After a Week 4 of the NFL season that offered just one, albeit all-time, Bad Beat, Week 5 served up almost too many to choose from. Whittling the absolute mess of betting slip carnage that happened between 1 p.m and midnight EST Sunday was quite the feat, but it’s what I get paid for. It turns out, the two overtime games were easy selections.
Here, for your enjoyment, schadenfreude or frustration are the two worst Bad Beats for Week 5:
Cleveland Browns 12, Baltimore Ravens 9
Spread: Ravens -3
The Ravens rolled into this game looking like legitimate Super Bowl contenders a month into the season. Sure, they’d been bested by the Cincinnati Bengals back in Week 3, but the Bengals are good. We all see that now. While the Browns aren’t complete garbage as they have been the last three seasons, they’re still far from the AFC’s elite. With three points to give, what could go wrong for Baltimore?
Well, being completely unable to score a touchdown is a real problem. Gregg Williams, in spite of his ability to continually get a job, is overvalued as a defensive coordinator and there’s just no excuse for settling for three field goals against a defense for which he is calling the plays. Coming into this game, Joe Flacco was enjoying the best start to the regular season of his career. Williams and his defense were consistently able to do enough to keep him from getting the Ravens into the paint.
Browns have played in overtime three times this season, tied with the 2002 Buffalo Bills, 1995 Indianapolis Colts and 1987 Green Bay Packers for most such games in a team’s first five games of a season since regular-season overtime rule was instituted in 1974. New Cardiac Kids.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 8, 2018
Baltimore’s defense played as expected against a team with talent, but fielding a rookie quarterback. Holding an NFL team to nine points should be a guaranteed win, but when your offense converts just four third downs in the entire game, that’s not enough.
Still, in overtime and facing a Hue Jackson coached team, Baltimore bettors had to feel good. All you needed was a field goal and you cover. Cleveland gets the ball first and, of course, goes three-and-out and that should be it. The Ravens drive down for the gamewinner and you can start planning your spending spree. Only nine plays later, Baltimore punts. With the new 10-minute overtime rule, there’s only 4:26 left in the game and tie is as good as a loss. Uh-oh.
None to fear, the Browns stumble around and punt again. The Ravens still have 3:32 to drive into Justin Tucker’s field goal range, which is pretty much anywhere on Cleveland’s side of the 50. You breath a sigh of relief. You shouldn’t.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) October 8, 2018
The Ravens go three-and-out and it doesn’t matter that Baker Mayfield drives down and sets up a gamewinning field goal for the Browns. You’ve already lost money at that point because, barring a ridiculous turnover (which, let’s face it, with Cleveland was entirely possible), you were losing your bet. The Browns winning was just a smack to an already reddened face.
Houston Texans 19, Dallas Cowboys 16
Spread: Texans -3
In spite of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth’s exclamations, this game was a dumpster fire. After watching elite offenses, defenses and playcallers battle it out in Seattle, Cincinnati, Kansas City and even Detroit and New Jersey (the Jets), seeing Jason Garrett and Bill O’Brien match whits in this one was like finding not one, but two floaters in the hot tub.
Overtime…Because America needs more Bill O’Brien versus Jason Garrett.
— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) October 8, 2018
The key play, of course, came in overtime. Dallas possessed the ball and moved down to Houston’s 42, but on a third-and-one, didn’t pick up the first down. Last week, against this same Texans squad, Frank Reich of the Indianapolis Colts decided to go for it on fourth-and-short, calling a pass play and didn’t get it. The Texans then drove down for the winning field goal in overtime.
But just a few hours before, after a couple of bad referee spots that should have already ended the game, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay faced a fourth-and-one on his end of the field. Instead of punting the ball away, he too chose to go for it. Unlike Reich the week before, he did the basic quarterback sneak which seems to work about 90 percent of the time. Well, guess what, it worked and the Rams are 5-0.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) October 8, 2018
Now, that was with Jared Goff, who, in no way, is built like Dak Prescott. You can understand why Reich might not want to punch Luck in there after he’s just got back from an injury that cost him a season. But Prescott is made for the quarterback sneak. You run it and if you can’t pick up a yard with the game on the line and with one of the better offensive lines in football, you don’t deserve to win.
Or, you know, you punt and don’t deserve to win. Guess what Garrett did?
It took a busted defense too where DeAndre Hopkins practically ended the game on his own, but the Texans hit the field goal in overtime, covered and Cowboys bettors were sent home to work on their Jason Garrett voodoo dolls.
Jason Garrett punts in Madden.
— Christopher Fittz (@apoplecticfittz) October 8, 2018
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