There are four NFL teams that are currently undefeated as we near the midway point in this season. But as history shows us, none of them stand much of a chance to finish the season without a loss.
Coming into play yesterday, there were five undefeated teams in the NFL. The New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Carolina Panthers were all perfect through the first 7 weeks of the season.
The Packers and Broncos had to face each other on Sunday Night Football, which meant that one of those teams would certainly have their first loss of the season once Monday morning came around. The Packers ended up suffering their first loss as they were defeated 29 -10.
The big win improved Peyton Manning and his Broncos to 7 – 0. The Carolina Panthers play on Monday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts. With a win on Monday night, the Panthers will also become 7 – 0, which will leave 4 perfect teams remaining through the first 8 weeks of the season.
Although these teams would all like to remain perfect through the entire season, it is very unlikely that it will happen for any of them.
The last team to have a perfect season was the 1972 Miami Dolphins as they finished 17 – 0. The team that came the closest to accomplishing perfection was the 2007 edition of the New England Patriots that went 17 – 1, with their loss coming in the Super Bowl in a classic game against the New York Giants.
With that being said, if I had to choose a team that has the best shot to go undefeated I would choose the Patriots.
Although this team is very different from the team that went 17 – 1 in 2007, there are two main constants. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
Through the first 8 weeks of the season, the Patriots have looked close to unstoppable as a team (other than some struggles against the New York Jets).
Coming off their Super Bowl win against the Seattle Seahawks last season, the Patriots look like they haven’t missed a beat. They lead the NFL with 35.3 points per game. Their defense allows 19 points per game through their first 7 games, which is 9th in the NFL.
Tom Brady at age 38 is having one of the best, if not the best statistical season in his career so far. He’s thrown for 2,410 passing yards through 7 games this season with 20 touchdown passes and only 1 interception. He is also completing 68.9% of his passes which is better than his career average of 63.7%. Remarkable.
As for the rest of the team, Rob Gronkowski has been phenomenal with over 600 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.
Julian Edelman has been his same old reliable self, and the rest of the team is just following the lead of the Head Coach and star QB.
With all the early success so far this season, the team still has 9 games remaining on their regular season schedule. Although they should be favored in all of their games, they still have some tough games coming up. On November 15, they go into New York to face a tough Giants team lead by Eli Manning who has beaten the Patriots in two Super Bowls, 2008 and 2012.
As I stated before, in 2007 they ended the Patriots chances at an undefeated season with a classic Super Bowl win.
On November 29, the Patriots have to go into Denver to play a potentially undefeated Broncos team as well, which will be a showdown that can’t be missed. If the Patriots can make it to January 3 undefeated, the Miami Dolphins will be the final regular season game for the Patriots in Miami. The Dolphins will do everything that they can to not allow the Patriots to head into the playoffs with an undefeated record, because they want to remain the only franchise in history to have an undefeated team.
The talk of any team going undefeated this season is still premature. There is half a season left to play and so much can take place from now until the final week of the season.
It’s a long season, with many ups and downs for each team and a lot factors into being perfect. Besides having to be great every game you have to also hope for great team health, because one injury to a key player can really hurt a team’s chances in winning at all.
There is still a lot of time before we really should start talking about a team going undefeated, but it should be a fun second half of the season. One thing is for sure, the closer each team gets to being perfect the more pressure the team will face. And not every team shines bright under pressure.
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Cover Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)