Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

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» Varsity Numbers: Honing in

Bill Connelly again looks at which college football teams the F/+ ratings are sure about, and which teams remain a mystery (led by Appalachian State).

21 Oct 2008

Week 7 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

The Giants take back the top spot in this week's DVOA ratings, passing idle Philadelphia. Undefeated Tennessee is still in third place, although the Titans rank number one in "Estimated Wins," which attempts to project wins based on DVOA in specific important situations like the red zone and the second half of close games.

The big mover this week is Buffalo, which jumps up from 20th to 11th thanks to its win over the San Diego Chargers. The idea that the Bills moved up ten places does overstate things a bit; teams are packed together in the middle of the ratings, so it is easier to make a big move. Still, at this point the Bills are pretty clearly for real. What's interesting about the Bills is that they aren't really spectacular in any one phase of the game. This team seems to have no glaring weaknesses, but also no clear strengths except for special teams. The Bills have one of the most consistent special teams units in the NFL, ranking first, second, and sixth over the past three seasons, and now fifth in 2008. Nothing else ranks in the NFL top ten. Thanks to balance, the offense ranks higher overall (11th) than it does either passing (12th) or rushing (20th). The defense is 15th overall, 11th against the pass and 22nd against the run. That's their lowest rank in anything, 22nd, and a 5.9% DVOA against the run isn't a huge problem.

All individual and team stats pages are now updated. Playoff odds are running a bit behind due to technical problems. (By the way, all stats pages should once again have the drop-down menus that allow you to visit past seasons.)

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through seven weeks of 2008, 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 to consider all fumbles, kept or lost, as equal value. They also include opponent adjustments, currently at 70 percent strength. SPECIAL TEAMS DVOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season.

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

DAVE is a formula which combines our preseason projection with current DVOA to get a more accurate forecast of how a team will play the rest of the season. Right now, the preseason projection makes up 7.5 percent of DAVE, and this year's DVOA makes up 92.5 percent. For teams with only six games played, that split is 19/81. DAVE also discounts the first three games of the season by five percent. This is the last week we'll be using the DAVE ratings; next week we switch to WEIGHTED DVOA, which considers only the 2008 season but gradually discounts early games.

To save people some time, 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
TOTAL
DAVE
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 NYG 37.3% 2 31.3% 2 5-1 35.7% 1 0.6% 14 2.3% 14
2 PHI 36.5% 1 34.9% 1 3-3 17.6% 8 -16.3% 5 2.6% 9
3 TEN 30.1% 3 24.0% 3 6-0 5.7% 15 -25.0% 2 -0.6% 21
4 PIT 23.7% 8 21.9% 4 5-1 2.8% 18 -18.5% 4 2.4% 12
5 WAS 23.0% 5 21.0% 5 5-2 22.9% 2 -5.3% 8 -5.2% 29
6 ARI 21.5% 6 17.1% 8 4-2 19.7% 6 -0.8% 11 1.0% 19
7 BAL 20.2% 7 16.5% 9 3-3 -3.5% 23 -25.5% 1 -1.9% 26
8 TB 19.9% 4 19.2% 6 5-2 1.1% 20 -23.3% 3 -4.5% 28
9 CHI 13.1% 10 10.0% 10 4-3 5.6% 16 -5.0% 9 2.5% 11
10 GB 12.8% 14 17.2% 7 4-3 5.5% 17 -5.7% 7 1.7% 17
11 BUF 11.4% 20 6.3% 16 5-1 9.2% 11 2.0% 15 4.3% 5
12 CAR 10.7% 17 9.7% 11 5-2 7.5% 14 -3.9% 10 -0.7% 23
13 MIA 9.8% 12 6.9% 14 2-4 22.2% 3 2.3% 16 -10.0% 31
14 ATL 8.3% 16 -1.2% 20 4-2 20.4% 4 16.5% 27 4.4% 4
15 NO 8.2% 9 7.0% 13 3-4 17.2% 9 10.8% 20 1.9% 15
16 IND 4.7% 11 7.8% 12 3-3 8.3% 12 2.9% 17 -0.7% 22
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
TOTAL
DAVE
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 SD 2.4% 13 6.6% 15 3-4 13.3% 10 12.3% 23 1.4% 18
18 NYJ 0.3% 19 -0.4% 18 3-3 -2.1% 22 -0.1% 13 2.3% 13
19 DAL -3.5% 15 -1.4% 21 4-3 17.7% 7 13.1% 24 -8.1% 30
20 MIN -3.9% 21 -0.9% 19 3-4 -3.6% 24 -14.1% 6 -14.4% 32
21 JAC -4.1% 22 -2.1% 22 3-3 8.1% 13 14.8% 25 2.6% 10
22 NE -5.9% 25 0.0% 17 4-2 -0.2% 21 12.0% 22 6.3% 1
23 DEN -6.8% 18 -5.3% 23 4-3 19.9% 5 25.0% 30 -1.7% 25
24 SF -12.5% 23 -16.2% 25 2-5 -15.9% 28 -0.2% 12 3.2% 8
25 CLE -14.4% 24 -13.8% 24 2-4 -9.7% 25 8.7% 18 3.9% 6
26 OAK -21.0% 26 -23.4% 28 2-4 -17.1% 29 9.8% 19 5.9% 2
27 HOU -23.9% 27 -19.6% 27 2-4 2.4% 19 29.8% 31 3.5% 7
28 SEA -25.0% 28 -17.7% 26 1-5 -10.8% 26 15.1% 26 0.9% 20
29 STL -33.7% 31 -31.1% 30 2-4 -14.3% 27 21.1% 28 1.7% 16
30 CIN -37.6% 29 -30.9% 29 0-7 -25.2% 31 11.5% 21 -0.9% 24
31 DET -46.0% 30 -43.6% 31 0-6 -19.2% 30 31.8% 32 5.0% 3
32 KC -58.2% 32 -49.9% 32 1-5 -30.8% 32 24.2% 29 -3.1% 27

