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» Futures: UCLA QB Brett Hundley

Beyond the immediate considerations of Hundley's potential, the quarterback's tape raises larger questions about the position.

25 Dec 2007

Week 16 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

OK, so the Patriots are the best team in the league again this week. Which team ranks second? For most of the season, the answer was either Indianapolis or Dallas. I think most of us would say Indianapolis right now. However, according to weighted DVOA -- the formula that gives less weight to games early in the season -- the second-best team in the NFL right now is Jacksonville.

Yes, the Jaguars are as hot as they look. They have a DVOA of 30% or higher in seven straight games. This week's victory over Oakland comes out with the second-highest single-game DVOA of the year, right behind Denver's blowout of Kansas City in Week 14 and just ahead of Minnesota's blowout of San Diego in Week 9. The Jaguars only have two games below 0% all year, and one of them -- their 13-7 win over Atlanta in Week 2 -- just dropped out of the weighted DVOA equation.

"Uh-oh," say Patriots fans. "Are we going to have to face this team? If the Chargers win this week, the Steelers and Jaguars have a rematch, and we probably have to face the winner of that game. Based on what we've seen in recent weeks, the Jaguars would have to be favored to beat Pittsburgh." That's okay, fellow Pats fans. The Colts don't get off easy either. The second-hottest team in the NFL is the team the Colts will probably host in their first playoff game: San Diego.

They aren't quite as hot as the Jaguars, but the Chargers have now moved up into third place in weighted DVOA, ahead of the Colts. The Chargers have a DVOA of 10% or higher in seven straight games. They have only three games below 0% all year, and one of them -- New England's emotional "Go suck on it, Spygate" game in Week 2 -- just dropped out of the weighted DVOA equation.

Home-field advantage and an extra week of rest still make New England and Indianapolis the clear favorites in the second-round AFC playoff games, but the Jaguars and Chargers are both very dangerous right now. (The Chargers have a subjective asterisk, of course, since many of us are expecting Norv Turner to do something stupid come playoff time. I don't think anyone expects that from Jack Del Rio.)

By the way, the Jaguars and Chargers will probably jump a bit in weighted DVOA again next week. Each team's worst loss of the year took place in Week 9, and next week Week 9 bumps down a significant step in the weighted DVOA equation (from 95 percent strength to 70 percent strength).

Remarkably, our playoff odds equation still gives the Patriots just a 70 percent chance of finishing undefeated, even though the Giants (like the Cowboys, Colts, and a few other teams) have been given a "sit starters" penalty for Week 17. New England's weighted DVOA is no longer so huge that it mucks up the equation, but I still think there's something missing from the system, because their chances of winning this week have to be higher than that. Perhaps the "sit starters" penalty is not high enough... we'll have to work on it in the off-season.

* * * * *

Here are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 16 weeks of 2007, 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 for opponent and consider all fumbles, kept or lost, as equal value. SPECIAL TEAMS DVOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season.

To save people some time, we request that you please use the following format for all complaints:

<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>


TEAM
TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
W-L WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 NE 54.3% 1 15-0 45.2% 1 41.8% 1 -8.9% 7 3.5% 7
2 IND 36.8% 2 13-2 28.0% 4 29.2% 2 -12.4% 2 -4.9% 30
3 DAL 29.3% 3 13-2 25.3% 5 22.9% 3 -6.4% 8 0.0% 15
4 JAC 29.2% 5 11-4 37.1% 2 20.2% 4 -5.4% 11 3.6% 5
5 SD 22.7% 7 10-5 30.4% 3 5.6% 13 -11.1% 5 6.0% 3
6 TB 20.2% 6 9-6 17.2% 6 8.3% 9 -12.4% 3 -0.5% 16
7 PIT 19.2% 8 10-5 12.9% 9 6.5% 12 -14.5% 1 -1.8% 19
8 GB 18.2% 4 12-3 15.1% 8 16.0% 5 0.1% 17 2.4% 11
9 SEA 16.5% 9 10-5 16.3% 7 4.3% 15 -9.4% 6 2.9% 8
10 PHI 9.0% 11 7-8 7.8% 12 10.3% 7 -3.1% 14 -4.5% 28
11 MIN 8.0% 10 8-7 12.2% 10 4.9% 14 -0.9% 16 2.2% 12
12 CLE 4.8% 12 9-6 11.8% 11 7.8% 10 8.7% 22 5.7% 4
13 TEN 4.1% 13 9-6 -2.2% 18 -6.2% 21 -12.3% 4 -2.0% 20
14 WAS 3.8% 14 8-7 4.8% 14 0.3% 17 -3.5% 13 0.1% 14
15 CIN 1.2% 15 6-9 1.1% 17 10.2% 8 9.0% 23 0.1% 13
16 NYG -1.9% 18 10-5 -3.3% 19 -4.6% 20 -4.3% 12 -1.6% 18
TEAM
TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
W-L WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 NO -3.1% 17 7-8 7.1% 13 12.7% 6 13.1% 31 -2.7% 23
18 DEN -4.0% 16 6-9 -6.7% 21 6.6% 11 7.7% 21 -2.9% 25
19 BUF -4.5% 19 7-8 2.3% 16 -6.9% 22 1.1% 19 3.5% 6
20 CHI -6.0% 21 6-9 4.3% 15 -19.1% 31 -5.6% 10 7.5% 1
21 HOU -6.1% 20 7-8 -5.3% 20 3.9% 16 12.7% 30 2.7% 10
22 BAL -11.1% 22 4-11 -15.3% 23 -14.7% 26 -6.3% 9 -2.8% 24
23 ARI -11.2% 23 7-8 -18.2% 24 -1.1% 18 7.6% 20 -2.6% 22
24 DET -18.5% 24 7-8 -23.5% 25 -1.2% 19 12.5% 29 -4.8% 29
25 KC -19.5% 25 4-11 -24.6% 27 -17.8% 29 -1.4% 15 -3.0% 26
26 NYJ -20.4% 26 3-12 -13.0% 22 -11.6% 24 11.6% 27 2.8% 9
27 CAR -24.0% 28 6-9 -24.3% 26 -17.8% 30 0.9% 18 -5.2% 31
28 ATL -26.9% 29 3-12 -29.6% 30 -14.2% 25 11.3% 26 -1.3% 17
29 MIA -28.8% 30 1-14 -31.2% 32 -10.0% 23 16.4% 32 -2.5% 21
30 OAK -30.1% 27 4-11 -29.5% 29 -16.5% 27 9.3% 24 -4.3% 27
31 STL -33.2% 31 3-12 -27.8% 28 -16.6% 28 10.9% 25 -5.6% 32
32 SF -35.8% 32 5-10 -31.1% 31 -29.8% 32 12.1% 28 6.1% 2

  • 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.
  • 2007 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 and includes the final, as-yet-unplayed Week 17 opponent.
  • VARIANCE measures the statistical variance of the team's weekly DVOA performance. Teams are ranked from least consistent (#1, highest variance) to most consistent (#32, smallest variance).


TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK 2007
SCHEDULE
RANK VAR. RANK
1 NE 54.3% 15-0 55.4% 13.6 1 0.4% 18 14.6% 16
2 IND 36.8% 13-2 35.7% 12.2 2 2.1% 12 15.6% 14
3 DAL 29.3% 13-2 33.5% 10.8 4 -2.1% 22 17.2% 11
4 JAC 29.2% 11-4 26.9% 11.3 3 1.2% 17 11.6% 25
5 SD 22.7% 10-5 18.9% 9.3 7 0.1% 19 23.2% 3
6 TB 20.2% 9-6 24.7% 9.7 6 -7.6% 30 21.2% 6
7 PIT 19.2% 10-5 20.7% 8.8 10 -3.0% 23 24.1% 2
8 GB 18.2% 12-3 24.7% 9.9 5 -5.0% 28 22.5% 5
9 SEA 16.5% 10-5 24.5% 9.2 8 -11.1% 32 10.5% 27
10 PHI 9.0% 7-8 1.0% 9.0 9 4.9% 4 16.8% 12
11 MIN 8.0% 8-7 12.2% 8.7 11 -4.1% 26 20.0% 8
12 CLE 4.8% 9-6 6.9% 8.3 12 -5.0% 29 6.3% 32
13 TEN 4.1% 9-6 0.8% 8.0 14 2.2% 11 16.4% 13
14 WAS 3.8% 8-7 -2.6% 7.5 17 5.2% 2 8.6% 30
15 CIN 1.2% 6-9 6.8% 8.1 13 -3.3% 24 8.8% 29
16 NYG -1.9% 10-5 -2.4% 7.3 18 1.5% 15 7.4% 31
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK 2007
SCHEDULE
RANK VAR. RANK
17 NO -3.1% 7-8 -3.8% 7.5 16 -3.6% 25 13.6% 19
18 DEN -4.0% 6-9 -1.8% 6.7 21 1.7% 14 35.4% 1
19 BUF -4.5% 7-8 -9.3% 7.7 15 5.6% 1 13.0% 21
20 CHI -6.0% 6-9 -8.1% 6.8 20 2.4% 10 13.9% 18
21 HOU -6.1% 7-8 -10.4% 6.8 19 3.2% 7 11.6% 23
22 BAL -11.1% 4-11 -17.5% 6.0 23 2.9% 8 14.3% 17
23 ARI -11.2% 7-8 -2.9% 5.8 24 -8.7% 31 20.8% 7
24 DET -18.5% 7-8 -15.5% 6.1 22 3.7% 6 18.3% 10
25 KC -19.5% 4-11 -22.8% 4.9 26 1.5% 16 23.1% 4
26 NYJ -20.4% 3-12 -23.9% 4.8 27 5.1% 3 10.6% 26
27 CAR -24.0% 6-9 -24.7% 5.1 25 1.8% 13 15.0% 15
28 ATL -26.9% 3-12 -25.3% 4.7 28 -0.5% 20 11.6% 24
29 MIA -28.8% 1-14 -35.9% 3.8 30 4.8% 5 13.4% 20
30 OAK -30.1% 4-11 -29.2% 3.7 31 2.5% 9 18.6% 9
31 STL -33.2% 3-12 -30.4% 3.5 32 -2.1% 21 9.4% 28
32 SF -35.8% 5-10 -31.1% 3.9 29 -4.3% 27 11.8% 22

Best and Worst DVOA Ever Watch

BEST TOTAL DVOA
AFTER WEEK 16
  BEST OFFENSIVE DVOA
AFTER WEEK 16
  WORST TOTAL DVOA
AFTER WEEK 16
  WORST OFFENSIVE DVOA
AFTER WEEK 16
2007 NE 54.3%   2004 IND 42.0%   2005 SF -55.6%   2005 SF -39.4%
1999 STL 46.3%   2007 NE 41.8%   2004 SF -49.7%   2002 HOU -38.6%
2001 STL 38.5%   2002 KC 35.9%   2000 CLE -44.8%   2004 CHI -36.4%
1996 GB 38.3%   2006 IND 33.0%   2000 ARI -43.5%   1997 NO -34.9%
2004 IND 37.6%   2000 STL 31.6%   2000 CIN -42.6%   2006 OAK -34.4%
2004 NE 37.6%   2000 IND 31.4%   1999 CLE -42.3%   1999 ARI -33.2%
2004 PIT 37.3%   2004 KC 30.0%   2003 ARI -41.2%   2000 CLE -32.7%
2007 IND 36.8%   2007 IND 29.2%   2002 ARI -40.0%   2007 SF -29.8%
2005 IND 36.2%   2005 IND 28.8%   2002 HOU -39.6%   1996 NYG -29.4%
2006 SD 33.0%   2001 STL 27.6%   1998 PHI -36.4%   1999 PHI -29.1%

Notice anything about those lists above? Yes, there is no longer a team from 2007 on the "worst total DVOA" list. Two wins have taken the 2007 49ers far away from the historical suckitude of the 2005 49ers. Originally, I was going to remove the two "worst" lists altogether, but I figured that if we've run with them so far, we might as well see them through to the end.

The Patriots' DVOA peaked at 73.7% after Week 11 and has dropped every week since, but it still is far and away the best DVOA rating ever recorded. That's the way things will end up unless the Giants somehow pull out not just a win, but a blowout victory. Not bloody likely. Only two teams since 1996 ended the season with a DVOA rating above 40%: the Rams in 1999 and the Packers in 1996.

You'll notice that we haven't been running a list of where this year's teams stand among the best defensive DVOA ratings ever. We ran a list once at midseason, when the Tennessee Titans were at their peak, but the injury to Albert Haynesworth quickly brought the Titans back to the pack. The Steelers have now been in first place on defense for six weeks, even though they have progressively gotten worse since they peaked at -23.7% after Week 12. In fact, if Pittsburgh were to finish next week with the same DVOA they have now, they would be the worst defense to ever lead the league in DVOA -- and by a huge margin.

It looks like 2007 will be the first season where no defense finishes better than -20%, but it goes beyond that. At least three defenses were better than the 2007 Pittsburgh Steelers in every single season for which we have DVOA except for 2002, when the Carolina Panthers finished third at -13.8%. In four different seasons -- 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2001 -- the current Steelers would not even have ranked in the top five for defense! If the season ended today, Pittsburgh would rank as the 49th-best defense of the DVOA era.

