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20 Oct 2009

Week 6 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

New Orleans is now the clear number one atop this week's Football Outsiders DVOA ratings. That's no surprise after the Saints dismantled the previously unbeaten New York Giants on Sunday, 48-27. The Saints look ready to cruise to a first-round bye -- they are also the most consistent team in the league by VARIANCE, and their future schedule ranks 30th in the NFL.

The team that ranks second behind New Orleans is a bit more of a surprise -- or not, if you're a long-time Football Outsiders reader. Yes, the Philadelphia Eagles are still number two despite their embarrassing loss to Oakland this past weekend. The explanation for this is pretty simple, to be honest: Their three wins have been huge. They came against very bad teams, but DVOA won't fully penalize them until opponent adjustments are at full strength in Week 10. (We don't do full opponent adjustments now to make up for the small sample size that comes with fewer games. Who knows -- to give an example, maybe Carolina is better than everyone thinks.) Meanwhile, the Eagles two losses have been close by DVOA standards. They only lost to Oakland by four points, so their DVOA for that game is currently -12.0%. They lost to New Orleans by a big score, 48-22, but of course that's a loss to the best team in the league, so DVOA moves the rating up a bit. There were also three fumbles in that game that were all recovered by the Saints, so overall Philly's DVOA for that game is currently listed as a positive 2.3%.

Anyway, enough of that longtime Football Outsiders hobby, apologizing for our Eagles stats. Let's move on to another of our longtime hobbies, trying to figure out where our preseason projections went wrong. We could look at early performance and wonder about flukes, but at this point it is pretty clear that Denver is far better than we projected and San Diego is far worse. Obviously, San Diego has had some injury troubles, but they don't have enough injuries to represent the difference between a historically strong projection and ranking 24th in DVOA through five games. That leads to the question: What could the projection system have missed? We're talking about objective numbers here; our projections weren't based on a desire to criticize Josh McDaniels or an irrational love of Antonio Cromartie. The trends all still make sense looking back -- the Broncos brought in a quarterback with lower career numbers, the Broncos had a historically bad defense a year ago, old secondaries often struggle, San Diego had a lot of defensive injuries last year, and so forth. So what did we miss? At this point, I'd actually like to hear suggestions from the audience. We're looking for objective facts that we knew before the season that should have been indicators that Denver's defense would make a colossal turnaround, or that San Diego wouldn't be the best team in the league. They need to be suggestions that would be useful when looking at teams in general, trends that we can see with other teams from the past that significantly improved or declined from one year to the next. For example, "the Broncos hired Mike Nolan" wouldn't work, because as I discussed last week, there's no consistent history of well-regarded veteran coordinators significantly improving bad defenses. I also don't think "Norv Turner sucks" works, because Norv Turner's poor coaching is already reflected in San Diego's ratings from the last two seasons.

Most readers know that I often don't have the time to read through all the comments in the discussion threads, but I will look through this week and see if people have offered some serious suggestions that could help make the projection system more accurate in future years.

Finally, you may have been wondering where the Patriots' 59-0 shellacking of the Titans fits in on the list of the best DVOA games of all-time. The surprising answer: It doesn't. New England's DVOA rating for this week's win was "only" 117.5%. That's definitely the best single-game rating so far this year, but it doesn't make the list of the top ten DVOA games. That could change by the end of the year, but the Titans would have to get their act together enough to significantly change the opponent adjustments. (The list of the ten best DVOA games is found here.) The main reason why the Patriots don't make the list is that they didn't just take their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter -- they pulled the emergency brake and let the second-string offense skid all over in the snow. In their final two drives, the Patriots fell short on two third downs and a fourth down, and added a false start just for fun. Obviously, it doesn't matter when you are winning by 59, but DVOA does count every play, although at reduced strength because of the score. Here is New England's offensive DVOA by quarter on Sunday:

  • Q1: 47.4%
  • Q2: 116.5%
  • Q3: 44.2%
  • Q4: -67.5%

Fumbles were also a reason why the Patriots did not set a DVOA record -- not fumble recovery, but the fumbles themselves. The Titans fumbled six times, but three of those were aborted snaps; in the new DVOA introduced last July, the defense no longer gets any credit for "causing" a bad snap.

