The list of undefeated teams is getting smaller. With the Green Bay Packers brushed aside, we’re left with the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers still have their Monday Night Football game left to play so we might end up updating this list as well but considering how poorly the Indianapolis Colts have played and the fact that Andrew Luck is playing with some very serious injuries throughout the entire season, it’s hard seeing how such a good defense like the Panthers gives in, even if Cam Newton is less than consistent throughout the entire game.
The Patriots were the first to make sure they remain with 0 losses in an impressive 36-7 win over the Miami Dolphins. It’s not just the margin and their ongoing dominance in the AFC East which is unable to produce a worthy heir to the Patriots for about 15 years. It’s their ability to suffocate the momentum out of red hot teams and expose whatever weakness they have in front of them. Ryan Tannehill was sacked from all angles and intercepted twice, while Tom Brady once again felt like he has all the time in the world to make a play.
The Bengals were the next in line to put their 0 losses on the line. They had the most difficult encounter of all, playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger coming back from injury. For three quarters it looked like order was restored to the AFC North: The Steelers’ physicality matched the Bengals and Andy Dalton was unable to make plays. But the fifth year quarterback is a different player this year. He’s proven it against the Seahawks, and proved it again in the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass to A.J. Green and another drive resulting in a field goal to claim a 16-10 win and give themselves a massive lead in the division.
The Packers visiting the Broncos pitted two undefeated teams in Denver, with the Broncos defensive success tested for the first time against a quality quarterback. The result? Aaron Rodgers felt helpless with only 77 passing yards and the Packers got held to only 140 yards of offense. Peyton Manning didn’t throw any touchdowns and had another (garbage time) interception, but did the right things all night long to put the Broncos away from harm’s way, while the defense showed it’s not just great against the weaker teams of the NFL.