Who's got the best chance at 16-0?
Unfortunately, I'm going to have to start off by eliminating the Cardinals. They're a great story, and I think we can all agree that they've become a legitimate team, but I just don't see them sustaining this type of success. The offense lacks weapons aside from Larry Fitzgerald, who defenses can key in on and make the Cardinals put the ball in the hands of mediocre playmakers. In addition, Kolb has a history of inconsistency, and I'm sure he'll get cold at some point this year. It's incredibly difficult to continue to win when you run the ball for only 2.7 yards per carry. Finally, they still have two games against the 49ers and a game in Seattle against the Seahawks.
Now it comes down to the Texans and the Falcons. Both teams were expected to be good this year, but I don't think many people expected them to be this good. The Falcons have the most impressive win of the two teams, a 27-3 victory over the Chargers in San Diego. The Texans, however, have ridiculously impressive rankings of 2nd and 1st in offensive and defensive points per game. Both teams play in weak divisions, so that doesn't factor in the way it does for the Cardinals.
I have to go with the Falcons as the more likely team to run the table. The Texans exceptional rankings are very much due to abysmal competition. In addition, you have to factor in the injury history of their offensive weapons. Matt Schaub has missed at least five games in three of his five seasons with the Texans, and Andre Johnson was bothered by two separate hamstring injuries for most of the season last year. Arian Foster missed three games last season and is now being given an all-time enormous workload (on pace for 412 carries). Each of those players are potential injury risks for the Texans.
The Falcons, on the other hand, have so much offensive firepower that an injury to one player - aside from Matt Ryan, who has started 66 of a possible 68 career games - wouldn't hinder their offensive production too much. The receiving core of Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez is one of the best in the league, and the ground attack is strong with Michael Turner leading the power run game and Jacquizz Rodgers playing the scat back role.
The defense isn't of the shut-down, give-up-no-yards variety, but they make big plays. They force you into making bad decisions, get interceptions, force fumbles, and set up their offense with good field position.
This team's high powered aerial attack and play-making defense reminds me a lot of the Super Bowl champion Saints team that went 13-0 before their first loss. With Matt Ryan looking a bit more mature every game, I have to give his Falcons the best shot at pulling off 16-0. Of course, the NFL is an extraordinarily tough league, and it's a long shot to happen - but we'll see.