Of course, the Titans still get penalized for blowing those snaps, and so while the Patriots don't land on the list of the ten best single-game DVOA ratings, the Titans do land on the list of the ten worst single-game DVOA ratings:


Worst Single-Game DVOA Ratings, 1994-2009
Year Team DVOA Week vs. Score Opp DVOA
Rank for Year
2002 ARI -169.2% 13 KC 49-0 4
2005 SF -166.0% 7 WAS 52-17 7
2005 SF -146.8% 2 PHI 42-3 18
2000 CLE -165.2% 14 JAC 48-0 16
2007 KC -157.1% 14 DEN 41-7 17
1999 CLE -153.6% 1 PIT 43-0 19
2009 TEN -153.0% 6 NE 59-0 4
2003 ARI -144.5% 11 CLE 44-6 22
2000 ARI -142.7% 8 DAL 48-7 24
2008 STL -137.5% 10 NYJ 47-3 17


* * * * *

Housekeeping notes: We've finally had a chance to update the "DVOA as of Week X" numbers in the Premium database to reflect the new version of DVOA we introduced in July. All of the week-to-week numbers have been redone, so you can see what DVOA would have looked like in Week 8 of 1994 or Week 12 of 2002 or whenever you would like. In addition, the game-by-game DVOA page now features not only single-game offensive and defensive DVOA but also both offense and defense split into rushing and passing. If you want to know the rushing DVOA of the Bengals when Corey Dillon broke the all-time record with 278 rushing yards, you can (Week 8 of 2000, if you want to look it up). All Premium DVOA stats are now updated through Week 6 of 2009, as are all individual stats and team stats pages, plus the playoff odds page (with a few new "special Super Bowl" listings).

The other housekeeping note: I got myself on the Twitter. There's an "official" FO address, fb_outsiders, but that's actually Bill Barnwell talking. I'm now on at FO_ASchatz. I'm planning to mostly use it to follow NFL reporters rather than telling you what I'm eating for lunch or whatever, but feel free to follow my feed as well as Bill's, and use it to ask questions which I may or may not have time to answer. At some point we'll get up a list of all the FO writers with public twitter pages so you can follow whoever you would like.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through six weeks of 2009, 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. SPECIAL TEAMS DVOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season. Because it is early in the season, opponent adjustments are currently at 60 percent strength.

