If you had Philadelphia, Arizona and Cincinnati as being the final teams to suffer a loss in the 2014 NFL regular season, you are smarter than I am. Let's check out the Bovada futures odds for that unbeaten trio.
One would expect that 3-0 teams are nearly a lock for the playoffs, but that's not quite true. A total of 91 of 121 teams that started 3-0 since 1990 made the playoffs, or 75.2 percent. I would have expected that number to be a bit higher. At this point last season, there were seven unbeaten teams: New England, Miami, Kansas City, Denver, Chicago, New Orleans and Seattle. All but the Dolphins and Bears made the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles: 10/1 at Bovada to Win Super Bowl and 11/2 for NFC title
It's hard to be totally sold on this team because Philly could just as easily be 1-2. The Eagles had to rally from 17 points in the opener to Jacksonville and 14 points down at Indianapolis in Week 2. The referees botched two calls in that game that were huge for the Eagles. On Sunday, the Eagles rallied from an early 17-7 deficit to the visiting Washington Redskins to win 37-34. Philly is the first team in NFL history to start 3-0 and overcome a double-digit deficit in all three. There's no question Philadelphia has a terrific offense. That's plenty good enough to win a Super Bowl. That defense is another story. Kirk Cousins torched the Eagles for 427 yards and three scores on Sunday. Washington had 511 yards of offense, 27 first downs and was 8-for-15 on third-down conversions. It held the ball for about 10 minutes longer, although the Eagles are generally going to lose time of possession because they play so fast on offense. Nick Foles was just crushed by Washington's Chris Baker on a blind-side hit after Foles threw an interception, but Foles never left the game. That did lead to a brawl between the clubs.
NFL pick: Not ready to crown Eagles as NFC champions yet but they are going to win the NFC East as -300 NFL odds favorites. Philly also will be the first on this list to lose, which will be Sunday at San Francisco.
Cincinnati Bengals: 10/1 to Win Super Bowl and 9/2 for AFC title
This looks like the AFC's best team thus far to me. Sunday could have been a bit of a trap game for the Bengals ahead of their bye week, but their 33-7 whooping of Tennessee was never in doubt. A.J. Green wasn't expected to play early last week because of turf toe, but he did and caught six passes for 102 yards. Andy Dalton didn't have great passing numbers (15 of 23 for 169 yards and a pick, the team's only turnover this year) but caught an 18-yard TD pass from receiver Mohamed Sanu on a trick play at the end of the first quarter. Dalton is the first Bengals QB ever with a TD catch ever and first QB with one in the NFL since 2008. We will certainly get a feel for how good Cincinnati is Week 5 when it travels to New England. The winner of that game could have a crucial tiebreaker for home field in the playoffs. Ditto the Bengals-Broncos winner Week 16 in Denver.
NFL pick: This is my AFC champion as things stand. Bengals certainly will win AFC North (-175).
Arizona Cardinals: 25/1 to Win Super Bowl and 11/1 for NFC title
This is the clear surprise of this group. Winning Week 1 at home against San Diego? Expected. Then winning Week 2 at the New York Giants without starting quarterback Carson Palmer? Perhaps a small surprise. The shocker was beating the visiting 49ers 23-14 on Sunday again with backup Drew Stanton starting at quarterback. It was the Cardinals' first win over the 49ers since 2011. The Cards outscored San Francisco 17-0 in the second half, with Stanton completing 18 of 33 overall for 244 yards and two scores. Arizona has a very good defense and is great against the run, allowing only 71.7 yards. I'm just not sold on the offense, whether it's Palmer or Stanton. The Cards are off this week then are likely to lose Week 5 in Denver. When making your NFL picks keep in mind they still have to play Seattle twice.
NFL pick: Not a playoff team yet.