Belichick and crew are playing down streak

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:26 AM ET

Not only did Bill Belichick crack a rare smile after his latest win, the New England Patriots coach waved to the crowd and hugged some of his players.

So much for this 21 wins in a row not meaning much to the bland, business-first coach.

By the time Belichick had left the locker room here in Foxboro, Mass., the Patriots were trying to play down their 13-7 win over the New York Jets and the records it created.

"I didn't say one word about it," Belichick said when asked what the streak means to him and what he told the team. "Come ask me about that when I'm in my rocking chair."

Though the win set a team record for consecutive wins to start a season (six), an NFL record for regular season wins (18) and an unofficial mark for wins including playoffs (21), the Patriots are in a different zone.

"Our team acknowledges it and we're proud of the fact we are 6-0 this year," said quarterback Tom Brady, whose record is 40-12 as a Patriots starter.

"You just have to win one game a week. With coach, it's, 'What are you going to do for me this week, not last year or last week ... what are you going to do for me now?'"

Next week, it is the 5-1 Pittsburgh Steelers followed by the 4-3 St. Louis Rams after that, both on the road.

To a man, the players say they don't put much stock in the streak, as impressive and attention-grabbing as it has become.

"What we did last year, we closed that chapter when we won the Super Bowl," Patriots quarterback Ty Law said.

"There is always room for improvement."

If there is one thing that bothers the Patriots it is "shoulda, coulda, woulda" talk from vanquished opponents and their fans.

Yesterday, the Jets were the latest team to keep it close but unable to close the deal.

"Who cares what they say when they walk away?" Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said. "We won the ball game. I don't care what they think."


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