Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Dec 2005

Week 17 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Somewhat shortened commentary this week on FOXSports.com , although we have a fun discussion of the worst matchups of all time in preparation for Houston playing San Francisco.

Wed noon: I apologize for the somewhat slapdash nature of the tables put up on Tuesday. All numbers below are now fixed, including the correct order for "1st ORDER DVOA" and the first table ordered by WEIGHTED DVOA to reduce trollery. All unit pages and individual stats are updated through Week 16. Defense vs. receivers and offensive/defensive line pages will be updated later tonight.

To save people some time, we remind everyone to put their angry troll hatred into the official zlionsfan angry troll hatred Mad Libs form:

<team> is clearly ranked <too high/too low> because <reason unrelated to DVOA>. <subjective ranking system> is way better than this. <unrelated team-supporting or -denigrating comment, preferably with poor spelling and/or chat-acceptable spelling>

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 16 weeks of 2005, measured by our proprietary Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) system that breaks down every single play and compares a team's performance to the league average based on situation in order to determine value over average. (Explained further here.)

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 TEAMS DVOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver/Mexico City) and week of season.

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. This is the statistic used for the FOXSports.com Power Rankings. The first table on this page is ordered by WEIGHTED DVOA in order to reduce trollery, but rankings for specific units are for the total season. WEIGHTED DVOA for offense, defense, and special teams is available on those separate pages.

IMPORTANT: Beginning with Week 12 of 2005, DVOA is based on second-order opponent adjustments. Until other years are updated with this new system, only first-order DVOA (second table) can be compared to previous seasons.

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


TEAM
TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
SPECIAL
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 IND 39.4% 1 40.6% 1 13-2 32.5% 1 -12.1% 6 -5.3% 31
3 DEN 33.1% 3 38.0% 2 12-3 26.3% 5 -6.8% 12 0.0% 20
4 SEA 30.1% 6 31.3% 3 13-2 29.3% 2 -1.0% 18 -0.2% 22
8 KC 23.5% 9 29.1% 4 9-6 22.6% 6 -2.4% 16 -1.5% 24
10 WAS 20.5% 10 24.3% 5 9-6 6.2% 12 -14.1% 3 0.3% 17
2 CIN 33.4% 2 23.9% 6 11-4 26.7% 4 -5.9% 13 0.8% 14
5 PIT 27.2% 8 22.8% 7 10-5 10.7% 8 -18.5% 2 -2.0% 26
7 NYG 25.3% 5 22.0% 8 10-5 8.8% 9 -10.4% 7 6.1% 3
6 SD 26.0% 4 20.5% 9 9-6 27.1% 3 2.2% 20 1.1% 12
9 JAC 20.9% 7 15.9% 10 11-4 6.3% 11 -12.1% 5 2.5% 10
12 CAR 8.2% 12 11.3% 11 10-5 -8.5% 18 -13.4% 4 3.3% 7
14 NE 6.1% 13 8.9% 12 10-5 16.4% 7 11.5% 26 1.2% 11
11 CHI 13.6% 11 8.2% 13 11-4 -17.9% 29 -30.7% 1 0.9% 13
19 BAL -3.6% 20 6.2% 14 6-9 -16.1% 27 -9.3% 8 3.2% 8
21 MIN -7.6% 21 6.1% 15 8-7 -11.9% 22 -3.6% 15 0.7% 15
13 DAL 6.2% 14 2.0% 16 9-6 1.9% 13 -4.4% 14 -0.1% 21
TEAM
TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
SPECIAL
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
15 TB 2.1% 15 0.0% 17 10-5 -5.7% 16 -9.0% 10 -1.3% 23
16 MIA 0.9% 17 -5.7% 18 8-7 -14.2% 26 -9.0% 9 6.0% 4
18 ATL -3.4% 18 -7.9% 19 8-7 8.1% 10 11.7% 27 0.3% 18
20 OAK -5.8% 19 -8.6% 20 4-11 1.4% 14 2.9% 21 -4.2% 30
17 PHI -2.2% 16 -10.4% 21 6-9 -10.9% 20 -8.0% 11 0.7% 16
24 ARI -17.8% 25 -14.8% 22 5-10 -11.5% 21 4.1% 22 -2.2% 27
26 DET -19.1% 24 -16.5% 23 5-10 -16.8% 28 0.7% 19 -1.6% 25
23 TEN -16.6% 23 -16.9% 24 4-11 -4.4% 15 17.2% 29 5.0% 5
25 BUF -18.1% 26 -17.4% 25 5-10 -18.0% 30 9.3% 25 9.2% 1
22 CLE -14.9% 22 -17.9% 26 5-10 -10.7% 19 6.7% 24 2.6% 9
28 GB -25.5% 29 -23.7% 27 3-12 -12.3% 23 6.0% 23 -7.2% 32
31 HOU -33.5% 31 -24.1% 28 2-13 -13.8% 25 27.2% 32 7.5% 2
27 NYJ -24.8% 27 -25.1% 29 3-12 -23.8% 31 -2.1% 17 -3.0% 28
29 STL -27.8% 28 -27.1% 30 5-10 -7.1% 17 20.9% 30 0.2% 19
30 NO -28.8% 30 -31.8% 31 3-12 -12.9% 24 12.0% 28 -3.8% 29
32 SF -66.2% 32 -60.9% 32 3-12 -47.4% 32 23.0% 31 4.2% 6

  • 1st ORDER DVOA is the "older style" DVOA from before Week 12 2005 which only runs opponent adjustments once. This stat should be used to compare with previous seasons.
  • NON-ADJ VOA is total VOA without any adjustment for opponent strength, luck in recovering fumbles, or the effects of weather and altitude on special teams.
  • 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.
  • PAST SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents played this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • VARIANCE (VAR.) 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 1st ORD
DVOA
RANK NON-ADJ
TOTAL VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
1 IND 39.4% 13-2 37.6% 1 42.3% 13.0 1 -3.2% 21 8.8% 32
2 CIN 33.4% 11-4 32.1% 2 36.4% 11.2 4 -1.9% 19 20.2% 16
3 DEN 33.1% 12-3 30.5% 3 29.6% 11.7 2 6.2% 5 16.6% 25
4 SEA 30.1% 13-2 30.0% 4 39.8% 11.5 3 -11.1% 32 16.7% 24
5 PIT 27.2% 10-5 25.3% 5 29.4% 10.8 6 3.5% 12 22.6% 11
6 SD 26.0% 9-6 24.8% 6 15.6% 10.9 5 9.9% 1 12.3% 30
7 NYG 25.3% 10-5 24.8% 7 27.9% 10.1 8 0.9% 16 21.7% 15
8 KC 23.5% 9-6 19.7% 10 15.7% 10.4 7 5.8% 6 14.7% 27
9 JAC 20.9% 11-4 21.0% 9 22.7% 10.1 9 -2.4% 20 21.8% 14
10 WAS 20.5% 9-6 21.1% 8 9.2% 9.6 10 4.8% 10 26.0% 6
11 CHI 13.6% 11-4 12.3% 11 11.3% 9.2 11 -8.2% 29 25.1% 9
12 CAR 8.2% 10-5 9.9% 12 23.0% 8.6 13 -9.5% 31 19.7% 18
13 DAL 6.2% 9-6 5.2% 14 2.7% 8.3 14 6.6% 4 22.0% 13
14 NE 6.1% 10-5 6.2% 13 5.2% 9.0 12 2.4% 15 18.2% 20
15 TB 2.1% 10-5 2.2% 15 9.8% 7.6 17 -9.3% 30 23.5% 10
16 MIA 0.9% 8-7 0.4% 16 2.6% 8.1 15 -3.7% 22 17.6% 22
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L 1st ORD
DVOA
RANK NON-ADJ
TOTAL VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 PHI -2.2% 6-9 -3.5% 19 -7.3% 7.3 18 3.3% 13 25.7% 7
18 ATL -3.4% 8-7 -0.9% 17 6.3% 7.1 19 -6.1% 27 12.7% 29
19 BAL -3.6% 6-9 -3.3% 18 -8.3% 6.8 21 5.7% 7 29.6% 3
20 OAK -5.8% 4-11 -8.9% 21 -3.7% 6.9 20 8.2% 2 10.7% 31
21 MIN -7.6% 8-7 -6.0% 20 -9.0% 7.8 16 -3.9% 24 22.0% 12
22 CLE -14.9% 5-10 -14.7% 22 -24.5% 6.3 22 5.6% 8 20.1% 17
23 TEN -16.6% 4-11 -16.7% 23 -10.8% 5.3 25 -0.8% 18 17.9% 21
24 ARI -17.8% 5-10 -17.9% 26 -11.2% 5.3 24 -7.9% 28 13.3% 28
25 BUF -18.1% 5-10 -17.8% 25 -17.0% 5.3 26 2.9% 14 34.4% 2
26 DET -19.1% 5-10 -17.2% 24 -20.5% 5.6 23 -3.8% 23 26.6% 5
27 NYJ -24.8% 3-12 -24.4% 28 -32.9% 4.4 30 4.6% 11 16.4% 26
28 GB -25.5% 3-12 -23.3% 27 -23.0% 4.5 29 -0.5% 17 27.1% 4
29 STL -27.8% 5-10 -26.1% 29 -21.2% 4.6 28 -6.0% 26 17.5% 23
30 NO -28.8% 3-12 -26.8% 30 -26.2% 4.9 27 -4.3% 25 25.2% 8
31 HOU -33.5% 2-13 -31.2% 31 -40.2% 3.9 31 8.0% 3 19.6% 19
32 SF -66.2% 3-12 -62.0% 32 -64.8% 1.8 32 5.2% 9 41.2% 1

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 27 Dec 2005

265 comments, Last at 31 Dec 2005, 5:20pm by putnamp

Comments

1
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 6:31pm

First!...Now i'm just curious, what is Mike Vrabel's DVOA as a reciever (including playoff receptions)?

2
by TomC (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 6:32pm

First!

Something's fishy with 1st-order DVOA. Dallas #1, San Fran #8, Indy #26?

3
by TomC (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 6:32pm

Damn you, spenceKarl, damn you to heck!

4
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 6:39pm

No doubt. Cleveland 28th? Something is definitely wrong with those 1st order rankings. The Browns are clearly at least the 27th-best team in the league.

5
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:04pm

Kind of surprising that Indy's DVOA lead over the rest of the field has actually been gaining while they've been losing.

6
by Dylan (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:05pm

This is just a wild guess, but is the 1st order DVOA section of the table in alphabetical order instead of corresponding to the teams?

7
by Sean (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:08pm

Well, San Francisco won a game, and Houston has been playing much better of late. Seeing as those two teams were the primary reasons for Indy's much noted drop out of the top spot earlier in the year, it's not surprising that better play from them has actually helped Indy with their DVOA.

8
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:09pm

Washington is ranked just right. I expect there to be a thread spawned on the Redskins messageboard talking about how your rankings are the best.

After buying PFP 2005, I'm addicted to the DVOA plots showing the DVOA histories of teams. In next years book are we going to see similar plots for offense, defense, and special teams for each team? I'd expect that the Redskins offense has a small upswing, but their defense and special teams has played great the past 4 games.

I'd like to see DVOA and DPAR plots of individual players, but that's probably too much.

9
by Paytonrules (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:11pm

Chicago is clearly ranked too low because Rex Grossman has great poise, which can be measured by my patented poiseometer. My personal ranking system is way better than this. You h8er.

Okay I can do better than that.

10
by Tootie (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:11pm

Are you sure the 1st order DVOA ratings are correct? I'm probably reading them wrong, but the way I'm reading it, they have the Jets listed 4th and the Lions 6th and the 49ers at 8th. Again, I'm probably reading them wrong, but it looks fishy.

11
by pawnking (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:13pm

Things which suprised me about this week's DVOA ranking:
1)Seattle ranked as low as they are. As I understand it, DVOA doesn't know that Indy rested it's starters, and the losses Seattle had should be diminishing in importance. Any explination? Maybe the schedule strength?
2) Washington ranked as high as they are.
3) The Vikings with a positive total DVOA.
4) San Diego still in the top 10 in DVOA.

12
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:14pm

#6
Good call...

Starting from 25 it goes:
PIT, SEA, SD, SF, STL, TB, TEN, WAS

13
by Bencoder (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:21pm

I see SF is overperforming again with 3 wins against expected wins of only 1.8. There's just no quit in those kids!

How many off-season forty-niners will be on Jose Cortez's roofing crew?

14
by Ferg (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:27pm

Re 11: 1. Seattle's only behind Denver and Indy in weighted. That seems exactly right to me.

2. Washington just dominated two good teams in a row. And their only big loss of the season, 36-0 to the Giants, just dropped in importance (if I recall the weighted formula correctly). So this also seems exactly right to me. (Disclaimer: Washington fan.)

15
by bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:28pm

Are other Colts fans concerned about the Strength of Schedule, particularly that Denver has done mighty well with a mighty tough schedule?

Now, officially, it's anathema for a Colts fan to be concerned about Denver in the playoffs. Isn't there some sort of NFL/TV contractual guarantee for a 20+ point Colt victory when these two teams play in the playoffs...? In Indy? So I am not concerned. I am not. No way. Not concerned. But they sure did well against a tough schedule....

In other news, Miami has done better than anybody should have expected, but look at that SOS for them.... and look at all the NFC contenders and their SOS: SEA(32), CAR(31), CHI(29), TB(30) with only the Giants near the top half in terms of difficulty (I am not seriously considering Wash or Dal contenders). If the Colts do make it to the SB, I don't think I'll be half so nervous as during the playoffs.

16
by DNL (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:33pm

The Texans are ranked too low because they will have Reggie Bush next year. The BCS is way better than this (it knows the power of Reggie Bush!). But the Troyjans really sux because they will loose the Rose Bowl to Texas and then Reggie will go to the Texans!

17
by jakurus (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:33pm

Zlionsfan was the one who thought up the 'troll form'? I didn't even know he used FO...

18
by MAW (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:39pm

Whoa. How the hell did the Eagles climb back up into the top 5 special teams?

19
by Devin McCullen (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 7:48pm

I see Aaron's finally conceded to the "math-o-phobic"-o-phobic.

20
by admin :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 8:07pm

Checkin' in from Tanier's house in Philly ... Nah, just forgot to put the words in when I put this together very early this morning. I still like the phrase "math-o-phobic." Keep up the conversation ... won't be able to fully fix the tables and get them up until tomorrow.

21
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 8:15pm

RE: 17

From 2.4% Weighted DVOA to 5.4%...I didn't see the game, but from the boxscore it looks like they punted 10 times for a 50.1 yard average with 4 in the 20. Returned 6 kickoffs for a 31.7 yard average. And held Arizona to 6.6 yards of return on 9 punts.

