FOXBORO -- Though the Jets are still technically in pursuit of the playoffs, it's likely all clashes with the Patriots are over and archived for the season.
But are rivals ever completely out of mind, despite being out of sight?
Bill Belichick invoked the Jets in his Wednesday morning press conference. New England's bench boss, who's currently preparing to face the Browns Sunday, was asked if he still has an affinity for Cleveland, where he coached from 1991 to 1995.
"I was there for five years. It was five important years in my life, for myself, my family and all that," he said. "But obviously, we've all moved on and I have a job to do here. And that's where my loyalty is, is to Robert [Kraft], the Patriots organization and this football team. So it's no different than how I feel, honestly, about the Colts, or the Lions or the Broncos.
"I feel differently about the Jets," he noted with a wry smile, "we won't put them in that category."
Belichick was an assistant coach for the AFC's New York team from 1997 to 1999. He was in line to succeed Bill Parcells as head coach, but quit the position the day it was announced to the media, and instead began his tenure with New England.
There's no shortage of antagonism between the two clubs. Belichick did withdraw after taking his jab, however.
"[I had] good experiences with all those teams, and learned from them, and grew as a coach and as a person and as a family. But we're at a different time and a different place. This is where we are now, so I'll try to make the most out of this one."