Even with the NFL adding a 17th regular-season game to the schedule this year, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are gunning for perfection.
"The only record I have my eyes set on breaking, which would be new this year, would be going 20-0," Mahomes said Sunday. "It's not really a record to be broken I guess you would say—19-0 is the record right now—so being able to go 20-0 and being the first one to do that, that would be awesome."
It's hard to blame Mahomes for thinking big. In his four seasons (three as a starter), he's won the MVP (2018), a Super Bowl title (2019) and reached another, only to lose to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2020).
As a starter he's gone 38-8, and for his career, he has a ridiculous 114-24 touchdown-interception ratio.
Going undefeated for an entire season remains the rarest of feats in the NFL, however. In the Super Bowl era, only the 1972 Miami Dolphins have gone an entire season without a loss, finishing that year 17-0 (the regular season only had 14 games at the time).
The New England Patriots went 16-0 in the 2007 season, though their bid for perfection was ended by the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
If any team manages to go 20-0 in a season, it would be pretty indisputably the greatest season in NFL history. And if you had to bet on a team to do it, Mahomes' Chiefs would probably be the smart money.
We'll find out whether they've got a shot after matchups against two playoffs teams from last year, the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens, in the first two weeks of the season.