Halfway to their second perfect regular season in the last eight years, this Patriots team will look to end things less like the 2007 season and more like last year - with a Super Bowl victory.
But to their credit, they're not pulling their focus away from the task at hand - even when a team as lackluster as the Washington Redskins comes to Gillette Stadium to be beaten 27-10.
Bill Belichick has never been one to let up on the gas. It took about six minutes for the Pats to score in the first quarter - a drive that included Tom Brady making a fourth-down conversion. That was followed by a successful onside kick.
Does it seem like keeping the ball out of Kirk Cousins' hands and in Brady's is adding insult to injury? Will that make opposing fans hate Brady and the Pats even more?
Greatness breeds contempt. With so many around the league rooting with such vigor against New England - from its commissioner and attorneys in court to the coaches grasping at straws to the players, fans and media - Patriots supporters should just embrace it. Embrace the hate. Your team has a coach who will follow up a historic four-day stretch that created great distance in the division by humiliating one of the more meager opponents on the schedule. If you're rooting for another team, you may complain about a lack of sportsmanship, but any fan would want a coach like this.
The last game of the Patriots' first half was not without its flaws. Running back Dion Lewis - one of the brightest spots on a superb roster despite being a name no one knew three months ago - went down with a knee injury in the third quarter. If he misses any considerable time, the offense will miss him both on the ground and as a receiver.
The Pats' running game was successful Sunday in spite of the loss. LeGarrette Blount ran for 129 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, even as Brady threw for 299 yards (perhaps taking it easy after combining for 711 yards in less than 100 hours against the Jets and Dolphins) and two touchdowns on 26-39 passing.
Redskins linebacker Keenan Robinson did pick Brady off and gain 44 yards, but Cousins eventually threw it away on 4th and 11 rather than trust kicker Dustin Hopkins with a 54-yard field goal attempt.
Brandon LaFell led receivers with 102 yards on five catches, being targeted nine times. Julian Edelman added 55 yards, Rob Gronkowski and had 47. Lewis had 39 receiving yards and 14 rushing yards before he went down.
New England will look to make it 9-0 against the Giants next Sunday.