NFL Week 2 Bad Beat Rankings: Patriots Once Again Near the Top
Every week of the 2023 NFL season, we’ll recap how the Action Network NFL Luck Rankings fared and take a look at some of the unluckiest results in our new NFL Bad Beat Rankings.
So far in Week 2, unlucky teams in the Action Network Luck Matchups have gone 4-3-1 against the spread (ATS) with one luck game left on Monday Night Football.
We can also use Expected Scores, which power the Luck Rankings, to look at bad beats. We’re discussing bad beats not in terms of a win or loss, but in terms of win probability swing. so be sure to check out the science behind the NFL Bad Beat Rankings.
For a quick synopsis, we're looking at expected scores and comparing them to actual scores. We're not saying the team that suffered the bad beat should have won, just that the scoreline was unflattering compared to their expected performance given the game situations they encountered.
Here's a look at which teams were the unluckiest before the Monday Night Football doubleheader in Week 2.
NFL Bad Beats: Week 2
Win probability swings indicate the difference in win percentage between how teams actually performed vs. how the final score indicates they performed
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5)
- Actual Result: Chiefs 17, Jaguars 9
- Expected Score: Jaguars 24, Chiefs 15
- Swing: 17 points, 55.2% win probability
The Kansas City Chiefs were near the bottom of the Luck Rankings after Week 1 but ended up as the luckiest team in Week 2.
Jacksonville only managed three field goals in the game, despite having seven drives reach at least midfield. That includes a second-half drive that gave the Jaguars a first-and-goal situation from the 1-yard line.
Instead of punching it in on the ground, the Jaguars ran three pass plays, which resulted in a sack and two incompletions and ultimately settled for a field goal. If put in that situation many times over, Jacksonville would be expected to come away with more than five points on average, just from that one drive.
2. New England Patriots (+2)
- Actual Result: Dolphins 24, Patriots 17
- Expected Score: Patriots 30, Dolphins 27
- Swing: 10 points, 26.9% win probability
For the second week in a row, the New England Patriots end up inside the top two of the Bad Beat Rankings.
The Patriots moved the ball well but had trouble closing out drives. In addition to their two touchdown drives, the Pats' first, second, fourth, sixth, seventh and 11th drives all reached Dolphins territory, but they came away with just three points from those six drives instead of 18 expected.
Over half of the Patriots plays generated a positive EPA, which puts them as one of just five teams to achieve that in Week 2. Unfortunately for them, those plays just didn't always come in the right order.
If the Patriots were able to do more with the field position they had, the game may have had a very different outcome.
3. Atlanta Falcons (-3)
- Actual Result: Falcons 25, Packers 24
- Expected Score: Falcons 31, Packers 19
- Swing: 17 points, 25.7% win probability
The Falcons were the dominant team in this game, so the fact that they won by a single point shows why they made the top three bad beats of the week.
Atlanta's 446 yards gained and 27 first downs led to six scoring drives. However, four of those scoring drives ended in field goals rather than touchdowns. That includes a drive that reached the Packers' 1-yard line, in addition to three other drives ending inside the 21-yard line.
This marks the second week in a row that Green Bay was on the giving end of a bad beat, as Falcons' backers should have easily won this bet. Instead, Green Bay gets its second straight cover.