22
by thad (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 8:17pm

NONONO
You are all wrong.
Dallas is numero uno in first order dvoa.
Exactly where they should be.
The recent tiny, dare i say miniscule, aberrations against the Giants and Redskins were but tiny blips on the DVOA radar screen that should totally be ignored and forgotten.

23
by Jerry (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 8:29pm

Aaron,

If it's not in the Foxsports commentary, what was the Steelers' DVOA against Cleveland Saturday? I would imagine it's one of the best of the year.

24
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 8:35pm

Re #15: I was just looking at strength of schedule. Man, it really really sucks to be an AFC West team this season. Did you realize that all 4 AFC West teams had one of the 10 hardest schedules so far? SD was 1st, Oakland 3rd, Denver 7th, and KC 9th. Only one other division had TWO teams in the top 10 (AFC North, with Baltimore 5th and Cleveland 6th). Aaron, is this year's AFC West the best division in the history of DVOA? I'd bet money they certainly were the toughest division to play in.

Oh, and as for the Indy/Denver thing... I seem to recall Denver playing THREE games in Indy in the past 2 seasons. Twice they were embarassed, and once the Colts were embarassed. Denver dominated Indy so thoroughly that bobbleheads were making Barry Sanders comparisons about QUENTIN GRIFFIN. 45:15 minute time of possession advantage? 150 yards passing- half on one play? Any of this sounding at all familiar? Denver and Indy have traded blowouts in the RCA Dome recently. Just something to make you a little bit more nervous...

25
by michael (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 8:55pm

Re #23--

IIRC, that Denver blowout came after the Colts had clinched... something. The Colts thumpings came in full-strength games.

Just an observation.

26
by bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:04pm

Kibbles,
Not nervous, it was a (ahem) meaningless regular season game. Yeah, "The Q" had me pretty nervous back then, but is he still in football right now? I thought he was cut. Which is a shame, because from my limited viewing of him, the little guy looked pretty good.

Any rate, that regular season game would have been nice to win, and the Colts played their starters if I recall, but it was pretty much assumed that barring collapses by other teams (NE and the inanimate carbon rods--I forget who else), Indy would be hosting Denver in two weeks for the playoffs. Which is how it happened.

What makes me nervous about Denver is Jake's rebirth as a careful, thoughtful, accurate passer with a great porn 'stache. Actually, his official photo has that nasty moustache, but when I have seen games, it seems to have been absorbed by other facial hair... Foutsian, I might say. Maybe he made a Foutsian deal with the devil for his great season? (I bet the other former English majors are rolling at that one!)

See you in Indy (I hope).

27
by Dan Fouts (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:05pm

Bobman, I am gonna hurt you real bad for that one. It's bad enough they made me work the booth with Dennis Miller and his arcane references. Now this?

28
by randomn00b (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:24pm

So, if the Bears are much better than your rankings say they are, where would you rank them?

And where else has your ranking system missed? (due to injury/other factors we don't see)

Note: I'm not a Bears fan, just curious.

29
by WesM (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:25pm

Essentially my post from last week:

Seattle is clearly ranked too low because of your obvious East Coast Bias. How many of you statnerds are west of the Mississippi? The Rockies? I thought so. When the Indy starters were the Seahawks were ahead 14-6, beating number one doesn’t count for much when you’re in the Northwest, eh? The BCS, though also riddled with ECB - the Ducks got screwed, is way better than this. All u Seattle hatres R just jelus of us having Microsoft and Starbucks HQ’s here. Millinares per capita, baby!

Oh, and : Fi-re Mil-len clap clap clapclapclap

30
by pchase (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:28pm

Anyone remember how many points of dvoa to subtract for teams with a position clinched and are resting starters? Aaron looked at it last year I think, I want to say subtract 30 points of dvoa but I dont remember.

31
by Vash (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:36pm

Why is the Future Schedule column marked 1st Order DVOA?

32
by thad (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:52pm

This is interesting.
In the last 6 weeks the Redskins defense has really stepped up.
weeks 1-10 skins were 20th in the NFL with 185 poins given up and an opponents passer rating of 80.0
weeks 11-17 the skins are 6th in the NFL with 88 points given up and an opponents passer rating of 59.6
And its not like they have played a bunch of bad teams. The 6 teams they played have a season to date passer rating of 81.68, slightly higher than the league average.
Their opponents have averaged 22.5 points per game for the year.
If you are a skins fan and if you belive the theory that you want to be peaking in december right before the playoffs you have to be pretty happy right?

33
by Vash (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:53pm

Green Bay note: The Packers now transition from a backup halfback from Liberty to a Pittsburgh throwaway. And when you consider Pittsburgh is still hanging onto Verron Haynes, you can see how bad that really is.

34
by Vash (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:54pm

31: Thad, why the HELL are you referencing conventional stats here?

35
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:57pm

I'm guessing future schedule isn't listed because there is only one game left.

36
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 9:58pm

I retract my last response (#34). I misread the question.

37
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:00pm

RE: 29

That doesn't work. You can't just subtract percentage points because a team is resting startings.

38
by Larry Richards (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:03pm

RE:14... Washington just dominated two good teams in a row. And their only big loss of the season, 36-0 to the Giants,
How do you figure wining by 3 points in overtime is dominating.....Washington 20, Seattle 17...If you go back and look Seattle was dominated by no one and the two loses they had were close and a low score. Even Dallas and New York were low scores...Why??? Because Seattle has one of the best red zone defenses in the NFL

39
by Paul (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:09pm

#15: I partially agree, I don't take Dallas seriously either, as it's pretty tough to be a contender when you're not even going to be in the playoffs...but dismissing the Skins so easily? what are you doing, substituting subjective judgement in place of The Numbers That Never Lie? For shame.

40
by thad (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:16pm

well.....
several reasons,
1. DVOA is great for comparing teams with similar records and disimilar schedules.
The Redskins have played a pretty average cross section of teams recently.
2. Passer rating corrolates really well with points scored.
3. I have noticed the skins defense has played better and thought it would be to much work to go thru the rankings week by week.
Fine the skins defense has gone from minus 6.1 to minus 14.1.
Its not like I said they were playing with more swagger you know.

41
by luz (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:18pm

are you guys considering doing an all pro/pro bowl team based on dvoa/dpar? i'm not sure how much work it would be but i, for one, would be interested in seeing it.

42
by dedkrikit (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:19pm

The Bucs comment sounds like it was inspired by Dr. Z. (not that I didn't enjoy it... jus' sayin')

43
by Larry Richards (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:20pm

RE:36
It seems as Football Outsiders can add or subtract DVOA points as they seem fit. It is a subjective determination on the value of points.......

44
by BG (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:35pm

Colts went 1-15 in 1991 with Jeff George. He was selected in 1990. In 1991 they actually had Tampa's first pick anyway so it didn't matter that they lost the last game of the season. They drafted Entman and Coryatt in 1992.

45
by Zac (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:36pm

If all the starters are resting, wouldn't it be safe to assume that you would subtract 13.3%, which is the average DVOA of replacement level players, according to http://www.footballoutsiders.com/methods.php ?

46
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:39pm

RE: 42

When has FO ever added or subtracted DVOA points as they seem fit?

47
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 10:47pm

RE: 44

That's a big assumption to make for your adjustments. What if the actual replacement players play better than replacement?

48
by Catholic Samurai (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 11:03pm

RE #19:

Give some mad love to DJ Jazzy Jeff while you are there.

49
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 11:06pm

Aaron, in reference to the interesting commentary on the Pats, you gotta update those Offensive/Defensive Line pages.

50
by B (not verified) :: Tue, 12/27/2005 - 11:24pm

Re 25: In 2003, going into week 16, Indy was 11-3, KC was 12-2 (both teams had 1 loss in the division and 2 in the conference, so the tiebreaker would have been common opponents). If Indy had beaten Denver, both teams would end up 13-3 (KC lost to the Vikings that week) Indy would get the tiebreaker due to a better record vs common opponents (Denver being one of those opponents). So Indy definatly had something to play for, a bye-week.

51
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 12:08am

bobman:

What makes me nervous about Denver is Jake’s rebirth as a careful, thoughtful, accurate passer

The idea of thoughtful accurate Jake comes from him having to face his personal nemesi at the ends of this season - San Diego, Miami, Washington @ Dallas, @ Kansas City, @ Oakland. The majority of Jake's interceptions and bonehead throws and poor performances have been against those teams (plus the Bengals, Falcons, Packers and 49ers). Over 80 interceptions in around 40 games - i.e. 55% of his interception production in 30% of his games played.

If Jake plays this weekend, look for at least one INT, and watch out for Bad Jake to show up in the playoffs if the Bengals stay #3 and beat Pittsburgh.

52
by Pio (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 12:56am

Andrew:
I can't comment on all of those, but KC, SD, and Oakland are all in the Bronco's division, so it makes sense that he'd throw a lot of his interceptions against them - he plays them a lot, and they know him a lot better. The rest of those you can probably chalk up to random chance. Note that he's already played Dallas, Washington, KC (twice), SD, Oakland (twice), and Miami, and the Broncos have won all but two of those 8 games. And Washington, KC, SD, and Miami were all in the first few games of the season.

53
by Paytonrules (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:02am

I'm confused about one thing -

Did the Bears get outplayed last week - according to DVOA? Because the Bears went down and Green Bay went up. Is a special teams touchdown really that much of a point changer - at least in this land of fake point and percentages.

54
by Zac (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:02am

46: If they played better than the starters, then they wouldn't be the backups. :) or :-) (I know one of those autoconverts to the smiley picture).

55
by james (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:33am

Couple of observations/opinions
1. Maybe Cowher has learned a thing or two from Belichek and is concentrating on having his team peek at the right time.
2. Denver is slumping man
3. Washington is playing great...just in time for me to believe so I can have my heart ripped out
4. All the divisions which had two teams make the playoffs last year will only have one this year
5. DVOA sux the Aikman Efficiency Ratings are much better than this. Aikman is awesome.
6. I pray that neither Aikman or Irvin ever make the hall of fame..instead every member of that defense should...except Charles Haley he's a dick!
7. Colts should win the superbowl hands down. According to Est wins they are no.1 followed by Denver. Has a qb as deficient as Plummer ever won a SB without playing with a defense mentioned as one of the best of all time(Dilfer, McMahon).
8. Seriously the worst qb's to win the superbowl besides the two prev mentioned since 80 are Theisman,Rypien, Doug Williams, and Hostettler. Ummm...they all played for hall of fame coaches. Shannahan hof coach...not really. No way Denver makes the AFC championship...Plummer is the 5th best qb in his conference's playoffs. How is he supposed to lead a team to a championship? Accordingly, the Colts should romp through the playoffs and through the SB. No way does NE make it to three straight SB's. Something bad is gonna happen to them. It would require too much luck to make that happen.

56
by Pio (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:46am

james: Denver slumping? Beating the Raiders 22-3 ain't that bad. Sure, our wins against the Ravens and the Bills may not seem too convincing, until you consider that the Ravens have looked quite good the past 2 weeks and the Bills just knocked off Cincy.

That's not so say I like our chances at Indy, because our 14th and 21st ranked def against #1 and #2 recievers would probably kill us. But I think we can take any other team in the play-offs.

57
by Yaxley (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:49am

And a Bloodhound Gang reference thrown in for good measure? Even Dennis Miller couldn't catch all the allusions.

58
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:56am

The DVOA page says:

2005 TEAM EFFICIENCY RATINGS
Regular season totals, through Week 15
Revised as of 12/20/2005

I guess it needs to be fixed?

59
by Fnor (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:01am

The Stillers' commentary made me giggle like a schoolgirl. That really made my day.

Also, james, points 1, 2 and 8 are pseudo-scientific "intangible" junk. It's like people who think the entire team's performance is determined by the QB.

You know better than that ;P.

60
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:08am

RE: 4

Where is Cleveland ranked 28th?

61
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:13am

RE: 23

Denver embarrassed Indy in a game where Indy totally laid down. C'mon, Kibbles. We're better than that.
It's similar this year. Should we say Seattle is way better than Indy because they pounded them?
In the games where Indy actually tried, Denver got killed.

62
by admin :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:21am

And now, I would like to answer all questions.

Q: Why is the first order DVOA in the wrong order?

A: This was a little rushed, I had something else I needed to do today.

Q: Why does the team stats page say Week 15 and not Week 16?

A: Because it is Week 15, because I haven't updated it yet, because I had something else I needed to do today.

Q: Why haven't the offensive and defensive line pages been updated?

A: I had something else I needed to do today.

Q: Anyone remember how many points of DVOA to subtract for teams with a position clinched and are resting starters?

A: None. You use the numbers as given and you mention the resting starters in the words in English.

Q: Are you guys considering doing an all pro/pro bowl team based on dvoa/dpar?

A: No, but Michael David Smith does an All-Pro team in Every Play Counts and considers DVOA/DPAR in picking "skill" players.

Q: How the hell did the Eagles climb back up into the top 5 special teams?

A: That's weighted, they aren't in the top 5 in total season special teams.

Q: So, if the Bears are much better than your rankings say they are, where would you rank them?

A: According to the Sufjan Stevens album referenced in the comment, Chicago is number nine. Then again, he has Jacksonville at number five. That's just his personal opinion, I guess.

Q: And a Bloodhound Gang reference thrown in for good measure?

A: Um, I thought I was making a P-Funk reference.

Q: Has anyone from Atlanta apologized yet?

A: Still waiting.

Q: Why did you screw up about what year Jeff George was drafted?

A: Never write a column on an airplane.

Q: When will you fix all this and get the right pages up?

A: Tomorrow. Right now I need a snack and some sleep.

63
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:26am

RE: 60

Hmmm, I stand corrected. I was thinking of 2004. Indy did have something to play for in 2003. But that loss was not a total blowout. Excluding garbage time points, here is the scoring breakdown for the last three games in Indy:

Indy 107 Denver 65

64
by Mikey (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:41am

"Maybe Cowher has learned a thing or two from Belichek and is concentrating on having his team peek at the right time."

Oh Lord, if Cowher ever learned anything from Belichick it would be cause for early uncorking of the New Year's bubbly in this black and gold household.

My highly simplified (but I believe it) explanation of the Steeler season: They were one of football's three elite teams. Then Ben got hurt and they were at best an average team. Now Ben's relatively healthy and they're one of football's three elite teams.

By the way I thought the Sufjan Stevens record was the bore of thye year, but I was delighted to see such an obscure reference in a football column. The intersection of indie rock and football is a narrow but satisfying corner of geekdom.

65
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:41am

Pio:

Jake threw a lot of interceptions @ Kansas City (not hosting) against San Diego, etc. while he was with the Cardinals also. e.g., in 1998 and 2002 @ Kansas City he combined for 5 interceptions in 68 attempts. In 2003, 2004, and 2005 he tossed another 4 interceptions in 108 attempts. It has nothing to do with what team he is on it seems. He is getting better, and throwing fewer picks now than he did with the Cardinals, but he still strugles against the same teams and in the same places as he did 4-7 years ago.

