Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

15 Sep 2015

Week 1 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

You love them when your team is high! You hate them when your team is low! Once again, the famous Football Outsiders DVOA and DAVE ratings return for 2015.

Some of you may be familiar with DVOA, but you have never met our good friend DAVE. Well, DAVE is our rating that combines the preseason projection with the results of early games to give us a better prediction of how each team will rank at the end of the year. For those who don't know the story, this metric is called DAVE as a reaction to criticism that our stats are too much alphabet soup. I mean, who can argue with a guy named Dave? (Technically, it stands for DVOA Adjusted for Variation Early.) In this week's DAVE ratings, the preseason projection counts for 90 percent, and the current DVOA counts for 10 percent.

(Note: I'm calling it DVOA here, but it is actually VOA because there are no opponent adjustments right now. For Weeks 1-3, DVOA and VOA are the same thing. Let's not get all nitpicky, ok?)

The fact that DAVE currently is still counting our preseason projection as 90 percent of its estimate of team quality is another element of the "don't overreact" mentality that leads us to call the first few days after Week 1 "National Jump to Conclusions Week." If we only look at Week 1 performance, the best team in football right now is the Tenenssee Titans. It's really exciting for Tennessee fans... much like last year, when the Titans ranked fourth in DVOA after Week 1 because they had just clobbered the Kansas City Chiefs.

The surprise Week 1 perfomance is a big part of the Week 1 DVOA ratings every year, but not everything this year is "same old, same old." In fact, this year's Week 1 ratings are unique in the history of Week 1 DVOA ratings going back to 1989. For the first time ever after Week 1, all the 1-0 teams are higher than all the 0-1 teams. That doesn't sound strange, because it makes sense for winning teams to rate better than losing teams after one game. But it doesn't always work out that way. Most weeks will have a game or two where the losing team ends up with a higher DVOA than the winning team, sometimes even before opponent adjustments are considered. Sometimes there are weird bounces of the ball, or important plays that aren't included in DVOA such as blocked field goals or unexpectedly big interception returns. But these "wrong team wins" games aren't the only reason we would have an 0-1 team listed below a 1-0 team. Maybe you have one close game where both teams are strong on special teams and there are no aborted snaps or false starts. Then you have another close game where both teams miss field goals, turn the ball over, and commit a lot of penalties. Often, the 0-1 loser of that first game will end up with a higher rating than the 1-0 winner of the second game. Not this year.

Instead, we have a perfect symmetry of 1-0 and 0-1 teams. The symmetry goes right down to the center, where Dallas is No. 16 and the team it beat, the New York Giants, is No. 17.

As always, we have to remember that these first couple weeks of DVOA ratings are actually VOA ratings and don't include opponent adjustments. We don't include those adjustments because we don't know how good teams truly are, but of course our preseason projections give us a good idea of good we think teams are. Tennessee may be No. 1 and Buffalo No. 2, but common sense tells us that Buffalo's win over Indianapolis will probably end up looking more impressive than Tennessee's win over Tampa Bay once the opponent adjustments are incorporated into our ratings.

If Tennessee is No. 1 and Buffalo No. 2 in DVOA, why are they still just No. 25 and No. 17 in DAVE? The DAVE ratings for these teams are still fairly low because their preseason projections were low. Those preseason projections were low in part -- especially for Buffalo -- because our forecasts are naturally conservative in predicting success for quarterbacks with no NFL track record. We now have one game of track record for Marcus Mariota and Tyrod Taylor, but that's not really enough of a sample to state with any certainty that those preseason forecasts were wrong. After all, remember that game at the end of last year where Geno Smith had a perfect passer rating against Miami? Any quarterback good enough to play in the NFL can do anything in just one game.

That being said... remember common sense and opponent adjustments. Both the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills had strong Week 1 games that moved their playoff odds up. The Jets now rank No. 9 in DAVE, much higher than the Bills at No. 17. If our preseason forecast had more faith in Tyrod Taylor, the two teams would likely be closer together. Once we have more data, we'll know more about what Taylor truly can do, and more about how these teams really stand in the AFC East. But even now, with common sense, we know that the Bills had a more impressive win than the Jets had, because the Bills beat Indianapolis -- overrated, according to the preseason DVOA projections, but still an above-average team with a strong offense -- while the Jets beat Cleveland, projected to be one of the league's worst teams this year.

As we noted last year, there's a difference between jumping to conclusions about how good a team is, and jumping to conclusions about what a single win or loss means for that team's playoff chances. The biggest example of this comes from Seattle's loss to St. Louis. Our playoff odds report has dropped the Seahawks out of the top position in terms of playoff odds and Super Bowl odds. But losing to a division rival is worse than just any old loss. Our simulations now have the Rams with slightly better odds than the Seahawks for winning the NFC West or making the postseason altogether, although the Seahawks are still ahead when it comes to Super Bowl odds. It doesn't help Seattle that Arizona and San Francisco won this week too.

