What we know so far about the omicron variant

After the World Health Organization officially announced the discovery of a new coronavirus variant on Friday, people around the world are wondering what they need to know when about the severity, rate of transmission, and the state of travel bans. Below you’ll find a collection of the most recent stories published about the omicron variant.

Does omicron cause only mild illness? The jury is still out.

New York Times

Summary: While the current cases of the omicron variant point to milder coronavirus cases in a younger population, scientists warn there is not yet enough data to determine the variant’s severity. Additionally, since the variant was only discovered a few days ago, it may be too early in the timeline to know if it leads to severe illness or hospitalizations.

Read the full story here.

High alert: World scurries to contain new COVID variant

Associated Press

Summary: On Saturday, travel bans and restrictions were quickly put in place following Friday’s WHO announcement in hopes of preventing another surge. A flight from South Africa to the Netherlands found 61 people who tested positive for COVID-19, who are isolating and being tested for the variant.

Read the full story here.

What to know about travel after the discovery of the omicron variant

Washington Post

Summary: Travel bans from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe will start Monday in the United States. The European Union, Britain, France, Israel, and Japan implemented their bans last week.

Read the full story here.

More omicron cases pop up as world rushes to learn more

Associated Press

Summary: While the omicron variant was first discovered last week in southern Africa, the new variant has quickly made its way around the globe. This has led scientists and officials to wonder about the severity and transmissibility of the variant plus the effectiveness of current vaccines against omicron.

Read the full story here.

As omicron variant circles the globe, African nations are blamed and banned

New York Times

Summary: As travel bans have been announced, some officials are questioning the effectiveness of the bans and criticizing the nations putting them in place for withholding vaccines to other countries.

Read the full story here.

How omicron, the new COVID-19 variant, got its name

New York Times

Summary: Like the previous variants, delta and alpha, the World Health Organization has picked the next letter in the Greek alphabet to identify the new variant. The WHO’s naming system aims to make identification less confusing and prevent names from causing any offense to certain regions or ethnicities.

Read the full story here.

Do I really need brake work after just 29,000 miles?

Q. I have a 2018 Subaru Legacy Limited 2.5. with 29,300 miles. I was told by a technician that I need rear brake pads and rotors immediately at a cost of $299. The technician said I was down to “two” for my rear brakes and that my front brakes were a “four” — which I should replace within six months. My questions are: Is it unusual to need new pads and rotors at only a little over 29,000 miles? And is the cost of $299 per axle reasonable?

A. Brakes are one of the few systems that wear is almost completely based on the driver and their driving habits. I have seen brakes need replacement in as little as 10,000 miles and in some cases last nearly 100,000 miles. If the front brakes are worn down to 2 millimeters, they do need replacing. The friction material of a new brake pad averages about 10 millimeters. In many cases replacing brake pads and rotors together guarantees better performance. Depending on brake wear, typically you can get two sets of pads out of one set of rotors. 

Q. Regarding the recent question about 2005 Corolla with poor headlights. Another likely problem which we had with the same car was that the headlight covers became translucent. The dealer cleaned them up for $100, but there are internet fixes with toothpaste and baking soda. This may be worth looking into. 

A. You are correct that cloudy headlight lenses can reduce headlight performance by 90 percent. Cleaning or replacing the headlight assemblies as well as new bulbs can make a remarkable difference when driving at night. In fact, our testing at AAA showed that depending on condition, cleaning headlights lenses can offer better lighting than some aftermarket replacement headlight assemblies. 

Q. I have trouble shifting my car out of the park position. I went to the dealership service department and they said there was nothing wrong with it. Yet I still have trouble shifting out of park. What could be wrong? 

A. The issue may be where you park. If you are parking on an incline, the shift may be more difficult to move, since you have the weight of the car on the parking mechanism. As a simple test, before you shift into park, set the parking brake. When you drive the car again, shift into park or reverse and then release the parking brake. Using this method, the brakes are holding the car in park rather than the transmission. 

Q. I have a 2000 Mazda Protege. One day I went to start it up and nothing would come on. I bought a new battery, and the car still didn’t start. Someone else said it was the ignition switch, which I installed and still nothing. Please help me. 