66
by Catfish (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:46am

Re: 42

Umm...no, not quite. I've been following this site for almost two years now, reading pretty much every article, and I have never once seen a writer here "add or subtract DVOA points as they seem fit". Furthermore, the valuation of points isn't at all subjective. The original basis was the system in The Hidden Game of Football, but every modification since has been tested to make sure it improves the systems accuracy. I'm not sure on what basis you founded your post, but I wonder if you're reading the same website as I am.

67
by jebmak (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:56am

This doesn't really belong anywhere, but we have touched upon it. Look under Colorado's kick returns/H Charles.

http://msn.foxsports.com/cfb/boxscore?gameId=200512270018

68
by pchase (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:04am

"Q: Anyone remember how many points of DVOA to subtract for teams with a position clinched and are resting starters?

A: None. You use the numbers as given and you mention the resting starters in the words in English."

Actually what I meant was how much worse do teams perform in games where they had their seed clinched. I linked the article where Aaron looked at this, and in the ten games listed these teams performed roughly 25 points below their season dvoa on average.

69
by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:35am

On the whole adding/subtracting thing:

I think that what they were talking about is using DVOA in order to determine winners or losers of games, similar to the 17% subtraction used when factoring in home field advantage. It isn't done arbitrarily; it's done as a way to attempt to figure out who might win a game.

That would mean that normally you would expect Indy to win, but because you know they're playing away and they're resting starters, they'll have a whopping -42% DVOA for the game.

I wonder - how well does this predict the Buffalo loss last year to Pitt?

70
by Larry Richards (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:35am

RE: 65 Catfish, Evidently not!!!! Guess you must be from the east coast and gullible to believe these points are not subjective.

71
by Larry Richards (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:40am

RE: 65 Catfish, I forgot to mention ….Look at the Seahawks/Colts game and tell me how they come up with their numbers and still left the Colts in #1 position.

72
by Bobman (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:50am

Sid,

RE: #62, don't forget the Colts' MNF win in the snow at Mile High in 2002. I know that when we start talking "three years ago," especially with one of the league's youngest teams (2nd? 3rd? I forget), most of the Colts were in diapers back then and it hardly correlates to a new team with some new coaches, but the soft dome team not only dominates Denver at home, when trying, but they won where they were not supposed to as well.

Plus, I still find it mind-boggling that Vanderjagt has a better career FG %age outdoors than indoors, essentially better away than home. Maybe they try them from farther away at home? Maybe his frostback roots just need some swirling snow in the air (like in that Mile High game in 2002).

73
by Ferg (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:58am

Re 37: I was actually referring to Washington's wins over Dallas and the Giants. Perhaps you were confused because I was responding to two unrelated comments that pawnking made.

I agree-- the WAS-SEA game could have gone either way. (But then, what counts is the way it did go..)

74
by Catfish (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 4:10am

Re: 69&70

I live near Chicago actually, and I'm sure even the most geographically challenged will recognize the fact that Chicago is not, in fact, on the East Coast. I personally don't give a damn about what coast Seattle or any other team is on. Also, your accusation of gullibility is surprising and false. I stated before that I have followed this site for almost two years, during which I've seen Aaron post numerous updates to the DVOA system and a book or two based on these numbers published. I think it's safe to believe that these rankings are objective. I doubt that Aaron & co. made all these numbers up subjectively and lied to publishers to get books printed, all in an effort to inject "East Coast Bias" into objective rankings. If they wanted to make subjective rankings, they could have done so with a lot less bother.

As for your second question, the answer is fairly simple. Before last weeks game, the Colt's WDVOA was 46.6% and Seattle's was 26.3%. Afterwards, the Colt's WDVOA moved to 40.6% and Seattle's to 31.3%. So after one week, Seattle gained 13% on the Colts, which seems pretty good for one victory. The Colts are still #1 because they are still the best team. Seattle has the same record, but against an easier schedule (the easiest in the league). Saturday's game doesn't say much about which team is better, since Indy was resting starters and Seattle was banged up too.

75
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 4:36am

Larry Richards:

The Seahawks barely escaped the Titans and 49ers, to say nothing of their method of beating the Cowboys (opponent tosses a Burger king pick to your DB who runs it back to put you in last second field goal range) and Giants (3 missed field goals by opponent). Then you can throw in the loss to the Jaguars, the near miss of Atlanta, and the escape from St. Louis at the Dome. That's half the games, and that is why their numbers don't show them as higher than Indy, who stomped almost everyone they played before the last two weeks, their only real near miss being Jacksonville in week 2. Indy never had to win by having their opponent throw the game away like the Giants and Cowboys did, and they never had to sweat it out against several of the worst teams in the league.

76
by james (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 4:55am

fnor no. 58,
if you couldnt tell by no. 7 all of the points i made were from my alter ego...dvoa tells me to think differently but the other parts of me are trying to figure out who to place my bets on...since dvoa is "right" less than I would like when it comes to that part of me I need something else...I shouldn't have written those points...they belonged somewhere else...happy trails

77
by james (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:00am

re me;
correction...not point no. 7....i meant point no. 5

78
by emcee fleshy (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:09am

Q: Has anyone from Atlanta apologized yet?
A: Still waiting.

FINE! We're Sorry. we're soooorrrryyyy. . . . We're soooooo unbeleivably sorry. There is no word that can describe how sorry we are.*** Please forgive us!

We don't even want to go to the playoffs, since we now recognize that we deserve no more than a quiet January filled with Maoist-style self-criticism, kicked off by a nice side of crow to go with our New Years' collards.

All we want is a ninth win. Is that too much to ask? It's been FORTY YEARS, for godssake!

How can you hold a grudge against people who watched their team spend TWO first round draft picks on Jeff George? In the name of Aundray Bruce, Peerless Price, Ron Davis, and (don't remind us) Tony Smith, please forgive us!

***actually, there is one word - that word is "Samkon."

79
by Staubach12 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:44am

Larry Richards:

How can the use of a standard algorithm applied identically to every team's plays yield "subjective points"? DVOA may be flawed or favor the wrong elements, but these rankings are objective if they are anything. Are you suggesting that the algorithm assigns some sort of value to the team's proximity to Boston?

Overall, I think that DVOA does a good job at determining how well a team is playing, and I live in San Diego (how's that for having an east coast bias?). But take all of this with a grain of salt.

The NFL is a league of parity, and the difference between the best and the worst teams is much smaller than we tend to imagine. This is why SF almost beat Seattle, and why Seattle could very well beat the Colts. Both are elite teams, but Indy's wins have simply been more solid than Seattle's, and this suggests that Indy is the (slightly) better team.

BTW, since FO claims that home field is worth 17% of DVOA, these rankings are consistent with Seattle beating Indy in Seattle.

80
by Steve (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:59am

Re: 74

"Burger King pick" is an outstanding term. It really needs to be weaved into conversation a lot more, especially when talking about Brett Favre.

81
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 6:39am

lol Brett Favre...its really sad when a hall of fame player has hung on to the point where just thinking baout his play makes me giggle. Its so bad, at one point this season in FF I was starting the DEF playing Favre no matter who it was. And it worked damn well too :). He really really needs to retire, or have a career ending injury in the Preseason or something.

Prediction for next year GB w/ Favre 4wins, w/out Favre 6wins (and an experienced young QB).

82
by Kevo (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 11:14am

Re 78:

I think you're forgetting the part of the algorithm where Aaron tells the computer to underrates Seattle's SOS as well as their performance. He picks random teams every so often so it doesn't look so obvious. Denver and Atlanta are former victims of the East Coast Bias, or ECB, factor within the algorithm.

83
by admin :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 11:20am

Is "Larry Richards" a joke, or have Seattle fans descended that far into self-parody? It's a shame that they can't even enjoy their great football team because of their obsession with "east coast media bias."

84
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 11:27am

The NFL is a league of parity, and the difference between the best and the worst teams is much smaller than we tend to imagine. This is why SF almost beat Seattle, and why Seattle could very well beat the Colts. Both are elite teams, but Indy’s wins have simply been more solid than Seattle’s, and this suggests that Indy is the (slightly) better team.

Oh, how I wish more homers for all teams would read these words before posting!

What DVOA is telling us about Indy and Seattle is that Indy is somewhat more likely to make the three or four plays in a game necessary to create a win. Just look at the Patriots's last two Super Bowls. About three or four plays were all the Panthers and Eagles needed to make to have a total blowout of the Patriots. However, the key difference in the games is that the Patriots made the key plays to get themselves a win, while the Panthers and Eagles didn't. When an interception was needed to stop an opponents drive near the redzone, the Patriots made it. When a 3rd down conversion had to be made to keep a drive going, the Patriots did it. Both games were very close, and if the Panthers and Eagles had made just one or two better decisions, they could easily have won, despite New England making the plays. However, DVOA predicted that not only wouldn't they make the plays needed, but that they also would probably make a poor decision at a key moment (go for and miss a 2 pt conversion; drop back and pass from goal line and take a sack instead of running) - because that was what they had been doing all season - and if they hadn't been doing that all season, they would have a better record by DVOA (and win-loss, and points for/points against).

85
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 12:13pm

RE: 71

I don't understand that either. Vanderjagt is known for not having a strong leg, so I find it odd that he'd do better away from home. The theory was always that he's considered a top FG kicker because he plays in a dome most of the time.
I'd bet that his overall DVOA would be worse if he played in a cold-weather city, current stats notwithstanding.

The Seahawks barely escaped the Titans and 49ers, to say nothing of their method of beating the Cowboys (opponent tosses a Burger king pick to your DB who runs it back to put you in last second field goal range) and Giants (3 missed field goals by opponent).

Let me just say that I'm ^%#$ing fed up with people saying the Giants should have beaten the Seahawks. No they shouldn't have. The game wouldn't have been close if the refs had made several crucial calls correctly. All the major blown calls in that game went in favor of the Giants.
That game never should have gone to overtime in the first place.

86
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 12:15pm

RE: 78

Haha, good post.

We don’t even want to go to the playoffs, since we now recognize that we deserve no more than a quiet January filled with Maoist-style self-criticism, kicked off by a nice side of crow to go with our New Years’ collards.

:D

87
by Paul (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 12:19pm

I have to congratulate Larry Richards. I have gone from being totally ambivalent about the Seahawks to hating them almost as much as I hate the Cowboys. Larry, you got some powerful mojo goin'.

88
by Paul (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 12:23pm

PS And I'm glad the Mariners suck, too.

89
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 12:50pm

And Starbucks, Fish Tacos, and Pearl Jam are way, way overrated.

90
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 12:55pm

I'd like to apologize for all Seahawks fans.

I think there really is a sort of media bias where the Seahawks are concerned (though it's obviously absurd to pick DVOA or as an example of it). It's not an actual bias against the Seahawks, it's more that after going 8-8 for 30 years in a row, they seem more like an afterthought.

For this particular Seahawks team, I think it has the paradoxical result of making evaluations of them about right. Normally a team on a 13-game winning streak that just beat the team with the best record in the NFL would be absurdly overhyped, and their Super Bowl spot would already have been conceded by the media. Likewise, a running back who piles up the yard and touchdown stats that Alexander does would be endlessly talked up for Canton and receive the Brett Favre treatment of being mentioned incongruously in the middle of unrelated games.

Now it would be insane to think the Seahawks are a lock to make it to the Super Bowl -- they almost lost to the 49ers, for example -- and it's hard to see them beating the AFC champion even if they do make it, so it's hard to make a case that they're underrated. What Seahawks fans want is the overrating that is their due. :-)

91
by jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:05pm

How did the last 4 super bowl winners rank under the DVOA system?

92
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:06pm

Sid:

Just because a ref blows one call for a TD, doesn't mean the following play or a subsequent series wouldn't go the same way. I think you are falling for a post hoc ergo propter hoc type fallacy. Seattle was getting walked over up and down the field the entire game. Say the Shockey TD was never called, and the Giants end up with a Field Goal, so they are then down 4 or 5 points at the end of the game. Don't you think they would then go for a TD and a win, rather than working their way into a Feeley FG attempt as time expired with a couple of Tiki runs to run the clock out? Do you reall think Seattle would have stopped them, when they showed every sign of being run over by the Giants at that point? By this line of thinking, the blown call of the refs was what allowed Seattle to win in overtime, because without that blown call, there is a good chance the Giants would go down the field and score a TD as time expired to win the game, rather than Feeley getting the chance to muff 3 kicks.

93
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:13pm

RE: 91 (jeff)

The Pats, Pats, Bucs, and Pats? All the info is there if you look through the previous years of stat pages. But here's your answer...

Total DVOA
2004 Patriots 35.6% #1
2003 Patriots 22.4% #2
2002 Bucs 40.9% #1
2001 Patriots -1.9% #16

Weighted DVOA
2004 Patriots 33.0% #4
2003 Patriots 33.4% #1
2002 Bucs 38.0% #1
2001 Patriots 7.5% #12

The #4 Weighted DVOA for the Pats last year was likely do to the ugly week 15 loss to Miami.

94
by HLF (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:13pm

Um, sorry, fish tacos are delicious.

Seattle does, in my subjective 16 year Seattle resident opinion, lead the nation in three things:

1) Panic weather pronouncements ("we're expecting there's a chance of some snow or high winds tonight -- everyone go home now and stay there at all costs")
2) coffee shops per city block (you just wouldn't believe how many blocks have two or even three) and
3) Paranoid and delusional "they're all out to get us, it's a conspiracy, they all hate us" sports mentalities. If you think the Seahawk fans here are irrational and silly (and completely lacking in perspective), you should see (hear) the Snarling Weasels of Montlake go on about all the conspiracies against them (the U of W Huskies, btw).

On the whole, though, it's the best place to live by a mile.

Hopeless Lions' Fan,
Seattle

95
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:16pm

Walt Pohl:

Respect is so tiresome. Nobody has to respect a team, no matter how many wins it has, that has not played in a consistently impressive manner, or that has failed to get the job done in crucial moments, or relied upon its opponents slipping on a banana peel game after game. And its not disrespectfult to point out weaknesses and criticize them.

We've been criticizing Chicago for the abysmal play of Kyle Orton all year, and how they've been lucky in a number of games to win (like against Tampa Bay). Is this somehow disrespecting what is a very good team?

Respect is right up there with swagger, heart, and poise as being intangible garbage.

And perhaps the media is getting wary of apparent giants screwing the pooch in the playoffs. I'm thinking of the 2001 and 2004 Steelers, the 2002 and 2003 Eagles, the 2003 Chiefs, the 2000 Titans, the 1999 Jaguars, and the 1998 Vikings.

