The New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick made short work of the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, 35-17. The Patriots are now 9-2 on the year, making it official: They’re going to have a winning season. While that was obvious all along, it’s now statistically locked in.
That’s important because it’s the 17th winning season in a row for the Patriots. They now own the NFL record. They took it from the Dallas Cowboys, who had 16 winning seasons between 1970 and 1985, and the San Francisco 49ers, who did the same from 1983 to 1998.
In a lot of ways, this really demonstrates the Patriots’ dominance. The Cowboys and 49ers once were the fiercest rivalry in the NFL. In their heyday, they produced some of the most iconic stars the sport has seen. They owned the NFL in the 1980s and ’90s, when the league’s popularity was exploding. Sharing the record helped keep them locked together in that endless rivalry.
And now the Patriots have come along and simply taken it from both of them. The Patriots really don’t have a rival on the same scale. They’ve just dominated everyone for nearly two decades, and they’re rewriting the history books on the way.
So, what does Belichick think about it?
“That’s what we’re here for, is to win games,” Belichick said, per Zack Cox of NESN. “Yeah, we take a lot of pride in it. But, that being said, there’s probably another time to talk about that and reflect back on it and so forth. You know, none of those other — however many seasons it was or however many games it was — really makes any difference this week. I mean, nobody cares about that. This is just strictly a matchup between the Patriots and the Bills in 2017, and how these two teams compete against each other is really what it’s all about. So I don’t think living in the past is going to help us, and I don’t think living in the future is going to help us, either.”
Well, there you have it. Perhaps the best team in NFL history, and the coach simply says: “Nobody cares about that.”