A. Start with the basics, which includes the cables and fuses. There is a 100 amp “maxi-fuse” as well as a fuse that runs to the ignition switch. If the warning lights illuminate but the car doesn’t start, the issue could be a faulty neutral safety switch or starter interlock clutch switch. Finally, there is the starter itself. 

Q. My son has a 2007 Honda Accord. His car’s catalytic converter was stolen at a hotel parking lot. He had an aftermarket converter installed for under $1,000. The auto repair owner said thieves don’t want aftermarket ones, since they’re not worth much money.  I have a Toyota Corolla with an original convertor and want to prevent this from happening to me. One news report I saw mentioned a steel plate cover. Any suggestions? 

A. Yes, we are seeing more and more catalytic converter thefts. The reasons are simple — catalytic converters contain very expensive precious metals. Additionally cordless power tools make it easy to cut through the exhaust system. In my opinion the biggest issue is that some salvage yards or metal recyclers don’t ask for any documentation as to where the converters came from.  There are companies that are fabricating aluminum shields that are bolted to the underside of the car to prevent theft. My concern would be depending on how they were fabricated, there may not be enough air to help control the converter temperature. My advice is the same as the police, park in well-lit areas. Park close to building entrances or the nearest road in public parking lots. This gives your vehicle more exposure where more people can see it.

John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE-certified master technician. E-mail your car question to [email protected] Listen to Car Doctor on the radio at 10 a.m. every Saturday on 104.9 FM or online at

Delta flight from South Africa briefly lands at Logan Airport

A Delta Airlines flight from Johannesburg, South Africa, touched down in Boston briefly to refuel and change crews on Sunday morning, one day before a ban on travelers from that country takes effect.

Delta flight 201 landed at Logan International Airport just before 9:30 a.m. then took off again for Atlanta at 10:37 a.m., a Delta spokesperson said in a statement.

The flight crew departed from the plane and was placed off duty because it had maxed out its hours on duty, according to the spokesperson. All customers remained aboard during the stop.

Read the full story on

Does omicron cause only mild illness? The jury is still out.

In the rush to understand the threat posed by the omicron variant, the worrisome new version of the coronavirus, some experts are pointing hopefully to early signs that it may cause only mild illness, without some of the trademark symptoms of COVID.


But it is far too early to assume that the variant will not cause severe illness, too, warned Dr. Richard Lessells, who coordinates clinical and epidemiological data for the South African COVID Variant Research Consortium.

Many of the early infections in South Africa were spotted among younger people more likely to experience mild illness, he said. The picture may change as the virus spreads through the larger population.

At the moment, the variant has been spotted in at least a dozen countries, including Britain and the Netherlands. Many others are closely monitoring cases. Omicron has not yet surfaced in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Omicron has dozens of new mutations, including many that may enable the virus to be more contagious and to sidestep immune defenses. But Dr. Angelique Coetzee, who chairs the South African Medical Association, noted Saturday that the nation’s hospitals were not overrun by patients infected with the new variant and that most were not fully immunized.

Moreover, most patients she had seen did not lose their sense of taste and smell, and had only a slight cough, she told reporters.

But that may not be as reassuring as it sounds. Most of South Africa’s cases were initially found in the Gauteng province, mostly among younger people at universities and higher education institutions, said Lessells, who is also an infectious disease physician at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

“We would of course expect the vast majority of those to be mild cases anyway, regardless of vaccination status,” he said.

In addition, cases overall have also been rising only in the last two weeks, Lessells noted: “There’s even barely enough time for infections to have had time to progress to severe disease and hospitalization.”

Should omicron cause severe illness, that will become apparent if there is a significant rise in hospitalizations over the next week or two, he added.

Scientists have not yet analyzed infections in fully immunized people, but they are already seeing some cases of reinfection that suggest the variant can overcome natural immunity, Lessells said.

He and his colleagues plan to review the latest data Monday to spot trends and to plan for omicron’s spread.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Brad Marchand, Linus Ullmark carry Bruins past Canucks 3-2

BOSTON (AP) — Brad Marchand scored the tying goal on a power play in the third period and set-up David Pastrnak’s go-ahead score, helping the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.