  • 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.  Teams that have had their bye week are projected as if they had played one game per week.
  • PAST SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents played this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • FUTURE SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents still left to play this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • VARIANCE measures the statistical variance of the team's weekly DVOA performance.  Teams are ranked from most consistent (#1, lowest variance) to least consistent (#32, highest variance).


TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
1 NYG 37.3% 5-1 52.4% 5.1 3 -14.3% 31 17.9% 1 34.3% 32
2 PHI 36.5% 3-3 41.6% 5.2 2 1.4% 17 7.5% 4 15.1% 15
3 TEN 30.1% 6-0 38.5% 5.3 1 -15.4% 32 -3.2% 21 5.0% 6
4 PIT 23.7% 5-1 31.4% 5.0 4 -3.3% 23 6.2% 6 5.7% 7
5 WAS 23.0% 5-2 17.8% 4.9 5 7.4% 4 -0.8% 17 4.3% 4
6 ARI 21.5% 4-2 15.6% 4.3 8 4.1% 9 -6.1% 27 20.4% 17
7 BAL 20.2% 3-3 16.8% 4.5 7 2.3% 13 1.8% 12 29.9% 28
8 TB 19.9% 5-2 22.6% 4.0 15 3.1% 11 -11.4% 31 21.2% 18
9 CHI 13.1% 4-3 12.5% 4.6 6 4.3% 8 -5.3% 25 3.7% 2
10 GB 12.8% 4-3 14.9% 4.2 9 -6.5% 26 -0.3% 16 9.4% 9
11 BUF 11.4% 5-1 15.4% 4.1 11 -8.6% 29 -9.3% 30 15.4% 16
12 CAR 10.7% 5-2 11.3% 4.1 12 -1.4% 22 3.8% 9 21.9% 21
13 MIA 9.8% 2-4 12.7% 3.7 18 2.1% 15 -15.5% 32 27.3% 26
14 ATL 8.3% 4-2 11.8% 3.9 17 -6.8% 27 2.3% 10 21.3% 19
15 NO 8.2% 3-4 9.4% 4.1 13 1.3% 18 -3.2% 20 10.2% 10
16 IND 4.7% 3-3 5.4% 4.0 14 2.0% 16 -5.1% 24 30.3% 29
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 SD 2.4% 3-4 4.8% 3.9 16 -0.2% 20 -8.8% 28 12.9% 14
18 NYJ 0.3% 3-3 3.3% 3.5 19 -4.4% 24 -8.8% 29 12.1% 12
19 DAL -3.5% 4-3 0.3% 3.1 21 1.2% 19 17.8% 2 26.4% 24
20 MIN -3.9% 3-4 -7.8% 3.1 22 4.8% 7 4.3% 8 6.6% 8
21 JAC -4.1% 3-3 -5.1% 3.5 20 5.6% 5 -5.0% 23 1.7% 1
22 NE -5.9% 4-2 1.3% 4.2 10 -9.3% 30 0.4% 14 31.4% 30
23 DEN -6.8% 4-3 -4.3% 2.8 24 -8.4% 28 -5.6% 26 25.9% 23
24 SF -12.5% 2-5 -16.9% 2.8 25 3.8% 10 -3.3% 22 10.7% 11
25 CLE -14.4% 2-4 -18.5% 2.9 23 9.0% 3 6.0% 7 28.5% 27
26 OAK -21.0% 2-4 -21.1% 2.3 26 -6.1% 25 -2.6% 19 26.7% 25
27 HOU -23.9% 2-4 -22.4% 1.9 28 2.6% 12 0.0% 15 3.8% 3
28 SEA -25.0% 1-5 -26.7% 1.9 27 5.0% 6 6.3% 5 25.3% 22
29 STL -33.7% 2-4 -38.5% 1.2 30 11.4% 2 2.1% 11 32.7% 31
30 CIN -37.6% 0-7 -44.9% 1.2 31 13.4% 1 0.8% 13 4.9% 5
31 DET -46.0% 0-6 -43.1% 1.4 29 -0.9% 21 12.7% 3 12.2% 13
32 KC -58.2% 1-5 -49.3% 0.6 32 2.2% 14 -1.2% 18 21.3% 20

Worst DVOA Ever Watch

With St. Louis turning things around with two upset wins, and Detroit staying close to Minnesota, the "Worst DVOA Ever Watch" is starting to lose some of its excitement. We'll see if the Chiefs can keep up with the 2005 49ers over the next couple weeks.