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 19 percent of DAVE for teams with six games and 27 percent of DAVE for teams with five 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 NO 54.4% 1 37.6% 2 5-0 41.0% 1 -19.4% 2 -6.0% 29
2 PHI 44.2% 2 33.6% 4 3-2 13.2% 13 -26.7% 1 4.3% 5
3 IND 41.2% 4 39.6% 1 5-0 35.3% 2 -7.0% 9 -1.1% 19
4 NE 34.8% 9 33.7% 3 4-2 34.1% 3 -1.5% 15 -0.8% 18
5 NYG 33.5% 3 30.1% 5 5-1 21.4% 7 -11.0% 6 1.2% 11
6 DEN 33.1% 7 22.5% 8 6-0 17.1% 10 -18.8% 3 -2.8% 24
7 MIN 29.7% 5 27.6% 6 6-0 19.5% 8 -1.7% 14 8.5% 2
8 GB 28.9% 8 19.6% 9 3-2 13.4% 12 -15.8% 4 -0.3% 15
9 BAL 27.6% 6 25.3% 7 3-3 24.6% 6 -6.3% 11 -3.3% 25
10 ATL 19.9% 10 10.3% 11 4-1 18.3% 9 2.2% 17 3.8% 6
11 PIT 14.1% 12 15.8% 10 4-2 27.1% 5 7.1% 21 -6.0% 28
12 DAL 12.5% 11 9.0% 12 3-2 27.2% 4 13.9% 25 -0.7% 17
13 ARI 8.3% 22 0.7% 16 3-2 2.5% 18 -7.3% 8 -1.6% 21
14 MIA 3.3% 17 -2.7% 18 2-3 13.5% 11 8.9% 22 -1.3% 20
15 JAC 2.7% 15 5.8% 13 3-3 13.1% 14 11.8% 23 1.4% 10
16 NYJ 0.3% 13 -3.6% 19 3-3 -13.6% 20 -11.2% 5 2.7% 8
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 SEA -3.1% 14 -0.4% 17 2-4 -3.1% 19 0.8% 16 0.7% 12
18 HOU -4.4% 20 -5.0% 20 3-3 8.7% 15 16.1% 26 3.0% 7
19 CHI -5.2% 16 2.3% 15 3-2 -16.4% 25 -3.1% 13 8.1% 3
20 CIN -6.3% 18 -6.3% 21 4-2 5.8% 17 5.8% 19 -6.3% 31
21 SF -7.3% 21 -11.4% 23 3-2 -15.0% 24 -10.3% 7 -2.5% 23
22 WAS -8.8% 19 -8.6% 22 2-4 -14.8% 23 -6.1% 12 -0.1% 14
23 BUF -10.4% 24 -14.0% 24 2-4 -17.5% 26 -6.9% 10 0.2% 13
24 SD -10.5% 23 2.8% 14 2-3 7.0% 16 19.2% 28 1.7% 9
25 KC -22.3% 26 -18.4% 25 1-5 -14.5% 22 13.6% 24 5.8% 4
26 CLE -30.7% 25 -26.7% 27 1-5 -26.1% 31 18.3% 27 13.8% 1
27 CAR -34.9% 29 -25.1% 26 2-3 -22.6% 29 6.1% 20 -6.2% 30
28 STL -41.3% 30 -34.3% 28 0-6 -18.4% 27 21.1% 29 -1.7% 22
29 TB -41.3% 28 -35.8% 30 0-6 -13.9% 21 27.1% 32 -0.4% 16
30 TEN -46.4% 27 -34.5% 29 0-6 -18.5% 28 21.3% 30 -6.6% 32
31 OAK -47.3% 32 -40.9% 31 2-4 -38.9% 32 5.1% 18 -3.3% 26
32 DET -54.3% 31 -45.6% 32 1-5 -25.9% 30 22.7% 31 -5.7% 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 NO 54.4% 5-0 57.9% 6.0 1 2.2% 17 -11.2% 30 2.2% 1
2 PHI 44.2% 3-2 55.2% 4.3 5 -15.2% 30 10.5% 6 23.1% 29
3 IND 41.2% 5-0 47.7% 4.7 2 -5.9% 23 -1.5% 19 16.2% 20
4 NE 34.8% 4-2 32.4% 4.2 7 4.0% 14 1.4% 12 21.0% 26
5 NYG 33.5% 5-1 33.9% 4.3 6 -8.8% 26 13.8% 5 11.9% 16
6 DEN 33.1% 6-0 39.1% 4.6 4 -7.9% 25 5.0% 8 5.0% 9
7 MIN 29.7% 6-0 37.7% 4.6 3 -12.8% 27 -2.4% 21 3.1% 3
8 GB 28.9% 3-2 35.7% 4.1 9 -12.9% 28 -5.0% 26 18.4% 21
9 BAL 27.6% 3-3 31.8% 4.2 8 -0.9% 20 -1.2% 18 12.4% 18
10 ATL 19.9% 4-1 28.8% 4.0 10 -1.5% 21 6.3% 7 4.6% 6
11 PIT 14.1% 4-2 30.5% 3.8 12 -25.6% 31 4.4% 9 4.2% 5
12 DAL 12.5% 3-2 15.3% 3.9 11 -5.3% 22 14.7% 4 3.9% 4
13 ARI 8.3% 3-2 9.3% 3.2 14 4.9% 12 -14.2% 32 35.9% 32
14 MIA 3.3% 2-3 2.8% 2.8 18 6.8% 8 0.4% 14 18.9% 22
15 JAC 2.7% 3-3 1.8% 3.4 13 -7.6% 24 -4.2% 25 22.3% 28
16 NYJ 0.3% 3-3 0.8% 3.0 15 5.2% 10 -3.8% 24 14.1% 19
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 SEA -3.1% 2-4 -6.0% 2.4 24 -0.2% 19 -11.6% 31 24.7% 30
18 HOU -4.4% 3-3 8.1% 3.0 16 -14.8% 29 1.5% 11 8.0% 12
19 CHI -5.2% 3-2 1.0% 2.8 19 0.9% 18 2.9% 10 8.1% 13
20 CIN -6.3% 4-2 -4.6% 3.0 17 11.4% 5 -9.8% 29 9.3% 14
21 SF -7.3% 3-2 -15.3% 2.7 21 2.3% 16 -2.9% 22 12.4% 17
22 WAS -8.8% 2-4 6.3% 2.6 23 -26.8% 32 19.7% 1 4.9% 8
23 BUF -10.4% 2-4 -15.2% 2.7 22 3.5% 15 -0.6% 16 19.3% 23
24 SD -10.5% 2-3 -14.8% 2.7 20 5.1% 11 -6.1% 27 2.6% 2
25 KC -22.3% 1-5 -24.4% 1.8 25 10.3% 6 -3.3% 23 4.6% 7
26 CLE -30.7% 1-5 -39.7% 1.6 26 14.6% 3 -7.2% 28 20.6% 25
27 CAR -34.9% 2-3 -43.1% 1.3 28 4.4% 13 18.7% 2 19.7% 24
28 STL -41.3% 0-6 -46.2% 1.4 27 7.0% 7 -0.8% 17 5.6% 10
29 TB -41.3% 0-6 -37.6% 0.9 32 6.0% 9 17.8% 3 7.9% 11
30 TEN -46.4% 0-6 -56.8% 1.1 29 14.8% 2 -2.1% 20 35.0% 31
31 OAK -47.3% 2-4 -48.9% 0.9 30 12.3% 4 0.9% 13 21.9% 27
32 DET -54.3% 1-5 -64.9% 0.9 31 18.9% 1 0.1% 15 9.9% 15