The parity of defenses in 2007 works the other way too, although it isn't quite as strong. Miami would only have finished with the worst defensive DVOA in one other year, 1997. In that year, the last-place defense was Cincinnati at 15.1%. The standard deviation of defensive DVOA in 1997 was 8.9%. In 2007, the standard deviation of defensive DVOA is 9.5%. In every other season, it was 10.5% or higher. The season with the highest standard deviation on defense is, of course, 2000.

In case you are curious... the standard deviation of offense right now is 15.7%. The only seasons with higher standard deviations on offense were 2004 and 2000, with 2005 and this year tied for third. The season with the least amount of standard deviation on offense was 1996.

One last note: I know some people are wondering where this week's Green Bay punt-block-o-rama falls on the list of the worst special teams games ever. The answer is that it doesn't make the list. Mason Crosby's strong kickoffs balance out below-average kickoff returns, so the Packers were really only exceedingly bad in one area.

On to the housekeeping... All the team stats pages and individual stats pages are now updated, as are the playoff odds . Loser League results and the DVOA Premium database will be updated Wednesday due to the holiday. (PREMIUM AND LOSER LEAGUE NOW UPDATED.)

For (short) comments on every team, remember to look for DVOA on AOL, every Wednesday. (This will be linked on the FO Goes Mainstream page.)

Final note for Boston/Providence-area readers or anyone who wants to listen online: I will be guest co-host on the "Dale and Holley Show" this Wednesday from 10am to 2pm EST. Unlike the last time I did four straight hours on the radio, I will not be backselling any Stone Temple Pilots records.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 25 Dec 2007

150 comments, Last at 16 Aug 2011, 11:57am by BYERS29Maryellen

Comments

1
by RickD (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 3:24pm

There's no way to avoid the conclusion that the AFC playoffs are going to be tremendous. And I don't think anybody can look for any easy games. But I still think we'll see Indy vs. NE in the AFC championship (aka 'the game to determine the Super Bowl winner'). The Jaguars have played well recently, but don't forget that one of these games where they've played well is a loss to Indy.

2
by Richard (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 3:29pm

Sweet, third in weighted.

3
by mrparker (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 4:40pm

What's everyone going to do if the Chargers win the superbowl? Would Norv Turner gain an new respect? Or would everyone on the team have to automatically be inducted into the hall of fame immediately following the trophy presentation?

I've openly routing for the Chargers this entire year just so everyone will have to get off Norv's back. The guy took jobs that noone else wanted(head coaching wise) and is now being penalized for doing nothing with teams that never had a chance.

The Chargers had supposedly giving up on playing for him by week4(Simmons you idiot). And are now the third hottest team in the league. Hmmm. Could it be that Norv was never that bad in the first place.

I would love to see everyone take one foot and insert deep into their mouths at the end of january or whenever the superbowl is being played.

Can't wait.

4
by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 4:45pm

I'm looking forward to the Colts facing one of the tamer division winners while the Pats get stuck facing the Jags.

5
by Mikey Benny (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 5:17pm

Mr. Parker:

Norv still sucks, even if they win the Super Bowl. I don't think that general attitude will change... people will credit Marty more than Norv, just like no one respects Barry Switzer as a coach for winning a SB with Jimmy Johnson's team.

Fair or not, the reason Norv's been criticized is the sheer idiocy of firing Marty. Absolutely unforgivable hubris on the part of the GM. In fact, my buddies and I are actively rooting against the Chargers, because we don't want dumb luck to give the Chargers' front office even a shred of vindication for their stupidity. We feel Marty's been given the shaft after a 14-2 season, for losing a playoff game to a team that's beaten more than their share of great teams.

Merry Christmas!

6
by TheWedge (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 5:19pm

3
No one wanted to coach the talented Chargers coming off a 14-2 season? Really?
Do you think it's some kind of personal vendetta? Or do you think maybe he's being harped on for having a .439 career winning percentage and for only having 1 career playoff win?

7
by RickD (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 5:30pm

Yes, Norv has taken a 14-2 team and turned it into a 10-5 team. That's not easy! Surely nobody else could have done that.

Yeah, it's easy to pick on Norv. I will say, though, that for years Dungy had a reputation as an underachiever in the playoffs, and he's moved beyond that. And Belichick didn't exactly light things up in Cleveland. So if Norv succeeds and the Chargers win the Super Bowl, he will get credit and a lot of us will admit that we were wrong.

I have the same plan in mind in case Pauly Shore wins an Oscar.

(OK, that last bit wasn't exactly fair.)

8
by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 6:06pm

Eagles, why do you torment me with your 9.0 estimated wins?!?

9
by jay stokes (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 6:09pm

Lifelong Charger fan. I question Marty without Cameron and/or Phillips. Spanos, team president, was an ass to do nothing prior to the assistants leaving. Smith, ego-ist that he is, can assess player talent, if not coaching talent, and deserves respect for that (Gates, LT, Cromartie, Weddle, Merriman, etc). The defense seems to be playing much better after getting run over in Minnesota, but the offense is still not up to full potential. Norv is not that good, but, may not be so bad as to completely kill their chances. Aside from Tennessee, they have not beaten too many good teams, but, aside from NE and JAX, they had chances to win all of their other losses (KC, GB, MSP), so it will be interesting if he can be less risk averse (aka predictable) in the playoffs. If they beat Oakland, if they can a game at home (they will play tough, even if they lose) and then would go to Indy. They are 2-0 in their last two games vs. Indy. Not that it is much, but Peyton has not played well against SD. If the script keeps going, then they lose to NE, but Norv keeps his job. For the knowledgeable fan out there, who is arguable the best available coach out there in the Belichick mold?

10
by DB (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 6:23pm

5. You remind me of an old cereal commercial…oh never mind. Marty's impact on draft board was minimal if not squat. As a coach, you want great regular season, then heartache, Marty's your man. Most folks have Chargers coaching backwards, Marty was a players coach, and Norv is more demanding at Chargers Park. Fans who watch Bolts know the rest regurgitate ESPN.

11
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 6:31pm

3: Actually, I'm rooting for Green Bay to beat the Pats in the SB so that Peter King will have something else to write about every week next season after Favre retires and the meltdown that occurs from all the Pats fans will be rather funny.

In fact, if that happens, I'll then be pulling for the Celtics to win the NBA, just so that Bill Simmons can write about how the worst team in Boston is the Pats. No, the Bruins don't count because Simmons no longer acknowledges them.

12
by Richard (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 6:44pm

I'm sick of people claiming that Schottenheimer was fired because of A.J. Smith's ego. He was fired because he decided to get himself fired by the team president (not A.J. Smith, but Dean Spanos) by trying to hire his brother because he didn't like working with Smith. They didn't fire him for losing in the playoffs or they would have fired him after the game not later after he intentionally got himself fired.

13
by Gerry (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 7:04pm

Giants and Eagles vs NFC North- both 2-2.

Giants and Eagles vs Redskins/Cowboys- both 1-3.

Giants and Eagles vs Jets/Dolphins- both 2-0.

And, assuming that the Giants lose to NE and the Eagles beat Buffalo, both will be 1-1 against Buf/NE.

In fact, against common opponents they have had the same wins and same losses, except flip-flopping Minnesota (Giants loss, Eagles win) and Chicago (Eagles loss, Giants win).

Giants/Eagles head to head- both won by Giants.

DVOA's numbers notwithstanding, I have to consider both teams to be comparable in quality but with the Giants slightly better.

As a Giants fan, of course I would say that, but I think I have a good case.

14
by Speedegg (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 7:33pm

I'm a die-hard Charger fan, too. BUT PLEASE, we aren't in the playoffs yet. Just because you take an ugly girl (Norv) and put her in a pretty dress (the Chargers) doesn't make her beautiful. Norv is still a bad coach, wait until we face a great team and we'll see how preparation and play calling snatch defeat from the jaw of victory.

Did anyone watch the Chargers-Denver game? Did anyone notice that the power-run Chargers switched to a zone blocking scheme trying to get LT to the edge? Did people also notice that LT, Turner, and Sproles got STUFFED when running up the middle? Take away the bread and butter plays, Rivers needs to step up.

As for the QB, did anyone notice on plays designed for Gates and Chambers, Rivers turned into CPT Checkdown? He threw when he had to and against a suspect Denver Defense it worked. Against Jax, Indy, or NE it might not.

All is not well in SD, and talent alone won't fix it.

15
by Boots Day (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 7:54pm

I know some people are wondering where this week’s Green Bay punt-block-o-rama falls on the list of the worst special teams games ever. The answer is that it doesn’t make the list.

Really? You can get two punts blocked and shank another one, score a total of one point via the kicking game, and that's balanced by good kickoff distance? If that game isn't among the worst special teams games of all times, maybe having two punts blocked in one game is more common than I thought.

You don't have to run the list, but how close do this year's Bears come to having the best special teams of the DVOA era?

16
by Crushinator (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 8:40pm

I really hope in their pre-game prayers that the Seahawks thank God for moving into the NFCW.

17
by citizen jason (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 10:35pm

#16: The funny thing is that when the move first happened, everyone was freaked out about how they would ever compete with the mighty 49ers and Rams. Oops.

18
by Arik (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 10:47pm

OK, let me get this right. According to the playoff odds report, the Redskins are about 2/1 likely to beat the Cowboys, a team way ahead of them on DVOA. But the Titans are only given about a 25% chance to beat the Colts? The parallels between the two matchups are striking--the Redskins and Titans are back to back in DVOA, and face must-win games against division rivals (also back-to-back in DVOA) who are likely to be sitting starters for the finale. Does home field advantage really make up that much of a difference? What gives?

19
by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 10:52pm

I have stated my concerns about GB for the past several weeks and now the numbers tell me I "ain't so crazy".

It can be hoped that the bye week allows the D-line to lick its wounds. But that rest will do nothing about an older qb fading in the stretch, a punter ill-equipped to cope with the elements and an O-line that still gets stoned on running plays half the time.

20
by Will (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 10:55pm

The Seahawks' -11.1% 2007 schedule is really astonishing. Talk about good luck, they've had a division winner's schedule for the last 3 years yet consistently have had easy schedules. Every other team in the NFCW should be embarrassed.

I'm not complaining, though, it's gotta balance out the drain from constantly traveling cross country.

21
by admin :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 11:15pm

Quickly, to answer the question about Chicago and the best special teams of all-time: Remember, I changed the formulas a bit a few weeks ago to account for teams avoiding Hester with squib kicks. I haven't gone back and re-done any prior years with this new formula. Therefore I can't really compare the Bears and past teams. Without this change, the Bears would be lower. Even with the change, they don't come close to the highest special teams ever, the 2002 New Orleans Saints (10.0%).

22
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 11:37pm

13- You are forgetting the fact that many of the FO guys picked the Eagles in the Super Bowl where as they picked the Giants to be drafting Jake Long with the #1 pick in Aprils draft.

If you think they don't hang onto their picks then look at last years write up on the Washington redskins in PFP and how they were "a Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison" away from winning the super bowl and how if they didn't have any injuries they would have been better.

If my Aunt had a dick then she'd be my uncle.

23
by pete (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 11:44pm

I am excited to say that it appears as if every team in the playoffs will be in the top half of the final DVOA rankings. All except the giants should end up with a positive DVOA and Weighted DVOA.

While this is great for football, it is awful for gamblers. Usually you can count on a bad division winner to go against in Round 1 (SD in 04, TB in 05, Sea last year). No such luck this year. Also, almost every season you can make the statement, Team X is overvalued because it has a great offense and a shaky defense. Of the likely play-off teams only GB is outside the top half of Defensive DVOA.

And while DVOA doesnt rate worst drives of a season, it is safe to say that the Philly D allowing Brian Griese to go 92 yards in 2 minutes with no timeouts was the most crippling drive of the year for any unit.

24
by Chris (not verified) :: Tue, 12/25/2007 - 11:49pm

I am also sick of the Norv Turner bashing. If the Chargers go 11-5 that is not a bad job considering he had to recreate the entire team with a brand new coaching staff. It's not like the 14-2 record from last year would have been easily replicated with new schemes/coaches. The Bears, Saints and Ravens fell off last year and didn't match their ( or the 07' Chargers win totals) with the same coaching staffs so Norv out performed Lovie, Payton and Billeck in that sense.

Do I think Norv Turner is a great coach? Of course not. Do I think he is a good coach? I wouldn't go nuts to hire the guy but he does know offense and he did a respectable job this year in a very difficult circumstance. The media goes after this guy like Volchers and I don't feel the whole " why the hell did they hire Norv" or " how did he turn a 14-2 team into an 11-5 team Feeling many people have.

25
by Sam (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 12:40am

#22 - and you are forgetting the fact that the article said that the difference between the redskins and colts at the start of the season was Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. They then suffered from a lot of injuries. Not to mention the fact that two teams that are "only" separated by a top 10 all time qb and top 10 current WR in the game are really not close at all. And the other fact that DVOA has no bias for different teams.