WORST TOTAL DVOA
AFTER SIX GAMES
  WORST DEFENSIVE DVOA
AFTER SIX GAMES
2005 SF -74.3%   2005 HOU 34.2%
2000 CIN -65.2%   1998 CIN 34.0%
2005 HOU -59.4%   2000 ARI 33.1%
2008 KC -58.2%   2008 DET 31.8%
2002 CIN -56.2%   2005 SF 31.8%
1999 CLE -55.9%   2000 SF 29.9%
2000 SD -51.0%   2008 HOU 29.8%
1996 STL -49.7%   2006 HOU 29.7%
2008 DET -46.0%   2007 NYJ 28.6%
2001 WAS -45.5%   2002 KC 28.2%
2007 SF -45.2%   2002 MIN 26.4%
2000 ATL -43.3%   2002 BUF 26.4%

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 21 Oct 2008

89 comments, Last at 26 Oct 2008, 12:56pm by Hawaiian Madness

Comments

1
by Dales :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:25pm

Big Blue #32 in variance.

Yeah, that sounds right to me.

2
by scatman (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:38pm

What do we read into a team that is 1st in DVOA but 32nd in variance? Sounds like an accident waiting to happen

6
by MJK :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:53pm

It may be too early to be reading much into variance. Variance may go down as the season goes on. A high variance means that the Giants have had a much higher DVOA in some games than in others...but DVOA is only being estimated with six weeks worth of opponent data. As the season goes on, DVOA might figure out that some of the teams it thought was good aren't really, or vise versa, and hence the Giants (or anyone's) DVOA may become more consistent.

12
by Matt :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 6:01pm

At this stage, we read the Browns game into it. Nothing more. Though I'd note that last year's Steelers had a historically good DVOA and a high variance number too through the first half to three-quarters of the season, then kind of fell apart.

30
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:25pm

The Steelers fell apart because of injuries to key defensive players.

41
by bishopmvp (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:26pm

You should also probably read the Week 1 Washington blowout into it.

9
by CaffeineMan :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:57pm

Re: Giants 32 in variance

Yeah, I was really disappointed it wasn't the Pats. :) I guess the Pats have the lows, but the Giants have higher highs.

Also interesting:

Giants had 2nd easiest schedule so far and have the hardest going forward.

Tennessee had the easiest so far and have the 11th (?) easiest going forward. Titans undefeated this year? Who have they got left?

To the FO Staff: Thanks for fixing the IE6 issues...

13
by Matt :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 6:04pm

Titans have the Steelers, the Colts and Jaguars of course, the Packers and the Bears.

50
by drobviousso :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 10:40pm

I haven't watched much of the Titans this year, so I only know what their stats look like. Who's the most likely to beat them, based on style of play? The Packers/Colts with their big play potential (assuming healthy QB play)? The Steelers stout run defense (assuming DLine health)?

52
by foos (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:28am

And Evil Kerry will emerge soon enough.

89
by Hawaiian Madness (not verified) :: Sun, 10/26/2008 - 12:56pm

The Colts defense is stingy when their opponent is one-sided. They proved to Baltimore that they can stop a dedicated rushing attack. Collins doesn't have the mojo to give balance to the Titan O any more than Flacco does for Baltimore. Colts pull this one out, and the division won't be decided until the last two weeks of the season.

The AFC is a tough nut to crack this year, but I don't think that Tennessee has what it takes to go deep in the playoffs without a game-changer at the helm.

3
by Bob in Jax :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:41pm

So, what has happened to JAX? They have been consistently low in variance this year, and currently sit at a remarkable 1.7%, leading all other teams. Remember a couple of years ago when their variance was almost ridiculously high? When no one had any clue which of two teams would show up for the game (the Jekyll team or the Hyde team)? How does one account for this? Is this coaching or personnel? And how on earth, given the multiple overlapping and dependent variables, can one have any hope of finding out?

Aaron, if you come up with a stat that answers that one, and that can be used predictively, your fortune is made.

4
by kevinNYC (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:41pm

The Giants are number 1 in Offensive DVOA, Pass Offense, AND Rush Offense?

Even I find that hard to believe.

10
by Dales :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:58pm

The pass offense is #1, but it is pretty bunched up near the top, with 7 teams being between 38.9% and 30.1%.

The rush offense is #1, and it isn't close, with the Giants 13.5 points ahead of the #2 team (Washington) and nearly doubling the 3rd place team (Dallas). Lots of running in the NFC East outside of Philly...

5
by tabbs (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:42pm

wow, another person trying to take a shot at the Giants.....weird.

7
by ammek :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:53pm

Well to be fair, the Texans and Lions were playing each other. The longed-for game of 12 punts, 8 fumbles and 4 improbable safeties was always a pipe-dream. The reality was: Detroit crap in the first half, Houston crap in the second.

Out of curiosity, are the Lions leading the "Worst First-Quarter DVOA Ever Watch"? They've been outscored by about three touchdowns a week, except when facing the fearsome Frerotte.

18
by zlionsfan :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 6:55pm

Hard to say, because the premium site doesn't show overall DVOA by quarter. Strangely, they aren't even worst in the first quarter on offense this year: Cincinnati owns that mark.

On defense, however ... bad doesn't describe them. KC's 31st-place 1st-quarter DVOA is less than half of Detroit's.

But the Lions are pretty good in late and close games, which probably happens more often when you really only have one, maybe two. (I'm guessing the INTs put the Packers game out of that category quickly.)

8
by Dales :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:54pm

Interesting. Check out the catch % for various Giants:

Plax-56% (45 passes)
Smith-84% (31 passes)
Toomer-53% (38 passes)
Hixon-80% (15 passes)
Moss-71% (7 passes)
Boss-44% (14 passes)
Ward-81% (16 passes)
Hedgecock-60% (5 passes)
Jacobs-44% (9 passes)

I look at this, and I wonder about just how much of Eli's completion percentage improvement is due to the increased utilization of Smith and Ward compared to the same time last year, and to a lesser extent Hixon.

