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» Week 11 DVOA Ratings

DVOA has finally climbed on board the Wentz Wagon! The Eagles move into the No. 1 spot, but they aren't the only strong, well-balanced team in the NFL this year. New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and the Los Angeles Rams make this one of the best seasons ever for multiple teams over 30% in DVOA, and Minnesota isn't far behind.

06 Oct 2015

Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

(Note: The odds for teams going undefeated listed below were artificially high and have been retroactively changed. More details on that can be found here.)

We spent the first three weeks of the season in wonder at the dominance of the Arizona Cardinals, but it turned out the Cardinals were not going undefeated this year. They didn't lose to St. Louis by a large margin, and ended up with a single-game DVOA of -6.8%. That actually wouldn't have been enough to drop the Cardinals from the No. 1 spot in our ratings... except that Week 4 is also the week that the opponent adjustments arrive, truly turning DVOA into DVOA. Although the opponent adjustments are only at 40 percent of their eventual full strength, Arizona's schedule so far ranks No. 31 -- only Carolina has played an easier schedule so far -- and that drops the Cardinals to No. 2 this week.

Our new No. 1 team is also the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, who slide into the top spot despite not playing this week. The Patriots have only played three games so far, but they have played very well and they've played teams that have played well otherwise. New England's schedule ranks eighth in the league, making the Patriots the only one of the six undefeated teams which hasn't played one of the 10 easiest schedules in the league according to DVOA. Pittsburgh and Buffalo are only 2-2, but they rank sixth and eighth in DVOA, respectively.

(The DVOA ratings may be overrating Buffalo because right now the system doesn't incorporate most penalties, and the Bills have had a ridiculous number of penalties so far this year. At some point we do need to work a bit more on doing a better job of figuring out which penalties need to be incorporated and which should be left out as non-predictive.)

The Patriots are just one of six teams that currently are undefeated. That's a lot, even after just four weeks. The last time we had this many teams undefeated after Week 4 was 2003, the first year of Football Outsiders. Denver, Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Minnesota were 4-0, and Carolina and Seattle were 3-0.

All these undefeated teams means we're already getting talk of undefeated seasons. Of course, most of that talk is about the Patriots. They're the defending champions, they're the only team that's ever gone 16-0 in NFL history, they don't have a particularly tough schedule, and they are No. 1 in our ratings and most of the ratings around the Internets. Also contributing to New England's chances of going undefeated: the Patriots only have one game against one of the other currently undefeated teams, Week 12 at Denver. Our current playoff odds simulation gives the Patriots 4.1 percent odds of going 16-0.

Of course, six undefeated teams means six teams with a chance to go 16-0. In 9.4 percent of this week's 25,000 playoff odds simulations, at least one team goes 16-0 during the regular season. And yes, I did type the words "at least" in that sentence. Except for the fact that Carolina and Atlanta are in the same division, there's actually very little crossover between the schedules of the six remaining undefeated teams, which means there's a chance that we could end the regular season with multiple 16-0 teams. It's a ridiculously small chance, but it's a chance and I had a fun time goofing off with the possibilities. Here are the remaining regular-season games between the six undefeated teams:

  • Week 8, Green Bay at Denver
  • Week 9, Green Bay at Carolina
  • Week 12, New England at Denver
  • Week 14, Atlanta at Carolina
  • Week 16, Carolina at Atlanta
  • Week 16, Cincinnati at Denver

And so, for example, we have 25 different seasons among this week's 25,000 simulations where both New England and Green Bay finish 16-0. And to demonstrate how fickle things are in the "any given Sunday" world of the NFL, I can tell you that the Packers only win the Super Bowl in nine of those simulations and the Patriots only win in seven. In nine of the simulations, both the Packers and Patriots get knocked off trying to go 19-0. In one of those seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles win the Super Bowl. Try imagining what that celebration would be like.

In seven of our 25,000 simulations, Green Bay and Atlanta both finish the year 16-0. In one simulation, the Seahawks knock off both of those teams on their way to a Super Bowl championship, and in another simulation, the Arizona Cardinals do the same thing.

