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» Audibles at the Line: Week 7

Three shutouts in one day, and the worst defense in the league nearly makes it four. Tennessee survives overtime against Cleveland. Chicago completes four passes and wins. Not much was clear on this very weird day in a very weird season.

10 Oct 2017

Week 5 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

There are a lot of surprising results in the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings after five weeks of the 2017 season, but the team at No. 1 is not a surprise. The Kansas City Chiefs are the only undefeated team in the NFL and they still have a huge lead over the rest of the league in DVOA. The gap between Kansas City (37.0%) and No. 2 Washington (24.1%) is larger than the gap between Washington and No. 11 Green Bay (12.2%). The Chiefs are undefeated despite playing what has so far been the fifth-toughest schedule in the NFL based on the current rating of their first five opponents.

Their dominance is even greater if you look at the Football Outsiders playoff odds report. The Chiefs were neck-and-neck with the Pittsburgh Steelers a week ago, but this week's simulation uses ratings that add in Pittsburgh's awful day against Jacksonville and lowers the strength of their big preseason projection. That puts the Chiefs all alone as Super Bowl favorites, by a mile. Right now the Chiefs win the Super Bowl in 24.3 percent of our simulations. No other team in the league, AFC or NFC, wins in more than 10 percent of simulations.

What's going on here is not just that the Chiefs have the best DVOA rating in the league, but also that they have a 1.5-game lead over the rest of the conference. Denver is 3-1 coming off the bye week, but no other AFC team has only one loss. That huge lead in the standings helps Kansas City get a 65.5 percent chance of being the AFC's top seed. A better chance of being the top seed means a better chance of winning playoff games, and a better chance of representing the AFC in the Super Bowl, even if the Chiefs did not have a huge lead over the rest of the league in our efficiency ratings. Going back through all of years of DVOA, we couldn't find a single season where any team already had a 1.5-game lead in its conference after Week 5.

Going back to the start of the DVOA era, there are 10 instances where only a single team after five games had both a 5-0 record and a DVOA rating over 30%. Three of those teams won the Super Bowl, and three others made it but lost, but the other teams ended up a bit of a disappointment in the playoffs.

  • 1990 New York Giants (40.7%)
  • 1993 New Orleans Saints (33.7%)
  • 1997 Denver Broncos (40.1%)
  • 1999 St. Louis Rams (55.4%)
  • 2001 St. Louis Rams (37.1%)
  • 2005 Indianapolis Colts (42.4%)
  • 2006 Chicago Bears (56.3%)
  • 2012 Houston Texans (33.8%)
  • 2013 Denver Broncos (51.3%)
  • and now the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs (37.0%)

With only one really dominant team this season, there rest of the good teams in the NFL are packed tightly together and there's plenty for people to disagree with. Teams with only one loss rank below a number of two-loss teams. A lot of teams have mostly close games, or have combined big wins with big losses or losses to bad teams.

Losses for the Steelers and Rams drop them in the ratings this week, and Washington move up to No. 2 on its bye week. Perhaps the most shocking team when you first look is Jacksonville, which moves up five spots to No. 3 because of the big win over Pittsburgh. (That game was covered in Any Given Sunday and will be discussed further in Thursday's Film Room.) It seems shocking that the Jaguars can be third despite losing to the lowly Jets, but that's how big their two big wins have been. The Jaguars now rank No. 1 in defensive DVOA and are a surprisingly mediocre 18th in offensive DVOA. Of course, that is split into No. 6 rushing and No. 23 passing, and that rank in passing DVOA is further split into No. 30 in the United States and No. 1 in the United Kingdom. It remains to be seen if the Jaguars defense can be strong enough to hide the offense all year, but the Jaguars are now clearly the AFC South favorites, winning the division in 64 percent of our simulations.

(By the way, the lowly Jets are still lowly according to DVOA; they rank 25th despite their 3-2 record, even though opponent adjustments for their easy early schedule are still only at half strength.)

Many readers are probably shocked to see the Pittsburgh Steelers still up at No. 4 after an embarassing loss against Jacksonville. They remain our No. 3 team in Super Bowl odds. Two weeks ago, I explained why the Steelers were high in our ratings even after an overtime loss in Chicago. For DVOA, that loss was not really a bad performance: the two teams had similar efficiency but the Bears recovered six of the game's seven fumbles and the field goal block has very little no predictive value for future performance. This week's game, in similar ways, went from a loss to a debacle because of plays that aren't particularly predictive of future performance. Returns on interceptions are generally random. Obviously, different types of passes are returned for a touchdown more often. The shorter the pass, the more dangerous the return. The closer the offense to its own goal line, the more likely a return will end up as a pick-six. To give a couple of appropriate examples, DVOA accounts for this by giving a larger penalty to a 6-yard pass from the offense's 22 than the penalty it gives to a 17-yard pass from the offense's 34. Nevertheless, those two interceptions will rarely both be returned for touchdowns. More often than not, neither will be. The Steelers also are not going to be giving up a lot of 90-yard touchdown runs this year. It's hard to give up a 90-yard touchdown run because usually you don't have the opposing team backed up on its own 10-yard line.

There are plenty of reasons to worry about the current structure of the Pittsburgh offense, and Charles McDonald will get to that in Film Room on Thursday. But there are also plenty of reasons to believe that reports of Pittsburgh's demise are a bit premature. The offense is currently 15th in DVOA -- far below what we all expected, but not anywhere near the Cassel Zone. The pass defense ranks third in DVOA, and even the run defense, which has had some problems, is 15th. The Steelers had two easy 26-9 wins over two 3-2 teams, Baltimore and Minnesota. Even if the quarterback thinks he might be done, the team is far from it, especially when only two other AFC teams have better records.

Bigger questions should actually surround the New England Patriots, but they don't because it is easier to belittle an imploding quarterback than an imploding defense. The Patriots defense played better against Tampa Bay on Thursday night, but the offense had its worst game of the year, and the game ended very close to a tie with the Buccaneers just 19 yards from a game-winning touchdown. It was a sloppy Thursday night special where both teams came out of the game with negative single-game DVOA, and the Patriots still don't have a single game this year with DVOA over 20%. We keep waiting for the real Patriots to wake up and have one of their dominant games, and it keeps not happening. The Patriots are still down at No. 21 in DVOA, and dead last on defense. So every week, as the preseason projection becomes a smaller part of our DAVE ratings, our playoff odds simulation sees the Patriots as weaker and weaker. The Patriots this week dropped out of the top dozen in our DAVE ratings this week for the first time since... well, I think for the first time since we started doing DAVE ratings a decade ago. Based on the research we've done in the past about how to weight preseason forecast compared to in-season performance, the chances of a team that starts this mediocre suddenly becoming one of the NFL's top teams gets lower and lower each week.

That research is based on a lot of teams that are not the Patriots, of course, and we are allowed to have our subjective opinion about things. We may all have this thought in the back of our minds that they are the Patriots, and of course they will rebound from this, and a game against the Jets seems like the perfect week to do it. Nonetheless, we don't tweak our system for Bill Belichick's magic beans. The Patriots are virtually neck-and-neck with Buffalo in DAVE, even after the Bills lost to the Bengals this week, and we shockingly still have the Bills ahead of the Patriots in the playoff odds this week because Buffalo's remaining slate of opponents is slightly easier (No. 26 vs. No. 29) and has an additional home game.

With the exception of the Chiefs and perhaps the Eagles, the biggest difference between this year's one-loss and two-loss teams is primarily close wins. That's a big reason why four different one-loss teams are surprisingly low in DVOA: Green Bay at No. 11, Atlanta at No. 13, Denver at No. 16, and Carolina at No. 17. To address these teams in order:

Green Bay has two wins by less than a touchdown, and the Packers' strength of schedule is lower than you probably expect (17th) because Seattle, Atlanta, and Dallas are all considered stronger by conventional wisdom than by DVOA as of right now.

Atlanta is 2-1 in games decided by less than a touchdown, and those games were actually closer than the even the close final scores would indicate. Detroit, of course, came within 1 yard of making the Falcons 2-2.

Denver has a great 39.5% DVOA for the win over Dallas in Week 2, but negative DVOA for both the Week 1 close win over the Chargers and the Week 3 loss to the Bills. The Broncos' rating for the Week 4 win over Oakland is close to zero; both teams averaged 4.8 yards per play and while the Raiders did throw one interception, the Broncos had two fumbles but the Raiders couldn't recover either one.

Carolina is another team with close wins: two by a field goal and another over Buffalo by less than a touchdown. Those games and the big win over lousy San Francisco all have positive DVOA ratings, but the Week 3 game where the Panthers were clobbered by the Saints, 34-13, has a lousy -66.7% DVOA that balances out most of that positive performance in the other four weeks. Not all the positive performance, but the Panthers end up ranked in the lower half of the league because of the thing we noted last week where the horror of the eight worst teams have moved "league average" so that more teams are above zero DVOA than below zero. (Last week it was 20 teams above zero; this week is only 18 as Tampa Bay and Tennessee both dip a bit below.)

* * * * *

Once again this season, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 18. This year, our content for Madden Ultimate Team on consoles comes monthly, while our content for Madden Mobile comes weekly. Come back to each Tuesday's DVOA commentary article for a list of players who stood out during the previous weekend's games. Those players will get special Madden Mobile items branded as "Powerline, powered by Football Outsiders," beginning at 11am Eastern on Friday.

The Football Outsiders stars for Week 5 are:

  • RG Shaq Mason, NE (HERO): Patriots RB had 9 carries for 69 yards, 67 percent success rate to the right side.
  • FS Cody Davis, LARM: 5 combined tackles, interception, 3 PD.
  • OLB Leonard Floyd, CHI: 2 sacks, 2 run TFL.
  • C Ryan Jensen, BAL: Ravens RB had 21 carries for 83 yards up the middle with a 52 percent success rate and only one TFL. Plus, no sacks allowed.
  • P Matt Haack, MIA: 51 average gross yards per punt on 9 punts; more punts downed inside the 10 (3) than returned at all (2).

* * * * *

All stats pages should now be updated through Week 5, including snap counts, playoff odds, and the FO Premium DVOA database.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through five weeks of 2017, measured by our proprietary Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) system that breaks down every single play and compares a team's performance to the league average based on situation in order to determine value over average. (Explained further here.)

OFFENSE and DEFENSE DVOA are adjusted to consider all fumbles, kept or lost, as equal value. SPECIAL TEAMS DVOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season. Because it is early in the season, opponent adjustments are only at 50 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 30 percent of DAVE for teams that have played five games and 45 percent of DAVE for teams that have played four games.

To save people some time, please use the following format for all complaints:

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

TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
TOTAL
DAVE
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 KC 37.0% 1 26.4% 1 5-0 37.1% 1 3.6% 19 3.5% 8
2 WAS 24.1% 4 13.6% 4 2-2 7.8% 11 -17.8% 4 -1.5% 23
3 JAC 23.7% 8 13.5% 5 3-2 1.9% 18 -23.7% 1 -1.9% 24
4 PIT 20.2% 2 19.6% 2 3-2 4.1% 15 -16.5% 5 -0.4% 21
5 PHI 20.0% 12 15.1% 3 4-1 13.9% 6 1.7% 14 7.8% 1
6 HOU 17.7% 7 8.5% 10 3-2 9.4% 9 -10.4% 9 -2.1% 25
7 LARM 16.1% 3 11.9% 8 3-2 5.3% 13 -8.8% 11 1.9% 13
8 DET 14.9% 5 10.9% 9 3-2 -2.9% 21 -11.5% 8 6.3% 2
9 NO 14.4% 9 3.9% 18 2-2 21.5% 3 7.8% 23 0.7% 17
10 BUF 14.3% 6 6.5% 14 3-2 -7.7% 23 -18.1% 3 3.9% 6
11 GB 12.2% 11 12.6% 7 4-1 15.4% 4 3.7% 20 0.5% 19
12 SEA 11.1% 15 12.7% 6 3-2 0.6% 19 -9.5% 10 0.9% 16
13 ATL 10.5% 13 7.4% 11 3-1 13.1% 7 8.1% 24 5.4% 4
14 MIN 10.4% 10 6.4% 15 3-2 14.3% 5 2.6% 16 -1.3% 22
15 CIN 9.4% 19 6.8% 12 2-3 -11.8% 25 -19.2% 2 2.0% 12
16 DEN 7.4% 14 1.1% 20 3-1 2.1% 17 -14.0% 7 -8.6% 29
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 CAR 7.4% 16 5.5% 16 4-1 0.4% 20 -5.7% 12 1.3% 15
18 BAL 6.3% 18 5.5% 17 3-2 -9.3% 24 -14.9% 6 0.7% 18
19 TB -0.5% 20 -2.4% 23 2-2 12.6% 8 7.6% 22 -5.5% 27
20 TEN -1.7% 17 -1.6% 22 2-3 5.1% 14 10.1% 26 3.2% 9
21 NE -1.8% 22 6.7% 13 3-2 23.4% 2 27.6% 32 2.4% 11
22 OAK -3.0% 23 0.2% 21 2-3 6.9% 12 15.1% 31 5.3% 5
23 DAL -3.1% 21 1.7% 19 2-3 8.0% 10 14.9% 29 3.8% 7
24 LACH -10.0% 24 -7.6% 24 1-4 2.8% 16 2.4% 15 -10.4% 30
25 NYJ -17.3% 25 -17.7% 26 3-2 -14.3% 26 5.8% 21 2.7% 10
26 NYG -21.4% 27 -13.9% 25 0-5 -3.2% 22 10.5% 27 -7.6% 28
27 SF -26.4% 28 -22.7% 29 0-5 -23.5% 29 9.2% 25 6.3% 3
28 CHI -28.4% 29 -21.8% 28 1-4 -23.1% 28 2.7% 17 -2.6% 26
29 MIA -31.0% 30 -20.4% 27 2-2 -28.4% 31 3.0% 18 0.5% 20
30 ARI -31.9% 26 -23.7% 30 2-3 -20.7% 27 -0.1% 13 -11.3% 32
31 IND -48.8% 31 -38.7% 31 2-3 -35.6% 32 15.1% 30 1.9% 14
32 CLE -49.1% 32 -39.8% 32 0-5 -26.1% 30 12.2% 28 -10.7% 31
  • 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 KC 37.0% 5-0 33.7% 4.9 1 10.0% 5 -3.6% 25 5.3% 7
2 WAS 24.1% 2-2 18.8% 3.2 7 17.5% 1 -4.5% 27 17.2% 23
3 JAC 23.7% 3-2 27.4% 2.9 14 5.0% 6 -14.8% 32 36.1% 31
4 PIT 20.2% 3-2 21.8% 3.2 6 -7.4% 25 0.5% 17 6.4% 9
5 PHI 20.0% 4-1 24.5% 3.5 3 -0.4% 18 -1.8% 22 9.9% 17
6 HOU 17.7% 3-2 8.4% 3.0 12 13.3% 3 -11.8% 31 19.5% 26
7 LARM 16.1% 3-2 24.3% 3.1 10 -8.6% 26 -1.5% 21 17.5% 24
8 DET 14.9% 3-2 18.3% 3.2 5 -5.0% 23 -2.0% 23 6.5% 10
9 NO 14.4% 2-2 12.6% 3.4 4 -3.7% 22 2.0% 14 31.1% 28
10 BUF 14.3% 3-2 19.8% 3.1 11 3.5% 11 -8.5% 29 11.1% 19
11 GB 12.2% 4-1 12.5% 3.6 2 -0.1% 17 1.9% 15 5.3% 8
12 SEA 11.1% 3-2 19.6% 2.7 18 -9.7% 30 -0.3% 19 9.4% 15
13 ATL 10.5% 3-1 11.7% 3.2 8 3.2% 12 0.9% 16 2.9% 2
14 MIN 10.4% 3-2 6.4% 2.8 17 4.1% 8 3.2% 9 6.7% 12
15 CIN 9.4% 2-3 3.9% 2.9 15 0.3% 15 -2.3% 24 33.7% 30
16 DEN 7.4% 3-1 12.6% 2.9 13 -0.4% 19 -0.5% 20 5.2% 6
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 CAR 7.4% 4-1 9.6% 3.1 9 3.1% 13 0.0% 18 20.0% 27
18 BAL 6.3% 3-2 10.0% 2.8 16 0.2% 16 -6.8% 28 41.6% 32
19 TB -0.5% 2-2 9.5% 2.6 20 -10.3% 31 2.1% 13 9.8% 16
20 TEN -1.7% 2-3 -3.6% 2.6 19 3.7% 10 -10.2% 30 31.6% 29
21 NE -1.8% 3-2 -4.1% 2.1 23 15.2% 2 -3.9% 26 4.5% 5
22 OAK -3.0% 2-3 -0.7% 2.3 21 3.8% 9 3.5% 8 19.4% 25
23 DAL -3.1% 2-3 -0.1% 2.3 22 -3.5% 20 7.8% 2 14.0% 20
24 LACH -10.0% 1-4 -5.6% 1.5 25 2.4% 14 2.7% 11 2.9% 1
25 NYJ -17.3% 3-2 -13.0% 2.0 24 -9.0% 28 4.2% 7 16.9% 22
26 NYG -21.4% 0-5 -19.1% 1.3 26 4.2% 7 6.9% 3 6.6% 11
27 SF -26.4% 0-5 -20.1% 0.8 29 -9.2% 29 2.4% 12 4.2% 3
28 CHI -28.4% 1-4 -33.2% 0.9 27 10.6% 4 3.1% 10 4.5% 4
29 MIA -31.0% 2-2 -25.4% 0.9 28 -3.7% 21 6.1% 6 8.7% 14
30 ARI -31.9% 2-3 -25.8% 0.7 30 -8.7% 27 6.3% 5 8.6% 13
31 IND -48.8% 2-3 -39.6% 0.4 31 -16.1% 32 12.4% 1 16.7% 21
32 CLE -49.1% 0-5 -47.7% 0.0 32 -6.1% 24 6.8% 4 10.7% 18

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 10 Oct 2017

59 comments, Last at 17 Oct 2017, 7:16pm by DezBailey

Comments

1
by PatsFan :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 9:57pm

#21 sounds about right for NE. And that's before finding out that Brady has a sprained AC joint on the non-throwing side.

6
by RickD :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:19pm

For some Pats fans, they are either the best or must be awful.

Keep in mind the Pats have yet to play a team currently below .500. Their schedule was supposed to be weak, but it really hasn't worked out that way. Maybe when they start playing divisional opponents...

Not that they're great, and yes their defense has been poor, but still they have not played like a below-average team.

11
by RobotBoy :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 4:17am

Who knows? Maybe this is all Darth Belichick's evil plan to send out Brady on his shield ('It's football. Guys get hurt') and bring in the anointed successor with minimal fuss.
PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER GAROPPOLO GOES 22-24 IN SUPER BOWL LII, a 47-0 win over the Packers).
Reporter: Bill, why did your team improve after Brady went down and had to have his torso amputated?
Belichick: It's football. Guys out here every day, working hard.
Reporter: So there's nothing to the rumor that you intentionally put Brady in harms' way?
BB: (Stares). Tom gave everything to this team. Including his legs. At the end of the day, we decided that we needed to go with the player who gave us the best chance to win. It's football.

13
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 5:21am

Contra the charts above, the Texans are 2-3. A very strong losing team, but still currently a losing team.

2
by Will Allen :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:10pm

If the Vikings suddenly get good injury luck from here on out, they could get to 9 wins. Losing Cook just took too much of their offense away, and they likely won't get good injury luck from here on out, given the state of their qbs right now, where they are one hit away from playing Sgt. Sloter (hat tip to Aaron). Who knows? Maybe the Sgt. can slam Rodgers with a steel folding chair in a stadium tunnel on Sunday. THERE WILL BE FINES AND SUSPENSIONS!!!!

7
by nosoop4u :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:39pm

Interestingly enough, the "real" Sgt Slaughter played high school football in Eden Prairie, Minnesota! See https://www.facebook.com/ProWrestlingClassics/posts/722616147764091

I'd pay to see A-A-Ron trying to get out of the Cobra Clutch.

9
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:08am

Unfortunately, Bobby the Brain Heenan has made the final leap from the turnbuckle, and the Vikings can't hire him as a defensive consultant.

12
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 4:55am

You can always call up the Texans and try to trade for “Macho Man” Tom Savage.

18
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 8:25am

How great would the post game pressers be if the NFL presented their head coaches as heels and faces, in full regalia? I mean, they kind of have Hoodie out there as a heel already, if a very understated one, but give the man a feathered boa, and some notable sunglasses!

24
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 10:44am

jim Caldwell wodukl come to press conferennces with no shirt on

andy reid could eb called Snowman and would dress as a Yeti during games

jack Del Rio would be called Dr. Cool

Mike McCarthy could be AArdvark Mike. wodul bring aardvark with him to games and kept on Packers sidelines. would threaten referee with aardvark bites if clal goes against Packers

26
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:02am

LOL does not begin to cover it...Andy Reid dressed as a Yeti.......Mike McCarthy with an aardvark....I may faint...

43
by Jerry :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 3:18am

May Coach McCarthy henceforth be known as Aardvark Mike.

28
by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:30am

I'm trying to imagine Jim Caldwell as a flamboyant wrestling guy, but, regardless of what he's wearing, he's still got the personality of a turnbuckle in the ring.

I guess he could be Captain Vanilla or something.

33
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:19pm

The former Miami o-line coach is just a guy a little ahead of his time.

30
by morganja :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:41am

Will,
Bradford had camped out and was at the point of setting up a tent in the end zone when he got sacked for the safety, but I noticed it was Remmer's guy that got him. How is Remmer doing? Matt Kalil still has at least one completely bone-headed play per game costing the Panthers big. How is the Viking-Panther tackle trade working from your perspective?

31
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:50am

Eh, their production is about a draw, and Kalil's getting paid more.

34
by morganja :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:04pm

I was hoping that you were wrong about Matt Kalil, or that pairing him with his brother would help. Of course his brother has been injured all year.
I now see what you were talking about as far as his mistakes go. It's been hard to judge how he is not counting the glaring mental mistakes. He does appear physically better to what the Panthers had there last year. Is there any hope of him not making huge mental mistakes in critical situations?

36
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:21pm

Well, to be clear, I never was as hard on him as a lot of Vikings fans, and they definitely missed him last year when was injured. He just is an example of a not infrequent example, a guy drafted close to the top of the first round, whose production never quite matches that slot. They tend to consume more cap space than their play warrants, not just on the rookie contract, but on the 2nd contract as well.

35
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:20pm

Delete repeat

44
by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 3:37am

Hey now Kyle Sloter can play. The Broncos will rue the day they cut him and signed *barf* osweiler

3
by DezBailey :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:12pm

The Week 5 BES Rankings were released this morning - http://besreport.com/week-5-bes-rankings-2017/

Interesting take on the top-10 by DVOA. The BES agree on the occupants except for the Saints, Skins, Texans and Rams. The Texans are 2-3, not 3-2 by the way though Deshaun Watson would have you believe they're 3-2. he's been very impressive.

Surprised to see the Panthers at 17. BES has them at No. 8. They've done some damage on the road against some dangerous teams last two weeks. Going to be a dogfight on Thursday Night against the Eagles.

4
by MHertz_83 :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:34pm

Dez, I'm sort of new to your rankings. I see you have Washington at 18 this week. Why such a discrepancy with DVOA? Just seems kind of strange given that your rankings have most teams in the same ballpark as DVOA. Have you had a team like this in the past? It looks like maybe DVOA adjusts more for WAS opponent strength than you do. Just curious.

29
by DezBailey :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:33am

Mhertz,

Keep in mind that DVOA and BES are two different systems that, to my pleasant surprise considering how historically established DVOA is compared to the infancy of the BES, at times agree on where teams, offense and defenses rank.

That being said, from my understanding...DVOA is more about every play....BES is about overall performance and the result. So with the BES, there's weight given to the quality of wins and the penalty of losses as well as opponent strength.

As you see in my latest report, The Skins have the highest S.O.S (Strength of previous opponents/Schedule) of all 32 teams. However, they're also 2-2...with a major home loss to a divisional rival (Eagles) to open the season. The BES takes that into account and hasn't forgiven them for that loss yet but it will as the season progresses and earlier games have less of an influence on a team's score/ranking.

45
by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 3:39am

So the BES is basically just your personal subjective opinion, is that correct?

55
by DezBailey :: Fri, 10/13/2017 - 6:44pm

That's incorrect. It's a mathematical system...objective. lol there are times when even I disagree with some of the results but obviously know the logic as to why.

58
by killwer :: Tue, 10/17/2017 - 7:54am

In theory all analytic models are subjective in that you as designer decide what parameters to include.

Of course that does not make it wrong, its just important to remember that a model is not better than what the designer wants it to be

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by DezBailey :: Tue, 10/17/2017 - 7:16pm

Well said killwer!! You're absolutely right. In essence, it is subjective. Might explain why Im at odds sometime with what the BES puts out.

Speaking of which, here are the Week 6 BES Rankings - http://besreport.com/week-6-bes-rankings-2017/

Looking forward to seeing how they compare to the Week 6 DVOA Ratings

5
by t.d. :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:41pm

Jags go from 6th schedule so far (and 5 games in 5 stadiums) to 32nd by a mile. Too bad the Jets game shows they can trip up on the 'easy on paper' games

14
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 5:26am

And the Texans from 3 to 31. I think it's quite likely both teams make the playoffs, though the loss of Watt and Mercilus probably puts paid to any chance of the Texans doing anything once they get there.

17
by BJR :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 8:17am

I've no idea what to make of that division. Indy are 2-3 in spite of being awful, and Andrew Luck's return has to be factored in. The Titans are pretty much who we thought they were: good offence (now being dragged down by Cassel), bad defense. The Texans look to have solved their QB puzzle, but their best defenders are now sidelined. The Jags' defense appears elite, but are still starting one of the league's worst QBs. Damned if I know who'll win it, but at least there seems a good chance they won't be sending a straight-up terrible team to the playoffs like years previous.

39
by hrudey :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 2:46pm

Yes, Indy is 2-3. But sometimes there's the question of "who have they beaten with a winning record?" And then sometimes, the question is "who have they beaten with a win?" They're 2-3 because they're not quite as bad as SF or Cleveland.

40
by Cythammer :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 4:17pm

But they will get back Luck at some point, which could make them a much better team. Since they are currently in a three-way tie for second in the AFC South just one game behind the Jags, they have at least some chance of winning the division.

41
by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 5:26pm

It really comes down to when Luck gets back. Initial reports were maybe this week but that is not happening. I have no real expectation at this point anytime soon.

I do agree, if they can around 3-5 midyear w/o Luck, then they may have a shot. The Jags may be a DVOA darling so far, but I can't see them running away with the division. Indy is also helped by not having played a single division game yet (until this Monday in Nashville).

46
by BJR :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 4:54am

They've certainly been lucky with the schedule so far, and may get even luckier if Mariota can't go on Monday. Having said that, if they lose to the Titans and then then the Jags at home the following week they will effectively be done, presumably before Luck has a chance to see the field.

47
by t.d. :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 5:01am

Afc south champ is more likely than not to get a bye; unlike in past years there are no pushovers to fatten up on in the division. I don't think the best team Luck's been on would be favored to win the division this year, and it's hard to be confident that he's going to come back in peak form (hope I'm wrong)

48
by theslothook :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 2:17pm

It's also fair to wonder if Luck's best days are behind him. He's always been one to take hits and at this point, I would consider him injury prone. I actively seethe when Will says Luck should bolt town. But honestly, he'd have a different career with a non Browns non Colts franchise

52
by Will Allen :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 6:12pm

That train left when he signed the contract. Hey, it's his life, so if that's what he wanted, fine, but from a strictly monetary and winning playoff games perspective, demanding a trade and holding out in the summer of 2016, to get a career apart from Irsay, was the percentage play.

53
by Will Allen :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 6:13pm

That train left when he signed the contract. Hey, it's his life, so if that's what he wanted, fine, but from a strictly monetary and winning playoff games perspective, demanding a trade and holding out in the summer of 2016, to get a career apart from Irsay, was the percentage play.

54
by Will Allen :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 6:13pm

That train left when he signed the contract. Hey, it's his life, so if that's what he wanted, fine, but from a strictly monetary and winning playoff games perspective, demanding a trade and holding out in the summer of 2016, to get a career apart from Irsay, was the percentage play.

49
by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 2:29pm

Wait, you really think the AFC South champ will get a bye?

I would have to think AFC West/East winners will get them.

50
by theslothook :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 3:18pm

Yea kc feels like a lock for one. Have to think Ne grabs the other.

56
by Mr Shush :: Fri, 10/13/2017 - 8:15pm

I think it's very unclear indeed who gets the second bye in the AFC, but actually my money would be on Jacksonville. New England, Pittsburgh and Houston are all within the realms of possibility, though. And if Denver had the second best record in the conference and the #5 seed, that wouldn't really surprise me either.

57
by t.d. :: Sun, 10/15/2017 - 3:15am

It's a product of schedule, to me- Jacksonville has Indy twice (at least once w/o Luck, it looks like), Cleveland, San Francisco, Arizona, San Diego, Cincinnati, Houston, and Tennessee. None of those teams has a winning record (they also have the Rams and Hawks, who do have winning records, but aren't juggernauts). Admittedly, I'd like them to win 2 in a row before going all in, but I could easily see them going 12-4 with that schedule (they'll be done with the 'hard' part of their schedule Sunday, and they've already played in 5 different stadiums so far this year- too bad they haven't demonstrated any hfa in quite some time). It's too bad they're stuck with Bortles this year, or I could see them going all the way

8
by intel_chris :: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:52pm

Really appreciate the comments on why the (x-1) teams got rated poorly. It highlights some of the factors that go into DVOA. I love the fact that DVOA is an objective measuring system, but complex and subtle enough to appear subjective.

10
by oaktoon :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:57am

This clearly appears to be one of those years when things are topsy-turvy-- will the cream ultimately rise to the top, or did the milk bottle fall and break apart? and it may be that the Rams, or Saints, or Jaguars-- along with the Chiefs-- are the quality teams that emerge. Other than KC, one thing that is self-evident is that almost all of the supposedly "good" teams have substantial flaws. I for one will be curious to see how many of the teams currently ahead of GB in DVOA-- several of which they play (PITT, DET twice, NO)-- will a) end up there by season's end or b) have better records. Chiefs probably on both counts, but beyond that I don't know and you don't know because I really have no clue which of these temas are truly really good, let alone the Packers themselves, who the conventional thinkers at ESPN have as the 2nd best team.

Parity rules--- all I know is that a SB parlay of Chiefs and, say, a combination of WASH, RAMS, SAINTS, LIONS, EAGLES would probably be a terrific bet for those inclined. And then take a flyer on the same NFC group but match them with the Jags...

or maybe Rodgers and Brady will put a lie to all of this and by dint of superior QB play, overcome all their team's weaknesses and defeat all comers. Probably not, but we can hope!

27
by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 11:29am

It stinks for KC that the year they're really good, they lose their best player (Eric Berry) for the season in game 1. They also have a terrific center and guard out (Morse and Duvernay-Tardif). How good would they be with those few players back?

