The discussion has changed from whether or not the Patriots' illegal videotaping might have had an impact on their success to just how good this team is -- and could be. We're only four games into the season, but talk of an undefeated season has already begun.
After trouncing the Bengals on Monday Night Football, the Patriots had a short week to prepare for the Jeckyl and Hyde Cleveland Browns. One week the Browns allow 45 points (but score 51), and two weeks later they're playing dominating defense in limiting the Ravens to 13 points.
Browns head coach Romeo Crennel returns to Foxborough for the first time as a head coach, but his team is viewed as a huge underdog against the surging Patriots.
Here are the top 10 quotes of the week, heading into Week 5, Patriots-Browns:
10. "I'm obviously as upset as you can be. We're down some guys, but that is no excuse."
~ Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis
Translation: "We stink. How much talent is on this team? And we're 1-3? Come on. We're pathetic."
9. "I think we are moving the ball well offensively. We are balanced. There are many things we can do better. Hopefully we can build on this win with a short week preparing for the Browns."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, when asked to compare this Patriots team to others he coached in the past
Translation: "Hands down the best team I've ever coached. Nothing short of 16-0 and a Super Bowl win will make me happy."
8. "They are a good football team. They were patient and mature tonight."
~ Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis on the Patriots
Translation: "That team could end up 16-0. That's how good they are. We, on the other hand, might end up 1-15."
7. "I don't know. It's hard to evaluate. It's a long season so we're off to a decent start and, hopefully, we can keep it going."
~ Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when asked about the eye-popping numbers he's put up so far
Translation: "Hey, Peyton. I've got my eye on your single-season touchdown record. And tell Dan Marino his yardage record of 5,084 is in jeopardy too."
6. "I think it compares very favorably. They have good players at every position, all the way across the board and they all seem to be producing as well. They look really good."
~ Browns head coach Romeo Crennel when asked to compare this year's Patriots team to the teams he was the defensive coordinator of
Translation: "My only hope is that we keep them under 50 points."
5. "There have been a lot of plays that we left on the field. I think we're 0-for-6 on third and 10-plus. We haven't gotten the ball to the goal line as much as we can. Inside the 5 we haven't done a good job. We've turned the ball over
we've got to find ways to improve, or else, it won't be good enough as we keep going."
~ Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on how he feels about his offense
Translation: "We should be scoring 50 points per game. Maybe this week."
4. "If [Derek] Anderson keeps playing well and we're able to win ball games, I think that just helps Brady [Quinn]'s development because he can sit and he can watch and study teams. Then when he does get in there, I think he'll be more ready. Sometimes we try to force young kids in before they're ready in today's game. I think it can benefit him not to be forced in."
~ Browns head coach Romeo Crennel on quarterback Brady Quinn
Translation: "Quinn will be our starter after our first three-game losing streak -- whether he's ready or not."
3. "Everyone may have different opinions and everyone may not share that with you. Like I said, I can't go out of my way to try to change everyone's opinion of me. I know what type of person I am and I know that the people close to me and the people I have contact with know and understand who I am and what I'm about."
~ Patriots safety Rodney Harrison when asked if he needs to prove himself to his teammates
Translation: "I'm back and better than ever. We're 4-0. I'm completely healthy. Looks like it all worked out pretty well. Oh, but kids -- don't make mistakes like I did. It's not right."
2. "I Eat It
~ The front and back of the Patriots players' new T-shirts
Translation: "We're good. And we know we're good. So we have to keep reminding ourselves to not let it go to our heads. But we are darn good."
1. "I Serve It
~ The front and back of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's new T-shirt
Translation: "After we've won 19 in a row, you guys can enjoy this. But not a moment before then."
As the Patriots try to remain humble and avoid a potential trap game, the rest of us wonder just how many games they'll win, and how this team will be viewed when it's all over. But one game at a time is the mantra of the head coach, so we'll sit back and enjoy Patriots-Browns this week. We can talk about Patriots-Cowboys next week.
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"