Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Jan 2009

2009 Postseason DVOA II

by Aaron Schatz

Here are postseason DVOA ratings, including the first two rounds of the playoffs. As in past years, we rank all 32 teams, whether they are in the playoffs or not. All numbers are weighted DVOA. That means that Weeks 1-5 are not included, while Weeks 6-11 are somewhat discounted. Any team that did not appear in the postseason is considered to have two bye weeks. A number of people have asked why I don't just end the weighted DVOA ratings for non-playoff teams at Week 17 instead of Week 19. The reason is that we already did this -- those numbers are the normal end-of-season weighted DVOA ratings. Just substitute that page for the table below when it comes to non-playoff teams, and there you go.

These will be the last DVOA ratings of the year; next week I'll just run the single-game ratings for the Championship games in Audibles. (When you start to give teams that didn't make the playoffs three bye weeks, it gets a little silly.)

The playoff odds:


Team Conf Win SB Win
PHI 58.2% 29.5%
PIT 51.3% 29.3%
BAL 48.7% 28.1%
ARI 41.8% 13.0%

I'm actually a bit surprised that Arizona came out so high -- a lot of that is probably home-field advantage. You'll notice the chance of the Cardinals winning the Super Bowl, should they get there, is a bit lower than their chance of winning the NFC Championship.

* * * * *

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

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

I'm not going to bother to run the whole DVOA explanation; if you are new to the website, you can read about it here. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.


TEAM WEI.
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
W-L WEI OFF
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
WEI DEF
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
WEI S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 BAL 33.7% 1 13-5 6.5% 16 -24.2% 3 3.0% 12
2 PIT 33.6% 3 13-4 7.0% 15 -27.6% 1 -0.9% 21
3 PHI 33.0% 2 11-6-1 4.9% 17 -24.8% 2 3.3% 10
4 TEN 25.0% 4 13-4 11.4% 11 -11.0% 5 2.7% 13
5 NYG 24.3% 5 12-5 18.1% 6 -4.6% 7 1.6% 15
6 IND 21.6% 7 12-5 25.1% 2 0.5% 11 -3.0% 26
7 NE 17.9% 8 11-5 21.7% 4 6.1% 17 2.3% 14
8 NO 16.2% 9 8-8 28.2% 1 9.6% 20 -2.4% 23
9 CAR 14.8% 6 12-5 15.6% 7 5.1% 15 4.3% 8
10 SD 14.1% 10 9-9 22.5% 3 11.4% 23 3.1% 11
11 DAL 8.2% 11 9-7 3.5% 20 -7.8% 6 -3.1% 27
12 ATL 7.4% 12 11-6 13.5% 10 11.3% 22 5.2% 6
13 MIA 3.8% 13 11-6 14.8% 9 7.5% 19 -3.5% 28
14 MIN 3.6% 14 10-7 -6.5% 23 -14.8% 4 -4.6% 30
15 GB 3.4% 15 6-10 10.5% 12 5.0% 14 -2.1% 22
16 NYJ 3.4% 16 9-7 4.7% 19 6.0% 16 4.6% 7
TEAM WEI.
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
W-L WEI OFF
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
WEI DEF
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
WEI S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 TB 2.4% 17 9-7 2.3% 21 -0.1% 10 -0.1% 18
18 ARI 2.3% 20 11-7 8.8% 13 2.3% 12 -4.2% 29
19 CHI 0.2% 18 9-7 -8.4% 25 -2.5% 8 6.1% 4
20 HOU -2.5% 19 8-8 15.1% 8 17.7% 29 0.1% 17
21 WAS -4.5% 21 8-8 0.1% 22 4.2% 13 -0.5% 20
22 JAC -10.9% 22 5-11 7.4% 14 15.5% 25 -2.7% 25
23 CIN -14.9% 23 4-11-1 -12.9% 27 -0.6% 9 -2.6% 24
24 BUF -17.3% 24 7-9 -9.4% 26 16.6% 27 8.8% 1
25 SEA -17.7% 25 4-12 -8.0% 24 15.6% 26 5.9% 5
26 OAK -19.4% 28 5-11 -16.7% 30 9.7% 21 7.0% 2
27 KC -20.1% 26 2-14 4.8% 18 17.9% 30 -7.0% 31
28 DEN -20.5% 27 8-8 18.7% 5 30.5% 32 -8.7% 32
29 SF -21.8% 29 7-9 -14.1% 28 14.5% 24 6.8% 3
30 CLE -24.3% 30 4-12 -20.8% 32 7.3% 18 3.8% 9
31 STL -35.1% 31 2-14 -17.3% 31 17.3% 28 -0.4% 19
32 DET -41.9% 32 0-16 -14.4% 29 28.8% 31 1.4% 16

Here are the one-game DVOA ratings for the first round of the playoffs. Remember that these include opponent adjustments.

TEAM TOT OFF DEF ST
BAL 25% 2% -19% 4%
TEN 32% 12% -23% -4%
ARI 83% 10% -73% -1%
CAR -69% -66% 10% 6%
PHI 32% -16% -44% 4%
NYG 22% -2% -28% -3%
PIT 59% 27% -19% 13%
SD 6% 39% 28% -4%

Here is the same table, often requested in years past, with VOAf instead of DVOA. This still has adjustments for fumble luck and special teams weather, but does not include opponent adjustments.


TEAM TOT OFF DEF ST
BAL 0% -18% -14% 4%
TEN 0% -14% -18% -4%
ARI 69% 8% -62% -1%
CAR -64% -62% 8% 6%
PHI 6% -22% -23% 4%
NYG -4% -23% -22% -3%
PIT 36% 28% 5% 13%
SD -27% 5% 28% -4%

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 13 Jan 2009

105 comments, Last at 03 Feb 2009, 6:42pm by brett ratliff

Comments

1
by Wanker79 :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:02am

"One of these things is not like the others... one of these things does not belong.."

I understand that the "things" being compares are the teams, but when you put it next to pictures of Flacco, Reothlistberger, Warner...and McNabb it kinda makes you go o_0. Because it was completely unintentional it kinda made me chuckle, but still.

5
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:20am

It is correct that only one of the quarterbacks in that photo montage is a rookie. Also, only one wears a double-digit uniform number.

I'm sorry, were you talking about something else?

7
by steveNC (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:50am

I think he was referring to the picture in the lower left. The QB with a single vowel in his last name.

8
by Bill_2120 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:57am

No, I think it was the QB with 4 syllables in his last name, rather than 2.

63
by BucNasty :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:45pm

It must be Kurt Warner, the only undrafted player. In fact, all the others were first rounders.

Fun game.

67
by Bill_2120 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 6:03pm

Might also be the only one that's not a "bird"

91
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 11:45am

Sorry

11
by sirpaulj7 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:10pm

And one is African American.
And one has a SB ring.

