The week was full of talk of their first meeting, the bye week, the Bills' loss to the Lions, Patriots players making the "dirtiest player" list, and Patriots employees' fear of Indianapolis Colts' president Bill Polian, after Polian was involved in a shoving match with a Jets employee earlier this month.
Here are the top 10 quotes of the week, heading into Week 7, Patriots-Bills:
10. "As you know, we gave the players a few days off. I think everyone is back and ready to get going here on Buffalo...The bye week is over for us."
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick
Translation: "I despise the bye week. I want to be out there practicing and playing football games, not giving guys days off."
9. "You can be in the game for three-and-a-half quarters, but until you learn how to finish it out, you don't win and it's going to go in the loss column."
- Bills wide receiver Lee Evans
Translation: "Wins go in the win column. Losses go in the loss column. It's simple really. Especially when you don't win a lot."
8. "There was a window there and I could either put it in the first window or the second window. Lee chose the first and I chose the second so I led him a little too much."
- Bills quarterback J.P. Losman, on his interception during the Bills' loss last week
Translation: "I really have no idea where the ball's going when I throw it."
7. "I'm sick of seeing that play. I've seen it probably 30 times in the last six weeks. I'm trying to put that one out of my mind."
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the first play of the season against the Bills, when his fumble was returned for a touchdown
Translation: "Keep bringing it up guys. You're like the older brothers I never had."
6. "The truth is that they executed on the play and we didn't, so they stopped us. It ends up being a play in the game. I'm not a big believer that it was the turning point. It was a play and they won it."
- Bills head coach Dick Jauron, on the 4th-an-1 play in the first meeting
Translation: "We make that 1st down we win the game. I haven't slept in weeks thinking about that one play."
5. "I don't know. I was watching film on Buffalo. I couldn't tell you what everybody else in the organization was doing."
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on whether anyone in the Patriots' front office discussed a trade with Oakland for either Randy Moss or Jerry Porter
Translation: "Everyone else in this organization is lazy. They get 5+ hours of sleep per night and only work 12-hour days. They're lucky I'm here. Oh, and we don't need Moss or Porter. Trust me."
4. "I'm just really excited to be here."
- Patriots center Dan Koppen, after signing a five-year extension to stay with the Patriots.
Translation: "I'm just really excited to get paid. And play with Tom Brady."
3. "I mean, dirty? I don't even get to touch anybody out there. I don't know what they're talking about. It must be a Jet or a Dolphin or something like that who hates me."
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on receiving one vote in Sports Illustrated's poll asking who was the dirtiest player in the league
Translation: "Someone's getting a finger in the eye for that vote. What, do I kick people when I'm getting sacked or something? Please. Whoever it was is just jealous."
2. "As many guys that say I'm a dirty player, just as many guys walk up to me and say they admire the way I play and my hard work, commitment, toughness, everything
If I have a chance to blow a guy's knee, I'm going to hit him up top instead of blowing his knees out. So, dirty? I wouldn't call myself dirty. But I would call myself an old-school, hard-nosed football player that respects the game." [Boston Globe]
- Patriots safety Rodney Harrison
Translation: "I ever see someone who voted for me, I'm blowing out both his knees."
1. "I guess that's good. But when you play in that game, there's only one champion. I'm sure for whatever good feelings they have about getting there, they had more disappointment about having not won those games. I'm not saying it isn't better to be there. It's better to have loved and lost than to not loved at all."
- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, on Buffalo's four straight Super Bowl trips
Translation: "The Bills would love to have won. The Colts would love to win a Super Bowl. Bill Polian--he was general manager of the Bills back then and is now president of the Colts--he'd beat someone up if it meant winning the Super Bowl. Tis better to have loved and lost, but winning is everything. And I've got five Super Bowl rings that prove I'm a winner."
The Patriots look to improve to 5-1 and 4-0 in the division in Buffalo this week. And the road gets tougher after this week. At the Vikings and home against the Colts, with the currently undefeated Bears arriving three weeks later. But New England is not looking past the Bills and their feisty defense. They won't lose focus after a week off. They've won four of their last five games following bye weeks, with their last two coming against the Bills. Déjà vu all over again?
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