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Can New England be perfect?

Since the New England Patriots rolled over the Miami Dolphins Thursday night by a score of 36-7, media pundits in the Boston area have been talking up the possibility of an undefeated season for the Patriots. Mainly because this week’s opponent is the Washington Redskins who don’t draw up much storylines. Also, the thought of another crack at 19-0 doesn’t seem extremely far fetched given the way the team has played this far, and also there is nothing that fans would love more. As a Patriots fan, not only will an undefeated season cement the Patriots as the best team in the history of the game, but given what occurred this past off season there would be no better way for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to, “stick it to the league.”

Tom Brady would prove all naysayers wrong that questioned his integrity and Bill Belichick can finally quiet Don Shula who is the only coach to have an undefeated season. Shula has also been outspoken about the cheating allegations towards Bill Belichick. When asked about the Patriots he commonly refers to them as the, “Cheatriots.”  Furthermore, winning the Super Bowl at 19-0 would wipe away all pain and sorrow that still haunts Patriots from that gloomy February night in 2008 when the unthinkable happened. The Patriots would also break their own NFL record set in 2003-2004 for the longest win streak in the history of the league, if they were to accomplish this phenomenal feat.

Now the key word in all of this is, “if.” Going undefeated just in the regular season, may very well be the toughest thing to do in the NFL. It has only happened twice during the Super Bowl era. However, right now there are four teams, (Patriots, Panthers, Bengals, Broncos) that are currently 7-0, which is the most NFL history through this point of the season. Even non-biased media members will proclaim that the Patriots are without a doubt the most likely team to go undefeated out of the four. In the nine remaining games, the Patriots only face off against two teams above .500, and those teams are the Jets on the road in week 16, and the Broncos in week 12 at Mile High. The Jets right now are middling back down to earth, and who knows where they could be come week 15. The Patriots must also face the 4-4 Giants on the road in week 10, which could present a challenge given the history of the two teams. Nevertheless, some would argue that the Giants defense would stand no chance against the very versatile Patriots offense.

That leaves the only real threat to the Patriots being the week 12 match up in Denver against the undefeated Broncos on Sunday night football. In all likelihood, the Patriots are going to be 10-0 at the time, and the Broncos are more than likely going to be 10-0, (they play at the Colts, vs. Chiefs, at the Bears). That brings back shades of 2007 when the undefeated Patriots traveled to Indianapolis in week nine to take on Peyton Manning and the undefeated Colts, in what was called, “Super Bowl 41 and a half.” If the the Patriots and the Broncos were both to meet at 10-0, it would be the biggest regular season game in NFL history. If the game were played in Foxborough I would pick the Patriots. However, Denver is by far Tom Brady’s least favorite place to play, and overall Mile High is considered the biggest home field advantage in the league. Given the top-ranked Denver defense with the best secondary in the league, it would be a tough game to pick.

In the end, the likelihood of the Patriots going undefeated this year is still unlikely. Injuries always happen, and most teams have slips ups. Nevertheless, if the Patriots don’t have any slip ups before week 12 against Denver, and if they can get out of Mile High healthy and with a victory, then it is full throttle undefeated mode. As much as the 2007 experience has haunted Patriots fans to this day, and the thought of reliving it scares them, the closer we get to a chance at redemption the more you feel the itch to get back there and capitalize. There would be no more question marks, they would be the best team ever. Although now, we are on to the Washington Redskins.

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