Anton Blidh also scored for Boston, and Linus Ullmark made 36 saves. The Bruins won for the fifth time in seven games.

Tanner Pearson and Conor Garland scored for Vancouver. Former Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak made 39 saves and remains winless (0-4-1) in his first season with the Canucks. The 36-year-old Halak signed as a free agent with the Canucks after playing three seasons with Boston.

With Oliver Ekman-Larsson off for boarding Blidh, Marchand shifted around defenseman Kyle Burroughs and fed Pastrnak in front of the net, where he slipped in a power-play score with 3:24 to play.

Marchand collected a loose puck out of a scramble and tied it at 2-all less than a minute after Ullmark dropped for a pad save on Tyler Motte’s clean breakaway.

Marchand got a rebound near the crease, skated slightly to his right and fired a wrist shot into the net for a power-play goal 8:45 into the third.

Garland’s seemingly harmless wrister from the right circle slipped between Ullmark’s pads, giving the Canucks a 2-1 edge with 7:29 left in the second.

Looking to spark his team after a loss to the Rangers on Friday, Boston coach Bruce Cassidy juggled all but his top line. The Bruins seemed to respond more aggressively at the beginning of the game, but the struggling Canucks played physical, too, which led to a few scrums after whistles in the opening period.

Midway into the second, Cassidy briefly dropped star Pastrnak from the top line to second line.

Pearson scored a power-play goal out of a scramble 3:33 into the game to make it 1-0.

But Blidh beat Halak with a wrist shot that appeared to dip late and sailed past the goalie’s glove, tying it just 2:18 later.


It was the second time in three home games that the Bruins faced a goaltender they had on their team last season. Last Sunday, Dan Vladar started for Calgary and shut them out.


The Canucks had a power-play goal wiped out by video review late in the opening period. Garland beat Ullmark, who appeared screened, with a slap shot from the right point, but the Bruins challenged that Nils Hoglander was offside and a review showed that he was in early.

Boston’s Tomas Nosek had one immediately waved off in the opening minute of the second when he clearly kicked the puck into the net while falling to the ice.

NOTES: Trent Frederic returned to Boston’s lineup after missing seven games with an undisclosed upper-body injury and centered the third line. … Bruins forwards Jake DeBrusk and Erik Haula were healthy scratches. … It was the first of two regular-season meetings between the teams, with the other in Vancouver on Dec. 8. … Canucks captain Bo Horvat played his 265th straight game. … Patriots WRs N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers watched from a luxury box.


Canucks: At Montreal on Monday night in their fourth of a five-game trip.

Bruins: Host Detroit on Tuesday, the finale of three straight at home.

Matthew McConaughey won’t run for Texas governor in 2022

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Actor Matthew McConaughey isn’t running for Texas governor after months of publicly flirting with the idea of becoming the latest celebrity candidate.

The Academy Award winner said in a video posted Sunday night that political leadership was not a route he was choosing to take “at this moment.” McConaughey, 52, said he would instead focus on supporting businesses and foundations that create pathways for others to succeed.

The Texas governor’s race is already shaping up to be one of the nation’s highest-profile contests in 2022. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is seeking a third term and Democrat Beto O’Rourke, coming off failed bids for the U.S. Senate and president, announced month that he was getting in the race.

The “Dazed and Confused” and “Dallas Buyers Club” star had never said what party — if any — he would run under while acknowledging that he was mulling a run for governor in his home state. McConaughey had also shied away from going into policy specifics and positions on contentious issues in Texas.

“Politicians? The good ones can help us to get to where we need to go, yeah,” McConaughey said in the video posted to Twitter. “But let’s be clear, they can’t do anything for us unless we choose to do for ourselves.”

In California, former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner ran for governor this year in a failed GOP-led recall effort against Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom but gained little momentum.

6 takeaways as Celtics pull away late, claim odd win vs. Raptors

Here are the takeaways as the Celtics pulled away late in a quietly strange 109-97 victory over the Raptors on Sunday.

1. What do we make of Jayson Tatum’s performance on Sunday — a 2-for-16 shooting performance that yielded just eight points, but included seven rebounds and 10 assists? And what do we make of the fact that the Celtics were clearly better when he was in the game (Tatum was +13) despite those shooting struggles?