An even bigger shock? According to our playoff odds report, Indianapolis has shockingly dropped out of pole position in the AFC South. It helps that our projections for the Colts were not as strong as others around the Internet, but still, this is a huge surprise. We now have the 1-0 Titans winning the AFC South in 41 percent of simulations, while the 0-1 Colts win the division just 36 percent of the time. Week 1's results also gave Green Bay a hefty boost over Minnesota and Detroit and Cincinnati a nice boost over Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

Strangest of all might be the playoff odds for the New England Patriots. The Patriots are the new Super Bowl favorites and comfortably beat Pittsburgh in Week 1, yet their overall playoff odds actually go down (!!!) by 0.7 percent because the rest of their division also started the season 1-0, with dominant wins for the Jets and Bills.

As usual, I have adjusted the projection part of the DAVE ratings for major injuries that took place in Week 1. There could potentially be a lot of retroactive forecast changes made each week because of the improved method for incorporating specific personnel shifts in the new team projection formulas. We're going to try to not overthink things and get too carried away. For this week, the only changes made were to Baltimore (Terrell Suggs), Dallas (Dez Bryant), and Washington (DeSean Jackson), and of course the changes to Dallas and Washington are smaller because Bryant and Jackson aren't expected to miss the entire year.

* * * * *

Once again in 2015, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 16 Ultimate Team. Each week, we'll be picking out a handful of players who starred in that week's games. Some of them will be well-known players who stood out in DVOA and DYAR. Others will be under-the-radar players who only stood out with advanced stats. We'll announce the players each Tuesday in the DVOA commentary article, and the players will be available in Madden Ultimate Team packs the following weekend. We will also tweet out images of these players from the @fboutsiders Twitter account on most Fridays. One player each week will only be available for 24 hours from the point these players enter packs on Friday.

The Football Outsiders stars for Week 1 are:

  • WR Julio Jones, ATL (24 HOURS ONLY): Led all wide receivers with 94 DYAR in Week 1 (9-for-11, 141 yards, 2 TD).
  • RG David DeCastro, PIT: Helped DeAngelo Williams gain 82 yards on 13 carries listed as up the middle or behind the guards.
  • CB Stephon Gilmore, BUF: 4 passes defensed and 6 tackles.
  • K Brandon McManus, DEN: 4-for-4 on field goals, including kicks of 56 and 57 yards. Worth 3.5 points more than expectation for an average kicker on similar attempts, even after adjusting for altitude.
  • TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB: Second among tight ends with 37 DYAR in Week 1 (5-for-7, 110 yards, 2 TD).

I know a lot of Madden 16 players were asking us on Twitter to do Carlos Hyde as one of this week's FO stars... Don't worry, 49ers fans, you'll get your new Carlos Hyde soon.

* * * * *

All stats pages are now updated with 2015 data except for OFFENSIVE LINE and DEFENSIVE LINE, which will be updated after Week 2. (The "defense vs. types of receivers" and "pass defense by direction" stats on the TEAM DEFENSE page will also be updated starting after Week 2.) This year for the first time, we're updating the FO Premium splits database as of Week 1 instead of waiting until Week 2. That should be taken care of by Wednesday morning. However, the Premium Matchups view will still show 2014 stats for 2015 matchups until we have more data that's worth looking at.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through one week of 2015, 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. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

Please note that there are no opponent adjustments in DVOA until after Week 4. (It's still listed as DVOA instead of VOA because I don't feel like going through and changing all the tables manually.) In addition, our second weekly table which includes schedule strength, variation, and Estimated Wins will appear beginning after Week 4.

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 90 percent of DAVE.

