Thanksgiving is a time for reflection. A time to consider all that we're thankful for. Patriots fans are thankful for a team that hasn't lost three games in a row since 2000. Last week's 35-0 demolition of Green Bay kept that streak alive.
They face another NFC North foe this weekend, but this time it's the 9-1 Chicago Bears. The Bears could actually clinch their division if all goes right this weekend. Patriots-Bears is the premier match-up of this NFL weekend.
Players and coaches had a lot to be thankful for this week. In this special Thanksgiving edition of 10 Quotes and a Cloud of Dust, I've compiled the top 10 quotes of the week, heading into Patriots-Bears:
10. "Our pass coverage wasn't very good. It had nothing to do with communication, it was more coverage issues. I was disappointed in our pass defense as a whole."
- Packers head coach Mike McCarthy
Translation: "I'm thankful we can go back to playing NFC teams like the Lions and 49ers now."
9. "I don't think you can keep laying the ball on the ground and think you're going to get them back. Penalties. Fumbles. Turnovers. Missed tackles. You might slip by with them for a while, but not for long."
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on his team recovering three of the four fumbles they put on the ground last week
Translation: "I'm thankful that even after winning 35-0 I have things I can point to that we screwed up so I can keep this team focused and grounded."
8. "I didn't want to come out of the game. I knew it was bothering me, but I still felt like I could make some plays out there, and I wanted the opportunity to do so."
- Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who finished the game against the Patriots on a broken foot
Translation: "I'm thankful that I have a high threshold for pain. And that my stock just went up a few notches in my coaches' and teammates' eyes."
7. "It's obviously been a lot better the last few days than it was the previous Monday and Tuesday, so everyone is in a much better mood."
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
Translation: "I'm thankful that we never lose more than two games in a row. I love winning. Winning is fun."
6. "I'm glad we didn't have to play today [Wednesday]. Put it that way."
- Packers quarterback Brett Favre on the condition of his injured elbow
Translation: "I'm thankful that every time I do get injured, it seems as if we have a week off or extra time before the next game. That's one of the reasons I've been able to start 231 straight games. Well, make it 232. Because I will be starting Monday."
5. "As a person and as a leader of a football team, of course I am biased. He is second to none to me
He is the undisputed leader of our football team. He plays hard and is coachable. All of those things you want the face of your franchise to be, he is."
- Bears head coach Lovie Smith on lineback Brian Urlacher
Translation: "I'm thankful that I'm no longer in St. Louis, where 'defense' sounds like a word from a foreign language. I can't tell you how thankful I am for Brian Urlacher and the rest of the guys on this defense."
4. "If I go somewhere, I go to the same spots all the time. People get used to seeing me at the grocery store or wherever. I go to a couple of restaurants and that's about it. Most food I get to go. It's crazy, especially when we win, but I'd rather have it this way than the other way."
- Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher on whether or not he can go out in public in Chicago
Translation: "I'm thankful for being one of the best players in the NFL. I'll take the hassles of social life that come along with being famous any day."
3. "First off, we do have a 9-1 record and we are proud of that but most of those were against NFC teams. Miami, from the AFC East, handled us fairly well at home. We are like the rest of the football teams trying to get a win."
- Bears head coach Lovie Smith
Translation: "I'm thankful that we play in the NFC. We only have to play four AFC teams and can pad our record against the inferior conference."
2. "We didn't really have any problems with it. It was lined and all that, so we had a good chance to kick off of it and do our special teams things off of it, and let the players go out there and run around on it a little bit. Again, it's similar to the surface we have up in the bubble, so it's not like we had to order a couple gross of shoes. We're kind of familiar with it."
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the new FieldTurf
Translation: "I'm thankful that I don't have to talk about the condition of the field anymore. I'm also thankful that I only have to talk to you guys a couple of times a week."
1. "We know he's a great quarterback and the guy's a Hall of Famer. He went off last week. I watched the Indy game and it wasn't his best game, but he had some tipped balls in that game, too. We know that. He can go off at any time and he's a great quarterback. He's not going to play bad week-to-week. He's too good of a quarterback to do that. We're going to prepare for his best and that's what he's going to be out there with on Sunday."
- Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher when asked about Tom Brady's struggles against the league's best teams this season
Translation: "I'm thankful that we only have to play Tom Brady once every four years."
NBC chose Indianapolis-Philadelphia for the Sunday night game this week, meaning the game of the weekend kept its afternoon time slot. The Patriots have already lost three games at home this year. They can't afford to lose another one. With the Bears heading to the East Coast for the third straight week, they might be catching them at the right time. Patriots fans will have had their fill of turkey by Sunday afternoon. They'll be hoping Bear meat will be on the menu.
Darren is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: DestinationSuperBowl. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by searching for "Darren Kelly"