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 20 Oct 2009

306 comments, Last at 15 Nov 2009, 6:22pm by Slinkster

Comments

271
by mlibbeymail-foo... :: Thu, 10/22/2009 - 12:24pm

some serious suggestions that could help make the projection system more accurate in future years
Would be a great start to see how accurate it is now. Last time I looked into the data (2004-2007), the preseason projections, actual wins only correlated to predicted wins at R^2=.07 and the slope was in the 0.1 range (slope of 1 would be perfect). That is to say, the preseason predictions were about as good as predicting everyone will go 8-8.
That said, Brian Burke (advancednflstats.com) has an efficiency model for in season predictions that would be worth looking at for pre-season predictions. http://www.advancednflstats.com/2007/07/what-makes-teams-win-part-1.html
that is, how much do the inputs he's identified correlate from 1 year to the next?

289
by mediator12 :: Fri, 10/23/2009 - 12:28am

Aaron,

I love how much DVOA can tell us at this point, but it will forever be a tool in the toolbox. This is a unique and relevant place to talk football with some extremely intelligent people. I love how much effort and math goes into these things, but again only game tape reveals what really happens every game. Where DVOA struggles is when teams’ variance overrides their capability. That is certainly the case with SD in the Norv Turner era. It may in part explain the PHI problem as well.

The DEN and SD situations may not be able to be seen mathematically by the current status of DVOA. However, watching the game film and execution of those 2 teams tells the tale. DEN is NOT an inconsistent team through the course of a game, where SD certainly is. DEN actually has gotten much stronger in the second half of their games, where SD is all over the place in their execution. SD is simply terrible at doing what every NFL coach stresses. They lack consistency play by play and game to game. Nothing kills a team like having guys blow assignments. I think that is WHY Norv Turner sucks as a HC, but not as an OC. His teams have been dreadfully inconsistent. That is the essence of poor coaching.