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
TOTAL
DAVE
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 TEN 78.2% -5.3% 25 1-0 34.0% 7 -44.4% 2 -0.2% 17
2 BUF 65.3% 1.3% 17 1-0 47.3% 3 1.9% 16 19.9% 1
3 ARI 64.8% 2.0% 15 1-0 50.2% 2 -8.5% 12 6.1% 7
4 CIN 58.3% 11.3% 5 1-0 38.6% 6 -24.3% 7 -4.6% 22
5 NYJ 56.5% 5.6% 9 1-0 22.8% 10 -35.2% 5 -1.6% 18
6 GB 55.9% 13.3% 4 1-0 54.5% 1 4.2% 19 5.6% 9
7 SF 53.6% 1.9% 16 1-0 40.9% 5 -25.0% 6 -12.3% 27
8 KC 33.4% 8.0% 7 1-0 24.5% 9 -6.7% 13 2.2% 13
9 NE 28.2% 19.4% 1 1-0 46.5% 4 23.2% 25 4.8% 11
10 SD 23.4% 7.2% 8 1-0 17.6% 11 -16.1% 9 -10.3% 25
11 STL 15.2% 8.5% 6 1-0 3.7% 14 -15.3% 10 -3.8% 21
12 DEN 14.5% 14.6% 3 1-0 -49.8% 30 -58.2% 1 6.2% 6
13 CAR 11.5% -2.2% 20 1-0 -17.9% 24 -39.7% 4 -10.4% 26
14 MIA 8.3% -2.7% 21 1-0 -5.1% 19 -2.4% 14 11.0% 2
15 ATL 0.5% 2.5% 13 1-0 -2.1% 17 3.4% 18 6.0% 8
16 DAL -0.2% 1.2% 18 1-0 2.7% 15 0.5% 15 -2.4% 19
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
TOTAL
DAVE
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 NYG -1.8% -3.3% 23 0-1 -5.5% 20 6.0% 20 9.6% 3
18 BAL -10.0% 3.1% 11 0-1 -57.4% 31 -41.0% 3 6.4% 5
19 PHI -11.3% 2.6% 12 0-1 0.5% 16 3.2% 17 -8.7% 24
20 DET -12.4% 2.1% 14 0-1 -6.6% 21 10.9% 21 5.1% 10
21 PIT -17.6% 3.7% 10 0-1 29.1% 8 33.3% 28 -13.5% 28
22 WAS -20.2% -19.5% 31 0-1 -8.9% 22 -8.5% 11 -19.8% 32
23 JAC -28.0% -17.6% 30 0-1 -36.3% 27 -23.1% 8 -14.7% 29
24 SEA -32.6% 17.9% 2 0-1 -19.4% 25 14.3% 23 1.1% 15
25 HOU -33.9% -11.1% 27 0-1 -4.7% 18 12.8% 22 -16.3% 30
26 CHI -37.3% -10.1% 26 0-1 4.6% 13 44.9% 31 3.0% 12
27 IND -41.1% 0.5% 19 0-1 10.9% 12 33.9% 29 -18.1% 31
28 CLE -57.6% -15.0% 28 0-1 -40.5% 28 18.0% 24 0.9% 16
29 NO -62.7% -5.2% 24 0-1 -12.8% 23 47.2% 32 -2.7% 20
30 MIN -67.0% -2.8% 22 0-1 -22.9% 26 37.2% 30 -6.8% 23
31 OAK -68.7% -16.2% 29 0-1 -40.5% 29 29.4% 26 1.2% 14
32 TB -104.0% -24.1% 32 0-1 -79.4% 32 31.9% 27 7.3% 4

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 15 Sep 2015

99 comments, Last at 20 Sep 2015, 5:21pm by WeaponX

Comments

1
by jordanhfranklin :: Tue, 09/15/2015 - 11:26pm

.

90
by traxxx9 :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 3:43pm

I like your complaint formatting. Will save some people a lot of time. But one thing worth noting--DVOA is a subjective measurement. Yes, the stats DVOA is based on are objective, but the formula used to calculate DVOA is very subjective.

91
by tuluse :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 3:46pm

DAVE is subjective, DVOA is built from regression analysis. It might not be as rigorous or transparent as a lot of us want, but I don't see how you can claim it's subjective.

2
by nat :: Tue, 09/15/2015 - 11:29pm

Every team that lost dropped in their playoff odds. Every team but two that won saw their playoff odds go up.

Miami and New England had theirs drop.

The AFC East is going to be a wild ride!

Okay, that's jumping to conclusions. But it sure looks like fun.

43
by lordwild :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:20pm

New England's playoff odds should just remain 100% by default barring a Brady injury.

Chad Pennington remains the best AFC East QB of the past 15 years not named T. Brady. And it's not even really close.

50
by t.d. :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 2:01pm

Father time is undefeated, and DVOA didn't see the sea-change in the NFC West from 2012 coming, stranger things have happened. You have new organizations in Buffalo and New York, and Miami has been at least competent for a couple years. The most likely outcome is that somebody else will win the AFC East soon, the only question is if Brady slips at age 38,or if he can hold off age and injury a year or two more (not to mention the likelihood that Gronk misses time, as he has every season except last year since he was drafted, which would make the question of Brady's decline irrelevant)

67
by Alternator :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 4:45pm

2012 NFC West went from 0 great teams to 2 great teams - not really a fair comparison. Even if the Bills (or less likely the Jets/Dolphins) rise up and prove elite or near-elite, the Patriots would be hugely favored to snag a wild card spot - they play the AFC South, which is terrible, and the NFC East, which has the formidable Cowboys but not a whole lot else.

69
by t.d. :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 5:33pm

I'd argue 13-3 and a muffed punt away from the Super Bowl qualify one of those '11 teams as 'great', they just thought they'd regress, because teams that suddenly improve usually do, which gets at the descriptive/predictive distinction- the change to Harbaugh was foreseeable as a cultural shift, but you'd bet against most successful first year coaches being transformational. Likewise, Seattle was a popular dark horse that year, on the potential of Russell Wilson panning out (Football Outsiders was ahead of the curve on this, but they still projected to be mediocre). Philadelphia, Dallas, a first place schedule, and a potentially brutal division offsets two(?) AFC South layups, in my opinion. New England is probably a playoff team, but it's a little early to pencil them in, with Brady's age and Gronk's injury history and the defense an unknown commodity

59
by CuseFanInSoCal :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:22pm

Erm... Drew Bledsoe?

80
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 12:38am

Last 15 years, no, it's Pennington. Bledsoe stopped being great by the time Brady was starting.

