NFL Picks: Will Any Team Go 8-0 on the Road?

Matthew Jordan

Monday, August 10, 2015 5:52 PM GMT

Since the merger in 1970, only eight teams in NFL history have gone unbeaten on the road.  The Dallas Cowboys did so in 2014 but still didn't make it to the Super Bowl. Will we see a team without a road regular-season loss in 2015?

Cowboys Were A Surprise
If you had given me 10 chances to predict which team would have gone 8-0 on the road last year, I still probably wouldn't have mentioned Dallas. Sure, you figured the Cowboys would have a good offense with Tony Romo, running back DeMarco Murray and receiver Dez Bryant. And the offense was excellent, with Romo leading the NFL with a career-best 113.2 rating, Murray tops in the league with a franchise-record 1,845 rushing yards (as well as record eight straight 100-yard games to start a season), and Bryant leading the league with 16 TD catches to go with 88 receptions and 1,320 yards. That got him a big new extension from the Cowboys. Murray also got paid, but by the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles. I certainly didn't think Dallas was anywhere near good enough defensively to run the table away from  home. The most surprising win had to be Week 6 in Seattle, 30-23. The Seahawks even led that game 10-0.

Those Cowboys tied for the greatest wins differential on the road compared to home among playoff teams since 1978 (when the league went to 16 games) with four more road wins. They are joined at that number by the 2000 New Orleans Saints (three home wins, seven road wins), the 2001 New York Jets (same number) and 2007 New York Giants (same number).

Of course the Cowboys lost in Green Bay in the divisional round, becoming just the second of the eight all-time perfect road teams to not reach the Super Bowl. The other that failed was San Francisco in 1990 as the 49ers lost the NFC Championship Game at home to the Giants. The other unbeaten road teams: 2007 Patriots, 2001 Rams, 1989 49ers, 1984 49ers, 1982 Redskins and 1972 Dolphins. Every other team that went undefeated on the road was a No. 1 seed (Dallas was a No. 3) and no other unbeaten road team finished worse than 14-2 in the regular season (Cowboys were 12-4).

Obviously for any team to go 16-0 this season it has to win every road game. That any club will go without a loss during the regular season is +6600 at some books.

 

Falcons Have Easiest Road Slate
I think NFL strength of schedule is a bit overrated because it only takes into account what teams did the previous season and not any additions, etc. With that said, the toughest road schedule in the league in 2015 belongs to Seattle. Its opponents combined for a winning percentage of .598 in 2014. The Seahawks might lose Week 1 in St. Louis and will be underdogs Week 2 in Green Bay. They also have tough tests in Cincinnati, Dallas, Baltimore and Arizona. That team's not going unbeaten on the  road.

Defending Super Bowl champion New England comes in at No. 6 with an  opponents' winning percentage of .555. The Patriots probably lose Week 2 in Buffalo if Tom Brady is still suspended. They also have to visit Dallas (would be final game of Brady's four-game suspension), Indianapolis (Brady's potential return), Denver and Miami. New England isn't winning all of those.

The easiest belongs to Atlanta as its road foes combined for a winning percentage of just .371 last  year. The Falcons simply aren't good enough to win every road game. The top Super Bowl contender with the easiest road slate is likely Indianapolis as its away opponents combined for a winning percentage of .434 last year. But I could see the Colts losing in Week 1 in Buffalo (Bills are +2 on NFL odds). And in Week 13 in Pittsburgh. The rest of the road schedule is winnable, however.

Lot of people think the Packers are the NFL's best team entering the season. They should win Week 1 in Chicago but I don't see them winning in Denver in Week 8 or in Detroit in Week 13. All five Packers losses in 2014 (including playoffs) were away from Lambeau Field.

NFL Free Pick: No team goes 8-0 on the road.