If you've been a fan of a sad team for as long as I have you know there comes a point when all you can do is relish in the misery. That's what this blog is here for. The weekly sad stats blog ran through every regular season week last year helping the downtrodden find humor in a bleak, dark world. And Week 1 2023 wasted no time in vacuuming the new season hope from swaths of stadium goes, bar hoppers, and at home TV remote throwers. If you think you're going to get any light in the darkness, hope you brought your own fashlight.
Here are your sad stats for NFL Week 1.
Sad Stat #1: Kadarius Toney averaged .2 yards a target Thursday night
Five targets. One catch. One yard. Imagine getting five targets from Patrick Mahomes and providing 7.2 inches of yardage per play for your team. That's sad to think about. But here's a thought experiment that's even sadder: If Mahomes attempted all 39 of his passes to Toney at this rate, Mahomes would have finished Thursday night with 7.8 total yards passing.
Sad Stat #2: The New York Giants only took 38 minutes to do any better
Imagine sitting with your Giants fan buddies watching Thursday Night Football laughing at how pathetic Kadarius Toney played before checking in on them Sunday night.
I haven't seem a team look this pathetic against the Cowboays since…
Actually, Sunday Night Football was the absolute worst.
But that's not the stat. Here's the stat. The Giants may have won the Fraud Bowl in the playoffs last year vs the Vikings, but they've now been outscored 78-7 in their last two games.
Sad Stat #3: It took the ENTIRE Pittsburgh Steelers into the two-minute warning to surpass Kadarius Toney's Week 1 receiving yards total
In fairness to the Steelers, they did complete a six-yard pass on their first play which is what made me have to get a little creative to set the lookup I ran for when teams gained and maintained 1 or more yards of total offense.
Sad Stat #4: The Indianapolis Colts are winless in ten straight Week 1 games
Well. Upper quartile of some upper quartile I guess. The Colts at least didn't lose their Week 1 game last year as they tied with the eventual 3-13-1 Houston Texans. A team that was dead last in the league until the waning seconds of the season before they even screwed up succeeding in at least being last. I will say though - that was a very decent first showing for Anthony Richardson. They hung around with an up and coming Jaguars team and there's plenty of hope left to be squeezed out of these horse shoes in the coming weeks.
But for now, that's a lonely horseshoe up there barely hanging on the graph coordinates.
Sad Stat #5: There's only one player with a Wilder stat than Diontae Johnson's now 98 catches in a row without a touchdown
A sad stats reader from last season will recall Diontae Johnson setting the record for most receptions in a season without a touchdown. If you're new I made a fresh graph for reference:
But that's all just single season stuff. Let's tack on three more receptions for Diontae from Sunday and another nine to end his 2021 season to discover the sad touchdownless catch streak has hamstrung Johnson for 98 consecutive sad catches. What could be Wilder than that?
Wilder. James Wilder.
002 on the graph above is a running back from one of the saddest franchises in history - the 1980s/early 90s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The astute sad stat observer will notice he is also at the bottom of the graph at 057 as well.
Going two full back-to-back seasons with zero touchdown catches (85 in 1984 and 53 in 1985) is exactly what you migth expect out of the creamsicle Bucs. I looked back at both the year prior to this streak (1983) and after (1986) to run the proper accounting. Here are my notes:
1. His last touchdown of 1983 was in Week 7 in which he caught four passes for nine yards.
2. I can't configure which of the four catches it was but he ended the season with 24 scoreless catches Week 8 and after.
3. In 1986, Wilder caught 22 more scoreless passes until finally scoring in Week 12 on one of his nine catches.
While I can't get an exact figure of how long this streak is without knowing which catch he scored on in Week 7 of 1983 and Week 12 of 1986, I can say James Wilder caught AT LEAST 184 consecutive catches without a touchdown and possibly up to 195.
That's Wilder. James Wilder.
Sad Stat #6: Desmond Ridder has more PPR fantasy points (.4 points) than teammate Drake London in the niche "you can start a quarterback as a wide receiver, but you only get his receiving stats" format leagues
I'm starting to think Kadarius Toney didn't have such a bad game afterall. We also had CJ Stroud complete his first career pass to himself! I think this is what they mean when they talk about all these dual threat quarterbacks. Stroud gained -6 yards which is a sneaky great sign as this is one yard better than Brett Favre's first completed pass of -7 yards also completed to himself. Hope you're taking notes on this kid in Atlanta welfare accounting offices.
Sad Stat #7: Cleveland Browns Stadium treated ticket paying attendees to observe a total of 236 passing yards from starting quarterbacks earning a combined $101M
Or we could go total contract with 505M. You're call. Either way this was easily the highest paid starting quarterback duel in NFL history. And wouldn't you know it, it procuded the most punts of the week with 17!
Sad Stat #8: Let's switch back to fantasy football and find something sadder than the cliche Cowboys DST ruining your week (and mine)
Sad Stat #9: Someone gave Aaron Rodgers the wrong script in the remake of a Brett Favre movie absolutley nobody is asking for
Aaron Rodger's character arc continues to follow suit with his predesesor. But in reviewing the script, I can confirm he was never supposed to only attempt one pass on an opening drive without a completion before sufferering an injury in a game his team ended up winning anyway. Not until next year when he finds himself on the Vikings.
(Blocked video - moral of the story is Brett Favre went 0/1 passing in Week 13 of 2010 before getting knocked out of the game the Vikings still managed to win)
On the other hand, Jordan Love definitely got the right script in Chicago as early works for a second remake to "Owners of Chicago" is my current state of hell as a Bears fan.
Sad Stat #10: The Jets return man celebrated taking a kickoff return to the Jets own 26 yard line down 10-3 and after losing Aaron Rodgers to injury
For those keeping score at home, that's a net of one return yard above a fair catch. To be fair though, he probably realized he messed up bad and was just happy he didn't have to get an earful from his special teams coach.
Honorable mention to Josh Allen for DIVING over two Jets defenders on a third and 13 play to gain an extra yard or two to set up a 4th and 6 punt. What a start to 2023. So much darkness yet to come.