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03 Nov 2015

Week 8 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Last week, the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings had a top three of New England, Arizona, and Green Bay, all separated by less than one percentage point. This week, things look a bit different. The Patriots' dominating Thursday night victory over Miami puts a little bit of space between them and the rest of the league. The Cardinals fell slightly in DVOA, but are still No. 2. But the Packers plummet thanks to their huge loss to the Denver Broncos, and the Broncos rise significantly. Green Bay is still in the top four, but their DVOA rating tumbles from 39.0% to 25.0%.

Meanwhile, Denver's rise from 6.2% DVOA (11th) to 21.0% DVOA (sixth) means the top of our ratings now look a lot more like the top of the NFL standings. All four of the remaining undefeated teams rank in the top seven. This week's Any Given Sunday column goes further into detail on the great all-around game the Broncos had this week, the best single-game DVOA put up by any NFL team in the last season and a half. The real shocking thing here, of course, was the performance from the Denver offense this week. The Broncos had a single-game offensive DVOA below -10% in every single game of the year until they suddenly put up 51.7% DVOA against Green Bay on Sunday night. Denver has finally climbed out of the bottom spot in offensive DVOA and ranks 30th this week.

The defense's fabulous performance was also a surprise given that Aaron Rodgers may be the best quarterback in the NFL, but it fit in with the stellar performances the Denver defense has had all year. The Any Given Sunday column also has an updated list of the best defenses ever tracked by DVOA through Week 8, so I won't run the whole list again here. Denver currently ranks fourth, trailing only the 1991 Saints, 2002 Bucs, and 1991 Eagles. Cecil Lammey of FootballGuys.com and ESPN Denver tweeted this during the Green Bay game:

My response on Twitter was that the Patriots and Bengals disagree and we'll get to see them settle things on the field later this year. But right now, the DVOA ratings agree with Mr. Lammey. According to DVOA, the Broncos have been 36 percent more efficient than an average defense. By comparison, the No. 1 New England offense has been 29.5 percent more efficient than an average offense. For all the conventional wisdom about defense winning championships, it's quite rare for the league's best defense to be better than the best offense over the course of an entire season. As we often write, the best offenses are usually better than the best defenses, and the worst offenses are usually worse than the worst defenses. If ratings continue as they are right now, this will be only the fourth season in the DVOA era where the best defense is stronger than the best offense:

Best No. 1 Defenses in Relation to No. 1 Offenses by DVOA, 1989-2015
Year No. 1
Offense
DVOA No. 1
Defense
DVOA Defense
Advantage
1991 WAS 27.2% PHI -42.4% +15.1%
2008 DEN 19.2% PIT -29.0% +9.8%
2015 NE 29.5% DEN -36.0% +6.5%
1990 BUF 20.9% PIT -21.6% +0.7%
2009 NE 26.4% NYJ -25.5% -0.8%
1994 SF 18.9% PIT -17.8% -1.2%
1997 JAC 22.7% SF -21.2% -1.5%
1999 WAS 22.4% BAL -20.8% -1.5%
2000 STL 26.7% TEN -25.0% -1.7%
2004 IND 31.8% BUF -28.5% -3.2%

There's 1991 again, always at the extreme when it comes to the best defenses in DVOA history. It was a very strange year; if you're curious about it, here's the commentary I wrote when we first unveiled the 1991 ratings. And in case you are asking, since this comes up a lot with our lists of the best defenses ever: Yes, we don't even have the Ravens as the No. 1 defense of 2000, let alone all time. The Ravens were only seventh in pass defense that year even though their run defense was the best ever. They had the easiest schedule of opposing offenses in the league.

Denver and Carolina still rank among the four lowest DVOA teams to ever start the season 7-0, but after seven wins this really isn't such a bad thing. Pretty much every team that has started the season 7-0 was a very good team. The two 7-0 teams that had a lower DVOA than this year's Broncos and Panthers were the 2000 Vikings at -1.1% and the 2006 Colts at 13.3%. I discussed the 2000 Vikings last week; the 2006 Colts, of course, had a horrible defense for most of the year until they got a healthy Bob Sanders back at the end of the season and went on to win the Super Bowl.

 With four teams still undefeated, our combined odds for at least one team finishing the regular season 16-0 are up to 14.2 percent. All four teams see a significant jump in their odds this week -- the Broncos because we now have them rated much higher, the other three teams because of changes in the strength of their future opponents. Despite the Broncos' big win this week, they are still the least likely of the four teams to continue on to a full 16-0 record at 1.3 percent, in part because they still have to host the other two undefeated AFC teams.

(Quick aside: we've manually adjusted some of the ratings we're using in the playoff odds simulation in order to try to better account for injuries to the most important players. The changes are explained on the playoff odds report page. However, we did this week's simulation before the announcement that Tony Romo will likely be ready for Week 11, so roughly half of our simulations still use a backup quarterback for the Cowboys in Weeks 11-12. We'll update that before next week.)

The four undefeated teams are not our top four teams. It's hard to argue with ratings that have Arizona and Green Bay still sitting among the best teams in the league, but the other team that's still ahead of Denver and Carolina is probably one many readers will disagree with: the New York Jets. Didn't they just get crushed by the Oakland Raiders? Well, yes and no. Yes, they lost, but no, they didn't get crushed. The final score was 34-20, and the game was closer than it seemed at first. The Jets offense really wasn't bad, despite the injury to Ryan Fitzpatrick, and ended up with 12.7% DVOA on the day. The problem was the defense. The disappointing Week 8 performance by the Jets defense was almost as much of an outlier as the fabulous Week 8 performance by the Denver offense. The Jets' single-game defensive DVOA ratings had fallen between -15% and -40% for their first six straight games. The Jets' defensive DVOA against Oakland was 36.1%.