16
by dmb :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:27pm

Your first observation is what Wanker79 was referring to, and what Aaron was jokingly avoiding.

Your second observation is inaccurate; last I checked, Roethlisberger won a ring just a few years ago, and unless those things have an expiration date, Warner has one from his days with the Rams.

19
by Theo :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:42pm

I heard Warner played pretty well there.
The one Roethlisberger won was also pretty memorable. Did you know Jerome Bettis is from Detroit?

32
by sirpaulj7 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 2:19pm

haha ... oh yeah, Warner has a SB ring. I must had a brain cloud on that one.

57
by tuluse :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:15pm

Flacco is the only one without a conference championship ring.

23
by Wanker79 :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 1:10pm

No, I was talking about how only one of them plays for a non-bird named team. ;-)

What the hell is a Steeler anyway? For some reason I doubt steel workers refer to themselves as steelers.

25
by Wanker79 :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 1:22pm

Or maybe I meant that only one of them has a head coach that looks like a grizzly bear (only heavier). That beard is awesome.

62
by D :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:39pm

No he was referring to the fact only one of the QBs can remember the Bicentennial.

41
by Robo-Pope (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 3:15pm

The Steeler is actually a small bird once indigenous to the Pittsburgh area, so named because it liked to roost around steel plants for the warmth.
Sadly, it was driven to extinction when pollution skyrocketed in the 20s and 30s, but the name lives on.

49
by kujo76 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:26pm

I demand a citation for this.

52
by DGL :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:41pm

It's on the internet, therefore it must be true.

94
by Nick (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 1:42pm

When I read wanker's comment, I thought that he was going to single out Flacco because the other three are all established, solid QBs, and Flacco is still a bit shaky, IMO. It actually took me awhile to think out why he would single out McNabb. I thought that maybe he was the only one of the group to go to college on the East coast, but then I remembered Flacco.

2
by Bruce (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:15am

Why is Pitt only a 51.3% favorite this weekend? They have homefield and weighted DVOA is nearly identical to Balt.

84
by MC2 :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 12:14am

I'm not sure, but I think the projection is based on the individual components of DVOA, rather than just the total DVOA.

3
by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:17am

If the Cards win, and you try to figure out how, it'll make last years analysis of "How the hell did this Giants team win" pale in comparison.

26
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 1:37pm

The question is not "how the hell did the Giants win." It's "how the hell did the Giants start playing like one of the top 2 teams in the league after Week 16?"

If you go back to the postseason DVOA last year, the Giants from Week 16 to the Super Bowl played at a level essentially equal to the Patriots for all four weeks.

Same thing applies to the Cardinals this year, especially if they beat the Eagles. They're not barely squeaking by their opponents. They're really, really performing well. They're easily performing at a level that they could compete with whoever comes out of the AFC.

Of course, whether or not they continue to is an open question. The Giants did last year, but they're the exception.

74
by Thames (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 8:20pm

The Cardinals are being coached really well. It's no accident that their long roster of nobodies is outperforming high paid stars in these final weeks. It's also no accident that their coach already has a Super Bowl ring of his own.

101
by Van Buren (not verified) :: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 6:27pm

The Falcons and Panthers have highly paid superstars? Who knew?

4
by TGT2 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:20am

The Titans/Ravens game looked like pretty much a dead heat to me, and VOAf agrees. 7% DVOA explainable by a 7% difference in DVOA coming into the game.

Looks like I was right that the sheer number of fumbles/interceptions nearly countermanding exactly the difference between the Titan's offensive success and Raven's offensive success.

I posited in the audibles thread that the the Ravens fumble luck looked to be about average. Would it be possible to see VOA for the game so we can see how much fumble luck there actually was?

6
by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:31am

This means, then, that the top-3 DVOA-ranked teams are still in the playoffs? Neat...

Also: Considering how much hype the "New York-bowl" generated the all-PA-bowl gets very little media coverage...

18
by Joe :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:31pm

Also: Considering how much hype the "New York-bowl" generated the all-PA-bowl gets very little media coverage...

Since more people are interested in NY things, more things about NY get reported in the news. It's largely because so many more people live and work in New York than anywhere else. To use your example comparing all-NYC bowl to all-PA bowl:

Population, metro Pitt (2.5) + metro Philly (6): 8.5 million
Population, entire state of PA: 12.5 million
Population, metro New York City: 19 million

That's a lot of newspapers/webclicks/TV viewers/etc. Most people outside the metro NYC area have no idea how large the population is, even relative to other large US cities. Metro NYC is almost the same size as the #2 and #3 largest US metro areas combined - metro LA (13) + metro Chicago (9.5) = 22.5 million.

31
by Andrew B :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 2:04pm

Actually, metro NYC, including the entire swath from Trenton to New Haven, out Long Island and up to Poughkeepsie (the whole area served by commuter trains taking workers to NYC) is 21.5 million people.

Metro LA, including LA to Santa Barbra, San Bernardino, and Irvine is 18 million.

The Original Andrew

54
by Joe :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:59pm

Not according to the U.S. Government's official definition of what constitutes a metropolitan area, based on the July 1, 2007 census:

Found at http://www.census.gov/popest/metro/tables/2007/CBSA-EST2007-01.csv

Or, in a nicer table here at wikipedia.

I rounded my numbers to the nearest .5 million.

85
by Andrew B :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 12:56am

The Census Bureau combines several metropolitan areas into something called a CMSA - a Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area. New York-New Haven-Trenton is one example. Los Angeles-San Bernardino-Santa Barbara is another. Boston-Providence, San Francisco-San Jose, Philadelphia-Reading, Washington-Baltimore are some others.

http://www.census.gov/population/www/metroareas/lists/2007/List6.txt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Statistical_Area

The Original Andrew

35
by Floyd (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 2:33pm

No, it's a big deal because the media industry is based in NYC. Broadcast news, morning shows, nationally syndicated radio shows, magazines, etc - they're all based in Manhattan. Plus, ESPN is based very close to NY.

Chances are, a good number of the people producing, writing and hosting these shows or staffing these publications are fans of NY teams. It's all about proximity, not the size of the market.

If the media industry was based in Portland, Oregon instead, we'd be wondering why the hype for the Civil War was so much greater than the hype for the Rose Bowl. Or something like that.

58
by Joe :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:18pm

Unlikely, unless you have data to support your argument. I would bet that the % of people creating media content that are NYC fans is statistically the same as the % of people in the overall population that are NYC fans. Edit: Assuming the staff at media corporations resembles the overall population, which may or may not be true - I believe that it is. Media companies don't hire from NYC natives exclusively, people come to NYC to work for media companies so I expect a wide range of fans.

NYC has more media consumers for their regional stories than any other region in the country, and by a significant margin. That's it, no editorial bias.

39
by Rick (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 3:10pm

I live in NY metro, but I'm from PA (Eastern, mostly Philly). There is a horrid bias in media toward all things NY...NYC in particular, but NY state in general. Since I work in TV/Internet, I see it daily. It's really awful to be honest, and I find it grating. Not because I'm from PA. Because it is typically done in a way to make NY look fantastic and all things simply pale in comparison.

After 24 years of living here, the bloom is off the rose. NYC is a great city, but it's not anyplace I'd want to live (and I never did, opting for Hoboken and Queens at various points in time). NYC is full of pompous folk, all very nice I might add, but pompous nonetheless. They are provincial and don't really understand much about anyplace this isn't New York.

In some ways, the transplants who adopt NYC are worse. They act as if they left whereever they were from because where they were from is a horrible place, while NYC is amazing and without flaw. Again, very nice people, but I think horribly misguided.

These are stereotypes, of course, and certainly don't apply to everyone. But I've dealt with New Yorkers for the last 30 years of my life in college and in my occupation. And through my occupation, I know quite a few news/sportswriters and for them my description is accurate. The joke about Giuliani running for president was that he can't win because "he thinks Iowa is the The Bronx with corn". That pretty much sums up the mentality of NY centrist thought.

44
by Mark S. (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 3:40pm

Human Beings in "Where I Live is Better Than Where You Live" shocker!

72
by Matt W (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 8:06pm

Queens is part of New York City, you know.

Anyway, I'm from Pittsburgh (but love NYC too), and I think the explanation is that Pittsburgh and Philly just aren't very close to each other. If there were a Chiefs-Rams Super Bowl would we expect people to make a huge deal of it? I guess people would be distracted by heck having frozen over.

78
by Rick (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 9:55pm

LOL! Queens IS part of NYC - you're right. But try telling that to anyone who lives here. Actually, that kind've goes hand-in-hand with what I'm saying to begin with. While there is an NYC-centric mentality, I think to be more precise it's really a Manhattan-centric. Even for friends I have who live in suburban NJ, all they can talk about is how they are "from NYC", really meaning Manhattan, where we all work.
It's quite ridiculous, of course. After all, it's really the NEW JERSEY Giants and NEW JERSEY Jets. Isn't it? I remember Phil Simms' famous Letterman interview when asked if this was the case. He replied "all I know is my paycheck says New YORK Giants." End of discussion? I don't think so.

FWIW, I grew up in "Pennsyltucky", though today you're more likely to call it "Pennsylyorky" based on the sick number of expatriate New Yorkers who live there. I returned home recently and vowed never to return. The political climate these transplants brought with them has ruined the Northeast.

Only "The Office" provides balance...and it's a sad sort of balance, I might add.

102
by Van Buren (not verified) :: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 6:32pm

A perfect example of this is the "The fifties were the Golden Age of baseball meme" If the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers had been perennial also-rans, the era would not be so glorified.

47
by Bobman :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:19pm

Might have something to do with what a political consultant (Carville? I forget who) once said about PA: "You have Philly on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, and Alabama in between."

61
by Wanker79 :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:36pm

I just lol'd.

76
by Thames (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 8:28pm

The correct term for Appalachian central PA is "Pennsyltucky."

86
by Andrew B :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 1:20am

Drive through central PA and you'll see more confederate flags flying than down south, you'll see more chew being consumed than most anywhere else, you'll see more hunting and fishing going on than any other nearby state except West Virginia, etc., etc. Honestly, its a great area of a great state.

The Original Andrew

87
by Jerry :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 3:27am

It was Carville, and he was right on the money.

On the rare occasions that I'm in Philadelphia, I'm always a bit surprised to see the same license plates that we have in Pittsburgh. The cities aren't that close, and the biggest thing we have in common is a state government.

And, of course, the game will be in Tampa, so it won't be convenient to either fan base. (This is also true for the Cards and Ravens.) If they could play in State College, then you'd have something.

21
by Biebs (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 1:02pm

It's a while ago, but I don't remember Buffalo Vs. NY being that big of a deal. The reason the NY Bowl was talked about (other than 2 teams playing in Jersey) is that it was two teams that play in the same city area (8 miles from downtown Manhattan), not just 2 teams in the same state, and in the Jets/Giants case, 2 teams playing in the same stadium.

I don't remember it being a big deal for the Chargers/49ers either.

9
by chappy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:07pm

I have a request for a new stat that essentially incorporates leverage to look at the 'biggest' or 'most important' play of the game. I keep hearing from Balt. and Titans that the delay of game pass to Heap didn't win/cost them the game. Really? It seems that a play that gets a first down, moves a team into much better scoring position when the game is tied (with not much of the game remaining) is an absolutely HUGE play. Anyway, I think it would be an interesting/fun stat to add. My guess is plays like the one mentioned are much bigger from a leverage standpoint than a guy simply punching in a one yard score (albeit the score itself is obviously important). I guess to use baseball stats this stat would be similar to reliever leverage or the percent change in win liklihood.

Anyway, maybe this is a crazy idea. It might just be that big plays in football are just incredibly obvious.

48
by Love is like a bottle of gin (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:21pm

I think you would find that there are actually 10 or even 20 such plays in a close game, if not a little more. So focusing in on any one of them as game changing is kind of spurious. IN a very real sense EVERY play changes the game. And a large number of them change the game immensely. If you look at some in game probability charts (I think Advanced Football Stats has some that give you a good feel for it) you will see how often in close games the win% swings 10 or 20% on a single play. Usually at least once a drive.

Of course in the games without lead changes the number of plays that are really crucial to the outcome is lower.

Also it wasn't a delay of game pass, NO delay of game was called. I have seen maybe 10 other non called delays of game in the same ballpark, it is just not something the officials are super vigilant about as the whole point is to keep the game moving. As long as the offense is trying to do so it is not a huge deal.

Would it have been better if they caught the call? Sure. But several calls a game are missed because reffing any sports, much less a professional one is VERY VERY difficult. Dwelling on it after the fact is about as useful as dwelling on the weather.

If only it had been nicer in New Jersey the Giants would have won!

50
by JMM :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:34pm

You might want to look in on this page:

http://68.50.1.191/finalgames.php

An interesting approach which calculates a probability of winning as time goes by. You should be able to make some estimates.

88
by DeltaWhiskey :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 9:04am

And for commentary take a look here. Brian provides an analysis using his win probability model.

http://www.advancednflstats.com/2009/01/pulling-orlovsky.html

10
by Jay Gloab :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:07pm

I find it hard to fathom that the Eagles offense is worse in DVOA than either Pittsburgh's or Baltimore's. I mean, I know their defense has been all-world this year, but that they have a middling offense is weird. Of course, they've done little to impress the last couple of weeks.

12
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:11pm

Yeah, really, this postseason has been a big win for DVOA, since no one else was even slating Baltimore for the playoffs and no one else was so high on the Eagles.

13
by Bill_2120 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:16pm

You guys have some 'splaining to do...

