You might have heard that the New England Patriots clinched a record-tying 7th consecutive division title overnight as the New York Giants ended the season for the Miami Dolphins. That's because you listen to the media and you're not adhering to the rules set down by head coach Bill Belichick.
"First of all, definitely as of yesterday we haven't qualified for anything and we still haven't," Belichick said during his Monday press conference. "You've got to win games in this league and if you don't win games, then that's setting the table for something else. It doesn't really mean much."
Apparently Belichick did such a good job of selling the one week at a time mentality that Tom Brady didn't even know that the Patriots could clinch the division this week.
"I didn't know until this morning when I saw NFL.com," Brady said on his weekly conversation with WEEI's Dennis and Callahan. "It said on NFL.com, so that is pretty cool. It's a great achievement for our team. I didn't know that was possible last night, or else I probably would have stayed up and watched a little bit longer.
"Obviously there was some tiebreaker that we came up with or something. That's great. That's what you start with, is winning your division. We talk about that every year. We've done a good job in our division thus far being 4-0 and we'll have a chance the last two weeks of the year to finish strong after this Titans game."
The Patriots are now locked into a top three seed in the AFC, but that doesn't mean that they'll be taking the Titans lightly, or that they'll treat the final weeks like early bye weeks.
"You've got to continue to play at a high level throughout a 16-game regular season schedule," Belichick said. "It's hard to win them all, everybody has a few slip-ups along the way or something, but you've got to play at a good level, so that's what we try to do every week is play at a high level.
"I don't really know any other way to coach the team. I don't think we want to go out there and just lay an egg every week. I don't really think that's a good formula. We try to compete every week at our highest level."
The Patriots finally have a 1:00 PM EST game when they play host to the Tennessee Titans. The Patriots can't clinch a bye after week 15, but they need to defeat the Titans in order to clinch homefield advantage in week 16. Let's hope the Patriots don't lay an egg.