All credit due to Tatum: He helped the Celtics win even though he couldn’t find the range. Celtics coach Ime Udoka noted that the Celtics had 24 assists on 34 field goals, which he credited in large part to Tatum.

“He’s just got to — at times — be the guy that’s going to bait guys out there,” Udoka said. “Be the decoy to some extent and draw that crowd, and you see everybody else pretty much ate off of him tonight.

“So credit to him for playing the right way, not getting frustrated and then sticking with it.”

Our best attempt to contextualize the Tatum conundrum: He has been bad from 3-point range all season, and much of his scoring is predicated on 3-point shooting. The final game in Tatum’s stretch of 30-point performances last week included an abysmal 1-for-9 performance from behind the arc, and Tatum has shot just 5-for-30 (16 percent) in his last four games from deep. He needs to keep shooting 3-pointers. He also needs to start making them consistently.

Still, the Celtics are better when he plays because opposing teams pay him a ton of attention, and he has improved drastically as a passer. If you believe Tatum’s shooting numbers will level out consistently, there’s a lot of reason for optimism baked into those numbers.

2. Grant Williams and Enes Kanter — soon to be Enes Kanter Freedom — were both solid once again. Williams was perhaps the Celtics’ best player in the first half, and he finished with 15 efficient points while continuing to drop 3-pointers (3-for-4). He is the NBA’s only member of the 50-40-90 club this season (51.4 percent from the field, 43.1 percent from three, and 90.5 percent from the free-throw line).

Kanter, meanwhile, pulled down 10 rebounds and was once again inexplicably not bad at defense. His screening continues to be a positive, and Udoka acknowledged he considered leaving Kanter on the floor late against the Spurs (a game in which Kanter was a team-high +28 in an eight-point loss).

“Doesn’t always show up in the stat sheet, but nine points, 10 rebounds, offensive glass like I mentioned,” Udoka said. “He’s a great screen setter, so all those things go unnoticed at times.”

Health was a concern for Celtics’ bigs prior to the season — Robert Williams has always struggled to stay on the floor, and Al Horford is getting older — but Grant Williams and Kanter have filled in the gaps nicely.

3. After the game, Ime Udoka told reporters Josh Richardson was exhausted in his return from a flu-related absence.

“Who told you that?” Richardson asked, when queried about needing a breather.

He was informed.

“Grapevine’s crazy,” Richardson muttered.

Richardson played well — 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting, and Marcus Smart praised his defense against Fred Van Vleet — but he did admit to being gassed.

“After about six minutes in there, seven minutes, I told Ime, ‘Yeah get me out, please get me out.’ I was tired,” he said. “But that’s how it should be. Give it everything you got while you’re out there and when you’re too tired, just sit down for a little bit.”

4. Marcus Smart finished with 21 points (7-for-16), eight rebounds, and six assists, and he made a pair of crucial 3-pointers in the fourth quarter that helped the Celtics build an insurmountable lead.

Over the last 10 games, Smart is averaging 13 points and 7.1 assists with just 1.8 turnovers.

“He played a great game,” Udoka said.

5. Raptors fans were heated about the free-throw disparity in the first half — the Celtics were 18-for-18, while the Raptors were 3-for-3. That number evened out a bit over the course of the game, but the Celtics still nearly doubled the Raptors in free-throw attempts (31-16).

6. We’ve noted in the past that NBC Sports Boston broadcasts are remembering key moments in Celtics history as the NBA celebrates its 75th season. On Sunday, the broadcast flashed back to 1990, when the Celtics honored long-time radio play-by-play announcer Johnny Most — best known for barking “Havlicek stole the ball!” in a voice roughened to sandpaper by cigarettes.

On Sunday, Brian Scalabrine asked Mike Gorman about the first time he met Most. Gorman said his longtime TV partner Tommy Heinsohn used to eat with Most every night in the media room, and Most once coached Gorman to find a catchphrase — something he could go back to consistently at big moments.

Gorman and Most workshopped a few options, and the duo ultimately settled on what is perhaps Gorman’s most iconic phrase: “Got it!”

