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Pursuit of Perfection, Part 1: Mercury (Morris) Rising?

11.25.09 at 12:57 pm ET
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OK, I’ll just say it, since it’s on everyone’s mind. The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints might go undefeated in the regular season. There, now it’s out in the open. At 10-0, both the Saints and the Colts look like they could make a run for 16-0 and beyond. With that in mind, these teams bear comparison to the Patriots of 2007 and the Dolphins of 1972. Starting with the Colts, let’s see how they stack up.

The Streak

The Pats ended up going 18-1 in the 2007-08 season. Obviously, they missed perfection, but we don’t need to get into that just yet. Through the regular season, the Pats triumphed over everyone they faced. Thus far, the Colts have done the same. Through 10 games, the Colts are undefeated, with 269 points for vs. 157 points against. It’s the best differential in the league. After 10 games in 2007, the Patriots had 411 points for and 157 points against. The fact that over the same span of games, the Pats were significantly more prolific on offense doesn’t bode well for the Colts even though they have been here before.

Games Played

Besides the Week 9 game against the Colts, it was in the 11th contest that the Patriots began to play close games. An Eagles team, sans Donovan McNabb, played them like it was Super Bowl XXXIX and almost came away with a win. This season, the Colts have played four close games, decided by three points or less. With six games left, this is the point in the season that the Colts have to focus, because in 2005 they went 13-0 and inspired talk of a perfect season before dropping two in a row.

Players

It is rare that a single player can alter the outcome of a game or change how well a team plays, but it’s clear that the loss of Bob Sanders makes the Colts defense much weaker. We all recall how, in 2006, the Texans’ Ron Dayne (remember him?) ripped off 153 yards on the ground and two TDs, all while Sanders watched from the sideline with an injury.

Around the same time of the year in 2007, the Patriots suffered the loss of Rosevelt Colvin, which forced Tedy Bruschi and Junior Seau to play at the same time, which, later in the season, hurt the team because Bruschi and Seau are older players and the standard wear and tear of the season got to them.

The question becomes, can the Colts hold opposing running backs down, especially with Tennessee’s Chris Johnson coming to Lucas Oil in two weeks? Even though the Pats smoked the Steelers in 2007, Willie Parker still had 124 yards rushing, and in the final game of the regular season, against the Giants, Eli Manning looked like a rock star, throwing for 251 yards and four TDs.

However, what we all really want to know is why hasn’t anyone from the only undefeated team said anything? Why hasn’t Mercury Morris voiced his opinion about the Colts? It was around this time that he became the mouthpiece of the ’72 Dolphins, making sure any and all media outlets recognized the ’72 Dolphins as the original perfect team.

Read More: 1972 dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, mercury morris, New England Patriots