There are only three undefeated teams left in the NFL. They are all chasing the record that the Miami Dolphins set in 1972. The historical Miami Dolphins team had a perfect 14-0 season and swept through the playoffs. Miami went on to win Super Bowl VII.
A recent team that almost accomplished this was the 2007 New England Patriots. The 2007 Patriots went 19-0 during the season but eventually lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XX. The Patriots failed to break the record.
The Patriots find themselves in a similar position this year. At the halfway point into the season, the Patriots are 8-0 and are looking like the 2007 team. New England Patriots’ Quarterback Tom Brady, who is 38 years old, is having one of his best seasons on record. He has a quarterback rating of 113.5 with 22 touchdowns to only two interceptions.
This past Sunday, the New England Patriots continued its win streak, defeating the Washington Redskins. Turnovers and an onside kick sealed the 27-10 win for the Pats.
Another team chasing the record is the Cincinnati Bengals. This is its best start in the history of the franchise. Though Cincinnati has never won a super bowl, it has been to the playoffs four times in a row under the leadership of Coach Marvin Lewis and Quarterback Andy Dalton. In all four of their playoff appearances, the Bengals lost in the first round.
Andy Dalton has been criticized for each of those losses. This Bengals team, even before the Dalton era, struggled to win a playoff game.
Longtime Bengals’ ex-quarterback Carson Palmer was pushed out of Cincinnati due to the team’s lack of post-season success.
During the Legends and Celebrity Softball Game in Cincinnati, Andy Dalton was booed when he made his appearance. This season he came out firing. He is second place in passer rating on ESPN.com, has 18 touchdowns to four interceptions.
The Bengals had a primetime game this past Thursday night where they took on their in-state rivals, the Cleveland Browns. Dalton and the Bengals statistically play their worst football during primetime games. This time, they beat the Browns, impressively, 31-10.
The dark horse of these undefeated teams is the Carolina Panthers. Its 8-0 record is also the first in its franchise’s history. Last season, the Panthers made the playoffs, but it was with a losing record of 7-8-1.
The Panthers had a bad start last year, going 3-8 in the first 11 games of the season. But, they finished off the season going on a four-game win streak. They went on to beat the Arizona Cardinals but eventually lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the playoffs.
Panthers’ Quarterback Cam Newton has been struggling with accuracy but still has a dual-threat attack and a solid defense to back him up. Their notable win was Sunday. The Panthers took on the Green Bay Packers and won 37-29.
Packers’ Quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a comeback, but he came up short when he got intercepted.
Now, the remaining half of the NFL regular season will determine if these three top teams will remain at the top of the standings.