Patriots have 4.4 percent probability of going undefeated

Tom Brady and company may be dismantling teams with relative ease at the moment, but the odds of the Patriots going undefeated are slim, so says a stats site.
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

By Darren Hartwell

The way the New England Patriots are dismantling opponents these days, it’s hard to imagine them losing to anyone.

But let’s face it: The prospects of another 16-0 season are highly unlikely.

There’s been plenty of chatter about whether New England can circle the wagons and run the table again this season, with ESPN’s Skip Bayless even claiming it’s “extremely probable” the Patriots pull it off.

The folks at the statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight decided to put Skip’s bold claim to the test of hard data, and the results weren’t pretty. According to the site’s Elo ratings, which project a team’s strength at a given moment, the Patriots have a 4.4 percent probability of winning each remaining game on their schedule.

So where will New England slip up? FiveThirtyEight suggests a late November road game against the Denver Broncos, in which Peyton Manning and Co. have a 53 percent chance of knocking off the defending Super Bowl champs. The Patriots are favored to win every other game this season, but according to the site’s metrics, nine teams have at least a 20 percent chance to pull off the upset.

It’d obviously be very nice for hometown fans if Tom Brady and the Patriots completed their Deflategate vengeance tour by destroying everyone in their path. But the reality is such a scenario is highly improbable, and New England still is a very good team that looks set up to finish with one of the league’s best records, even if it can’t win ’em all.

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