Despite the legend, members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins deny uncorking a bottle of champagne after the last undefeated NFL team loses its first game.
But if the legend was true, those bottles of bubbly would be well chilled by now as the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts are both 10–0 through 11 weeks of NFL regular season play.
Murmurs of a Colts or Saints perfect season—a feat only accomplished by the ‘72 Fins—are picking up steam.
Indianapolis has six games remaining with a contest against the Houston Texans this Sunday followed by games against the Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and finishing off with the Buffalo Bills. Seems fairly straightforward provided they don’t underestimate any of their opponents.
The Texans are currently 5–5, coming off a loss to the Tennessee Titans on Monday night and need to win to remain in the slowly forming AFC playoff picture. But Indy shouldn’t have any problems with them.
The Colts have dominated division-rival Houston ever since the Texans entered the league in 2002.
Indy is 14–1 overall against Houston and 6–1 in games in Houston.
While the 4–6 Titans enter week 12 in the AFC South basement, they are on a hot streak having won four in a row since Vince Young took the QB reigns.
Those who circled the Broncos–Colts game on December 13 a month ago probably regret wasting the ink. At the time, both Denver and Indy were 6–0 but have since gone in opposite directions with Indy going 4–0 and Denver going 0–4.
There are current reports circulating of infighting in Broncos-land and if they can’t right the ship, the Colts will walk all over them.
Indy has a short week after the Denver game with a Thursday-nighter in Jacksonville but is 6–2 in its last eight road games against the Jags.
Indy would be heavily favored against the Jets and Bills even if there weren’t much to play for in the final two weeks of the season.
So perhaps perfection isn’t an outrageous goal for the Colts.
The Saints however have a much harder schedule going down the stretch.
Although New Orleans, on paper, has some very winnable games remaining—against the likes of the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers—there are some serious threats lurking.
A true test comes Monday night as the New England Patriots, who missed out on a perfect season in 2007, visit the Louisiana Superdome and would love to hand the Saints their first loss of the season. This contest could be one of the games of the season.
Despite Dallas QB Tony Romo’s inconsistent play, the Cowboys are still among the NFL’s elite and will be a handful for New Orleans when they meet on Dec. 19.
Whether the Atlanta Falcons (5–5) and Carolina Panthers (4–6) are in the playoff picture or not, they are division rivals. They could either be playing for a playoff birth or playing the spoiler role.
If we allow ourselves to fantasize a bit—if New Orleans and Indianapolis both run the table and make it to Super Bowl XLIV in Miami, the championship would be contested by two undefeated teams playing in the city of the only team that finished a season without losing.
Wouldn’t that be just perfect?
Indianapolis Colts remaining schedule
Sun., Nov. 29, 2009, at Houston Texans
Sun., Dec. 6, 2009, vs. Tennessee Titans
Sun., Dec. 13, 2009, vs. Denver Broncos
Thurs., Dec. 17, 2009, at Jacksonville Jaguars
Sun., Dec. 27, 2009, vs. New York Jets
Sun., Jan. 3, 2009, at Buffalo Bills
New Orleans Saints remaining schedule
Mon., Nov. 30, 2009, vs. New England Patriots
Sun., Dec. 6, 2009, at Washington Redskins
Sun., Dec. 13, 2009, at Atlanta Falcons
Sat., Dec. 19, 2009, vs. Dallas Cowboys
Sun., Dec. 27, 2009, vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sun., Jan. 3, 2009, at Carolina Panthers