And it would have been worse except... HOLY MACKERAL, THE OAKLAND RAIDERS ARE GOOD NOW! Sorry, that sentence required all caps. Oakland jumped from No. 13 to No. 8 in total DVOA this week, passing such playoff contenders as Seattle and Pittsburgh. The Raiders now rank fifth in offensive DVOA, and specifically they are fifth in pass offense. This is the highest the Raiders have been in DVOA in any single week since their 2002 AFC Championship team. In fact, there are only three other weeks between 2003 and 2014 when the Raiders even ranked in the top dozen in DVOA: Weeks 3, 5, and 6 of 2011. That was the year the Raiders started 4-2 behind the best stretch of Jason Campbell's career; then he broke his collarbone, and while the Raiders traded for Carson Palmer, their offense declined and they finished 8-8.

The Raiders' chances of winning the division are very low because they are now three games behind Denver and have already lost to the Broncos. But their chances of a wild card spot are very good. Right now, Oakland makes the playoffs in 55 percent of our simulations, and in 48 percent of those simulations they get a wild card.

With three divisions essentially decided, the AFC playoff race is about two things: the wild card and the AFC South. We'll get to the AFC South in a moment. The wild card race has five teams in it. The strongest teams are the Jets, Raiders, and Steelers. However, there is still a chance for the 3-4 Bills, who still are in the top half of the DVOA ratings, and the resurgent 3-5 Chiefs, who move up to No. 11 in DVOA this week after a huge win over Detroit. Somehow, the Chiefs have put up their three best games (with three single-game DVOA ratings over 40%) in the three games since Jamaal Charles was injured. The defense has improved dramatically in the last three weeks. The offense was average in that first game, against Minnesota, but has been outstanding the last two weeks. Check out how the Chiefs have improved in every phase of the game. (Note that rushing here includes quarterback runs, so the improvement in run offense is partly Alex Smith runs against Detroit.)

Kansas City Chiefs, Weeks 1-5 vs. Weeks 6-8
Weeks Offense Rk Pass Rk Run Rk Defense Rk Pass Rk Run Rk Spec Tms Rk
Weeks 1-5 0.1% 15 1.8% 25 6.6% 5 14.9% 29 32.0% 29 -9.4% 18 2.4% 10
Weeks 6-8 22.6% 2 28.5% 9 20.8% 2 -25.6% 4 -30.0% 3 -19.7% 7 9.8% 4

Finally, we can't let the week end without an update on the insanity (and inanity) that is the AFC South, where every team is currently 3-5 or worse. This week, the AFC South passed the threshold where over half of our playoff odds simulations now end up with the division champion having a losing record. That happens in 50.6 percent of this week's simulations. But it could be worse than last year's 7-8-1 Panthers, folks.* In 15.6 percent of our simulations, the AFC South is won by a team with a 6-10 record. That would be the worst division champion in NFL history. But oh no, that's not as bad as it gets. In 249 of our 25,000 simulations, the AFC South champion goes 5-11. It's very unlikely, but it is not impossible.

But oh no, folks. Even THAT is not as bad as it gets. We're talking about very, very improbable events now, but in five of our 25,000 simulations, a 6-10 AFC South champion wins the Super Bowl. Four times it is Indianapolis and once it is Jacksonville. We didn't have any simulations this week where a 5-11 team won the Super Bowl, but if we simulated more than 25,000 times we would assuredly come out with that result too.

Go ahead, try to imagine the hot takes.

(*Note that it can't be equal to last year's 7-8-1 Panthers, at least in our simulations, because we don't simulate ties. We only count them once they actually happen.)

* * * * *

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 8 are:

  • CB Chris Harris, DEN (24-HOUR HERO): Limited Randall Cobb to 5 catches for 10 yards. (Cobb also had a 17-yard reception against a zone coverage where he was not Harris' responsibility.)
  • QB Derek Carr, OAK: No. 2 in QB DYAR this week with 333 passing yards and 4 TD against the No. 7 pass defense by DVOA.
  • RT T.J. Clemmings, MIN: No sacks allowed; Minnesota had 71 yards on 10 carries to the right.
  • WR Marques Colston, NO: No. 4 WR of the week with 42 DYAR (8-of-9, 114 yards, TD).
  • SS Ron Parker, KC: 2 sacks, 2 passes dedensed.

* * * * *

All stats pages are now updated with Week 8 information (or will be in the next few minutes) including FO Premium, snap counts and playoff odds.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through eight 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 80 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.

WEIGHTED DVOA represents an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games. This week, we say goodbye to DAVE, our method which combines 2015 performance with our preseason projections. All numbers now represent 2015 only.

