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Instant Debate

New England Patriots most likely to stay undefeated the longest?

Through Week 5, nearly a fifth of the teams in the NFL have perfect records. Six franchises currently boast marks of 4-0 or better: Carolina (4-0), New England (4-0), Atlanta (5-0), Cincinnati (5-0), Denver (5-0) and Green Bay (5-0).

So far this season, the Patriots and Packers have rolled opponents for the most part, while the other four have eked out some wins along the way. In Week 5, the Bengals authored an inspired comeback victory over the Seahawks, while the Broncos and Falcons prevailed thanks to massive defensive plays late.

Looking forward, which team is most likely to stay undefeated the longest?

New England is going to keep its perfect mark going the longest. The Patriots' toughest game in the next few weeks is the New York Jets at home. But the Jets' offense isn't all that -- Ryan Fitzpatrick is erratic. Regardless of who the Patriots are playing, I think Tom Brady can throw the ball on anyone. There isn't a team that has a linebacker or safety who can cover Rob Gronkowski one-on-one. It's going to be a tough task to beat this team.

Staying undefeated comes down to how opposing teams can match up against your strengths and how they can take advantage of your weaknesses. Right now, the Patriots' weakness is their secondary. But as long as New England gets a lead and puts together a balanced offense, the secondary is going to be fine. The secondary does just enough to stay ahead of the eight ball. The Green Bay Packers will stay perfect the longest because of the way they're playing right now. The Packers are playing well on both sides of the ball (ranking in the top 10 in both total offense and defense). The defense is playing lights-out: Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews each have 4.5 sacks this season, while a number of young players are picking off passes. And with Aaron Rodgers under center, their offense is always efficient.

As long as the Packers are able to take care of the football and play good defense, they're going to be hard to beat. It's very difficult to defeat the Packers at Lambeau Field, and they've proven that they play well on the road, as well. The Patriots and Broncos play each other Week 12, and looking at the schedules, they both have manageable slates up to that point. (The Broncos play the Packers in Week 8, but that game is taking place at Mile High, which obviously plays in Denver's favor.)

If New England and Denver were to square off right now, I'd have to lean toward the Patriots because they're scoring more points, although the Broncos' defense is wrecking opponents. New England's defense is playing well, while Denver's offense is struggling a little bit. I'd have to pick the Patriots to win that one at the moment, but the game is still a month and a half away. It should be a good one. With plenty of attrition this offseason, the Patriots' secondary entered this season with plenty of skeptics. But honestly, this unit has always relied on turnovers. Regardless of where the secondary is ranked, they always create takeaways, which is pretty decent.

Tom Brady is going to be 
Tom Brady, and we've seen what he can do week after week. Regardless of what happened in the offseason, he's one of the greatest. I have New England being consistently better than any other team this year. They'll be undefeated the longest. 

New England will outlast everyone else. To me, the Patriots' toughest test is Week 12 at Denver. That game seems like it provides the best chance of them losing, so I think they're going to go into that week with a 10-0 record. Between now and Week 12, the Pats have four games at home and only two on the road. They're playing very well right now and the schedule can only help them.

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