Before the Bal-Ten game, BAL DVOA was:

#1 overall = BAL 34.2% Off-15 Def-2

After giving up 391 yards, and gaining 211

Of the 8 teams playing this week,
They gained the LEAST, and gave up the MOST yards
Played the WORST of all the winning teams (and some losing ones) in both appearance AND stats,

Yet hardly missed a beat in their updated DVOA ratings.
#1 overall = BAL 33.7% Off-16 Def-3

Especially since so many teams so close at the top. Such a performance should have knocked them down a peg or two.

17
by Steve (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:29pm

You forgot to use the complaint form from the top of the page: is clearly ranked because . is way better than this.

20
by countertorque :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:54pm

If you look at the actual value of Weighted DVOA, you'll note that the Steelers are 33.6% and the Ravens are 33.7%. So, it's not really accurate to say the Ravens are ranked ahead of the Steelers. It's an effective tie for first place.

Please also remember that the most recent game is not weighted any heavier than the last several games (although it is rated more heavily than games early in the season).

24
by Wanker79 :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 1:18pm

And Philly is at 33.0% DVOA, so it's basically a 3-way tie and all 3 teams are in the conference championship round. I wonder if that's ever happened before?

27
by Eddo :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 1:48pm

Answer: yes, if you go by final WDVOA (I don't have access to the WDVOA prior to the conference championship games).

In 1998, ATL-NYJ-DEN-MIN ranked 1-2-3-4 in WDVOA, and they were the four teams left in the championship round. (DEN-MIN-SF-NYJ were 1-2-3-4 in overall DVOA.)

2002 was close, too; TAM-OAK-PHI were ranked 1-2-3 in overall DVOA, but NYJ-OAK-TAM were ranked 1-2-3 in WDVOA. (The Jets did not play in the championship round.)

64
by Bill_2120 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:46pm

My comment was questioning how the weekly performance affects the results. The dilution effect of a 211/391 should have been more significant. After the top teams bounced around at the end of the season on slight performance changes, I'm not getting how BAL stayed where it was. If it fell to 3rd and PIT or PHL became #1 that would make more sense.

Finally, if on average-per-game you gain 63 yards more than you yield as BAL does (324/261), then lose 180 more in one game(211/391), you have to factor in at once a -244 (distance below average). Even divided by, or diluted over 10 games, thats a 24.4 yard/game hit. It's hard to envision a bigger realistic hit.

66
by Bill_2120 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:58pm

After thinking about this some more, I am wondering if the results are also influenced by which game (stats) drop off the back-end almost as much as the results as the recently played game.

If a stinker game drops off, your DVAO improves greatly, If a dominating game drops off, well then you will fall down the rankings...

90
by Not Saying :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 11:43am

You should look at what Baltimore's DVOA was for the game. Also compare the VOAf with the DVOA. They were playing the Titans, top 5 ranked in team defense and weighted top 11 offense. Raw yards won't tell you a large effect on DVOA.

95
by Bill_2120 (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 4:48pm

If what you say is true, then Ten would have to go through the roof getting 391 off the #1 defense. Which is my point really. You cannot have it both ways.

14
by Telamon :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:18pm

I love the uniform mediocrity of the offenses of these teams. It's just like the old adage, "Defense with competant offense and special teams has an 87% chance of winning the championship."

38
by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 3:04pm

Defense with competant offense and special teams has an 87% chance of winning the championship.

Just like my high school football coach used to tell us. (sigh) The memories...

103
by Van Buren (not verified) :: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 6:39pm

Whatchu talking about? The Ravens have GREAT uniforms. Oh, wait...I get it now.

15
by Jiashey Schneider (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 12:21pm

My Anger has grown Excellent. Do you know what would be interesting, which may have been done already, but which I will not do for declarative purposes as well? You do not. Someone should see which correlates more stongly with season-end DVOA, regular season record or postseason record. In other words, does season-end DVOA do a better job of predicting regular-season record or postseason success? This may be interesting in terms of the playoff-structure debate. I guess the ideal situation is to find a format that most closely reflects teams' true value but still keeps things entertaining.

Please telephone my parents (i.e., Mr. and Mrs. Jiashey Schneider Sr.) sometime between 1AM and 4AM EST if you require any Further Elaboration or Clarification. They can be reasched at 1-800-ROWBOATS. They live on the Sun. They vacation on the Sun as well.

22
by battlered59 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 1:04pm

Can you adjust defensive DVOA for starting QBs who completely implode?

28
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 1:53pm

Yeah, I have to agree that after watching Arizona-Carolina, I knew Arizona's defense was going to look ultra-super-mega-awesome in DVOA (and from all of the pundits) but my God, Delhomme was awful. And Steve Smith... WTF?

I've always felt that Delhomme's pretty much the definition of an average, if not below average, starting QB - give him a stellar, top flight WR and he suddenly looks like competent. But if that WR gets shut down, and he's forced to do the things real above-average QBs have to do, it's total protonic reversal time.

It's almost like Fox - and Delhomme - don't realize he's not that good a QB. You can manage with average-ish QBs, but when you start thinking they actually are elite QBs, it's a recipe for disaster. It's a recipe that's been honed to perfection by the Bears in recent years.

Delhomme continuing to throw in the Cardinals game was completely stupid. They had a running game. It didn't matter that they were down a fair amount and a running game isn't likely to win the game. With Smith shut down, neither was Delhomme, and he was far more likely to lose it.

29
by Key19 :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 1:57pm

All Pennsylvania SB would be quite possibly the worst game I could imagine. I don't think I could have more combined hatred for both teams than that combo. I hope that the Ravens can knock off the Steelers. If they do, I'm confident they will win the Super Bowl. But I'd rather the Cardinals win and eliminate any possibility of the Eagles winning the Super Bowl. I may hate both Pennsylvania teams, but the Eagles winning the Super Bowl would make my life miserable until the next Super Bowl (assuming they don't repeat!). The Steelers winning would just make my life a little less bright.

COME ON, CARDINALS AND RAVENS!!!! Do not let me down!

77
by Thames (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 8:38pm

Philadelphian here. I don't see how Eagles winning the Super Bowl could possibly make you miserable. It's not as if Eagles fans are universally regarded as the worst fans in the entire league. It's also not as if Philadelphian egos would swell to inconceivably insufferable proportions after having *both* the Phillies and the Eagles win national championships back-to-back after a 25 year drought. And it's not as if all will be forgotten within the first 15 minutes of regulation in the 2009 season, at which point we'll all go back to loudly complaining about how McNabb and Andy Reid are the worst things to ever happen to the city.

On the plus side, an Eagles win will cause riots so destructive that they will most certainly break New Jersey off of the continental United States. So there's always that.

97
by deep64blue :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:36pm

"And it's not as if all will be forgotten within the first 15 minutes of regulation in the 2009 season, at which point we'll all go back to loudly complaining about how McNabb and Andy Reid are the worst things to ever happen to the city."

lol - that is so true. what's the betting someone calls for Charlie to be fired the first time the Phillies lose a game this season ....

