Week 2 DVOA Ratings

Week 2 DVOA Ratings
Week 2 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

Things are looking very good for the Philadelphia Eagles, who sit atop our DVOA ratings after two weeks of the 2016 season. That's a lot better than we expected before the season, when we projected that the Eagles would be one of the worst teams in the league. On the other hand, while we don't have enough information on the current season to incorporate opponent adjustments into our numbers, Philadelphia's two victories have come over two other teams we projected to be among the worst teams in the league. So, how much do we take from the Eagles' strong start?

In recent history, getting out to a strong start in DVOA has generally identified a team as one of the best in the league for that season. This wasn't always the case. For example, from 1998 through 2002, only one team that was No. 1 in DVOA after two weeks went on to make the playoffs. However, since the 2003 Kansas City Chiefs, every team ranked No. 1 in DVOA after Week 2 has made the playoffs and finished at least 10-6. These teams have averaged 12.5 wins and finished with an average DVOA rank of 3.6. Only the 2012 Houston Texans didn't finish in the DVOA top six; they were 11th.

On the other hand, Philadelphia isn't your typical team to rank No. 1 at this point. The ratings have never been more condensed at this point in the season, which makes sense when you consider how many close games there have been. Before we even consider the quality of the opposition so far, Philadelphia has the lowest DVOA ever for a team ranked No. 1 after Week 2. In most years, there are five or six teams at 30% or higher after two games. This year, Philadelphia is the only one.

Philadelphia isn't the most notable team in this week's DVOA ratings, however. That title probably goes to one of the three different teams that is 2-0 despite a negative DVOA so far. The Giants currently rank 20th, the Patriots 23rd, and the Texans 25th. New England and Houston are only the fifth and sixth teams in DVOA history to start the year 2-0 despite having an unadjusted rating below -10% after Week 2. The good news for Houston is that three of the previous four teams ended up with winning records, and one of them even went on to the Super Bowl. The better news for New England is that Tom Brady will be back in two weeks.

Lowest DVOA After Week 2 by 2-0 Teams, 1989-2016
2003 CAR 25 2-0 -30.2% 28 11-5 0.6% 16
2004 JAC 17 2-0 -21.1% 26 9-7 1.7% 13
2012 ARI 28 2-0 -16.1% 24 5-11 -16.3% 26
2016 HOU 18 2-0 -15.8% 25 -- -- --
2016 NE 6 2-0 -15.7% 23 -- -- --
2000 MIN 10 2-0 -10.5% 22 11-5 -6.3% 22
2007 SF 27 2-0 -8.9% 20 5-11 -33.4% 31
1998 PIT 5 2-0 -8.4% 19 7-9 -1.2% 16
2016 NYG 20 2-0 -7.9% 20 -- -- --
2006 MIN 25 2-0 -7.0% 19 6-10 -12.9% 23

So, what's going on with these teams, and why are their ratings so low despite two wins each?

There's actually not much to explain when it comes to the New York Giants. They have survived two nailbiters, 20-19 over Dallas and 16-13 over New Orleans, and they're the closest of these teams to league average. I wrote last week about the first game. The Giants won even though Dallas was much better on special teams, which was most of the gap in DVOA. The two teams were similar on offense and defense. This week's game was essentially a DVOA tie, with New Orleans finishing at 0.2% and the Giants at 1.8%.

New England has now won two games despite the other team having the better DVOA rating. A big part of this is that the offense keeps converting in third-and-long situations. Through two games, the Patriots are 12th overall in offensive DVOA but second on third or fourth down. They've converted 57 percent of these plays despite an average of 8.7 yards to go. (The best offense on third downs? Here's a surprise: Cleveland, which hasn't converted as often as New England but is averaging more yards per play in even harder situations.) The Patriots won't be able to convert third-and-longs like this forever, but they won't have to, because when Tom Brady returns they probably won't be in third-and-long as often. The worry going forward should be about the defense, which is just 29th so far. Miami's last drive this week may not have resulted in points, but our ratings are still measuring the yards given up. New England had a -39.6% defensive DVOA before halftime of the Miami game, and 80.0% defensive DVOA after halftime.

