Football Outsiders

Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Aaron Schatz's blog

Move Over RPOs, Here Come Bunches

Move Over RPOs, Here Come Bunches

Great article by Matthew Coller on the ESPN 1500 website in Minnesota, looking at what strategies successful offenses around the league are likely to copy this year. Sitting down with John DeFelippo, the new Vikings offensive coordinator, he found less of a concentration on RPOs and more on bunch formations to confuse the defense. The Rams used more bunch formations than anyone else last year, and had tons of success out of them.

ESPN Upset Watch: Giants-Jaguars
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ESPN Upset Watch: Giants-Jaguars

Here's the return of a feature we did for ESPN a few years ago, the weekly Upset Watch. Each week we'll highlight a possible upset among games with a line of at least three points, detailing how and why it could happen. This week, more on our Jacksonville projection and what better health could mean for the New York Giants offense. Plus, a weekly cover watch, with a big line we think could be a cover. Or in this week's case, a small line, Dallas at Carolina.

2018 DVOA Projections
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2018 DVOA Projections

Updated preseason DVOA projections are here. It's a very unbalanced NFL, with seven of our top nine teams coming from the NFC. Pittsburgh and New England are the two AFC holdouts, and they're on top of our ratings and our Super Bowl odds, though our Super Bowl favorite has flipped since we published Football Outsiders Almanac 2018.

50 comments, Last at 11 Sep 2018, 4:36pm by panthersnbraves
ESPN: Ranking the NFL's Hardest Schedules 1-32
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ESPN: Ranking the NFL's Hardest Schedules 1-32

In an annual piece for ESPN+ (formerly ESPN Insider), I take a look at all 32 NFL schedules, ranked from hardest to easiest. We look at weird quirks in the schedule and what each team's hardest stretch is, based on preseason projections.

1 comment, Last at 05 Sep 2018, 12:55pm by morganja
Off The Charts Podcast: September 4

Off The Charts Podcast: September 4

The Off The Charts podcast is back for 2018! This week, Matt Manocherian and Aaron Schatz talk about some of this year's research into running the football in the NFL. Then we preview three games from Week 1: Atlanta at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh at Cleveland, and Kansas City at the Los Angeles Chargers. (Click for audio link.)

1 comment, Last at 05 Nov 2018, 2:16am by kenwayboss
Grand Schemes

Grand Schemes

Here's a cool little season preview feature from the Washington Post, breaking down one important play for each NFL offense with fun little moving diagrams. Almost everyone gets a pass play, but Jacksonville of course gets a run play.

Khalil Mack Traded to Bears
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Khalil Mack Traded to Bears

The biggest trade of the year is on, according to multiple reports this morning. Oakland is trading edge rusher Khalil Mack to Chicago for a package that should include two first-round picks plus other compensation. Mack would then likely agree to a new long-term contract with Chicago.

47 comments, Last at 10 Sep 2018, 3:55pm by Steve in WI
Aaron Donald: Six-Year, $135 Million Extension

Aaron Donald: Six-Year, $135 Million Extension

This big-money signings continue, as the Rams hand Aaron Donald a new contract with six years and $135 million. Added on to 2017, that makes seven years and $141 million. The deal includes $87 million guaranteed. I believe this leaves Le'Veon Bell, Earl Thomas, and Khalil Mack as holdouts.

3 comments, Last at 02 Sep 2018, 10:54am by jtr
Aaron Rodgers Gets 4-Year, $134 Million Extension

Aaron Rodgers Gets 4-Year, $134 Million Extension

The final domino to fall in this summer's quarterback payment extravaganza has fallen, as Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have agreed to a four-year extension that takes his contract through 2023 when he'll be 40 years old. The early numbers say the new deal averages $33.5 million in new money over the four years, including a record $57.5 million signing bonus.

15 comments, Last at 04 Sep 2018, 6:18pm by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual
ESPN: Sneaky Strengths for All 32 NFL Teams
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ESPN: Sneaky Strengths for All 32 NFL Teams

We went through the Football Outsiders stat databases to find one hidden split or metric where every NFL offense and defense was very good last year. Even Cleveland! Which of these will carry over and continue into 2018?