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
WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 NE 40.5% 1 40.4% 1 7-0 29.5% 1 -2.2% 10 8.8% 1
2 ARI 36.7% 2 36.3% 2 6-2 20.4% 3 -17.6% 6 -1.3% 20
3 CIN 30.4% 4 30.1% 3 7-0 24.2% 2 -1.8% 12 4.4% 7
4 GB 25.0% 3 24.5% 4 6-1 16.5% 4 -6.0% 8 2.5% 9
5 NYJ 22.8% 5 22.9% 5 4-3 9.4% 8 -18.6% 5 -5.3% 28
6 DEN 21.0% 11 21.3% 6 7-0 -17.3% 30 -36.0% 1 2.3% 11
7 CAR 18.2% 7 18.4% 7 7-0 2.2% 14 -20.6% 2 -4.6% 27
8 OAK 14.9% 13 15.4% 8 4-3 13.9% 5 1.3% 15 2.3% 10
9 SEA 13.9% 6 14.1% 9 4-4 0.4% 15 -7.0% 7 6.6% 3
10 PIT 13.9% 9 13.8% 10 4-4 12.9% 6 -2.0% 11 -1.0% 19
11 KC 13.0% 15 13.7% 11 3-5 8.5% 9 0.8% 14 5.2% 6
12 PHI 12.9% 8 13.2% 12 3-4 -7.6% 21 -19.9% 3 0.5% 14
13 STL 4.8% 16 4.7% 13 4-3 -14.5% 28 -19.0% 4 0.3% 16
14 BUF 4.5% 10 4.2% 14 3-4 3.6% 12 0.4% 13 1.3% 12
15 NYG 2.2% 12 2.1% 15 4-4 3.0% 13 7.2% 25 6.4% 4
16 BAL -1.8% 18 -2.0% 16 2-6 0.0% 16 8.6% 26 6.8% 2
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 ATL -5.0% 17 -5.4% 17 6-2 3.8% 11 5.0% 19 -3.8% 25
18 WAS -5.6% 19 -5.7% 18 3-4 -0.2% 17 6.3% 22 0.9% 13
19 NO -8.1% 20 -8.0% 19 4-4 11.8% 7 16.9% 32 -2.9% 24
20 MIA -9.0% 14 -8.3% 20 3-4 -2.9% 18 5.3% 20 -0.9% 18
21 IND -10.9% 21 -10.7% 21 3-5 -8.6% 23 2.7% 16 0.3% 15
22 CLE -13.0% 23 -12.9% 22 2-6 -10.0% 25 8.6% 27 5.7% 5
23 SD -13.3% 24 -13.1% 23 2-6 6.3% 10 13.7% 29 -5.8% 29
24 JAC -15.2% 25 -15.3% 24 2-5 -4.1% 19 4.8% 18 -6.3% 31
25 DAL -15.6% 26 -15.9% 26 2-5 -8.1% 22 3.2% 17 -4.3% 26
26 TB -16.3% 27 -15.7% 25 3-4 -9.5% 24 6.3% 23 -0.5% 17
27 MIN -17.3% 28 -17.4% 27 5-2 -14.4% 27 6.9% 24 4.0% 8
28 TEN -17.5% 22 -17.9% 28 1-6 -21.1% 32 -6.0% 9 -2.3% 23
29 CHI -23.0% 30 -22.7% 29 2-5 -4.1% 20 12.1% 28 -6.8% 32
30 HOU -23.7% 31 -23.4% 30 3-5 -12.0% 26 5.6% 21 -6.2% 30
31 DET -31.4% 29 -31.8% 31 1-7 -14.9% 29 14.8% 30 -1.7% 21
32 SF -39.0% 32 -38.7% 32 2-6 -20.3% 31 16.6% 31 -2.0% 22
  • 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 40.5% 7-0 40.5% 8.0 1 -1.4% 21 0.8% 19 5.3% 5
2 ARI 36.7% 6-2 41.9% 6.6 4 -12.2% 31 5.6% 7 12.4% 18
3 CIN 30.4% 7-0 27.9% 6.6 3 6.4% 7 -1.6% 22 12.1% 17
4 GB 25.0% 6-1 27.1% 6.0 5 -3.2% 23 -7.4% 28 23.6% 29
5 NYJ 22.8% 4-3 22.4% 6.8 2 4.2% 9 -3.3% 24 7.3% 9
6 DEN 21.0% 7-0 29.5% 5.5 7 -1.5% 22 5.8% 6 19.6% 27
7 CAR 18.2% 7-0 21.2% 5.8 6 -6.8% 26 -5.1% 25 1.7% 2
8 OAK 14.9% 4-3 13.3% 4.8 9 3.3% 10 0.7% 20 17.4% 26
9 SEA 13.9% 4-4 14.6% 4.7 10 -3.8% 24 2.6% 13 8.4% 11
10 PIT 13.9% 4-4 9.8% 4.9 8 8.9% 2 5.2% 9 11.4% 16
11 KC 13.0% 3-5 15.0% 4.4 13 -0.6% 20 1.7% 16 20.2% 28
12 PHI 12.9% 3-4 12.7% 4.6 12 1.3% 17 0.7% 21 14.6% 23
13 STL 4.8% 4-3 8.5% 4.0 14 4.6% 8 -5.3% 26 10.8% 14
14 BUF 4.5% 3-4 12.8% 3.1 21 2.9% 11 6.5% 3 14.4% 22
15 NYG 2.2% 4-4 4.6% 4.6 11 -8.9% 28 5.8% 5 6.0% 7
16 BAL -1.8% 2-6 -3.4% 3.9 15 6.4% 6 4.8% 10 1.5% 1
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 ATL -5.0% 6-2 1.9% 3.9 16 -8.9% 29 -8.8% 31 3.9% 3
18 WAS -5.6% 3-4 -9.5% 3.6 18 1.8% 15 1.8% 15 11.2% 15
19 NO -8.1% 4-4 -10.5% 3.0 22 2.8% 12 -12.1% 32 7.5% 10
20 MIA -9.0% 3-4 -7.2% 3.7 17 0.8% 18 4.6% 11 33.5% 32
21 IND -10.9% 3-5 -15.4% 2.3 29 2.7% 13 -6.5% 27 4.3% 4
22 CLE -13.0% 2-6 -18.7% 3.0 23 8.4% 3 9.3% 2 10.2% 13
23 SD -13.3% 2-6 -13.8% 3.3 19 2.6% 14 4.4% 12 8.8% 12
24 JAC -15.2% 2-5 -14.4% 2.8 26 0.5% 19 -8.3% 30 7.2% 8
25 DAL -15.6% 2-5 -20.5% 2.3 28 8.4% 4 5.2% 8 5.8% 6
26 TB -16.3% 3-4 -15.3% 2.8 25 -8.1% 27 -2.7% 23 24.6% 30
27 MIN -17.3% 5-2 -1.4% 3.1 20 -14.9% 32 10.5% 1 15.3% 24
28 TEN -17.5% 1-6 -18.4% 2.8 24 -10.5% 30 2.6% 14 27.8% 31
29 CHI -23.0% 2-5 -24.7% 2.2 30 7.8% 5 -8.0% 29 14.0% 20
30 HOU -23.7% 3-5 -16.4% 2.4 27 -5.4% 25 5.8% 4 14.1% 21
31 DET -31.4% 1-7 -31.3% 1.3 32 1.7% 16 1.6% 18 13.5% 19
32 SF -39.0% 2-6 -38.7% 1.5 31 9.7% 1 1.7% 17 16.5% 25

