Posted on: September 27, 2011 9:44 am
It is still WAY to early for the 1972 Dolphins to start icing the Champagne. Oh, they will pop the corks sometime in the next few weeks, soon enough to avoid any worry or angst that their standing as the only team to go undefeated through the regular season AND win the Super Bowl is in any danger whatsoever.
It is also too early to speculate on which team will finish the season in first place in the race for the opportunity to draft (or make a blockbuster trade to a team who will draft ....) Stanford's Andrew Luck.
Here's why the '72 Dolphins can breath easy ............
Detroit 3-0: The Lions should be the first undefeated team to fall. They travel to Dallas in Week 4 to face the Tony Romo led Cowboys. Although Romo hasn't always been one to bet the house on (see Week 1), he seems to have bounced back from a poor 2011 debut to find a little magic ... or to finally begin to reach his potential, you choose which one you like better. Additionally, although the Lions have won two road games already, they will be traveling for the third time in four weeks ... not a good recipe. Should Detroit get by Dallas, they return home to face the Bears,49ers and Falcons in Weeks 5 through 7. After a Week 9 BYE, they wrap up the season facing the Bears on the road first, as well as games against an improved Raiders' team, the Saints, Chargers and Green Bay twice. Chances of running the table? 0.1%
Buffalo 3-0: With all due respect, the Bills have reached 3-0 merely by the skin of their teeth. Much respect for winning tight ball games in comeback situations against both the Raiders and the Patriots, but they are the Cardiac Kids of the remaining undefeateds! This team is definitely capable of beating the Bengals on the road in Week 4, but then again ANY road game is an iffy proposition. With a BYE in Week 7 to muddle things up, their next three games will take the team through a gauntlet of NFC East teams, including a road game versus the Giants. They follow that up by hosting the Jets before traveling to Dallas. Then things get TRULY tough! Three of their final six games include trips to New York (Jets again) and San Diego before facing the Patriots in Foxborough! How likely are the Bills to remain unblemished? 0.0%
Green Bay 3-0: The Packers are the one team that has a slight chance of making things interesting in the quest for 19-0! The remaining schedule is dotted with road games against the following good teams, Falcons, Chargers and Lions as well as hosting the Raiders, Bears and Lions in the three of the final four weeks of the season. The Pack is certainly capable of winning ALL of these games. I hate cliches, but we all know the phrase, 'On Any Given Sunday'??? With the way Green Bay has been playing defense, it would not surprise me if ANY team on the schedule erased the zero. Ok ... the Chiefs would surprise me! Regardless, I don't see this team making it to 8-0 unless there are some major improvements on the defensive side of the ball. Chances of ruining the Champagne toast? 8%
Changing gears .... will anyone have the 'Perfect Luck Season'? Better odds than an undefeated Champ ......
Minnesota 0-3: Most people have given up on Donovan McNabb. That opinion can be justified. But 0-16? Won't happen. Besides, even if Donny cannot turn it around, Christian Ponder will get his chance and find a way to win a few games. After all, the Vikings DO face the Chiefs this week!!! The Panthers and Broncos are on the schedule as well. 'Luck'y Charm chances? 1%
St Louis 0-3: The Rams opened the season against three very good teams. They will play the Redskins, Packers, Cowboys and Saints in their next four games. 0-7? Entirely possible, if not probable. But this team has some talent. Even if Steven Jackson continues to be injury prone, they have other options to fall back on. If you check their schedule, the Rams could easily win 7 of their final 9 games and make a great story!! Besides, even if they finished with the worst record, they would not draft Luck. Sam Bradford will be, at a minimum, a very good quarterback in the NFL. 0-16? NEVER .... although it may take a while to prove this. 0%
Miami 0-3: Ironic, isn't it, that the other part of this thread concerns a perfect Dolphins' team? Miami could potentially run the table in reverse. However, Kansas City IS on the schedule! Besides, Tony Sparano is going to get fired at some point during the season, and teams almost ALWAYS respond to a new Head Coach with at least ONE victory!! The Dolphins do face a tough schedule, but they will pull out a few games. 10%
Indianapolis 0-3: It would be AMAZING to witness the team who has been led by the immortal Peyton Manning have the opportunity to mold Andrew Luck for a couple of seasons before turning over the keys to the truck!! Won't happen. The Colts have at least four games remaining that they shoud win, regardless of who is playing quarterback. If Curtis Painter finally gets some practice reps, he may just surprise some people. After all, in sitting at Peyton's elbow for the past two seasons, something HAD to rub off .... although brains and an arm will not morph from one player to another. Still, the Ponyboys will win some games .... (KC on the schedule? YEP!) .... 2%
Kansas City 0-3: If you are one of those people who like to ROOT for the 'Reverse Perfect Season' (Jungle Clones know all about this), then THIS could be your team!!!! The Chiefs are a mess, period. Things were bad enough, and then Jamaal Charles went down for the season. In checking the other 0-fer teams' schedules, KC is my main reason WHY some of those teams will not reach 0-16. Sure, some team could 'let down' and drop a game at Arrowhead. Sure .... there is always the 'New Head Coach' phenomenon (Todd Haley's seat is hotter than Sparano's), but that should not help this team either. The only blips on their schedule are two games against the Broncos and the Colts' and Vikings' games. They will probably beat Minnesota this week and make me look like a fool, but if I had to bet on ONE TEAM to go 0-16 this season, KC would be the team. They may not find perfection, but this is the team most likely to have Andrew Luck on their roster next season. Shot at 'perfection'? 70%
Have at it folks ....