30
by parker (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 2:04pm

I find 1 similarity between last year's Giants and this year's Cardinals....Rodgers-Cromartie and whoever the rookie from the Giants was last year who sucked at the beginning of the year but then played awesome. Could that have something to do with two sudden resurgences in pass rush. Could making the qb hold the ball a little longer when option 1 is unavailable have something to do with a better pass rush?

40
by RugbyRuss (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 3:14pm

I think the Arizona pass rush looked so good against the Panthers because Delhomme held the ball forever. He'd drop back and then act like he forgot which play they were running.

Watching him just completely implode was the worst thing to happen for me because I'm a die hard Seahawks fan and can't stand the idea of the Cardinals going to the SB and for my daughter who loves the Panthers. She was ready to fire bomb his house by half time.

33
by El Nino Meon (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 2:29pm

Someone was eventually bound to ask it, so it may as well be me, assuming it hasn't been mentioned in another thread recently.

What happens McNabb's Hall of Fame credentials if the Eagles actually manage to win the Super Bowl and he has a few more decent starting seasons to pad out the stats? I remember when McNair retired the general concensus was the McNabb, like McNair, was likely to finish his career in the tier just below Hall of Fame worthy.

42
by Rick (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 3:27pm

I don't know who felt McNabb was not HOF worthy. Which of his stats are so horrid?
If you consider HOF stats to be:
Rating of 85% or better
Completion rate of 60% or better
7.0 YPA
TD/INT ratio of about 1.5/1
Average of 1.2 TD per game
200 YPG average

McNabb hits (or is JUST shy) on all these. The ONLY thing that could be said of him is that he hasn't won "the big one" which I think is one of the most ridiculous reasons for honoring a QB. Especially since it's generally considered that Defense wins championships and you can win with a mediocre QB (Eli Manning, Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer all come to mind).

Consider Roger Staubach. His stats were hardly HOF worthy...but he "won the big one" and consistently won games. THAT really was his honor. He was a great game manager. He was also blessed with some great defenses, good running backs and very good WRs.

I think the stats I posted are at, or even slightly above HOF average. Staubach barely touched any of these stats - if he did at all.

51
by Jay Gloab :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:39pm

"Especially since it's generally considered that Defense wins championships and you can win with a mediocre QB (Eli Manning, Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer all come to mind). "

Not sure how this is a defense of McNabb, considering the Eagles have had a good to great defense for most of McNabb's career.

I think McNabb should wind up in the HOF even without winning a SB, assuming his career doesn't totally tank, but winning one or two would make him a lock.

60
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:35pm

The problem for McNabb is that he's got two very, very impressive contemporary QBs: Brady and Manning, obviously. Both have a Super Bowl victory. McNabb's very different than both Brady and Manning. McNabb's probably one of the best "extend the pass play" mobile QBs in history, which leads to highlight plays like 4th and 26, and the 3rd and 20 pass to Avant last weekend. That mobility, plus his historically low interception percentage, sets him apart (as in different, not above) from Brady and Manning.

Football's Hall of Fame is a lot less about numbers and a lot more about how the player impacted the game or how the player stood out against history/his contemporaries. A good example is Carson Palmer : unless Palmer's team success improves dramatically (and his numbers stay elite) it's doubtful he'd make it into the Hall. He's not better than the other pocket passers of his era.

A Super Bowl victory for McNabb would pretty much make him a near-lock for the Hall of Fame eventually (though doubtfully first ballot), because you can make a great argument for him without having to rely heavily on statistics. Without it, I think it's questionable. You can defend him by pointing to statistics, but a lot of other QBs have similar statistics, and they won't let a flood of players in.

79
by Rick (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 9:58pm

That comment wasn't meant as a defense of McNabb - it was taking a shot at the types of people who believe that winning a SB is somehow meaningful in the scheme of whether or not a player deserves to be a HOF'er. If Eli continues at his current pace, he will NOT have anywhere near HOF figures. But NYC denizens will, no doubt, insist he deserves HOF status.
I actually know several who, a little over a year ago, hated him. Now they insist he's a sure thing for the HOF.

53
by DavidL :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:45pm

The problem is that HOF voters really do value championships over career stats. That's why Aikman is in and McNair won't be. McNabb with a ring and stats compiled over another three to five decent seasons is a good bet for HOF, but for a quarterback to make the Hall without a championship it seems to take domination like Peyton or Marino, and McNabb doesn't have that. No MVPs, no seasons leading the league in passing stats (sadly for him, his biggest year was also the year when Manning went absolutely batshit and broke Marino's TD record), a very good Pro Bowl resume but not enough on its own. Setting the all-time record for lowest interception percentage is impressive, but I doubt it's sexy enough.

56
by El Nino Meon (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:14pm

It could be an interesting study for FO to work out some level of equivalence between stats and Super Bowl rings for the Hall of Fame. How many passing yards is a ring worth to HOF voters? Do Super Bowl rings have increasing returns?

59
by E :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:31pm

There are already too many QBs in the Hall of Fame. McNabb may compare favorbaly to some of the bottom-tier HOF QBs (especilally if he wins a SB), but I don't think that's a reason to put him in. Over the course of his career, McNabb was never the best at his position - he's clearly a level below the greats of his era (Peyton, Brady, Favre, even Warner). If you're not even in the discussion of being among the top 2-3 at your position during your career, how can you be a Hall of Famer?

65
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:46pm

Because while Manning, Brady, and McNabb all technically are quarterbacks, they don't play the game remotely the same. The statistics don't really compare. Without a Super Bowl victory, that's still a tough sell. Rex Grossman plays the game different than most quarterbacks, but that's not a good thing. With a Super Bowl victory, though, it's a breeze, because now a Manning-type QB could win a SB, a Brady-type QB could win a SB, and a McNabb-type QB could win a SB, so the "top end" of each type of QB is equivalent.

Just as an example, you could say "well, Manning's better than McNabb, his completion percentage and yardage were better than McNabb's almost every year," but you could also turn around and say "yes, but McNabb's rushing yardage was far better than Manning's, and his interception percentage was lower." There's no "master statistic" for QBs.

82
by Rick (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 10:25pm

Yet again, the SB metric doesn't add up.

Fouts and Tarkenton are members of the HOF. I seem to remember one never made the SB, and one had a habit of losing it.

True, though that the guide to "what makes a great QB" is a varied grid. Aikman and Staubach were great PRIMARILY for their leadership qualities, and their stats came second. Their will to win led the way.

But for Fouts and Tarkenton (who I may add both have stats that McNabb compares favorably with) are HOF members. And when I say stats, I refer to per game stats, not stats that you add up over time and because the season's longer now McNabb benefits from.