The peak behind the curtain was fascinating.

The Celtics face the Sixers at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Anonymous donor gives Thanksgiving dinner to Holliston family who lost house in fire

After a devastating fire destroyed the home of a Holliston family last Monday, an anonymous donor gave them a Thanksgiving meal.

Since 1971, Edna and Bob Touchette fostered over 300 children — eight of which they have adopted — in their Holliston home. The house at 1004 Washington Street caught fire around 9 a.m. on Monday, WCVB reported.

“My parents lost their house of 50 years,” daughter Janell Ramirez told 7 News. “So many memories, so many generations, so many kids.”

Bob, the family’s adopted son Anthony, and two foster kids ages two and four, were home when the fire erupted but were able to safely escape the flames.

Since the fire, the local community has provided an outpouring of support for the family. A GoFundMe for the family has raised over $174,520.

“My parents are very overwhelmed with everything going on,” daughter Lucinda Touchette Hickey wrote on the GoFundMe page. “They are feeling the virtual hugs they are receiving from the community and it is definitely helping them through this challenging day.”

Lucinda announced that an anonymous donor paid for the Touchette family to have a Thanksgiving meal together. The family was able to share a meal at Prezo Grille and Bar in Milford on Saturday

“My parents are starting to find their smiles through this darkness,” Lucinda wrote with a picture of the Touchette family at the restaurant. “Thanks to everyone that is showing such love and support! Seriously!”

“I can’t thank him enough for offering to do something for us that allows us all to get together,” daughter Brenda Touchette told 7 News. “Something we’ve done forever and not having that for Thanksgiving would’ve been hard for all of us.”

Donations on the GoFundMe came from over 2,000 people. Some were classmates and teammates of the many Touchette children, while others were neighbors or strangers to the family.

“People I’ve grown up with — who I haven’t talked to in years — reaching out and showing support and donations and everything — this lunch today,” daughter Sonja Touchette said. “Everyone’s been super supportive and I think especially for my parents, it has really brought some light in a very, very dark situation.”

Lucinda wrote on the GoFundMe that the family currently has a potential option for new housing lined up.

“Please lend your prayers that [the housing] will come through ok!” Lucinda wrote on the GoFundMe Saturday. “My parents’ main wish — get back to one house with my youngest brothers.”

Ramirez told WCVB that without this lunch, she is unsure when the next time this many family members would have been able to meet up together.

“My parents’ house was that place,” Ramirez told WCVB. “None of us have a house big enough to house all of these people, so it’s a big deal.”

In a matchup of talented, well-coached teams, Patriots wore down banged-up Titans

Welcome to the Unconventional Review, an instant reaction to standouts, stats, and story lines from the Patriots’ game . . .

The talented, well-coached, healthy team did what it was supposed to do.

It remained focused and eventually wore down the talented, well-coached, injury-ravaged team that found a way to stay with them for a while but didn’t have enough to do it all day.

The Patriots forced four turnovers and outscored the Titans, 20-0, in the second half in a 36-13 victory Sunday at Gillette Stadium. They’ve won six straight games, and while some flaws might have been exposed (the Titans ran for 270 yards on 39 carries), anyone who suggests at this point that they’re not a true contender in the AFC is doing so because they don’t want to believe it.

Rookie quarterback Mac Jones threw for a career-best 310 yards and two touchdowns, an impressive showing in his first real cold-weather test. Jones missed some throws here and there and didn’t feel the rush at others, but he’s been so dependable it’s becoming easy to forget he’s a rookie. Oh, how the rest of the league must hate this.

