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Thursday's question of the day: Place the unbeaten NFL teams in order, from first to lose to last

October 22, 2009 | 11:56 am


There are four undefeated teams in the NFL (Indianapolis, Denver, Minnesota, New Orleans). In which order will they no longer be undefeated?

Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.

Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

Of the four undefeated teams, Indianapolis and New Orleans are the most likely to keep their records unblemished the longest. Minnesota faces a tough stretch right away – at Pittsburgh and at Green Bay – and the Vikings’ defense (now without Antoine Winfield) showed real vulnerabilities in the second half against Baltimore. Denver has a bye Sunday, but then plays at Baltimore and home against Pittsburgh. If the Saints can get past Miami at Atlanta, they have a soft stretch against teams that are a combined 2-15 -- Carolina, at St. Louis and at Tampa Bay – before playing New England. The Colts don’t hit a speed bump until mid-November when they play the Patriots and at Baltimore. Peyton Manning & Co. have traveled this path before. They began 2003 with five wins, 2005 with 13, 2006 with nine, and 2007 with seven. Experience counts.

Kevin Cowherd, Baltimore Sun

This one’s easy (yeah, right.)  The Minnesota Vikings will be kicked out of the undefeated club first when they leave the noisy Metrodome and lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field this weekend. Denver gets whacked the following week by the Baltimore Ravens, who are better than they’ve played and are coming off three straight losses, with their backs against the wall.
That Monday night, Nov. 2, the New Orleans Saints take on the tough Atlanta Falcons. Sure, the game’s in the Superdome. But look for the Falcons to prevail and bring Drew Brees and Co. down to earth, at least for a day.
So that leaves the Indianapolis Colts, who don’t have a truly tough game until Nov. 15, when they face the New England Patriots at idyllic-sounding Lucas Oil Stadium. Colts at home with red-hot Peyton Manning calling the signals – how can you bet against them?

Ethan J. Skolnick, South Florida Sun-Sentinel 

Considering how many observers continue to doubt the Broncos, some might favor the bye to beat them this week. Since that won’t happen (we think), Denver would seem to have the early edge, in terms of staying undefeated longer than Colts, Saints and Vikings. Still, the best bet is Indianapolis. Peyton Manning has never played better and the Colts have carried on without Bob Sanders and Anthony Gonzalez, both of whom are healing. Plus, check out the soft upcoming schedule: at St. Louis, and then the 49ers and Texans at home. By then, Denver (at Baltimore, Steelers at home) is likely to have lost. The Saints’ next three games are against 2008 playoff teams, and the Vikings have two tough road tilts, including Favre-ageddon in hostile Lambeau Field.

Photo: Peyton Manning. Credit: Jim Brown, U.S. Presswire.