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The Absolute Saddest Stats From Week 17 Of The NFL

Brett Carlsen. Getty Images.

The spirit of this weekly sad stats blog is to provide an outlet for fanbases of bad teams to see some off the wall reasons their team along with other sad teams suck. It's a laugh so you don't cry blog. But with the truly scary end of the week on Monday Night and the fact that Damar Hamlin remains in critical condition, I considered shelving it this week. But given the fact that the entire goal is to provide a quick few minutes of mild humor, I decided to give it a go for those who might need a couple minute break from reality and potentially a soft chuckle. I'm sure you've all seen the Damar Hamlin charity toy drive shared by now but if you haven't, check it out below. It had a goal of $2,500 and is now over $6,000,000. 

The outpouring of support and love for Damar speaks volumes and if you have a few bucks you can spare I think it'll be just swell to see all the needy kids who benefit to be rolling around in Ferrari Power Wheels on Christmas 2023. Forget the Jeeps.

Anyway, here are a few trivially sad stats that you might find interesting but ultimately don't matter. 

Sad Stat #1: The Philadelphia Eagles curiously have the two worst offensive time of possession totals for a first half the season

The first half didn't go great for the Eagles on Sunday as you might guess by the fact that barely had the ball on offense. 

Any Eagles fan's first reaction to this would be to blame Gardner Minshew. It's an understandable presumption and Minshew is certainly not absolved from blame, but this might be more of a defensive issue as well since it wasn't even the Eagles' worst first half time of possession this season:

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The teams with the ten lowest first half times of possession are listed below and despite some minor data discrepancies with the figures in the tweets above, two of the three Eagles losses on the season are the lowest two. 

Eagles fan will recall the bewilderment of their paltry 10-6 half-time lead vs the hapless Chicago Bears in a game that was left in the balance until the final few minutes. You can blame it on the fact that this was a trap game ahead of a date with the Cowboys, but the issue reared itself again in that game as the Eagles mustered 11:38 of first half time of possession that ended in their third loss. This makes all three losses finding their way in the NFL's lowest ten time of possessions for a first half. 

Sad Stat #2: San Francisco 49ers Opponents are 0-14 in weeks following playing the 49ers

Back in Sad Stats Week 9 I covered that opponents of the Panthers and 49ers were a combined 0-14 the following week. Fast forward to Week 17 and 49ers opponents their following week now stand sadly alone at 0-14. The only team to win their next game after playing the 49ers this year was the Chiefs who had a bye in-between. But even then, it took overtime and a completely bogus penalty call on the final two-point conversion for the Chiefs to beat a Malik Willis led Titans that completed exactly zero passes to a wide receiver.

This is one of those crazy stats that can probably be used as a Rorschach test to see if you are prone to conspiracy theory. The 49ers are clearly the best defense in the league and it could be easy to buy-in to them beating the crap out of a team physically to the point where their opponent is still fogged the following week. Let's add some fuel to this fire. One could also argue that teams struggle after playing a shitty team from being lulled into a false sense of confidence. Here's the five teams who's next week opponents have the fewest combined wins. You'll notice aside from the 49ers, these are some squads that could definitely overinflate a team's ego after an easy win.

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Sad Stat #3: The Dolphins are in danger of starting 8-3 and missing the playoffs

It has been hard to watch such a happy free loving Dolphins team enjoy the open seas for the first 11 weeks before suddenly getting chummed up in a cruise ship propeller since then. I've seen how fed up fans are this week on YouTube and whatever else from 30 years of culminating mediocrity and as a Bears fan can duly empathize. The good news is this. They can still make the playoffs, wipe the slate clean and hope Tua is healthy enough to return to good Tua in the playoffs. Beat the struggling Jets and hope the Bills take care of business vs the Patriots. The NYT playoff machine gives them a 70 percent chance. 

But not making the playoffs after starting 8-3 isn't as rare as I realized. The Ravens did this just last season as one of 19 teams since the merger. Shout out to the 1985 Broncos who were 11-5. Ouch. 

Oh look the Bears are on the list. Told you I could empathize. 

That's it for Week 17. Let's hope for a better Week 18 and for good news out of Cincinnati. 

- Jeffro