There are 20 simulations where the Patriots and Falcons both finish the year at 16-0. There are 14 simulations where the Patriots and Bengals both finish the year at 16-0. But wait... these simulations overlap, because there are two of this week's 25,000 simulations where New England, Cincinnati, and Atlanta all finish the year at 16-0. In one of those two simulations, the Patriots win the Super Bowl and finish the perfect season at 19-0. In the other simulation, the Patriots don't even make it to the AFC Championship Game; Denver wrecks New England's dream of finally going 19-0 in the last Brady-Manning game ever. Then the Broncos go to Cincinnati and lose to the Bengals, who take out the Falcons in the first-ever Super Bowl between undefeated teams and become the first team to ever go 19-0. The Cincinnati Bengals. It could happen.

In fact, technically it is possible for four different teams to finish 16-0 in 2015. New England, Cincinnati, Green Bay, and Atlanta could all finish at 16-0 without ever playing each other in the regular season, although it didn't happen in any of this week's 25,000 simulations.

Oh, and the other side of the coin? The Detroit Lions are 22nd in our DVOA ratings despite starting 0-4 with a little help from the officials, and the Lions only go 0-16 in 23 of our 25,000 simulations.

A few other notes from the arrival of the opponent adjustments and the second weekly table that includes past and future schedule ratings:

  • The two worst teams in DVOA, Chicago and San Francisco, have also played the two toughest schedules so far. That makes some sense given that opponent adjustments are far from full strength. Chicago and San Francisco may not be as bad as they look given who they've played. But that wouldn't be a particularly good sign for the teams just ahead of them in the ratings: Houston ranks 30th despite having the No. 22 schedule so far, and Tampa Bay ranks 29th despite having the No. 26 schedule so far.

  • By the way, remember last week when our playoff odds gave Chicago a huge lead in the race for the No. 1 pick? The Bears won the No. 1 pick in 36.1 percent of simulations while no other team was in double digits. Adding opponent adjustments and a win over Oakland sure changed that. The new playoff odds have San Francisco in the top spot for the No. 1 pick at 18.8 percent, and the bottom four teams in DVOA all have at least a 10 percent chance of getting the top selection. A big reason for that is that Chicago's schedule is about to get much easier (30th the rest of the way) and San Francisco's is not (fourth the rest of the way).

  • Cleveland has by far the toughest remaining schedule in the league based on DVOA ratings so far. In addition, the Browns have to play both Pittsburgh games in the second half of the season, when Ben Roethlisberger should be healthy and back in the lineup.

  • The schedule also gets much tougher the rest of the way for Minnesota, Arizona, and the New York Jets. The Jets probably have the biggest difference right now between adjusted and unadjusted numbers, a combination of their easy schedule in the first month of the year and their absurd fumble recovery numbers so far (3 of 4 fumbles on offense, 6 of 7 fumbles on defense).

  • Other than Chicago, teams whose schedules are going to be much easier the rest of the way include St. Louis, Jacksonville, and the New York Giants.

  • Detroit and Denver have been the most consistent teams in the league so far on a week-to-week basis. Tennessee and San Francisco have been the least consistent teams, primarily due to their Week 1 wins.

  • Don't forget that the Estimated Wins figure in the table below is computed as if every team had played the same number of games. That's how New England can be listed at 4.0. I probably should change this at some point to a winning percentage instead of just a raw win total, but that would require a lot of fiddling with the old data and the Premium database at this point. So for now, we're leaving it this way.
  • You can essentially ignore Buffalo having just 1.0 estimated wins. It's a fluke result that comes about because part of that equation is the performance in the second half of close games, and Buffalo has hardly had any plays in those situations. Buffalo has had only one offensive play all year in the second half of a game with the score within a touchdown either way: the Tyrod Taylor pick that ended the comeback against the Patriots. That one very bad play screws up the whole formula. However, the Bills have also had only 12 defensive plays in the second half of close games -- only New England has less, with just the one against the Bills -- with a very poor 79.2% defensive DVOA.