83
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 11:43pm

Of course the SB metric doesn't add up, because the Hall of Fame isn't a "HoF rating award."

It's just a gauge: can you argue that McNabb was a unique, elite talent in the NFL? Without a ring, you can always imagine someone arguing against it by claiming that while it's nice that McNabb's mobility was so helpful, it wasn't enough to lift his team to an "elite" status. A Super Bowl ring removes that argument.

Fouts and Tarkenton didn't win a Super Bowl. Sure. But Tarkenton was a pioneer, and Fouts was the best in the league at his peak, for multiple years. McNabb doesn't fall in either of those categories, so it's much more of a grey area.

(McNabb compares favorably to Fouts? Fouts lead the league in passing for four years running! He was clearly the Peyton Manning of his time, and even as an Eagles fan, I can't claim that McNabb's clearly in that category.)

92
by Rick (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 12:49pm

You're looking at totals. I've pointed to game average statistics, which McNabb is at LEAST as close to Fouts. In addition, Fouts made how many championship games? I forget...oh yeah, 2. And lost them both. So statistically, he was an amazing quarterback, and McNabb isn't AMAZING, but he's pretty close. 30,000 yards passing in 10 years is well above average and in 2 seasons he should pass #20 on the list of total passing yardage - a HOF named Phil Simms.
Fouts made 2 championship games and lost both. McNabb made 5 now...and won 1. Comparatively speaking, HOF'er Jim Kelly won all 4 of his...only to lose the Super Bowl....another player McNabb compares favorably with statistically on a game by game basis.
McNabb...5 Pro Bowls. Fouts: six. Kelly: five.

The comparisons are endless. Saying McNabb is not HOF worthy is like saying Alydar is not HOF worthy because he happened to run at the same time as Affirmed. Affirmed was amazing...so was Alydar. But Alydar rarely won in head to head races.

McNabb also suffers from what I consider to be an inclination by many people (call it the "Rush Limbaugh Effect") to belittle his achievements and denigrate his performance. The fact that he IS very very good means little to so many people UNTIL he wins the Super Bowl. Which means Fouts and Kelly must suck, too.

As for Tarkenton being a pioneer - in what sense? That he was a throwback in many ways? Remember, mobile QBs had been all but discarded by the time he entered the league. He simply had a skill set that wasn't considered of value by most coaches at the time, and he made the most of it. The old NFL had lots of mobile QBs, in fact running the ball was the primary part of the game. Things started to change with the arrival of Sammy Baugh and others like him.

Can I argue that McNabb is a unique, elite talent? YES. Emphatically and backed up with non-deniable statistics proving it. Consider what he could have done if he'd had a Terrell Owens type receiver for 5 years (without the attitude)! Yet his excellent statistics have been accumulated with talent that is widely regarded as second tier (save Westbrook...but he is an unusual case in himself, and McNabb has only had him for 7 of 10 seasons. 6 if you toss out his rookie year.

It's hard to look amazing when you're playing at a remarkably high level, and one or two others are already playing at a level that is stratospheric. Wilt Chamberlin vs. Bill Russell...great example. Russell had the rings over Wilt. Wilt was, by far, the better player.

68
by blocksmash (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 6:48pm

Just because Warner has lucked into teams with incredible receivers does not make him a top tier quarterback. If McNabb had not been saddled with years of busts, the only issue would be if all of these guys became eligible the same year.

The more interesting Eagles HOF question for me is Dawkins. He is basically the prototype for the "modern" position(Reed, Polamalu etc,), has a ton of Pro Bowels, has been one of the top two or three safeties in the league for over ten years, but for some reason is either ignored or quickly dismissed as having little to no shot. I realize that it is hard for defensive players to get in without some kind of schtick(has Ray Lewis really been that much better at linebacker than Dawkins at safety?), but I really don't understand what more a guy has to do.

69
by DGL :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 6:59pm

I thought only Najeh Davenport had a ton of Pro Bowels?

73
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 8:15pm

Uh, Dawkins is pretty widely considered a decent lock for the Hall. Dunno who you're listening to.

"FEW PLAYERS are more of a lock to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame than this six-time Pro Bowler, who was drafted in the second round by the Eagles in '96."

But probably the best comment comes from a HoF voter: "Brian Dawkins. Sure, why not? The dominant free safety of the decade." And this was in 2004: he's had 3/4 solid/dominant seasons since then, and the one where he was just "okay" was because his wife gave birth prematurely and he missed all of training camp.

There's no real question here.

81
by Rick (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 10:20pm

SECOND TIER of the current crop of QBs? McNabb?
Consider this - he's been a top 5 QB in many categories most of his career. Out of 32 teams, that's the top 16%. If you're going to make the HOF strictly a "creme de la creme" club, then no...he doesn't match up and he doesn't belong. But then neither does Aikman. Or Staubach. Statistically, they weren't that amazing. McNabb has both of them beat in many categories. And add to that McNabb has never had a top flight receiver corps. Aikman had Irvin, at the very least.

Sure, Brady and Favre have astounding numbers and are sure shots - representing an elite that is rarely seen. But McNabb, in many statistical categories, has figures that rival theirs. In addition, he is in the top 30 all time and rising in areas like total yardage, TDs, etc... Barring a meltdown late in his career, he could finish with totals that have him in the top 15 or top 10 all time. That's pretty heady company.

It's worth mentioning that McNabb also lost out on a few opportunities to put his "name" on something. He's had 2 seasons where he could've hit 4,000 yards passing. He sat out much of the last 2 games in the Super Bowl year. And the year he tore his ligament he was on a pace to hit 4,000. Even this year, he finished just shy of 4,000...wondering what may have happened if he wasn't benched in Baltimore.

That said, McNabb WAS the first QB to throw for more than 30 TDs and fewer than 10 INTs in a season. Shortly after, this feat was matched by 2 sure fire HOF members - Manning and Brady. But McNabb was first....

89
by Andrew B :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 10:52am

Wow. Really? Have you ever even watched McNabb play?

In the period 1999 to 2008, McNabb has certainly been better than Favre. He's also been better than post 2001 Warner. He will never have the stats of Peyton Manning, but he also hasn't played with Marvin Harrison since 1995 at Syracuse.

As Pat has noted, he's different than Brady and Peyton, for the simple reason that he is usually the best athlete on the field in a game, and Peyton and Brady are not, meaning that defenses must play him differently. Team's game plan for McNabb himself as one of the top priorities in the game, like they had to with Steve Young, while they game plan for Brady and Peyton's teammates when they play the Patriots and Colts. Nobody worries about what happens when those two break containment, while the two defensive worries when playing the Eagles are Westbrook with the ball and McNabb escaping the pocket.