The #1 seeds from each conference have met just once in the Super Bowl since the 12 team playoff format was adopted in 1990. I think since most people are assuming the Colts will make it this year, that it is highly unlikely that Seattle will also, especially given their history you mention.

96
by admin :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:17pm

And any jokes I make about their fans shouldn't obscure the fact that:

a) this is a very good team
b) the history of the Seahawks in the playoffs has no bearing, whatsoever, on how they do in this year's playoffs

Oh, and the "weighted DVOA" for the 2004 Pats is #1 if you look at the playoffs and the regular season rather than just the regular season. Yes, the Miami loss is the reason they were #4.

97
by JonL (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:24pm

The Sufjan Stevens reference is clearly ranked too high because while Illinoise is probably the best album released this year (it's either that or M.I.A.), the fact that Stevens lived in Michigan for much of his life made that album much more personal and beautiful. Holland is one of the best songs I've ever heard. NME is clearly better than DVOA.

98
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:26pm

Andrew: "The #1 seeds from each conference have met just once in the Super Bowl since the 12 team playoff format was adopted in 1990. I think since most people are assuming the Colts will make it this year, that it is highly unlikely that Seattle will also..."
This is a classic example of the gambler's fallacy, it's like saying the odds of a flipped coin coming up heads 5 times in a row are really low, this coin has flipped heads four times in a row, therefore the chance of getting heads again is really low.

Aaron: That reminds me of an offseason request I have. Could you calculate the total DVOA, Weighted DVOA and EW for the superbowl winners and losers over the DVOA era, including playoffs? That is, if you have time once all your other off-season projects are completed.

99
by Tad (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:42pm

I'm not going to apologize for anybody, but I do want to say that not all Seattle fans are paranoid.

I'm pleased that the weighted DVOA has us as close to Indy as it does, quite frankly, considering the close calls and the easier schedule.

One thing to consider about a potential #1 seed matchup in the Super Bowl is that while Indy is the better team, their playoff opponents will surely be better than the Seahawks opponents. Its a much easier road to Detroit in the NFC, so the Hawks might actually be a better bet to make it there than Indy!

100
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 1:43pm

Andrew: Did you mean to reply to someone else? I didn't even use the word respect.

101
by admin :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:30pm

OK, all numbers above now fixed, all unit pages updated, all individual stats updated, offensive and defensive lines and defense vs. receivers coming later tonight. Enjoy.

102
by jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:47pm

Very interesting that the 2001 Pats were a #16 unweighted DVOA. Because I think this years edition resembles the 2001 team more than last years team. Has anyone done an analysis of the DVOA for the second half of the season for recent superbowl winners? You'd think it shouldn't matter but the are some remarkable statistics on how many teams which were 11-0, 12-0 or 13-0 but finished with 2 or more losses didn't win the Super Bowl.

103
by Brock (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:50pm

# 92.

The Giants did outplay the Seahawks at the end of the game and much of OT, but not the entire game. The 2 questionable TDs did give the Giants a chance to win. If Shockey TD didn't count, the score would have been 21-16. The Giants would have gone for a on sides kick considering there was less than 2 minutes left. Most likely the Seahawks would have recovered around midfield. Even if the Seahawks didn't get one 1st down, the Giants probably would have gotten the ball back deep in their own territory instead of around midfield. None of those FGs were chipshots. Two were around 40-45 yds and the other was over 50 yds. The Seahawks also lost a game to the Skins because a missed FG that hit the upright at the end of regulation. Even if Bledsoe didn't throw the pick, that game goes into OT. The Seahawks outplayed the Falcons most of that game. They were up 21-10 and driving. Penalties and a turnover allowed the Falcons back in the game. They did have some close calls against bad teams, but won those games. Any team can lose on a given week especially on the road. They also had some blowouts ( 49ers at home, Eagles, Cardinals twice, Eagles who almost beat NYG the following week, Rams at home ). I agree the Seahawks schedule has been easy. Last year the Eagles also had a easy schedule. They only played 3 teams in the regular season who were above .500 ( Steelers, Ravens, Packers ). The Eagles were a still good team in spite of that. So are the Seahawks.

104
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:58pm

Walt:

No, respect goes together with being underrated, media bias, and all the other buzz words we've seen this year.

B #98:

I'm aware of what you are getting at with the fallacy. I'm just putting forth my theory on why Seattle is not getting its props in the media. The history of the AFC and NFC shows that NFC #1 seeds have gone to the Super Bowl much more frequently than AFC #1 seeds (almost twice as frequently). Since 1978 and the introduction of the wild card round, the #1's have met only in 1993, 1989, 1984, and 1981. Given that most of the occurances were before the addition of the second wild card game, free agency, and the salary cap, those changes seem to have made a dramatic impact on the likelihood of it occurring. Chances are it should happen about once every 4 years in the current environment, but it has actually only happened once in 15 years because upsets of #1 seeds have been so balanced in trading back and forth between conferences. You just have to say it is unlikely to occur this year too.

I'm not convinced Seattle has an easier path though. I think Seattle is more closely matched to the Panthers, Giants, Bears, and Redskins than the Colts are to the Bengals, Steelers, Broncos, or Patriots. The regular season games certainly seemed to show that.

One indicator to watch - the Pythagorean Win total of both teams. The leader in Pythagorean wins has taken home the Lombardi in 11 of the last 15 years (2001 Patriots were the most recent exception, 1998 Vikings, 1992 49ers, and 1990 Bills were the previous ones), and has won 13 of the last 15 Super Bowls once the two upsets in the Conference Championship are accounted for. Right now, Indy has a slight lead of 12.02 to 11.86, with one week to go. If Seattle can pull ahead of Indy in the last week (basically, they must hold their opponent to one fewer touchdown and equal the offensive output, or score about 13 points more than Indy does while holding the same defensive scoring), this certainly has to be thought of as boosting their chances based on past performances.

The Bears, in my view though, have the best chance of upsetting the apple cart of both #1's, like the 2001 Patriots did.

105
by jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 2:58pm

As far as Den-Ind goes, for the math focus of this group, it is surprising to see people discuss games from teams in 2003 and 2004. They were different teams. If you were to try to come up with probabilities, you wouldn't use two or three data points from teams in past years, you would need much more. Too many variables are different (rosters, coaching staffs, injuries, scheduling situations, etc...) -

Fact is, Indy has a very impressive team, but nobody is guaranteed of winning the whole thing. If they are, I suggest you go to Vegas. Indy has a strong chance, but any of the AFC playoff teams are capable of beating Indy, including Denver. Now is it likely to happen? Probably not, but bringing up games in 2003 and 2004 are irrelevant arguments.

106
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:03pm

RE: 105 (jeff)

it is surprising to see people discuss games from teams in 2003 and 2004. They were different teams

Sorry Jeff, but didn't you just compare the 2001 Pats with "this year's edition"?

107
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:06pm

Brock:

The Toomer TD was not questionable. The Shockey TD was.

As to Feeley and onsides kicks, he's had 5 of 10 recovered in his career, which is as good as anyone in the league, and far better than most kickers, who are simply abysmal at this skill. The Giants also recovered 1 of Steve Christie's 2 onsides kicks in 2004. I wouldn't call it "unlikely" for the Giants to recover one.

108
by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:10pm

I'm not a math whiz by any means, but in a one-game series, isn't Pythagorean Wins a virtually useless metric? It seems that that the fact that so many previous Super Bowl winners led the league in P-wins is co-incidental. Obviously, Indy and Seattle are very good football teams, but using P-wins to predict a winner seems to be marginally better than using win percentage.

109
by Bowman (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:12pm

Does anyone know the conditions needed for a San Diego playoff spot? I'm sure it involves a Pitt loss and a KC win, but does anybody know what (unlikely) combination of other wins/losses would let SD in??

110
by jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:18pm

Re 106 -

SpenceKarl - Different Jeff.

111
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:23pm

RE: 109

Sorry to break the news Bowman, but the Chargers are out.

112
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:25pm

RE: 110 (jeff)

Ok. Might want to capitalize one of your letters to distinguish the two.

113
by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:28pm

Andrew, reread my post again. I didn't say they were underrated. I said that the Seahawks were insufficiently overrated to make Seahawk fans happy. I even put a little smiley-face to make it clear that I was joking.

There is not literally a media bias against Seattle (why would there be), but there is a kind of media neglect, simply because the Seahawks have been a mediocre team for so long. This year it means they avoid overhyping. Let me quote myself: "For this particular Seahawks team, I think it has the paradoxical result of making evaluations of them about right."

114
by jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:28pm

Re:106, Well yes I did. The reason is that the 2001 Pats spent the last half of the 2001 season smashing their opponents in just the same fashion as this year. The DVOA analysis has proven statistical accuracy which is not perfect when you consider the 2001 Pats. I was wondering if someone could look back and see if other aberrations existed in the past which would show that the DVOA is flawed where a team just comes together in a big way at the end of the year ala the 2001 and 2005 Pats. The teams are different but same to the extent that they are playing the best defense in the NFL over the last half of the season regardless of the opponent. It will be interesting to see if the Pats can keep the defense rolling agains the Dolphins who are also playing as well as anyone over the last 5 games. Again this may point out a major flaw in or exception to, the DVOA analysis.

115
by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:32pm

The Lions r cleerly rated too low. I much prefer Matt Millen's Power Rankings that go by the number of First Round Wide Recievers on the roster. U guys clearly have anti crap team bias...

I hope you die, u math people!

116
by MDD (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:33pm

Seahawks fans complaining about national media:

Quiet down, skip the next trip to Starbucks/Tullys/etc, look up at the beautiful grey sky, feel the drizzle on your face, and remember that most things not from Seattle are crap.

By hook or by crook, the Sea Chickens have homefield advantage. Did they get a few breaks? Sure they did. Yeah, Bledsoe turned back into a pumpkin at an opportune moment. Sure Feeley missed a few kicks. I'll take it any way, shape or form.

Speaking of those Feeley FGs, I'm not so sure that #2 and #3 are as much chance as people might think. Feeley missed 45 and 54 yarders, with both of 'em short. Game start conditions were 42 degrees, 84% humidity, with a S5 wind, gusts up to 15mph. By 4:30 to 4:45 it's dark and the temperature has dropped into the upper 30s. Maybe the Giants made a mistake defending the south goal rather than the north goal? Maybe kicking FGs into heavy cold air with the wind in your face isn't as good as kicking FGs into heavy cold air with the wind at your back?

There's a reason why Safeco Field decreases HRs to Right Field. Perhaps Qwest Field does the same thing to FGs going North? Might be interesting to investigate. When does DVOA introduce Park Effects?

117
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:39pm

RE: 114 (jeffs)

You're confusing the hell out of me. My post in 106 (if you actually read it), was in response to the jeff in post 105. I thought you and he were the same jeff...As far as your actual question however, I find it too absurd to actually compare the 2001 Patriots with this current team.

118
by nog (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:46pm

#75 if you are always going to bring up good defensive plays or crappy fg's to try to explain why seattle is not very good then should'nt you also bring up the ADMITTED blown TD calls by the officials during the game that if had-been made correctly against the giant that would've made the feildgoals a mute point!! it seems that you need to take an oblective look at the whole picture and not pick out only what fits your view

119
by JeffS - 105 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:47pm

Got it SpenceKarl -

As for the other Jeff's comments, I suppose it is interesting to think about how a team like the 2001 pats and the changing (improvement) of their DVOA through the season led them to their title (but no statistics will ever explain the tuck rule game) and whether or not that has an impact on the eventual results.

However, I'd find it hard to believe that any such phenomenon would be so convincing as to apply it to any team in any year, much less this year's Pats.

120
by jeff (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:47pm

Re 117, Sorry you were confused. I was too. I wasn't actually comparing the teams as much as I was comparing the aspect of the DVOA as it applies to historical teams that start slow and finish with a bang.

121
by nog (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 3:54pm

#91 It would help if you would watch the game before you spoke on the first TD that shokey got his head handed to him was 3rd and seven so trade 3 for 7 and in the second one it was first down, but remember we are talking about Eli manning (not the best road QB in the league) so you cannot not assume anything aka last saturday indy moves down the feild twice but both times has to settle for fg tries. also tiki had a good portion of his yards in the OT and on one run. just thought you might like some facts to go off of

122
by Brock (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 4:35pm

Andrew,

Im my scenario, I gave the Giants the Toomer TD. It's not completely impossible for the Giants to recover the on side kick. My point was this. A reasonable ( though not 100% certain ) conclusion could be made that the Seahawks would have won in regulation if the Shockey TD was overturned.

123
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:08pm

RE: 92

There were two touchdowns handed to the Giants.

3-7-SEA7 (1:14) E.Manning pass to J.Shockey for 7 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Play Challenged by Review Assistant and Upheld.

That would have resulted in a FG try had it been called correctly. Let's assume Feely actually makes the kick. Then the score at that point would have been Seattle 7-6, not Giants 10-7.

1-16-SEA18 (2:03) (Shotgun) E.Manning pass to A.Toomer for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Play Challenged by SEA and Upheld. (Timeout #2 by SEA at 01:59.)

If that had been called correctly, it would have been 2nd and 16 from the Seattle 18. Chances are, the Giants either take the FG to make the score 21-17 Seattle, or they go for the touchdown and likely fail.
If either of those plays had been called correctly, we would probably not have seen an overtime. If they both were called correctly, Seattle would've rolled (of course, if the first one was called correctly, the 2nd play likely would have never have happened).

124
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:15pm

RE: last post

Correction: If the Toomer play had been called correctly, a FG would have made it 21-16.

125
by Adam (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:18pm

Benjamin Disraeli said once there are three kinds of lies. Lies, damned lies and statistics.

Aaron is so gracious in exemplifying this point on a weekly basis for us. Thanks Aaron, your hard work has proved useless.

Meanwhile, pretty much every other power ranking out there had the same group of teams in teh top 5 all year round with the exception of Dr. Z who is in love with his Giants and sporadically throws them into the top 5 after a win, but really, who besides east coast fans read SI?

126
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:23pm

RE: 125

Nice job Adam. You managed to fit the mold of almost every single ignorant FO opponent. You did forget to misspell a word or two though. Try harder next time.

127
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:25pm

One indicator to watch - the Pythagorean Win total of both teams. The leader in Pythagorean wins has taken home the Lombardi in 11 of the last 15 years (2001 Patriots were the most recent exception, 1998 Vikings, 1992 49ers, and 1990 Bills were the previous ones), and has won 13 of the last 15 Super Bowls once the two upsets in the Conference Championship are accounted for. Right now, Indy has a slight lead of 12.02 to 11.86, with one week to go. If Seattle can pull ahead of Indy in the last week (basically, they must hold their opponent to one fewer touchdown and equal the offensive output, or score about 13 points more than Indy does while holding the same defensive scoring), this certainly has to be thought of as boosting their chances based on past performances.