Some further thoughts, upon immediate review …

Three players who were worth watching

(Players suggested in Unconventional Preview: Kevin Byard, Dontrell Hilliard, Jonnu Smith)

J.C. Jackson: The fourth-year cornerback already is one of the most accomplished ballhawks in Patriots lore. He picked off his seventh pass of the season — and fifth of this six-game winning streak — by catching a Devin McCourty deflection of a Ryan Tannehill pass on fourth and goal from the New England 2-yard-line in the fourth quarter, with the Patriots up, 26-13. Jackson is now tied for ninth in Patriots history with 24 interceptions, catching up to Nick Buoniconti and Ronnie Lippett. Buoniconti collected his 24 picks in 91 games. Lippett did it in 122. Jackson played his 57th game as a Patriot Sunday. But his biggest defensive play Sunday — one of the bigger Patriots defensive plays of the season — did not result in an interception, but a fumble. With a little over 10 minutes to play in the third quarter and the Patriots holding a 19-13 lead, Titans running back D’Onta Foreman broke loose into the secondary, picking up 31 yards, with the possibility of more … until Jackson arrived on the scene and punched the ball loose. Jalen Mills pounced on the fumble and recovered at the Patriots’ 37-yard line, and what looked like a Titans opportunity to take the lead instead became another crucial turnover forced by one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.

Kendrick Bourne: Sure, I’ll say it again. He reminds me of David Patten, an engaging personality who can be leaned on to make important plays in important moments. Bourne scored a pair of touchdowns, showing off deft footwork on both. His first was a 4-yard grab in the right corner of the end zone that punctuated the Patriots’ first possession, putting them up 7-0. The second occurred in the third quarter, when Bourne took a shallow cross, got a helpful screen from Jakobi Meyers and tiptoed down the sideline for a 41-yard touchdown, putting the Patriots up 26-13. This Patriots receiving group is much better than most of us figured it would be early in the season, yes?

Kevin Byard: The Titans’ standout safety was everywhere, finishing with 12 tackles (nine solo) and a pass defensed. He also picked up his first sack of the season, blitzing Jones up the middle on third and 8 and taking him down for an 11-yard loss in the third quarter. He did have his issues in coverage at times, including on a 38-yard Jones-to-Meyers connection in the first half in which he seemed to underestimate the quarterback’s arm strength.

Grievance of the game

Any time your kicker is converting five field goals, as Nick Folk did (on six attempts, the miss a 53-yarder right before halftime), that means you probably have a kicker who can be relied upon. It also means you’re relying on him too much. The Patriots went just 1 for 3 in the red zone in the first half and 2 for 5 overall, and against better/healthier teams, they’re going to need to stop leaving points on the field. The biggest missed opportunity came when Jones overthrew a wide-open, touchdown-bound Hunter Henry near the 10-minute mark in the second quarter. The Patriots had to settle for a field goal and a 10-6 lead.


Titans running game versus Patriots run defense

It’s not often a team runs for 270 yards and loses (let alone loses by 20-plus points), but the Titans pulled off the feat of the feet. Dontrell Hilliard, who was called up from the practice squad during the week, was tackled by Lawrence Guy for a loss on the first play from scrimmage, then basically spent the rest of the afternoon ripping through the middle of the Patriots’ defense. He finished with 131 yards on 12 carries, including a 68-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the first half, while D’Onta Foreman also surpassed 100 yards, gaining 109 on 19 attempts. Both Hilliard and Freeman ended up losing a costly fumble. The Patriots entered Sunday’s game with the NFL’s eighth-ranked run defense (101.7 yards per game). They come out of it knowing that the Titans exposed some holes.

Three notes scribbled in the margins

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed his first eight passes, hitting seven different receivers, one or two of whom you may have even heard of before. He went just 3 of 13 after that, and finished the day with 93 passing yards … Jonnu Smith had three catches on four targets for 49 yards against his former team, and also gained 9 yards on a jet sweep on the Patriots’ first possession. His 58 total yards is the most he’s had in a game as a Patriot, eclipsing his total in Week 7 against the Jets by a yard (52 receiving, 5 rushing) … Titans kicker Randy Bullock ricocheted two missed kicks off the right upright in the first quarter, an extra-point attempt and a 44-yard field goal bid in the second quarter. Kudos to CBS for having the goalposts miked up. There’s something oddly satisfying about hearing the “BONGGGG” of a football hitting the uprights.

‘You’re not going to win a Super Bowl now’: Here’s why the Patriots are keeping 6-game win streak in perspective

The Patriots organization is known for its emphasis on blocking out noise.

Sometimes, that noise might be analysts rushing to bury them after a 2-4 start. Other times, the noise might be analysts suggesting they could make the Super Bowl after winning six in a row.