15
by JasonK :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 6:32pm

Especially given that Smith is essentially filling the role in the passing game that Shockey (61% catch rate in '07) did last season.

69
by Dales :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:52am

A 1, really, JBird1785? On what basis?

88
by roguerouge :: Sat, 10/25/2008 - 9:18am

And it's another victim of a drive-by rating. Sad, really.

11
by RowdyRoddyPiper :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 5:58pm

Sitting at 0-6 and with the 3rd hardest remaining schedule is Detroit destined to go 0-16?

14
by ammek :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 6:15pm

I'd look for Brad Childress to maybe foil the Lions in Week 14.

16
by DaveInTucson :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 6:35pm

They've got one more shot at the Vikings. Other than that...

I have a blog where I post objective, predicive power rankings of NFL teams.

19
by zlionsfan :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 6:59pm

I will take the Vikings and give the points.

I would not underestimate the difficulty the Lions will have playing in front of a hostile home crowd. At this point, road games are probably better for them than home games, and if the Lions don't have a win by then, whoever shows up will be booing anything in Honolulu blue.

Sometimes, it turns out to be the game you'd think they'd have the least chance of winning ...

43
by TomC :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:35pm

Agreed. As a Bears fan, I'm terrified of the week 9 game in Soldier Field. Well, maybe not terrified, but mildly uneasy.

17
by JCRODRIGUEZ (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 6:49pm

A very quiet #4 for the Steelers, now the oncoming schedule looks hard, not Daunte-sque, a great test this weekend that will turn into a...SUPERBOWL PREVIEW, BABY!!!...of course the critical match up is our O-line versus the Giants' pass rush...it will be a very telling game for the rest of the season...enjoy!...

20
by Alex51 :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 7:13pm

of course the critical match up is our O-line versus the Giants' pass rush

The Steelers' O-line vs. the Giants' pass rush? Yeah, that's a mismatch. If that's the critical matchup in this game, the Steelers are screwed.

21
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 7:14pm

Sometimes these stats just don't seem to add up at all. The Vikings rank 31st or so in rushing offence yet the OLine is 10th in adjusted yards. Does that make any intuitive sense? If the line is really doing the 10th best job run blocking how could they possibly be the 31st best rushing offence?

59
by TGT :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 8:18am

Adjusted line yards don't take into account situation. 6 yards on 3rd and 15 looks good on ALY, but it's horrible for DVOA.

22
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 7:33pm

I will take solace in the Vikings' defense maintaining an upper echelon rank, despite the Bears scoring 48 points. Heck, a mediocre punter performance this year would likely have the Vikings at 5-2. A mediocre punter and qb performance would likely have the Vikings at 6-1, or maybe undefeated. Sigh.

23
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 7:47pm

Will - you were right about the QB position. Had the Vikings brought in a Garcia, Leftwich, Pennington or even Rosenfels I don't think they would be in the mess they are in right now. I thought Jackson would develop - looks like I was wrong.

Most blame Childress but Spielman has a record at Miami where he brought in AJ Feeley after a 4-1 record in Philly where he completed just 55% of his passes. Feeley took over from Fiedler who had completed 60% of his passes in the previous 4 years and had an excellent record of 35-17. Childress and Spielman seem to have a fascination with QB's who complete 45-55% of their passes.

Last year I predicted a Viking run after they lost to GB. I was almost right until they tanked against Wash and Den. This year I see a run in the next 6 games. I think they will win 4-5 of those games. But I think they are too dumb a team to finish above 8-8 so they will then lose the last 3.

24
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 7:59pm

Kicking away from Hester strikes me as a very stupid plan. In his career Hester has a remarkable 9TD's in 179 reg season returns. But none this season. I understand the fear of the 9TD's but Hester has also fumbled 16 times in 225 total times handling the ball. So you are almost as likely to get a huge play for your team as you are giving up one to Chic.

I think the Vikings squib kicks were a huge factor in the loss. A breakdown of kickoffs in the game by the Vikings:

3 squibs - avg starting line of scrimmage Bears own 45 - 13 pts scored
5 reg Kick Offs - avg starting line of scrimmage Bears own 21 - 4 punts and a TD

27
by tuluse :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:17pm

That's cherry picking, two of the punts were in the 4th quarter when the Bears were trying to run the clock out.

46
by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:52pm

In addition to what tuluse has already pointed out, you have included kickoffs which happened after Hester was knocked out of the game.

25
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:05pm

I wasn't able to watch the game (since Fox decided that, for us in the Pac NW, the 49ers-Giants snoozer was 'must see TV'), so I can't say with any certainty. But the fact that the team rang up 41 points, against the Bears solid D, despite 4 turnovers (thanks, Gus!) might, just might, indicate that they're opening up the playbook?

This is the same team that managed 12 points against Detroit, 2 of which Detroit actually scored by themselves. Still, all I've got to go on are box scores and the 'Audibles' description.

If Minny can get the pass offense clicking at even a league-average pace, then they should be able to compete with Chicago and Green Bay for the NFC North.

Will and Jimm - I have to agree about the QB. That's really about the only problem now. The WRs are nothing special, but they aren't losing games through ineptitude. And I also thought that 'T-Jack' might develop.

