Last Two Weeks Have Historic Number of Upsets – Sports Illustrated

Publish date:

The 2021 NFL season has been unique lately with upset victories and the Arizona Cardinals have been a part of it.

The term “Any Given Sunday” has been around for decades and it was even immortalized in a 1999 movie starring Al Pacino.

We who are passionate about the NFL know all about what can happen on Any Given Sunday, yet for some inexplicable reason there are those that seem surprised when a big underdog knocks down a favorite. As if we haven’t seen it before.

Well, the last two weeks in the NFL have taken Any Given Sunday to a whole new level.

Each week, there has been four teams either in first place or tied for first in their division that lost to a.500 or below squad. Of those eight winners, five were underdogs by at least 8.5 points with two at 10 or more.

Fans are up in arms when their team loses to an opponent they believe they shouldn’t have, yet all anyone has to do is look around the league and see no one is immune.

In Week 9, the Cowboys lost to the Broncos, the Bills lost to the Jaguars, the Packers to the Chiefs (that was an anomaly because Kansas City was .500 at the time) and the Raiders lost to the Giants.

Then, last week, the Ravens lost to the Dolphins, the Cardinals to the Panthers, the Chargers to the Vikings and the Buccaneers to Washington. Most notable in Week 10 was that three of those games were decided by 10 points or more.

How unusual were the last two weeks? There hadn’t been that many in Weeks 9-10 since 1970.

The question now, heading into Sunday and, yes, Monday (can we say Any Given Monday?) is that there are six games that fit the criteria and five include teams that have already been victims: Ravens-Bears, Packers-Vikings, Bills-Colts, Cardinals-Seahawks and Bucs-Giants. The sixth matchup is the Titans and Texans.

Have those teams learned their lesson and won’t let it happen again? If it only was that easy. After all, no one truly knows when Any Given Sunday (or Thursday or Monday) will strike.