The defending champion Green Bay Packers (6-0) are the only undefeated team remaining in the NFL. Will Green Bay join the 1972 Dolphins and 2007 Patriots and go the entire season without losing? If not, which game do you see as Green Bay's first setback?
Plenty of hurdles remainI can't see an undefeated season going down. To have two so close to each other -- when it's been such a historic anomaly -- seems like a lot to ask for.
There are plenty of tough games ahead. To wit:
» I'm not bullish on the Bears, but they're a matchup issue for Green Bay.
» The Giants, on the road, will be tough especially if Justin Tuck is back. The pass rush will be an issue especially without Chad Clifton. Remember, the Giants nearly snapped New England's streak at the Meadowlands and then got the Pats in the Super Bowl.
» Two meetings with the Lions loom -- another team that could expose Green Bay's pass protection and score points in a shootout.
Green Bay is definitely the best team in the league thus far, but there's no shame in going 14-2 or 15-1 if that's how it comes down.
Packers better off not being perfectWhile Green Bay's start has been very impressive, I never believe a team will go undefeated in the regular season. In fact, I believe most teams would rather avoid that discussion and the distraction it creates. A team is remembered for Super Bowl titles more than being undefeated. Even the "Perfect Dolphins" team is challenged in best-team-ever discussions by teams that had a regular-season blemish. So, where do I see the first stumble for the Packers? At San Diego, versus the Chargers.
Giants have what it takes to beat PackOn one hand, it's a little silly to be talking about an undefeated season just a half-dozen games in. On the other hand, there really aren't many games out of the Pack's remaining 10 that seem terribly imposing. Specifically, the toughest tests seem to be at San Diego and at Detroit (What?! A good Thanksgiving game in the Motor City?! Will wonders never cease?), but how 'bout the game at the Giants on Dec. 4?
New York has a track record of derailing undefeated bids (along with the win over the Pats in Super Bowl XLII, they stopped the 13-0 Broncos in '98 ... with Kent Graham at QB! I guess wonders never really cease!). More practically, though, the current Giants' dominant four-man front -- at least when healthy -- can get enough pressure without any blitzing help. That could spell trouble for Rodgers if Chad Clifton isn't at full strength.
Don't laugh, but the Chiefs could also be a tough one. I expect K.C. to continue to focus on its pass attack with Jamaal Charles out. If Jon Baldwin can live up to his first-round pedigree, Matt Cassel will have a bounty of downfield weapons to rival Green Bay's.
Packers could shut it down earlyThe Packers have the talent to go undefeated, but it's not likely. The back-to-back road games against the Lions and Giants will be tough to win. If they get through those games, the only thing in the way could be shutting down early to rest some veterans who might be playing through some injuries.