28
by Vikes suck (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:20pm

Or that they were playing a defense missing both of its starting cornerbacks...

53
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:46am

And the nickel back, and they had to cycle the corners they did have because they kept getting nicked up in the game. At least we found out McBride and Bowman have some skills.

64
by Peder (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 9:39am

The special teams are a huge problem. As is the injury situation at linebacker. And yes, the two are related.

26
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:17pm

Jimm, if you bet against a qb drafted in the 2nd round ever developing into a decent qb, you'll be right most of the time, and if you bet against such a qb, who comes from a small school, you'll be right the vast majority of the time. From what a fan can observe, there was never much reason to think Jackson would be a decent NFL qb. I never said I thought Jackson would develop, but I did grant Childress some benefit of the doubt, since he saw Jackson every day. There is now zero reason to grant Childress any such benefit, given his present track record for evaluating qb talent; I'm pretty sure trading up for Jackson, trading for Bollinger and Holcomb, and signing Frerotte, were moves Childress supported. That's unacceptable for a head coach with a background in offense.

Frankly, if the Vikings look to be very unlikely to make the playoffs by about December 1st, I hope Wilf goes ahead and fires Childress, so as to get a chance to observe Frazier in the top spot for a few weeks.

29
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:21pm

Tundrapat, the special teams, Chris Kluwe especially, are absolutely killing the Vikings right now. KILLING THEM. I wish their problems were limited to the qb position.

31
by Chucky P (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:27pm

To answer the question of someone up there, per O-Line rank v rushing rank, re: vikings. I would hazard that it means the O-Line is largely responsible for most of the rush yardage.

As a Skin fan, it's funny how counterintuitive the DVOA is for offense and defense. Like most Skins' fans I would say that our D is the stronger unit, or maybe a push considering Clinton Portis' beast season, to date. It's funny that the two units are ranked the opposite way, and drastically so. I hope it turns out to be a poor predictor of future defensive performance (but, hell, I'll keep the strong O rank.)

32
by chubbypuppy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:30pm

The guy who should be getting credit for calling the Jackson debacle is BadgerT1000. I don't know what happened to that poster but he had that dead to rights a year ago. Called it on Childress, called it on Jackson, dude was all over it.

By the way, how many Vikes fans still claim Childress can speak intelligently about the qb position? BT1000 mocked that as well and pacifist stepped forward to chastise him based on Childress' alleged dissertations on the topic to the press.

Vikes fans need to hack this site and find that guy.

And no, I ain't him nor his agent.

56
by Staubach12 :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 4:05am

I remember that post. It's worth reading. Here's the link:
http://fo3.footballoutsiders.com/audibles/audibles-line-week-17-0

77
by Yaguar :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 3:02pm

A whole lot of us were wondering what the hell the Vikings were doing, both when they hired Childress and when they drafted Jackson. It's not really surprising that it didn't work out. Badger had the best disgruntled fan perspective, granted.

33
by Charles Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:32pm

The Bears' D is 9th? Really? Not Complaining, but after CAR, TB, ATL, and 41 points to MIN, how in the world . . .?

55
by Dan :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 2:34am

The Bears D played surprisingly well Sunday for a unit that gave up 41 points. On Minnesota's 6 non-scoring possessions, they had 4 interceptions and allowed a grand total of 10 yards.

34
by Aaron M. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:51pm

It's really too bad that the Chiefs had that fluke game against Denver, or maybe they would be #1 on that historically bad list. That would be pretty sweet. I think that also tells you how bad Denver's D really is if the Chiefs weakass offense could do that to them. They are currently ranked 30th, but will probably get better with an easy schedule. On another note, Detroit has the 3rd toughest schedule going forward and may approach the worst of "the DVOA era". Anyways, back to the Chiefs. Hopefully they end up one of the worst all time and Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards get their asses kicked out of town fast.

35
by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 8:54pm

Tampa drops four slots after throttling Seattle? OK, OK, it's a stat and all, but that game was an absolute blowout that only got close thanks to a late pointless score. Not that the Bucs less-than-stellar half shouldn't count against them somewhat, but I'm kind of surprised there was that much downward movement after what was a pretty impressive game.

61
by Andy (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 8:50am

I'm not really understanding that one either. I suppose it's because Seattle is such a bad team this year that they should have won by more? But other than Special Teams, the Offense and Defense looked really solid for most the game...

75
by Yaguar :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 2:47pm

Tampa's rating before this week was spectacular. It was 24%, or as good as last year's 13-3 Cowboys. The Bucs had just played five good-to-very good teams consecutively, and won four of those games. They had just murdered the Panthers, buried them, and spit on their graves.

A 20-10 victory over an awful team is fine, but it's not a 24% DVOA type performance. It's not equivalent to the 2007 Cowboys or the 2004 Eagles. As a result, the Bucs move down. Deal with it.

62
by Levente from Hungary :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 8:54am

Maybe 'cause they beat a rather bad team, so not too much gained from that + the change in opponent adjustment (currently 70%) might dropped them a bit.

65
by Levente from Hungary :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 10:35am

.

63
by Andy (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 8:55am

Looking more into the numbers I guess I can see why they dropped. Their Special Teams were pretty bad. Dexter Jackson has not been very good and they also missed a field goal. A bit of an anomaly could also be the Ike Hilliard fumble near the goal line that obviously couldn't have been prevented but will be included in the offensive DVOA stats nonetheless.

