Get ready for a pair of 18-0 teams in the Super Bowl
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Super Bowl 50 will be the Battle of the Unbeatens.
Five teams are undefeated after six weeks so we just might see a team in each conference go 16-0, win two playoff games and face off for the NFL championship in February with history on the line.
You guessed it, it’s overreaction time.
The Patriots (5-0), Bengals (6-0) and Broncos (6-0) are the AFC’s undefeated teams and the Packers (6-0) and Panthers (5-0) are the NFC’s undefeated clubs.
Can one of them run the table? Perhaps. Is it realistic? No.
The Patriots and Packers would be the favorites among the group. Tom Brady and his teammates are on a mission after the “Deflategate” saga put a damper on their fourth Super Bowl celebration. Aaron Rodgers gives Green Bay a chance to win every game it plays. Still, it’s a tough road for either team.
Let’s take a look at the other unbeaten clubs.
Denver is more likely to go one-and-done in the playoffs than win out. Peyton Manning looks like an average quarterback and the Broncos are winning on defense.
The Bengals are playing well, but they haven’t beaten a team that currently has a winning record. Their six opponents are 11-24 combined and Andy Dalton — an MVP candidate through mid-October — is still 0-4 in the playoffs.
Carolina would’ve lost at Seattle on Sunday if the “Legion of Boom” had covered Greg Olsen in the final minute. The Panthers play the Eagles, Packers and Colts their next three games so 6-2 or 5-3 is far more realistic than 16-0.
Here are other overreactions from Week 6:
OVERREACTION: All the Dolphins needed was a new coach. Miami (2-3) routed Tennessee 38-10 in Dan Campbell’s debut after Joe Philbin was fired.
REALISTIC REACTION: They beat the Titans (1-4) and beat up on rookie Marcus Mariota. It’s not like a win over the Patriots.
OVERREACTION: OK, the Seahawks are done — for real this time. A 27-23 loss to Carolina at home dropped Seattle to 2-4.
REALISTIC REACTION: They’ve led in the fourth quarter of all four losses and still have two games left against Arizona (4-2). It’s a tough road, but they control their chances.
OVERREACTION: Andy Reid is on the hot seat. The Chiefs have lost five in a row and are way out of it in the AFC West.
REALISTIC REACTION: Three of their losses are by seven points or less, Jamaal Charles was lost for the season and Reid has two years and $15 million left on his contract.
OVERREACTION: The Colts can’t beat any team outside the AFC South. They’re 3-0 against the division and 0-3 against everyone else following a 34-27 loss to New England.
REALISTIC REACTION: They’ve lost three games against AFC East teams who are 12-4 combined. They’ll be favorites over the Saints (2-4) next week.
OVERREACTION: Landry Jones should be Pittsburgh’s starter. He was 8 for 12 for 168 yards and two TDs in relief of Michael Vick in a 25-13 win over Arizona.
REALISTIC REACTION: Jones played well, but his stats were inflated by Martavis Bryant’s 88-yard spectacular catch-and-run TD. If Ben Roethlisberger isn’t ready to return next week, Vick deserves another start if he’s healthy.
OVERREACTION: Nobody deserves to win the NFC East. The Eagles (3-3) beat the Giants (3-3) 27-7 in a sloppy game Monday night to move into a tie for first place.
REALISTIC REACTION: One of these teams will finish with a winning record. And don’t count out the Cowboys (2-3) who could get a boost from Matt Cassel.
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This story has been corrected to show that the Patriots, Bengals and Broncos are undefeated, not winless.