NFL Week 7 Bad Beat Rankings: Unluckiest Results Include Buccaneers, Broncos, More
Aaron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images. Pictured: Brett Rypien (No. 4).
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 at Week 7.
NFL Luck Rankings: Week 7 Results
Prior to Monday Night Football, our luck rankings have covered 75 total games, including 39 games where teams had a large discrepancy in luck.
In Week 7, the unluckier team only went 5-8 against the spread (ATS) when looking at closing lines. That includes a 2-6 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, if we apply the 10-plus luck difference filter, the unlucky team is 25-14 ATS (64.1%). That improves to 15-6 ATS (71.4%) when the luck ranking difference is 16 or more places apart. Week 7’s Monday Night Football matchup of Patriots vs. Bears has a difference of just five places, so it was not a game our luck rankings strongly favor one way or the other.
Top NFL Bad Beats of Week 7
Win probability swings indicate the difference in win percentage between how teams actually performed vs. how the final score indicates they performed
1. Denver Broncos (+2.5)
- Actual Result: Jets 16, Broncos 9
- Expected Score: Broncos 23, Jets 14
- Swing: 16 points, 62.8% win probability
Denver came into the game as a Luck Ranking pick and came out on the unlucky side once again.
Long touchdowns aren’t “expected” to happen, so Breece Hall’s 62-yard scamper was definitely a bit unlucky for the Broncos.
On the offensive side for the Broncos, they managed to get three straight drives into Jets territory to close out the first half. Unfortunately for them, they only came away with nine points thanks to Brandon McManus missing an extra point and a field goal.
Denver then finished the game with two drives into Jets territory ending on downs.
The underlying stats reflect Denver’s superiority. They gained 324 yards to the Jets 260 and produced 21 first downs to the Jets 10.
Ultimately though, a lack of closing out drives killed Denver.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13.5)
- Actual Result: Panthers 21, Buccaneers 3
- Expected Score: Buccaneers 15, Panthers 15
- Swing: 18 points, 52.9% win probability
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers did not have a good game, but the end result was significantly more unflattering than it should have been.
The Buccaneers got inside the Carolina 25-yard line three times and came away with only three points total. That includes a goal-to-go drive where they were unable to punch the ball in and settled for a 27-yard field goal.
The teams were nearly equal in total yardage, and Tampa Bay actually produced 17 first downs to Carolina’s 14.
The 21-3 scoreline will produce plenty of water cooler talk, but overall these two teams played relatively equal.
3. San Francisco 49ers (+1)
- Actual Result: Chiefs 44, 49ers 23
- Expected Score: 49ers 30, Chiefs 26
- Swing: 25 points, 50.9% win probability
Much like Denver, San Francisco was a victim of failing to close drives.
In the 49ers first seven drives, they managed four scores. Unfortunately for them, that only produced 16 points as they settled for three Robbie Gould field goals in addition to one touchdown.
Two red zone interceptions and a fumble in Chiefs territory also hurt San Francisco, as the overall expectation from those drives was certainly higher than 0 points.
On Kansas City’s side, they were hyper-efficient, scoring six touchdowns in their first eight drives. While they certainly outplayed San Francisco yesterday, that kind of offensive explosion was in the upper range of outcomes for the Chiefs offense.