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In an opening week where even the elite teams in college football looked mortal, the SEC had two big surprises in Texas A&M and Georgia defeating their South Carolinian opponents by big scores.

30 Nov 2004

Week 12 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Here are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through Week 12 of 2004, measured by our proprietary Value Over Average (VOA) system that breaks down every single play and compares a team's performance to the league averaged based on situation in order to determine value over average.  (Explained further here.)

Moving UpGB (21 to 14), MIN (17 to 11)

Moving DownDET (14 to 18), NYG(15 to 19)

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  The Big Four -- New England, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis -- each saw their rating increase after a big win, while 1-10 San Francisco has now fallen way, way, way below the other 31 NFL teams.  Cap payback is a bitch.

For the most part, we've reached the point in the season where things don't move around much.  The top five offenses are the same as last week.  So are the top five defenses.  The top overall teams only move around because Pittsburgh pulls back into a virtual third-place tie with Indianapolis.

3-8 Kansas City is still sticking around at #6 this week, but those who still have a major problem with this ranking should take note of the difference between Kansas City's rating before and after adjustments.  Before adjusting for their difficult schedule, luck recovering fumbles, and weather on special teams, Kansas City's rating is only 3.3%.  That would rank them #13, not only below ten winning teams but also below two 5-6 teams (the Giants and Bills).

Here's a look at some of the teams whose DVOA ratings are significantly affected by adjustments:


TEAM  DVOA  DVOA
RANK
NON-ADJ
 VOA 
VOA
RANK
ADJUST REASONS FOR ADJUSTMENT
KC 18.8% 6 3.3% 13 15.5% Schedule of strong offenses, bad luck recovering fumbles on defense
NE 46.5% 1 35.4% 4 11.1% Schedule of strong defenses, bad luck recovering fumbles on offense
OAK -19.5% 26 -29.6% 31 10.2% All-around difficult schedule
CLE -9.0% 22 -18.9% 26 9.9% Schedule of strong defenses
BAL 21.2% 5 12.9% 9 8.3% Schedule of strong defenses
CIN 1.7% 12 -4.6% 18 6.3% Schedule of strong defenses (somewhat balanced by weak offenses)
 
ATL 1.7% 13 9.5% 10 -7.8% Schedule of weak defenses
TB -8.3% 21 0.0% 17 -8.3% All-around weak schedule
NYG -4.4% 19 4.9% 12 -9.2% Schedule of weak defenses, good luck recovering fumbles on offense
SD 18.1% 7 28.6% 6 -10.5% Schedule of weak defenses
NYJ 16.6% 8 31.0% 5 -14.3% Schedule of weak offenses, good luck recovering fumbles on offense
SEA -5.9% 20 13.9% 8 -19.8% Cupcake schedule only a Nebraska AD could respect, good luck recovering fumbles on defense

Remember when Seattle was our #1 team in defense?  The graphic to the right shows the game-by-game DVOA for Seattle each week and appears in the dictionary next to the word "collapse."

If you remember from the preseason projections, teams that are trending down in DVOA tend to be worse the following season, especially if they have a declining defense.  At this rate, the 2005 NFC West may be the first division in history to send a 6-10 team to the playoffs.

* * * * *

I was going to make some comments about the Denver defense but some other guys said it better than I could so I thought I'd just toss up some comments from an email among some of the FO staff.

Patrick Laverty: "How much snow do you have out there, Jason? Anyone notice one kicker playing in horrible conditions yesterday make a 40 yard field goal and another one also playing in horrible conditions get a game winning 43-yarder blocked? Snow, rain, pressure conditions. Sure doesn't matter to Vinatieri."

Ian Dembsky: "I think the Denver loss was epitomized by the 63 yard pass from Collins to Ronald Curry with 3 minutes to go. Where the HELL was the defense on that one??? He caught the ball 25 yards right down the center of the field, and yet there wasn't a single defender on the entire screen when he caught it. And that's including my wide-screen view. MAN, Denver deserved to lose that game.

By the way, Martin 'Auto-Missica' Grammatica deserves mention here... If Tampa doesn't just cut him, I might fly to Florida and beat the crap out him myself. What in the world happened to him? How does a kicker just lose it like that?"