I'm not sure how you work mostly with offensive skill position dreck, lead your team to 5+ conference championships, the playoffs almost every year you start, having a winning record, winning playoff record, very long highlight reel, been the QB for the four highest scoring teams in your franchise's history (2008, 2002, 2006, 2004), been the QB for the three winningest teams in franchise history (2002, 2003, 2004), hold NFL records like most consecutive passes completed, lowest interception to pass ratio ever, hold most of your team's QB records, etc., etc. and not have Hall of Fame consideration.

With some slight perspective, its pretty obvious that Brady, Peyton, McNabb and Favre are the HOF QB's actively playing the league right now, possibly Warner too.

The Original Andrew

93
by Rick (not verified) :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 1:00pm

All great points.

I'd forgotten the franchise angle - consider the fact this guy shows up as a draft pick and is booed. On a team that has suffered mightily over the years, but more specifically for 2 years prior to his arrival. He is shoved in as a starter in game 5 of his rookie year, doesn't do much, then starts taking them to the playoffs regularly.

He sets franchise passing and scoring records - on a team that had some very storied QBs (Jaworski, Van Brocklin, Jurgenson, Hoying[I kid, I kid]).

Teams regularly talk about how to defend against his mobility...even years after his mobility has decreased significantly.

McNabb is not elite? Perhaps not Brady elite, but Cassel showed that Brady, while a very special QB, is as much the product of a system as he is a great QB. I think you could take many mediocre QBs, put them in the New England system, and they're going to look excellent. We'll learn more if Cassel goes somewhere else and plummets back to earth or takes off like a rocket.

But you can't say the same for the Philly system. Out of all the replacements, only Garcia has done well. Feeley has done just OK...and that's a stretch to say. He is 5-4 in games he started, and has thrown 16 TDs to 14 INTs, and his per game averages are, well, average. McMahon and Kolb....well, Kolb remains to be seen...but McMahon was a disaster.

96
by E :: Wed, 01/14/2009 - 5:13pm

Well I seem to be in the minority here, but perhaps it's beacuse I am putting more weight on this high-passing-#s era than most people. It's true that McNabb has many Eagles passing records, but I'd bet that many QBs in the past 15 years have set or will set their teams' passing records due to the fact that there's more passing (and more efficient passing) now than ever before. For some reason that always comes up when we talk about WRs making the HOF, but not one person has mentioned it with McNabb. Additionally, the Eagles not only play in a west coast offense, but they play in the most pass-oriented WCO in the NFL and have pretty much throughout McNabb's career. Given that context (and even accounting for the fact that he's only had average WRs), McNabb has certainly had the opportunity to lead the league in yards, TDs, completion %, rating, etc. and - though he's often top 5 - he's almost never in the top 2-3.

So I disagree that the Philly system in any way works against McNabb. I don't think the comparables you presented negate that - is he a hall of famer because he was as good as Jeff Garcia and better than Mike McMahon? Kyle Orton plays in a terrible system for QBs, has awful WRs and was much better than Grossman given the same system - is Orton a hall of famer?

80
by Rick (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 10:05pm

I can see Aikman making it. Primarily because in at least 2 HOF categories (YPG and completion %) he's right there. He averaged over 1 TD per game (1 per passing...and got 9 on his own). Not so great in other categories, though.

I agree that, for some reason, there is a premium put on winning the SB. Not sure why. Statistically, Staubach and Aikman were very good - not great.

I suspect the "premium" is valued as leadership. Why that may exist for a QB and no other position is beyond me. I'm sure someone can name 2 or 3 defensive leaders with SB rings who are not HOF members.

70
by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 7:18pm

I recall the only knock against Staubach was the shortness of his career. Add on those years he spent in the Navy, and he'd have been the best.

Here's what armchair GM has to say:

"Had he played the same number of adjusted games as Tarkenton (assuming he would maintain his PAR/G rate), Staubach would rank as the most valuable QB of all time."

http://armchairgm.wikia.com/The_100_Greatest_Quarterbacks_of_the_Modern_...

105
by brett ratliff (not verified) :: Tue, 02/03/2009 - 6:42pm

you really can't be serious about comparing staubach and mcnabb's numbers, can you? there has been such a dramatic shift in the rules to favor the passing game that it's crazy to compare their raw numbers--maybe you can compare where they stood in comparison to other qb's of the same era, but you simply can't say that mcnabb is as good as staubach because his raw numbers are better.

just off the top of my head, i would guess that mcnabb has never been more than the fifth best qb in the league--at various times he's been behind brady, manning, palmer, brees, culpepper, warner, favre, cutler, and rivers. i don't have any idea, but i would also guess that there weren't that many qb's better than staubach during his career.

finally, in terms of his value to the eagles, mcnabb has missed 15 games due to injury over the last 4 seasons. that's a lot of games where the team is left to rely on its 2nd stringer.

34
by doktarr :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 2:31pm

If Philly wins, then it's very likely we would have a #1 vs. #2 Superbowl. The only other time that's happened in the DVOA era was Tampa Bay vs. Oakland. (Hopefully we'll get a more exciting game than that one.)

36
by Eli (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 2:34pm

Given that there have been 8 games and there has been one crazy upset(AZ/CAR) and one semi-upset (AZ/ATL) shouldn't be too surprising. It would be more surprising if the superior DVOA team won every game. Upsets happen all the time in the regular season too (Browns over Giants, etc.)

37
by Sancho (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 2:51pm

PHI, BAL and PIT were WDVOA Top-3 after week 17. Good job, Outsiders! ARI, of course, is the exception. They were 21st, and have already beaten 11th (ATL) and 7th (CAR) places.

But, I would like to point that fact that, when ARI was 7-4 (after week 12), they were 4th on WDVOA, ahead of PIT! ARI WDVOA positions from week 6 to 12 were: 7th (w, DAL), 8th (bye), 8th (d, @CAR), 4th (w, @STL), 6th (w, SF), 6th (w, @SEA), 4th (d, NYG). That's seven weeks, six great games in a row. After week 12, NFCW standings were like this: ARI (7-4), SF (3-8), SEA (2-9), STL (2-9). Arizona would still play at home against SEA and STL. They have already clinched a playoff home game, and have played hard against NYG (the game wasn't over until 4' to the end). So this ARI playoff sucess is a surprise only if we take what ARI did between weeks 13-17, when they were wainting the postseason to begin...

43
by DJ Any Reason (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 3:40pm

So here's a question:

Philly's P(SB-WIN|NFC-Champ)=.507 - in other words, if they win Sunday, they have a slightly better than 50% chance of winning the Superbowl, according to these odds reports.

Philly is rated below both Baltimore and Pittsburgh - not by much, but still below. Why is this slightly above 50%, not slightly below?

45
by Bruce (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 3:53pm

I'm still confused about the playoff odds. Let's assume PHI, PIT, and BAL are equal teams based on their weighted DVOA. According to the odds, ARI has roughly a 31% chance of beating PIT or BAL in the SB if they beat PHI. They have a 42% chance of beating PHI at home. That means homefield increases the odds of beating PHI from 31% to 42% (Again assuming PHI, BAL, and PIT are equivalent).