83
by PaddyPat :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 1:06am

It's Pennington by a landslide:
'02 DVOA: 40.6 DYAR 1412 was his big year. He had other good years too:
03' DVOA 3.1 DYAR 302,
04' DVOA 24.4 DYAR 918,
06' DVOA 10.1, DYAR 739,
and then with Miami in 08' DVOA 21.1 DYAR 1030.
The poor guy just couldn't stay healthy. He had real greatness in him.

The AFC East has seen some other competent quarterbacks over the years though, at least for short stretches. Jay Fiedler was a very respectable quarterback in 2001, 2002, and 2003. He fell off a cliff after that, but those were decent years: 11-5, 9-7, 10-6, and Fiedler was mobile and pretty efficient--not simply a game manager. Miami also did okay with Chad Henne at first--he posted DOVA 3.4 and DYAR 449 in 2009, and then DVOA 1.0 DYAR 402 in 2010. That's solid, mediocre play. There have been some other interesting one-off performances over the years. Matt Cassel had a strong second half of 2008, including some nice 4Q Comeback performances, etc. And Alex Van Pelt put up good numbers for Buffalo in the awful 2001 season: DVOA 15.2 DYAR 537. It's hard to understand those numbers, but they are what they are.

85
by garion333 :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 12:42pm

Guess that makes Tannehill one of the best AFC East QBs of the past 15 years. Wow.

87
by Richie :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 2:58pm

"Chad Pennington remains the best AFC East QB of the past 15 years not named T. Brady"

That's a pretty horrifying thought. Not to take anything away from the Patriots, but I wonder what percentage of their great run has to do with the fact that their division has not given them much of a challenge during this time.

Most of Joe Montana's run came in a division with terrible Falcons and Saints teams and a mediocre Rams team. The Rams had Jim Everett for a few years, who was probably on Pennington's level.

Troy Aikman was competing against Randall Cunningham and bad Cardinals teams, mostly bad Giants teams, and whatever QB the Redskins were throwing out there.

Peyton Manning mostly had bad teams in his division, with Steve McNair probably the best of the bunch.

96
by lordwild :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 7:18pm

The DYAR stats only go back to 1989, but the 80's NFC West was not a hotbed of QB talent outside Montana if my memory serves.

The 90's NFC East started strong with Simms, Rypien, and Cunningham but they were largely gone after 1993. Washington got some good years out of Frerotte and Brad Johnson; otherwise it's a wasteland until McNabb and Kerry Collins put up good years in 2000.

McNair left the AFC South after 2005; paving the way for a Murderer's Row of Leftwich, Garrard, and Schaub...

Some divisions are cursed with some dreadful QB droughts more than others. The AFC East is notable that the drought has affected the three non-Patriot teams for a rather prolonged stretch.

3
by techvet :: Tue, 09/15/2015 - 11:34pm

The Packers are 19th on defense after having one of the worse rushing defenses off the weekend? Maybe there is still a little hope.

Patriots/Bills followed by Cowboys/Eagles followed by Seahawks/Packers? Sit back and relax!

6
by tuluse :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:47am

Rushing defense isn't that important in the modern nfl, especially when you have Aaron Rodgers putting pressure on the other team to score.

For the record, they do have the 31st ranked rush defense right now.

47
by t.d. :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:41pm

Well, the road to the NFC title has gone through San Francisco and Seattle (and now maybe Dallas) the last few years, so I'm not sure that theory holds up (it's also why Tyrod Taylor might not be such a long shot to succeed in Buffalo- his O.C. built an effective offense out of Kaeperneck and a line that wasn't regarded as elite when Singletary coached them).

53
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 2:22pm

Iupati and Davis were very raw under Singletary and Boone and Goodwin were either not there or not playing. So it was basically Staley.

And Jimmy Raye, can't forget him as OC when the niners didn't try to run outside the tackles until week 5.

56
by tuluse :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 2:49pm

San Fran and Seattle have been good at everything, so I don't think it proves anything about rush defense.

51
by ammek :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 2:03pm

Only one game, but the three worst rush defenses by DVOA all belong to NFC North teams. Black'n'blue it ain't.

4
by RickD :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:37am

Baffled at DAVE's love of the Jets. 27th in DVOA last year, beat the Browns, and suddenly they're a top 10 team? Yes, I know they have Revis again. They still have a dreadful offense.

5
by PaddyPat :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:42am

They had a good run in the preseason, nice game 3, etc. We'll see where it goes; it's especially interesting that the projection is better than that for Buffalo, but only a difference of 4.3 points... The Bills also routed PIT in the 3rd preseason game... so who knows?

8
by RickD :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:56am

I don't think DVOA cares about the pre-season.

10
by PaddyPat :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:59am

I thought it was factored into DAVE.

Otherwise the weirdness of Buffalo vs. NYJ is just that much weirder. Buffalo was very respectable last year, while New York was not, etc. etc.

12
by SportsHec8 :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:15am

Correct i dont think DAVE cares about it either. when Aaron writes preseason i think he means their preseason projections

24
by mehllageman56 :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 10:10am

Wasn't the original projection higher on the Jets as opposed to Buffalo because DAVE trusts Fitzpatrick more than Taylor? Also, look at the Defensive DVOA for both teams. The Colts are still much much better than the Browns on offense, but opponent adjustments have not kicked in, and the Browns were 7-9 last year, also, if that matters to DAVE.

