For Bill Belichick, it has come full circle.
New York's Newsday writes today about how fitting it is that Pats head coach Bill Belichick should start and end this historic season at Giants Stadium, where he spent so many years as an assistant coach.
"Turning right instead of left at that tunnel," he said of his former home field, "I mean, I've gotten used to it over the years, but that locker room over there on the Giants' side is one that I spent a lot of time in and coached a lot of games with that team. Everybody has moved on, and I have a job to do, but it's a lot different walking into Giants Stadium than it is for any other stadium in the league for me."
By beating the Giants, the Patriots would win a record 16th regular season game. But according to Belichick, that won't be easy to do.
"They're the best in the league at a number of areas - running the ball on first down, third down, quarterback sacks, overall third down, yards per pass on third down. They set the pace on all those things," Belichick noted in a New York Post piece.
"We could work on them for another week and probably still not get them exactly right."
Hard as it may be to win every game in a season, it's not impossible. Just ask the experts -- those who've actually accomplished the feat. USA TODAY did in an interesting feature today.
"It is nearly impossible to do, and I think it would be impossible if it was your sole objective," said Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, who's Buckeyes went 14-0 in 2002.
"When you're part of that special team, the opponent means nothing, the opposition becomes irrelevant, and that is such a great feeling for your team," added former Boston Celtic Bill Walton, a center on UCLA's undefeated basketball champions of 1972 and '73.
"I can't imagine that there's anything harder to win than on Sunday afternoons in the NFL," Geno Auriemma, coach of UConn's undefeated women's basketball teams in 1995 and 2002, observed.
"Because the level of talent and preparation and everything that goes into it is so close … the difficulty is you've got to crank it up and you've got to bring it every single Sunday, and as the season goes on and people have studied you more and have seen more of your flaws, it gets much more difficult."
Are the Giants players intimidated at all by the 15-0 Pats? well, here's what one of their star players, Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora, told a New York-area newspaper this week.
The Boston Globe, meanwhile, talked with some Pats players about the possible perfect season.
"I have been around Bill awhile, and if there was any year where he could possibly throw us a bone, or take care of us because of any type of success we had, it would be this year," veteran LB Tedy Bruschi observed. "But he has coached us harder this year than he has ever done in previous years. I think that is a testament to him for keeping his focus."
A New Jersey newspaper focuses on Belichick's friendly relationship with Giants coach Tom Couglin. The two worked together on the Giants staff in 1989 and '90.
"Tom was a good guy to work with. We learned a lot from each other on different routes and coverages. He would help us, and we would help them, not just preparing for that particular game but also with concepts."