36
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:01pm

Chubby, as I said above, making that prediction regarding Jackson is not worthy of any credit, any more than "predicting" correctly that the high temperature next year, in Phoenix, on the Fourth of July next year, will be above 95 degrees. The vast majority of qbs drafted in the 2nd round, out of a small school, will not end up being productive NFL qbs.

When somebody here, who pats himself on the back for the Jackson "prediction", instead correctly predicts the next three college qbs with Jackson's background, who end being productive NFL qbs, without also incorrectly predicting five such qbs will be succesful, THAT will be a notable accomplishment. Of course, such a person would likely, in short order, be hired as a talent evaluator for an NFL team.

37
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:04pm

chubbypuppy - you are correct about Badger - he nailed Childress to a tee.

tuluse - valid point regarding the last two drives in the 4th quarter. But the point is 5 kickoffs result in the Bears starting at the 21 and 3 squibs the 45. Also Hester nearly fumbled on one of the kick offs early on.

What impressed me about the Bears was the way they came out in no huddle. I thought that was brilliant strategy and the QB was very good.

One pet peeve about the game. Booker was said to have dropped two sure touchdowns. The first was an obvious drop but the second was a ball that sailed in the wind and by the time he was in position to catch the ball there was no way he could have caught it. It drives me crazy when announcers think any ball that touches a receivers hand in any way should be caught.

38
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:17pm

Thanks, Will -

I'd forgotten (or tried to forget) about that particular aspect of Minny's game. Yeah, the special teams have been horrendous. I noticed it in the Saints game (only game I've had a chance to watch - in New Zealand, no less); even ignoring the two punt return TDs, the Vikes coverage units were letting the Saints start somewhere around the 40-yard-line.

Hard to win games when you're spotting the other team 20-some yards. Kluwe's got the 3rd-best gross punt average (49.6 yards) in the NFC, but the 2nd-worst net (32.0 yards). And that's just the punts.

39
by jimm (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:22pm

Will - I'm hoping Childress and Spielman are both swept out. I don't see any upside to either guy or any real history of success. I like Brian Billick as the coach. I don't know anything about GM material but that would likely be a more important choice.

Maybe I'm a masochist but I would far rather watch this team with Jackson at QB. Watching Jackson was at least like holding a lottery ticket - the odds are ridiculously bad but at least there was a chance. With Frerotte your absolute best upside is below average.

I also think a decent coach would work in some kind of slash type role for Jackson. Let him run a few plays a game - leverage this Wildcat thing with Taylor and Peterson and Jackson on the field. Childress just doesn't have it in him. It's not like he'd be taking time away from anyone significantly better.

40
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:22pm

I actually thought the Vikings defense played o.k., given the number of short fields the Bears' offense enjoyed, and the random nature of recovering a fumble in the end zone. A punter who can catch the snap, and a punt returner who has enough sense to locate the ball, brings the Bears point total to 34. Having more luck in recovering a fumble in the end zone brings it to 27. Not having to defend a short field multiple times likely brings the Bears point total to twenty or less.

47
by TomC :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 10:08pm

Ah, but two can play at that game. Not dropping two TD passes (I disagree with the poster above who thought the second one was not Booker's fault) brings the point total back up to 31 (they only got one field goal from those two red-zone possessions). Better luck recovering balls stripped from Orton leads to at least 3 more points, bringing the total back to 34. I could go on.

48
by Jimmy :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 10:12pm

I guess as a Bears fan I have a different perspective on the game to you, but do agree that the Bears were slightly flattered in winning the game, certainly by seven. However that is taking into account that the Bears were missing their top three cornerbacks, having already lost McGowan for the season and also were missing Lloyd (who was having a suprising season) and lost Hester half way through. It doesn't help when your projected starting LT isn't back yet and you end up relying on John St Clair. Seriously the first time he successfully executes a block on an island on a play with a five step drop it will be the first time, without any help from a back or a TE he is a swinging gate, Jared Allen certainly seemed to think so.

I guess it would be churlish not to acknowledge that the Bears TEs feasted on the questionable depth the Vikings had at linebacker following the loss of Henderson, but I gues those are the breaks. If I were a Vikings fan I would be a bit worried about the way the pass defense is playing though. If Booker caught the two balls in the endzone (although I will concede that the catch near the sideline was tougher than the announcers described, but it was still a possible catch) and Clark hadn't fumbled, Orton would have had his first 5 TD game and his first 300 yard game. That has to be at least a little disconcerting, Kyle Orton!!!

49
by TomC :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 10:16pm

Jimmy - Orton went for 334 two weeks ago. But maybe you're making the implicit assumption that games against the Lions don't count, in which case I'm right with you.

51
by JimR (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 11:04pm

Kyle Orton, indeed. The new QB rating (god, I wish FO would change the name to 'passing offense rating') has Orton as 10th. Don't any Bear fans breath. We all remember the Offensive Player of the Month, Sept 2006.

It is really hard to ascribe the Bear's passing success to superior OL or receivers. Remembering the backs and TEs count, it is possible to view the Bear receivers as league average but the OL is not good. Looks like Orton is being *held back* by the rest .... he's really like 5th best????

66
by Eddo :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 10:37am

Even when Grossman was winning his player-of-the-month award, you could tell it wasn't going to last. He was forcing throws in that first month of the season, getting lucky tips, and facing absolutely God-awful defenses. Grossman wasn't top ten in DVOA after seven weeks, unless I'm horribly mistaken.