79
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 12:33am

I thought it trusted Fitzpatrick more than Cassel and Manuel. Did Taylor even figure?

81
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 12:40am

You're right, he didn't.

9
by SportsHec8 :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:58am

it wasnt jus revis though. Cro, and the rook as well. Remember the Jets chapter from the Almanac. Only the 09 Lions added more talent on defense than the jets did in one offseason in the entire FO database.

18
by dank067 :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 8:07am

They were projected to be 18th in DVOA, which sounds fair to me. Still not a playoff team on the strength of their defense alone, but if their offense is any better than the projected 27th they probably have playoff upside. With how tightly clustered all of those teams in the middle were in the projections, winning in week 1 kind of moves them into a high ranking by default.

44
by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:28pm

Basically this, and the comment about projections trusting Fitzpatrick more than Taylor. When I say "preseason" I mean the projections, not performance in preseason games.

88
by Richie :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 3:03pm

The Jets had a pre-season DVOA of 0.0%. Buffalo was at -5.8%.

So Buffalo made up a little bit of ground on the Jets in DAVE. Makes sense.

7
by tuluse :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:49am

Silver linings:

The Bears special team is back in non-suck territory. The offense is where it left off last year despite losing several receivers and shuffling the offensive line. And we don't have to face Aaron Rodgers every week.

68
by Steve in WI :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 5:02pm

Pessimism: the offense is back to where it left off, but that's not exactly high praise especially given the amount of money being paid to several players, namely Cutler. The defense is also back to where it left off, proving that good coaching may be able to make a team look better on TV but it can't compensate for a dearth of talent that will show up in DVOA.

Meatball fan observation of the week regarding something that has no impact on team performance: it was really nice to see a Bears head coach show some emotion on the sideline and not stand there with a stoic (or shell-shocked, in the case of Trestman last season) expression on his face.

70
by Eddo :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 5:36pm

I don't mean this as either optimism or pessimism, but why, as fans, should we care which specific players are paid more, as long as the team produces?

Cutler's overpaid when compared to other QBs that are productive. But his contract didn't prevent the Bears from signing Lamar Houston, Jared Allen, or Pernell McPhee, all considered to be some of the best options available at positions the team needed over the past two offseasons. (The wisesness of those decisions is immaterial to my point; the money was available.)

72
by Steve in WI :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 6:13pm

That's actually a really fair point. I can't think of many players that the Bears had to let go for cap reasons either.

73
by Led :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 6:39pm

They traded Brandon Marshall for a 5th rounder for what I understood were cap reasons.

77
by TomC :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 8:53pm

I thought most of the speculation was that that trade had more to do with "attitude" reasons than cap reasons. (The phrase "we want guys here who want to play football" was bandied about, presumably referring to Marshall's trips to NYC to film Inside The NFL.)

98
by Steve in WI :: Fri, 09/18/2015 - 5:30pm

My opinion is that Marshall acted like a total locker room cancer and they were lucky to get something in return for him (given his age and likely impending dropoff in onfield value, too). I believe that a large part of why the team wanted to part with him was this, rather than cap reasons or onfield performance. The latter two were decent arguments for getting rid of him, too, but only if they could have gotten more in return.

They had a throw in a 7th rounder to get the 5th back, so they actually traded him away just to move their pick up two rounds; they didn't even get an extra pick.

Last year, apart from the circus that the Bears were in general, you had the following Marshall-related incidents (and these are just the ones off the top of my head):

- calling a press conference where he "defended" himself against previous domestic abuse allegations by attacking the alleged victim, including by citing "facts" that were easily disproven
- getting into a public shouting match with the Bears' kicker, of all people, after a loss
- going to New York every week to be on Inside the NFL, as you mentioned
- challenging a troll on Twitter to a boxing match, ostensibly to raise money to prevent bullying (?)
- publicly calling out Jay Cutler and questioning his skills and leadership
- using every possible opportunity to trumpet his inspirational recovery from a type of mental illness that probably can't be cured or recovered from per se so much as managed, which if Marshall's behavior is any indication he's not managing it nearly as well as he claims

11
by theslothook :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:03am

A manning led team is ranked 30th offensively and 1st in defense. My god...

13
by Scott C :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 2:14am

Eli?

17
by deus01 :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 7:46am

I suspect the offense and defense rankings for both Baltimore and Denver will look quite a bit better as the adjustments move from VOA to DVOA. That game was a great defensive slug fest

26
by Independent George :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 10:19am

Better, but not necessarily good.

I'm very much a Peyton skeptic this season. He has not looked good since halfway through last season, and injuries are a driving force of age-related decline rather than being random outliers.

33
by Independent George :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 11:21am

//double

14
by Topas :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:53am

Let's go, BUFFALO !!!

15
by bubqr :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 4:00am

Old mate DAVE and I agree that the Colts are overrated, but come on now, the Titans favorites to win the division? Sheeeeeeeeet.

16
by evilgenius :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 6:09am

No Carlos Hyde under your stars? Really?

