Folks, we’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is, there are no truly great teams in the NFL. The good news is, there are a lot more candidates for this week’s Sorry Six. Steel your hearts and saddle up.
1. Oakland Raiders: Hey, remember when we said the AFC West was the toughest division in football? Man, that was a long time ago—wait, it was two weeks ago? Man, life comes at you pretty fast in the NFL. The Raiders, less than a year removed from being the talk of the AFC, are on a four-game losing skid. And even though they’re apparently quarterbacked by Wolverine—seriously, Derek Carr broke bones in his back and was only out one game—Oakland has a long way to go to even get respectable. Thursday night’s game against Kansas City might be the cure…or it might just be extending the disease.
2. Atlanta Falcons: What is it with the Atlanta Falcons and second halves? Once again, the Falcons rolled into a late-game situation with a strong lead, and once again Atlanta gagged up a near-certain win, this time losing to Miami after a 17-0 lead. Atlanta gets a Super Bowl rematch with New England this weekend, and we’re sure that a win there will TOTALLY make up for that collapse back in February.
3. Denver Broncos: Look, we try not to get too reactionary to recent events here at the Sorry Six, but when you lose to the 0-5 Giants … come ON, Denver. There’s just no excuse there. Sure, the Giants had unexpected and unknown players step up, and Denver had a rash of injuries, but still…the Broncos could and should have beaten the Giants with eight players on the field. On the plus side, we got the tiniest bit of Brock Osweiler back in our lives again. At least there was that.
4. Detroit Lions: When a team jumps out to a 35-point lead the way the Saints did over the Lions on Sunday, you want one of two things: you want them to stretch it to 70 and start playing offensive linemen at quarterback, or you want a miracle comeback that upends the entire game. The Lions did the worst thing possible: they clawed back to within two possessions, but couldn’t get any closer than that. They gave us hope, then snatched it away. Come on, Detroit! At least lose the right way!
5. Cleveland Browns: The Giants earned a one-game respite from the Sorry Six, but no such luck for the Browns. Quarterback Kevin Hogan threw three interceptions, including an 82-yard pick-six, and an intentional-grounding safety. That’s impressive game management right there. At this point, a decent Cleveland prop bet would be who ends up with more: the Browns with victories, or the Cavaliers with players named LeBron.
6. Indianapolis Colts: Indianapolis is well on the way to becoming like Vanderbilt is in the SEC—the “oh yeah, they’re in this league too” of NFL franchises. Oh sure, they got a Monday night slot this week, but that was only because somebody assumed Andrew Luck would be playing. If Luck stays out much longer—and I’m on record saying he won’t play a snap this season—we might just forget they exist altogether.
Sorry That Happened To You
The New York Jets—you knew they’d make this list somehow, didn’t you?—had a rare opportunity to knock off division rival New England. But that chance vanished when officials ruled that Austin Seferian-Jenkins lost control of the ball for a microsecond while crossing the goal line. No touchdown, loss of possession, adios New York. Absurdly harsh, absurdly punitive, and absurdly appropriate that it’d happen to the Jets.
Sorry Six Fans of the Week
Man, you gotta respect the commitment here. First, these guys went all-out on turquoise and orange, which are colors that don’t exist together in nature outside an overpriced Lincoln Avenue daiquiri. Then, you’ve got Dolphis Presley there on the left with a Miami phone case, and some kind of sherbet-dipped Bear Bryant there on the right going full face-paint with the Flavor Flav logo chain. Finally, these cats came to Atlanta for the Dolphins-Falcons game. They left happy, but they shouldn’t have; salute, gentlemen, for bringing your fandom on the road for the world to see.
Sorry Matchup of Week 7
This week’s slate of games gives us a few decent divisional matchups (Cincinnati-Pittsburgh, Washington-Philadelphia), a Super Bowl rematch (Atlanta-New England), and a slate of “ehhhh” games. The saddest of all, though, arrives late Sunday afternoon: Dallas at San Francisco. Now, it might be a decent game, and it might even be an upset win for the 49ers, but here’s why it’s a sorry matchup: because IT WILL NEVER COME CLOSE TO THE COWBOYS-NINERS WARS OF THE 90S. Old-fan alert here: there was a time when the entire country would plan its whole week around Cowboys-Niners. Aikman! Young! Emmitt! Jerry! Deion! Deion! So much amazing talent, so many epic matchups … this ain’t gonna come close, but it’ll hopefully give us a few memories of better games gone by. That’s all we can hope for at this point, I’m afraid.
So that’ll do it for this week’s Sorry Six, friends. Keep in touch, and remember: never be sorry.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.