15 down, one to go. The New England Patriots are in uncharted waters now. No team has ever entered the final week of the regular season 15-0. Instead of resting players and gearing up for the playoffs, the Patriots will more than likely be going all out for a piece of football immortality.
Their opponent will be the New York Giants, another team with nothing to play for this weekend. The Giants have clinched a playoff spot and even know who their first round opponent will be -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But the Giants seem to be putting everything they have into stopping the Patriots' run at history.
And perhaps the most talked about aspect of the game seems to be the channel on which everyone will watch it. Originally slated to be shown on just the NFL Network and regional stations in the Boston and New York areas, the game will now also be shown nationally on CBS and NBC. If you live in Boston or New York, you'll have up to four different channels on which to watch history potentially in the making.
Here are the top 10 quotes of the week, heading into Week 17, Patriots-Giants:
10. "We talked all week about trying to get up on those safeties and trying to give Randy an opportunity down the middle. It works out pretty well when he catches them. When he doesn't, it doesn't look so good."
~ Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, on his repeated attempts to get Randy Moss the ball last week
Translation: "Have you seen Randy when things don't go his way? Mooning the crowd, running people over with his car, leaving the field early. I can't have any of that here. If I get him this touchdown record, he won't have any reason to cause trouble."
9. "As long as that zero stays in that [loss] column, I'm fine. Basically what I'm saying is that I want to keep winning. To hell with the record."
~ Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss
Translation: "Man, I really want that record. Tommy, keep throwing me the ball, will ya?"
8. "We're getting ready to move on to New York next week. Short week, holiday and all that, so we have a lot in front of us. We'll have to pack a lot in in just a short amount of time this week, but hopefully we can do that."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
Translation: "Stupid Christmas. Gets in the way of football."
7. "Is that right? [Laughs] Wow. Poor girl. Pretty disposable I guess, man. What would I give up? It'd be a hell of an accomplishment, I'd say that. I have to think long and hard about that one. I don't want to offend anybody, especially not anyone that's close to me. I don't think I'd give up a family or friend or anything like that."
~ Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when told that a Patriots fan said that he would give up his fiancé if he could see a perfect season
Translation: "I certainly wouldn't give up my supermodel girlfriend in exchange for a perfect season. Tell that fan there's no need to trade me his fiancé. We'll get the perfect season without anyone getting dumped."
6. "We have taken this extraordinary step because it is in the best interest of our fans. What we have seen for the past year is a very strong consumer demand for NFL Network. We appreciate CBS and NBC delivering the NFL Network telecast on Saturday night to the broad audience that deserves to see this potentially historic game. Our commitment to the NFL Network is stronger than ever."
~ NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in a statement after the league announced it would simulcast Saturday's Patriots-Giants game on CBS and NBC, in addition to NFL Network
Translation: "I'm sorry! OK? I'm sorry! You can watch the game, you bunch of babies! All I wanted you to do was call your cable company and then go to a bar, but noooo, you have to complain! Fine. Watch the game on CBS or NBC. See if I care."
5. "Got the game on every network. It'll be like the State of the Union address. You can flip to every channel and see it."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, in regard to Saturday's Patriots-Giants game being available on three different networks
Translation: "I'm like the Wizard of Oz, now. I've got my little kingdom where everyone bows down to me and does what I say. And now they've got my kingdom on all of the channels. It's like being supreme ruler. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."
4. "I couldn't be more thrilled that as the Patriots rush toward an historic undefeated season, football fans everywhere have won a victory of their own. With today's announcement, the NFL showed their loyalty to the sports fans who made the NFL an empire in the first place."
~ Senator John Kerry, D-MA, who had urged cable and NFL executives to settle the dispute over NFL Network
Translation: "Please talk to me! I want to be relevant again! I ran for President for crying out loud, and now I'm stuck talking about a cable channel to make headlines! I am relevant! Please talk to me!"
3. "Well, you know, being associated with Santa Claus, there's a lot worse associations to have. I'll take it. When you're a kid, sometimes you dream about being on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That's not actually the one I pictured, but it's pretty funny. Whatever sells."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick in regard to the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, in which his face is superimposed over Santa Claus' face
Translation: "Sit on my knee, little boy. Tell me what you'd like for Christmas. Oh, not a Patriots fan? You want to see us lose? Sorry, a lump of coal in your stocking. Send in the Patriots fans! Ho ho ho. It is what it is."
2. "They're very talented. I think definitely Strahan and Osi should take the weekend off. I'd rest them I'll be lobbying for that. Coach Coughlin, if you're listening, definitely rest those guys."
~ Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when asked about the pressure the Giants' defense brings
Translation: "You will rest your starters this weekend [waves his hand]. You will rest your starters this weekend [waves his hand again]. This Jedi mind trick thing will work on Coach Coughlin, won't it?"
1. "We treat every week the same. Try to do what's best for the football team next week, same as we always do. It's nothing different. Whatever it is, that's what it's going to be."
~ Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, when asked how he felt about the chance to go to 16-0.
Translation: "One game at a time. It is what it is. We're only worried about our next opponent. I've got a million of these lines. Doesn't matter to me that we're about to make history. You're getting the same stuff from me that you always do. Whatever it is, that's what it's going to be."
If history is made, where will you be? And which channel will you be watching? The playoffs can wait. The first order of business for the Patriots is beating the Giants and making history.
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"
Official Game Thread: Patriots vs Giants (Pats site)
Countdown to Records
Exclusive Insider Info