Defense isn't a problem in Houston, ranking sixth, but both offense and special teams currently rank 30th. The Texans had a surprisingly low 5.4% DVOA in their Week 1 23-14 win over Chicago, but the really weird result is that they have -36.9% DVOA for this week's 19-12 win over Kansas City. The Texans and Chiefs were two of the three worst offenses in the league this week. The Houston defense also benefited from the fact that Kansas City fumbled three times in this game and couldn't recover any of them. And like that Week 1 Cowboys-Giants game, there was a huge gap in special teams here, but the better special teams belonged to the team that lost the game. Each team returned four punts, but the Chiefs got 63 yards on those returns and the Texans only 12. Each team tried a field goal over 50 yards, but Cairo Santos hit his while Nick Novak missed.

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Some other things that jumped out me looking at this week's ratings:

  • Again, no opponent adjustments yet and one of the opponents involved is New Orleans. But still, I did not expect to see Oakland ranked No. 1 in offense and No. 32 in defense.
  • In the preseason, I wrote many times that it was very unlikely for the Denver defense to be as good as it was last season. Most of us probably came out of those first two games thinking that it looks like the unlikely has happened, and Denver is once again the best defense in the league. The ratings disagree so far. Denver ranks only 11th in defensive DVOA after two weeks, and is a surprising 15th on offense.
  • Buffalo is 19th in offensive DVOA and 25th in defensive DVOA after two weeks despite playing two teams that are (theoretically) better on defense than offense -- just in case you needed any more evidence that the decision to fire Greg Roman after just two weeks was ridiculous. By the way, Buffalo's DAVE is lower this week because I've dinged their projection based on the idea that they now have a new offensive coordinator.
  • Fun fact that a reader pointed out on Twitter: the New York Jets have to play the top four teams in DAVE over the next four weeks. They play at Kansas City this week, then home against Seattle, and then back on the road in Pittsburgh and Arizona. Somehow the Jets ended up with six of their first nine games on the road this year.

A quick note now about DAVE, the rating that combines early-season performance with the preseason predictions. Unfortunately, I haven't had the time in the last couple offseasons to do a thorough testing to figure out the most accurate split between current season and preseason forecast for each week in order to get the most accurate, most predictive rating for the rest of the season. However, I wanted to adjust the formula based on the general opinion around the league that early-season games are telling us less about how good a team will be over the entire season because CBA-related changes in practice time are leaving teams less prepared in the early games. I also wanted to drop the importance of early games a little bit before the opponent adjustments come in. So this week, DAVE is 80 percent preseason forecast instead of 75 percent as in years past. The changes in this ratio going forward will be similarly small.

Minnesota's DAVE accounts for Adrian Peterson's injury for the whole season; we'll adjust that next week if it looks like he's going to rehab and return at midseason instead of having surgery for his torn meniscus. In the new playoff odds report, the Patriots take a bit more penalty for Weeks 3-4 based on the idea that Jacoby Brissett will need to start instead of Jimmy Garoppolo. We made the adjustments before news came out that Garoppolo may be ready to be the backup this week and start in Week 4. We also made the adjustments before any news came out about Jay Cutler's injury, so there's no adjustment for Chicago using a backup quarterback, and we left Cleveland alone based on a report that Josh McCown was "week-to-week." Since Cody Kessler will start at least one game, their odds of getting the No. 1 pick are probably slightly higher than listed.

* * * * *

Once again this season, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 17 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, beginning at 11am Eastern on Friday. We will also tweet out images of these players from the @fboutsiders Twitter account on most Fridays. The best player of each week, the Football Outsiders Hero, will require you to collect a set of the other four Football Outsiders players that week, plus a certain number of Football Outsiders collectibles available in Madden Ultimate Team packs.

The Football Outsiders stars for Week 2 are:

For those curious, DYAR does not penalize Diggs or Sam Bradford for that time-wasting throw on fourth down to end the game, and it's not included in DVOA for Minnesota or Green Bay.

* * * * *

All stats pages are now updated through Week 2 of 2016. That includes for the first time offensive lines, defensive lines, and defense vs. receivers. Snap counts and playoff odds are also fully updated. The FO Premium DVOA database is now updated through Week 2, and the Matchup View now shows 2016 stats instead of 2015 stats.

We're very excited for the first 2016 update for our new Premium Charting Data subscribers. We're going to try to update tonight with all the data through Sunday's games, leaving out Monday Night Football, and we'll definitely have things updated by tomorrow night with all charting stats through Week 2.

* * * * *

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These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through two weeks of 2016, 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. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

Please note that there are no opponent adjustments in DVOA until after Week 4. (It's still listed as DVOA instead of VOA because I don't feel like going through and changing all the tables manually.) In addition, our second weekly table which includes schedule strength, variation, and Estimated Wins will appear beginning after Week 4.

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 80 percent of DAVE.

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>

1 PHI 35.5% 2 0.2% 13 2-0 11.8% 9 -28.2% 2 -4.5% 21
2 ARI 28.2% 13 20.2% 2 1-1 13.5% 8 -23.1% 4 -8.4% 29
3 CAR 27.6% 11 10.9% 6 1-1 9.8% 11 -20.1% 7 -2.3% 17
4 PIT 27.1% 4 18.1% 3 2-0 15.1% 7 -6.0% 14 6.0% 6
5 BAL 22.0% 8 10.1% 7 2-0 -7.3% 20 -19.4% 8 10.0% 3
6 DET 19.9% 5 4.4% 9 1-1 26.8% 3 16.8% 27 9.8% 4
7 SD 17.5% 10 2.4% 12 1-1 27.2% 2 4.1% 20 -5.6% 24
8 SEA 17.4% 3 23.0% 1 1-1 -17.6% 27 -36.1% 1 -1.1% 16
9 DEN 14.2% 19 3.7% 11 2-0 3.6% 15 -14.6% 11 -4.1% 20
10 SF 10.9% 1 -10.5% 28 1-1 -8.8% 23 -22.1% 5 -2.4% 18
11 KC 8.0% 15 13.3% 4 1-1 -7.9% 21 -5.6% 15 10.3% 2
12 MIN 5.1% 18 -1.0% 15 2-0 -15.9% 26 -23.8% 3 -2.7% 19
13 CIN 4.9% 12 4.3% 10 1-1 4.8% 14 -7.8% 13 -7.7% 28
14 DAL 4.2% 9 -0.8% 14 1-1 5.4% 13 5.4% 21 4.1% 11
15 GB 0.6% 6 6.9% 8 1-1 -15.5% 25 -17.1% 10 -1.0% 15
16 ATL -0.7% 28 -5.3% 23 1-1 18.3% 4 29.9% 30 11.0% 1
17 NYJ -2.6% 25 -2.3% 16 1-1 16.8% 5 14.8% 26 -4.6% 22
18 TEN -3.1% 20 -7.5% 24 1-1 -2.2% 17 -9.3% 12 -10.2% 31
19 NO -3.9% 24 -2.3% 17 0-2 15.9% 6 13.4% 23 -6.3% 27
20 NYG -7.9% 22 -3.6% 19 2-0 -0.6% 16 1.3% 17 -6.1% 25
21 OAK -8.9% 16 -4.0% 20 1-1 35.2% 1 38.9% 32 -5.2% 23
22 IND -15.1% 17 -5.1% 21 0-2 11.7% 10 31.5% 31 4.6% 9
23 NE -15.7% 26 11.1% 5 2-0 6.3% 12 24.5% 29 2.6% 12
24 WAS -15.7% 29 -10.3% 27 0-2 -6.5% 18 13.6% 24 4.3% 10
25 HOU -15.8% 14 -7.5% 25 2-0 -28.2% 30 -21.9% 6 -9.4% 30
26 BUF -16.0% 27 -5.1% 22 0-2 -7.2% 19 13.7% 25 4.8% 8
27 MIA -16.5% 30 -14.2% 31 0-2 -8.3% 22 2.0% 18 -6.1% 26
28 LARM -18.0% 31 -2.8% 18 1-1 -43.7% 32 -18.3% 9 7.4% 5
29 CHI -23.6% 21 -12.2% 29 0-2 -32.1% 31 -3.6% 16 4.9% 7
30 TB -25.4% 7 -8.4% 26 1-1 -15.5% 24 9.8% 22 -0.1% 14
31 JAC -36.3% 23 -14.1% 30 0-2 -19.7% 28 16.9% 28 0.3% 13
32 CLE -39.0% 32 -25.9% 32 0-2 -22.9% 29 3.4% 19 -12.7% 32


121 comments, Last at 26 Sep 2016, 12:57am

#1 by merlinofchaos // Sep 20, 2016 - 7:08pm

Denver may only be #11 in defense by VOA but when the D kicks in, I suspect Carolina will raise it. Indy might, though Luck's line and the surprising decline in his play is suspect enough I dunno if they'll be a top tier offense this year. Maybe.

Points: 0

#13 by milehighmeltdown // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:13am

The sentiment in Denver is that it's 2015 all over again. I don't agree- last year's offense did 'just enough', seen by their unsustainable wins by <7 points. This offense does plenty, including
-not going three and out, sustaining long drives
-saving their turnovers for the other teams red zone
-having a credible run game

They are just as likely to get their act together by week 12 as to collapse and require paxton the pirate to save the ship.

Points: 0

#2 by Cythammer // Sep 20, 2016 - 7:56pm

"Somehow the Jets ended up with six of their first nine games on the road this year."

What's funny is they only had 6 'real' road games total last year. One of their road games was against the Giants, and the other was in London against Miami. A favorable schedule quirk that I'm still surprised seemed to go almost completely unnoticed.

Boy are those next four games brutal, though. The Jets should be firm underdogs for each of them, I think. I can't see where they have the best chance to pick up a victory, especially since three are on the road.

Points: 0

#23 by BJR // Sep 21, 2016 - 7:08am

KC hasn't looked like a powerhouse so far. Jets are currently only a 3 point underdog in Vegas. And I think I'd currently marginally favor them at home to Seattle - particularly if Wilson is still hobbled - bearing in mind Seattle's O-line woes and the Jets strength on the D-Line.

The trips to Arizona and Pittsburgh are brutal, however. Definite firm underdogs there.

Points: 0

#31 by Pennington // Sep 21, 2016 - 9:48am

It underscores the importance of winning the 50/50 games like the first week vs. the Bengals. When you give away a win with this kind of schedule you're going to have a hard time contending for the playoffs.

Also agree with the other comment that the Chiefs this week is a must-win game that is winnable, if not we run a real chance of being a really good 1-5 team.

Points: 0

#32 by Pennington // Sep 21, 2016 - 9:48am

It underscores the importance of winning the 50/50 games like the first week vs. the Bengals. When you give away a win with this kind of schedule you're going to have a hard time contending for the playoffs.

Also agree with the other comment that the Chiefs this week is a must-win game that is winnable, if not we run a real chance of being a really good 1-5 team.

Points: 0

#119 by Dave Bernreuther // Sep 24, 2016 - 9:26am

Jets under 8 was my stand on table prop bet of the year.

For me it was easier to find 4 wins in the final 6 games than in the first ten. And that's with 2 Pats games both post-bye!

Buffalo imploding plus Wilson's ankle has me a little worried, but I saw them at a very possible 1-6 / 2-8 through ten. Fitz's turnover luck, Revis and Marshall and Harris aging, that schedule, them being the Jets... all seems to line up for a big letdown. So far they've played pretty well, though, and I could totally see the KC game as a win for them.

Points: 0

#3 by Mr Shush // Sep 20, 2016 - 8:00pm

Hasn't there always been a suspicion that DVOA under-rates the Patriots defense and its bend-but-don't-break approach (because that's something other teams don't seem able to consistently do)? The same could conceivably apply to Houston given the identity of their DC.

Subjectively, it seemed like the Texans outplayed the Chiefs pretty comfortably aside from special teams. Perhaps some of the poor offensive rating relates to the many not-especially-successful-in-terms-of-yardage runs up the gut to chew clock, time not being a resource that DVOA cares about (so far as I know)?

Obviously some of it relates to Osweiler's tendency to rifle passes in the general direction of the guy he's decided to throw to, even if said guy is extremely covered and some other guy is extremely open.

Points: 0

#8 by Tundrapaddy // Sep 20, 2016 - 8:33pm

I think some of the Houston offensive play (and thus, the VOA rating) is mentioned in the Quick Reads article. Something about useless checkdown screens, I believe.

Points: 0

#24 by Eisenlords // Sep 21, 2016 - 7:59am

The patriots were horrendous on defense in week 2.

If you watch the second half against Miami they were not in prevent defense at all, they were just straight up getting beat consistently on every play. Miami was getting huge chunk passing plays of 15-20 yards every set of downs, which doenst happen in prevent defense. All three of their cornerbacks were failing to cover. I am very concerned about the patriots defense, considering their secondary is actually as healthy as it's ever been. Maybe they get better with Ninkovich and Hightower coming back?

I also think the comments about how patriots struggles are related to Tom Brady is unrealistic too. Patriots have had a QB rating of over 100 through the first two weeks. Garapollo has a passer rating above 140 on third down. You can't really get much better quarterback play than they already have, if they want to comtend they need the defense to step up.

Points: 0

#34 by PatsFan // Sep 21, 2016 - 10:06am

Exactly. I believe only one MIA drive took longer than about 3:30. That's not a prevent, that's sucking.

Points: 0

#42 by Mr Shush // Sep 21, 2016 - 10:47am

Fair enough - I have yet to watch the Patriots this season.

Points: 0

#45 by RickD // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:21am

"The patriots were horrendous on defense in week 2."

Correction: the Patriots were horrendous on defense in the 2nd half of Week 2. The article makes clear the defense was solid in the 1st half.

What happened in the 2nd half? I haven't watched it, but my understanding is the defense rushed only three guys on every play and the Dolphins picked apart the defense with crossing patterns underneath.

"Miami was getting huge chunk passing plays of 15-20 yards every set of downs, which doenst happen in prevent defense."

Actually, that's exactly what happens in a prevent defense. The point of a prevent defense is to keep the offense from completing deep passes. You over-defend the long routes, and that opens up the short routes.

I don't think the Pats' defense was intentionally bad, but they certainly were intentionally designing the defense in order to prevent quick scores.

Is this a sound theory, when you have a defense that has been shutting down the other team's offense? I don't like it, but certainly there was a change in the defensive playcalling that has to be acknowledged.

"I also think the comments about how patriots struggles are related to Tom Brady is unrealistic too"

Struggles? They won at Arizona and took a huge lead in the Dolphins game when it was still in play. I agree somewhat about Garoppolo vs. Brady. The real problem with the offense has been the bimodal attack known as LeGarrette Blount. He's notorious for a combination of runs that get nowhere along with a few runs that break out and are big gainers. A poor man's version of Barry Sanders.

Considering that they've scored 54 points in two games against good defenses, I don't think the offense is "struggling". And it will only get better when Brady and Gronk return.

Certainly the defense was awful in the 2nd half, and I think the coaches need to look hard at what they were trying to accomplish there and why it was failing. And yes, missing Hightower is a big deal. There's a big dropoff in pass coverage underneath when he's out.

Points: 0

#84 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 21, 2016 - 2:34pm

I don't think Blount has actually been that bad - what's been bad is how easy it is to predict when the Patriots will run - and I think that's a huge part of the reason why he's been so bimodal.

McDaniels is a pretty good offensive coordinator - but I think this is a real weakness of his - with a lead, he seems to almost always call runs on 1st down - pretty much every series goes run - run - 3rd and 9.If there's a penalty or a big loss on first down, it's run-shortpass-3rd and 9.

I think some of this is being exacerbated by Gronk being out, and the oline being a mess (and McDaniels not adjusting) - but a lot of it is McDaniels just not being all that creative.

Points: 0

#46 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:21am

The thing people tend to forget is that defense and offense are not separate - they're linked. When your offense plays poorly, your defense ends up wearing down, and the Patriots offense in the second half was abysmal. The Patriots defense looked very different in the first half than in the second.

Its a bad sign of course, but I don't think its as meaningful as people think. Hightower being out is a big deal too - he's a vital part.

Also, while the Patriots weren't playing prevent, it was clearly a scheme decision to give huge cushions to receivers (probably trying to prevent the big play) - I think BB is the best guy schematically in the NFL, but this isn't the first time I've seen a Patriots opponent get back into the game because they're playing 10 yards off of guys with a big lead.

Points: 0

#93 by Alternator // Sep 21, 2016 - 6:26pm

I think the Patriots defense was just completely demoralized after Jimmy G went down, and so ended up functionally playing a prevent defense through most of the second half.

Points: 0

#4 by Hummingbird Cyborg // Sep 20, 2016 - 8:10pm

My take on Denver's defensive performance very much lines up with what I've seen.

They held the Colts to 3.8 yards per pass play which is tremendous. Where they've looked weaker has been in run defense which DVOA says they've been subpar at.

Points: 0

#5 by silvermyner // Sep 20, 2016 - 8:13pm

I'm just gonna sit back and enjoy the Eagles leading the Total DVOA!

Points: 0

#7 by DezBailey // Sep 20, 2016 - 8:30pm

The Week 2 BES Rankings just rolled out - http://besreport.com/week-2-bes-rankings-first-issue-of-2016/

The BES has the Vikings at No. 1 and Philly No. 3. Panthers (No. 9) and Cardinals (No. 10) round out our top 10. Patriots are 6th which dramatically contrasts with their 23rd placing in DVOA. However, the BES and DVOA seem to basically agree on the Chiefs. Should be a good game when they host the Jets in Week 3.

Points: 0

#6 by Will Allen // Sep 20, 2016 - 8:29pm

How often has a number 1 DVOA team after two weeks played two teams ranked 29 and lower by DAVE?

Points: 0

#10 by theslothook // Sep 20, 2016 - 10:58pm

I think people are really being hard on Luck because he's unable to do what his predecessor did. The wide receivers are okay and even the offensive line is blocking better, but no one on the offense is actually Elite at anything - which means a good defense will basically force Luck to manufacture good offense. He's been unable to do so and honestly I can't really think of that many players who could.

Points: 0

#12 by Eleutheria // Sep 20, 2016 - 11:10pm

and luck played great vs Detroit, so I don't know why we're criticizing one lackluster performance vs what is possibly the #1 defense in the league

The Colts offense looks a lot better then they did last year at this stage.

Points: 0

#40 by Bernie // Sep 21, 2016 - 10:38am

Also people seem to forget the Colts had a legitimate chance to win that game at the end...why they decided to block Von Miller 1 on 1 with JOe Reitz is puzzling. Limiting denver's offense to 19 points was a giant win for that defense, given that quality of the players and the state of it's injuries.
I don't think the Colts are a good team by any means, but I think they are also not terrible. I think the Colts biggest defensive weakness is defending the pass out of the backfield, because the linebackers are terrible.

Points: 0

#68 by Bobman // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:08pm

Frankly, that Den game was not bad for Indy at all in terms of performance. Down FOUR CBs and Two safeties and having a LB crew that can't cover and a tepid pass rush, on the road vs the SB champs... uh, to be down by three at the two minute warning is about all they could have hoped for.

It all comes down to injuries, pathetic as it sounds. They'd have been up at the two minute warning if Butler had not pulled a hammy on a pick-six return. Take away his TD and his subsequent D play, and they were in a hole.

Where the sh!t really hit the fan was the next two series with Luck being curb-stomped for a strip-six (and a 14-pt deficit where it was 3 pts ten seconds before) and then on the final desperation drive. Even with Ware out injured. Everybody in the stadium knew Indy was going to pass, and probably pass deep, so blocking was pretty important. Maybe. Maybe not.

Of course on that penultimate drive (the one that ended with the strip-six) had they been down by fewer than 4 pts (if Butler had gotten his pick-six and the Broncos kicked the same FG, for example) there was no need to pass pass pass--and expose luck to Von Miller. They had about 1:50 to go about 45 yards for a GWFG--easy, in theory.

Had they pulled out a win--which was strangely close--things would surely be looking different today. Maybe not in a DVOA sense, but nobody would be running around saying the sky is falling.

Points: 0

#64 by Drakos // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:48pm

I think its also because a lot of the media expectations before he even made it to the NFL were that he would be able to do what his predecessor did. Which is ridiculous.

