Talk of perfection intensifies

ROB LONGLEY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There will be no public talk of a perfect season among the New England Patriots, but one of the team's superstars admits the rumble is getting hard to ignore.

And with just three games remaining, including back-to-back home dates against AFC East weaklings Miami and the New York Jets, it's only going to get louder.

"My phone's always ringing and text messages are coming in so it's hard not to pay attention to what's going on," Patriots receiver Randy Moss said last night.

"The one thing I really try to do is stay in a straight tunnel vision."

That and a dose of what Moss calls "humble pie" from taskmaster coach Bill Belichick.

The visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, as 101/2-point underdogs, were supposed to be the toughest test remaining.

JETS ARE NEXT

But after going meekly into the New England night in a 34-13 defeat, that task now goes to the New York Giants, who will play host to the Pats the final week of the season.

Next up though are the Jets which will bring out a special dose of venom in the Patriots. It was their coach, Eric Mangini, who earlier in the season, squealed on the New England coaching staff for stealing signals.

"We'll treat the next game like we treat the other ones," said Belichick, who won is 100th game as a Patriot yesterday. "Right now all we're thinking about is one game and that's the Jets. We'll do the same thing we've been doing for the last however many weeks."

In moving to 13-0, the Patriots are just the fifth NFL team to get that close to an undefeated campaign joining the 1934 Bears, '98 Broncos, '05 Colts and the only team to pull it off, the '72 Dolphins.

They also clinched a bye in the opening round of the playoffs and with a win over the Jets would secure home field through to the Super Bowl.

"There's always something to play for," Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light said. "Going 16-0 would mean we won every regular-season game. Nobody around here is chasing a record ... we're chasing higher goals."


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