Since the first Super Bowl in 1967, undefeated teams have been a rare sight in the NFL. Over the last 53 seasons, just two teams have finished the regular season without a blemish. The 1972 Miami Dolphins went 14-0 in the regular season before squeaking out one-score victories over Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Washington to become the first and only immortal team in the NFL’s modern era.
The 2007 New England Patriots looked to surpass them, and they hammered almost every opponent they faced in the regular season on their way to finishing with a 16-0 record. New England ran their record to 18-0 following playoff wins over Jacksonville and San Diego, but the Pats became ensconced as the ’18 and d’oh’ team after the New York Giants beat them in the Super Bowl thanks to a handful of miracles.
Can any team make history and join Miami and New England as the NFL’s untouchables in the modern era? The NFL betting odds point to this being very doubtful, but a few elite teams do have at least a shot of finishing the year without a loss.
Will Any Team Go 16-0 During the 2019 NFL Season?
Only a handful of teams have the potential to go undefeated this year. In the AFC, two teams immediately come to mind when you think of which squads have the best chance of finishing the year without a loss, Kansas City and New England.
The Chiefs have positioned themselves as the team to beat in the AFC. Kansas City fell to New England in the AFC Championship Game last season, but the Chiefs had the best record in the regular season and seemingly got better. This offense will still be electric with Tyreek Hill cleared to play, and rookie Mecole Hardman is someone to keep an eye on.
Kansas City’s defense should make massive improvements too considering the amount of resources the team dumped into this side of the ball in the offseason. Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu both signed big contracts, and other free agents were brought in to shore this defense up. This is the only team with a real chance of going undefeated in the AFC.
What about New England? Well, the Patriots are a veteran team with a veteran coach, and they don’t put the same stock in the regular season as their competition. The Patriot Way means making sure your team is ready for the postseason no matter what, and a sterling regular season record just isn’t as important.
In the NFC, there are four teams that could conceivably finish the year undefeated. Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and the LA Rams all have the talent to go 16-0 if everything breaks right, but they still need a lot of breaks to go their way.
I think the teams with the biggest upside here are Chicago and New Orleans. While everyone else seems down on the Bears, I think this team has the chance to become elite this season. The defense has the potential to be the No. 1 unit in football by a substantial margin, and the offense could take big steps forward after showing signs of life in Matt Nagy’s first season. Mitch Trubisky and Anthony Miller could both be breakout stars, and the ground game could really improve.
New Orleans could be even better this year too. The Saints defense has two young stars in Marcus Davenport and Marshon Lattimore, and the offense is as dangerous as ever. Health is a concern as Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger and Alvin Kamara might not be an every-down back, but the groundwork for improvement is there.
At 12-1, you can’t take the ‘Yes’ on this prop. Teams are more concerned about workload management than ever before, and everyone remembers how that dominant 2007 Patriots team looked noticeably worn down at the end of the year.
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