#13 - Think about how the games actually went down. The Packers blew out the Giants in New York and only beat the Eagles in Green Bay because of 2 fumbled punt returns, both recovered by the Packers. Also, the Eagles played a very close game against the Pats, with some luck, giving them a tougher strength of schedule. These are just 2 quick examples. The DVOA ratings look at each play of each game, not just the winner/loser, and try to predict how teams will fare in the future.

26
by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 1:31am

no way Raiders worse team than Dolphins or Falcons. Dolphins laughingstock of league for only having 1 win and Falcons other laughingdstock of league for losing coach and Michekl Vick and just being crap overall. FO computer clearly broken still. When will it get it right? probably not untill next year when raiders get to playoffs and computer have no chance to underrate Raiders.

27
by John (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 1:35am

Raiderjoe just isn't as much fun as he used to be. Reading that the Raiders aren't worse than Miami isn't nearly as entertaining as the preseason predictions of Russell's rapid ascent to Hall-of-Famedom.

I suppose the shock of watching his 10-6 prediction crumble to ashes has left him a little off his game.

28
by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 1:36am

re24

What is Volchers?

Also you are poster who makes fun of Russell. Just you wait and see what he does on Sunday against SD. Don't blink or you might miss one of his laser passes. This preview of 2008 season when Russell and Raiders take back AFC West

29
by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 1:38am

re27

When you make as many predictions as me, you are going to get some wrong.
Raiders record really only bad one I make though.
Team still on rise and will be great in 2008

30
by DK (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 2:12am

#18,

Part of the difference is that the Titans have to win to make the playoffs, while the Redskins can still get in if they lose (with Minnesota and New Orleans losses).

So even if they lose, the Redskins has ~25% chance of making the playoffs, which means the playoffs odds is giving them a ~50% chance to beat the Cowboys.

That's still a lot higher than the Titans chances against Indy, but I can see how playing a weaker team and having HFA make that gap plausible.

31
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 2:30am

Chris #24:

I am also sick of the Norv Turner bashing. If the Chargers go 11-5 that is not a bad job considering he had to recreate the entire team with a brand new coaching staff. It’s not like the 14-2 record from last year would have been easily replicated with new schemes/coaches.

I'm sorry, but you are getting tiresomely stupid on this site. Could you at least look a few things up before you run your mouth on the keyboard?

THE CHARGERS HAVE RUN NORV TURNER'S OFFENSE SINCE HE WAS THE OC THERE UNDER SCHOTTENHEIMER SEVERAL YEARS AGO. NORV TURNER'S DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR IS TED COTTRELL, WHO WAS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR IN BUFFALO FOR WADE PHILLIPS, WHO OF COURSE WAS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR FOR SCHOTTENHEIMER LAST YEAR. THEY HAVEN'T HAD TO RECREATE ANYTHING MAJOR AS FAR AS SCHEMES OR COACHING.

32
by Chad Gerson (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 2:32am

I think the Weighted DVOA formula needs a tune-up. Yes, there is something to trends over a season, but with precious few games in a season, they all mean something.

There's no way the Jaguars are the 2nd-best team in the league right now. The Colts and Cowboys are much better.

Everyone talks about how good the Jags are playing, like they do every year. But every year they lose the division to Indy. And when they make the playoffs, they have a history of flaming out early. And as for "The Chargers have a subjective asterisk, of course, since many of us are expecting Norv Turner to do something stupid come playoff time. I don’t think anyone expects that from Jack Del Rio.": Well, I do. Elevating Garrard was the only intelligent thing he's ever done.

Don't get me wrong; I'd love for the Jags to beat New England. Because as CERTAIN as I am that the Colts will win in Foxborough on Jan. 20, I'm even more certain that the Colts would beat Jacksonville at home on Jan. 20.

33
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 2:51am

Gerry #13:

"DVOA’s numbers notwithstanding, I have to consider both teams to be comparable in quality but with the Giants slightly better."

NFC North
Eagles crush Detroit, Giants barely squeak by.
Eagles beat Minnesota, Giants are crushed by them.
Eagles lose at last second on flukely plays to Packers, Giants are crushed by them.
Eagles lose at last second to Bears, Giants barely squeak by.
Advantage - Eagles 3-1

AFC North
Eagles beat Dolphins handily, Giants barely squeak by.
Eagles and Giants both beat Jets.
Eagles barely lose to Patriots, Giants ???
Giants crush Bills, Eagles ???
Advantage, Eagles 1-0-1

Strength of Schedule
Giants crush the weakling Falcons and 49ers
Eagles lose at last second to the good Seahawks, crush the okay Saints.
Advantage Eagles 1-0-1 (close loss to a good team = crushing of weaker team)

"Giants and Eagles vs Redskins/Cowboys- both 1-3."

Umm ... no. The Eagles are 2-2 vs. Cowboys and Redskins. The Giants are 1-3.

NFC East
Eagles crushed by Dallas, then beat Dallas, Giants beaten by Dallas twice. Eagles net points vs. Cowboys -17 (or -10 if you will), Giants -21
Eagles and Giants both beaten by Redskins, then beat Redskins. Eagles net points vs. Redskins 0, Giants -5.
Eagles beaten by Giants, then lose closely to Giants.
Advantage, Giants 3-1-2

Net of all games by result, and not simple win-loss, Eagles 5-4-4.

The Giants are ahead in the standings by virtue of one strength of schedule game and the wins in the head-to-head games. The wins in the head-to-head games required fluke luck for the Giants that was out of their control. (1) Kawika Mitchell not ruled down by contact when Matt Schobel was clearly touching him while he had a knee on the ground, (2) McNabb running over the line of scrimmage while throwing an apparent touchdown to Reggie Brown, (3) Akers boinking the tying field goal off the upright in the second game and missing two field goals in the first game.

If you want to claim the Giants are better based on playing the 49ers instead of the Seahawks and winning two close games by fluke luck, go right ahead, but also forgive the rest of us for being skeptical when the actual play on the field as a whole does not agree with assessments made by this method.

34
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 2:56am

31: Might want to get that caps lock key fixed. The Chargers aren't running the exact same schemes as last year. They're similar, no doubt, but they're not exactly the same. There was going to be an adjustment period. Also, last year's team was playing a softer schedule than this year's team. 11-5 is legitimately an accomplishment for a brand new coaching staff with a first place schedule.

35
by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 3:04am

Chad Gerson #32:

There’s no way the Jaguars are the 2nd-best team in the league right now. The Colts and Cowboys are much better.

In recent weeks, the Cowboys have:

1) barely beat the Packers with the Packers best corner and 2nd best pass rusher out, and their back-up QB in for 2/3 of the game.
2) barely beat the Lions based on a shanked field goal and last second TD drive
3) gotten spanked at home by the Eagles
4) barely beat the Panthers playing some 4th string scrub at QB.

What is impressive about anything they have done in the past month?

36
by hwc (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 3:59am

RE: Jacksonville

Get back to me when Jack Del Rio actually manages to win a big game. His team self-destructs against top competition like the Colts and Pats.

RE: Pats playoff opponents

This Pats fan wants another piece of the Chargers hide. That team ain't right in the head. It would be great to watch them cry like little babies yet again.

37
by thestar5 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 4:06am

35

1. Barely beat the Pack??? If TO catches that easy pass they win by 17! Probably even more if Favre plays the whole game. How could you say that wasn't an impressive win?

2. I agree, but they also fumbled at the one so you can't nitpick every little part of the game.

3. They lost by four to the #10 team in DVOA. How is that spanked? Not mention Romo was hurt (plus just had a horrible game), Gurode hurt, and and bunch of other defensive players. Sure not impressive, but not terrible.

4 Again Romo, Gurode, TO, Newman, Williams, Ratliff, Watkins all hurt or not playing. I mean whatever, this game didn't really say anything either way.

Anyway if you're just saying the Jags have been beter lately, then yeah but thats obvious by Weighted DVOA. But you're kidding yourself if you think the Jags are better than the Cowboys.

Also 1,
"aka ‘the game to determine the Super Bowl winner’). "

Pretty much no need to comment. Go back to the FOX boards.

38
by mrparker (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:15am

re: Norv Turner

Oakland and Washington franchises have been a wreck. He is maligned for coaching both of those teams.

I would like to see the guy get some credit for pulling together a crumbling ship, and getting a bunch of two way wins late in the season(two way win is when the defense allows less than 20 and offense scores more than 20...20 is about the league average for points per game).

I know that if Parcells were coaching this team under the exact same circumstances that he would somehow be getting more than his share of credit for making the Chargers "dominant". The Chargers have lost
@Green Bay
@New England
@Minnesota
@Jacksonville
median DVOA = 23.5
opp ppg approximately 35

So I'm wondering how the defense is Norv's fault?

Their other loss was what will probably be their only loss in their division. Is there anything wrong with going 5-1 in your own division?

Now have the Chargers been a dominating team? No. But they have the had a pretty good season by losing 1 home game all yea and most likely going .500 on the road where half of the road games were against top 10 teams.

People need to get off Norv's back for losing in situations where noone would have one. As far as I'm concerned this is his first fair shot as a head coach and he has passed with flying colors.

Again if Parcells did the same job he would be receiving praise.

39
by Marko (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:33am

"And while DVOA doesnt rate worst drives of a season, it is safe to say that the Philly D allowing Brian Griese to go 92 yards in 2 minutes with no timeouts was the most crippling drive of the year for any unit."

It was even worse than that since it actually was a 97 yard drive.

And is "Volchers" supposed to be "vultures"?

40
by Ben B. (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:55am

My main complaint with Norv as a Chargers fan is the offense. That's supposed to be his specialty, it seems like that's the area of the team where it's most fair to judge his impact. He has taken the Chargers from the 2nd best offensive team in the league to the 13th best, and Rivers has regressed quite a bit. Norval is also a terrible at making fourth down decisions, which is how I expect us to lose a close game that we should have won in the first round of the playoffs.

41
by Paulo Sanchotene, Brazil (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 7:43am

The problem of Norv Turn is his past. So, the only way to be fair with him is to wait until we can put this season into perspective. By now, the tiebrake goes AGAINST him...

42
by Nick (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 9:58am

The Jaguars are tailor made for the Patriots. Mostly because they're one of those teams that just lines up and "does what they do", and because Jack Del Rio is their coach. Anyone who thinks they have a better shot than Indy, or even San Diego, is fooling themselves.

43
by hrudey (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 10:04am

36: "Get back to me when Jack Del Rio actually manages to win a big game. His team self-destructs against top competition like the Colts and Pats."

Although it'll only be relevant for less than a week, you still might want to invest in a calendar that says 2007 on it. The self-destructive Jaguars, despite having all the fumble luck go and other close calls go against them in Indy, outscored the Colts 18-7 in the second half and forced the Colts to make plays to win it. That's not melting down -- that's actually fighting back and competing. Losing 28-25 to the defending champions when everything went against them? I put more stock in that than in the ridiculous blowout Jaguars win in December 2006 (although, to be fair, the Colts *did* force one punt in that game, which is one more punt than they forced this time). ;)

44
by Sam (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 10:35am

The Jaguars don't have a "history" of flaming out in the playoffs. They made the playoffs two years ago and lost to a pretty good New England team IN New England with an 8:00 start time. It was the first playoff game for a lot of those guys and the first tough game they had played in weeks. They also got jobbed early by the officials and found themselves unable to dig out of a hole. Bottom lines it that they lost, by not playing well, to a good team. That does not make a "history" of flaming out. They lost their last 3 games last year, but that doesn't give them a "history" of losing the last 3 games.

45
by princeton73 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 10:38am

Yes, Norv has taken a 14-2 team and turned it into a 10-5 team. That’s not easy! Surely nobody else could have done that.

stop calling me surely

we all know that a team that wins 14 games in one year is expected to win..

ummm..

since the NFL went to 16 games, there have been 14 teams that went 14-2

in year n+1, average number of wins?

9.75

median = 10

so if the San Diegos win next week, they will be doing BETTER than average

46
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 12:14pm

Can someone help me out with some data interpretation?

For the past 4 years Philly's Non-Adjusted VOA has been significantly better than their DVOA. They have the highest differential so far this year, they had the 5th highest last year, 2nd highest in 2005, and 11th highest in 2004. That gives them the highest 4-year average in the league.

What (if anything) could this mean? Is it saying that Philly is consistently shafted by luck moreso than any other team?

47
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 12:30pm

"He has taken the Chargers from the 2nd best offensive team in the league to the 13th best, and Rivers has regressed quite a bit."

yes, and all taht is against a MUCH TOUGHER SCHEDULE. Last year, they played the dregs of other divisions. This year, they got to play the best in the divisions. That 4 game "skid" they had came against the Packers, Patriots, and a Bears team that was still competitive.

48
by Weekly Journalist (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 1:07pm

"The wins in the head-to-head games required fluke luck for the Giants that was out of their control."

You mean like sacking Donovan McNabb TWELVE times?

49
by Weekly Journalist (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 1:11pm

"Final note for Boston/Providence-area readers or anyone who wants to listen online: I will be guest co-host on the “Dale and Holley Show”"

May God have mercy on your soul. At least it's not Dennis and Callahan's White Supremacist Hour, though.

