NFL Predictions: Predicting the 1st Loss on Each Undefeated Team's Schedule
Week 3 of the NFL season is in the books, and there are only three undefeated teams left. For at least another season, it looks like 1972 Miami Dolphins will be safe.
One team, the Green Bay Packers, are surprising no one with their winning streak. After giving up a ton of yards in the first two weeks, the defense seems to be catching up to the offense after shutting down the Chicago Bears.
The other two, not many people would have predicted. The Detroit Lions were a popular playoff pick, as long as Matt Stafford could stay healthy. The Buffalo Bills were a nice story for two weeks, but no one had them taking out the New England Patriots.
Let's take a look at each team's remaining schedule, and see when the '72 Dolphins can pop the champagne.
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The Detroit Lions narrowly escaped their first loss of the season, coming back to defeat the Minnesota Vikings in overtime. Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson were incredible in that game, and may be the most explosive quarterback-receiver duo since Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss.
I believe in the Lions. They have playmakers all over the field, and Ndamakong Suh goes a long way toward helping a questionable secondary. That being said, I do not think their winning streak lasts much longer
Next up they visit the Dallas Cowboys, who are riding their own high after following wounded leader Tony Romo to two straight wins. Dallas has a solid all-around defense (top 12 against the pass and the rush), and I think they can hold the explosive Lions' offense in check.
They just welcomed back top corner Terrence Newman, who will go a long way toward stopping Johnson from going buck wild. With Dez Bryant, we may be seeing the two most physically gifted wideouts in the league match each other play-for-play. The Cowboys are one of the few teams with the playmakers on offense and defense to hang with Detroit.
First loss: Week 4 to the Dallas Cowboys, 27-24
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The Buffalo Bills have an explosive offense, and seem to play best when the chips are down. Two straight second-half comebacks have made the winners in what both became the NFL's Game of the Week.
The team is one of the league's feel-good stories, as they just defeated the rival Patriots to prove to the rest of the league they are legit. They will defeat the Cincinnati Bengals, and will ride their running game to a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Next up is the New York Giants. If they can defeat Eli and company, Buffalo makes it to their bye without a loss. However, the Giants may have the matchup advantage to end the streak here.
Eli can be dangerous when given time, and the one thing the Bills have not done is get to the quarterback: Their two sacks on the year ranks them dead last in the NFL. The Giants have the personnel to curtail Fred Jackson and the running game, while Manning will match Ryan Fitzpatrick. This time the 'Fitzmagic' falls on the wrong end of another late-game thriller.
First loss: Week 6 to the New York Giants, 35-31
Green Bay Packers
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The Green Bay Packers will make it to their Bye Week as the only undefeated team in the NFL. That will give ESPN a full two weeks to talk about Green Bay and their potential for an undefeated season.
After the bye come the San Diego Chargers. With Phillip Rivers, Vincent Jackson, and Antonio Gates, the offense certainly has the playmakers to hang with Aaron Rodgers and company. Takeo Spikes and Bob Sanders have brought veteran leadership and toughness to a defense in need of both (though Sanders has already missed one game with injury).
The Packers will drop this one in a close battle. At least they will give ESPN the chance to jump the gun on a perfect season.
First loss: Week Nine, to the San Diego Chargers, 31-28
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