"I don't think I've ever seen a job like this over a whole year,'' said Tony Dungy -- one of just two head coaches to ever beat the Patriots in an AFC title game, along with Baltimore's John Harbaugh -- on Monday. "I thought this was a masterful job by the Patriots this season. I remember toward the end of the '04 season, when all their DBs got hurt and they were playing with Troy Brown on defense. That was kind of amazing over a three- or four-week period. But when you look at what they've had this season, it's been pretty awesome to watch.''
Seeing New England win its way back to another Super Bowl wouldn't be a surprise either, even though Denver is favored at home. It's mid-January, and the Patriots are still hanging around. Would it even feel like the NFL playoffs without them?