50
by Costa (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 1:19pm

46:
I would say it just shows how volatile their conference, and their division in particular, has been. The NFC East has been very very strong this year when you look at the Cowboys, Giants, Redskins and Eagles as a whole. In previous years however, it has fluctuated wildly. In '03 for instance, it was just the opposite, where all three of the Eagles divisional opponents, as well as the rest of the conference, were very weak. That seems to have caused some extreme peaks and valleys in their strength of schedule year to year, which would expectedly create some craziness in their VOA-vs-DVOA differentials.

51
by Herm? (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 1:20pm

Nick, I don't 100% agree with you on 42. Your argument works very well with a Pittsburgh, which is very tough but was stubborn enough to lose...but I don't see the same thing in Jacksonville. To me, Jacksonville is a tough, well rounded team. With a proper defensive game-plan, that type of team seems to give New England fits, keeping games closer than you would expect.
I would almost switch San Diego and Jacksonville...San Diego has a very talented team, and has some tough players, but I'm not sure I would give them the moniker of tough team. And exchange Del Rio with Norv.
I think I'd rather see Philip Rivers and LDT in New England than MJD/Taylor/Garrard

52
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 1:21pm

For the Giants resting starters, they have the same thing to play for that The Patriots do on Saturday, making history. Beating the 15-0 Pats would put them in the same category as the Miami team who were the 1 against the 15-1 Bears. And with an apparent 30% chance of victory on Saturday vs the very slim chance of a Super Bowl victory or even appearance, I think playing to win on Saturday is the right choice.

53
by Kyle (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 2:31pm

Re #33:

Its incredible how a couple Philadelphia Eagles fans on this site rely upon "fluke luck" to minimize their team's losses. Last year, this year, its the same tired story. The Eagles lost because of a perfect storm! They had no business losing! The other team is inferior despite the outcome!

In the first game, the Eagles fumbled 5 times, if memory serves me right. The Giants only recovered the one you mentioned; Kawika Mitchell returning it for a TD. Go ahead, take away the 7 and put a chip shot 3 in its place. 12-3 is still a two score game on a night where the Eagles offense was dreadful (by comparison, the Giants offense were merely awful).

But the Eagles getting 4 of 5 of their own fumbles back is not luck at all! That is SKILL! Nevermind what the official FO.com/DVOA stance is on the matter.

In the second game, there was no luck. The Giants and Eagles played an evenly matched game, with awful red zone offense from the Gmen turning what should have been a two-score victory into a last-second nail biter.

Decrying your team's bad luck, or the other team's good luck, as the reason for a loss truly is the equivalent of crying.

54
by Nathan Z (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 2:48pm

DVOA needs a weather adjustment really, really bad.

55
by Jeffo (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 2:57pm

Re #54

No it doesn't, Brady was fine this week!

(I kid..I kid..)

56
by Black Squirrel (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 2:57pm

Chris, enough with the claim that many FO writers picked the Giants to have the #1 pick in next year's draft. According to the FO preseason predictions (hopefully linked from my name), 3 out 17 picked the Giants to have the NFL's worst record. They were wrong, and have no problem admitting it.

The comparison between the Eagles and Giants interests me because I think it is a great example of how schedules can affect two seasons.

Last year, the NFC East played the NFC South. The Giants had to play a first-place schedule, so their other conference opponents were the Bears and Seahawks. The Eagles played the 49ers and Green Bay. Philly had a much easier pair of uncommon opponents.

This year, the East played the North. The uncommon opponents for the Giants were the 49ers and the Falcons, while the Eagles had to play the Seahawks and the Saints.

Is it a mystery why the Giants beat out the Eagles this year instead of last year?

57
by Kurt (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 3:16pm

56 - The Giants definitely had a lot easier schedule than the Eagles as it turned out, though I think it's fair to note that preseason DVOA ranked the Eagles vastly higher than Seattle and NO, and the Giants a bit behind Atlanta and SF.

That said, part 2 of the simple explanation for the standings is that the Giants beat the Eagles twice, in one close game and one not close at all game, and deserved to win both games. Hitting the upright from 27 yards might have been good luck for the Giants; doing so from 57 yards (to tie, not win the game) is not.

58
by Peter (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 3:20pm

Watch out for San Diego. That's a team with elite talent starting to play extremely well. I'm a Broncos fan, and what I saw Monday night was silly. Denver didn't belong in the same league, and I think they were held to 56 yards of offense in the first half.

I'm curious to see what San Diego's weighted DVOA looks like when that Vikings game drops out of the equation. The Jags have gotten a lot of attention, but I think the Chargers may actually be playing better.

59
by Staubach12 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 3:21pm

Hasn't FO determined that DVOA for the whole season has a higher correlation with playoff success than weighted DVOA? If so, why the claim that the Jaguars are the most dangerous team in the playoffs?

60
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 3:25pm

Re: 59

I could easily me mistaken, but I don't remember anyone claiming that whole-season DVOA is more predictive of postseason success than WDVOA.

61
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 3:39pm

"I could easily me mistaken, but I don’t remember anyone claiming that whole-season DVOA is more predictive of postseason success than WDVOA."

I don't remember, but I do remember getting called a all sorts of nasty names for saying 2 years (or so) ago that the Patriots would beat the Jaguars in the playoffs based entirely on the fact that their WDVOA was much higher than the Jags WDVOA. The Pats blew the Jags out.

62
by Staubach12 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 4:14pm

Here's the quote from an FO article entitled "Why Doesn’t Bill Polian’s S–t Work in the Playoffs?":

"Overall, a team’s DVOA over the course of the entire season (.317) had a stronger correlation with playoff success than its weighted DVOA (.264)."

63
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 4:34pm

I've got another data interpretation question. Regarding "variance", can you look at it as a particular team's DVOA +/- their variance, or is it a particular team's DVOA +/- (DVOA * Variance)?

I'm fairly sure it's the second one, but I just wanted to double check.

64
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 4:56pm

This doesn't really mean much, but I just wanted to take a look at what could have been. According to "Estimated Wins" this would be the current playoff picture.

AFC
1. NE
2. IND
3. SD
4. PIT
5. JAC
6. CLE
CIN, TEN, & BUF are still in the hunt

NFC
1. DAL
2. GB
3. TB
4. SEA
5. PHI
6. MIN
NO, WAS, & NYG are still in the hunt

65
by RickD (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:11pm

re: 33
You've convinced me that the Eagles are better than the Giants. Too bad that isn't reflected in the standings.

re: 34
Curiously, the first-place schedule hasn't been the problem for the Chargers. They went 2-1 against the other first-place teams, beating both Baltimore and Indy. (Yeah, remember when Baltimore was 13-3 and not mired in a 9-game losing streak? Seems like eons ago, but it was only last year.)

re: 45
Bully for Norv for potentially doing marginally better than the median performance! And here I implied anybody could do that! Silly me.

66
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:21pm

"Curiously, the first-place schedule hasn’t been the problem "

No, but the schedule in general has. They've played almost all of the best teams in football. NE, GB, Indy, etc.

67
by Alex (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:24pm

I do remember getting called a all sorts of nasty names for saying 2 years (or so) ago that the Patriots would beat the Jaguars in the playoffs based entirely on the fact that their WDVOA was much higher than the Jags WDVOA. The Pats blew the Jags out.

That would be 2005, except that the Pats didn't have a higher Weighted DVOA than the Jags that year. The Jags were 10th in WDVOA and the Pats were 13th.

68
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:30pm

Re: 66

Rich Conley gets called nasty names so after that you can hardly blame him for getting a little confused. ;-)

69
by Gerry (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:33pm

#25-- Sam, don't misunderstand me. I am not saying DVOA is calculated wrong or that acccording to DVOA the Giants should be ahead of the Eagles.

I am just saying that where DVOA is going to be right about teams more often than most other systems, I think it has these two teams evaluated kind of backwards. Just kind-of because it has both in the middle of the pack, but it has them reversed IMO.

And I understand the near-wins the Eagles have. They should get credit for playing well in those games, just as the Giants should get penalized for playing poorly in the (second half of the) Packers game.

Also, I had it slightly wrong- the Eagles are not 1-3 vs Was/Dal, but 2-2.

And I looked at it more closely. The Eagles have outscored common opponents with the Giants 229-209. The Giants have been outscored by common opponents 236-267. I am ready to admit the Eagles were probably better overall this year.

But the Giants went 2-0 vs teams in the NFC West/NFC South, compared to 1-1 for the Eagles, and beat the Eagles twice. Had the Eagles taken care of themselves against the Giants, then they would likely be in the playoffs and the G-men would not be.

70
by Gerry (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 5:54pm

Andrew,

I came to a similar conclusion based on other rationale. However, in the two games the Giants beat the Eagles, I would hardly say the Giants were recipients of extreme luck. In most games, one can pick out some good breaks and bad breaks. And there are some things that are generally more indicative of luck than others, without question (fumble recoveries, etc.)

However, trying to say that the Giants won the first game because of luck is stretching it, IMO. The Giants had more yards. The Eagles gave up 12 sacks and averaged just 1.8 yards per pass attempt. On top of it, they played very sloppy, with 15 penalties. And if you are going to complain about Akers missing kicks in the second game, don't forget about Tynes shanking a 34 yarder in the first game.

And in the second game, once again the Giants outgained the Eagles. True, Akers missed a FG, but it is a stretch IMO to say it is unlucky to miss a 57 yard FG. One could say that the Giants were unlucky in losing both of their fumbles (granted, the Eagles lost one as well). Also, while it was some nice defensive playing to stop the Giants on goal-to-go situations twice, including 5 plays from the 2 or closer, but there is still luck involved-- the Eagles stop a certain percentage overall and the Giants make a certain percentage overall, so if there were sufficient repetitions, there would be an expected non-zero TD percentage but in the game the percentage was zero. The best argument you have for luck in that game was the non-call on Pierce against Avant. But overall, between the two games, the Giants outplayed the Eagles.

71
by Alex (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 6:08pm

You know, I think the Eagles have been better than the Giants overall this year, but I'd be willing to admit that the Giants are better if they'd just do one thing: beat the Patriots. I know it's a tall order, but if the Giants can end the Pats perfect season, I'd be absolutely ecstatic. I'd be so happy, I'd forget that the Eagles have a higher DVOA, and stop arguing with Giants fans that the Eagles are better. I'd even be willing to call Eli Manning a good QB, not just an average one. Hell, I'll put Eli right up there with Peyton if he can lead the Giants past the Patriots.

72
by Nathan Z (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 6:12pm

70: Don't you mean you'd be willing to call Eli an average QB, not just a bad one?

73
by pete (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 6:16pm

in terms of this giant v eagle argument, one should not blame the giants for not blowing a few games to keep the Eagles in the hunt. While the Giants were easily defeated in all five losses, at least 4-5 of their wins couldve gone either way. The giants won all of those games (specifically wins over Washington, Chi, the Jets and Philly). While the Eagles won by my count 2 games that were in doubt until the end, they lost four (GB, Chi, NE and Sea).

Part of this is luck, but part of it is depth and coaching. The Giants did not allow many lesser teams to hang in games. When they did, they found a way to win. The Eagles allowed the Jets, CHI and Sea to hang in games, and in 2 cases paid the price.

74
by Alex (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 6:20pm

Don’t you mean you’d be willing to call Eli an average QB, not just a bad one?

No, I already think he's average, because he makes enough big plays that his constant interceptions only bring him back to average, not bad. I really don't dislike Eli, I just get tired of people (read: Chris) constantly claiming that he's really good, or that he's on the verge of becoming an elite NFL QB. But, if he gets the Giants a win against the Patriots, that would all change.

75
by AndyE (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 6:34pm

Wanker79,
I've looked and looked, but can't find your assertion of NFC/AFC parity in this thread. Did I miss it, or do 4 of the top 5 DVOA teams residing in one conference help convince you?

As for the Eagles, I think they are screwed by the volatility of their own division, and the volatility in the NFC. Just randomly asserting that the difference in in-division seeds is 10% DVOA, in a conference where teams remain relatively stable (the AFC), your SOS will remain consistent from year to year; with sufficient volatility, a team who drops from its division second to its division fourth, while its two equivalence partners rise from second to first, will have an extra 60% DVOA in its schedule that year. Random luck of which two divisions you compete against will also contribute.

76
by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 8:04pm

31- TED COTTRELL AND WADE PHILLIPS ARE NOT THE SAME PERSON. JUST BECAUSE COTTRELL COACHED UNDER PHILLIPS DOES NOT MEAN HE IS A CARBON COPY OF JOLLY OLD WADE.

To say that coach A coached with or under coach B therfore they have the same schemes is ignorant. Even a single coach can change schemes from year to year or on a lesser degree from week to week. I've seen Bill Parcells run the boring conservative offenses and I've seen him have Simms/Bledsoe throw the ball 400+ times in a season. That doesn't mean he keeps the exact same playbook and passes it on down from year to year.

Go back to your ESPN message boards before you start talking trash.

#48 wins the thread hands down.