But then homefield only increases the odds of PIT beating BAL from 50% to 51.3%. What am I missing?

46
by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:03pm

The equations are a little more complicated than that, and the ones we use to pick games over in Premium are even more complicated, splitting up offense and defense, etc.

55
by Bruce (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 5:10pm

Well, I notice now that Phi and Ari have performed much better at home vs. road (at least in terms of point differential) while BAL and PIT's performances are much closer home vs. road. I guess that's taken into account?

71
by ernie cohen (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 7:53pm

I guess there are a *lot* of things I don't understand, some of which were pointed out above. Here are some others:

- How can the BAL D be -19% for the last game? How much of this is for the TEN fumbles? (I know that FF is a meaningful state, but on a game-by-game basis it's just too noisy to indicate performance in any reliable way. BAL forced only 13 fumbles all year.)

- Why does the AccuScore prediction (PIT 65%) diverge so far from the PFP premium prediction (PIT 51%)? Their methodologies are pretty similar in comparing teams who played the same opponents, right?

- The use of complicated equations isn't a very good explanation of how two almost identical teams (in DVOA terms) can have 3 pts worth of further adjustment.

- How can the PIT opponent adjustment for the last game (23%) be nearly as big as the BAL opponent adjustment (25%)?

75
by Pat (filler) (not verified) :: Tue, 01/13/2009 - 8:25pm

"I know that FF is a meaningful state, but on a game-by-game basis it's just too noisy to indicate performance in any reliable way."

All statistics in sports are relatively noisy, especially on a one-game time period. If a baseball team has 4 home runs in one game, that's great offensive output. Does it mean they have a great offense? Well, it certainly wouldn't hurt - it's certainly less likely that a bad offense would hit 4 home runs in a game than a good offense. But you wouldn't use that game's output to predict the future ones, no. You'd average it in with others.

98
by TD (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:46pm

Rick, the passing rules were liberalized in 1978. Post-'78 quarterbacks as a group have far exceeded their pre-'78 counterparts in all passing stats. Of all the pre-'78 quarterbacks that you could compare a present day QB against Staubach has to be the most ridiculous. When Staubach retired he had the highest (or second highest if you include Otto Graham's AAFC stats) passer rating in history. Look it up. To relegate Staubach to the "game manager" variety of QB is absurd. Only someone who didn't see him play could write such a thing. Has a game manager ever rallied his team from a 28-13 mid-fourth quarter deficit to win a playoff game? Staubach did. Let me guess, if Staubach had played better early in the game he wouldn't have needed the comeback, right? He was on the bench for more than three quarters of that 1972 playoff game against the 49ers. He didn't start a game the entire year due to a separated shoulder. Staubach also engineered a "double comeback" (trailed 17-0, took lead of 21-17 and then trailed 34-21 with ~ 6 1/2 minutes to play) in his final regular season game to defeat the Redskins 35-34. It is widely viewed as the greatest game in regular season history. His other, mere mortal, fourth quarter comebacks are too numerous to list. He took a rebuilding 1975 Cowboys team with a dozen rookies on it within 35 yards of knocking off the heavily favored Steelers in Super Bowl X. And might have pulled it off if only Preston Pearson had run out of bounds when he had the chance.

As for your HOF standards...

Yours: Rating of 85% or better Staubach's: 83.4
Yours: Completion rate of 60% or better Staubach's: 57.0%
Yours: 7.0 YPA Staubach's: 7.7
Yours: TD/INT ratio of about 1.5/1 Staubach's: 1.4
Yours: Average of 1.2 TD per game Staubach's: 1.3 (per game started)
Yours: 200 YPG average Staubach's: 199 (per game started)

The only stat where Staubach doesn't come close to your standards is the 60% completion percentage. So not only did you not *see* his career, you didn't even look it up. I challenge anyone to name a pre-'78 QB that matches up more favorably with your standards than Staubach.

As for Staubach's admittedly weak counting stats (I know you didn't mention them but some future poster might), not only did he miss four years while in the Navy, but he retired early due to concussions not because of diminished performance. He lead the league in passing in his final season.

In summary a much better argument can be made that Staubach is the best QB in NFL history than can be made that he doesn't belong in the HOF.

A Cowboys fan wrote this.

99
by TD (not verified) :: Thu, 01/15/2009 - 2:18pm

I defended Andy Reid and his clock management on this site a few months back. I asked for specific examples of his clock mismanagement in Eagles games this season. No one could provide any. The best evidence submitted was that the Eagles didn't go into a "hurry up" offense in their Super Bowl against the Pats when they trailed by 10 points in the fourth quarter. Why hasn't anyone trashed Tom Coughlin for the same thing? The Giants took over at there own 11 yard line with 10:22 to play trailing 20-11. They ran seven plays, six were rushing plays, before turning the ball over on downs at there own 47 yard line with 6:40 to play. That's seven plays in 3:42. Seven plays in 222 seconds for an average of 32 seconds per play. I submit that the Giants chances of victory were greater when they took over at there own 11 with 10:22 to play than they would have been if they had converted 4th and 2 into a first down at midfield with 6 minutes and change to play. On the Giants previous possession they also trailed 20-11 and ran five plays, all rushes, in 2:21 for an average of 28 seconds per play. Why did Coughlin get a pass from the announcers on this? Because he's a media-approved great coach for winning a Super Bowl? For the record I think Coughlin is a great coach, but that doesn't change the fact that his clock management should earn him the Keep Choppin' Wood award for the week.

A Cowboys fan wrote this.

100
by ChiTown11111 (not verified) :: Fri, 01/16/2009 - 3:01am

Tom Coughlin beat the team of the decade in the Super Bowl, while Andy Reid has routinely had teams that almost win it despite having craploads of talent and the best defensive coordinator in the game?
I think that is why he gets a pass.

As much as Tom Brady is a lock to be a HoF QB, if he comes back from the leg injury and is mediocre I would not vote for him. Most of his seasons where he won Super Bowls he was a "don't lose the game" quarterback, not until the team lost the golden kicker to Indy did he start putting up good stats (only to not win Super Bowls).

104
by sethburn :: Mon, 01/19/2009 - 1:00am

The Steelers aren't the Patriots, and the Cardinals aren't the Giants, but, (in a latin accent), "DVOA, you've got some explaining to do!"

Just kidding, any given Sunday anything can happen. The Cardinals probably shut it down a bit once they realized they were in the playoffs, and the game vs. New England in particular should be stricken from the record. The Super Bowl should be an excellent game. I look forward to seeing if the refs give the game to the Steelers (as they did the last time the Steelers faced an NFC West foe in the Super Bowl), or if it is a fair game. If it is the latter, it should be quite fun.

Amazingly one of these two quarterbacks will earn a second ring. Too bad we have to wait until next month for the game.