In either case, the Patriots don’t want to hear it.

“The record and the outsiders — we just have to ignore that as a team and keep focusing on getting better each and every week,” J.C. Jackson said on Sunday, after the Patriots rolled over the Titans in the second half to claim a 36-13 win. “That’s how you build confidence.”

After all, as Bill Belichick noted, an 8-4 record doesn’t clinch anything. The Patriots have work to do before they are guaranteed a playoff spot, let alone a deep run.

“We can’t get relaxed,” Devin Godchaux said. “Like Kyle Van Noy said a couple weeks ago, we have to keep that 2-4 mindset. That’s definitely this team mindset right now. Keeping that same 2-4, when everybody was writing us off, just because we’ve won six games, that don’t mean nothing.

“You’re not going to win a Super Bowl now. You’re going to win a Super Bowl in February.”

Matt Judon was asked if Sunday’s win was a “statement.”

“Every week we have to have a statement win,” Judon said. “If you want to call it a statement or if you want to just call it the next game, because that’s what we do. We have to take it week by week.

“Our opponent’s really not going to care. Our next opponent is not going to watch the film and be like, ‘Oh man, they beat them by so much!’ That’s never going to happen. They are going to game plan, they are going to practice, and they are going to try to beat us. The statement for us is on to next week.”

More from Patriots’ postgame

– A reporter asked Matt Judon about his colorful jacket postgame.

“You see me!” a delighted Judon exclaimed.

He gave his wife BreighAnn a shoutout for getting him the jacket, although he wouldn’t say where she got it.

“BreighAnn dresses me,” Judon said. “She got me this. I put it together, and I look good obviously.”

– At one point in the first half, Patriots quarterback Mac Jones made a play escaping from the defense. He came up a couple of yards short of the first down, but he pointed forward expecting to get a flag.

“I didn’t think I got the first down,” Jones clarified, chuckling. “I thought they were going to call it. I slid like head first or whatever, but it didn’t count. It is what it is. I didn’t know there wasn’t a flag thrown. That was just a rookie error there.”

– Jones finished 23-for-32 as a passer with 310 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“Mac?” Judon deadpanned. “We don’t really like him, man.

“Nah, Mac is playing very well. Mac’s confidence in himself is growing. He already had a lot of confidence in himself, and I think his confidence is growing in himself, I think that’s the biggest thing.”

Jones’ longest completion was a 41-yard strike to Kendrick Bourne, who also scored the Patriots’ first touchdown of the game. Jakobi Meyers snagged a long pass as well, hauling in a 38-yard toss from Jones.

“First thing is offensive line playing really well, and we feel confident in doing that,” Jones said. “I don’t think I got hit today but maybe one time, and that was a talented defensive front. So props to them just to allow us to open up a little bit.

“But there’s more opportunities to be made, and like I said, it starts with the front and then the guys getting open, they have done a good job of that all year and it’s just getting the ball in [there] and throwing it to the right guy.”

– Bourne continued to impress, with five catches and both of Jones’ touchdown passes.

“KB is like the Energizer Bunny,” Patriots center David Andrews said. “He’s like a Labrador, golden retriever. I’ve had those dogs before, they are just always happy and even when you kind of correct them or get onto them, they are like, ‘Alright, yeah, yeah I’ll get it done.’

“KB has been awesome. Love having to work with him, getting to play with him.”

Jones said the Patriots can rely on their receivers.

“You can see them on the run game stuff getting blocks done and not getting them done but finishing people off and that’s really important to the success of the offense,” Jones said. “It’s not just, ‘Hey, when I have the ball, look at me.’ It’s ‘When I don’t have the ball, see what I’m doing, too.’ So they do a great job with that.”

– Next up: the Patriots face the Bills for a crucial battle at the top of the AFC East standings.

“Next week is going to be a fight, it’s going to be a battle,” Devin McCourty said. “Those guys are tough, they are good on both sides of the ball, special teams, complementary football. They do that well, we do that well, AFC East division opponents, it’s always tough. Home away, it doesn’t matter, both teams are going to bring it.

“As Bill would say, if you like competition, Monday night is going to be where you want to be.”