If I didn't know any better, I'd say Roger Goodell designed Week 7 to be the official week of NFL sadness. With the Eagles, Bills, Vikings, and Rams out of the way on bye, Red Zone had no choice but to shine the spotlight on the dead bugs and crushed up Doritos of the NFL that usually remain protected from Scott Hanson having to ever check in on. While there was still plenty of excitement, there was also plenty of sadness of full display. You know the drill by now. Let's get to this week's saddest NFL stats:
Sad Stat #1: There's only one explanation for how Tom Brady lost back to back games to the otherwise 1-5 Steelers and 1-5 Panthers
Not the leave the Texans out, but the Steelers and Panthers are legit contenders for worst team in the NFL this year. There's simply no football explanation for the Bucs losing both of these games. But there is a non-football explanation. It's common knowledge that Brady and Gisele's marriage has been unraveling and it all came to a head just a few weeks ago:
As you can see, Gisele is a noble of society and carries herself as such. My theory here is that when Tom returned from battle victorious vs the Falcons that weekend Gisele had just watched A Knight's Tale with the kids and made Tom agree to prove his love by purposefully losing games just like the noble Jocelyn made Heath Ledger do in the jousting tournament. I mean, let's be honest - Gisele definitely has big time Jocelyn vibes. Think about it - the only touchdown Brady threw against the Steelers was late in the 4th and they needed a two afterwards which he made sure to fail on, and that dime he threw to Mike Evans vs the Panthers to start the game slid out of Evan's hands so bad the only thing that makes sense it Tom put a little Crisco on it.
This is the only thing that makes sense. The last time the Panthers held an opponent without a touchdown was in Week 11 of 2020 vs - of course - the Detroit Lions. Oddly enough, P.J. Walker started for the Panthers then too so unless you want to argue he's so boring of a quarterback that it puts his opposing offenses in a coma I'm sticking with the Jocelyn Love Test theory.
Sad Stat #2: The Denver Broncos have the worst ever difference in points scored vs implied expected points through Week 7
For those unfamiliar with what an implied score means, it's basically what Vegas thinks a team will score based on the total over/under and spread for a game. For example, if the spread is a pick-em and the total is 40, Vegas expects both teams to score 20. But let's say the Bills are favored -1 vs the Chiefs and the the total is 39, this means Vegas expects the Bills to score 20 and the Chiefs 19 giving both teams their implied score.
The thing about implied scores is that it's calculated on a week-to-week basis. So, while any randomly thought of team (let's just say the 2022 Denver Broncos) might have high expectations in Week 1, their implied score for Week 2 takes the prior week into consideration. So by Week 7 when such a random team has proven to be so in over their heads and failing so hard vs expectations, the implied score for that week is set low based on this.
Speaking of the Broncos, let's take a quick peak at Rich Hribar's post showing actual points scored minus implied points for the first seven weeks:
I already covered why the Bucs have chivalrously tanked, but there's no excuse for such a preposterous 56.75 point difference here for Nathaniel Hackett and the Broncos. Oh well, certainly that can't be the worst Week 1 - 7 difference in total points / implied points of all time, right?
Wrong. Shoutout Akili Smith led 2000 Bengals.
Sad Stat #3: Kevin White is making a move on the most receiving yards without a receiving touchdown record
Kevin White seems to pop up for a play or two every year like a Blue Whale surfacing for air just to make everyone think "oh yeah, I remember that guy… he's healthy??" A fun game you can play is to go to Kevin White's career games page on Pro-football Reference and page search "Injured Reserve" which will return 27 matches, "Inactive" which returns 10, and "Did Not Play" for 13. And for some reason his entire rookie season that he didn't play wasn't marked as anything - so there's another 16 for the IR designation. That's 66 total games missed (or a little over four entire seasons) compared to a whopping 13 games in which he played and received at least one target. Sorry, I guess I ruined the game.
Anyway, that's not even the sad stat of note here! Kevin made a great catch for 64-yards last Thursday night - giving him 27 career receptions - before being caught and tackled at the three yard-line. That would have been his first career receiving touchdown and that leads us to the official sad stat. White now moves up the leaderboard for most receiver yards without a receiving touchdown for a wide receiver since 1999:
Never forget Jakobi Meyers, the end zone virgin GOAT, who finally used his hands to get himself off this list last season:
Sad Stat #4: Green Bay converted zero third downs without being bailed out by the refs
The Packers went 0-6 on third down last Sunday while having two conversions only at the flags of the refs. The last time they failed to convert a third down was Week 6, 1999 vs the Broncos when Packers quarterback Brett Fraud actually gave to charity by donating three picks. Sunday's dud was the worst third down output for any team since the Cardinals went 0-9 in the first and only round of their 2021 Playoffs.
Sad Stat #5: Zach Wilson has the least total passing yards in back-to-back wins since Tua in 2020
This wouldn't be so sad if the guy that bailed Wilson out and scored two out of the three total offensive touchdowns during these two games wasn't now out for the season. Without Breece Hall, Zach Wilson is going to need to figure out how to score some points through the air. One passing touchdown on the year is pathetic especially when you realize it matches his total touchdowns in receiving, and mom's friend's (allegedly). Still - quarterback efficiency is all the rage in the analytics world and I can't think of a more efficient passing stat than throwing only as many yards as you need to win. We'll find out soon if he's doing this intentionally as the weeks go by and Michael Carter to fuel the run game.
That's it for Week 7. Quick note - really appreciate the feedback on all these weekly NFL sad stat blogs. We're going the distance this season so come back next week! If you're a first time reader, check out my blog page to find sad stats blogs for all the other weeks. And if you want any more of these dumb type of jokes on the TL - follow me on Twitter.