Orton has at least faced respectable defenses (Minnesota, Philadelphia, Tampa, Carolina) to get where he is. It also speaks volumes that the normally conservative coaching staff has given Orton total control of the offense when he's on the field.

42
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:32pm

Jimm, there is nothing in Billick's time in Baltimore which indicates to me that he evaluates or coachs qb's well. I think it is likely that his reputation was largely the result of Randy Moss being available in the latter half of the first round in 1998. I don't think Jackson is an instinctively good runner.

Tundrapat, I'm pretty sure that every big return, or near-big return, that Reggie Bush had against the Vikings, came on punts that Kluwe was supposed to kick out of bounds. The punt return that the Packers had for a t.d. came on an absolutely horrible line drive punt from Kluwe. Now, there is even doubt as to whether Kluwe can catch the snap from center. He is killing his employer.

44
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:36pm

Jimm, I think (hope) Billick is tied up in a long-term contract for Coors Light commercials.

Other than his stint as OC in Minny, Billick has also shown no propensity for coaching. And this was WITH some really good talent evaluators (hi there, Ozzie!) around him in Ball'mer. In fact, he and Childress are of a kind - good coordinators, bad coaches. No, first we need to make sure we've got the right scouts/talent evaluators (which, I think, we do in Brze...Bryzne...zzrnrikski - whatever his name is). If that's his job.

But Spielman was a horrendous hiring decision (What was that based on? Stellar record in Miami? Good recipe for southwestern-style lutefisk?), and Childress has turned out to be a 'meh' coach. Really, when you've got that line, with both Taylor and Peterson in the backfield, you should be able to get enough workable talent (WR, TE, QB) to make the offense hum.

And yes - the special teams coach (Paul Ferraro) needs to go.

45
by Tundrapat (not verified) :: Tue, 10/21/2008 - 9:38pm

...one of us will run into a (newly retired) Kluwe online, as 'Loate'. And we can ask him about his punting.

54
by Utvikefan (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 1:42am

At least Kluwe will have time to game now, LOL.

57
by JMM :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 6:49am

When evaluating Billik's coaching career, recall that the seasons that generated his "genius" reputation Randy Moss was at the 1st peak of his career. When he chooses and if allowed, Moss can make any offensive coach a genius.

76
by Yaguar :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 2:54pm

Among alleged "offensive gurus" and "geniuses" who just happened to luck into getting Randy Moss are Scott Linehan and Denny Green.

58
by jimm (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 7:36am

Billick had a 80-64 record - which is not as good as I thought it was. I like coaches that win with what they have. Take Dungy - in Tampa he was all about defence, in Indy it's all offence. That was my thought on Billick. But you are correct if Billick had input on some of the QB choices in Balt - they weren't the best. He did win a Super Bowl and had some very good teams in Balt.

60
by mawbrew :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 8:20am

The Browns offense has been (with one exception) terrible all year. I'm guessing the Giants game is the only thing keeping them above seven teams in offensive DVOA. On the other hand, the defense seems to be coming around and I'm a little surprised their defensive DVOA hasn't improved over the past two weeks. They've held the #1 and #2 DVOA offenses to 14 points each but their defensive DVOA rank hasn't improved and their %DVOA on defense has actually gotten higher (worse).

The Giants game was based on big plays/interceptions, but not really any 'luck'. In the Redskins game they kept the score low despite an offense that gave them absolutely no help. In both games they gave up big chunks of rushing yards and that may be more heavily weighted in DVOA.

67
by Keith (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:10am

It might be time to start a "Worst ST DVOA of all Time" watch for the Vikings (and the Dolphins). A quick look over the last 3 years shows that the worst full-season mark is around -7%, while the 2005 Eagles had the previous worst 7-week DVOA at -13.0%.

For all their offensive issues, if the Vikings had league-average special teams they'd be top-10 in total DVOA, and probably 5-2.

On the bright side, after week 7, the 2005 Eagles' special teams regressed (progressed?) to the mean to an enormous degree, and finished with a league-average DVOA of 0.5%, so there may yet be hope for the Vikings.

68
by Chip :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 11:26am

Don’t forget that Rick Spielman was Director of Pro Personnel for the Bears from 1997-99. Just for a pleasant trip down memory lane, here are the first picks in each of his three drafts:
Cade McNown QB (1999-1-12) [speaking of low completion quarterbacks (54.6% over his two-year NFL career)]
Curtis Enis RB (1998-1-5) [amassed 1500 yards and 4 TDs over a three-year NFL career]
John Allred TE (1997-2-78) [281 career receiving yards and 2 TDs]

As a Bears fan, I'm still thanking Rick Spielman (as GM of the Dolphins) for trading DE Adewale Ogunleye for WR Marty Booker and a 2005 third round pick. Other career highlights include: trading a 2005 second round pick for QB A.J. Feeley (55.9% career completion percentage) and a 2005 third round pick for Lamar Gordon (~550 yards over two years and a 3.9 Y/C avg with STL prior to arriving in Miami).

Yeah, if I were a Vikes fan, I'd want him tossed too. Probably before Chilly.

71
by Birdman (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:08pm

Was he also around when the Vikings moved up to get Tarvaris Jackson? Seriously, that's what really confused me about that pick. Did the Vikings really think that someone was going to jump ahead of them to get a 1-AA quarterback?