46
by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:32pm

Our choice of players is often impacted by other programs in MUT 16. There's a lot more that goes into picking these five players than just "whichever five players the FO staff likes that week."

94
by evilgenius :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 6:28pm

Well, I certainly won't pretend to know exactly what the criteria will be for your promo piece, but Hyde had one of the best days I've seen in a long time from a back not named Lynch.

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by evilgenius :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 6:28pm

Well, I certainly won't pretend to know exactly what the criteria will be for your promo piece, but Hyde had one of the best days I've seen in a long time from a back not named Lynch.

19
by jefeweiss :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 8:16am

Was there a data driven reason that you decided to use 90% of the preseason ranking for the first week? I'm curious if you chose the percentages to fit past results or it was just a WAG.

21
by jefeweiss :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 8:21am

Nevermind, I see that it was based on a regression of the 2001 to 2005 seasons. I guess it would be a lot of work to revisit it based on more recent seasons. 90% seemed kind of heavy handed, but at least there's some data behind it.

45
by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:31pm

Updating the research on percentages in DAVE is one of the many projects on the never ending to do list. We're very low on resources and my life has been very complicated the last two years.

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by MC2 :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 4:16pm

Hey Aaron, speaking of things to do, I know you guys are very busy, but it would be great if we could see DAVE broken down into offense, defense, and special teams.

It would make it a lot easier to get an idea of exactly how teams are likely to match up going forward.

89
by CaffeineMan :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 3:11pm

DAVE breakdowns are available on the specific pages (offense, defense, ST). Did you mean you wanted on the same page as the overall DAVE?

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by MC2 :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 4:42pm

Ah, thanks. Somehow, I had never noticed that.

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by jefeweiss :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 1:58pm

I kind of doubt that it's going to change all that much over the years, although it might decline if there is more parity from year to year. I would put a much higher priority on coming up with new and interesting analysis than revisiting this. It was just something that occurred to me when looking it over.

I appreciate all the effort that goes into the Almanac and Kubiak every year and FO is one of the websites I check in on pretty much every day, so just keep on keeping on.

20
by BJR :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 8:20am

Is it possible to share the Eagles offensive DVOA splits, 1st half/2nd half? Thanks

22
by Mugsy :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 9:25am

The strength of the Jets offensive line needs to be considered. That O.L. could be the strength of the team. Ivory looks solid, & with Marshall & Decker on the outside - and a big guy in the slot... they can be competent at least. Add that to a pretty tough defense & who knows? Fitzpatrick seems to be careful with the ball -Trent Dilfer & Fitzpatrick are probably comparable. The Jets defensive line should be able to provide some pressure, and the DBs look petty solid. Will be nice to get Sheldon Richardson back, too. Could be pretty tough to run the ball on the Jersey Jets this year.

25
by mehllageman56 :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 10:18am

Historically, Fitzpatrick has not been careful with the ball, so let's wait a little and see what happens on that front. Also, the offensive line wasn't a strength last year, in spite of Mangold. Ferguson had fallen off last year, Colon was solid but a penalty machine, the other guard was a sinkhole, and Giancomi played like a reject from Seattle. They've only added Carpenter, who has looked really good so far, and the line had a pretty good game, but all those other issues cropping up would not surprise me in the least.

23
by Mike B. In Va :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 10:07am

As one of the few resident Bills fans - and maybe the one who's been here the longest - I'm actually going to enjoy the fact that the OFFENSE is the reason the team is ranked so highly.

It will be interesting to see how this week plays out.

27
by Independent George :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 10:28am

Jump to conclusions!

Tampa's a disaster, but at least they've got great special teams! Which does actually seem to be a Lovie trademark. Unfortunately, the disciplined and professional defense hasn't quite happened yet.

28
by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 10:44am

Are those conclusions at the bottom of the cliff I want to jump off of? Because negative three digits seems BAD.

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by Independent George :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 4:14pm

But... their special teams!

29
by Mugsy :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 10:59am

maybe Winston should have pulled an Elway & refused to play for Tampa- he coulda demanded to go west.

30
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 10:59am

I pretty much root for whatever causes die hard fans the most agony (really, even for Vikings fans these days), because that's just the sort of sadist I am. Thus, when I look at situations like the trade between the Rams and the Eagles, I have to think what sort of outcome would cause the greatest distress to the two fanbases. Given the St. Louis fanbase appears quite likely to endure the ultimate insult, being told by the owner that they can find something to do other than pay attention to Rams football in the coming years, because they didn't give him a billion or so in stadium largesse, it seems that front is quite well covered. It is then obvious what needs to happen is that Nick Foles has a MVP-caliber season while leading the Rams to the Super Bowl, while the Eagles miss the playoffs, while Bradford plays just well enough (I never root for player injury) to force Kelly to consider having to franchise him, while Bradford asks for another mountain of cash after the season. Or, better yet, Bradford plays great for about 8 games, gets about 95 million in guaranteed cash about November 1st, and then promptly goes into a slump, along with the rest of the team, and misses the playoffs.

I love football season.

57
by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:05pm

May your TV show nothing but replays of Gary Anderson missing the kick against Atlanta - forever!