* * * * *

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 4 are:

  • RB Jamaal Charles, KC (24-HOUR HERO): No. 1 running back of Week 4 with 69 DYAR (11 carries for 75 yards, 6-for-6 with 70 yards as a receiver).
  • LG James Carpenter, NYJ: Jets running backs had 90 yards on 16 carries marked as left guard or middle, 5.6 yards per carry; no sacks allowed.
  • ROLB Aaron Lynch, SF: 2 sacks, 5 hurries, and 2 run TFL.
  • WR Willie Snead, NO: No. 3 wide receiver of Week 4 with 48 DYAR (6-for-6, 89 yards, 5 first downs).
  • LE Kerry Wynn, NYG: 7 total tackles including 2 run TFL and 2 tackles to prevent third-down conversions, plus 2 hurries.

* * * * *

All stats pages are now updated with Week 4 information including FO Premium, snap counts and playoff odds.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through four weeks 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 for strength of schedule and 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 only at 40 percent strength; they will increase 10 percent every week through Week 10. 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 45 percent of DAVE for teams with four games played, and 60 percent of DAVE for teams with three games played.

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 NE 52.1% 3 32.2% 1 3-0 44.7% 1 -0.1% 16 7.4% 4
2 ARI 49.8% 1 25.2% 3 3-1 22.7% 5 -23.2% 3 3.9% 9
3 GB 42.5% 2 27.3% 2 4-0 31.1% 3 -9.0% 7 2.4% 13
4 CIN 40.3% 4 25.0% 4 4-0 36.5% 2 -5.7% 10 -1.8% 22
5 ATL 18.6% 10 11.5% 8 4-0 23.7% 4 7.6% 23 2.5% 12
6 PIT 17.7% 6 11.6% 7 2-2 20.9% 6 -1.3% 13 -4.5% 24
7 DEN 16.9% 7 15.9% 6 4-0 -23.8% 30 -33.2% 1 7.5% 3
8 BUF 16.3% 5 6.5% 11 2-2 10.8% 7 -5.0% 11 0.6% 14
9 NYJ 15.7% 9 8.8% 9 3-1 -2.9% 16 -25.5% 2 -6.9% 27
10 CAR 11.6% 8 4.8% 12 4-0 2.7% 11 -18.5% 4 -9.6% 30
11 NYG 10.2% 13 4.1% 13 2-2 -0.4% 15 -6.8% 9 3.8% 10
12 SEA 9.8% 12 16.1% 5 2-2 -6.0% 20 -0.9% 14 14.8% 1
13 STL 6.7% 17 7.2% 10 2-2 -6.0% 21 -7.6% 8 5.2% 6
14 BAL 2.2% 20 3.7% 14 1-3 -4.8% 19 -1.9% 12 5.0% 7
15 TEN 1.6% 11 -8.0% 24 1-2 1.4% 13 -9.5% 6 -9.3% 29
16 OAK 1.5% 14 -3.8% 18 2-2 2.9% 10 7.8% 24 6.3% 5
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 PHI 0.1% 18 2.0% 15 1-3 -13.0% 26 -14.1% 5 -0.9% 20
18 WAS -1.2% 19 -9.5% 25 2-2 1.1% 14 1.5% 17 -0.8% 19
19 DAL -3.5% 15 -2.6% 16 2-2 4.6% 9 6.7% 22 -1.3% 21
20 MIN -8.6% 16 -2.7% 17 2-2 -3.0% 17 5.0% 21 -0.6% 18
21 IND -12.8% 22 -4.6% 20 2-2 -8.3% 24 4.2% 19 -0.3% 17
22 DET -12.8% 23 -5.3% 21 0-4 -7.9% 23 5.0% 20 0.1% 16
23 SD -13.3% 24 -4.6% 19 2-2 2.7% 12 8.0% 25 -7.9% 28
