NFL Week 5 Bad Beat Rankings: Unluckiest Results, Including Cowboys vs Rams and Lions vs Patriots
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Micah Parsons (No. 11) and Matthew Stafford (on the ground).
Every week of the 2022 NFL season, we'll recap how our NFL Luck Rankings fared and take a look at some of the unluckiest results in our new NFL Bad Beat Rankings.
In case you haven't seen — or as a reminder if you have — we're reframing the discussion around bad beats, so be sure to check out the science behind our NFL Bad Beat Rankings.
Let's take a look back at Week 5!
NFL Luck Rankings: Week 5 Results
Prior to tonight's Monday Night Football game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs, our luck rankings have covered 31 total games, including 25 games where teams had a large discrepancy in luck.
In Week 5, the unluckier team went 10-5 against the spread (ATS) when looking at closing lines. That includes a 5-3 record ATS when looking at teams that have a luck ranking 10 or more places worse than their opponent.
For the season as a whole, the unluckier team has gone 21-10 ATS. When applying the 10-plus luck difference filter, the unlucky team is 18-7 ATS.
Top NFL Bad Beats of Week 5
Win probability swings indicate the difference in win percentage between how teams actually performed vs. how the final score indicates they performed
1. Los Angeles Rams (-5.5)
- Actual Result: Cowboys 22, Rams 10
- Expected Score: Rams 22, Cowboys 15
- Swing: 19 points, 64.8% win probability
For the second week in a row, the Rams were the unluckiest team in the NFL.
For starters, the Cowboys recovered all four fumbles in the game, scored a 57-yard touchdown, and had a defensive TD.
Meanwhile, the Rams turned the ball over three times and missed a field goal.
The Rams actually out-gained the Cowboys by nearly 100 yards. They also produced four more first downs and won the time of possession battle.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (-7)
- Actual Result: Texans 16, Jaguars 9
- Expected Score: Jaguars 17, Texans 14
- Swing: 10 points, 49.1% win probability
While the Jaguars shouldn't have covered the seven-point spread based on performance, they still should have won the game.
The Jaguars produced 422 yards of total offense compared to Houston's 248 yards, but Jacksonville never scored a touchdown.
That's in-part because Jacksonville lost the turnover battle 2-0, with one of those turnovers coming by way of interception in the Texas endzone.
On another trip inside the Texans' 10-yard line, the Jaguars settled for a 26-yard field goal.
3. Detroit Lions (+3)
- Actual Result: Patriots 29, Lions 0
- Expected Score: Patriots 21, Lions 20
- Swing: 28 points, 48.5% win probability
It probably seems silly to say a team that got thoroughly dismantled by a 29-0 score deserves a spot in the top three of our NFL Bad Beat Rankings.
But by the way we've redefined bad beats, the Lions have earned a spot in the top three.
However, the stat lines were relatively close. The Patriots only produced 52 more yards of total offense in a game with nearly 700 yards total offense.
The Lions lost the turnover battle and didn't recover either of the two fumbles in the game.
The two turnovers were exceptionally costly. Jared Goff's interception occurred in the red zone, nixing a great touchdown opportunity. Goff's fumble also came after the Lions pushed the ball to the Patriots' 25-yard line.
From there, the Lions lost seven yards on a rush on the next play. One play after that, Goff was sacked, fumbled and New England scooped it up for a 59-yard defensive score.
In the second half, Detroit had four drives end on downs in New England territory, including two in the red zone and one at the five yard line!
It's amazing the league's top offense through four weeks got held scoreless. They certainly weren't without their chances.
Lions backers should have covered the spread. Instead they missed covering the spread by 26 points! Truly a bad, bad beat.