Whether Seattle beats Green Bay by 3 or by 30 (or even wins at all) has little to no impact on their Super Bowl chances unless a player is injured in the process.
I don't put a lot of stock in Pythagorean wins. Obviously, teams that score a lot of points and don't give up a lot of points are good teams, but not all points are equal. What about teams that get out to huge leads and allow a late score or two (while sitting on the ball themselves)? What about teams that furiously run up the score on their opposition?
Obviously, Pythagorean wins will almost always be close to a team's actual win total, but that isn't saying much.
Week 17's meaningless games for Indianapolis and Seattle are unlikely to have any effect on a potential Super Bowl appearance. I will say that Indy is more like to win than Seattle, and by a larger margin (in Week 17).

128
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:27pm

RE: 105

Yes, the rosters are different, but there are a lot of similarities. You cannot draw definitive conclusions based on previous year's games, but they can definitely hint to things...

129
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:29pm

RE: 107

Both the Toomer TD and the Shockey TD were highly questionable calls.

130
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:40pm

126: He did manage to misspell "the" though. That should count for something.

131
by JeffS (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 5:45pm

RE 128 -

I'm not partial to either team, but to beat the Colts, we've seen you need a tenacious pass rush and secondary ability to cover Harrison and Wayne.

I seem to remember the Broncos starting an undrafted free agent to cover Reggie Wayne (and he consequently had like 200+ yds and a couple of scores) and their best pass rusher Trevor Pryce had just gotten back from back surgery earlier in the season. I'd say it would be pretty tough to use this game as a "hint" for any potential future games this season.

132
by David (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 6:08pm

The Houston Texans is clearly ranked too high because they're going to intentionally lose next week even if San Francisco doesn't show up, so they can draft a promising rookie RB to replace their promising third-season RB, who is obviously the cause of all their defensive and OL problems. Ranking teams by their TMQ nicknames is way better than this. Also, the Colts have been exposed by their loss to Seattle. Houston will win the division next year.

133
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 6:15pm

RE: 131

Was that the only game the Colts and Broncos have played over the last few seasons?

134
by emcee fleshy (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 6:22pm

causal possibilities:

1. A causes B
2. A affects B
3. C causes both A and B
4. A and B are unrelated.
5-∞. (various contingent relationships)

Relevance of beating Green Bay by 3 instead of 30? See #3.

135
by JeffS (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 6:44pm

re 133-

That was an example, but you've made me look up stuff to go further with the point-

Jan 4, 2004 - Colts 41, Den 10
Denver has 3 starters on defense from that team (DE Pryce, LB Wilson, current backup SS Sam Brandon) - Manning lights up CBs Lenny Walls and Kelly Herndon throwing 350 yds and 5 TD passes - neither DB is on the team today

Jan 9, 2005 - Colts 49, Den 24
Denver has 4 starters from last year's playoff game (LB Wilson, LB Williams, CB Bailey, S Lynch) - Manning lights up Roc Alexander with Herndon struggling with a broken hand cast. Wayne catches 10 passes for 221 yds and 2 TDs. Roc Alexander is buried on the depth charts below the 3 DBs drafted in 2005

So would one still suggest that the team with 27% and 36% of the current starting defense in those two games will perform in a similar fashion against an offense that has also seen some changes? Come with a better argument than that...

136
by cjfarls (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 6:53pm

Re: 120

I too would be interested in seeing if there is a difference in playoff performance between teams with a consistent high DVOA for the season (or even the 8+ games of weighted DVOA) vs. a team that goes in with 4 or 5 REALLY high DVOA games to end the season, vs. a team with DVOA trending down at the end...

Basically, is there really such thing as "sliding into the playoffs" or "peaking at the right time"?

Would this better depict a team's health status, worn down running backs, etc. that we may be seeing in the Pats, Colts, etc.?

I'm sure Aaron checked future performance in developing his weighted DVOA, but perhaps not in the specifc case of heading into the playoffs and the win-or-go-home implications.

137
by emcee fleshy (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 7:02pm

Re: 136

second that.

138
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 7:18pm

RE: 135

I just don't think this defense is significantly better than those (and the defense would HAVE to be significantly better to give Indy a good game).

Denver defensive DVOAs:
2003: 8th (-10.1%) overall, 11th (-9.2%) against the pass, and 7th (-11.3%) against the run.
2004: 5th (-14.2%) overall, 4th (-18.9%) against the pass, and 7th (-8.8%) against the run.
2005 (through Week 16): 12th (-6.8%) overall, 10th (-9.2%) against the pass, and 17th (-2.9%) against the run.

IOW, they've gotten worse. Maybe we can't infer much from those previous games. After all, the defense has regressed.

139
by NF (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 7:19pm

Here's a really interesting idea for statistical compartison. Create a similarity score for teams based on how close the DVOA for rushing and passing defense and offense are to that of a given team from this season. You might also throw in total variance to compare. That could answer the question of which Pats team this year's is most similar to.

140
by Dave (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 7:57pm

I am sooooo sick of this Colts talk. Fans were celebrating their
'undefeated' season after week eight on this website and some joker even said he wasn't worried about losing any game until the AFC championship game. This has been going on all year, non-stop!
Do any of you have any clue that Indy may just be the same old Indy but have played a Charmin Soft schedule????
Do any of you Indy fans who have been rolling in your victory field all season ever consider for a moment that going
13-3 or whatever would be more impressive against a average difficulty schedule?
Did it occur to any of you in the midst of your celebrating that this may not be over yet?
Or are you just jinxing yourselves well ahead of the playoffs?
I have never witnessed such unabashed shameful hubris like this before, I mean all year you Indy fans are living it up like this 13-3 season or 14-2 season is unprecedented! You expect no resistance at all through the playoffs?

141
by thad (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 8:46pm

Hey can anybody tell me what the exponent is for football in the pythagorian thereom?
thanks

142
by HLF (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 8:47pm

Um, Dave, you haven't seen "unabashed shameful hubris" from sports fans before? Do you were corrective lenses?

143
by HLF (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 8:47pm

Um, er... "wear", not "were"....

144
by Paul (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 9:27pm

Hate to change the subject, but in the Prospectus, when discussing the Eagles, there was a discussion about gaps between top WRs. Last year's largest gap was 777 yards. Santana Moss has 1183 more yards than any other Skin WR. Since Arrington does the team little good, why not trade him for a decent WR? Oops, scratch that- he just shot that plan down with his comments today.. gee, thanks.

145
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 9:28pm

Sid #123:

The Toomer TD was called correctly. It was a TD. Mike Pereia (head of NFL officiating) said it quite distinctly on national TV, at the same time he said that the Shockey one shouldn't have been called a TD, but that there also was no evidence to overturn it. Who are we to believe? Him, or you?

146
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 9:31pm

JeffS:

To evaluate that question, we'd need to know how much of the loss to assign to talent, and how much to scheme. Great talent can be misused in a bad scheme, while a good scheme can turn dross into gold.

147
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 9:34pm

Sid #127:

I don’t put a lot of stock in Pythagorean wins. Obviously, teams that score a lot of points and don’t give up a lot of points are good teams, but not all points are equal. What about teams that get out to huge leads and allow a late score or two (while sitting on the ball themselves)? What about teams that furiously run up the score on their opposition?

Leading in Pythagorean wins is extraordinarily highly correlated to winning the Super Bowl if it is predictive at the end of the regular season 11 out of 15 times, and at the end of the playoffs 13 out of 15 times.

Your what ifs of blowouts and garbage times are apparently factored into the 2.37 exponent that was derived to create the concept.

148
by Fnor (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 9:47pm

As for all the talk about the 2001 Pats and this year's Pats, I think that it's important that DVOA tells us the BEST team, not specifically the team that wins the Super Bowl. Almost always they're supposedly the same, yes, but they're not equivalent. I think it's a bit irresponsible to talk about the Pats showing a flaw in DVOA: I think the Pats simply weren't the best team in football, despite winning the Super Bowl. It makes sense, especially since while not the best in DVOA counting playoffs, they were 4th, definitely striking distance.

149
by thad (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 10:06pm

thanks Andrew

150
by DGL (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 10:13pm

Any statistical analysis is risky when applied too narrowly, be it Pythagorean Wins, FO's expected wins, DVOA, or WDVOA, Aikman ratings, or anything else. So while it's true that Pythagorean Wins were correct in 11 of 15 of the last Super Bowl winners, it's a stretch to say that if Seattle has 7 to 14 more points than their opponent than does Indy, their chances of winning the SB go from 27% (if they don't have the best pythagorean number) to 73% (if they do). I doubt that scoring another TD against the Packers will really triple their chance of winning the SB.

151
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 10:14pm

Paul #144:

James Thrash is a decent 2nd wideout. The Redskins just don't throw to him. But he did have about 2000 yards receiving and 15 TD's in 3 years with the Eagles, and another 650 and 2 TD's in his last year of his previous Redskins stint. He's also really good at end-arounds and reverses (363 yards and 2 TD's in 41 attempts).

But really, Chris Cooley functions as Washington's 2nd receiving option (much like Westbrook did for Philly), and he's only 634 yards behind Moss.

152
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 11:53pm

RE: 140

I don't think there is any question that the Indy defense has improved.

153
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 11:54pm

RE: 147

Yes, they generally are. But it's pretty foolish to say that if Seattle finishes ahead of Indy, they will suddenly have a better chance at winning the Super Bowl.
And like I said before, not all points are created equal.

154
by Sid (not verified) :: Wed, 12/28/2005 - 11:58pm

RE: 145

*rolls eyes* Don't you think the head of officiating might be just a bit biased? He's not going to say the referees made a mistake unless it was an egregious error. On the other hand, I don't have any stock in it one way or the other.
But either way. Take out the Shockey TD and the game would not have gone to overtime. I'm done discussing this.

155
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 12:25am

153: Indy isn't the first team to rest starters before the playoffs. If Seattle jumps ahead of Indy in Pythag wins this weekend, all that means is Seattle's second string is better than Indy's, and that could have a bearing on which team wins the superbowl. Besides, Indy will rest 5-10 starters, the other 30+ starters performance will probabally have an effect on thier playoff performance. Aaron looked at this last year, and his conclusionh was the effects of resting starters are greatly over-rated. It might mean a small dip in a team's DVOA or Pythag wins, but they both still coorelate well with playoff performance.

156
by Rocco (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 12:41am

#154:

The NFL has had no problem in the past admitting refs made mistakes. If Pereira said it was the right call, then it was the right call, unless you and Scully know something else.

And isn't assuming that everything else in the game plays out the same if Shockey's catch is incomplete a textbook example of the fallacy of the pre-conceived outcome? We can't assume that everything in the game happens the same if the score is different, because that score is important. So many things happened in between that play at the end of the half and the rest of the game that you can't assume everything else plays out the same.

157
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 12:50am

RE: 156

My point is that even if you argue it was the right call, it was a very questionable call. And this is all irrelevant.

158
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 12:51am

RE: 156

I didn't assume everything would play out the same way. I think you need to read what I wrote.
If either of those plays had been called correctly, we would probably not have seen an overtime. If they both were called correctly, Seattle would’ve rolled (of course, if the first one was called correctly, the 2nd play likely would have never have happened).

159
by Larry R. (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:04am

Just going over the Aikman Ratings and an interesting rating showed up! Seattle Seahawks were ahead of Indianapolis Colts in both offensive and defensive ratings. If you go to all other Power Rankings and again Indianapolis Colts and Seattle Seahawks are number one and two in the rankings……. Just an interesting observation…….

160
by Rocco (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:10am

#158:

I did look at what you wrote, which is why I responded in the first place.

"The game wouldn’t have been close if the refs had made several crucial calls correctly."

"If either of those plays had been called correctly, we would probably not have seen an overtime."

"Take out the Shockey TD and the game would not have gone to overtime."

Unless my memory is going bad, it's not like Seattle was drilling NY and the Giants were saved only by bad calls. Considering the Giants outgained the Seahawks by over 100 yards that game, I'm pretty sure that's not the case. I don't see why you think Seattle would have rolled. It was a very even game between them both, and the Seahawks were lucky to get chances to win after Feely blew makeable field goals at the end of regulation and OT. I don't get where you say that the Giants would have been rolled without help from the refs.

161
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:19am

because regardless of how well either team was playing, the facts (the score and the game situations) dictate that Seattle would have won in regulation.

162
by Larry R. (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:34am

RE: 160 Sure Seattle give up a lot of mid field yardage, but it’s a fact they give up very little RED ZONE yardage. There is another very important fact the……. final score: Seattle 24, NY Giants 21

163
by Rocco (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 2:02am

161:

Based on what? As evenly as the game was played, there's no way you can assume Seattle rolls. If Seattle was so badly outplaying the Giants and destined to win, why was the game so close at half? I think the Giants might have played a bit differently on offense if they were trailing as opposed to winning. If this were a game that Seattle controlled I'd agree with you.

#162:

Actually, Seattle's defense doesn't give up a ton of yards at midfield- they aren't great, but there are worse teams. And of course, the final score always dictates who is better. Are you okay then with saying Washington is better than Seattle?

164
by admin :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 2:05am

Offensive and defensive line stats now updated through Week 16.

165
by Catfish (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 2:06am

Re: 159

That's probably because Aikman's ratings aren't adjusted for schedule strength. Seattle has played an extremely easy schedule, with 2 games each against St. Louis, Arizona, and San Francisco, with a game each against Tennessee and Houston. That's eight games against opponents ranging from bad to horrendously bad. In non-opponent adjusted rankings, its not surprising that Seattle pulls ahead of Indy, but being able to beat up on bottom-of-the-barrel teams is not very impressive.

166
by Kiel (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 2:34am

im sorry but this system is wack. you can't rank teams by stats. it just doesnt work out how can you base the ranking of a team off plays that happened 12 weeks ago. just go back to ranking them the old way

167
by Larry R. (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 2:46am

RE:165 What do you think this is High School and Collage football????? Sorry this is Pro football even the worst team can win on any given Sunday.

168
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 2:59am

RE: 165

Both Seattle and Indy have played very weak schedules. It's a big reason why they've been so dominant.

169
by putnamp (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 6:55am

NYG also got that gimme touchdown off of the Shockey pass, so let's not get too caught up focusing on the 3 missed FGs. The game didn't start with Feely kicking a FG, there was almost 4 quarters of football leading up to it as well. Two of those FGs were from 45+ and could've been a lot easier to make if the NY offense had done a better job of getting in range.

170
by putnamp (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 6:57am

NM, I see that I was late to the show.

I also see that a big part of the show is, not surprisingly, Andrew bagging on the Seahawks... again.

Nothing to see here, folks, move along.

171
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 9:44am

RE: 155

Well said, B.