24 CLE -13.7% 25 -12.1% 26 1-3 -12.2% 25 13.7% 27 12.3% 2
25 NO -14.5% 29 -7.4% 23 1-3 5.9% 8 20.9% 32 0.4% 15
26 JAC -15.9% 27 -16.1% 27 1-3 -7.0% 22 3.5% 18 -5.3% 25
27 KC -16.7% 21 -6.6% 22 1-3 -3.3% 18 17.8% 30 4.5% 8
28 MIA -28.6% 26 -17.4% 28 1-3 -14.2% 28 17.0% 28 2.7% 11
29 TB -36.6% 30 -26.9% 31 1-3 -33.4% 32 -0.9% 15 -4.1% 23
30 HOU -41.3% 28 -25.1% 29 1-3 -19.4% 29 9.9% 26 -11.9% 32
31 CHI -41.5% 32 -25.9% 30 1-3 -13.6% 27 18.0% 31 -9.9% 31
32 SF -48.9% 31 -28.5% 32 1-3 -25.8% 31 17.1% 29 -6.0% 26
  • NON-ADJUSTED TOTAL DVOA does not include the adjustments for opponent strength or the adjustments for weather and altitude in special teams, and only penalizes offenses for lost fumbles rather than all fumbles.
  • 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 NE 52.1% 3-0 40.4% 4.0 1 6.1% 8 -3.0% 23 2.3% 8
2 ARI 49.8% 3-1 52.9% 3.6 5 -24.5% 31 3.8% 10 19.7% 23
3 GB 42.5% 4-0 46.6% 4.0 1 -24.3% 30 -1.2% 18 4.7% 10
4 CIN 40.3% 4-0 41.8% 3.7 4 -6.6% 23 1.6% 16 7.9% 14
5 ATL 18.6% 4-0 25.4% 3.3 6 -8.6% 24 -13.7% 32 1.7% 6
6 PIT 17.7% 2-2 20.7% 2.2 12 3.0% 15 7.6% 3 22.4% 27
7 DEN 16.9% 4-0 28.0% 2.9 7 -9.0% 25 3.7% 11 0.7% 2
8 BUF 16.3% 2-2 25.0% 1.0 27 5.2% 11 1.5% 17 20.2% 24
9 NYJ 15.7% 3-1 34.0% 3.7 3 -13.7% 27 5.0% 7 10.4% 17
10 CAR 11.6% 4-0 24.7% 2.7 8 -27.1% 32 2.7% 12 0.9% 3
11 NYG 10.2% 2-2 7.5% 2.5 9 7.6% 6 -5.2% 28 1.3% 4
12 SEA 9.8% 2-2 13.3% 2.1 14 -1.3% 19 4.5% 8 16.5% 22
13 STL 6.7% 2-2 2.0% 2.3 10 19.0% 4 -5.5% 29 5.9% 11
14 BAL 2.2% 1-3 -2.5% 2.2 13 19.1% 3 -2.2% 21 1.5% 5
15 TEN 1.6% 1-2 2.5% 2.0 16 -21.0% 29 -4.2% 25 46.8% 32
16 OAK 1.5% 2-2 1.8% 2.2 11 -3.2% 21 2.5% 13 21.6% 26
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 PHI 0.1% 1-3 -6.9% 1.8 19 7.4% 7 4.4% 9 11.3% 18
18 WAS -1.2% 2-2 0.5% 2.1 15 -2.9% 20 2.1% 15 13.8% 19
19 DAL -3.5% 2-2 -5.7% 1.5 21 3.6% 14 7.6% 2 4.7% 9
20 MIN -8.6% 2-2 3.3% 1.8 17 -14.5% 28 5.8% 6 24.1% 29
21 IND -12.8% 2-2 -22.2% 1.2 25 4.4% 12 -5.0% 26 8.8% 15
22 DET -12.8% 0-4 -13.6% 0.5 30 1.2% 18 -2.4% 22 0.5% 1
23 SD -13.3% 2-2 -14.1% 1.8 18 1.3% 17 -1.7% 19 7.6% 13
24 CLE -13.7% 1-3 -10.7% 1.7 20 1.4% 16 11.5% 1 28.8% 30
25 NO -14.5% 1-3 -13.2% 1.4 22 5.3% 10 -5.0% 27 14.0% 20
26 JAC -15.9% 1-3 -12.9% 1.4 23 5.6% 9 -8.6% 31 6.1% 12
27 KC -16.7% 1-3 -18.9% 1.2 24 14.6% 5 -3.9% 24 10.0% 16
28 MIA -28.6% 1-3 -25.5% 1.1 26 3.7% 13 6.6% 5 14.5% 21
29 TB -36.6% 1-3 -39.2% 0.6 29 -10.6% 26 -2.0% 20 23.2% 28
30 HOU -41.3% 1-3 -39.7% 0.2 32 -5.8% 22 2.3% 14 1.8% 7
31 CHI -41.5% 1-3 -44.2% 0.4 31 25.9% 1 -7.8% 30 21.2% 25
32 SF -48.9% 1-3 -53.4% 0.9 28 25.3% 2 7.2% 4 45.4% 31