PHI is very much like SD in this regard, but they also struggle with untimely injuries. Having Jason Peters sitting on the sidelines in the loss to OAK can not be overlooked when seeing how the OL struggled to execute versus OAK's DL and therefore put up a terrible Offensive DVOA. However, they also struggle to play for 60 minutes at the same level.

Likewise, DEN is so much better this year than last year because of consistency. DEN is out-executing teams, not blowing assignments, is fundamentally sound, disciplined with the ball, and playing better than the sum of its parts. The offense may not have the big play capability that last years team did yet, but it is certainly almost more efficient overall. No one can say DEN's 3-4 DL is that talented with a straight face. However, they play better as a group than the sum of their parts. That is a product of a culture change with great coaching based on attention to detail. And, the horses are not only drinking it, they are pissing it as well. How you fit those factors into DVOA is way beyond me.

However, there are simply too many variables being left out of DVOA to be any more accurate in prediction at this point. This also applies to the representation of past games. Football is a very fluid game, defined by 22 executing players on every snap. What DVOA lacks at this point is access to play calls and player grades weighed into the factors of success that DVOA measures. Unless you can get access to this from the NFL, (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!) this is always going to be a challenge even if the game charters knew the playbook and could recognize the plays. The plays are simple on the surface, but no one knows the team adjustments that every team in the NFL uses in their game plan, and then further change with game time adjustments. Grading would be extremely difficult.

293
by Crazytrain (not verified) :: Fri, 10/23/2009 - 5:44am

I think to explain the Chargers early struggles is they have started out slowly the last three years. I know you didn't want to hear about Norv Turner but he wants to have a running game and plays conservatively by going for field goals instead of touchdowns and playing it too safe in the red zone. (1-11 at 1 point in the season). Teams like the Patriots play to win and NOT to lose. (they go for it on 4th & short and so have other teams. This is a Trend worth keeping an eye on!)

Also I think it's important to look at their offense in general. They run the same plays the past 7 years or so and need to show more creativity in their offense as the Texans did last week in beating Cincinnati with bubble screens and short passes to Steve Slaton in space. The Chargers run power O from an offset I formation (yet show a conventional I before shifting into the offset I at times). As far as the passing game goes they throw streaks and post downfield to their WR's who are ALL tall(save Chris Chambers). Those tall receivers are long striders who take way too much time to get into their routes and lack the agility to make speed cuts (a la Wes Welker). Thus versatility in the offense is supressed. At Tight end Antonio Gates is good but he's slow and getting slower. However the play calling does open up the middle of the field and Rivers hits him for a nice 12 yard gain. With all the tall WR's they should find more favorable matchups in the red zone as they did Monday Night (i.e. Jack Williams vs. Vincent Jackson).

Also Mike Scifres is such a good punter but when he kicks near the Charger's endzone he kicks the ball in the middle of the field, out kicking his coverage and teams bring it back to the house (See Santonio Holmes, Eddie Royal).

I guess what it boils down to is an effective O: Both in its versatility and its effectiveness.

Let's start with the running game (see Shaun Alexander MVP '05: two years later--he's washed up) (LT MVP '07: '09 washed up. Plus their relative age was about the same). Plus the Chargers no longer have a great FB blocking like Lorenzo Neal and they don't have LT throwing half back passes. Plus they haven't run as many reverses/end arounds early in ball games when defenses are likely to over pursue as they used to.

As far as the passing game they have WR's that remind me of the Jaguars circa '07 in that they have the same skill set which helps block Defensive backs to get great yardage in the running game but their route running needs work and their upper body athleticism is somewhat stiff.