77
by Ben B. (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 8:07pm

47: Re: Chargers playing a much tougher schedule this year.

Yes, but the stat I used for comparing the offenses was DVOA, which is adjusted for opponents. Same with Rivers' DVOA and DPAR this year versus last.

78
by Nick (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 8:31pm

51: I think Jax could definitely move the ball on the Patriots, I just think offensively NE would be able to throw all over them. They did a decent job of it last year in the regular season with Reche Caldwell. I could be wrong, but if the game ends up happening, I would predict a two touchdown win at least.

79
by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 8:37pm

73- I never claimed Eli is really good. I am sick of people acting like he is the worst starter in the league. I was thinking about where Eli ranks vs the NFL QB's that start or should start. Is he average? Who is the most average quarterback in the NFL? My initial instinct is a healthy Jake Delhomme despite his ups and downs is about "average".

Better than Eli by divisions...
NFCE
Romo
Mcnabb
NFCC
Favre (old)
NFCS
Brees
Garcia (old)
NFCW
Bulger (healthier/concussion free)
Hassellback ( old)
NFCE
Brady
NFCN
Palmer
Rothlisburger
NFCS
Manning
NFCW
NONE

I would take the (old) guys over Eli right now, but Eli's age gives him value versus those guys on a " who would you keep" basis.

I've pegged 11 guys better than Eli Manning right now, plus you could start the debates with Schaub, Leinart, Cutler, Young, Delhomme and other young unproven or injured guys.

So considering he has 67 TD passes, over 3K yards per year and 3 playoff appearances in his first 3 years as a starter it isn't that bad. He has had his fair share of interceptions but consider he's 26 and can learn from his mistakes. Plax doesn't practice, he doesn't have a reliable second receiver and Plax and Shockey don't have the best hands in the world. I think Steve Smith could grow into that Bobby Engram security blanket type player the Giants need while Sinorice Moss could be that speedy slot WR if he could stay healthy.

So who on that list is younger than Eli? Only Big Ben. Even an early career bench Warming Tony Romo is older than Eli. Carson is older, Brees is older, and so on.

My reccomendation for the Giants is to sit tight and continue to stock the shelves with draft picks on defense in the next few years. Starting Lorenzen/Wright or wasting draft picks on a QB or FA would be a mistake. If Eli can stay healthy ( and even improve) once the better older quarterbacks start to retire the Giants could have a commodity at QB. If you have a top 10 QB you keep him, and the effect of NOT having to draft a QB ( possibly a bust) makes the rest of the roster stronger. The Pats/Colts/Bengals and Eagles (until this year) not drafting quarterbacks allows them to focus on the rest of their roster.

If the Giants could bring in a Safety next to Gibril Wilson, a big play LB, and and a disruptive run stopping DT that would improve the team a lot. Better depth and special teams and even a KO specialist because Tynes is rather weak on KOs. Of course I'd like a better LT, maybe a speedier change of pace/pass catching RB and more weapons on offense but if they focus on the defense I think this team could move up from wild card contender to a SB contender in a weak NFC. I was so happy when Reese decided NOT to draft a LT or RB and go after help in our secondary last year. I think the GM gets it...

80
by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 8:50pm

and I am sick of the hate for Jack Del Rio. The guy is a hard nosed defensive coach who built a run the ball play good defense team and then gets shit on. He dumped his turd of a quarterback and has had success with a more mobile version of him.

They were talking about how Mike Tomlin said that the Jags "built a team to go up North in the playoffs" during the Jags/Steelers game. They had the 1-2 punch at RB with a hard nosed defense.

Why not make fun of a "defensive genius" like Marvin Lewis who only gets by because he has Carson/Chad/Hoosh? His defense hasn't improved in 5 freaking years where as Del Rio sports good defenses wherever he goes. Starvin Marvins defense in Washington wasn't that good either.

81
by AndyE (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 10:33pm

Chris 78:
If it makes you feel better, I am rooting for the Jags in two weeks (and have been all season). If the Pats go 19-0 this year, I want them to do it by beating every good team.

82
by Herm? (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 11:47pm

I went through this week's DVOA and made some comparisons using matchups. Being a Pats fan, I put them against the other top teams, here's what I found:
Patriots vs. Colts, on a neutral field, Colts are actually favored, but only by a fraction! Pats are way up there in alltime total DVOA, but what I saw was that their weighted DVOA is way down lately. The Colts offense matched up against it favorably. While the Patriots offense was favorable against the Colts, it just wasn't as favorable.
That was the only team that was ahead of the Patriots in matchups...but I also found that the Jaguars matched up closely next, then Chargers, Cowboys, and Packers, and they were all very close.
My conclusion was that although 15-0 is amazing, it won't take much of a slip-up to throw that all away...really only 2 bad quarters, much like last year's Pats and Chargers, could make it all for nothing.
Disclaimer: The system I use is quick and dirty - it matches up Weighted DVOA RANKINGS, and not the actual VALUES. Comparing overall ranking vs opponents overall rankings, weighted pass offense ranking vs. opponent's weighted pass defense ranking, then runnning, and o-line vs. d-line, etc.. It seems to work pretty well, but I am not a gambler, so I wouldn't put money on it, nor would I recommend anyone else do the same. Again, quick and dirty, I would guarantee that the premium database is much more accurate and telling.
I consider what I do more of a time killer while waiting for a train than anything else.

83
by Thinker (not verified) :: Wed, 12/26/2007 - 11:59pm

I know that this was a tough week for NE Special Teams, but moving from 8th overall to 30th for the season in one game - without allowing a TD return and with blocking a punt... A Fumbled punt return, a blocked punt for 6, and a couple returns to the 40: yep that's a poor showing, but could one bad-but-not-colossally-horrific game really drop a top 10 team to third from last?

Apologies for the run on sentence of the week, but it is late and you get my drift...

84
by Herm? (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 12:20am

Re: Chris / Eli Manning
Sometimes he seems like a top 5-10 QB, other times he plays like a #32.
I think the quote earlier this year was that the Giants shouldn't throw Eli out with the bathwater. I don't think the problem with Eli is potential to throw for accuracy, distance, yards, and all those good categories. At this point in his career, he just has that knack for throwing bad interceptions at the wrong time. Haven't you seen him lately? He's looked terrible at times, almost like Giants are better off running 50 times a game because he has the ability to lose games singlehandedly.
Can Eli learn to read a defense and make a good throw consistently, and not kill his team? It remains to be seen, and he's proven he can sometimes contribute to wins, but he needs to raise his execution and consistency a few levels before Giants can be comfortable with him in there.

85
by Chris (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 12:50am

"Bad Eli games" aren't just bad eli games, they are bad weather and bad Giants offense games too.

Like the rainy Pitch in London, the windy Meadowlands with 12 dropped balls vs the Redskins, the whole team stunk against Minnesota, Rainy Day in Buffalo etc.

Cam Eli eliminate bad mistakes? Well the guy studies like his brother but doesn't get the nerdy rap peyton gets. Eli gets more of a dorky rap, but the guy does study after every series and prepare for games.

I'd also like to say that judging from watching every single snap of his entire career, that he's had some bad luck these past 2 years.

and that he DOES have an impact on the run game in a positive way.

Eli has a lot of control of that offense and I'd bet a studier like him has a better chance of improving than somebody who has less command of an offense and doesn't study as much.

If Eli Manning were a stock, he'd be a beaten down value play that nobody wanted to touch. I think it was Yahoo wrote an article on the best and worst "young quarterbacks". They said Cutler was the best with the most potential etc. and Eli Manning was the worst.

Sort of funny that the guy with the 3K yards every year, the 48 TD passes in his first 2 years as a starter and 3 playoff appearances in a row is the punching bag.

I'd fade the yahoo article.

86
by Andrew (A.B.) (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 12:51am

Re: 83

What are you talking about? The table has Pats' ST at #7. It's the Colts at #30.

87
by Chargers Fanboy (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 2:10am

Just wondering, why is everyone so convinced that Norv Turner is going to do 'something stupid' come playoff time? I know his previous teams did not perform well but are there specific instances of him doing stupid things to cause his teams to lose? Everyone seems to love Marty Schottenheimer but he made a huge mistake in last year's playoff game against the Patriots by challenging the interception that was fumbled. It cost the team a timeout which could have given them a couple of extra plays at the end of the game.

Just asking

88
by Chad Gerson (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 6:02am

80: I'm more than happy to make fun of Marvin Lewis. It just doesn't have as much meaning for me as bashing del Rio does, because I'm a Colts fan and we own the Jags, whereas, while we also own the Bengals, they aren't in our division and we only play them once every 3 years or so.

35: Fair enough. Dallas hasn't seemed as great in recent games as they did early. Of course, neither have the Patriots.

The team that is performing the best right now considering the injuries they've had, and maybe even without considering injuries, is the Colts. Your Super Bowl XLII champions.

89
by M (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 9:53am

AndyE - last I checked there were 16 teams in each conference, not 4. Also, I believe the NFC has a +2 advantage in Wins/Losses. However, I think the AFC is higher in DVOA and has outscored the NFC in inter-conference games this year.

Wanker79 - I must give you props for sticking to your conference parity assertions. In 2006 both conferences were about even until almost half-way through, and then the AFC won what seemed like almost every game after week 8 - they were +16 in interconference games. I expected the same thing this year, but it didn't materialize. Even if the AFC sweeps this week, it will still be the most even year since 2001.

90
by B (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 11:16am

87: Cause he's Norv Turner.

91
by Chargers Fanboy (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 11:59am

90: Does anyone have an answer that's intelligent?

92
by BDC (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 12:01pm

Chris,

"I am sick of people acting like he is the worst starter in the league."

I don't recall anyone here saying that. I think he is a slightly below average QB, and I think the general consensus is somewhere around there.

"Who is the most average quarterback in the NFL? My initial instinct is a healthy Jake Delhomme."

Okay, let's use that as a starting point then. Now, Let's comparing Delhomme's three complete years vs Manning's using conventional stats, as they appear to be your preference.

Delhomme has a higher completion percentage, much higher YPA, more TDs, fewer picks, a much higher QB rating, and more yards. If you are correct that Delhomme is the absolute average QB in the league, and Eli is below him in every meaningful category, then the only conclusion is that Eli is a below average QB.

". He has had his fair share of interceptions but consider he’s 26 and can learn from his mistakes."

You keep indicating this optimism that he will improve on his mistakes but has he really shown any indication that he will? Each year he has thrown fewer passes then the previous year and yet thrown more interceptions. Making more mistakes each year then the previous year is not showing improvement.

"Cam Eli eliminate bad mistakes? Well the guy studies like his brother but doesn’t get the nerdy rap peyton gets. Eli gets more of a dorky rap, but the guy does study after every series and prepare for games."

If he truly studies as hard as his brother and after 4 years in the league is still making the same mistakes as always, what makes you think he will improve?

"Like the rainy Pitch in London, the windy Meadowlands with 12 dropped balls vs the Redskins..."

"I’d also like to say that judging from watching every single snap of his entire career, that he’s had some bad luck these past 2 years."

The same rainy pitch that Cleo Lemon did fine in? The windy Meadowlands that is his home field so he better get used to it?
Weather is part of football, or perhaps no one went up there and told him that?
Bad luck? Yea, that happens too. Bad luck exists I think so homers always have an excuse :)

Look, it isn't that Eli is bad, he isn't. Is a slightly below average QB, which is more then many teams have. The fact is though, slightly below average is not what you are really hoping for from the number 1 pick in the draft.

93
by Herm? (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 12:20pm

The more I think of Eli, the more I think he has a very tough NFL life, worse than most.
Grant me some license, because I'm sure it is great to be a millionaire and have his perks, but have a look:

He is an NFL QB - probably the most challenging job in the 4 major sports

He plays in NY - tough place to play, if not the toughest, wouldn't you say top 3, with passionate fans and media there criticizing every throw? How many times have Pennington and Clemens been fired by the media?

His father is Archie - legend in his region, well thought of all around. How do you live up to that?

His brother is Peyton - when he retires, probably the greatest QB of all time (or again, in the top).

Really, it's just not fair.

94
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 1:33pm

Re #45, sundry other Norv/Chargers-related comments:

I don't think it's fair to compare a 14-2 team today with one prior to free agency. So I looked at the numbers for 1995 (picked arbitrarily as a sort-of-round number a couple of years after the start of free agency) onwards. The 7 teams in that sample to go 14-2 averaged 8.71 wins, mode and median 7. Only the Colts and Patriots (twice) managed to follow up 14-2 with a winning record.

This year's DVOA projections, linked in my name, expected the Chargers to win 8.9 games with a DVOA of 8.8%. They look set to win two more games than that, and their DVOA is currently 14 points higher. I don't know how large the new coach penalty incorporated in those projections is, but I'd be willing to bet that the Chargers have performed better under Turner than DVOA would have expected them to under Schottenheimer. I said at the time he was hired that there is nothing in Turner's record which proved he was a bad coach, but that there was enough to say conclusively that he wasn't a wonderfully good one. A.J. Smith, on the other hand, is a brilliant talent evaluator. Great talent evaluation coupled with average coaching can win superbowls - just ask Brian Billick. I still think either Ryan would have been a better hire, but I said at the time that Norv wasn't a terrible one and I think this season is clearly a data point in support of that view.