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 06 Oct 2015

53 comments, Last at 08 Oct 2015, 9:34pm by Karl Cuba

Comments

1
by andrew :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:29pm

I see the falcons future schedule gets easier from here on out. Whether or not they could emerge from the playoffs have to give them serious consideration for at least a bye at this point.

2
by Kal :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:38pm

Now that's a gulf between the top 4 and everyone else. The difference between 4 and 5 is the same as 5 and 19.

7
by TomC :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 8:41pm

There's also a set of "elite" teams at the bottom. The gap isn't as huge, but the three <-40% teams are also all bottom-quartile (ranked 25th or lower) in all three categories.

3
by Karl Cuba :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:41pm

Well things are only getting easier for the niners, trending up baby!

38
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 12:37pm

So hard to watch. I'm having 2003-2010 flashbacks. Can we fire the Yorks?

44
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 8:31pm

All we can do is eat h the promising youngsters. Lynch looks good again, Hyde looks like a real find if they could build a decent offense. Eerrrrm... Is that it?

45
by Karl Cuba :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 8:32pm

Oh, the young corners look OK when Mangini isn't being ridiculous.

46
by Perfundle :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 9:04pm

A sound proposal, if modest.

47
by nat :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 10:19pm

... he said swiftly.

48
by Grendel13G :: Thu, 10/08/2015 - 12:00am

I love FO. :)

49
by Hurt Bones :: Thu, 10/08/2015 - 8:17am

+1

50
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 10/08/2015 - 9:47am

I have no idea how auto correct makes that out of 'watch'.

52
by dbostedo :: Thu, 10/08/2015 - 8:42pm

I thought maybe it was just the "h" that was the typo... but the result was too terrible to contemplate.

53
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 10/08/2015 - 9:34pm

Frankly, it's no way to build a roster.

4
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:43pm

I didn't like the Vikings chances much when so many were touting their sleeper status, because I didn't like their o-line, or their schedule. Now, after Loadholdt and Sullivan get hurt, I hate their o-line, and the schedue has only appeared to get more difficult. If you think the rest of the seson is tough, look at the last 7 weeks

Packers
at Falcons
Seahawks
at Cardinals on a Thursday night
Bears
Giants
at Packers

That's just brutal, as the Falcons will be much tougher in Georgia, traveling to Phoenix on a short week is a killer, and the Giants have a good chance to be extremely formidable offensively come December. That's on top of getting Aaron Rodgers twice. This Vikings team is a lot better than last year's; not even close, really. Matching last year's 7 wins won't be easy, however. They absolutely have to win 4 of their next 5. Bet they regret taking the Monday Night opener in San Jose as a bye week, and coming up a couple plays short against the Broncos the other day.

5
by Tundrapaddy :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 7:54pm

That's why I said they have to go 3-1 over the next 4 games to even have a chance (this was before the Denver game, which I assumed was the '-1' part of that equation).

31
by Oscar Wild :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 10:22am

Minnesota is very unfortunate. They will probably be the best team to miss the playoffs simply by having a hugely difficult schedule.

39
by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 1:16pm

you spelled Pittsburgh wrong

--------------------------------------
The standard is the standard!

6
by MC2 :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 8:19pm

Man, it would really suck to go 16-0 and have to go on the road for the Conference Championship Game!

14
by mehllageman56 :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 11:11pm

The 72 Dolphins played the AFC championship game in Pittsburgh, and of course they were undefeated at the time. I saw a documentary about that season where Bradshaw talked about how no one was scared of the No Name defense, and then they showed that Bradshaw got knocked out of the game with a concussion.

16
by MC2 :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 1:13am

That's interesting. How did they determine home field advantage back then?

