Saturday's two-goal-to-nil loss at Everton marks defeat number seventeen for David Moyes in the league this season. It's not good, is it?
Wins are as few and far between as they have ever been in Sunderland's recent Premier League era, but time is running out to save our top flight status. There were very few positives to take from defeat at Goodison Park and plenty to worry about.
Sunderland's manager and players have become well versed in offering explanations, rationale and analysis to explain the more-often-than-not weekly losses. But with the bank of trite explanations running low, this week there's little more than a half-hearted attempt at anything beyond 'we are crap' and 'they are good'.
But, let's give it a go and discover why, according to the manager and players, Sunderland were beaten by Everton on Saturday.
1. We failed to frustrate the Everton supporters
In the immediate aftermath of the match, David Moyes suggested his game plan had been to frustrate the home supporters and told BBC Sport that the primary aim was to hope Everton wouldn't score:
I was disappointed we lost the first goal. We tried to frustrate the supporters. I didn’t want us to concede again in the second half.
And if that was his goal, the former Everton boss indeed has some track record of irritating Toffees' supporters. Despite his decade-plus stint on Merseyside bringing relative league success to Goodison Park, Moyes has become an unpopular figure amongst Blues' supporters. The apparent derision he aimed at his previous club during that ill-fated spell at Manchester United alienated plenty of his former followers.
If the Sunderland boss thought Everton fans would be rankled by his team's back-foot tactics though, he was to be disappointed. It is now apparent that this approach to away games is the only weapon in the Moyes armoury and so far this season - barring the miracles at Bournemouth and Palace - that ploy has yielded a whole single point on the road. Genius.
2. Sunderland are lacking quality
Ten seasons in the Premier League and access to the riches of the world's most prosperous footballing economy and Sunderland fielded a team made up - in part - of has-beens and rejects from the club they were facing. On that note, David Moyes said:
You've got to remember the quality of Everton, where they are and what they're trying to achieve.
There is a gulf in quality but the players are giving everything they've got.
There are reasons aplenty to explain why, but there is simply no excuse for the state of this unbalanced, ill-equipped squad who are representing Sunderland AFC. Some players are not good enough, some are past their best and some lack the application for the fight. Worrying times.
3. It's just a matter of waiting for our turn for a good run
David Moyes suggested Sunderland are overdue a change in fortune and believes a run of decent results will transform the desperate state of this battle.
With Hull City, Swansea and even Crystal Palace still showing signs of life, after the game the Sunderland boss said he is 'looking forward to a good run' and believes his side are due an upswing in form like the other teams battling the drop:
A few of the teams have had theirs. We are not that far away and us winning a few games would change things around.
At this rate that run of good results will start in about November - in the Championship.
4. We didn't take our chance(s) - all one of them
It was the same old story. Sunderland created precious little and if Jermain Defoe doesn't score from the scraps he’s offered, then no points are returned to Wearside.
It was the same against Southampton - had Defoe scored in the opening twenty minutes, the game may have ended differently; and it was the same at Everton. Had the former England striker scored on the 78th minute mark, Sunderland might have rescued a point at Goodison.
But relying on Defoe's impressive striking return from precious little ammunition can never be a sustainable means by which to avoid the drop year after year.
Adnan Januzaj - the man who has scored one goal and provided three assists all season - with two of those coming in one game - has called on his teammates to create more. The Manchester United man told the Chronicle:
When the ball hit the bar that was our chance in the game but we can’t just focus on one chance. We have to create more chances.
But they didn't and that's now just two shots on target in the last two games. It's simply impossible to stay up with that kind of form.
5. Everton are just really good
The best side in the Premier League outside of the top six is how Everton are being billed. And the Toffees are knocking on the door of the league's upper echelons in their current nine-game unbeaten run.
As Bryan Oviedo said of his former club compared with his new one:
It was difficult. Everton played very well. We have to improve.
This wasn't a game Sunderland had any realistic chance of securing points in, but with the twelve games that remain including a potential final week with trips to Arsenal and Chelsea, David Moyes has to find a way of playing away from home which goes beyond simply hoping for the best.