The Unluckiest NFL Teams

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The Unluckiest NFL Teams

With a constantly growing global fanbase, the NFL is adored for its fast pace, high action and late drama. But not every team is always on the end of a lucky escape or positive underdog story. With this in mind, we wanted to investigate which football teams can officially be considered the luckiest and unluckiest in the NFL.

Considering factors such as the total number of late losses, close defeats and overall injuries -- including how many weeks a team has had to go without their starting quarterback -- we’ve ranked and revealed the most and least fortunate NFL franchises. Read on to see where your favorite teams rank! 

The Unluckiest NFL Teams This Season

Taking top spot as the undisputed unluckiest team in the NFL, with an index score of 74.24 out of 100, we have the New York Giants, who currently sit bottom of the NFC East after a poor start to the season. 

Notably, the Giants have suffered an unfortunate 15 injuries since September –- the seventh most in the NFL -- including five weeks without their starting quarterback and have the lowest field-goal percentage of all franchises (66.7%). 

Next up, the Arizona Cardinals are the NFL’s second-unluckiest team, with an index score of 58.7. This is largely due to the franchise’s couple of losses when leading into the fourth quarter and the 10 weeks they’ve been without their starting QB, who is just one of the 16 players they’ve had out injured this season!

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts (58.17) and Washington Commanders (57.99) rank third and fourth, respectively. This comes as the Commanders have had to endure a staggering 16 injuries so far, while the Colts have suffered eight weeks without their starting quarterback, something the Commanders have so far avoided!

Finally, rounding out our five unluckiest NFL teams this season, we have the Buffalo Bills, who, despite sitting second in the AFC East, score 55.84 on our index. Interestingly, the Bills have recorded the league’s joint-second most "close" losses (by fewer than five points) and have a field-goal percentage of just 80%. 

Meanwhile, other teams that rank among the unluckiest include six-time Super Bowl champs the New England Patriots (46) and the New York Jets (44.8), who’ve gone an astonishing 11 weeks without their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, injured during the first game of the season.

The Luckiest NFL Teams This Season

At the other end of our table, we’ve also been able to reveal the NFL’s luckiest teams, based on the number of injuries, close losses and successful key moments this season.

Taking top spot, with a positively low index score of 7.29, we have last season’s Super Bowl winner the Kansas City Chiefs, who’ve yet to endure defeat in overtime and have only recorded six injuries so far -- only the Bucs, 49ers, and Packers have suffered fewer. 

Next up, the Dallas Cowboys take second, with an index score of 8.33, despite losing 11 players to injury. Their positive ranking largely comes about thanks to their 100% field goal conversion rate, as well as their strong defense when leading in overtime and the final quarter. 

Meanwhile, the third-luckiest NFL team this season is the Pittsburgh Steelers (10.57), who’ve only gone one week without their starting QB and are yet to record a close loss or defeat in overtime or the fourth quarter. Following, the Jacksonville Jaguars record an index score of 11.26, thanks to their strong field goal conversion rate (90%) and positive record once leading a game. 

  • Finally, the fifth-luckiest team in the NFL is officially the Las Vegas Raiders (16.79), even after suffering a plethora of injuries.

Of course, we’re only part way through the season, and there’s plenty more action still to take place, so you never know how our table will change in the coming weeks! 

In the meantime, as we approach the latest round of games, why not explore the latest NFL odds and picks for your favorite teams, or discover even more expert insight over on our blog?


To determine the unluckiest teams in the NFL, we analyzed six factors:

  • How many total injuries a team has had.
  • How many times a team has lost by five points or less.
  • How many times a team has lost in overtime.
  • How many times a team has lost when leading into the 4th quarter.
  • A team’s field goal success percentage.
  • How many weeks their QB1 has been injured.

Each team was then ranked for each factor and assigned a weighted index score. Index scores for all factors were then combined for each team, to give an overall ‘luckiness’ score. To collect this data, we used the official NFL scores page, the official NFL’s special teams stats, and Sportrac. All data is correct as of Nov. 20, 2023.

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Peter Welch

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