I never thought I'd be writing this, but the team that might remain unblemished the longest could be the Cardinals. Their 3-0 record is more impressive than the 3-0 records of the Falcons and Texans because the Cardinals have beaten better teams — the Seahawks, Patriots and Eagles. And the Cardinals should be heavy favorites in at least their next three games, against the Dolphins, Rams and Vikings.
The team that could be the last remaining team without a win is the Browns. Their only competition is the Saints, because every other team already has won at least a game. The Saints are completely out of sync, but clearly are a better team than the rebuilding Browns. It won't get better any time soon for the Browns, who get the Ravens and Giants next.
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Atlanta will stay undefeated the longest, and Cleveland will go the longest without a win.
Let's start with the undefeated teams — Atlanta, Arizona and Houston. Arizona has the least experience at quarterback, and Houston has a ecord of losing key players to injury. The Cardinals should win the next four games before playing San Francisco then at Green Bay. Houston's biggest challenge is in mid-October, with consecutive home games against the Packers and Baltimore. I'm betting on Matt Ryan, and a defense that held San Diego to three points at home.
The two winless teams are Cleveland and New Orleans. The Saints are capable of winning any game. The Browns have a rookie quarterback and a very tough stretch ahead.
The ranks of the undefeated in the NFL are thin, a trio of unblemished squads: the Texans, Falcons and Cardinals.
The Texans will be the last to fall and lose their first game. Arian Foster is on a tear. Matt Schaub is obviously tough as nails. And J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing are a formidable tandem of mayhem. The Cardinals are much improved, but eventually reality will kick in. The Falcons are tough, while the defense could falter.
Meanwhile, the reeling Saints will have trouble picking up their first victory. Their next three games are against the Packers, Chargers and the Buccaneers. The Browns will lose to the Ravens and Giants, but an upset special could be brewing Oct. 14 against the Bengals.
It's hard to be critical of anything the Texans have done, with the exception of letting the Dolphins play them tough for a half. The Texans' three-headed attack of quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Arian Foster and receiver Andre Johnson is too much for most of the teams in the league. They receive a stiff back-to-back test against the Packers and Ravens, but the Texans are certainly ready for the challenge.
As for the last winless team, the Browns are the easy choice. They have had all sorts of problems with a rookie quarterback (Brandon Weeden) and plans of a turnaround are nowhere near in sight. Besides, with the Saints being their only competition, it's a safe bet to say the Browns will be the last team to grab a win, if at all.
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