Curran: Why Patriots' upset win over Bills ‘changes everything'

Curran: Why Patriots' upset win over Bills ‘changes everything' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Will the New England Patriots' upset victory over the Buffalo Bills change the arc of their 2023 season?

The Patriots entered the Week 7 showdown with a 1-5 record and three consecutive abysmal losses. Those defeats were highlighted by self-inflicted wounds, costly turnovers, poor offensive line play, and a lack of playmaking on offense. In other words, just about anything that could have gone wrong, went wrong.

Sunday's surprise win was a different story. Mac Jones avoided turning the ball over and led a game-winning drive, the offensive line held its own, and Kendrick Bourne and Demario Douglas stepped up as legitimate offensive weapons.

The encouraging performance prompted our Patriots insider Tom E. Curran to ask fans whether they believe beating Buffalo will change the course of their season. An overwhelming 66 percent of respondents voted "Ask me after the Miami game." A pessimistic 26.5 percent picked "Not at all. Still stink." Only 7.6 percent believe "It changes everything."

On Tuesday's Quick Slants, Curran explained why he identifies as one of the 7.6 percent.

"I believe that Sunday's win, referring back to our poll question, does indeed change everything for the Patriots," Curran said. "And this is why, and this is keeping it real: It validates Mac Jones, who has talked about his process. It validates the fact that Bill O'Brien coming in and installing something that Mac Jones was comfortable with can actually work. It validates that this offensive line can protect if it gets together and doesn't jump offsides. It also validates the fact that Bill Belichick has their ear."

New England's much-needed win undoubtedly boosted the morale in the locker room and may have also helped players "buy in" after the dreadful start to the season. Curran believes the team's newfound confidence, and a schedule that eases up in the coming weeks, could be a recipe for a successful stretch.

"(Patriots tight end) Mike Gesicki, when I asked him last week whether or not this Patriots team which was flagging at the time was still heading in the right direction -- Gesicki, who played for the Miami Dolphins when they stunk, said, 'We are going about it the right way. Guys are coming in every single day trying to get better. I'm seeing nothing that indicates people pulling in the wrong direction.'

"So, when we're looking at this team still having buy-in, now seeing a Miami team that might not be as good as it seems to be, then a Commanders team, then a Colts team, Denver's still on the schedule, Jets are still on the schedule, they've already beaten the Bills once. There are opportunities out there. I said recently the wins are everywhere, and they kind of are. That's why I look at this team and it does change everything. All they needed was one sliver of proof that they are who I thought they were."

To maintain this level of optimism, the Patriots will need to duplicate their efforts when they visit the 5-2 Dolphins this Sunday. Kickoff for that divisional showdown is set for 1 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium.

You can watch the full episode of Quick Slants below: