Week 18 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Once again, it is time for postseason DVOA ratings. As always, the following rules apply:

  • All 32 teams are ranked, whether they made the playoffs or not.
  • Teams are ranked in order of weighted DVOA, not total season DVOA.  Since weighted DVOA is meant to lower the strength of older games, these ratings do not include Weeks 1-4, and Weeks 5-10 are somewhat discounted.
  • Teams which did not play in the wild card round are treated as if they had a bye week. (That includes both the 20 non-playoff teams and the four teams with byes.) 

The playoff odds report is updated through the wild card games. You will find DVOA matchup pages for the four second round games on the FO Premium page. Remember that the equation used to determine win probabilities for the playoff odds report is not as complex as the one used for FO Premium picks, so picks may differ.

Roster data will be updated to include the Wild Card round by later this evening.

* * * * *

To save people some time, we remind everyone to put their angry troll hatred into the official zlionsfan angry troll hatred Mad Libs form:

<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>

If you are new to our website, you can read the explanation of how DVOA is figured here. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

Teams in yellow are still alive in the playoffs. Teams in gray lost this past weekend.

1 SEA 47.9% 1 13-3 9.7% 8 -31.2% 1 7.0% 6
2 NE 26.9% 5 12-4 26.8% 2 9.5% 24 9.5% 4
3 DEN 25.4% 2 13-3 26.9% 1 -6.0% 9 -7.5% 28
4 CAR 24.8% 4 12-4 5.2% 11 -16.9% 5 2.7% 12
5 PHI 22.3% 3 10-7 23.2% 4 -0.9% 15 -1.7% 24
6 SF 21.0% 6 13-4 8.5% 10 -3.9% 11 8.6% 5
7 KC 20.2% 9 11-6 9.9% 7 0.3% 17 10.5% 3
8 NO 19.2% 7 12-5 17.6% 5 -5.6% 10 -3.9% 26
9 STL 18.9% 10 7-9 -5.9% 21 -12.7% 6 12.1% 2
10 SD 17.4% 12 10-7 24.9% 3 10.8% 25 3.4% 10
11 CIN 15.4% 8 11-6 1.4% 16 -12.3% 7 1.7% 15
12 ARI 13.4% 11 10-6 2.6% 13 -18.5% 3 -7.7% 29
13 PIT 7.8% 13 8-8 9.6% 9 4.2% 20 2.3% 13
14 BAL 0.2% 18 8-8 -22.3% 30 -10.1% 8 12.5% 1
15 CHI 0.0% 14 8-8 13.6% 6 16.9% 31 3.3% 11
16 IND -2.7% 21 12-5 1.2% 17 3.4% 19 -0.5% 19
17 DET -2.9% 15 7-9 -6.7% 22 -1.9% 13 1.9% 14
18 TEN -4.9% 16 7-9 5.1% 12 9.3% 23 -0.7% 21
19 MIA -5.3% 19 8-8 -0.7% 18 -0.1% 16 -4.7% 27
20 BUF -6.0% 17 6-10 -14.8% 25 -17.7% 4 -8.8% 30
21 MIN -6.6% 24 5-10-1 -1.8% 19 11.0% 26 6.1% 8
22 TB -6.6% 20 4-12 -8.1% 23 -3.5% 12 -2.0% 25
23 NYJ -6.7% 23 8-8 -8.9% 24 -1.0% 14 1.2% 16
24 NYG -6.7% 22 7-9 -24.9% 31 -18.9% 2 -0.7% 22
25 DAL -9.8% 25 8-8 2.5% 14 18.2% 32 5.9% 9
26 GB -11.8% 26 8-8-1 1.5% 15 12.6% 29 -0.6% 20
27 ATL -14.3% 27 4-12 -1.8% 20 13.6% 30 1.1% 17
28 JAC -19.6% 28 4-12 -18.0% 29 8.3% 22 6.8% 7
29 CLE -27.8% 29 4-12 -15.6% 27 12.3% 28 0.1% 18
30 WAS -31.5% 30 3-13 -15.0% 26 0.4% 18 -16.1% 32
31 HOU -33.9% 31 2-14 -25.0% 32 7.5% 21 -1.3% 23
32 OAK -39.4% 32 4-12 -16.0% 28 12.3% 27 -11.2% 31

Here are the one-game DVOA ratings for the first round of the playoffs. Yes, two games came out with as exact ties before opponent adjustments. When you see that San Francisco has a negative DVOA after opponent adjustments, do remember that the opponent adjustments for Green Bay are based on only half a season of Aaron Rodgers, so San Francisco's defense was a little bit better than this.

DVOA (with opponent adjustments)
IND 19% 29% 13% 3%
KC 14% 22% 10% 2%
NO 45% 30% -11% 4%
PHI 2% 18% 13% -3%
SD 38% 32% -5% 1%
CIN -28% -24% 9% 5%
SF -3% -6% -1% 3%
GB 13% 10% -7% -4%
VOA (no opponent adjustments)
IND 11% 21% 14% 3%
KC 11% 22% 13% 2%
NO 26% 28% 5% 4%
PHI -14% 15% 25% -3%
SD 29% 23% -5% 1%
CIN -14% 0% 19% 5%
SF 7% 7% 3% 3%
GB 7% 10% -1% -4%

* * * * *

During the 2013 season, we'll be partnering with EA Sports to bring special Football Outsiders-branded items to Madden 25 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 standard stats. Others will be under-the-radar players who only stood out with advanced stats, including DYAR, Defeats, and our game charting coverage stats for cornerbacks. We'll announce the players each week in the DVOA commentary article, and the players will be available in Madden Ultimate Team packs the following weekend, beginning Friday night.

The Football Outsiders stars for Wild Card weekend are:

  • T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND (Limited Edition): Led all WR with 102 DYAR this week (13 receptions, 224 yards, 2 TD)
  • Donald Butler, ILB, SD: Led all defenders with four Defeats, all on Giovani Bernard (2 TFL, forced fumble, tackle to prevent third-down conversion)
  • King Dunlap, LT, SD: Limited Michael Johnson to no sacks, one QB hit, and one tackle
  • Mark Ingram, RB, NO: Led all RB with 46 DYAR this week (18 carries, 97 yards, TD)

You'll learn more about Hilton and Ingram's games tomorrow when we run Wild Card Quick Reads. Sorry no 49ers, but Colin Kaepernick is getting covered on Madden's Team of the Week.


100 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2018, 10:48am

1 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

"Seattle white and the seven dwarfs" is spam!

let us see if this posts or if I once again give up on F.O. for a while

2 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Wow, 49ers numbers are lower than expected, even after factoring in the 'no Aaron Rogers' for opponent adjustment impact. It felt (to me at least) like SF controlled that game more than the numbers indicate.

14 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Was also surprised by this. SF outgained GB by 100 yards in almost the same number of plays and averaged 6.0 yards per play to GB's 4.6. The turnover hurts, I guess.

47 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Look at the VOA numbers without opponent adjustments: VOA has the Packers better on both offense and defense but way behind on special teams, which seems counter-intuitive given both the "feel" of the game and the Niners' significant yardage advantages. Maybe SF was less consistent but better at breaking big plays?

62 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

That's what other models would tell you.

Looking at EPA, the 49ers outgained Green Bay 10.2 to 6.4. However, Green Bay's success rate was 54% compared to only 47% for the 49ers. SR is defined as the percentage of plays that result in a positive EPA.

What this says is that the 49ers accumulated a much larger aggregate EPA on a lot fewer plays. Hence, more big plays.


63 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Well you're exaggerating a bit. The Niners ran 63 plays, so 30 of their 63 plays were successful. Green Bay ran 61 plays, so 33 of their plays were successful. A difference of 3 plays is not really a lot fewer plays. SF was slightly less consistent but significantly more productive.

65 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Kaepernick threw a pick and Rodgers didn't. The 49ers had 1 fumble and the Packers had 2. A fumble is treated basically like half a turnover I think. So 1.5 turnovers for the 9ers, 1 turnover for the Packers.

The 49ers also stalled out at the goalline a few times which is weighted in VOA.

3 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Melvin Ingram, RB, NO - I didn't know that Melvin Ingram switched to playing RB instead of LB, and teams as well! ;)

5 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

"WEIGHTED DVOA is adjusted so that earlier games in the season become gradually less important. It better reflects how the team was playing at the end of the season."

This makes perfect sense. The team with the highest DVOA of the weekend drops one place in weighted DVOA ranking. Because it's gradual.

I'd really be interested in seeing your Excel formula for this.

7 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

I'm not sure if they're continuing to roll the Weighted DVOA timeframe forward in the playoffs, but if they are, and thus dropped Week 4 entirely from weighted DVOA this week, while discounting Week 10 for the first time, that would explain it - the Saints absolutely destroyed Miami in Week 4, and beat Dallas in Week 10 even more badly than that.

11 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Weighted DVOA actually includes the last 14 weeks but the big drops in strength occur with the game nine weeks ago and the game 13 weeks ago. For the Saints, that's the huge Dallas win and the Pats loss (where both teams had positive DVOA) with the 38-17 win over Miami disappearing entirely.

36 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

You don't know that it's arbitrary. You do whatever gives you numbers that yield the best predictions. If that's a nice gradual curve fine, if that's a staggered progression, that's fine too so long as you don't overfit.

42 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

I think the idea is that unless you have some really nifty theory why, something without a gradual curve is by definition overfitting. It is the archetype fo overfitting.

Why do results suddenly become less predictive after X weeks? Because our tiny sample set says so!

64 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

You don't change your methods to fit a correlation unless you understand why the correlation is causative.

Like the other poster says, this is definite overfitting to match what is most likely noise.

9 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Wasn't there some commentary from Aaron a few years back that DVOA was actually slightly more predictive of post-season performance than Weighted DVOA?

32 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Yes I also think so, but it never had any change on the presentation on the website, which still tries to better fit common perception by using Weighted DVOA.

Thats not a problem if the real number is still somewhere to be found, but unfortunately standard DVOA disappeared completely by the postseason (I am not sure if this was always the case). Dear FO please ring it back.

10 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

*tongue firmly planted in cheek*

WEI. DVOA clearly has a man crush on the Patriots, allowing them to move past three teams in a week in which they did not even play, nor did two of the other teams. Obviously teams who were not sitting on their sofas watching TV should have moved past the Pats, not the other way around.

28 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Well, it WAS a great weekend in Seattle--sunny and clear, first day of skiing and I got home in time for the Colts game to boot! That must have helped the Seahawks.

12 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

CAR-SF going to be interesting game. Both basically equal in off. DVOA. CAR has good size edge in Def. DVOA and SF clearly better on special teams. HFA is difference in the game?

49 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by BigWoody (not verified)

Arizona now hasn't played Carolina (at least in weighted DVOA), and St. Louis now hasn't played their first game against San Francisco.

It would have been nice to see Total DVOA (rather than weighted) in the lists. It would also be nice if the ST vs defense weightings made sense.

15 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

New Orleans and Indianapolis are clearly ranked too low because they each beat their higher ranked opponents this weekend. Actually playing the game is way better than this. THE NINERS ARE GONNA GO ALL TEH WAY!

17 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

On weeks when normal DVOA is being used to rank the teams, weighted DVOA is still listed in the tables. Why isn't regular DVOA included at all in these rankings?

19 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

How does NE move up while not playing? I could see if it was the other teams playing worse on the weekend but Den didn't play and got passed.

59 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Yeah. It got a little tiresome when it would pop up 50 times a thread (people, possibly including me, would wait to comment on a multiple of 12....) but it's fun to bring it up once every couple years. I remember apologizing to my wife in bed one night that I was not Tom Brady and I nearly died laughing. Her response: "Who? What's so funny?"

39 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

How did Denver fall so far and New England rise so much.... Especially in odds to win SB?

I thought SDs domination would help them

43 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Read Aaron's comment (#11) and look at the New England schedule and Denver's schedule. Denver had favorable games fall out of the equation and New England had poor games fall out of the equation.

21 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Just noticed that the DEN-SD game is similar to CAR-SF (well, not really, but) DEN and SD have ended up pretty close in O-DVOA, Den is (much) better in D-DVOA and SD is markedly better in ST.

26 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

At this rate of increase, by the time the Super Bowl is over, the Vikings will make the DVOA playoffs! Yee-haw!!!

See what happens when you don't play Christian Ponder?