Patrick: "I thought the defensive back had to have fallen down, but ESPN never showed Curry from snap to catch. With the snow, I wouldn't be surprised if the DB got thrown to the ground right at the line, and everyone else was just worried about their own man. Plus, Denver was protecting the sidelines, knowing that Oakland would try to get out of bounds. But if a DB falls down and someone with Curry's speed goes up the middle, that's exactly what's going to happen.

On another note, what was with all those penalties in the Patriots game? When do the Patriots commit that many 15 yard penalties? I also think that the late hit call against Baltimore on the Troy Brown catch was bad."

Jason Beattie: "It snowed all day yesterday, probably got nearly a foot of snow in total. Elam is a solid kicker, had to deal with a bad snap, but like Ian, I think they lost that game much earlier than that with a total meltdown on defense. Nonetheless, give me Vinatieri any day though, that guy would have somehow made that kick, bad snap and all."

Apropos of nothing, I would like to add that if tight end Jeb Putzier knew any Yiddish, he would not have changed the pronunciation of his name from the original French.  Nobody wants to be known for being more putzy than the other guy.

* * * * *

And now, some site news.  Yesterday, Football Outsiders had the highest one-day total of visitors in history, higher even than the two days that we ran Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ column last November.  We would like to thank the ESPN folks for linking the Snap Judgment QB ratings right from the main window on the front page over the last two weeks, it has really done wonders for our traffic numbers.

For the new people checking out the site for the first time, we hope you'll stick around and visit us regularly.  Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions about the stats and ratings, I answer questions in a semi-regular mailbag feature.

For you veterans, if the site has been slow on Mondays, the increased traffic is the reason.  We've now had to increase our subscription with our server host two straight weeks.  Unfortunately, this means that I once again have to make a plea for the "Buy the Outsiders a Beer" fund, or as we now call it, the "Buy the Outsiders More Server Load" fund.  If you have enjoyed this site a lot over the course of the season, and have never donated, please consider a donation through the Amazon or Paypal boxes on the left side of the page.  You can also help us by using the brand new Football Outsiders Fan Shop, by doing your holiday shopping through Amazon after clicking through our associates links, or by buying an advertisement on our page for your own business (either through Blogads or by emailing me directly at aaron-at-footballoutsiders.com).

* * * * *

Speaking of new people checking out the site, I like to do is go through the referrer logs to see who's talking about us on various message boards.  I'm used to seeing us linked on various Patriots, Packers, and Redskins boards, but there are some new ones this week.  So I hope somebody from Two Bills Drive is reading because I'm going to answer some of your questions about our stats here even though you didn't even ask directly!

  • Buffalo's offensive rating did in fact climb significantly after the Seattle game, from -15.3% to -8.6%.
  • Someone asked why we have Bledsoe listed with 1811 yards instead of 2011 yards and 326 pass attempts instead of 301 pass attempts.  We count sacks and aborted snaps in the passing numbers, but we do not count spikes to stop the clock.  Quarterback rushing is not the reason for the discrepancy, either; you'll notice a separate table for rushing numbers.  I have Bledsoe listed with 29 sacks for 170 yards, as opposed to the NFL numbers of 27 sacks for 158 yards.  I'm not sure why.  Sometimes the league makes a stat change weeks later without telling anyone.  Other times the totals just don't match what you get when you add up play-by-play (last year, for example, a Jamal Lewis fumble just disappeared from his totals).  I also list Bledsoe with 42 yards lost due to three aborted snaps.  Note that when the aborted snap fumble is charged to the center, that doesn't show up in the quarterback stats on our site even though it does still count against that team's passing offense rating.
  • When DPAR (Defense-adjusted Points Above Replacement) is comparing a player to replacement level, it is comparing that player to a generic replacement level across the league for that position, not to the specific second-stringer on his team.  In other words, I'm saying Drew Bledsoe has been worth approximately 9.8 points more than some generic backup, not Shane Matthews specifically.
  • For you non-Bills fans, yes, Shane Matthews is still in the league.  Incredible, I know.

* * * * *

OFFENSE and DEFENSE DVOA are adjusted based on strength of opponent as well as to consider all fumbles, kept or lost, as equal value.  SPECIAL DVOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season.  NON-ADJ TOTAL VOA does not include these adjustments.  DVOA is a better indicator of team quality.  VOA is a better indicator of wins so far.

As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.


TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
NON-ADJ
TOTAL VOA
W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
SPECIAL
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 NE 46.5% 1 35.4% 10-1 29.7% 4 -15.4% 3 1.3% 13
2 PHI 44.0% 2 41.5% 10-1 34.4% 2 1.0% 16 10.6% 2
3 PIT 39.0% 4 45.2% 10-1 15.3% 9 -19.7% 2 4.0% 5
4 IND 39.0% 3 41.9% 8-3 44.3% 1 2.4% 20 -2.9% 25
5 BAL 21.2% 5 12.9% 7-4 -7.5% 24 -22.0% 1 6.8% 4
6 KC 18.8% 6 3.3% 3-8 32.0% 3 10.3% 24 -2.9% 24
7 SD 18.1% 8 28.6% 8-3 23.2% 7 3.0% 21 -2.0% 22
8 NYJ 16.6% 9 31.0% 8-3 23.4% 6 8.0% 23 1.3% 14
9 BUF 14.6% 10 7.6% 5-6 -8.6% 26 -11.7% 5 11.5% 1
10 DEN 11.5% 7 16.1% 7-4 6.9% 11 -5.3% 9 -0.7% 17
11 MIN 1.8% 17 1.2% 7-4 26.6% 5 19.8% 29 -5.1% 31
12 CIN 1.7% 13 -4.6% 5-6 3.6% 12 4.2% 22 2.4% 10
13 ATL 1.7% 11 9.5% 9-2 -3.9% 19 -2.0% 13 3.7% 6
14 GB 1.2% 21 1.2% 7-4 19.0% 8 19.4% 28 1.6% 12
15 JAC 0.3% 12 -5.5% 6-5 -4.0% 20 -5.7% 8 -1.4% 20
16 CAR -0.3% 19 0.6% 4-7 -1.0% 16 -4.6% 10 -4.0% 29
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
NON-ADJ
TOTAL VOA
W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
SPECIAL
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 HOU -0.5% 16 -6.8% 5-6 1.0% 15 2.1% 19 0.6% 15
18 DET -1.9% 14 -5.2% 4-7 -3.5% 17 1.9% 17 3.5% 7
19 NYG -4.4% 15 4.9% 5-6 -5.5% 22 -2.3% 12 -1.1% 19
20 SEA -5.9% 18 13.9% 6-5 -3.7% 18 -1.3% 15 -3.5% 27
21 TB -8.3% 20 0.0% 4-7 -8.4% 25 -3.5% 11 -3.4% 26
22 CLE -9.0% 22 -18.9% 3-8 1.1% 14 12.1% 25 2.0% 11
23 WAS -13.8% 23 -15.2% 3-8 -22.3% 30 -12.3% 4 -3.8% 28
24 TEN -15.2% 24 -12.2% 4-7 -12.4% 27 -2.0% 14 -4.8% 30
25 DAL -16.9% 26 -19.5% 4-7 1.3% 13 18.5% 27 0.3% 16
26 OAK -19.5% 29 -29.6% 4-7 -4.7% 21 12.5% 26 -2.2% 23
27 NO -21.2% 25 -12.3% 4-7 -5.7% 23 23.4% 30 7.9% 3
28 ARI -23.2% 30 -17.4% 4-7 -19.3% 29 2.0% 18 -1.9% 21
29 MIA -24.6% 31 -29.4% 2-9 -34.7% 31 -7.2% 7 2.9% 9
30 CHI -27.4% 27 -27.1% 4-7 -37.9% 32 -7.4% 6 3.1% 8
31 STL -28.6% 28 -27.4% 5-6 15.0% 10 33.4% 32 -10.3% 32
32 SF -47.8% 32 -46.4% 1-10 -17.6% 28 29.2% 31 -1.0% 18

  • ESTIMATED WINS uses a statistic known as "Forest Index" that emphasizes consistency as well as DVOA in the most important specific situations: red zone defense, first quarter offense, and performance in the second half when the score is close.  It then projects a number of wins adjusted to a league-average schedule and a league-average rate of recovering fumbles.  It is based on the number of games a team has played so far, so teams which have not had their bye will appear higher.
  • WEIGHTED DVOA represents an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games.
  • PAST SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents played so far, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative).
  • FUTURE SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents remaining on the schedule, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative).
  • VARIANCE measures the statistical variance of the team's weekly DVOA performance.  Teams are ranked from least consistent (#1, highest variance) to most consistent (#32, smallest variance).


TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L ESTIM.
WINS
RANK WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VARIANCE RANK
1 NE 46.5% 10-1 10.3 1 44.9% 1 7.4% 6 -12.6% 30 19.2% 10
2 PHI 44.0% 10-1 9.8 2 43.1% 2 -1.5% 21 -11.3% 28 14.4% 18
3 PIT 39.0% 10-1 8.2 4 42.8% 3 2.0% 13 9.7% 7 19.0% 11
4 IND 39.0% 8-3 8.6 3 40.7% 4 0.4% 16 7.0% 10 13.1% 22
5 BAL 21.2% 7-4 7.3 6 20.7% 5 12.0% 2 10.2% 5 18.1% 14
6 KC 18.8% 3-8 6.9 9 18.4% 8 9.8% 5 -4.9% 23 19.8% 8
7 SD 18.1% 8-3 7.6 5 20.5% 6 -2.5% 23 10.4% 4 12.9% 24
8 NYJ 16.6% 8-3 7.1 8 14.3% 9 -1.1% 20 10.1% 6 13.2% 21
9 BUF 14.6% 5-6 7.2 7 19.5% 7 4.2% 8 -8.1% 25 28.7% 1
10 DEN 11.5% 7-4 6.3 11 9.1% 10 -2.6% 24 7.2% 9 18.5% 12
11 MIN 1.8% 7-4 6.4 10 2.5% 12 -0.3% 18 -9.5% 26 13.4% 19
12 CIN 1.7% 5-6 5.6 18 4.3% 11 3.5% 11 24.4% 1 12.6% 25
13 ATL 1.7% 9-2 5.8 14 2.4% 13 -7.9% 29 -11.0% 27 26.4% 2
14 GB 1.2% 7-4 5.9 13 1.8% 14 -6.2% 26 3.4% 14 22.5% 6
15 JAC 0.3% 6-5 5.6 16 0.3% 15 10.0% 4 -1.4% 18 5.3% 31
16 CAR -0.3% 4-7 6.1 12 -0.3% 17 -0.8% 19 -15.5% 31 8.7% 30
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L ESTIM.
WINS
RANK WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VARIANCE RANK
17 HOU -0.5% 5-6 5.8 15 -0.2% 16 3.5% 10 3.9% 13 9.3% 29
18 DET -1.9% 4-7 5.6 17 -2.6% 18 2.3% 12 -12.6% 29 23.1% 5
19 NYG -4.4% 5-6 5.1 19 -7.3% 21 0.0% 17 6.2% 11 24.8% 4
20 SEA -5.9% 6-5 4.5 23 -9.0% 22 -15.4% 32 -4.0% 20 12.9% 23
21 TB -8.3% 4-7 5.1 20 -4.5% 19 -12.0% 31 -5.0% 24 10.3% 28
22 CLE -9.0% 3-8 4.8 21 -6.5% 20 13.6% 1 10.8% 3 16.8% 15
23 WAS -13.8% 3-8 3.7 27 -12.6% 23 3.6% 9 -4.7% 21 10.8% 27
24 TEN -15.2% 4-7 3.7 26 -15.5% 24 0.9% 15 9.6% 8 25.3% 3
25 DAL -16.9% 4-7 4.7 22 -20.3% 25 4.8% 7 -0.2% 16 13.3% 20
26 OAK -19.5% 4-7 4.0 25 -23.6% 27 11.0% 3 4.9% 12 19.5% 9
27 NO -21.2% 4-7 4.0 24 -21.7% 26 -7.4% 28 -4.8% 22 3.9% 32
28 ARI -23.2% 4-7 3.6 29 -24.5% 29 -4.9% 25 -18.5% 32 15.9% 16
29 MIA -24.6% 2-9 3.4 30 -23.8% 28 1.3% 14 17.0% 2 15.6% 17
30 CHI -27.4% 4-7 3.0 31 -30.0% 31 -2.0% 22 0.2% 15 18.3% 13
31 STL -28.6% 5-6 3.7 28 -28.1% 30 -6.6% 27 -2.2% 19 21.6% 7
32 SF -47.8% 1-10 1.5 32 -48.0% 32 -11.6% 30 -0.9% 17 11.9% 26

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 30 Nov 2004

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