Points: 0

#9 by herewegobrowni… // Sep 20, 2016 - 10:41pm

Last week Baltimore and Cle were 19th and 23rd in STDVOA.

Looks like that blocked PAT counted several percentage points all by itself.

Points: 0

#18 by ammek // Sep 21, 2016 - 3:39am

That Baltimore and KC/Reid are in the top few for special teams already is one of those incredible examples of consistency which too frequently pass unnoticed. It's not just about one blocked kick.

That the Lions rank in the top five is more noteworthy.

Points: 0

#19 by Mr Shush // Sep 21, 2016 - 4:21am

I don't know why no-one's given Dave Toub a head coaching job yet.

Points: 0

#91 by JimZipCode // Sep 21, 2016 - 4:18pm

I don't know why no-one's given Dave Toub a head coaching job yet.

Harbaugh has gone out of his way to elevate Jerry Rosburg's profile. He gave him the title of Asst HC after Rex Ryan left; Rosburg has a session with the media every week (every practice?) along with the other two coordinators; Harbaugh mentions the spec teams contributions to every win in his postgame press conference.

It's probably a quixotic effort. Rosburg is 60, and teams haven't requested to interview him (to the best of my knowledge). But if Harbaugh ever gets the Ravens back to the SB, his raising of Rosburg's profile might give a boost to Toub's candidacy.

Points: 0

#11 by Eleutheria // Sep 20, 2016 - 11:05pm

QBASE must really hate Brisset (or love Brady):

With Tom Brady the Patriots have the 4th ranked DAVE

With Brisset the Patriots have the 25th ranked DAVE

Out of interest, I wonder if QBASE was being used back then how much the Manning injury would have affected the 2011 Colts DAVE.

Points: 0

#14 by Alternator // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:17am

Non-first-round rookie QB, who was intended to be the third string, versus a guy in the GOAT discussion.

I think it's a bit of both.

Points: 0

#15 by Richie // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:35am

I always get "Unresponsive Script" errors when I visit this website on Firefox.

Anybody else have this problem and/or know how to solve it?

Points: 0

#16 by MJK // Sep 21, 2016 - 2:27am

The ads used here seem to create some kind of nasty memory leak or something similar. Possibly flash related. I have the same problem.

Open the task manager, find the Firefox plugin container process, and kill it. It should be eating CPU and therefore be easy to find. Has the side benefit of making some ads go away.

Points: 0

#22 by fyo // Sep 21, 2016 - 6:40am

Yeah, this site is completely being screwed by ads. On my laptop I sometimes have to wait 10-20 even 30 seconds (!!) for the contextweb ads to load, which prevents the white background from loading, which means the text is unreadable. Other times (like now) everything loads quickly. Even so, Chrome profiling shows that "scripting" still accounts for nearly half the load time and cpu usage on the front page oscillates between 30 and 105%.

Oh, and I had to disable flash on Chrome (linux) completely. I think you are correct in the memory leak assumptions, since I was getting memory usage of up to 1.5GB per footballoutsiders tab (before stopping the flash plugin, because everything became swap-hell).

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#66 by Richie // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:01pm

Sometimes this site uses so much CPU power, my computer starts making all these noises and sounds like it's going to take off.

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#76 by Tomlin_Is_Infallible // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:34pm

you know it's getting bad when a standard free wix site uses less resources with its 30-40 3rd party driveby drop in loads.


The standard is the standard!

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#21 by Hurt Bones // Sep 21, 2016 - 6:33am

I use the No Script extension in Firefox. If fact I live by it.

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#27 by dryheat // Sep 21, 2016 - 9:18am

Cosign this. It just generally makes life better.

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#50 by Tomlin_Is_Infallible // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:35am

a 2008 tool to fix a 2000 web design.

The standard is the standard!

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#17 by ammek // Sep 21, 2016 - 3:38am

It's probably coincidence, but the fact that all four of last season's AFC division champions have started 2-0, including the two with negative DVOA, makes me suspect that these are not just average teams which have gotten lucky. (Which is how I might characterize the Giants.)

