What streak? Pats not looking past Bills
September, 22, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady held conference calls with the Buffalo media Wednesday. One prevalent theme from the duo: Past results don't guarantee future success. Both Belichick and Brady went out of their way to stress that -- even though New England has won 15 straight meetings against Buffalo, every game since the 2003 season-opener -- the Patriots are taking nothing for granted.
Luc Leclerc/US PresswirePatriots QB Tom Brady says the past means nothing vs. Buffalo.
"That doesn’t really mean anything," said Belichick. "I mean, most of the players that played in those games will be watching them on TV, so I don’t think that really matters."
While the Patriots' 2003 roster did feature Brady and Deion Branch, the other names on the offensive box score included David Givens, Antowain Smith, Troy Brown, Bethel Johnson, and Christian Fauria. Heck, Damon Huard even threw a pass in the first of those 15 consecutive wins.
One thing Brady wouldn't do is apologize for the series being lopsided lately.
"We’re trying to win every time we play," said Brady. "That’s part of the competition. We don’t feel sorry for anybody. We’re trying to go out there and win –- that’s what our job is. And over the past whatever, 10 years, we’ve done that. And you know what? None of that matters. That’s the thing about it. The Bills players don’t care that we won 10 years ago and neither do the players on our team. What we’re trying to do is win this week.
"That’s why guys come into practice and were watching film yesterday, they’re preparing. Coach Belichick coaches us hard. We don’t take anything for granted. We’ve always had tight games. If there’s one play here or there that the Bills make, then they beat us. That’s the kind of game it’s always been against them and I think we’ve been very fortunate over the years to make those plays. If we want to continue to play well, then we need to continue to make those plays. Look, the Bills never give you them, you have to go earn them."
Think ignoring the streak wasn't a point of emphasis this week in the New England locker room? Compare these quotes from Belichick and Brady:
BELICHICK: "I can honestly tell you I’ve never even looked at [the streak]. When the game starts, it’s 0-0. Nobody’s done anything. That’s all for the fans and announcers and everyone else to talk about. It doesn’t mean anything. There’s no favorite. There’s no underdog. The team that plays best is the team that’s going to win and it doesn’t have anything to do with previous records or how many guys are in the Pro Bowl or how many guys are rookies or how many guys are first-round draft choices or any of that. That’s just stuff to talk about but it doesn’t mean anything. The only thing that means anything is performance and how a team performs on that three-hour period once a week against another team that decides who wins the game and that’s the way I’ve always looked at it. That’s the way it’ll always be. It’s nice to talk about all the other stuff but it’s all really meaningless. It just comes down to those three hours. It’ll be this Sunday afternoon, but whatever the time is, those three hours of competition, the team that plays the best, not necessarily the team that has the most talent or has the best record or anything else but the team that plays the best over that period of time, that team will come out on top. So that’s what we try to do every week is prepare for our best performance during that three-hour time period and hopefully it will be good enough."
BRADY: "I’ll tell you, none of that means anything for this game. It doesn’t matter if you have won 100 in a row. The team that is going to win this weekend is the team that plays the best. It has nothing to do with the team in ’07 or the ’05 game. None of that matters. The team that is going to win is the team that makes the most plays, that plays well under pressure [and] that does the right thing consistently over the course of 60 minutes. That’s why we’re out here practicing, that’s why we’re preparing for a tough game, for a 60-minute game. You never know what situation is going to come up and you need to be prepared for all of them. There are a lot of players over the years that have come and gone and we have to keep the same approach. This is a dangerous team that is very talented and very explosive in all phases of the game."