63
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:42pm

Ha! My earliest strong sports memory is a heavily favored Viking team getting clobbered in Super Bowl IV. I was about 50 yards away when Drew Pearson made, in a playoff game, "Hail Mary" a common football term. I am as immune to football fan agony as this guy is to a poison slipped into a glass of wine.........

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s0UURBihH8

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by Mike B. In Va :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 4:30pm

Clearly you cannot choose the game in front of you.

78
by TomC :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 8:56pm

4) Never get in an FO thread argument with a lawyer from Minnesota.

31
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 11:00am

So the 49ers poor special teams rating doesn't even include the blocked FG right, it counts it as a miss?

32
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 11:16am

From the offensive DVOA page:

"Please note that the combination of pass offense and run offense will appear to be higher than total offensive DVOA. This is because offensive DVOA also accounts for false starts and delay of game penalties, which are all negative plays but are not considered as either passes or runs."

So if, for example, the 49ers total ODVOA (offensive DVOA)is 40.9% with a OPDVOA (offensive pass DVOA, I assume I don't need to explain this abbreviation any further?)of 22.2% and a ORDVOA 68.3% then does this mean that the OPDVOA is -49.6%?

-49.6% is huge, but then they did commit a ton of silly penalties.

35
by Eddo :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 11:37am

I might be wrong, but I think you're making an incorrect assumption about how to combine rushing and passing, even before factoring in penalties.

While it's true that total DVOA equals offensive DVOA plus defensive DVOA, that's not how you do it for each component.

That is, offensive DVOA would be:


[(rushing plays x rushing DVOA) + (passing plays x passing DVOA) + (penalties x penalty DVOA)] / [rushing plays + passing plays + penalties]

EDIT TO ADD MORE SPECIFICS:
So in this case, the 49ers had 39 rushes for 68.3% DVOA, 23 passes for 22.2% DVOA, and 8 penalties.

[(39 * 68.3) + (23 * 22.2) + (8 * X)] / [39 + 23 + 8] = 40.9

Solving for X, we get a penalty DVOA of -38.9%.

And even with zero penalties AND an equal number of rushes and passes, you wouldn't just add 68.3 + 22.2 to get 90.5; you'd average them to get 45.3.

37
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:14pm

Cheers Ed, that helps. 45% is still pretty chunky, penalties really are drive killers.

39
by Eddo :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:33pm

You're welcome, hopefully I got most of that correct.

34
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 11:35am

It's awesome that the Vikings were so awful, in all phases, against the Niners, that they dropped from a preseason rank of #12, to a week 1 DAVE rank of #22, with that game data only comprising 10% of the DAVE total! This is my new screensaver...

https://vine.co/v/eF3u0dWJvIL

36
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:12pm

I've just spotted another funny in that clip. Bowman appears to rush but is actually in coverage on Peterson but #79 is trying to block him so when Peterson leaks out late and Bowman goes with him #79 follows Bowman a quarter of the way across the field even though Bo is clearly in coverage. A clip that keeps on giving.

38
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:26pm

I swear to Odin that the entire roster was drunk on mead. Very entertaining.

40
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 12:43pm

It's an interesting play, and it is unfortunate that so much of the TV feed is cut off - let alone so much of the play is cut off by the TV feed. But:

1. It looks like Bridgewater considered - and maybe should have thrown, the 5-yard out to what looks like a tight end (can't see the #, maybe Rudolph?) on the left side. However, counting receivers maybe there was a wideout over there clogging the route offscreen . . . I only see ten Vikings (and ten 49ers).

2. The slot receiver on the right running a cross looks open but very much is not open; that's a pick if he throws it.

3. The outside right receiver WAS open . . . but only after Teddy had to scramble backwards to avoid a sack. The route came open too late.

4. AP and 79 also look like they ran into each other or at least got in each other's way; a lot of Viking-on-Viking violence on this play.

5. Teddy did a good job scrambling; there was open grass but he never could have gotten to it because the LG got pushed backwards even before the LT and RT got beat leaving two rushers to follow the QB.

52
by Travis :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 2:22pm
54
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 2:25pm

Looks like the center was more concerned with Bowman too so the Vikings had two guys in pass protection trying to stop four guys going after Teddy, three niners and their own right tackle.

58
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:10pm

Interesting, the leftside WR ran a nine. I really think Teddy should have thrown to the tight end. He was covered, but Bridgewater could have gotten the ball out in front of him and given him a chance to turn upfield. It was the only throw that was remotely open. Rudolph was given the inside by the linebacker, oddly enough, but I guess he didn't have the option of continuing inside on a drag, because it would have an easy completion with one backer bailing deep.

I think maybe Teddy wanted to throw the crossing route, but took too long realizing that the safety was baiting him into that throw. By the time he looked elsewhere the LG had been pushed into his face, and after shuffling right the LDE had looped all the way around...

71
by tuluse :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 5:57pm

I'd say throwing a bomb to the sideline for the left receiver was his best bet. As long as he puts it far enough out probably lands incomplete, but gives receiver a small chance to get it.