95
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 1:57pm

This is the craziness of Eli Manning:

If you compare his three full years (15 games so far this year) to Peyton's first three full years, this is how they measure up.

Completions-Attempts per game:
P 21-35
E 19-34

Yards per game
P 256
A 215

TD per Game
P 1.77
E 1.43

Int per Game
P 1.21
E 1.15

Sacks per Game
P 1.17
E 1.68

So... Eli actually throws fewer interceptions than Peyton did at the same time in his career. Yet he takes more sacks.

Peyton throws more TD's, and more yards, but the big difference in their completion percentage is one more completion PER GAME. If you can count on Shockey to not drop one more pass per game, they are even.

If you prefer stats per attempt:
% TD per Attempt
P 5.06
E 4.25

% Int per Attempt
P 3.45
E 3.43

% Sack per Attempt
P 3.34
E 5.01

I think Eli needs more time, and an offensive line. Unless he takes the sacks himself, I see that as the biggest difference in their performance.

96
by Herm? (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 1:58pm

(Mr. Shush, you forgot the link)
No matter how much talent you have, you still need good coaches to organize/motivate/discipline
We like playing on Norv, but he has to be doing something right to get so many wins out of a team, especially despite some of those midseason growing pains.

I always think back to some Raiders teams of the past, which have had phenomenal talent but never had the discipline to be consistently great. Shouldn't they have had more championships, or at least appearances? (great, now I have to go into the databases and look through them for support).

97
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 1:59pm

Granted, Peyton was better in his third year than Eli in his, so it indicated an upward trend.

But Eli is not so bad in comparison, he just makes the very obvious mistakes that make you scream at your TV.

98
by Herm? (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 2:19pm

Holy Sack-Per-Attempt, Cyrus!
I think the en vogue stats on the talk circuit lately are per attempt, particularly yards per attempt.
Eli is on a big stage.
Besides what I said in #93, Peyton had the ability to slide under the radar, he came from a team that was perennially bad - I think Colts fans can attest they did not expect to succeed as much as they have, and probably could at least be happy they had a franchise QB with bigtime potential, and Mora as a coach didn't seem to crucify Manning...who knows if Eli is afforded the same leeway by his coach.

Also, they have had comparable runningbacks (Faulk vs. Barber), but Eli doesn't quite have his Harrison either.

99
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 2:39pm

Re: Cyrus

Their averages may not be all that different, but the problem with Eli is that since his first full season (2005) none of his trends are going in the right direction.

His completion percentage is bouncing around the mid-50's.

His yardage total has been dropping (with a couple hundred yards this weekend he'll match last year's total).

His ypc average has dropped from 6.8 to 6.2 in each of the past 2 years.

He had 24 TDs in each of the previous two seasons but he's only at 19 this year.

His passer rating was in the mid-70s the previous 2 years but he's only at 71 this year.

And his DPAR, PAR, DVOA, & VOA have all been in a steady decline for the past three years.

If he looked like an average QB but he was showing signs of improvement I'd say Giants fans would have some reason for hope. But I don't see how you can look at the past three years and see anything except disappointment.

100
by MdM (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 3:14pm

Cyrus,
wasn't Peyton playing on a horrible team that had just earned the #1 draft pick, while Eli has been on a team with multiple Pro-Bowlers on offense like Shockey, Tiki, and Burress?

101
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 3:55pm

RE: 98

I don't know if that % thing makes sense... but I thought it was interesting. Eli is twice as likely to throw a pick or be sacked than he is to throw a TD.

RE: 99
Oh, I agree completely-- he hasn't shown it improving. And I'm a Patriots fan, not a Giants fan, so I was just giving a counter argument. I just think Eli hasn't had the same opportunities to work with-- Plax can't stay healthy, Tiki retired, Shockey has flashes of greatness... I really think, if you give him a consistent offensive line, Plax healthy and Shockey catches just a little bit better, he would be a solid #10-15 QB.

Which is not great, but hey-- I don't think you can win a playoff game without a top 15 QB, so they are better off than 17 other teams.

I don't see Eli ever getting into that top 10 of elite QB's... there will always be someone that wants it more. But having a consistent QB, and if he doesn't make the big mistakes, I see the rest of the team doing well.

102
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 4:03pm

Elite: Peyton/Brady
Great: Brees/Big Ben/Romo/Favre
Can be Great: McNabb/Bulger/Palmer/Garcia/Hasselbeck
Young Guns: Cutler/Leinart/Young/Schaub/Garrard
Flawed, but good: Eli/Anderson/Rivers/Kitna/Delhomme/Warner
Projects: TJax/Campbell/Russell/Smith
Could be projects: Edwards/Clemens/Croyle
Chicago QB's/Miami QB's/Baltimore QB's

So. Going by that ranking, I would put Eli as the best of the Flawed bunch, giving him an overall ranking of #17.

Taking into account injuries and bad performances and retirement, he should continually be in the top 15, and if he improves any, top 10.

103
by Paralis (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 4:54pm

David Garrard is 15 months younger than Donovan McNabb (he'll turn 30 in February). In what sense is he young?

DVOA rankings for 2007: Matt Schaub, Jason Campbell, and Philip Rivers are 14,15,and 16 (Eli Manning's? 34). How on earth do you decide which one is a project, and which one flawed but good?

104
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 5:08pm

RE: 103

Completely subjectively. Just my opinion. That was my subjective ranking system, not based on DVOA, as I did not bother to look up what their DPAR scores were.

And as for Garrard, I did not realize he was turning 30 in February until you pointed it out. I guess the "Young guns" could still apply, in the sense that he is just now becoming a starter, but you definitely caught me clueless there.

As for the guys you mention... this is my rationale:
Schaub-- first year starting, either he or Andre Johnson wasn't healthy for half the year. I think he will do very well next year, especially if they get a RB.

Campbell-- I rank him as a project because I do not see him as a full QB yet. Maybe he is a better QB, while still a project, than Eli is-- but I still think he will improve, so my subjective ranking put him in the project category.

Rivers-- He did well last year, poorly this year. It could be a Big Ben like anomaly, or he could just not be as good as he thinks he is. I think Eli for Rivers, straight up, is an even trade. Just my opinion.

As for Eli being ranked #34, I either disagree with the rating system, don't think you can pick out just this year as a ranking system, or both. You can just chalk it up to ignorance, if you'd like.

105
by BDC (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 5:17pm

93: Yes, playing in NYC market is tough, and yes, as Chris has pointed out, the weather can be tough. If only he had been selected by a team that played in a market with less scrutiny, and nicer weather. Someplace like, I don't know, San Diego. Oh wait.

95: That is somewhat disingenuous, as it includes P's first year in the record but does not include E's. Most QBs aren't very good their first year period. It should be noted that this was P's worst (and only actually bad yesr), and his QB rating was the same as E's career rating. Look at the first 4 years overall, as that is where Eli is at now, and it looks a lot different:

PCT YDS AVG TD INT RAT
56.7 3739 6.5 26 28 71.2
62.1 4135 7.8 26 15 90.7
62.5 4413 7.7 33 15 94.7
62.7 4131 7.6 26 23 84.1

48.2 1043 5.3 6 9 55.4
52.8 3762 6.8 24 17 75.9
57.7 3244 6.2 24 18 77.0
55.3 3085 6.2 19 19 70.9

The first group of course is Peyton.

So yes, Eli IS bad in comparison. Now one could argue that most QBs look bad when compared to P Manning and that is certainly true, but hey you brought it up. In any case, as I tried to explain in my post 92, the problem is that he has shown no sign at all really, of improving. If anything, he has actually gotten slightly worse.

106
by ChiJeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 5:24pm

RE:105

In regards to post #93:

Thank you!!!!

107
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 5:33pm

RE: 105

I do have a life, but am bored... so here goes.

Here are Peyton's 1-2-3 years and his 2-3-4 years, followed by Eli:
Comp-Att per game
21-35
21-34
19-34

YPA
7.3/7.7/6.4

TD's/Attempt
5.06/5.15/4.25
Int/Attempt
3.45/3.21/3.43
Sacks/Attempt
3.34/3.84/5.01

So Eli still throws fewer TD's, and slightly more Int's, which negatively effects his ranking

Rankings
85.5/89.8/74.7

But part of this is his much higher sack rate. Does he have trouble getting rid of the ball, or does he lack a great receiver to get rid of it to?

I mean, I think having Edge is negated by Tiki, but Harrison has no equivalent on the Giants. As good as Plax is, I don't see them having nearly the same relationship and timing as Manning/Harrison.

But for now, I will let the numbers speak for themselves and stop trying to come up with a defense for Eli-- he has none. I just thought I would point out that he isn't as bad as people think he is.

108
by Cyrus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 5:37pm

Rankings was supposed to be "QB Ratings".

And everyone looks to the YPA, but I don't really care for it as a tool to compare completely different offenses.

This came up in the Brady vs. Manning debate, as Brady has a much lower YPA than Manning did in his 2004 season.

But I see that is the offensive strategy-- Manning handed the ball off, whereas Brady throws to Welker as an extended handoff.

I think Tiki Barber was a great back because of his receiving abilities-- but by nature of the fact that he was catching the ball out of the backfield, I can easily see that lowering the YPA. Does anyone have more information about this?

Like, comparing Westbrook/Tiki's production on McNabb/Manning's YPA... if you take them out, does it change?

109
by Rory (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 6:12pm

I understand that Jacksonville could be seen as a dangerous team if they face the Patriots. But can Jacksonville really pull it off? In their last few games on the road they've given up 385 yards to Tampa, 538 yards to New Orleans, 292 yards to Tennessee, 342 yards to Indy (just 217 to Pittsburgh however). The Jags are 7th against the pass in DVOA, and Brady already played well against Indy (#1), San Diego (#3) and lit up Pittsburgh (#6). Also the Jags are #20 DVOA against the run, while the Patriots are #1 in rushing DVOA and Maroney has had his two best games of the year in the last two weeks (albeit against the two worst rush defenses in the NFL).

Rashean Mathis is an above-average CB, but he isn't a shut down guy by any means (Jacksonville is #14 DVOA against #1 WRs). And for all the pub the Jags' D-Line gets (Henderson and Spicer are very good), the Jags are just 18th in Adjusted line yards.

So while the Jags offense is for real with Garrard, MJD, Taylor and all the rest, can the Jags really stop the Patriots?

110
by AndyE (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 6:14pm

M -
As I noted back in comment 180 of Week 10 (linked), this year's interconference division matchups favor the NFC far more than you'd expect. Since only 64 of the possible 256 matchups get played, sample selection can drastically shift the number of games each conference takes (For instance, the East/East matchup is a good matchup for the NFC; it makes every non-New England team unfavored, for an expected 4-12 AFC record ; Had it been the South or West, the matchups are much more favorable for the AFC East).

111
by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 6:41pm

RE: 25 -

I have been trying to put my finger on what is familiar about raiderjoe and I've finally figured it out:

He's Cookie Monster.

112
by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 6:41pm

whoops, I mean RE: 29.

113
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 6:50pm

Re: 111

LMAO.

114
by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 6:59pm

I find it curious that anyone would point to the schedule as having much to do with SD's dropping off.

First, DVOA takes schedule into consideraion, so going from 2nd to 13th in offensive DVOA has absolutely nothing to do with it.

But second, the schedule really isn't that much different. They played the NCFW and AFCN last year along with TN and Buffalo. This year it was NFCN, AFCS and Baltimore/NE.

Minus Green Bay, is this year's NFCN really any better than last year's West? And since when is Baltimore (one of the "first place schedule" opponents) a bad draw? Wasn't the AFCN a tough division to play last year? Even if you want to scour through this and find 4-5 games that were against weaker competition, Denver and KC dropped off the map this season, so I think having 4 games against them balance things off a bit.

The schedule had nothing to do with SD's worse play. Blame Rivers, blame the OL seeming to drop off, blame Norv....

But stop blaming the schedule.

115
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 7:10pm

Re: 114

Judging by DVOA, this year's San Diego schedule was the 19th toughest schedule at an average of 0.1% DVOA and last year's schedule was the 30th toughest schedule at an average of -6.6% DVOA. I don't particularly care for the way FO calculates SoS, but the method is at least good enough to say that San Diego's schedule this year was more difficult.

116
by Nathan Z (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 7:28pm

91:

What's not intelligent of saying "because he's Norv Turner"? What's wrong with using history as a guide? Caching theroy makes use of the idea that if something has happened recently, it becomes more and more likley to happen again.

I think this can be extrapolated to football coaches too. Norv has failed, often miserably, in his career. So, it should reason that he will fail again.

Didn't you have this lesson taught during the Shottinheimer (sic) days? The theroy was executed to perfection.

117
by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 12/27/2007 - 7:29pm

115

Considering the impact that playing NE has had on SoS, I'm not sure that I buy into that this year.

Even so, I would imagine that dropping on bad team for one good team would account for that difference. Shouldn't that account for only one loss?