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 03 Nov 2015

86 comments, Last at 29 Apr 2016, 9:38pm by kimkom

Comments

1
by BroncFan07 :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:07pm

Big week for Denver so far: shutting down Green Bay, getting Vernon Davis, nearly getting Joe Thomas. But the biggest thing has to be finally moving ahead of Buffalo and Philly in the rankings. You work hard, you can move past the bad teams.

As fun as this is, there are still 9 games left. Plenty of time for stuff to happen.

16
by Bobman :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 1:08am

I'm wondering if they can actually force the Colts to score negative points next week.

Having said that, now watch Luck light up the scoreboard (which would make me happy) and Manning get crushed (which would make me sad). Oh the conflict! I feel like Hamlet! (Grigson: Evil Uncle Claudius, Peyton: Dead father, Vinatieri: Queen Gertrude, Luck: Yorick?)

Their last two games stunned me, so I am more that willing to be stunned once more. But prepared for about seven first half turnovers just in case, before the Colts stop slathering their footballs in white gravy.

18
by theslothook :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 1:22am

Nothing surprises me at this point, but I have a hard time seeing it honestly. Luck's had discipline issues with lousy defenses this season. Barring a meltdown from the secondary, I can't imagine the colts doing much offensively outside of some garbage time tds.

As for the other side of the ball, I have no idea what to expect from Peyton at this point. He was great yesterday, even with everyone after the fact calling out gb's inability to cover crossing routes. That defense had no problem crushing their opponents prior till.

Even with that said, Denver's offense on the road is several times worse than at home, where communication problems just magnify the offenses failings. I suspect the broncos come out with a very conservative game plan and hope to ride some turnovers to victory.

39
by turbohappy :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 2:13pm

As incredible as that defense looked they could just take knees every time on offense and still have a chance to win.

22
by RobotBoy :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 5:34am

So Luck is the fleshless skull of a mildly-entertaining court jester who bore you on his back during better days? I nominate Belichick for Fortinbras: he allows the folks on the other side to kill each other off, then steps forward to take the throne without breaking a sweat.

32
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:25pm

Belichick is the First Gravedigger, because the First Gravedigger is actually Satan and secretly in charge.*

*It is actually a plausible theory that he is Satan, but I'm pretending it's unquestionable for humor's sake. But it would be completely leaving football behind to discuss this theory further. Also, I do not think that Belichick is either mythical or evil. It was just too funny to pass up.

38
by Independent George :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 2:12pm

There's got to be a way to work Marvin Harrison into this...

40
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 2:26pm

I think a Tom Stoppard fan could figure out a better way to work him in than I could.

31
by Shattenjager :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:20pm

Luck: Fortinbras

You want him to be Peyton's successor.

Tony Dungy could be Yorick.

2
by Alternator :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:38pm

A hearty congratulations to raiderjoe, may his alcohol poisoning fade in time to enjoy the well wishes.

14
by Bobman :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 1:00am

I'm also pretty happy for him. I have a brother and nephew who are also long-suffering Raider faithful (though not quite as... dogged) and I bet they are pretty psyched (except for that damn 7-0 Broncos squad they love to hate).

25
by bubqr :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 6:28am

Regardless of their success this season, they have a potential perennial All-Pro core of Khalil Mack-Amari Cooper-Derek Carr, so unless they go back to doing Raiders-things, they have a pretty bright future.

26
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 9:30am

Tell me it wouldn't be great for Oakland to win a Super Bowl while playing in an old stadium where they play baseball as well, with raw sewage occasionally backing up in the drains in the dugouts.

27
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 10:23am

When they left that stadium last time in 1982, they were only a season away from being SB champions in both directions (XV & XVIII). Reckon it was an almighty dump taken by Matt Millen that's been clogging the pipes ever since

49
by Dave :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 5:16pm

Same story in Detroit.

70
by chemical burn :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:34pm

Matt Millen is one of the public figures I'd be most curious to meet in person. Like, what's the deal there? Why do people keep letting him in to ruin whatever he touches? There must be something about him, it just doesn't make sense.

74
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 1:34pm

Having watched the A Football Life about him he came across as a good man with a real intensity and love of football; and just not that interested in the politics of life.

If I were guessing I'd say he's not much of a thinker, just someone who goes by his instincts. That works very well on a football field but not so good as a GM.

78
by Independent George :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 4:45pm

Millen's tenure as GM reminded me of a guy whose knowledge of the game comes entirely from watching Sportscenter.

Everything he did reflected conventional wisdom - he drafted guys from the big conferences, he hired whichever coach seemed to be the big name at the time, and he seemed to assemble the roster in terms of sports cliches ("toughness! team identity!") rather than attention to the technical details of schematic fit or cap impact.

3
by panthersnbraves :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 9:41pm

So Green Bay drew the Number One and Number Two Defenses on consecutive weeks...

I just hope the Panthers have enough time to rest up and get healed up from the nicks and bumps of that extended playing time and a shorter week.

4
by DezBailey :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:25pm

Interesting, the BES Rankings have Arizona 17th despite their record. Also the Chiefs are 26th...still have a lot to prove after that five-game losing streak. Seahawks are 23rd, barely surviving a Matt Cassel-led Cowboys team.

Broncos have never been lower than 5th. Here's a link to the BES Rankings - http://besreport.com/week-8-bes-rankings/

84
by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 11/08/2015 - 12:45am

Why is that crap report even worth mentioning? The webpage you link has no about us page, no explanation of methodology. As far as I can tell, it's nothing more than some guy posting his subjective guesses. So who gives a crap if he guesses Arizona is kinda sorra 15 to 19th?

85
by DezBailey :: Wed, 11/11/2015 - 1:30pm

No "subjective guesses". All data-based and statistically driven. Here is the FAQ - http://besreport.com/about-the-bes/

5
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 10:45pm

when I see that Stefon Diggs DVOA is .5%, I have to wonder how useful a measurement DVOA is. for WR play? If you watched the 4 games he's played I can't see how you would come away not thinking he's been brilliant.

8
by Moridin :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:27pm

I wonder if WRs should have additional weighting. Like they could get QBVOA or OVOA layered on top. QBs who put up great DYAR & DVOA are likely helping to inflate the WRs stats against an average WR, and a lousy QB (or one with a lousy line) is hurting the WRs stats.

Obviously, this assumes the entire WR corp isn't the same lousiness or the same greatness (and the same lousy/greatness fit in their scheme). The WRs are obviously responsible for much of the VOA\YAR ratings of the QBs & offenses, but it would help remove the Lindey/Bortles/Manning/Brady effect on under/over inflating the ratings of the players they play with (I think).

17
by tuluse :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 1:19am

It depends what you mean by useful.

DVOA does not measure how good a player is. It measures how well he has produced.

43
by Jovins :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 3:08pm

But it doesn't really measure how well a receiver produces though, it measures how well balls thrown to that receiver have produced.

It's a subtle difference, but it has a huge impact.

6
by Independent George :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:14pm

New England's offense rightfully gets most of the attention, but that 8.8% special teams is pretty ridiculous.

Minnesota: #32 past schedule, #1 future schedule. I look forward to watching Will Allen's pending descent into alcoholism.

7
by Alternator :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:25pm

The Jets with league-average special teams play leapfrogs Green Bay, and the difference between the Bengals and Jets is entirely due to special teams.

The Jets are UGLY there.

15
by Led :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 1:05am

It's really just the punt team, which is a dog's dinner.

The defensive performance against Oakland was atrocious. The Raiders have a lot of talent on offense, and Carr in particular is really coming into his own. I don't mean to slight them at all. They would have put up points even if the Jets were playing at their best. But the Jets' tackling and overall effort was an embarrassment. Even Revis played poorly. I'm hoping it was a combination of post-NE week hangover plus the west coast travel.

23
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 6:03am

Having got hopeful for the Raiders back around 2010-11 when they had back-to-back 8-8 seasons but then sacked their Cable and Jackson, I'm looking for excuses as to why this current great spell won't continue.

The key one is at this point they've only played 7 games under Del Rio so tendencies are only just beginning to show and defenses haven't adjusted to those yet.

We shall see ...

10
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:14am

I'm an ecumenical sort. I've stocked the liquor cabinet with single malts from Ireland and Scotland, good bourbon, and other American whiskies from New Mexico and Alabama. BRING ON THE ONSLAUGHT!

30
by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:17pm

I would say you take a shot every time Peterson gets stuffed at the line, not realizing he doesn't have the burst he used to, but then you'd be dead about five minutes into a game.

53
by Tundrapaddy :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 6:43pm

Like Dylan Thomas, but with less poetic musings.

54
by Tundrapaddy :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 6:47pm

And given that DVOA sees their 5-2 record as a mirage (as do I, and probably any other rational observer of their games), it looks like it will be a rough landing.

9
by theslothook :: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 11:38pm

Denver's coverage was insane. Insane! One of the few teams with stars and depth. Even the linebackers are good. As a fan of great defense, its incredible.

11
by Bombercules :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:15am

Patriots with an estimated 8 wins through 7 games? Have you been speaking with Jason? https://twitter.com/JasonLaCanfora/status/659942865452310528

12
by TGT :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:50am

Maybe you should read the field descriptions before commenting.

19
by Bombercules :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 2:14am

Just thought it was funny since I just read that tweet, you're no fun :(

21
by ammek :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 4:45am

This observation has been made in the DVOA threads during 'bye season' pretty much every week since 2003. Forgive us if we have lost our sense of humor.

13
by Bobman :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:58am

So Aaron, you're saying there's a decent chance the Colts win the SB? Man, that's sweet. I bet their odds only increase with Chud in place of Pep. I'm going out to buy a lottery ticket now....

20
by ammek :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 4:42am

Fun future schedule observation: the Packers' remaining opponents are all in either the top quartile or the bottom quartile by DVOA. I think the Vikings and Cowboys are closer to mediocre than bad, but in a season with so much mediocrity, bottom quartile DVOA just means "even mediocrer than Jacksonville".

24
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 6:16am

I expected either New England's offensive DVOA to get worse, or Miami's defensive to get better from watching the game but neither seems to have occurred.

The Dolphins seemed to do a good job of holding the New England offense to quite a few 3&outs in the first three quarters to the extent they'd only put 20 points on the board and then one of the 4th quarter TDs came off a 15-yd drive.

But I guess this is the inverse of the Colts game, where the Patriots played Martyball for the entire 4th quarter and therefore their offense looked about as effective to DVOA as it did against Miami, but actually the contexts were the opposite.

28
by Anon Ymous :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 10:51am

DVOA has an odd quirk where 3 & outs, by virtue of not totally many bad plays, carries less metric weight than game weight. The Jets from 2011 (I think) really exposed this flaw when their bad drives all seemed to end quickly and their good drives were all extended. So you end up with three unsuccessful drives totally 9 plays and one successful 11 play drive.

In the game, you've now had the ball up four times with only 7 points to show for it, but DVOA thinks you've been pretty efficient. This is even more pronounced if your short drives often include a couple successful plays to get into a failed 3rd and short situation, which I believe that Jet team was doing as well.

29
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:17pm

Thanks - nice explanation

33
by Anon Ymous :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:40pm

No problem, sorry about the "totally/totaling" auto correct issues. {grrrr}

42
by RickD :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 2:42pm

Well, as "flaws" go, that doesn't seem so bad. I imagine most drive statistics are not as skewed as the Pats were against Miami. It (shouldn't) be that the second and third first downs are easier to get once you get the first one.

Seems reasonable to treat each 1st down opportunity with equal weight, regardless of how many prior first downs there have been on a give drive.

Length of drive theory (wonky):

If you let p be the probability of getting a first down from a first-and-ten starting point, then the probability of getting exactly k first downs would be p^k * (1-p). This describes a geometric distribution. Typically if you sample from this distribution (using r.v. X) you'll see a consistent pattern with the highest value at k=1, decreasing gradually. You shouldn't see extreme clustering with most values either at 1 or much, much higher.

59
by blan :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 9:32pm

You raise a very interesting point.

From watching games, I get the sense that the first down independence that you are positing doesn't hold. It seems like there are a lot more successful drives per three and out than would be expected from your model.

Also, there are some practical reasons to expect that the probability of getting a first down may depend on whether a team has already picked up a first down on a particular drive. For example, the pass rushers could tire after a few first downs. Another possibility that could remove the independence is if an offense picking up a first down reflects that the offense has come up with an effective scheme with which to attack the defense.

Then again, this type of thing is very hard to pick up on just from watching the game, and my sense may be an illusion. It would probably make an interesting guest article to compare the actual distribution of drive lengths with what is expected from your model. As far as I know, no one has looked at this yet.

81
by pats-fan-in-nyc :: Fri, 11/06/2015 - 6:42pm

I have another hypothesis that wouldn't break independence but would lead to teams that have one first down being more likely to get a second than they were to get the first.

My impression is that teams get first downs more often towards the middle of the field and less often close to one endzone or the other. When close to their own endzone, it could be more of a play calling effect than the lack of physical space near the other endzone. If that effect were real, P(1st down | field position) may be the same between the first and second set of downs but P(1st down) would be different since the field position is going to be better in the second set of downs more or less by definition.

34
by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 12:44pm

Aww, no Kwon Alexander as one of the FO stars. A pick, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery (where he ran down Julio Jones from behind downfield and just tore the ball out of his arms), 11 tackles, and another INT with a long return called back due to one of Tampa's FOUR first-half offsides penalty (I think all of them might have been of the "just lined up offsides" variety).

35
by ammek :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 1:22pm

Do you ever feel that 2015 mediocrity is just a little worse than other vintages of mediocrity?

VOA:
+9 to +19: 6 teams
0 to +9: 3 teams
-9 to 0: 3 teams
-19 to -9: 9 teams

36
by ammek :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 1:55pm

In what proportion of the simulations does the winner of the NFC East finish below .500?

37
by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 2:05pm

This only happens in 4.6 percent of simulations. The NFC East is much stronger than the AFC South.

41
by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 2:27pm

Hooray for the tallest midgets!

44
by Raiderfan :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 3:12pm

+1

55
by ammek :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 6:49pm

Thanks. I have no clue who is going to win the NFC East, but I have a hard time seeing any of those teams winning 9 games. On the other hand, it wouldn't shock me if they all finished 8-8.

The NFC North is secretly very bad. The three teams that aren't Green Bay have a worse cumulative DVOA than the four teams from the AFC South. Almost everyone expected the AFC South to be weak this year; the NFC North is more of a surprise (or, at least, Detroit is).

45
by Steve in WI :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 3:36pm

Has anyone looked to see if it's mathematically possible for the AFC South champion to finish 4-12? I'm sure the odds of it happening are so low that it doesn't happen in even one of FO's simulations, but is it literally impossible or just really, really unlikely?

46
by Karma Coma :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 4:10pm

It's possible. If the JAX beats IND & HOU and loses to TEN twice, IND only beats TEX, TEX only beats TEN, and all 4 teams lose all remaining games outside the AFC South, they will finish in a 4-way tie at 4-12. I think. Mathematically you can't win a division with fewer than 4 wins, assuming no ties, because 16 intradivisional wins have to be distributed somehow each season.

47
by GrandVezir :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 4:32pm

How to win a division with 3 wins:

1. All teams in the division lose all 10 out-of-division games.
2. All teams in that division split head to head, going 3-3 within the division.
3. Tiebreakers.

48
by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 4:45pm

1. Each team in the division ties all 16 games.
2. Tiebreakers.

60
by GrandVezir :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 8:00am

I think, technically, each tie counts in the standings as half a win.

So a division of 0-0-16 teams counts the same as a division of 8-8 teams, only much, much, weirder.

51
by Karma Coma :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 6:12pm

Right, my mistake. There are 12 intradivisional wins to distribute, not 16. I think other than the Colts, the AFC South all have wins outside the division right now though. The Colts and Texans are already 3-5, with a H2H remaining, so a 3-win division winner is off the table for this year at least.

56
by Steve in WI :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 7:13pm

Thanks for checking; I didn't have the records or upcoming schedules in front of me.

Thinking about ties, MilkmanDanimal's scenario where all 4 teams go 0-0-16 is technically possible, but of course with the rarity of ties that would never really happen. On the other hand, having a 2-13-1 division winner is probably as likely (or unlikely) as a 3-13 winner. It would only require 2 ties, in divisional games between teams A and B and teams C and D.

79
by Grendel13G :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 8:13pm

This would be amazing. Amazingly awful, but amazing.

57
by Eddo :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 7:32pm

EDIT: Nope, I'm wrong.

50
by theslothook :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 5:30pm

This AFC South is the worst division from top to bottom I have ever seen. Even the year the seahawks went 7-9 and were blown out in all 9 of those games - I still think that that division was better than this one.

I also will point out, though, the year the nfc west was godawful didn't stay that way. Within a year, in fact, it had improved dramatically. Within 2 years, it was the best division in football and one of the toughest divisions in the last 10 years.

I don't expect a similarly dramatic turnaround for the AFC South, but I do think eventually - these teams acquire enough high draft picks to turn themselves into respectable teams. After all, the afc south wasn't always the doormat it is today. I say that, with a caveat, for the unfortunate team that wins this division - who will by virtue of winning the division, be picking in the 20s despite being the quality of a 4/5 win team.

52
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 6:32pm

But for years before the Seahawks won it at 7-9, it was the NFC Worst - 2008 was the nadir.

Total wins by the division
2007 (26 wins) - Seattle win it 10-6
2008 (22 wins) - Cards win 9-7 and on to the SB
2009 (24 wins) - Cards win 10-6
2010 (25 wins) - Seahawks win it 9-7

Consider that if all four teams went 8-8 they'd have 32 wins.

As a division they went 97-159 (0.378%)

And take out the 12 divisional games each year means they actually went 49-111 (0.31%) against the rest of the league.

58
by chemical burn :: Wed, 11/04/2015 - 8:13pm

Yeah, the NFC West was a joke for half a decade. That stretch is still the gold standard for a consistently worthless division. If the Colts keep down this path though, it's not tough to see the AFC South building a comparable resume...

61
by merlinofchaos :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 11:34am

I can't imagine the Colts actually staying bad.

Those years in the NFC Worst, there were deep organizational issues on all the teams that hindered their ability to improve. I'm not sure that the Colts problems are about a deeply dysfunctional organization. Yet, anyway. I could be proven wrong, but I expect that they'll weather the storm and improve again.

I just don't think you sit in the basement for years with Luck at QB.

63
by aces4me :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:02pm

One word. Grigson.

65
by chemical burn :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:11pm

Truthfully, the Colts seem like one of the more dysfunctional organizations in the NFL right now to me. But part of that is anytime a team perceived as a contender falls apart, the mess is pretty ugly.

66
by PirateFreedom :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:21pm

good organizations , like good coaches might just be the ones that got lucky at the QB position.
Luck plays poorly: Grigson is incompetent, Irsay is a junky and the organization is dysfunctional
Luck plays well: Grigson still traded for Richardson, Irsay is still a junky but somehow the organization itself is functional.

68
by Will Allen :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:24pm

Some have been saying for a very long time that the Colts suck, outside of their luck (or Luck) in having the number 1 draft pick in optimal years.

69
by chemical burn :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:31pm

Yeah, I mean I think the idea that the public's sentiment will usually be "good QB = competent organization" is true. But what makes the Colts so fascinating is that (as Will points out) they're the one organization that for several years now people have been very critical of despite a golden-boy QB. They've been the exception and that's probably what makes them seem especially messed up. Certainly, everything they did this off-season looked bad from the jump. And trading for Richardson became one of the worst moves in NFL trading history the moment they did it. So I think there have been plenty of folks saying "wow, they're fortunate to have Luck because they're otherwise incompetent" for years now.

82
by Dave :: Fri, 11/06/2015 - 6:55pm

I think the more reasonable position is taken by Nate Dunlevy, who quite cogently (as opposed to me right now) puts forth that the model of "give the elite QB all his weapons, at the expense of other areas" actually has a bit of logic to it, because a top 5 QB and his toys can still carry you even if you have some obvious resultant holes elsewhere.

Luck isn't Peyton, though, or really even close, so the real model they should've followed was more like Carolina, which was D D D D D run game, and if there's anything left over, get the kid a weapon or two. (aka build everything else so that we're still decent even if the QB sucks.)

As it turns out, that would've worked out a lot better. But I think we're all - to a man - surprised that Luck hasn't become nearly that awesome.

I've already gone over the hypotheticals of why I can't necessarily fault the process of a lot of the decisions Grigson has made... with the exception of the 34 trade, which was terrible from the instant the thought was conceived and more than borne out in the results, of course. I feel like he has learned from his mistakes and the more recent risks he has taken, since that dreadful summer of Cherilus, have been acceptable even if they didn't work out (and they haven't).

But I do buy the idea that he was wrong to just expect the QB to flourish if they gave him all the toys. There's some hindsight there, but I'm buying in lately. And I further buy that if he's being supremely arrogant and meddling, as seems to be the case, that that's not a good thing for anyone and is quite dysfunctional.

72
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:52pm

Yes and no. The Steelers were a good organization well before they drafted Roethlisberger. The Patriots became a good organization under Kraft when Parcells was there, although Bledsoe was pretty good then. Hitting on a quarterback like Luck, or Cam Newton, may hide a GM's problems for a while, but the Panthers' old GM got fired for the cap mess he put them in, and Grigson/Pagano are likely to be fired soon. Bad organizations also destroy the good luck at the QB position they do have, by not protecting their investments. The Jets under Herm Edwards weren't the worst organization, but he did not protect Pennington well enough, and he also ran Curtis Martin into the ground. The Colts have allowed Luck to take way too many hits in his short career as well.

73
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:55pm

Not sure where to place this comment in the thread, but while the Colt's moves this offseason seem to have worked out badly, one thing they did not do was destroy their cap for future years. Over the Cap has them at the bottom of the committment index, with the Raiders. What the Colts have done wrong is draft badly and waste their drafting capital in foolish trades.

83
by Dave :: Fri, 11/06/2015 - 7:01pm

I honestly don't think it's easily provable that they drafted all that badly. It's easy to say "look how bad their OL is!" but a lot harder to point to obvious solutions to that via the draft at the positions they picked (especially since about 25 other teams say the same thing, plus lately that line really isn't nearly as bad as the narrative anyway).

Grigson, with the help of Mike Bluem (who should absolutely never ever have been fired by John Elway), has actually done a really excellent job of managing financial risk vs. reward ever since that first big stupid free agency splurge. As invisible as Cole has been, as underwhelming as Herremans and Johnson have been, etc, I have absolutely no problem at all with the decisions to bring in short term older stopgaps on the contracts they're on. Gore and Langford have helped a lot, actually, Johnson may still have some value (if the QB shapes up), and even if every single one of them lays an egg, they're not tied to a single one of them, and they didn't lose any draft picks that could be used on replacing them either.

67
by Will Allen :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:22pm

When you watch film of Trent Richradson's rookie year, and conclude, "Hey, that guy is worth a first round pick, and the team that has him now is making a real evaluation error in offering him to us", then there is no end to how long you can stay bad.

62
by MilkmanDanimal :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 11:38am

The NFC South last year was the worst division ever and has already bounced back to look pretty darn good. A lot can change in a year.

64
by chemical burn :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:10pm

That's true - but several of the NFC South teams had very good QB's (Ryan, Brees & Newton) which goes a long way towards a quick recovery. In 2016, the starting QB's in the AFC South will be: not sure, hopefully Luck isn't injured, a promising rookie coming off of an injury and Jesus christ they gave Blake Bortles for another year.

Plus, I really think you're looking at four of the worst coaches in the NFL (although I guess I can't really include the Titans.) For my money, Bradley is the very worst of the bunch (even worse than the fired Titans coach), but there are reasonable arguments that any of them are very, very bad at their job. O'Brien is probably the best one remaining and he's on the hot seat. I mean, Gus Bradly is on his way to another 5-11 type season (with his win total bolstered by the divisional chumps) and he's NEVER going to get fired it seems. NFC South had/has Payton, Rivera and Lovie, who all had a measure of success that the AFC South coaches would dream of having.

(And before anyone jumps in to defend Bradley and the sorry state of the Jaguars, I would just say: look at what Jack Del Rio is doing in Oakland and then remember he did the same thing in Jacksonville. A good coach doesn't need 3 seasons to show the slightest glimmer of promise and other coaches have had success in Jacksonville or in wretched but wretched Oakland, so it's not the organization's fault.)

71
by mehllageman56 :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 12:50pm

While I think Jack Del Rio is an underrated coach, he took over a team that had been rebuilding for a while; Carr and Mack were already there, and the offensive line was already in the process of becoming good. When Bradley took over the Jaguars, they had nothing, and they didn't draft Bortles until Bradley's second year, hence the patience with him. It took Chuck Noll 4 years to get the Steelers into the playoffs. This is Reggie McKenzie's 4th year in Oakland, and that's where you should consider the rebuilding to have started.

Does that mean the Jaguars should hang on to Bradley for one more year after this one? Not if the team isn't improving at this point. But firing him right now is pointless. The Titans' situation was different, because they had a viable coaching candidate in Mularkey, who was decent in Buffalo.

75
by chemical burn :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 1:46pm

Oh, I think they should have fired him before this year. And you're definitely right to give some of the Oakland credit to Reggie McKenzie, without a doubt, I just can't for the life of my understand why people have the attitude of "Ken Whisenhunt sucks and Pagano and O'Brien should probably be fired as well, but Gus Bradley... what are you gonna do? Poor guy. Not his fault."

The entire concept of what they are as a team is based on phantom ideas - someone up-thread said they could imagine them winning the division on the strength of their defense. They're ranked 18th in DVOA overall (and 28th against the pass.) The Titans are 9th by DVOA for contrast. Indy is 16th. Houston is only 21st. Jacksonville's defense is not a strength, certainly not the way it is for the Titans. (And it should be pointed out, Indy' defense (which, again, ranks higher than Jacksonville) is seen as a weakness of that team.)

I also don't think the Jaguars roster is as utterly bereft of talent as people make it out to be (their wr corps is well above average for starters and their d-line is solid) - for example, I think a competent coach could get them to 6-10 with three seasons to try to do so, a feat of which Bradley seems entirely incapable.

76
by theslothook :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 1:55pm

The jaguars have goodish depth but no stars. None. Their top pick tore his acl in the offseason and joeckel has been a disaster.

I dont think bradley hasnt been great, but i frankly couldnt c pagano, wisenhunt, or o'brien doing much better.

77
by chemical burn :: Thu, 11/05/2015 - 2:04pm

I'm not arguing they're loaded, only that even a mildly competent coach should be able to go 6-10 once every three years no matter the roster. I agree there's no reason to think any of those guys would've done better, but I'm also arguing that it's the worst division in football, one plagued by bad coaching. I mean, if Bradley goes 4-12 this year he'll keep his job. And then if he goes 6-10 in 2016, he'll keep his job. The bar has just been lowered to an insane degree for him.

80
by t.d. :: Fri, 11/06/2015 - 5:58am

The locals absolutely want him out, the two divisional losses were inexcusable; it's disinterested national people that push for patience, because they realize it was a terrible organization when he got there, and they'd like hypothetical owners not to give up on situations prematurely. It's a results business, and Bradley coaches a poorly coached team (I'm on the fence re: Bortles, as he has shown a few flashes, but he's at best going to be the third best quarterback in the division). It's telling that opponents have treated the Jag games as a bye: great chance to rest banged-up starters.

86
by kimkom :: Fri, 04/29/2016 - 9:38pm

I would say you take a shot every time Peterson gets stuffed at the line, not realizing he doesn't have the burst he used to, but then you'd be dead about five minutes into a game.
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