NFL Week 9 Bad Beat Rankings: Unluckiest Teams Include Packers, Texans, More

NFL Week 9 Bad Beat Rankings: Unluckiest Teams Include Packers, Texans, More article feature image

Mike Mulholland/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers.

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 9.

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NFL Luck Rankings: Week 9 Results

Prior to Monday Night Football, our luck rankings have covered 103 games, including 52 games where teams had a large discrepancy in luck.

In Week 9, the unluckier team went 5-5-2 against the spread (ATS) when looking at closing lines. That includes a 3-1 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 31-21 ATS (59.6%). That improves to 16-8 ATS (66.7%) when the luck ranking difference is 16 or more places apart.

Week 9’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Saints and Ravens has a difference of 22 places, making it the largest luck discrepancy of the week. That means this game falls into the bucket where the Saints, as the unlucky team, cover the spread 66.7% of the time.

Top NFL Bad Beats of Week 9

Win probability swings indicate the difference in win percentage between how teams actually performed vs. how the final score indicates they performed

1. Green Bay Packers (-4)

  • Actual Result:Lions 15, Packers 9
  • Expected Score: Packers 25, Lions 16
  • Swing: 15 points, 58.5% win probability

The Detroit Lions came into the game as the unluckiest team in the NFL, but that should change after this week.

Instead, it was Green Bay who fared as the unluckiest team of Week 9. If you held a Packers -4 ticket, you should rightly feel aggrieved with this bad beat.

Not only did the Packers out-gain the Lions by 135 yards, but it seemed nearly every break went Detroit's way.

On the Packers' first drive, Rodgers threw an interception in the end zone on first and goal at the 5-yard line. The very next drive, AJ Dillon was stuffed at the 1-yard line twice before Rodgers again threw an interception.

The Packers were expected to come away with an average of 11.4 points from those situations. If you replay those situations 10,000 times over, those results are certainly worst-case scenarios.

The Packers also had two drives into the red zone result in a turnover on downs and a field goal.

2. Houston Texans (+14)

  • Actual Result:Eagles 29, Texans 17
  • Expected Score: Eagles 23, Texans 22
  • Swing: 11 points, 37.1% win probability

There's no doubt the Eagles are the better team, but the ball did bounce a bit their way on Thursday.

After their opening drive touchdown, the Texans had two drives into the red zone, as well as another drive into Eagles' territory, and came away with only three points.

Ordinarily, those drives would result in an average of 11.5 points for a team of Houston's quality, meaning it scored 8.5 points below expectation on those drives alone.

Meanwhile, the Eagles either scored touchdowns, which by definition is above the average expectation, or punted on three-and-outs from well within their own territory. The punting drives produced a net negative expectation for Philadelphia.

The only exceptions were a missed 54-yard field goal and a fumble at the Houston 27-yard line. Those balanced out the Eagles' good luck a bit, but not enough to overcome their touchdown luck and poor three-and-out drives.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)

  • Actual Result:Buccaneers 16, Rams 13
  • Expected Score: Buccaneers 27, Rams 8
  • Swing: 16 points, 33.4% win probability

Tom Brady and company trailed most of the game and scored a late touchdown to achieve a push against the spread. However, they thoroughly dominated the Rams and were a bit unlucky to only achieve a push.

The Buccaneers' stifling defense held the Rams to two field goals and a long Cooper Kupp touchdown. That 69-yard score is not "expected" to happen, even though it's certainly a possible outcome.

That incredibly good fortune was balanced by a bit of bad fortune for the Rams. Two drives into the red zone ended in field goals, producing 3.4 points below expectation. However, every other Rams drive had a net negative overall expectation for them.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay settled for four field-goal attempts, only three of which were successful, as well as a drive ending on downs at the Rams' 6-yard line. Tampa Bay had one other drive end on downs in opposing territory.

All in all, the Bucs out-gained the Rams 323-206, while doubling them on first downs (18-9).

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