19
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 3:50am

I think I once read that it used to rotate around the division winners i.e. AFC east then AFC Central then AFC West. Remember there were only 4 playoff teams at the time so only wildcard who was expected to get knocked out!

Perhaps if Bradshaw had been scared of the No-Name defense he wouldn't have stood in the pocket that long or taken hits.

Thing is the Dolphins had something like the 5th easy schedule of all-time as ranked by opponent wins. Something like they only played two teams with winning records all season. Harder to respect an opponent that hasn't really beaten anyone, even if the were in the Super Bowl the year before.

22
by MC2 :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 5:42am

Not only did they play a soft schedule, but it's not like they were blowing teams out every week, either. 6 of their regular season wins (and all 3 of their postseason wins) were by 10 points or less.

Still a great season, but probably a bit overrated by most fans.

41
by TecmoBoso :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 1:32pm

The team or the season? Because going 17-0 is pretty cool.

24
by Jerry :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 7:55am

If you look pre-merger, the championship game alternated between East and West every year. That eliminated any discussion of a team having a better record because it played in a weaker division. That system continued, with a tweak for three divisions per conference after the merger. So, the AFC Central winner was arbitrarily the host in 1972, with the East winner arbitrarily seeded second. A couple years later, they changed to seeding by record.

26
by mehllageman56 :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 9:13am

They showed the play in the documentary. Bradshaw wasn't holding the ball and then getting sacked, he ran for the end zone and dove for the pylon, and one of the safeties or linebackers just nailed him. He got in, but that was the only touchdown the Steelers scored.

8
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 8:51pm

I wonder how frequently a team ranked 30th or lower offensively has ranked in the top 10 overall. Some Ravens and Bears teams come to mind as possibilities, but it's pretty rare, I'd bet.

10
by Perfundle :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:15pm

Using 3rd-worst or lower instead, only 1: the 1991 Eagles, the team with the best DVOA defense of all time. Top-10 teams with bottom-3 defenses are more common, with three in the last 26 years. Here is the worst offensive and defensive rankings for a top-10 team in each year:

2014: Off 26, Def 30
2013: 20, 23
2012: 26, 19
2011: 21, 30
2010: 16, 21
2009: 22, 17
2008: 21, 22
2007: 14, 16
2006: 20, 25
2005: 14, 22
2004: 21, 30
2003: 27, 25
2002: 20, 29
2001: 21, 17
2000: 22, 27
1999: 24, 24
1998: 11, 24
1997: 16, 21
1996: 17, 25
1995: 13, 27
1994: 17, 18
1993: 17, 19
1992: 17, 17
1991: 26, 24
1990: 19, 14
1989: 17, 14

12
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:00pm

If Manning desn't get hurt, I suspect the Broncos will climb out of the basement a little by season's end.

11
by big10freak :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:21pm

Has any Peyton Manning offense been ranked this low prior to this season?

9
by CaffeineMan :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 9:07pm

Amusingly to go with the top rushing team stats, Pats RB's below the qualification line for the individual stats. :-) Defense mid-pack, which I'm happy with, given the loss of Revis. Looks like they have a pass rush this year.

15
by PirateFreedom :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 1:03am

I'm curious as to how New England will look against the Dallas O-Line.

13
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:05pm

Atlanta has a golden opportunity, with that schedule, to obtain HFA and then their chances of getting to the last game really jumps, they appearing to be a very typical strong offensive dome team that can play much, much, better defense at home. Even so, I really wasn't impressed by their defense at home in the one game I watched them closely, against the pedestrian Eagles offense. In a home playoff game, however, they might do a few things.

17
by ammek :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 3:14am

It's just too perfect that Sam Bradford has 0 DYAR passing, 1 DYAR rushing. Someone needs to connect SAM with 'replacement level' as FO has done with ALEX and passes short of the marker.

18
by ammek :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 3:15am

Substitutable at Any Moment?

21
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 3:54am

Nice

29
by bsims :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 9:47am

Same As a McCown?

20
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 3:54am

Aaron - just wondering how long it takes to run 25,000 simulations at this stage of the season? There's about 200 games left now.

Do you run more simulations in the later parts of the season or playoffs when each takes less time to run?

