NFL Expected Points: Week 3 (9/25/17)

By Frank Brank @realfrankbrank
It took three weeks of games, but we finally found a decent upset (post-game) in the NFL. For a refresher on how Expected Points works, check out our first publication which explains what we take into account. On top of the upset, there were two teams that had less than a one percent chance to win. In a strange week of blowouts and overtime games, let's break down NFL Week 3 Expected Points.

Ravens 1.6 - Jaguars 36.2
To no surprise, the Ravens virtually had no chance to win this game with an expected point value of 1.6 and 0.1% odds to win. They gained a collective 186 yards on offense combined with 88 penalty yards. Most NFL fans know Joe Flacco doesn't fare well with traveling and playing on the road. Apparently, flying all the way to London on exasperated that issue.

Flacco completed eight throws on 18 attempts, two of those attempts went into the hands of the Jags' defense, and compiled an embarrassing 28 yards passing. Ryan Mallet replaced Flacco as the game got out of hand and didn't do much more. Mallet did complete six of nine throws, but they only went for 36 yards.

It was an easy road for the Jaguars who seemingly had the ball all game. Jacksonville may be the most confusing team in the NFL at Week 3 from an expectancy standpoint. They've played in three blowouts, two of which were in their favor.

Falcons 19.2 - Lions 27.7
As stated above, this is the first big upset, from an Expected Points aspect, of the season. It certainly won't be the last, but this one was unique. Though the Lions were expected to win by more than a touchdown, it wasn't their side of the game that was unexpected as they scored 26 points in the game.

The Falcons exceeded their expectancy by eleven points to take home the important division road win. In one regard, the Falcons did out-gain the Lions by more than one hundred yards in the game; however, their -3 turnover differential inside the game should have slowed them down more than it apparently had.

Also, their distribution of yards was a contradicting aspect for Expected Points. For example, the Falcons compiled 73% of their game yardage in five of their eleven drives. Other possessions for Atlanta consisted of drives of 0, 19, 13, 23, and 9 yards. Given the odd distribution of yardage amongst their drives, they scored more points than expected for a team with 428 yards and three turnovers.

Another turning point in the game was Detroit's inability to cash in. They scored one touchdown and kicked four field goals. If one field goal is converted into six points, they win the game.