Would You Bet a Team to Win Or Lose 15 NFL Games In 2014?

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 8:29 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 8:29 PM UTC

Look, we know that no NFL team is going to go 16-0 or 0-16 this season. Each has happened just once: the unbeaten 2007 Patriots and inept 2008 Detroit Lions. The real question is: Will any club win or lose 15 games? Let's take a look on NFL odds.


Glass Half-Full
There have been some pretty incredible teams in the NFL since the league made the switch from a 14-game to a 16-game regular-season schedule. Amazingly, only five have gone 15-1 overall. Here's a look at them:

2011 Green Bay Packers: Upset in divisional round at home by the New York Giants, 37-20.

2004 Pittsburgh Steelers: A big rookie quarterback named Ben Roethlisberger made his first start in Week 3 and the Steelers wouldn't lose again until the conference championship game, 41-27 at home to New England.

1998 Minnesota Vikings: Is this the best team to not make the Super Bowl? The Vikes were an offensive juggernaut thanks to quarterback Randall Cunningham and a rookie receiver named Randy Moss, but they were stunned by a clearly inferior Atlanta team in the NFC title game at the Metrodome.

1985 Chicago Bears: The "Super Bowl Shuffle" Bears suffered their only loss in Miami in Week 13, still probably the most memorable Monday Night Football game ever and highest rated when you go by share. The Bears romped through the playoffs to their only Super Bowl title and many consider them the most dominant single-season team ever.

1984 San Francisco 49ers: The only loss for Joe Montana and Co. was at home in Week 7 to Pittsburgh, 20-17. The Niners routed the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX, the only Super Bowl Dan Marino played in.


Realistically there are probably only five teams with any shot of winning 15 games this season: Denver, New England, Seattle, San Francisco and New Orleans. The Broncos have the highest wins total of any team on NFL odds at 11.5, with Seattle next at 11. It's conceivable that Denver is favored in 15 of 16 games, with the only outlier Week 3 in Seattle. However, the Broncos also have to host the Niners and visit New England and Cincinnati. They aren't winning 15. Seattle and San Francisco have to play each other twice plus Denver and a solid San Diego team once each. Not to mention good teams St. Louis and Arizona twice each.  The Patriots might lose Week 1 in Miami and probably do Week 11 at Indy and Week 13 in Green Bay at a minimum.

The Saints have the best shot in my opinion, but they won't do it, either. New Orleans doesn't have to play Seattle, Denver or New England and could easily go 8-0 at home as it often does. However, road games in Carolina, Pittsburgh and Chicago are all going be a challenge. Especially the latter two as Drew Brees usually doesn't fare as well outdoors in the cold.


Glass Half-Empty
There has been at least one 14-loss team each of the past four seasons, but the last 1-15 club was St. Louis in 2009. The Rams' win that season? Week 8, 17-10, at a Detroit team that was 0-16 the year before and finished '09 at 2-14. Overall there have been nine teams to finish 1-15. The first was the 1980 Saints. The best of the bunch had to be the 1989 Dallas Cowboys under first-year coach Jimmy Johnson. They would win a Super Bowl three years later.

The two teams this season with the lowest wins totals on NFL odds are Oakland at 4.5 (over a huge -215 favorite) and Jacksonville also at 4.5 (over a big -200 favorite there). The Jaguars will win at least two playing in the weak AFC South and also against the so-so NFC East.

The Raiders do have the NFL's toughest schedule, having to play three playoff teams in the AFC West alone in Denver, Kansas City and San Diego twice each. Then you have four against the NFC West, the best division in football. Oakland might only be favored Week 16 vs. Buffalo, although it has winnable home games Week 2 vs. Houston, Week 4 vs. Miami and Week 8 in Cleveland.

NFL free picks: Forget about a 15-win team, but it's possible the Raiders only get one victory. I'd pick the 'Under' their Total Wins NFL Odds, however.

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