As far as the Chargers' defense is concerned it's just not aggressive enough. Speed and intensity is lacking and this is what AJ Smith was primarily concerned about with his ball club at the outset of this season. Last year Shaun Phillips would design blitzes on the fly in the huddle resulting in him getting a sack. So the defensive coordinator who they've had trouble with is too conservative. But will it change? It can change. See John Marshall and the Raiders spring a cover 2 blitz defense vs. the Eagles. But in the Chargers' case highly unlikely. But perhaps Merriman's groin won't hold him back much longer. We'll have to wait and see.

For the Denver Broncos looking at a teams early success with a new head coach.
Jim Zorn began '08 6-2. Also the players they had were no names but the coaching they had and their concerted efforts make the difference. Also understanding situations is critical and that's something Josh McDaniels learned from Belichick who also taught him on who and how to hire his assistants.

With good coaching (great run defense with defenders driving their shoulders through the blockers and angling their body into a favorable position to penetrate the offense is just good old fashioned attention to detail. Heck Ryan McBean was in Pittsburgh and was mentored by Dick Lebeau and Aaron Smith. Also Andra Davis paired with DJ Williams are a dynamic pair. A healthy Champ Bailey and a above average corner in Goodman who doesn't gamble as much as Bly. But the key and the glue that galvanizes the defense is Brian Dawkins for his play but more importantly for his veteran leadership.

Also note that Elvis Dumervil transition was hard to see since he's awfully short for an OLB in a 3-4. As well as Kenny Peterson and Mario Haggan what they could bring to the table but the team plays well as a whole. Team chemistry is CRITICAL and that's what they got. The Best NFL Europe teams would win championships not so much by talent but by their chemistry alone.

I wonder how the Jaguars new crop of receivers will do since they are all rookies with veteran Torry Holt to lead them?

As for the Broncos offense they have an excellent offensive line. A good line buys you time and in the Broncos' plodding offense which finds itself in a plethora of 3rd and shorts in which they convert those with ease. With a strong line and an offense that takes care of the ball goes a long way to winning. But much like Zorn in Washington how long will it take defenses to adjust? The first half of an NFL season offenses rule and the 2nd half of the season defenses adjust and clamp down on them. If I were head coach I'd have a 2nd offense ready to unleash in week 10 or so. I remember Rich Gannon saying back in 2002 they had to come up with several new plays every week to keep defenses off balanced.

In conclusion I don't know how you would track plays based on formation and personnel but you could track a team's staple plays and see what new things they bring to the table. It worked great for the Patriots with Romeo Crennel.

And one last personal note I think the passing game of the future will have WR's running what I call the cascade effect but I won't release any details at this time.

303
by ExBearFan (not verified) :: Fri, 10/23/2009 - 1:43pm

You rated Kyle Orton 32nd (yes thirty-second) among QBs in the NFL--worse than, well, everybody. You clearly paid no attention to his stats the first half of last season (95+ rating) compared to after his injury when he was playing with a bad ankle (65+). Prior to his injury, he had [u]better numbers than legendary Jay Cutler[/u], while playing against much tougher opponents and in a vastly inferior offense.

You should avoid making judgments on players that you aren't willing to thoroughly research. Anyone with any in-depth knowledge of Orton anticipated he would thrive in Denver--better OL, better WRs, better system, and a spread offense like he ran in college where he threw for 31 TDs and 5 ints his senior year.

304
by BigDerf :: Fri, 10/23/2009 - 2:32pm

I'm gonna have to assume it was something in the stats combined with the public perception of Orton that lead to this.

I feel a large amount of NFL fans/media have never actually watched Orton play a game. There isn't a single thing "sexy" about the way he plays football and he has a neck beard and played in that horrible Chicago offense... But if you could create the ultimate game manager QB it'd be him.

Not a huge arm but live enough to still stretch the field and accurate enough to not Jamarcus a lot of balls.

Not really mobile but his mechanics tend to be sound, he's tall enough and he works well in the pocket and finding his receivers.

Not a great media personality but comes in prepared to play football on Sundays.

306
by Slinkster (not verified) :: Sun, 11/15/2009 - 6:22pm

How does the Patriot's win over the Titans rank on the all time list now? Certainly in the top ten. But is it challenging for top ever?