Sunday was a symbolic day for the New England Patriots. Well, outside Gillette Stadium, at least.
The 7-4 Patriots have sole possession of first place in the AFC East for the first time since 2019 following the Buffalo Bills' blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
After beginning the season 2-4, New England has rattled off five straight wins to move atop the division and into the AFC's No. 3 seed. You could look at Week 11 as a sign that the post-Tom Brady Patriots are officially back, and that Bill Belichick's brief "rebuild" is officially complete.
Or you could take Belichick's approach to Sunday's events.
"No, I don't really think about that," Belichick said Monday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." "We'll just take it one day at a time here and get ready for Tennessee."
Belichick's dismissal of the Patriots' new position shouldn't surprise you. He knows championships aren't won in November, and that New England's AFC East lead could disappear next Sunday if the team loses to the 8-3 Titans.
So, instead of taking a victory lap for the Patriots' ahead-of-schedule rebuild, Belichick chose to focus on his upcoming matchup with Titans head coach and former Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel.
"Mike has done a great job at Tennessee," Belichick said. "I’ve always had a lot of respect for Mike, and certainly have a ton of respect for him when he was a position coach and as a head coach, for sure.
"It will be a big challenge and Tennessee is obviously is a good football team, one of the best teams in the league. We’ll do our best to get ready and be ready to go on Sunday. Mike does a great job and other than when we play him I’m rooting for him, but not this week."
Belichick's day-by-day approach has worked pretty well over two decades, and it's not about to change now as New England enters the home stretch of the season.