It’s been over four decades since the 1972 Miami Dolphins starting popping champagne bottles every time the last undefeated team in the NFL fell. There have been a few scares along the way, most notably when the New England Patriots started off at 18-0 before losing to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. But the record still remains: Miami is still the only team to go through an NFL season with a perfectly spotless record.
Will the Patriots have a perfect season?
If we’re being honest, there’s only one team anyone is worried about running the table this year, and that’s New England. The Patriots have a regular season total of 12.5 wins, and there isn’t another team in the league with a total higher than 10.5.
On the field, the Patriots are clearly as good as it gets in the NFL. It feels like every season, they make enough subtle changes to keep up with the rest of the always-changing NFL. Bill Belichick is the best coach in the league, and the organization is as good as it gets at any level.
The Patriots don’t have a lot of rookies on their roster this year thanks to the fact that they traded their first and second-round picks for Brandin Cooks and Kona Ealy respectively. In Cooks and Ealy, you’re talking about two tremendous players who have had a history of playing at an incredibly high level. Cooks should help stretch out opposing defenses with his awesome speed, while Ealy is going to provide a great rush off the edge alongside Rob Ninkovich and Dont’a Hightower.
The offense doesn’t have the power back of LeGarrette Blount any longer, but adding Rex Burkhead might make this unit even more dangerous. Between Dion Lewis, James White, Burkhead and Mike Gillislee, that’s four running backs who can provide tremendous matchup problems for opposing defenses, particularly in the passing game. Toss in Dwayne Allen as a second wide receiver and an offensive line that really started to come together at the end of last season, and you’ve got the makings of a team that could be favored in every single one of its games in 2017.
Still, to wager on the Pats (or any team, for that matter) to finish 16-0 in the regular season at +800 or +1000 to win the Super Bowl at 19-0 is a bit preposterous.
The schedule isn’t completely insane for New England, but it isn’t exactly a walk in the park either. Even if we were to assume that the Patriots would finish 8-0 in the regular season at home, this road docket is going to be difficult to navigate. The team has to visit New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Denver, Oakland and Pittsburgh aside from its three divisional games. Sure, the Patriots will be favored in all five of those spots, but that’s still five really tough games, any of which could end up being lost.
If you really believe in backing the Patriots to win the Super Bowl with a perfect record, you’re far better served just parlaying them together to win every single game in the regular season and the postseason. You’ll probably get a payout of well over 20 to 1 in the event of that playing out.
Odds on a Perfect Regular Season
Odds on a Perfect Regular Season Plus Super Bowl
(Odds courtesy of Bookmaker.eu)