Now the pressure is really on.
Sure, the Patriots have a weekend off, but when they start playing again, if the wins keep piling up, so will the stakes.
The Boston Herald explains why in a fun-to-read feature today. Here's a taste:
The Pats aren't even halfway to truly sacred ground yet. If they want to finish the season unbeaten, after all, they need to win 10 more games. There is the very real chance that they will have to defeat Indianapolis again - albeit in Foxboro - and the pressure will mount with each passing week. Every game will become bigger than any opponent the Pats play.
It may be a bit premature, but what else is there to talk about during the bye week? The Boston Globe takes an early look at some Patriots players' contracts that could come due this offseason, including Randy Moss, Donte' Stallworth, and Asante Samuel.
And the media just won't let those pesky comments by Hall-of-Fame Dolphins coach Don Shula go away. The only coach in the Super Bowl era to lead an NFL team to an undefeated season said New England's '07 campaign will be "tainted."
Here's what LB Tedy Bruschi had to say about that earlier this week.
''Obviously, he's one of the most well respected men that have ever been in this game,'' Bruschi said. ''I can't control what opinions he has. All I can do is take it upon myself to think about what my job is, and my job is to play football and help this team keep on winning. That's all I can really focus on.
''I can't control opinions,'' added Bruschi. ''It's unfortunate that he had some of those things to say. I wish he didn't say them, but so be it. People can express what they feel and we're just going to keep on playing good football.''