172
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 10:26am

Aaron, the "2005 season totals, through Week 15" and "Revised as of 12/20/2005" need to be updated on the Defensive Ratings page.

173
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 10:50am

Re:148 I think it is entirely possible that at the end of the 2001 season the Pats were the best team under the DVOA if you count only the last half of the season. Again can the DVOA predict winners unless it takes into account the hot or peaking team? I am not saying this is a flaw in DVOA but what good is DVOA if we can't use it to predict the outcome of the next game? Also, why shouldn't DVOA be used more productively by determining the hot or peaking team?

174
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:02am

#173:

That's what Weighted DVOA is designed to do.

Actually, the 2001 Pats weren't #1 in Weighted DVOA, either, but they were a lot higher.

175
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:09am

Re:174 True except that the weighting still incorporates the whole season. I don't know if the Pats had the highest DVOA for the last half of 2001 but I do know that they allowed the fewest points per game during that period by a large margin. I think the next step is to have a trend DVOA in which the last 4 or 5 game DVOA is computed. Would you bet against the best DVOA in the NFL over the last 5 games? Wouldn't you like to know which teams have the highest DVOA for the last half of the season heading into the playoffs?

176
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:29am

RE: 175 (jeff)

"I think the next step is to have a trend DVOA in which the last 4 or 5 game DVOA is computed."

Well which do you want to compute? 4 or 5 games? Or do you want the last half? Or do you just want however many games will prove that the 2001 Patriots were the best team? The current weights for the Weighted DVOA were chosen in order to optimize the correlation between Weighted DVOA one week and a team's DVOA the next week. It's not perfect obviously, but it's certainly more efficient that subjectively choosing a number of games to weight.

177
by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:33am

B #155 and Sid:

Philly last year was the Pythagorean Win leader until they started resting starters and lost 20-7 to the Rams and 38-10 to the Bungles. That turned them into #2. They also happened to lose the Super Bowl to the new #1 team, the Patriots, some of their depth issues having been exposed both in those games and in the Super Bowl (bad dime back in Matt Ware, #4 wideout Greg Lewis not quite ready to be the #2 when Pinkston went out of the game, no good replacement for #1 tight end Chad Lewis).

178
by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:38am

Catfish #165:

Actually, beating up on bottom of the barrel teams is very highly correlated to winning championships. What is not so highly correlated is almost losing to bottom of the barrel teams (27-25 over 49ers, 28-24 over Titans).

179
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:42am

I found this interesting; The 2005 Seahawks schedule has been the second easiest of all teams in the annals of DVOA (1998-2005).

1999 STL -13.6%
2005 SEA -10.3%
1998 ARI -9.4%
1998 DAL -9.3%
2000 DEN -9.2%
2000 PHI -9.1%
2005 CAR -8.8%
2004 SEA -8.5%
1999 JAC -8.4%
2001 PIT -8.0%

There's still one game left obviously, but facing Green Bay (-25.5%) should only make their past schedule strength even easier.

[I used 1st-Order DVOA to determine 2005 schedule strength, since 1998-2004 hasn't been updated to 2nd-Order DVOA yet]

180
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:58am

Re:176 I'm not suggesting that any limited number of games should be used to weight the DVOA. I'm simply wondering if it all wouldn't be alot more useful if a trend DVOA of some limited but significant number of games was also thrown into the mix. What good is the DVOA besides making the fans of the top teams feel good if it can't predict the winner of the next game. Maybe it does a pretty good job doing that as it is presently configured but why can't we figure out how to do it even better. Again, using the Pats as an example, they are rated much higher in every other poll than they are under the DVOA system. What is the DVOA missing that leads to that result? If the DVOA is just about a statistical "best team" over the course of a season then we should give a prize to that team regardless if they win the Super Bowl. If we keep track of all these stats to make more accurate predictions then something has got to change.

181
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 12:04pm

RE: 180 (jeff)

Again, using the Pats as an example, they are rated much higher in every other poll than they are under the DVOA system. What is the DVOA missing that leads to that result?

Subjectivity. Read through the site. This is nothing new.

Maybe it does a pretty good job doing that as it is presently configured but why can’t we figure out how to do it even better.

I think Aaron is always looking for ways to improve his system. But if you're seriously suggesting that it needs improvement because of other "Power Rankings" on the internet, then I'm definately finished talking about this.

182
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 12:16pm

Re:181 Why don't you want to talk about the other power rankings? They appear to be statistically as good or nearly as good at predicting winners. What do you think about a trend DVOA category? Clearly you have the access and talent to analyse the DVOA from week to week to create such a stat for yourself but some of the rest of us don't. I think it would be useful but I don't know for sure because the analysis has not been done to my knowledge. Would Aaron's statistical reporting be even more valueable if a trend DVOA was included? And if so would it be an improvement worth the effort?

183
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 12:24pm

RE: 182 (jeff)

"Clearly you have the access and talent to analyse the DVOA from week to week to create such a stat for yourself but some of the rest of us don’t."

I'm just some schmo who enjoys following Football Outsiders as anyone else might.

184
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:03pm

Aaron usually provides graphs of the various playoff team's DVOA trends in the playoff predictions which come in two weeks. It did a nice job demonstrating in 2003 that Indy and the NE were surging past KC, but in 2004 the NE loss at Miami threw off thier trend. As for 2001, I'm sure it would have shown two teams peaking right before the playoffs, the Rams and the Patriots.

185
by Brock (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:08pm

If the Shockey TD was overturned, it would have been 7-6 Seahawks instead of 10-7 NYG at halftime. I don't think the playcalling in the 3rd quarter would have been drastically different. There was still plently of time left in a close game. No one knows if the rest of the game would have been exactly the same. In a close game, 4 points can make a huge difference. That's why the Seahawks might have won that game in regulation.

186
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:13pm

spenceKarl, jeff (#182-183 et al )--

DVOA does have a flaw, which the Outsiders have previously discussed: it can't account for significant personnel changes.

Non-Patriot example from earlier this season: for more than a few weeks, DVOA had Philadelphia in the top half of the league, even after it was obvious that they were struggling, because DVOA still behaved as if a somewhat more healthy Donovan McNabb was throwing passes to Terrell Owens.

Subjective rankings reflected that reality much better, because they could predict that 1. Mike McMahon was no McNabb, and 2. Greg Lewis would leave Eagles' fans wishing that they hadn't cut Freddie Mitchell in the off-season, since Mitchell would at least fight the cornerback for the ball. Nothing that you can tweak about DVOA can measure that kind of drop-off (or pick-up, in the case of the Steelers getting Tommy Madox back onto the bench).

187
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:18pm

RE: 186 (Starshatterer)

"DVOA does have a flaw, which the Outsiders have previously discussed: it can’t account for significant personnel changes.

I never claimed it was flawless.

188
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:27pm

spenceKarl (#187 )--

Well, your reply to jeff:
Again, using the Pats as an example, they are rated much higher in every other poll than they are under the DVOA system. What is the DVOA missing that leads to that result?

Subjectivity. Read through the site. This is nothing new.
...seemed to at east strongly imply that subjectivity was, itself, a flaw, and that DVOA would have none of that.

I was simply pointing out a specific example where subjectivity adds predictive power that whole-team statistical analysis cannot, which would help explain to jeff (and others) why DVOA might not show the resurgent Patriots to be quite as resurgent and he thinks it should.

You may never have claimed that DVOA was flawless, but you sure have been dismissive of a critique that the Outsiders themselves have: "Remember, of course, that any statistical formula is not a replacement for your own judgment, just a tool to use in analyzing performance."

189
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:40pm

RE: 188 (Starhatterer)

In my 187 response, I just got defensive because I thought I was being labeled as somehow who blindly believes DVOA is perfect.

Soon after I was short with jeff in my "Subjectivity" response, I realized that I should have also included the "Remember, of course..." quote that Aaron includes every week.

190
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:46pm

RE: 188 (Starshatterer)

What I was attempting to debate with jeff is that subjectivity should be left out of the calculations for DVOA. It is usefull, but as a seperate compliment to DVOA, not as an incorporated entity.

191
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 1:50pm

complement, not compliment.

192
by admin :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 2:39pm

Defense vs. receivers now updated, that means all stats should be updated through Week 16.

193
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 2:52pm

RE: 177

The Eagles losing the Super Bowl had nothing to do with their ranking in Pythagorean wins. They got outplayed by the Patriots. Period. You think if they had beaten up the Rams, their players all of a sudden would have played better in the Super Bowl? That New England team was one of the best teams we've seen in the last decade.

194
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 3:01pm

jeff:

Re:181 Why don’t you want to talk about the other power rankings? They appear to be statistically as good or nearly as good at predicting winners.

I suggest you investigate that yourself. You'll find it's not the case. Most Power Rankings are a "Flavor of the Week" kind of week, i.e if a team wins, they move up and if they lose, they move down. A Flavor of the Week kind of thing notes that the NE defense has started playing well, and that NE has won 3 of the last 4 SBs. Therefore, they must be ranked top 5. It's kind of stupid, really.

195
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 3:16pm

“Flavor of the Week� kind of week

That should read Flavor of the Week kind of thing

196
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 3:26pm

Sid, just curious, why do you reference the "Week 10 Ratings Shot to Hell" thread in your name?

197
by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 3:37pm

Sid #193:

The Eagles losing the Super Bowl had nothing to do with their ranking in Pythagorean wins. They got outplayed by the Patriots. Period.

Because they had to play some scrubs.

You think if they had beaten up the Rams, their players all of a sudden would have played better in the Super Bowl?

Yes, because that would have shown that the bottom of the depth chart had talent. Instead, we found out they were terrible. When some players off the bottom or off the street (I'm thinking of you Jeff Thomason) were needed in Weeks 16 and 17, and in the Super Bowl, they came up short.

Matt Ware being unable to cover Deion Branch, Jeff Thomason definitely not being Chad Lewis, and Philly losing a deep wideout threat in the 2nd half with Pinkston down are the untold stories of the Super Bowl win by New England. Those things were exposed in Week 16 and 17 when some of the scrubs got some signifcant playing time and lost badly.

198
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 3:52pm

Sid (177): I think you're mixing up cause and effect. Wait, that's not right. I think you're incorrectly inferring a cause and effect relationship between pythag wins and playoff dominance, and then disputing the relationship, which misses the point.
The fact that the Pats lead the league in Pythag wins and won the superbowl are both caused by the same thing, the Patriots were the best team. Since both Superbowl victory and pythag wins have a strong causal relationship with being the best team, it's to be expected that they correlate well with eachother. So if Seattle ends up with the top pythag record this year, that doesn't suddenly change thier chances of winning the superbowl, but it would indicate that they're probably the better team. Of course, since the Colts B squad will most likely trounce the Cardinals, this is all moot anyways.

199
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 3:54pm

RE: 198

That's Andrew that's mixing up cause and effect.

RE: 196

I referenced it a few days ago in a thread, and Firefox auto-fills the boxes. It's going to automatically stay there until I link something else. What would you prefer I link to? :D

200
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 3:57pm

Yes, I agree that the Colts will be the top pythagorean wins team this season. Seattle may not beat Green Bay, while Indianapolis is going to beat Arizona easily, even if Jim Sorgi is under center and Dominic Rhodes is carrying the ball.
BTW, for Andrew:
in 2003, the 2 Super Bowl teams were New England (~10.9 pythag) and Carolina (~8.5 pythag).

201
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 4:28pm

re:194 I must be stupid then because it sounds kind of logical to me. Not to mention that the Pats kicked butt in all those games. I'll say it for you that the competition was poor in three of those games but don't forget who beat San Diego this weekend.

202
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 4:33pm

re:194 I must be stupid then because it sounds kind of logical to me. Not to mention that the Pats kicked butt in all those games. I'll say it for you that the competition was poor in three of those games but don't forget who beat San Diego this weekend and Tampa Bay is an elite team.

203
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 4:40pm

Tampa Bay always plays poorly in cold weather. That would have been a very different game had it been played down in Florida.
I'm just telling you that DVOA is much more accurate than power rankings.

204
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 4:48pm

Re:203 Maybe but maybe not. Dvoa has been pretty poor when you look at Miami and NE. Or how about Buffalo over Cincinnati. Of course the subjective power rankings were also wrong there. Do you know for a fact that there is a significantly better predictive percentage held by the DVOA?

205
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:30pm

What the hell? Yes, there are always upsets.

I never said DVOA is right 100% of the time. Or even 85% of the time. What are you talking about?
You want me to go back and compare Power Rankings to DVOA over the entire season? Which Power Rankings? This is going to take ages.

206
by Quotes from Jeff, fit to the FO Mad Libs form (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:31pm

The 2005 and 2001 Patriots are/were clearly ranked too low because Almost no one picked them to win any games in the playoff and only Joe Theisman picked them to win the Super Bowl...The 2001 Pats spent the last half of the 2001 season smashing their opponents in just the same fashion as this year. The DVOA analysis has proven statistical accuracy which is not perfect when you consider the 2001 Pats...The teams are different but same to the extent that they are playing the best defense in the NFL over the last half of the season regardless of the opponent...What good is the DVOA besides making the fans of the top teams feel good if it can’t predict the winner of the next game...Again, using the Pats as an example, they are rated much higher in every other poll than they are under the DVOA system...Why don’t you want to talk about the other power rankings? They appear to be statistically as good or nearly as good at predicting winners...What good is your highly technical system if it can’t put all of the teams most likely to win in the playoffs at the top by the end of the season.

207
by Slippery Pete (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:37pm

In other words, the Pats have swagger and momentum.

208
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:47pm

jeff, you can't even misspell properly.

209
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:48pm

And wait, did Joe Theismann already pick the Patriots to win the Super Bowl this season?

210
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 5:51pm

Re:206 Thanks guys now I know I'm onto something. Back to my original point...if anyone cares...how can we do it better?

211
by Digit (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 6:02pm

Re:206 Thanks guys now I know I’m onto something. Back to my original point…if anyone cares…how can we do it better?

For starters, stop assuming that Power Rankings by columnists are in any way objective.

212
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 6:19pm

209: Crap. Oh well, I guess there's always next year for my team.

213
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 6:37pm

Okay, that joke didn't work right. I meant to imply that 1) Joe Theismann picked my team to win the Superbowl 2) Joe Theismann is an idiot, therefore, 3) my team won't win the Superbowl. I've re-read sid's comments, and he didn't actually say that Theismann has picked the Patriots, or anybody else, to win the superbowl yet.

214
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 7:01pm

Incidently, if our criteria for judging a "Power Ranking" is whether or not it predicted the 2001 superbowl, we should adopt the "Catherine Bell system" (see link). Honestly, any power ranking that includes pictures of her in a swimsuit is fine by me.

215
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 7:01pm

Re 213 B et al, Theismann was the only major commentator to pick the Pats in 2001. He cited their outstanding defense over the second half of the season.

