NFL chasing Dolphins perfection record
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins were a perfect 17-0 and as the NFL celebrates it’s 50th Super Bowl, two teams are chasing that coveted perfect record.
It almost seems as though this season has been predetermined. As if the NFL has decided that to mark the 50th anniversary of sports biggest event, two teams will enter the Super Bowl undefeated. With six games remaining for New England and five for the Carolina Panthers, talk of a perfect regular season is beginning to dominate the media.
The Patriots it would appear has the easier route to duplicating their 2007 season when they finished a perfect 16-0 but coming up short in the big game. Losing the only one that mattered to the New York Giants. Now, eight seasons later they are looking to achieve something that no other team has in football history. Two perfect regular seasons.
The Patriots are battered on offense with several wide-receivers nicked up and missing games but that hasn’t derailed the Tom Brady led offense. Looking ahead, the Patriots have an easier schedule in front of them. They play a Peyton Manningless Broncos team on Sunday and then wrap their final five games against the Eagles, Texans, Titans, Jets, and Dolphins. All of who are either at .500 or below. While none pose a realistic threat to the Patriots season of perfection, many believe that Miami will find a way to step up in week 17 and preserve their history.
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Carolina is now 11-5 after decimating the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night. Carolina is playing perhaps the best all around football of any team in the NFL including the Patriots. The Panthers will not face juggernauts through the last five weeks but they will face the Atlanta Falcons twice who play them well traditionally. They will also face the New York Giants who are no strangers to knocking off perfect teams. Next week they face the Jekyll and Hyde New Orleans Saints. They will finish the season against the Bucanneers.
It’s not too difficult to look at the current schedules for both teams and imagine both going undefeated. Yet to truly finish a perfect year, they need to win the Super Bowl.
The road to the Super Bowl will not be an easy one for either team but on paper Carolina looks to have the tougher road to get there. The NFC is far more stout than the AFC this year. The Arizona Cardinals are a tough team on both sides of the ball and Green Bay could pose a threat if they can get their offense clicking. Another game against the New York Giants would also be likely and Seattle can’t be ruled out of the post-season yet either.
In other words, tough games await the Panthers in the post-season.
In the AFC it’s a lot easier for the Patriots. The biggest threat to the Patriots are the Cincinnati Bengals but the Bengals are showing signs of implosion having lost two in a row. The Denver Broncos, if they can hold onto the AFC West would likely have Peyton Manning back but Manning has been nothing close to his former self this season and no longer appears to be a major threat in the AFC. The Colts are leading a very weak AFC South division where .500 or even a losing record may be enough to win the division.
The best teams that have played the Patriots this season are the Bills and Giants. The Giants are not a threat during the playoffs and the Bills may not make it to the post-season.
It’s setting up a showdown for the NFL’s final game of the season and if both teams enter the Super Bowl perfect, you can bet this years Super Bowl will blow television records away. The Dolphins very well may not be popping champagne this year but you can bet that if both clubs enter the Super Bowl undefeated, the Panthers will have the support of Miami as another Shula, Mike, could wear an honor that only his father has worn.
The NFL’s season is an interesting one and it seems as though it’s only going to get more and more interesting as the season moves towards conclusion.