51
by EnderCN :: Thu, 10/12/2017 - 6:12pm

It will really come down to health. If the Packers get healthy at some point they will be a much better team. But at the same time they get 2 games against a hobbled Vikings team still and Stafford is limping around and without him that Lions team isn't going very far. If everyone else in the division is missing big players the Packers will end up with a record that doesn't match reality and DVOA will be elevated as well.

15
by CBPodge :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 7:33am

The LA Rams appear to be a balanced offense, defense and special teams. That freaks me out. I suspect the special teams would be a bit closer to elite if Tavon Austin didn't keep dropping punts, but still, its weird that a team that was "defense and punting" for about the last 4 years now appears to be trending down on those two things and trending up on everything else.

16
by CBPodge :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 7:33am

The LA Rams appear to be a balanced offense, defense and special teams. That freaks me out. I suspect the special teams would be a bit closer to elite if Tavon Austin didn't keep dropping punts, but still, its weird that a team that was "defense and punting" for about the last 4 years now appears to be trending down on those two things and trending up on everything else.

19
by ChrisLong :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 8:53am

To my eyes, Deshaun Watson has not been the top-5 QB his DYAR total suggests. He spent the first half against KC making very bad decisions and throws, and in the 4th quarter he was just chucking bombs and his receivers just happened to come down with all of them in double coverage, in garbage time. Yes, I know that garbage time can be predictive, but these were essentially Hail Mary's that didn't come at the end of the game. Not to mention the one-yard TD that came on the actual last play with no chance at winning. I don't think he's horrible, but I expect there to be a disaster game soon.

20
by Will Allen :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 8:59am

What was impressive to me was how cognizant he was of avoiding contact, almost Wilson-like. If he maintains that quality, he'll likely continue to make big plays with his legs, as he learns how to play the position.

21
by ChrisLong :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 9:10am

Yeah, I agree he is very slippery back there and it helps turn the game into a scramble drill at times, which plays to his skill set and helps mitigate his inexpertise at reading defenses right now. I don't think he'll suddenly morph into a very bad QB, I just think his game is high-variance right now, and one of these days he's gonna look real bad. I hope I'm wrong because I love watching young kids come in and smash expectations. It's been a good year for that!

42
by Richie :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 6:46pm

High variance QB play is something a lot of teams (Dolphins, Browns, Bengals, Matt Cassel, Jets, etc.) aspire to.

22
by cstoos :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 9:55am

SEA vs KC needs to be a "special superbowl" matchup on the playoff odds page. Call it the "Derrick Thomas vs Dave Kreig AFC West Reunion Game"

23
by Nahoj :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 10:35am

I don't quite understand Dallas and Oakland's rankings. The Cowboys edge them in offense (10th to 12th) and defense (29th to 31st) but trail the Raiders in special teams (7th to 5th).

It's been awhile since I've seen someone break it down, but aren't the weights of the categories offense > defense > special teams?

Or is this just a case where the difference in special teams between 5th and 7th place is actually large enough to overcome the spread between their offenses and defenses?

25
by MarkV :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 10:48am

thats really interesting. DVOA is broken down 4 parts offense, 3 parts defense, 1 part special teams.

The defenses are basically identical, the offenses are separated by a point, and the special teams by a point and a half. Their DVOAs are basically identical, but it looks pretty weird to me that Oakland isn't ranked slightly higher.

Maybe it has to do with dvoa being a rate stat that adds (weighted) three different rate stats. So the cowboys offense has had fewer plays than the raiders, so that the good cowboys offense doesn't count as much. Though I am not sure how DVOA incorporates game based DVOA - if it does simple sums by week, or considers all plays. hmm, down the rabbit hole.

32
by InTheBoilerRoom :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 12:11pm

Offense, defense, and STs are all equally rated as presented here. You can essentially add them up to get total DVOA.

The idea about O/D/ST beying 4/3/1 weighting is just that the values follow that trend. They don't actually apply any such weighting factors.

38
by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:48pm

Yup, this is a key point to understand.

Total DVOA = Offensive DVOA - Defensive DVOA + ST DVOA (more or less)

The 4/3/1 is more about how those factors generally vary, where the difference between best and worst offenses vs. difference between best and worst STs is usually a 4:1 ratio.

37
by ChrisS :: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 1:39pm

Looking at ordinal rankings across categories is not optimal. They are 2 positions apart on O/D/ST but only 0.2% in Def, 1.1% in Off and 1.5% in ST. These teams have essentially the same DVOA/Ranking given the inherent noisiness in the data. It maybe more useful to ignore the number ranking and look at groups with similar DVOA's. So TB, TEN, NE, OAK & DAL are about all the same overall quality, they are separated by only 2.5% of DVOA points.