118
by BigB (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 12:11am

Aaron says, "Remarkably, our playoff odds equation still gives the Patriots just a 70% chance of finishing undefeated" Why is this remarkable? Seems like reasonable odds to me. Are you falling into the national media belief trap? This is football and a 70% is about as high as it gets. You're in non-reality land if you believe the Patriots stand a better than 70% chance against any playoff team. They are a good group but let's all admit that the rest of the league is figuring them out a bit. Thus, the less than 30% chance of super bowl victory is right on target. BTW, look how flat that curve is for potential super bowl victors...I love it. It is so realistic. It's part of the reason why the NFL is so dominant in the USA

119
by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 12:36am

Cleo Lemon wasn't "fine" in London. The guy had a few more garbage yards than Eli in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated. Eli didn't have a lot of yards because the handoff was just fine against the Fins.

He doesn't make "the same mistakes" over and over ( that is a dumb blanket statement) and 3 years as a starter is NOT an eternity. A 26 year old showing improvement is NOT crazy talk.

Cyrus- How dare you rank players without attatching DVOA to your rankings. Players NEVER get better or worse, but DVOA is their "real" ranking.

So big ben and Rivers can bounce around with good/mediocre seasons, but Eli has to be a stud from the get go? Eli is the same age as your "young guns". If the 26 year old Eli can't get any better then why not change the name of the "young guns" to something else because those guys aren't studs.

120
by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 12:38am

The FO crowd does get annoying. If Eli has a better year next year people will say things like " I always knew he could be better, I just said he just had to cut down on his mistakes". Or " I liked him all along, I just said he needed to be more consistant".

The FO crowd is like monty Burns in the baseball simpsons where he told Daryl Strawberry to " go hit a homerun".

No wonder the Pats and their fans are getting a bad rap.

121
by AnotherPatsFan (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 12:47am

BigB, if you actually look at the playoff odds calculator and reread what he is saying, you will find that Aaron is saying that the Pats only have a slightly less than 70 percent chance of beating the Giants and finishing the regular season undefeated, which surprises him (and me too).

They are only given about a 30 percent chance to win Super Bowl by the calculator (which is probably calculated by the model effectively assuming that they play and win three games with a less than a 70 percent chance of winning each (as you predict). The calculator says (and I hope the spacing comes out, but you can find this at the link in the article):

After summarizing the odds of the regular season outcome, the calculator summarizes:

Making History
New England: 69.8% chance of going undefeated.

(this regular season summary is followed by the playoff calculations)

Playoff Scenarios
This report lists the odds of each team
Reaching the Conference Championship Game, Winning the Conference Championship Game, Winning the Super Bowl

Team Conf App Conf Win SB Win
NE 69.3% 45.2% 29.1%
DAL 75.8% 48.6% 21.9%
IND 65.1% 24.4% 12.9%
GB 64.4% 24.1% 9.5%
JAC 21.3% 11.8% 6.9%
SD 23.9% 9.6% 5.3%
TB 23.2% 12.1% 5.0%
SEA 24.0% 8.8% 3.4%
PIT 12.9% 5.2% 2.3%
CLE 6.1% 3.1% 1.3%
MIN 2.8% 1.7% 0.6%
WAS 4.0% 2.1% 0.5%
NYG 4.9% 1.8% 0.4%
NO 0.7% 0.4% 0.1%
TEN 1.0% 0.3% 0.1%

122
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 11:28am

Re: 117

Whether or not you completely buy into FO's SoS calculations (which I don't, not completely anyway), all I was trying to point out is that suggesting the this year's schedule had some role in SD losing a couple more games than last year isn't quite such a ridiculous notion as you were making it seem.

And if the win this weekend, they'll finish with 11 wins. Are we really supposed to kill Norv over the difference between a 14 win team that was arguably the best team in the regular season last year and an 11 win team that is arguable the 3rd or 4th best team in the regular season this year? If they had dropped down to a middle of the pack 9 win team, that would have been different. But they went from awesome (29.9% DVOA) last year to really really good (22.7% DVOA, 30.4% WDVOA) this year.

123
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 11:33am

70% is a great advantage for an NFL game. If you take a step back and put the monster we've created away, the Patriots and Giants are just NFL teams. The Giants are a playoff team. I'd accept 55-60% odds in this league.

The most interesting thing I took from post #121: The Cowboys have a better chance to win the NFC than the Pats do to win the AFC.
The AFC playoffs are shaping up to be incredible this year.

124
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 12:25pm

jeez, if we're going to kill Norv for San Diego taking a fractional step back, what do we do with Lovie?

125
by Charger Jeff (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 12:40pm

Let's forget Norv for a second - outside of Bill Bellicheck, would any coach have won more than 11-12 games with this team this year as a FIRST YEAR coach? You could argue that they should have won the first KC and the MINN games, but you can also easily argue that they should have lost the IND game. It's really, REALLY hard to win 14 games. It's never been done two years in a row. Give some credit for this team not completely regressing to the mean.

126
by Eddo (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 12:43pm

124: Considering Lovie also brought the Bears up to where they were last year (and the year before that), that's possibly the worst comparison you could make.

127
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 1:13pm

I was more interested in the team regression comparison.

When you look back, are you going to say Norv or Lovie had a more successful season?

Sure, when you're considering history, you can give Lovie credit for his 2 great seasons (11 + 13 Wins, right?) over Norv's best (10 through all those Redskins years.) And considering the situation you can't compare the 2 because Lovie was coaching the same team last year whereas Norv was a coordinator elsewhere. I see what you're saying.

Now I'm stopping because I'm not going to continue to defend Norv Turner.

128
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 1:58pm

Kurt, Kyle, Gerry, Chris:

You guys have extrmely selective memory re: Giants vs. Eagles.

Game 1
McNabb - 138 yards on 31 attempts, 12 sacks, 3 FUM (1 lost)
Manning - 135 yards on 26 attempts, 1 sack, 1 TD, 1 INT (in the redzone)
I'd call that a slight NYG advantage, with no inordinate fumble luck as one of you claimed.

Philly - 19 rushes for 110 yards
Giants - 24 rushes for 88 yards
Advantage Philly

Philly - 1 of 2 FG
Giants - 1 of 2 FG
A wash

The 16-3 score was the direct result of Mitchell not being ruled down by contact when he clearly was, and McNabb stepping slightly over the line on a TD pass to Brown. A 13-10 Giants win would have been the result of those two plays being slightly different. And I can't imagine how you can argue that it was skill by the Giants that caused the refs to blow a call or McNabb to step over the line.

Game 2
McNabb - 179 yards on 30 attempts, 3 sacks, 1 TD
Manning - 219 yards on 31 attempts, 2 sacks, 1 TD
Slight advantage Giants

Philly - 25 rushes for 130 yards, 1 FUM (lost)
Giants - 25 rushes for 104 yards, 2 FUM (both lost)
Advantage Eagles

Eagles - 2 of 3 FG (miss bounced off upright)
Giants - 3 of 3 FG
Advantage Giants

The game was extremely evenly played, and the winning margin for NY was Akers clanging the FG off the upright. Its irrelevant whether or not he should be expected to make very many of those, the point is the one he did kick was long enough and just inches off target.

In my previous point, the Giants advantage in the division mostly rests on these two relatively close wins, in neither of which did the Giants cause the outcome other than simply outlasting the Eagles, while the Eagles held an advantage everywhere else in their schedules, with the comparison against the Bills and Patriots still to be determined. Its not some claim of wild luck though, you misunderstand that. It was bad skill of Akers to just miss the FG. But for the Giants, it was lucky that he did so. It was bad skill of McNabb and the O-Line to take sacks and lose a fumble, and good luck of the Giants to make sacks and cause fumbles, but the 7 points by Mitchell was dumb luck because the refs should have called him down by contact. Neither team controlled that occurance. You guys get so touchy with this, and just don't seem to understand the whoel concept. Causing sacks and fumbles is not luck. Refs making mistakes is.

129
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 1:59pm

"It was bad skill of McNabb and the O-Line to take sacks and lose a fumble, and good luck of the Giants to make sacks and cause fumbles"

Sorry! Good skill, not good luck.

130
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 2:48pm

Gerry #70:

I came to a similar conclusion based on other rationale.

So we essentially agree.

Giants were recipients of extreme luck.

Nor I. They were close games, and the Giants mostly got one or two more breaks. It wasn't like they got 10 good breaks.

However, trying to say that the Giants won the first game because of luck is stretching it, IMO.

I think the Giants won it fairly, but removing luck, the score would have been closer, something like 13-10.

The Giants had more yards. The Eagles gave up 12 sacks and averaged just 1.8 yards per pass attempt.

Actually, the Eagles had more yards before penalties. They had 3 more passing yards, 26 more rushing yards, 45 more yards returning kicks, and 27 more yards returning turnovers. That outwieghs the net of 56 yards of sacks the Eagles gave up. However, then the Eagles got 15 penalties for 132 yards, which was 105 more than the Giants. I'm not sure I believe the Eagles deserved 4 times the penalties of the Giants, but that is what was called. If you want a difference maker in the game, it was penalties, and not play on the field, which was extremely even.

And in the second game, once again the Giants outgained the Eagles.

The Giants gained 10 more yards combined rushing and passing, and lost 2 fewer yards on sacks. But they also gave up 6 more yards fumble returns. They major difference is 61 yards more on kick returns for the Giants, but then the Giants had 26 more yards of penalties. The Giants got an extra 40 yards or so total, nothing major.

True, Akers missed a FG, but it is a stretch IMO to say it is unlucky to miss a 57 yard FG.

Its not so much unlucky or lucky as out of the Giants control, so it is not a credit to them, like blocking a kick would be. The reason it was missed wasn't for lack of distance but inches of accuracy.

Also, while it was some nice defensive playing to stop the Giants on goal-to-go situations twice, including 5 plays from the 2 or closer, but there is still luck involved– the Eagles stop a certain percentage overall and the Giants make a certain percentage overall, so if there were sufficient repetitions, there would be an expected non-zero TD percentage but in the game the percentage was zero.

I disagree with this completely. The Eagles have shown throughout the year that they are very good at these goal line stands, stopping far more goal line attempts than they allow. There is nothing lucky about this sort of play at all, just like completing more 3rd downs than normal in a game is not luck. Luck are events out of control of the players - missed penalties, results of kick-offs and field goals, unforced errors, recovery of fumbles, etc.

But overall, between the two games, the Giants outplayed the Eagles.

I would say only ever so slightly.

131
by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 3:02pm

Chris #76:

To say that coach A coached with or under coach B therfore they have the same schemes is ignorant. Even a single coach can change schemes from year to year or on a lesser degree from week to week.

So you don't believe in coaching philosophies and coaching trees?

Obviously coaches scheme from week to week, and make changes every year. That doesn't mean the West Coast group of coaches - Holmgren, Gruden, Payton, Reid, Shanahan, McCarthy, etc. are not very similar in offensive philosophy, even if they each have their own wrinkles in the offense. Similarly, the Parcells tree of Parcells, Belichick, Crennel, Mangini, etc., or the Dungy, Tomplin, Smith, tree. Its probably fair to lump Fisher, the Ryans, Phillips, Cottrell, Schwartz and others as coming ultimately off the Buddy Ryan tree.

Generally, if a young coach works for a number of years under an older coach, as Cottrell did under Phillips, and then later takes over the older coach's team, he keeps the philosophy of the unit intact if it has been successful, adding in his own wrinkles. We can see that this year with Spagnoulo's approach with the Giants and Jim Johnson's ideas.

I welcome an arguement from you as to why Cottrell has completely changed the Chargers defense from Phillips.

132
by gmc (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 3:22pm

re: 102

What? Seriously, I think the rankings are rather skewed by A. Very recent performance and B. Surrounding talent. I'd suggest something more like:

Elite: P.Manning, C.Palmer
Great: T.Brady, McNabb, Romo
Above Average: Brees, Favre, K. Warner, Roethlisberger, Bulger, Hasselbeck, Garrard, D. Anderson
Average: E.Manning, DelHomme, Rivers, Cutler, Schaub, Garcia.
Potential (Small sample size): Campbell, Rosenfels
Poor: Everyone else who has played quarterback this year.

133
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 3:56pm

102.
Palmer The Elite...classic.

we can debate Brady/Manning for the next 50 years. I'd listen to any argument that says "despite Brady's impending NFL record breaking season, Manning is playing the best at QB this year, but you don't notice because his receivers are not all great, etc." It's a fun argument.

But I'm stopping you in your tracks right now and kicking Carson Palmer off the bus. That guy with those receivers, he should almost be ashamed of his DPAR and ranking this year.

134
by Fred Farmer (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 4:08pm

re 121

70% looks a serious underestimation of the Pats chances of beating the Giants.

Regress pre game dvoas for every game played over the last 4 seasons against straight up results and then plug in current figures for both the Giants and the Pats and you get 80% as the chance of a Pats win.Knock around a field goal off of the Giants chances because they're resting starters and you're now looking at about an 84% chance of the Pats going 16-0.

That gets you NWE by a couple of TD's,which is smack in the middle of the current Vegas line.

