NFL Expected Points: Week 2 (9/18/17)

By Frank Brank @realfrankbrank
Similar to last week, there was only one game on Sunday where a near coin flip went in the wrong direction, accoridng to Expected Points, and that game could have easily been flipped as time ran out. I'll break down Week 2 Expected Points totals below. For a refresher on how Expected Points works, check out our first publication which explains what we take into account.

Dolphins 21.9 - Chargers 22.7
The Chargers have found themselves down a possession with the length of the field to go quite a bit the last few seasons. To no surprise, that was the case again this week. Philip Rivers was able to pull it off this time, giving his kicker, Younghoe Koo, a chance at one-point victory. Koo missed the kick and the Chargers lost, yet another, close game.

They deserved to win it, though. The Chargers out-gained the Dolphins 367 to 336 and owned the win margin, according to Expected Points, with 52.1% odds. Neither team registered a turnover, but Rivers finds himself on another losing end. As one of the better NFL quarterbacks over the last decade, Rivers has found himself on the wrong side of circumstance too often.

Cowboys 15.9 - Broncos 25.4
The most misleading score from Sunday was the Broncos' point total. Denver undoubtedly dominated the game, but they were fortunate the game was a bit closer than the final score. The reason for the discrepancy was in part Aqib Talib's pick six during the fourth quarter.

The other discrepancy was Denver's ability to shorten the field. Their defense was able to limit the Cowboys offensively, which allowed them to take advantage of 23-yard and 51-yard touchdown drives.

Titans 32.0 - Jaguars 11.6
It's seemed to be the “Jaguars year” since they drafted Blake Bortles. However, we've learned that playing at high levels in the NFL is difficult without a quarterback. When Bortles plays well, the Jaguars typically compete. When Blake Bortles continues to be the typical Blake Bortles we are used to, the Jaguars will fail to compete.

The Jags only held an 8.2% chance to win in their home opener against Tennessee after dismantling a poor Texans offense last week. Bortles threw two interceptions and completed 20 throws on 34 attempts for only 223 yards. Coming out of halftime, Bortles threw an interceptions, and the Jaguars' offense punted three times. All the while, the Titans were in the process of scoring on six straight drives, including four straight touchdown drives.

The Titans' defense eventually threw in the towel in the fourth quarter a bit while the game was out of reach. Otherwise, Jacksonville could have experienced an even worse outcome. This was easily the most disappointing outcome of the week.