New England Patriots defeat Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-13

FOXBOROUGH - The streak is all anybody around here cares about, yet the local football team dares not speak its name.

Walking hand in hand with history, the 2007 New England Patriots improved to 13-0 with a 34-13 thrashing of the chest-thumping Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium yesterday. The Patriots became the fifth team in NFL history to start a season 13-0. Only one made it to 14-0 - the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who finished 17-0 in Super Bowl VII.

The Patriots...

FOXBOROUGH - Long after a future Hall of Fame quarterback undressed him in front of a national audience, with touchdown bombs over his head and verbal bombs inches from his face, long after a raucous hometown Patriots crowd mocked him with a derisive cheer that sounded a bit like M-V-P, but upon further review was actually "Guar-an-tee," young Pittsburgh safety Anthony Smith stood at his stall in the hush of the muted Steelers locker room yesterday and was offered a chance...

FOXBOROUGH - One-dimensional is usually a prescription for disaster for an offense, but the Patriots went that route by choice yesterday. The decision ultimately turned a 4-point halftime lead into a second-half blowout.

If there was a revealing statistic that stood out from the Patriots' performance, it was this: The offense dropped back to throw on its first 26 snaps of the second half, turning a 17-13 halftime score into a 34-13 blowout.

Considering the Steelers e...

FOXBOROUGH - The Pittsburgh Steelers were supposed to be the final formidable road block that stood between the Patriots and a potential undefeated season. They turned out be nothing but a Black and Gold speed bump that Tom Brady and Co., didn't even slow down for.

With three games remaining, the Patriots appear to be in the HOV lane to history - the first 16-0 regular-season in the annals of the NFL.

The Patriots became the fifth team in NFL history to win its first...