70
by Richie :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 12:05pm

I am amazed that the Dolphins have the 3rd ranked offense. Has anybody watched the Dolphins games this year and thought "this is one of the top 3 offenses in the league"?

- A Dolphins fan wrote this.

72
by ammek :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 1:18pm

No. But when I saw it I thought "Ronnie Brown!"

And in fact, the Fins are 2nd in passing VOA.

78
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 3:20pm

Pennington is completing 68% of his passes at 8.1 yards per attempt.

73
by PatsFan :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 2:04pm

Is the giant Asteroid o'Doom approaching? Cassell was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week.

79
by MJK :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 4:49pm

It's a little ricidulous. From what I heard, I would have said Trent Edwards, even though I missed the BUF game (stupid cut-rate DVR...I should really get Tivo). I'm trying to figure out why Cassel had a higher QB rating and is esteemed more for his play this week when (1) he threw for fewer yards, (2) had a worse completion percentage, (3) played against a much weaker defense, and (4) could do exactly nothing productive until the other team's best player (Bailey) was knocked out of the game.

I know, he had 3 TD's to Edwards 1, but one of those was all Moss (Cassel threw the ball 2 yards on a screen, Welker and Light made nice blocks, and Moss did the rest with his feet), and all three were set up by a combination of long runs by the RB's, good special teams play, and Denver penalties (in particular, one of the TD drives was dead at the Pats 6 after Cassel threw incomplete to avoid a safety on 3rd down, until some Denver player decided to tackle Cassel by his facemask after he'd already gotten rid of the ball).

Not knocking Cassel--it was one of his better games of the year--but he did not look like a "Player of the Week". If that was the offensive performance of the week, then there must have been some pretty sorry offensive performances to choose from. Except I don't think there were...

(For the record, I'm a Pats fan, so maybe I'm spoiled by Brady and overly hard on Cassel...)

80
by Eddo :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 5:12pm

I know, he had 3 TD's to Edwards 1...

There's your answer, along with the fact his offense score 18 more points than Edwards's. I highly doubt voters look at anything other than stat lines for games they didn't see.

87
by CaffeineMan :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 4:39pm

So what were Cassel's FO stats for the week, anyway?

74
by Richie :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 2:42pm

Cassell? I'm thinking it maybe should have been LenDale White.

- A Dolphins fan wrote this.

82
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 7:19pm

white not win cause game was vs Chiefs. if do that vs ind this week White win award. not going to win this award unless guy get 200 yards or more or throw 7 tds. D Mcfadden didnt win when he run all over Kc Ciegs so whose to say white should get it when chiefs in worse shape now than than.
Raiders win over chiesf more imprressivie than titna s win over chifs

83
by Dales :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 7:49pm

The Titnas would make the thumbtack logo a bit more perversely appropriate...

81
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 7:13pm

Raiders will soon be overtraking Brocnos, Chiefs, and Chargers on list there. Halloween is coming up and now Raiders are now scray,. You can bet that other temas are scared of the Raiders.
T Kelly one best DT in game. Manhandlen Jets offnesive line all game long in gam e on Sunday.
besides T Kelly rets of defense scarys all other teams too. N Asomugha best cornerbac in game. D Hall good too, best guy at getting into head of wide receivers he takes them out of game by good trash talking
Linebakcing corpse among best in league T Howard gerat in coverage almost as fast as cornerbakcs and good takcler. whole defense is good.
J Russelll starting ro come along a. Good chance he become like J Elway (if younger poster and not famailer he was greta Qb for Broncos when Broncos were a good team)(Broncos crap team now. Week 1 was a long time ago. Broncos just not good anymore. Chump Bailey out for 4 to 6weeks. J Cutler broken finger. P ramsey done for season. team will have to sign some crap old fart Qb like V Testaverde or A brooks or Trent Dilfer. Maybe D Kanell is still looking for a job. The Broncos had him once before so you know M Shanarat like him.

Chiefs worst team in league/ Chargers having all sorts of probelms. Going to go to Great Britain and lose to Saints this week. At end of this week standings going to be broncos 4-3, Raiders 3-4, Chargers3-5 anbd Chuiefs 1-6..

Y

Ravens going down to Raiders on sunday

Cant wait till flex scheudle when former Raiders great head coach J Madden gets to call Raiders games on NBC Sunday night footbaLL. oinf to be great as you can watch Raiders like I do every week you will see how good they are and wont have to relie on this DVA and DAVE and STIDVOA.

86
by Jimmy :: Thu, 10/23/2008 - 9:59am

Linebakcing corpse among best in league - awesome, but I thought Al Davis was the corpse.

STIDVOA I am struggling with this one, is it Sexually Transmitted Infection Defense Varied Over Average?

If so how do guys like Travis Henry, Willis McGahee and McFadden score? And why is it always running backs?

84
by panthersnbraves :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 7:57pm

The HFCE has a team below Average, but all four NFCS teams are above!

(Yes, I know that the average of the DVOA's would still be better for the NFCE.)

85
by jimm (not verified) :: Wed, 10/22/2008 - 8:52pm

Yaguar - I'm not a big Denny Green fan but he was astute enough to draft Randy Moss. I think it's unfair to say he lucked into him. Also Green never had any problem creating good offences even without Randy Moss.

As to lucky coaches...how exactly do you separate the coaching from the players. Is Belichick lucky because they got Brady in the 6th round or is he a good coach? How about Noll - how did he fare after all the Hall of Famers got old, or Bud Grant. I could go on and on.