Sunday victory.

Gesicki expressed, “I don’t think a lot of the talk and stuff that happens with him is fair, honestly. I think he’s done an unbelievable job blocking that out and internally leading us through all that adversity. Today, back against the wall, and you hear all the talk about ‘We can’t close,’ and he stood in there and delivered play after play after play.”

Jones’ only other late-game winning drive occurred in Week 5 of the 2021 season, in a 25-22 overtime victory against the Houston Texans. As for Belichick, whose team had faced its worst start in his 24-year coaching tenure, he has now become the third head coach in NFL history to reach 300 career regular-season wins, trailing only Don Shula (328) and George Halas (318).

When including playoff victories, Belichick’s total of 331 wins puts him just behind Shula’s 347.

Safety Jabrill Peppers praised Belichick, stating, “He’s probably the best to do it. Knowledgeable. He knows how to win. He coaches the right way. He knows how to push the right buttons to get guys going. We’re going to continue to play hard for him.”

Belichick humbly played down the milestone, saying, “It’s great, but I’m really more focused on our team and this year. Will worry about that later. Thank you.”

The need for the Patriots’ final drive arose when the Bills capitalized on a lost fumble from receiver Kendrick Bourne, scoring a touchdown and 2-point conversion to take a 25-22 lead immediately after the two-minute warning.

The game-changing drive started with a 34-yard catch-and-run by running back Rhamondre Stevenson, and a crucial 15-yard completion from Jones to tight end Hunter Henry on third-and-8.

Gesicki’s touchdown marked only the third time in the last 30 seasons that the Patriots have secured a go-ahead passing touchdown in the final 15 seconds of a game, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The other instances were Drew Bledsoe connecting with tight end Ben Coates in 1998 to defeat the Bills with no time left and Tom Brady finding receiver Kenbrell Thompkins with 5 seconds remaining to beat the New Orleans Saints in 2013.

You might also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *