New England Patriots' coach Bill Belichick by Jim Rogash/WireImage.com
New England once weathered
The Perfect Storm
, and now The Perfect Season is on the horizon. If the Patriots defeat the Miami Dolphins
(Dec. 23, 4:15 pm/ET, CBS), they'll be 15-0, an NFL regular-season first. Topple the New York Giants the following week to go 16-0 and New England would join the 1972 Dolphins as the only teams to enter the playoffs undefeated. (The Dolphins won 14 regular-season games, two playoff games and the Super Bowl, to go 17-0.)
The Patriots' dominance is even more impressive because of free agency, says Fox announcer
, who will call Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix on Feb. 3. "What they've been able to do with roster turnover and a salary cap is extraordinary," Buck says. "What makes them phenomenal is that they've been able to consistently win while other teams go up and down."
New England established itself as the first football dynasty of this millennium by winning three Super Bowls from 2002 to 2005, thanks to
, who Buck calls "the best coach in the NFL he's the one that really makes it go." (CBS' Armen Keteyian will interview Belichick on
The NFL Today
on Sunday at noon/ET.)
Having a quarterback like
helps the victories pile up, too. "As far as winning a game and leading a team down the field when it counts," Buck says, "there's nobody in today's game that's anywhere close to as good as he is."
So, are the Patriots a lock for the Super Bowl? "Well, it's the oldest saying in the book, 'On any given Sunday...,'" Buck says. "But they are clearly the best team. Now, whether they play like that weekend after weekend in the postseason, that's why it's fun to tune in."
- Karen Rosen