Vince Wilfork summed up the relatively low-key approach the Patriots took after their 23-16 win over the Dolphins on Sunday in South Florida clinched their fourth straight AFC East title and their ninth in 10 years. Wilfork was asked about how the Patriots celebrated yet another "hat and T-shirt" moment that comes with every significant championship the team earns.
“You move on in stride," Wilfork said. "We know we accomplished something, but in the grand scheme of things, we still have a long season to play. The upcoming week is going to be very tough with Houston. We know how important it is to get back on track and stay grounded, and push forward one game at a time, so that’s what we’re doing.”
The Patriots' division title assured them of at least one home game in the playoffs. Wilfork also was asked at his press conference if the AFC East doesn't mean a lot to the team since the Pats are a Super Bowl-driven organization.
“That’s so far out of reach right now, the Super Bowl," Wilfork said. "I mean we still have a long season left. That’s the last thing on our mind is the Super Bowl. We started today with the Dolphins, come in here. We knew what was at stake. We could clinch up the division today. We took care of that. We know we have Houston coming up, a very, very, very good team, one of the best teams in the NFL. We’re going to keep it one game at a time. Whatever happens at the end of the season happens. But we’re not even thinking about, talking about playoffs or Super Bowl right now. It’s a one-game season right now."
To Wilfork's point, the 11-1 Texans are next up on Monday, Dec. 10 at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots are 9-3 and still have aspirations of a first-round bye if they finish with one of the top two seeds in the AFC.
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