Predicting the NFL Teams That Could Start the 2016 Season 5-0
History has shown in the NFL that if you start a season 5-0, you probably are going to make the playoffs. Although to every rule there’s an exception: the 2015 Atlanta Falcons started 5-0 but finished 8-8 and out of the postseason. Here are two teams I believe could start 5-0 this year and their NFL betting lines for wins on the season overall.
NFL Predictions on Teams That Could Start the Season 5-0
Seattle Seahawks (10.5 Wins)
First of all, we know the Seahawks remain one of the NFL’s most talented teams despite not being able to threepeat as NFC champions last year, losing in the divisional-round at Carolina. Remember, though the Hawks fell way behind in that game at halftime and nearly staged a big rally.
Mostly this is about a really easy opening schedule. Seattle is the biggest Week 1 favorite on the board against the visiting Miami Dolphins, who have to make the longest cross-country trip in the NFL. That’s going to be an easy Seattle win.
Week 2, the Seahawks play the home opener for the Rams in Los Angeles. True, the Rams have given Seattle trouble over the years, but they are expected to be starting a rookie QB in Jared Goff. The Seattle defense will rattle him.
Week 3, Seattle might be the biggest favorite of anyone this season when it hosts San Francisco. Easy win. Week 4, the Seahawks go to the Jets. That’s a tricky 10 a.m. Pacific time start. Jets have a good defense but don’t look like much on offense, especially if Geno Smith is the starting QB.
Then Seattle has a bye week before hosting the Falcons. The Seahawks will be 5-0 when they head to Arizona for a huge game on Oct. 23.
Houston Texans (8.5 Wins)
Do I think Houston is good enough on its own to start 5-0? A lot of that depends on what Brock Osweiler brings after being signed from Denver in free agency and handed the keys to the offense as a full-time starter for the first time in his career. He was solid in seven starts for the Broncos last season, but he put up replacement-level numbers, completing 62 percent of his throws for 1,987 yards, 10 touchdowns and 6 touchdowns. However, he also got benched because he played so poorly at home with the No. 1 seed in the AFC on the line against a middle-of-the-pack San Diego defense. Granted, he went 5-2 as a starter, but he had the league’s best defense supporting him. Apparently he has impressed Houston coach Bill O’Brien during OTAs. “So far, he’s been exactly what we’ve expected,” O’Brien said. “He works extremely hard. He’s a very bright guy. He’s a good communicator with his teammates. He’s very hard on himself.”
Houston is a solid favorite in Week 1 against Chicago and should win that game. The Texans could be slight underdogs in Week 2 to Kansas City. The Chiefs won in Houston in Week 1 last year and then crushed Houston 30-0 in the wild-card game there. But that Houston team had Brian Hoyer at quarterback. And he was terrible in the game with four interceptions and a fumble. Houston’s defense kept the Texans close in the first half, but J.J. Watt left with an injury in the third quarter the Chiefs pulled away.
I believe Houston wins that game and then it catches a huge break in Week 3 when it travels to New England to face a Patriots team without Tom Brady. The Texans will be favored Week 4 at home vs. Tennessee and then comes a tough one at Minnesota where Houston will be an underdog on NFL betting odds to go 5-0. But it’s doable.