27 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

What I find puzzling about the small chart of the H2H matches with and without opponent adjustments is, for example, the Colts/Chiefs: Colts O was 21% before adjustments and 29% after because the Chiefs D was pretty good. So far so good. In some other aspects, the adjustment did not change much or at all because the opponent was about average--Chiefs O vs Colts D which was ranked 16 (I assume)--so they are 22% both before and after adjustments.

But the ST did not change at all with adjustments, and I was under the impression KC was superb at #1 and Indy middling at #17. Therefore, shouldn't Indy's post-adjustment ST grade be higher than its pre-adjustment grade? I can understand why KC's grade would not change, since Indy's ST were ranted #17. Is it a small sample size issue--not enough ST plays to really register?

Any insight into this is appreciated. Thanks.

30 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Just curious, does special teams weigh as much as off/def when determining overall rank? Can't say I agree with that if that's the case.

33 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Yes, but there's usually less of a difference between a top special teams team, and an average one, by about a factor of three. This results in special teams contributing, usually, about a third as much.

It's not a weighting issue, it's a deviation from average issue, though the two are often confused.

44 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

I thought special teams DVOA was somehow calculated to have less weight that Off or Def, but you wind up with a number you can add to the other two to get total DVOA (off-def+st).

34 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Wait, the Patriots really have the second-best weighted offense in the NFL?

37 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

That ranking is based mainly on the games when they had Gronk. During that time, they were truly excellent. The rest of the year, they have been average at best.

38 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

That's not quite true. There's a marked difference between the first and second halves of their season, with or without Gronkowski. Their worst five games of the regular season were all in Weeks 1-8. Gronkowski played in two of those (Weeks 7 and 8). Since their bye, their average offensive DVOA is 31.8%. Their average performance in the three games since Gronkowski was lost for the year isn't much below that: 27.4%, which would still rank second in season-long DVOA and first in weighted DVOA.

55 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

They weren't only missing Gronk early in the season. After Week 1, they were also missing Amendola and Vereen, who are back. Also, LeGarrette Blount is playing much better recently than he was early in the season.

The offense that could only score 6 points at Cincy isn't there any more. Their last two victories were of comfortable margins, against Buffalo and Baltimore, who both have highly rated defenses.

51 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

I find it interesting how the Saints are ranked lower than the Eagles after beating them. Also, the Saints are only ranked 1 lower than the Eagles in weighted offense DVOA and ranked 5 higher in defense DVOA, yet they're ranked 3 lower in overall DVOA. It's interesting how numbers work out. I'm surprised by the fact that the Eagles special teams DVOA is still the 24th highest in the league and not much worse after that terrible showing on Saturday night.

56 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Well, the numbers show the Saints having dominated the playoff game. Keep in mind that the DVOA weighs average over several games, not just the most recent one.

Don't get too confused by the fact that ordinal rankings do not average easily. Two teams can be very close in DVOA while being far apart by ordinal rank, and vice versa. The best way to use these charts is to focus on the actual DVOA values, while viewing the ordinal ranks as merely a useful way to sort the data.

57 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Seems like DVOA thinks that the Chargers played a great game. Did they really play a great game? Or was it mostly just Dalton giving the game to them like most of the national media is saying.

66 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Are CIN QB Dalton's inconsistency more of a responsibility of OC Gruden, or the QB coach? The question about being Gruden's problem is now moot (as it is announced he is going to WAS), but perhaps a reshuffling of the offensive staff may bring in a new QB coach who can control Andy's arm (and head) a bit better.

67 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

I know the season is over for the Packers. I'm still wondering... How does the SF game compare to other games this season in Dvoa? Where can I find the game by game breakdown?

68 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Detailed data is available in premium, i believe, or in next years FOA. Also, GB overall DVOA by week is in the NFC wildcard preview: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/game-previews/2014/nfc-wild-card-preview

69 Re: Week 18 DVOA Ratings

Using this weighted version we find, Seattle -10.2, right near the spread, Denver -5, a lean to SD, Pats -10.4, a lean to Pats, Carolina -3.95, a lean to Carolina.

Using the end of season non weighted DVOA, 3 games were right on or near the spread, Carolina -4.88 which is the largest difference to the spread this playoffs to this point anyway.

DVOA really likes Carolina today.

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