74
by commissionerleaf :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 6:56pm

Yeah, there's a point about 2 seconds after the snap when he needed to throw it somewhere. From the TV angle I couldn't even see that receiver of course, and from the all-22 it isn't clear whether that receiver was going to get separation (he slows down before even an on-time pass would have arrived).

I think Rudolph was probably the play, but maybe I'm playing Captain Checkdown.

75
by tuluse :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 7:52pm

Well the 9ers only rush 4, so it's not a hot read throw it immediately situation (though maybe all plays should be behind this line). So I gave it until a count of 3 and by that time, it's not a good time to throw the TE.

Chances are that's going to end incomplete as well when the linebacker just blasts him when the ball arrives.

The right receiver is the only one to get any separation from his defender and I think that's only because the corner knows he has a center field safety helping inside and is getting outside leverage.

76
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 8:27pm

The niners only really rushed three, something Mangini has history of, because Bowman is really in coverage on Peterson.

41
by TomC :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:12pm

I think what surprised me most is how bad Bridgewater looked. Did he do that horrible looping sidearm eephus pitch last year? If so, I managed to block it out. Coaches need to get that one out of his repertoire pronto.

42
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:16pm

Just watched the game last night. Overall I thought Bridgewater looked pretty good, showed pretty good pocket presence (linked vine aside). Maybe I've spent too much time over the last three years watching Kaepernick that I've forgotten what pocket presence looks like, but I was thinking if we could only combine the two we might have the perfect human QB.

It's also been a long time since I've spent much time watching a zone rushing attack--probably since I lived in Denver in the days of the Mile High Salute. Does Minnesota have a terrible rush defense? Or did Hyde look something like Terrell Davis? Or do all zone rushers look like T.D. to the unaccustomed? Or am I just really bad at watching football?

48
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:49pm

The Vikings were bad against the rush last year, and there was talk, like a lot of unwarranted optimism surrounding the team, that they would be better this year. It didn't show the other night, and their linebacking in particular, outside of Barr, continued to look pretty bad.

The entire team was so bad it kind of leads me to think that a 7:15 west coast start time, 9:15 by central time body clocks, had some kind of effect. They get the snot kicked out of them by the Lions on Sunday, however, the local vocal football know-nothings will be jumping off the five bridges that cross the Mississippi within about a mile radius of the stadium. Good times!

55
by dank067 :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 2:43pm

There may well be something to the late start time: http://deadspin.com/5934440/the-circadian-advantage-how-sleep-patterns-b...

60
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:26pm

Oh, it's pretty well established, and once you factor that 7:15 kickoff, a team from the central time zone is pretty much like an east coast team, in terms of circadian disadvantage. It doen't speak well of NFL coaches that they don't regularly spend the entire week on the road in situations like this, in an effort to mitigate the effect. The Vikings could have been on the coast for 10 full days, had they so desired.

What's really idiotic, and demonstartes how dumb the general betting public can be, is that the Vikings were favored in the game. I woudn't have favord them in this matchup, on opening weekend, on the road, no matter the starting time, but once that gets factored, well, I doubt the sharpies will have an easier opportunity all year.

60
by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:26pm

Oh, it's pretty well established, and once you factor that 7:15 kickoff, a team from the central time zone is pretty much like an east coast team, in terms of circadian disadvantage. It doen't speak well of NFL coaches that they don't regularly spend the entire week on the road in situations like this, in an effort to mitigate the effect. The Vikings could have been on the coast for 10 full days, had they so desired.

What's really idiotic, and demonstartes how dumb the general betting public can be, is that the Vikings were favored in the game. I woudn't have favord them in this matchup, on opening weekend, on the road, no matter the starting time, but once that gets factored, well, I doubt the sharpies will have an easier opportunity all year.

82
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 12:46am

Belichick does spend the entire week on the road in situations like this. I'm surprised Rex Ryan doesn't steal a page from Belichick's playbook on this.

97
by ZDNeal :: Fri, 09/18/2015 - 9:49am

Every team should recenter their schedules halfway between Mountain and Central and maintain that daily schedule all season.

I went looking for this and had no idea it was from 6 years ago. I swear they back dated it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/20/sports/basketball/20sleep.html?_r=0

49
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 1:56pm

Minnesota's run D was 25th last year, so they shouldn't be expected to be an elite group. Hyde looked pretty good though, his decisive style and combination of speed and strength really fits the system.

62
by usernaim250 :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:37pm

Washington back in the cellar for special teams, which was identifiably the reason they lost (missed FG, gave up 69 yd TD on a punt in a 7 point loss). They've canned their kicker, which gives their terrible coverage team a break. And the returners look better than they've had in years and years, though Mike Nelms isn't walking in the door. But I'm very, very worried about a last place finish (in special teams).

64
by Parmenides :: Wed, 09/16/2015 - 3:45pm

The (Panthers) are obviously too low because (the offense does indeed look like a hot mess but we beat a team)

99
by WeaponX :: Sun, 09/20/2015 - 5:21pm

Offense looked a little better today!

Sometimes I even trip myself out.

84
by big10freak :: Thu, 09/17/2015 - 8:10am

The Packers special teams don't immediately stink. Awesome!