216
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 7:16pm

RE: 213

Yep. Just was referencing 206.

jeff, I'd like to apologize if you didn't write 206. I assumed you did for some reason.

217
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 7:27pm

RE: 206 (Sid)

Well, he sort of did. Each sentence in bold is a quote from something jeff actually said this and last week.

218
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 7:34pm

Yep. I gathered that from the name. But it didn't have any deliberately misspelled sentences. :(

219
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 7:36pm

Re:217 I don't know who the author of 206 is. They quoted me without really making the same point I've been making about the DVOA.

220
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 7:56pm

RE: 219 (jeff)

Post 206 is merely trying to point out that some of your complaints seem to fit well into the Football Outsiders Mad Libs. And that some of your comments maybe really shouldn't be taken seriously.

221
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 8:09pm

Re:220 Whether you or anyone else wants to take my comments seriously is up to them. I just enjoy the fun of an intellectual discussion (hopefully). How can any enterprise including the DVOA get better except through a process of analysis and discussion. All of my commments were made in all seriousness with the intent to generate an intelligent and interesting response. You'll have to judge for yourself if the responses I got fit the bill. In any case, if anyone has any specific suggestions on how to improve the DVOA like I did, I am ready to provide a polite response which will hopefully be interesting and taken seriously.

222
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 8:19pm

jeff, you may not be familiar with the reference, but you sound exactly like james (rewind a bunch of weeks and read his comments in one of the DVOA threads).

223
by thad (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 8:31pm

points allowed in the last 8 games of 2001
Bears 88
Eagles 93
Niners 100
Skins 110
Pats 112

224
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 8:35pm

RE: 221 (jeff)

I do apologize if I offended you. I did however respond politely last week to your initial post. And I attempted to provide some intellectual (although slightly snide) response this week (176, 181, 190). But I'm sorry, you really haven't provided any valid ideas for DVOA improvement. Now can DVOA be improved in general? Yes, and like I said before, I'm sure Aaron is always looking for ways to make it better. But some of your thoughts I had a hard time embracing.

225
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 8:51pm

Re:223 Great, While my memory is imperfect and the Pats only were the best defense in the AFC the point remains that they had an outstanding last 8 games and the DVOA has no way of accounting accurately enough to help fans predict results when something like that happens. If it does please explain it to me. By the way spenceKarl you did not offend me in the slightest. Your comments are not about me they are about you. I welcome you and your right not to embrace my arguements. Let me hear why you think they are hard to embrace.

226
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 9:04pm

Re:225 If I am right that the 2001 season slipped through the DVOA crack so to speak no one may care since that was only one year and may not happen again. My unexpert opinion is that it is happening again this year and we will see once the playoffs start. If it does then we still may not care since 2 years out of 5 would not be statistically significant if from 2006 to 2015 the DVOA works fine. Nevertheless it would seem logical to factor in something to allow years like 2001 to fit in and not be aberrations.

227
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 9:13pm

I think the one thing that you're still missing in general, is that the total DVOA value isn't meant to be used to make week-to-week picks. Aaron had a great response to you last week, here.

228
by Sid (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 9:27pm

Yep. DVOA was never meant for picking games, although Sean wrote an article about using DVOA to pick against the spread a few weeks ago, IIRC.

229
by ajn (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 10:01pm

what does the recurring "...apples, tasty apples..." byline refer to?

230
by jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 10:10pm

Re:227 Aaron explained not all that convincingly that DVOA was not about picks. He did not really say what it was for. Why do we pay attention to DVOA at all. It is kind of like Sagarin's rating system and is only there for the fun of it. We all look to our favorite team and if it is high in the ratings we derive some pleasure from it and if it's low we can complain. I just think it should be as accurate as possible and as presently configured it isn't. Where do we go from here? We certainly don't have to go anywhere so is this the end of the discussion?

231
by Larry R. (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 10:13pm

RE: 75 &76 - Catfish & Andrew Do you get to watch all these games????? I am amazed that you can evaluate mathematically all these games without watching each one and not be objective. Making statements as you have,leaves me to believe that you are biased against Seattle and have not watched these games especially Seahawks / Cowboys game….. Which they held Dallas to 10 points and come back and won the game by 3 points. The Giants game they won because they also were able to hold the score close enough to win and those field goal tries were out beyond his reach or at his maximum. Almost all of the Seahawks games were low scoring for the opponent because Seattle is very good in the Red Zone.

232
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 10:19pm

RE: 230 (jeff)

"We certainly don’t have to go anywhere so is this the end of the discussion?

It certainly is for me...

233
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 10:36pm

229 -

It's referring to "How 'bout dem apples?" to Falcons fans who when their team was 6-2 and rated as 18th overall came here and complained about the rating and send all their fans to this site to essentially overload any intelligent conversation.

and now the Falcons are 8-7, still ranked 18th overall and still with the 10th offense, bad defense and will miss the playoffs.

234
by admin :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 10:43pm

Golly, when did this turn into a colossal flame war? Apparently I wasn't paying enough attention. I can't even quite figure out what people are arguing about. All I can tell is that someone named Jeff wants DVOA to be more accurate. Don't we all. Unfortunately, I have this thing called a life. I have a wife and a daughter. I like to spend time with them. Sometimes I have to clean the house. I also cook and go grocery shopping. Occasionally I work out so I don't get fat. I also write lots of articles which get me paid and that's how I pay the mortgage. This is why DVOA is not perfect. As far as I can tell, nobody who writes for FO has ever claimed that it was. Whenever someone has specific ideas for how to improve the stats, we love to hear them. But I have a very hard time taking suggestions seriously if they are meant to fix the rating for one team rather than all 32. If there is a further argument here that I need to address, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Oh, and Sid, your cookies are remembering some link you had a zillion comments ago and you need to clear out the "URL" field because it is just linking every single comment of yours to that same URL.

235
by Paul (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:11pm

I'm with 230. If DVOA is not to be used as an aid in picking,i.e predicting, the outcome of games, then it's really puzzling what its purpose is. Insight into why a particular team won, perhaps? I can get Madden to explain that for me. I actually have used DVOA since about week 4 for my Yahoo pick league. I have a comfortable lead. Color me a believer.

236
by bob (not verified) :: Thu, 12/29/2005 - 11:49pm

hey how about those falcons? oops.

237
by Digit (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 12:09am

re: 231

I don't know about Catfish, but Andrew is an Eagles fan who spent last year railing about how the Eagles were stronger than DVOA said, and how it wasn't their fault that they played weak teams, and how the Eagles are so-and-so and how they should beat the Patriots because the Patriots tended to play close games while the Eagles CRUSHED their inferior opponents...

So yes, I'm shaking my head at the railing against the Seahawks- you'd think he, of all people, would know exactly what the Seahawk fans are feeling.

For the Seahawks' sakes, though, I hope their backups play very very well.

238
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 12:20am

Sid #199:

B in #198 explained my point precisely.

If Seattle can surpass Indy in Pythagorean wins in the last game (and they are so close!), it will be a huge indicator that they really are the strongest team in football, and therefore should legitimately be thought of as the FAVORITES in the game, Las Vegas lines, and 13 game win streaks be damned. We can all go back to discussing Manning the choker if that is the case, and you'll see me here pumping up Seattle as the team that will win barring the rearing of the ugly head of dreadful mistakes - TURNOVERS, in which case we could then all talk about how Seattle losing was a huge upset like the 1998 Vikings.

Its not cause and effect at all. Pythagorean wins don't cause Super Bowl victories. They are a highly correlated indicator of Super Bowl victories.

And I don't know where you got your numbers for 2003. Here are the actual Pythagorean win totals of the 14 teams with winning records that year, and their seeding.

Patriots 11.38 (AFC #1)
Chiefs 11.35 (AFC #2)
Packers 11.26 (NFC #4)
Ravens 10.98 (AFC #4)
Titans 10.87 (AFC #5)
Rams 10.81 (NFC #2)
Colts 10.61 (AFC #3)
Eagles 10.43 (NFC #1)
Broncos 10.18 (AFC #6)
Seahawks 9.96 (NFC #5)
Dolphins 9.64 (NO PLAYOFFS)
Vikings 9.54 (NO PLAYOFFS)
Cowboys 9.00 (NFC #6)
Panthers 8.63 (NFC #3)

The Patriots were 1st, the Panthers the 14th.

239
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 12:30am

RE: 234

Yeah, I cleared it. I usually just leave the link there and don't bother changing it.

RE: 235

Picking games is great, but there's more to football than picking games. DVOA is to analyze how well different teams have performed, and analyzing how and why they won. If DVOA were to be made into a tool for picking games, several key changes would have to be made. There are many websites that use software to pick games (I linked one in my name. It's founder and owner is fast eddy, a poster here).
I understand you, believe me. For a while I wanted Aaron to focus on something that would predict game results. I still do. But I don't dwell on it much anymore.

240
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 12:32am

RE: 238

Chances are they won't be trying very hard to win the last game, anyway. A non-motivated team playing a meaningless game with many of its best players benched doesn't mean much to me, whether Seattle wins by 30, loses by 30, or anything in between. And barring injuries, I don't think the outcome will really affect their Super Bowl chances.

241
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 12:37am

Larry R.:

Thanks to the wonders of TIVO, DVR, and Direct TV, and the blessing of a very small front and back yard, an early Sunday mass to attend, and docile young children who still take naps on Sunday afternoon, I've watched about 1/3 of the games playes this season, generally 5-6 per week, plus the extras played on Thursday and Saturday, plus the extra Saints-Giants Monday Night game and the Friday evening Chiefs-Dolphins game. That's 90+ games so far this year. Then I also watch the NFL Films Games of the Week. I'd like to think I've seen enough to know what is going on.

242
by Larry R. (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 1:05am

Re:241 Andrew........Well Andrew, Evidently you missed the Giants/Seahawks and the Cowboys/Seahawks games because you would have seen that the Seahawks held both teams from scoring touchdowns in the red zone (most of the games) but allowed a lot of yardage that was meaningless to a score. This is true for most of their games including the Washington game they lost. The only game they did not do well was the Jacksonville/Seattle game.

243
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 1:18am

Digit #237:

I don’t know about Catfish, but Andrew is an Eagles fan who spent last year railing about how the Eagles were stronger than DVOA said, and how it wasn’t their fault that they played weak teams, and how the Eagles are so-and-so and how they should beat the Patriots because the Patriots tended to play close games while the Eagles CRUSHED their inferior opponents…

I didn't say the Eagles were stronger than DVOA indicated (DVOA had them as I think the #3 or #4 team, and I've never complained about DVOA rankings). I said their weak schedule was not an indication of their ability since they had blown the weak schedule away (9 victories by over 10 points, plus 2 more in the playoffs), and that their schedule in part only looked weak in hindsight, due to the huge losing streaks certain of their formally somewhat good opponents had in the last half of the season (Giants, Vikings, Browns, Lions). I also argued that they would play the Patriots much closer than the 14 point Vegas spread would allow, and that they had a very good chance to beat them, since they had tended to hold opponents to under 21 points (2 excursions in 15 games with starters playing at least some time got beyond that number), while the Patriots had not tended to be able to do that.

I even predicted a specific score for the Super Bowl, and laid on a simple condition for this score. Eagles 27, Patriots 17. Condition: add 3 points for the Patriots and take 3 points away from the Eagles for each Eagle interception or fumble in mid-game (i.e. excluding end of game desperation interceptions), and balancing out oposing turnovers. This prediction ended up very close to the final score - Patriots 23-21 accounting for 2 Eagles interceptions and balanced fumbling of once each vs. an actual 24-21 score. I think if McNabb had taken care of the ball, the Eagles would have won by at least 2 scores. The Eagles were able to move up and down the field at will.

So yes, I’m shaking my head at the railing against the Seahawks- you’d think he, of all people, would know exactly what the Seahawk fans are feeling.

The Seahawks have 7 wins by 10 or more points, including the one against the half strength Colts. They also have close calls against the Titans and 49ers, who were never even close to being good teams, and close calls at home against the Falcons, Cowboys, and Giants. They've allowed opponents to put up over 17 on them 8 times this season, and over 20 6 times, when the simple magic formula for winning in the NFL is hold your opponent to 17 or under. Shawn Alexander is also already up to 350 carries, with another 20+ to probably come next week in a silly attempt to break various records rather than preserving his health for the playoffs (and next year), plus 40-60 more in 2 playoff games - this is a recipe for a running back to blow a tire. So I am ambivelent about them, and the situation is not directly comparable. I have the sense in the back of my mind that they will be upset, especially after watching the last 5 games of the Bears, who just suffocate other teams. I think the Seahawks will win their first game in a decisive manner and they may then be so exicted getting over that hump that they will forget to show up for the Bears.

We'll see. I'll say more about this after this weekend and the wild card round when we have a better sense of everything.

244
by Sid (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 1:28am

RE: 243

The team that wins the turnover margin usually wins the game, anyway. Interceptions can often come when behind and trying to make a comeback.

245
by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 1:38am

Andrew, this is where your logic just seems glaringly inconsistent, in list format, because I'm too lazy to be more formal:

- The Bears beat New Orleans by a mere 20-17. Is the difference between one close road win and two close road wins over bad teams really that big of a deal?

- The Bears have "suffocate(d) other teams" in the last 5 games to the tune of 13-10, 19-7, 9-21(loss), 16-3, and 24-17? That doesn't look suffocating to me, it looks like sound beatings of 2 so-so teams (16-3 Atlanta, and GB in Chicago, 19-7) and a pretty sound beating from Pittsburgh.

- I think the fact that your conclusion is that the seahawks "may then be so excited getting over that hump" that they'll lose. That's your coup de grace? Is there any statistical evidence for that one? Surely this isn't a mere manifestation for the scorn you've shown the Seahawks since Day 1, is it? No, of course not.

- It's Shaun, not Shawn, Alexander. Sorry, not trying to be pedantic, but I've seen it misspelled half a dozen times, and I'm drawing the line on not correcting people.

- I think the recipe for winning is to hold your opponents to less points than you, not to hold them under 17. If it were, then the Bears would be 2-3 in their last 5 games, not 4-1. Anyone care to setup a beatpaths.com-like formula for teams who score more than 17 and whose opponents score less than 17, and calculates that into some sort of winning percentage? I'm guessing the correlation won't be very convincing, but I'm not too proud to see for myself.

246
by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 1:39am

Correction:

I think the fact that your conclusion is that the seahawks “may then be so excited getting over that hump� that they’ll lose __is sorely lacking__.

247
by thad (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 1:41am

Andrew,
the Bears?
While not wanting to disagree with you on any of your points about the Seahawks I have a hard time believing in the Bears. Their offense, while it may have played a bit better lately, is still horrible. I simply would not want to see a team that cannot score 17 points a game go to the Super Bowl.
If i had to pick a team that could beat Seattle, and it kills me to say this, it would be the Redskins.

248
by JeffS (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 1:43am

It seems to me that DVOA comparisons might provide a sense of probability that a team might win a game, but not an actual prediction (and that would take a fair amount of analysis to sort through). The 2001 Pats may be a situation where the team with an unlikely chance of winning it all actually did- While I respect the Pats 3 Super Bowl victories, I can not say they were absolutely the best team through those seasons- and DVOA, for the most part, backs up that hypothesis. It is fairly ridiculous to try to explain in total accuracy a specific past season's result with DVOA as a predictor - it is a basic and simple abuse of the statistic.

249
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 1:57am

Larry #242:

Evidently you missed the Giants/Seahawks and the Cowboys/Seahawks games

I watched both of those games. Since I live in Philly, we get a steady diet of Giants and Cowboys games.

the Seahawks held both teams from scoring touchdowns in the red zone (most of the games) but allowed a lot of yardage that was meaningless to a score

Where do you guys come up with this silly crap?

Giants Game.
Drives inside the 35 (i.e. distance for a 53 yd. FG attempt):
1) end at 21, score 39 yd. FG
2) drive for TD
3) end at 25, score 42 yd. FG
4) drive for TD
5) end at 22, missed 40 yd. FG
6) end at 27, missed 45 yd. FG

No drives inside the redzone were stopped by the Seahawks. 4 drives were stopped shy of the redzone, and Feeley made 2 FG, and missed 2 potential game winning FG. Seattle had no sacks or tackles for a loss before either missed field goal, so it wasn't as if Seattle forced them into bad field position (frankly, 40 and 45 yd. field goals should be made 90% of the time by a good kicker - almost all of a good kicker's misses should all come on field goals of 45+ yards, where the expectation will be for a 50-60% conversion percentage), and the first was taken on 3rd down as time expired, so the Giants could have run another play had they desired to. So 6 drives of 15 crossed the 35 yard line, and 4 other drives went 30-45 yards, allowing the Giants to pin the Seahwks further back in bad field position behind their own 25 (not meaningless yards in other words).

The Seahawks had just 4 drives (out of 16) cross the 35 yard line - their 3 TD drives, and the FG drive to end the game. These were their only drives of more than 30 yards. Most of the game, they were simply unable to move the ball, while the Giants moved seemingly at will. Under normal circumstances (i.e. opposing kicker not missing 3 game winning field goals), that is a recipe for losing.

Now the Cowboys game.
Drives inside the 35 (i.e. distance for a 53 yd. FG attempt):
1) drive for TD
2) end at 10, missed 29 yd. FG
3) end at 3, score 21 yd. FG

The Cowboys only had 1 drive over 25 yards aside from these three. Again, I'm missing on where the meaningless yardage was allowed, or the great red-zone play that prevented points being put on the board ocurred. Almost all of Dallas' yards wer eon scoring drives. Had Jose Cortez been an actual NFL caliber kicker, and not a player who comes with the warning "Caution: Place-Kicker Like Substance, Handle With Extreme Care, Do Not Count on for Chip-Shot Field Goals", Seattle would never have won. Of Course, Parcells appears to not have a clue about kickers.

The Redskins game went the same way. Every Redskins drive inside the 35 ended in points except one blocked field goal. The Redskins had 5 drives resulting in scores or a field goal attempt. Just 66 yards were registered on two promising drives that Seattle managed to strangle. Most of the game, Washington simply moved up and down the field as they pleased, and ended the drive with points on the board.

250
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 3:08am

putnamp:

I know it is Shaun. My hands are sometimes going faster than my brain.

I realize the Bears scoring was not impressive. However, in all the games I've watched of them, once the Bears get just a slight lead (say 3 or 7 points), there is a sense to the game and how it is played that the other team really doesn't have a chance. They've allowed just 61 points at home (and 24 of those were to the Bengals). The leaves 104 on the road in 7 games. Even their popgun offense produces 14+ points in about half their road games and games overall.

The Bears beat New Orleans by a mere 20-17. Is the difference between one close road win and two close road wins over bad teams really that big of a deal?

The Bears were not an offensively gifted team, although the Rex Grossman model is at least mediocre in this regard, rather than bad. I'm not judging them by the same standard in describing what I see them doing as I am with teams driven to victory by offensive scoring and merely very good defenses. A team driven by offensive scoring will generally allow opponents at least 3-4 scoring drives, so they must usually make at least 21 points to win. The Bears have held 10 of 15 opponents to under 14 points, and have only allowed over 20 points 3 times (all losses unsuprisingly with their pop-gun offense). The Bears have only been beat when an opponent has scored 3 touchdowns and/or had 4 total scoring drives. They are 0-4 in those games, but 11-1 in all other games.

The Bears have “suffocate(d) other teams� in the last 5 games to the tune of 13-10, 19-7, 9-21(loss), 16-3, and 24-17? That doesn’t look suffocating to me, it looks like sound beatings of 2 so-so teams (16-3 Atlanta, and GB in Chicago, 19-7) and a pretty sound beating from Pittsburgh.

The Suffocation as I am describing it wasn't the offensive scoring but simply the absence of a real chance for the other team to win, because so many of their drives were 3 or 4 and out.

I think the fact that your conclusion is that the seahawks “may then be so excited getting over that hump� that they’ll lose. That’s your coup de grace? Is there any statistical evidence for that one? Surely this isn’t a mere manifestation for the scorn you’ve shown the Seahawks since Day 1, is it?

Answer to questions. No, no, and no. Its all just a gut feeling based on what I have seen.

I think the recipe for winning is to hold your opponents to less points than you, not to hold them under 17. If it were, then the Bears would be 2-3 in their last 5 games, not 4-1. Anyone care to setup a beatpaths.com-like formula for teams who score more than 17 and whose opponents score less than 17, and calculates that into some sort of winning percentage? I’m guessing the correlation won’t be very convincing, but I’m not too proud to see for myself.

Year in and year out, the typical NFL game will have 41 points of offense. If you hold you opponent to 17 or less, your offense can have a subpar day and still win. This year, 198 of 240 victorious teams scored at least 18 points, so only 42 out of 240 times did a team hold its opponent to 17 or less points and lose. That's an 83% winning percentage, which is equivalent to a 13 win season. 81 of 240 winning teams failed to hold their opponents to under 17 points, but still won. That's a 66% percentage, equivalent to a 10 or 11 win season. Teams scored over 17 points 279 times, and won 198 of those games (71%).

Any way you look at it, this is a simple recipe for success in terms of setting a game plan goal. If you can hold your opponents to under 17 points 71% of the time and win 81% of those games, and then also win 34% of the time you fail to do this, that is equivalent to winning 11 games in a season.

Obviously if you score more points in a game you win, but that is rather trite and stupid for having any predictive power ahead of time.

251
by Larry R. (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 7:42am

re:249 Sorry Andrew, but the game I watched was SEA/NY in Seattle and at the end of the first qtr it was 7-0 Seattle, at the end of the first half it was 10 -7 NY, at the end of the 3rd qtr it was 14-13 Seattle and at the end regulation it was 21-21 and at the end of OT it was 24-21 Seattle!!!!!! Jay Feely kicked two FG and made them and missed two (J.Feely 54 yard field goal is No Good and J.Feely 45 yard field goal is No Good then Seattle drove down and J.Brown 36 yard field goal is GOOD) End of game! Again 24 – 21. Tell me where NY dominated this game!!!!

252
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 12:56pm

When I watched the NY/Sea game, I thought that Seattle would struggle playing a good team with a real QB. It really was Eli's inaccuracy that kept Seattle in the game. Then I looked at thier slate of potential NFC opponents and realized that wouldn't matter too much, until the Superbowl, that is.

253
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 1:29pm

Larry R.:

Where did NY dominate? With an ability to make something out of their drives besides 3 or 4 and out. The ability to get first downs and move down the field is an important indicator of success in football. Out of 15 drives, NY had just one 3 and out drive, one 4 down drive ending in an interception, and one 4 down drive ending in FG. 9 of the drives crossed midfield.

Seattle had 16 drives. 7 drives went 3 and out. 1 drive went 3 and ended in a fumble. 1 drive went 3 and ended in an interception. 1 drive went 2 and ended at the half. Just 4 drives crossed midfield (the 4 scoring drives).

Like I said, NY dominated on the field in terms of being able to move the ball consistently and put themselves in a position to win. They won the turnover battle. They were able to place themselves in more opportunities to score. They didn't lose because Seattle "held them out of the end zone" but because their kicker couldn't get it done in 3 tries for the win. Kicks over 40 yards are made at least 60% of the time. The probability of missing 3 is less than 5%.

254
by Larry R. (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 3:15pm

253 Andrew..... Guess I am missing the point. I thought the goal was to gather points and Seattle ended with the most points.... You don't get points unless you get into the end zone or kick through the up-rights and New York did not reach that goal.

255
by Paul (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 6:02pm

Sid: I was totally joking when I said Madden is all I need to explain why teams win. I agree that DVOA works as a great tool to explain why teams succeed/don't. But fortuitously, it also works well as a predictor.

Aaron: The flame wars are not all negative. 250+ comments technical in nature would be heavy lifting. The less intellectual posts give a welcome respite, and, in fact, mirror the intense emotion needed, in combination with superior decision making, to succeed in the NFL. Plus, I just can't wait to see reactions when somebody's favorite team falls flat. You've derived some satisfaction from the Falcon's season, right?

256
by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 8:45pm

#253,

Actually given your figures it's 6.4%. Though on that note I don't know how relevant that number really is, either way. If the best you can do to analyze a situation is look at the yardage and the success rate, that may work for you.

What I mean is: What's the success rate of field goals over 40 and under 50, in opposing stadiums, with whatever wind and air conditions were in Seattle, late, with the game on the line or in OT?

257
by Moridin (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 9:23pm

Re: 254
Well, for one thing, points scored doesn't indicate any more than they won. For an extreme case, the Viking/Giant game. I don't think anybody considers the Vikings dominant in that game, just lucky (having less offensive yards than points in the first half is a fairly good indicator on that). Also, the Dallas/Redskin game, where the Redskins did nothing for 9/10ths of the game, and then scored twice in a minute to win. Both victories were not by the team that dominated on offense and defense for most, if not all, of the game, just by ones that pull something out of their #$@.

A lot of people say that home field is also worth 3 pts of the score, which to me means any home team in an overtime game would've lost that game on the road or in a neatral arena (of course, different circumstances, different game).

Seattle's soft schedule plus close wins in some that shouldn't have been that close lead a lot of people to think they aren't as good as they seem. I think they and Chicago will meet, and I think they'll win, baring a Chicago interception fest. But I think it'll only be by a couple of points.

Re: jeff, I think what you seem to be asking for is a 2nd weighted DVOA (for me at least, in addition to the other) that is spread across the last like 6 games, rather than all of them. This would allow you to see how a team is playing in a very near term, versus having some earlier games even count at all. I would be curious to see how teams do that blaze into the playoffs do vs teams that limp in, historically. It would be a bit jumpy, with less data points though.

I don't know how much extra work that would take, but its my suggestion anyway.

258
by putnamp (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 11:11pm

I'm not a Chicago fan, obviously, so I haven't kept up on them, but have they sustained any major injuries?

Something to consider is that Seattle played much of the season without Darrell Jackson, was also missing Bobby Engram during the tougher games in their schedule, and has had a skeleton crew playing in the secondary for much of the season, as well. Many of those injury situations will perceivably be resolved by the time they play Chicago, assuming both teams make it that far.

259
by B (not verified) :: Fri, 12/30/2005 - 11:21pm

258: They lost thier starting QB in training camp. He returned to the starting lineup a couple weeks back.

260
by mactbone (not verified) :: Sat, 12/31/2005 - 1:04am

Well, Rex Grossman is kind of a major injury. Mark Bradley was sort of a major injury considering he was becoming the starter and had his breakout game when he was lost for the year. Thomas Jones missed time with injury, then Benson went out leading to Adrian Peterson's 100 yard performance. Jerry Azumah, presumed starting CB and kick returner missed time at the beginning of the year. Mike Brown has now missed three games. The starting guards have missed alternate time but Garza, the FA from Atl has filled in every time.

Basically, Grossman and Azumah seemed like huge deals at the beginning of the season. They haven't been that bad except that the return game has been seriously deficient and it seems like even when Azumah is playing he doesn't have the same stuff he had last year or the year before.

I's also like to say that the Bears did well with those injuries because players stepped up. They had depth. Nathan Vasher goes from nickel back to starter and becomes a Pro Bowler. Kyle Orton doesn't completely throw games away - he just sucks.

The 'Hawks have gotten production from their recievers despite the loss of Jackson and Engram. Joey turns into a great signing when he may not have gotten much playing time.

What I'm saying is that teams play with injuries throughout the year and except for the Steelers with a healthy Big Ben it doesn't seem like many of them affect teams the way we like to think they do. Not to mention it doesn't matter how good a team's secondary is when they face the Bears. 20 passes for maybe 150 yards doesn't have a whole lot of room to get worse.

261
by Larry R. (not verified) :: Sat, 12/31/2005 - 3:21am

re:257,Moridin....I guess New York is 10-5, Minnesota is 8-7 and Seattle is 13-2 pretty much tells the story.... If it was lucky Seattle would not have that kind of record. Yes there is some luck in it but what team has not had a game or two that had some type of luck involved?????

262
by George Raab (not verified) :: Sat, 12/31/2005 - 1:57pm

Patriots 3 peat! You're power ranking system is crap! Everyone else has the Pats in the top five or better! Aaron from Sharon, where's the love! How can anybody have the Patriots @ 14th in the rankings? You must be a closet Colts Fan. What is the Patriots record in the play-offs against teams they lost to in the regular season? I bet the Steelers could tell you. Wise up! Aaron from Sharon.

263
by thad (not verified) :: Sat, 12/31/2005 - 2:28pm

re 262
They are 19th in points allowed.
They are 26th in oppnents passer rating.
In other words, they cannot stop the pass. How far do you think they will get in the playoffs without an offense that put up 500 points?
It is very very hard to win in the playoffs with a glaring defensive weakness.

264
by B (not verified) :: Sat, 12/31/2005 - 4:23pm

262 and other Pats trolls: Please take your comments elsewhere. I don't need your bad karma screwing up my Patriots chances in the playoffs like Atlanta trolls did to the Falcons in week 10.

265
by putnamp (not verified) :: Sat, 12/31/2005 - 5:20pm

I guess my point wasn't as much that Seattle had suffered injuries that affected their past performance, but that they're getting back many of the players that were out. Of course, their offense hasn't seen any major breakdowns, so you can probably expect the approximate same out of that unit as you've been seeing.

For some reason I thought Kyle Orton was put in in favor of Rex Grossman, not due to injury. Glad I know the truth now :)