Even the worst Premier League clubs in history grab points here and there, but this is a mighty nice run for the lesser lights.
A relegation picture that looked like Hull City, Sunderland, Swansea City and maybe Crystal Palace just a month ago has become a crammed six-team battle now involving Leicester City and Middlesbrough.
[ MORE: What’s wrong with Leicester ]
Bournemouth and Southampton aren’t safe down south, either, but for the moment sit six and seven points clear of the drop respectively, so we’ll choose to focus on this logjam:
15. Middlesbrough — 21 points, minus-8 goal differential
Next five: vs. Everton, at Palace, at Stoke, vs. Sunderland, vs. Man Utd
16. Leicester City — 21 points, minus-17 goal diff.
Next five: at Swansea, vs. Liverpool, vs. Hull, at Arsenal, at West Ham
17. Swansea City — 21 points, minus-25 goal diff.
Next five: vs. Leicester, at Chelsea, vs. Burnley, at Hull, at Bournemouth
18. Hull City — 20 points, minus-25
Next five: at Arsenal, vs. Burnley, at Leicester, vs. Swansea, at Everton
19. Crystal Palace — 19 points, minus-13
Next five: at Stoke, vs. Boro, at West Brom, vs. Spurs, vs. Watford
20. Sunderland — 19 points, minus-18
Next five: vs. Southampton, at Everton, vs. Man City, at Boro, vs. Burnley
I mean look at that thing! If Sunderland, Hull, and Palace this weekend and 15-17 lose, the relegation zone completely flips!
The five game slates take us into mid-March, and leave nine matches on the schedule. With so many teams in such close proximity, it’s not surprising to see two teams with a pair of six-pointers in the next month or so (Leicester, Swans, and Hull). Can the competition use that to put one or more of them in the rear view mirror?