Five Down, 11 To Go; Can Denver Match 2007 Pats?
By Jonathan Comey
Cold Hard Football Facts Perfection Prognosticator (@colonelcomey)
When you’re 4-0 and off to one of the best starts in NFL history, and come back in Week 5 to allow 48 points on the road … and win?
You just might be special.
The Denver Broncos have established themselves as the reincarnation of the 2007 Patriots, the only 16-0 team in the history of the NFL. Can this team match New England’s mark?
If they keep averaging 46 points a game, like they are currently, it’d be a bit of an upset if they didn’t.
While it’s not optimal to give up 48 points and 522 yards, as they did Sunday, winning the game takes that negative and converts it into pure positivity. This team has to feel like it can’t lose a game, but the quarterback sets the tone that every game is a possible loss if you don’t play well.
That’s a nice potion for success.
So, with five up and 11 to go, it’s hardly too early to speculate whether this team has perfection as a possibility.
The five games remaining in Denver, let’s go ahead and put those in the books now. Jacksonville, Washington, Kansas City, Tennessee and San Diego, thanks for playing. You’ll be losing. Hopefully you’ll get a few moral wins in there.
So that leaves six road games, five of which are tough (the season finale is at Oakland). If their level of play stays anywhere near current levels, they’ll be favored to win all of them.
Week 7: at Indianapolis. Indy did play well last week, but they haven’t faced anything close to Denver this year. Chances of losing: Let’s call it 27 percent, especially with the “Peyton returns” factor. Andrew Luck is special, but he’s not that special yet.
Week 10: at San Diego. The way Philip Rivers is playing, a Romo-like outing isn’t out of the question. But it’s hard to see the Chargers putting up enough points. Chances of losing: 19 percent.
Week 12: at New England. The Patriots should be playing a healthier and better-looking brand of football in two months, and they’ll need to be. Right now, the Pats wouldn’t have much of a shot, but with time to adjust – and their history vs. Manning in New England – an upset wouldn’t be a huge surprise. Chances of losing: 38 percent.
Week 13: at Kansas City. Chances of losing: 49 percent. Just as there’s an assumption that New England will be looking better by November, you assume the Chiefs might have dipped. But right now, there’s no evidence of that, and the Chiefs are packing a ferocious D. Chances of losing: 45 percent.
Week 16: at Houston. We put Houston on the list out of respect, but let’s get real. Unless the starters are benched, chances of losing are 11 percent.
So, if we assume above odds as gospel, and give the Broncos a 2 percent chance to lose in the other six games, that leaves the Broncos with a 14.7 percent chance to go 16-0 and match that 2007 team.
Wes Welker is texting the t-shirt makers as we speak. He wants a companion piece to that one he keeps way back in the closet from ’07.