23
by phillyangst :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 7:48am

"Try imagining what that celebration would be like."

LMAO

25
by Eleutheria :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 8:20am

Regarding estimated wins, I'd rather you switch estimated wins to Wins per 16 games, rather then win percentage. (so Patriots and Packers would be 16.0 right now, Jets would be ~14.8 etc.)

That way when looking at past seasons, we can quickly gouge their estimated record (without having to figure out the math of converting win percentage to wins) and we wouldn't run through the problem of what to do with teams that have had byes.

27
by Alternator :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 9:18am

This makes a lot of sense, especially since what fans are most interested in is final record.

28
by deus01 :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 9:27am

I'm a little surprised the cardinals DVOA is so close to their VOA. Denver and Buffalo for example have a much lower DVOA than VOA but I think both have played harder schedules than Arizona.

32
by tuluse :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 10:26am

Despite the easy schedule they actually get a boost to their defensive DVOA.

36
by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 12:18pm

The other difference between VOA and DVOA is fumble recovery. VOA does not count all fumbles as equal. And Arizona has not recovered a single one of the four fumbles it has forced on defense.

30
by D2K :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 10:15am

What exactly is taken into account when gauging the "future schedule" ranking? I only ask because Buffalo has definitely played a semi tough schedule so far (11th toughest to date) against two top 11 teams (Pats and Giants) and a week one game against a preseason darling in Indy, but there is a stretch from weeks 10-15 that the Bills play 5 of 6 games on the road including 3 straight.

@ Jets - Thursday night
@ Pats - Monday night
@ Chiefs
vs Texans
@ Eagles
@ Redskins

That seems pretty formidable for any team and I would think indicative of one of the toughest stretches of games in the league.

33
by ChrisS :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 10:42am

From the article "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." I think most posters feel this is not a great measure and would prefer something else. The problem is if you are a decent team (Car dvoa=12%) and your schedule is against two mediocre teams (Oak and Phi avg DVOA=1%) then the schedule is "harder" than a schedule with one very good team and one very bad team (GB & SF avg DVOA -3%). But I think most people would expect two wins in the first case and only 1 win in the second.

35
by White Rose Duelist :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 11:39am

The Bills have an odd schedule. Their bye is two weeks before their Thursday night game, so they have 13 days to prepare for the Dolphins, then just three before the Jets game, then another 10 days leading up to the Patriots. Not sure who thought that was a good idea.

37
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 12:23pm

As every team has to play on Thursday at some stage they all go through the three days to plan scenario. I'd say in this case it's to the advantage of the Bills.

- Bills will get to use 13-day "bye" to prepare for both the Dolphins and Jets with finally prep being done on the three days between games - so essentially 16 days to prep for both games.

- Jets will have to try and cram two games of planning into the 7 & 3 day weeks.

(Both teams have their bye weeks scheduled due to playing in London. Jets & Dolphins have their bye week now having played there last Sunday)

34
by Hang50 :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 11:17am

And the AFC West slowly slides from "several playoff contenders" to "south of mediocre."

40
by SportsHec8 :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 1:16pm

can you guys explain why Kansas City is so low? They've played an absolutely brutal schedule and had the denver game in the bag.

Considering the almanac had KC as a .500 team, i'm surprised at how much they've fallen from losing to the #3 and 4 teams.

42
by BJR :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 5:38pm

At least to my eyes, KC was soundly beaten in both those games. They were unable to slow Green Bay or Cincinnati's offences at all.

But opponent adjustments are nowhere near full strength as yet, so those defeats will not appear so bad later on in the season.

43
by Richie :: Wed, 10/07/2015 - 8:15pm

I would love to see two (or more) teams go 16-0 and both (all) lose in the playoffs.

51
by Steve in WI :: Thu, 10/08/2015 - 10:06am

I didn't get to watch the Bears game on Sunday, but with Cutler apparently healthy and a softer schedule coming up, I'm feeling a little sick at the possibility of a 5 or 6 win season thanks to eking out close victories against bad teams and losing out on whoever is deemed to be the best player in the draft. I just want to press the skip button on this Bears season and get right into rebuilding.