The defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots have already been installed by Las Vegas sports books as the preseason favorites to repeat as NFL champions, with their 3-1 odds easily outpacing the second-favorite Dallas Cowboys’ 8-1 chances to win Super Bowl 52, scheduled for Sunday, February 4, 2018, in Minneapolis.
However, are the Patriots powerful enough to not only to win their fifth Super Bowl in their ninth franchise appearance — but could the team led by future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and legendary Coach Bill Belichick actually run the table in the 2017 season? That is, will New England rack up a perfect, 19-0 record on their way to another championship? No NFL team has ever compiled a 19-0 season.
Only the 1972 Miami Dolphins have ever completed an undefeated NFL season — but in that era, the regular season schedule was only 14 games. With their three postseason wins, including their 14-7 victory over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl 7, the ’72 Dolphins ended top with a 17-0 record.
Some experts believe that the Patriots in 2017/2018 could do better — winning all 16 regular season games, two playoff games, and the Super Bowl to end on what would be a historic 19-0 mark. Off course, a decade ago the Patriots became the first team to win all 16 regular season games and went on to win two playoff games before they were upended in Super Bowl 42 by a surprising New York Giants team, 17-14.
According to Bleacher Report NFL commentator Mike Freeman, numerous football experts believe that Patriots can finally finish the job this season.
“We’ve all heard offseason ‘Patriots 19-0’ chatter before, but not to the decibel you hear now when you talk to team executives and assistant coaches around the league,” Freeman wrote earlier this year. “They believe the Patriots are set up for perfection better than maybe any team in history — including the only team to do it, the 1972 Dolphins, and the Patriots team that lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl after the David Tyree catch.”
The Tyree catch, one of the most remarkable catches ever made in a Super Bowl, set up the winning touchdown for the Giants in that game.
But one expert who is having none of the 19-0 talk is New England’s own star wide receiver, 31-year-old Julian Edelman, who made a miraculous catch of his own that was a key play in the Patriots’ record-setting 25-point comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in last season’s Super Bowl. Read about that incredible catch at this link, and view a video of Edleman’s catch by clicking here.
In fact, Edelman calls the preseason talk of a 19-0 Patriots season “stupid.”
“You can’t worry about what other people say, honestly,” Edelman told the Boston Herald. “I mean, there’s no script to this thing. There’s no camera. This isn’t Hollywood. This is real life. When you go out and play in the National Football League, it’s one of those things where it’s even stupid to think about that. It’s never been done. You don’t really want to talk about it. My focus is more on trying to get ready for the season, trying to learn your teammates, form your identity. It’s stupid. That’s it.”
Not all experts who aren’t Edelman see New England running up a 19-0 season either. ESPN Patriots correspondent Mike Reiss sees the team absorbing an early loss to the New Orleans Saints on the road on September 17 — ending the team’s bid for an undefeated season in the second game of the 2017 campaign. Reiss predicts a 14-2 regular season for New England, identical to the team’s 2016 record.
[Featured Image By Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]