Six NFL teams still have a shot at going a perfect 16-0 this season and they will all be trying to take the next step in that journey in Week 3 after starting out a perfect 2-0.
The pursuit of perfection is nearly impossible in the NFL—only two teams have ever made it through an entire regular season with an unblemished record (the 1972 Miami Dolphins and the 2007 New England Patriots). However, that won't stop these teams from trying.
While it's hard to envision all six of these teams remaining undefeated (especially when you consider that four of them will play each other), we should see at least three of these teams continue their winning ways. These are the three teams that should keep their hopes of immortality alive.
We may not have much of a sample size, but the Texans appear to be the most complete team in the AFC.
Who is the best team in the AFC?
Sitting at 2-0 with dominating victories over Miami and Jacksonville, they'll see a huge step up in competition when they travel to Denver to take on the Broncos. However, if their blowout wins are any indication, they should have more than enough firepower to come away with the win on the road.
The Broncos have been excellent at stopping the run early in the season, but they haven't seen a rushing attack like the Texans'. Backup running back Ben Tate has more rushing yards (80) than either of the starting running backs that the Broncos have seen this season.
Outside of the vaunted Texans rushing attack, the Broncos could have a serious problem taking on the Houston pass rush.
The Broncos allowed Peyton Manning to get sacked three times in the 27-21 loss to the Falcons as Manning threw under pressure for most of the night. Protecting Manning won't be any easier for them this week as the Texans have six sacks in two games and J.J. Watt has three of them.
Look for the Texans to establish their legitimacy with a win over the Broncos on the road.
Speaking of Atlanta, the Falcons have done everything they can to make all the talk of them being the sleeper team of 2012 come to fruition.
The Falcons have looked extremely strong in a blowout win on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs and a home victory against the Denver Broncos at home on primetime in front of a national audience.
This week they head west once again to take on fellow undefeated team San Diego Chargers. The Chargers record reads 2-0, but they haven't exactly looked the part of dominant team.
Norv Turner and Co. have managed to get off to a fast start, but their competition gives reason for pause as they have gotten away with beating the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans without any semblance of a running game.
Considering that both of those teams are 0-2 and coming off shellackings, San Diego's 2-0 mark is dubious at best.
The Falcons should challenge this Chargers offense by getting ahead early and forcing San Diego to keep up with an offense that can actually score points.
San Francisco 49ers
If there's a team in the league this year with a legitimate shot of making it through the regular season unscathed, it's the San Francisco 49ers.
The Niners top everyone's power rankings after coming away with victories against the explosive offenses of the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions, and they'll have a much easier matchup on paper when they play the Minnesota Vikings on the road this week.
The Niners have all the tools to be the best team in the league throughout the season—a powerful running game with at least three running backs that can consistently pick up first downs and control the pace of the game, a receiving corps that makes plays when called upon and a stifling defense that puts constant pressure on opposing offenses. It's hard to see them not being favored in just about every game this season.
The Vikings may be able to hang around for a while if Adrian Peterson can break loose against this defense, but the Vikings simply don't have the weapons necessary on offense to even threaten this defense.
The Niners should win this one with ease on the road.