Can both the Colts and Saints Finish with a Perfect Record?


By Paul M. Banks

In “Friday Night Lights” (film version) Coach Gaines asks his team, the Permian Panthers one essential question at their Media Day. I distinctly recall Billy Bob Thornton’s voice  inquiring “can you be perfect?”

Eleven weeks of the NFL season down and two teams still have a chance to finish the regular season 16-0 and maybe even 19-0 including the postseason. This has never happened before. In fact, there’s never even been a NFL season where two teams in the league remained undefeated this late in the year.


The Indianapolis Colts sport an 11-0 record. Ditto for the New Orleans Saints. Can they match the achievements of the 2007 New England Patriots who went 16-0 in the regular season, but lost the Super Bowl? Or turn it up a notch on match the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who ran the table through the postseason? And if so, will they be more arrogant and annoying than the ’72 Dolphins, and have a grating and moronic figure representing them that the irritating and idiotic Mercury Morris. Ok, we can obviously answer no to those last two questions, because no one could seriously be as unlikable as Morris and his Dolphins teammates.

But in a league built for parity, in which any team can beat another on…you know the phrase, Oliver Stone made a Al Pacino/Jamie Foxx movie titled after that cliché.

Let’s start by dissecting Indianapolis’ schedule.

They’ve already survived two big tests; as the referees handed them a nationally televised contest versus the New England Patriots at home. With the officiating on the Colts side that day, and the entire sports media world unfairly casting Bill Belichick as the scapegoat for the loss, Indy won a game they really shouldn’t have. This is what perfect teams too, have the breaks, calls and bounces go their way. Getting by Baltimore the following week was another major hurdle. The Ravens are a good team and they threw the biggest scare into the ’07 Pats as New England was making their flawless run. The only teams left that could beat them are divisional rivals which might get lucky and catch the Colts on an off day.

The Saints have a much easier road with a majority of their remaining games versus .500 or below teams (Tampa Bay, Washington, Carolina), but Atlanta, their rival of rivals still remains. These two franchises came into the league at about the same time, and whenever they get together, there is plenty of acrimony in the air. They’ll meet again at the Georgia Dome on December 13.

New Orleans absolutely destroyed the Patriots on Monday night as the New England defensive strategy was the same as lyrics to one of T.I.’s greatest hits. “You can go wherever you like” they seemed to tell Pierre Thomas and company.

The Saints’ next potential stumbling block is the Dallas Cowboys. But of the two teams chasing perfection, New Orleans has looked more impressive to me, and the more likely to “git-r-done”. Since the Patriots were the only team to ever go 16-0, and since they did it a couple years ago, let’s use them as the measuring stick. Now of the Saints and Colts, which team beat New England worse? Maybe the undefeated teams debate will be settled in the Super Bowl, with two 18-0 squads going at it.