Well, here they are, one game away from a perfect regular season record. So, how did the New England Patriots get here?
"We] just look at it as one week at a time, so [this week I hope we can go on a one-game winning streak," head coach Bill Belichick told reporters on Monday. "Just get ready, have a good week and be able to win on Saturday."
As for Saturday, the talk in the media is now focused on the Pats opponents, the playoff-bound New York Giants, and whether or not they will rest any of their starters. So far, the Giants head coach has been tight-lipped.
"I am not going to be quoted on any of that at this point in time," Tom Coughlin said after a string of reporters' questions on the topic Monday.
"It is kind of a difficult thing for me to even talk about, because we want to win every game. We want to win every game, and we want our players to be as sharp as they can. But that having been said, I am aware of the fact that all the things you talk about are true — we cannot improve our lot, et cetera. I won't be really painted into the corner on any of those things."
One New York-based writer is adamant, however, that the Giants should play to win. His rationale?
"If the Giants somehow shock the world," he wrote in a Christmas Day column, "it would give them the momentum they'd need to conquer the NFC. It also would send a message to the Patriots in the unlikely event of a Giants-Patriots Super Bowl XLII rematch. By contrast, a lollygaging no-show could serve as a blow to the team's collective psyche."
The Boston Herald sizes up the Pats' potential playoff competition and says one team has the best chance of defeating New England.
*Sports Illustrated's* website has a similar feature today, with the same team at the top.
Want to see the Pats possibly make history on Saturday? Some Giants ticket holders are auctioning off their seats for the game with New England, according to an on-line report.