135
by Herm? (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 4:15pm

ooops, change my 102 to a 132 - meant to respond to gmc

136
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 4:25pm

Re: 133

We may have been butting heads a little bit in other threads, but I couldn't agree with you more on this one. After this year, anyone who doesn't start their QB rankings with Manning/Brady at 1 and 1a automatically loses all credibility on the subject. If you really think Palmer is better than the next tier, that's one thing. But to say that Manning and Palmer are the two best QBs and that Brady is a 2nd-tier QB is simply ludicrous.

137
by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 9:22pm

128- You can't just compare passing yards, rushing yards and field goal attempts.

What about the lost yards/downs from the 12 freaking sacks the eagles took? What about penalties, return yards and everything else that took place? Kick offs, field position and Everything?

That is insane to just compare quarterbacks, running backs and times sacked.

How is 12 freaking sacks lucky? Osi Omenyori was nearly breaking NFL History over young Winston Justice and Andy Reid failed to double team him. How the hell do you let that youngin block a probowler that is KILLING your quarterback? By the end of the night Osi put on a clinic... this is the speed rush... this is the bull charge etc. I blame Andy Reid for not keeping TE's and backs back there to chip Osi more often on passing downs. Leaving the youngin to block one of the best in the buisiness that long was playing with fire and Andy got burned.

Game 2 was closer but if you want to play the " game of inches" then what if a speedier Jacobs or Bradshaw was carrying the Droughns play and had scored instead of setteling for 3 after that goalline stand? Droughnes gets an "F" at running back or a passing "D-" at best. If he scores it changes that game.

138
by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 9:50pm

131- I never said that Cottrell ripped up the Chargers defense but he is not the same person as Wade.

People assume that since say Ron Rivera was a Bears defensive coordinator that he wants to run the exact same scheme as Lovie Smith. That wasn't the case.

People take the " he's a West coast offense or Cover 2 guy" to the extreme.

Mike Mccarthy's offense looks very different than Mike Shannihans who'se offense looks very different than Mike Holmgren.

Bill Parcells could have his teams run a 3-4, 4-3. pass heavy, run heavy etc. offense that is catered to his personel.

Mike Tomlins Vikings ran a 4-3 last year where as Dick Leabeu has been running the 3-4 ( and well) for years.

So let me ask you a question. If Andy Reid quit because of his misfit kids next year and Mike Holmgren took over for the Eagles... With the same talent etc., would you expect the Eagles offense to get better, worse or the same?

That might not be a perfect example because the Eagles have had Mcnabb,Westbrook and some pieces together longer than most teams, but my point is that by keeping the same players and coaches, you would expect the team ( especially on offense) to get better.

by ripping the thing up, changing the languge, adding new plays that the guys have to get used to can create a learning curve.

Is it easier to run that same 42 Jet Reda Rip that you have been running for the last 4 years or running the new 52 Titan raleigh jet slant that was installed last week? Would you expect the "team" to master plays they have been running or brand new plays?

My point is to say that Cottrell should experience the same success as phillips because of a coaching tree is nonsense.

There is such thing as a learning curve and just because say Shannihan and Gruden came from the same coaching tree doesn't mean that Gruden can step in for shanny and not have a learning curve.

The reason why most rookie wideouts don't succeed until year 3 is not because of their physical talent. It is because they have no idea how to play in a pro offense and 1 wide receiver running the wrong route can be deadly risky. 1 wide out running and out instead of a stop is an easy pick 6 for a corner.

I find it ignorant for somebody to assume that because some guys coached together that they are so freaking similar they might as well be the same person doing the same job.

I also think it is different for younger assistants who might still be in more of a learning phase ( possibly spagnola who could learn and be molded from top notch talent) where as if say Jim Fassel coached under Brian Billeck in Baltimore he might not want to run Billecks shitty offense in his next job.

139
by MdM (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 11:15pm

RE: Who's better, Eagles or Giants

Guys--there's a saying, the lower the stakes, the more vicious the battle. Both of these teams are somewhere in the range of mediocre. Neither is going anywhere (Eagles for sure not). Neither is obviously better than the other in all ways of looking at it. Maybe we should let this argument ride until next season... when the Eagles sweep the bottom-feeding Giants and wipe the field with Eli's "why me" face! :)

140
by Chris (not verified) :: Fri, 12/28/2007 - 11:48pm

Typical. Instead of bowing down, the Eagles fan comes on here and says " they both stink" but NEXT year the Eagles will sweep the Giants.

Well, this is 2007, and Eli Manning and the New York Giants swept the Eagles whether you like it or not. Maybe Eli is the 32nd best starter in the league, but he twice bested Donovan this year and is 2-0 vs the Eagles.

If the Giants played the Eagles every week of the season, they would be 16-0, undefeated and the same Eagles fans would be on here bitching about missed David Akers field goals and Winston Justice missed blocks.

141
by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/29/2007 - 11:51am

So were the Patriots "lucky" to beat the Colts, Ravens and Eagles? Are they really a team that should be 12-3 and "just got lucky" because they won a few close ones?

The Giants beat the Eagles fair and square both times and crying about it makes the Eagles fans look weak.

142
by BDC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/29/2007 - 1:24pm

Chris,

"Eli didn’t have a lot of yards because the handoff was just fine against the Fins."

No, Eli didn't have a lot of yards because he couldn't complete a pass. He did have 22 attempts. That would indicate that he was trying to pass but simply couldn't. Also, trailing by 10 points going into the fourth quarter is not "garbage time".

"...and 3 years as a starter is NOT an eternity. A 26 year old showing improvement is NOT crazy talk."

No, it isn't. And you are correct, it is possible that he might improve. The problem is that so far, he has not shown any sign at all of improving.

"So big ben and Rivers can bounce around with good/mediocre seasons, but Eli has to be a stud from the get go? Eli is the same age as your “young guns”. If the 26 year old Eli can’t get any better then why not change the name of the “young guns” to something else because those guys aren’t studs."

Well lets take them one at a time. Rivers: 2 years in the league, one was pretty good, one was average. Considering his worst year was better then Eli's best, despite having half the experience, I'de say that yes, Rivers is better, or at worse, about even. Considering the Giants traded Rivers and picks for Eli, I am guessing they were hoping for a bit more then that.
Ben: Saying he isn't a stud is just ridiculous. He has outpeformed Eli (and many other QBs for that matter) in every measurable way (and ya know, won a SB). And he has gotten better since that draft, something Eli hasn't done. Sure he had a subpar year in 06, and yes I do cut him some slack for that considering he was hit by a freaking car.
You are absolutely kidding yourself if you don't think the Giants management is kicking themselves for giving up picks for Manning instead of taking Ben.

143
by BDC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/29/2007 - 1:43pm

Chris,

"Typical. Instead of bowing down, the Eagles fan comes on here and says ” they both stink” but NEXT year the Eagles will sweep the Giants."

Mediocre means average (maybe a little better, maybe a little worse), it does not mean stink. I don't think anyone said the Giants stink. Just like when people say Eli is average (maybe a little above, maybe a little below), yet you interpret that as people saying he sucks.
You really need to not be so defensive.... I am fairly sure that when he stated the Giants will finish in last place next year, the little smiley face afterwards means he was kidding.

"So were the Patriots “lucky” to beat the Colts, Ravens and Eagles? Are they really a team that should be 12-3 and “just got lucky” because they won a few close ones?"

What relevence would that possibly have on how good the Giants may or may not be? Pretend for a moment that the Patriots are actually the worst team in the league and they didn't just get lucky in those games, but actually in all their games. How would that in any way change how good the Giants may or may not be in comparison to the Eagles?

"The Giants beat the Eagles fair and square both times and crying about it makes the Eagles fans look weak."

How results oriented of you. I agree with you in this case actually, "crying about it" won't change anything and could be interpreted as weak. I do find it interesting however that you would say that considering your primary arguments that Eli is better that we apparently think is because he has gotten unlucky, had to deal with bad weather, dropped passes, etc. I wonder if you think that makes you look weak?

144
by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 12/29/2007 - 2:49pm

Trent Edwards and Tom Brady get passes for playing in bad weather games, ( and Pats fans even want to adjust DVOA after he played in the meadowlands) but when Eli plays there he just sucks.

My point is that the Giants win a close one and people bitch that they are "lucky", where as the Pats have had 3 pretty close games this year and nobody is saying they " got lucky" winning those close ones that could have been seperating them from undefeated.

How come even in Mike Vicks could play in the league 5-6 years and people were still saying how he's young, and this is going to be the year he finally clicks in that offense yadda yadda yadda but Eli has been a starter for 3 years and people say that he will never be better than average?

Typical Eli basher - " He isn't worth the #1 pick, he isn't as good as Peyton, he has made mistakes, he has been average and I don't see him getting any better".

145
by BDC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/29/2007 - 4:06pm

"Trent Edwards and Tom Brady get passes for playing in bad weather games, ( and Pats fans even want to adjust DVOA after he played in the meadowlands) but when Eli plays there he just sucks."

I think after the season Tom Brady has put up, he doesn't really need any "passes".
Really chris, this is getting pointless as you keep just making up claims. Neither I nor anyone else said Eli sucks. Now if you want to talk about specific games, then yes, in the Miami game he sucked. 59 yards on 22 passes is pretty terrible, and no amount of excuses is going to change that.

"My point is that the Giants win a close one and people bitch that they are “lucky”, where as the Pats have had 3 pretty close games this year and nobody is saying they ” got lucky” winning those close ones that could have been seperating them from undefeated."

Really? I seem to recall plenty of people claiming they had a fair amount of luck in those games. The Baltimore game in particular. But, as you pointed out in regards to the Giants\Eagles games, in the end, that doesn't matter. They came away with the win. Look, we all know the best team doesn't always win; likewise, we also know that sometimes the team that performs best doesn't win.

"How come even in Mike Vicks could play in the league 5-6 years and people were still saying how he’s young, and this is going to be the year he finally clicks in that offense yadda yadda yadda but Eli has been a starter for 3 years and people say that he will never be better than average?"

More red herrings. What does Vick have to do with this? Incidentally, I don't recall anyone on here making that assertion; if you saw it elsewhere, perhaps you should take that up with them. In any case, as I have said about a half dozen times already, it isn't that Eli couldn't improve, as certainly he could. It is that he hasn't shown any sign of improvement to this point, so there is no reason to think he will. Imagine if you will, you have a kid who has wavered between a C- and C+ all through high school. Sure, they could turn into an A student senior year. But if they have never done better then a C+,what reason would you have to expect that?

"Typical Eli basher - ” He isn’t worth the #1 pick, he isn’t as good as Peyton, he has made mistakes, he has been average and I don’t see him getting any better”."

And I would respond typical homer. Are you telling me with a straight face that if the Giants had known then where Eli would be at today, they would have spent the fourth overall pick in the draft, a first the following year, and a fifth the following year on him? Especially when they could have had Ben for less?

When teams spend two firsts and a fifth on a QB, they expect something more then average. That isn't "bashing", it is a simple statement of fact.

146
by BDC (not verified) :: Sat, 12/29/2007 - 10:18pm

And just to show I don't hate them I'll be pulling for Eli and the Giants tonight :)

147
by Chris (not verified) :: Sun, 12/30/2007 - 9:47pm

No signs of improvement? Well according to that logic Brett Favre should have retired last year and the year before.

How about 4 TDs and a 38-35 loss to " the greatest team of all-time".

No reason to think he will improve? What about 48 touchdown passes in his first two years as a starter, 3 playoff appearances etc. You act like he is a boring game manager trent dilfer. He had made mistakes, but he has made good plays too.

How many people really are "worth" their high draft pick? Is even a probowl and ringless Donovan Mcnabb worth the #2 pick in the draft? Donovan is really a good player and at least 25 teams would want him to be their starting quarterback but you could certainly argue that he wasn't "worth" the #2 pick because he couldn't do what a quarterback is supposed to do and win the big one.

Also, who is "worth" more. Adrian Peterson drafted at #7 or Willie Parker picked up off the street?

At some point in time it is worth it to over pay for the better players at key positions (quarterback).

148
by Chris (not verified) :: Sun, 12/30/2007 - 9:49pm

Would you rather pay Peyton Manning 15 mil a year and have a bunch of rag-a-muffins as the 50-53rd spots on your roster or have Tavaras Jackson play for free?

149
by Andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 01/01/2008 - 10:27pm

Chris #139:

You seem to be confusing actual plays which are similar, with philosophy, which is where differences occur. Example, philosophy is 1 gap vs. 2 gap on defense or man vs. zone, and not 3-4 vs. 4-3 which is just a set of personnel arrangements, just like nickel and dime sets are. 4-3 teams like the Eagles can play 3-4, and 3-4 teams like the Patriots can play 4-3. But a light speed team like the Colts would have a difficult time shifting from 1 gap to 2 gap because that is contrary to the entire philosophy of the team.

On Offense, the WCO is a philosophy, as is the power-running offense and the Air-Coryell offense. They may all have similar plays albeit with different names, but the way they have those plays occur on the field varies as does the calling of plays, as do the options for the players within the play. That's the root philosophy.

150
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