In many ways it's a shame that the overachieving teams are the oh-no-not-again Patriots and the perenially-good-enough-to-win-the-AFC-South-but-no-better-than-that Texans. The tv ratings are down so far this season, and while some of that is due to scheduling, I think the seeming disappearance of parity, especially in the AFC, is prompting some fans to go do other things on a Sunday. The NFL would have better storylines if a team like the Raiders or Titans had started 2-0. What is there to say about Houston? It is solidly coached with average quarterback play, as it has been since ever. Against the Chiefs, the announcers even ran out of "JJ Watt awesomeness" anecdotes by halftime.

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#20 by Will Allen // Sep 21, 2016 - 4:42am

The tv ratings decline is the sort of thing that is hard to definitively find a cause for. I suspect it is in part tied to why the Olympics viewership was lower than hoped for; young people just watch less television, being more willing to use other methods of electronic entertainment.

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#26 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 21, 2016 - 9:01am

And yet, college football can completely occupy ABC, CBS, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, ESPNews, The Ocho, BTN, SECN, ACCN, PACN, Texas Network, and the regional FS and Comcast networks for an entire Saturday.

I don't think this is generational or applicable to football as a larger sports entity -- it seems like an NFL thing. Some of it is likely just weather-related or a scheduling blips. But some of it is probably that the various stadia ordeals falls in a time when such craven maneuvers are really politically unpopular with increasing chunks of the electorate, and some people are telling the NFL to go pound sand.

Or some of it is because multiple franchises are entering their third-plus decade of incompetence.

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#30 by dmstorm22 // Sep 21, 2016 - 9:41am

I don't see what the college football dominance on Sunday is supposed to prove. I believe the CFB ratings are also down this year so far - though like with the NFL we have to consider what was shown last year vs. what was shown this year.

SNF Opener: 2015 - Patriots vs. Steelers; 2016 - Broncos vs. Panthers: No shock here 2015 did better. Those are bigger fanbases, if not two of the Top-5 NFL tv fanbases.

SNF Week 1: 2015 - Giants vs. Cowboys; 2016 - Patriots vs. Cardinals: Again, an NFC Divisional Game featuring Dallas and New York is no surprise to outdraw a game featuring the Cardinals

MNF Week 1: 2015 - Eagles vs. Falcons & Vikings vs. 49ers; 2016 - Steelers vs. Redskins & Rams vs. 49ers - This one was, I'll admit, surprising, as I'm surprised the Steelers / Redskins couldn't outdraw the philly game last year, but for the late game, I'm interested to see how the Rams do without a long-term fan base supporting them.

TNF Week 2: 2015 - Broncos vs. Chiefs; 2016 - Jets vs. Bills: Again, no surprise 2015 was better. Peyton was probably the biggest single draw in the NFL the past decade. The Jets are a smaller draw than people think.

SNF Week 2: 2015 - Seahawks vs. Packers; 2016 - Packers vs. Vikings: Essentially, the difference between the bandwagon of tv ratings that is Seattle, and Minnesota is quite sizable.

MNF Week 2: 2015 - Jets vs. Colts; 2016 - Eagles vs. Bears: This one also is a little surprising, but with the MNF games, there is another variable to consider which is ESPN's overall loss in subscriber count.

In sum, so far the only games that I am surprised dropped were the MNF games, where ESPN has their own issues that may be playing a part.

And after all this, the NFL still outdraws everything else on TV, and the value of their product is only going to decrease if the ratings they draw goes far enough down that it is close to other sports or other tv properties.

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#72 by Richie // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:22pm

Good stuff.

Also, looks like week 3 won't be any better.

Houston-New England vs Washington-NY Giants (I would think Was-NYG is a better draw, particularly with NE playing a 3rd string QB.)

Sunday Night:
Chicago-Dallas vs Denver-Detroit (Normally, I might think Chicago-Dallas is a better draw, but Dak Prescott vs. Brian Hoyer might not help.)

Monday Night:
Atlanta-New Orleans vs Green Bay-Kansas City (I assume the Packers are one of the biggest draws in the league. Atlanta and New Orleans aren't.)

And this brings up another point - so far Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Tony Romo haven't played a game this year. That can't help anything.

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#83 by dmstorm22 // Sep 21, 2016 - 2:32pm

Chicago Dallas may do better than a normal Denver-Detroit matchup, but 2015 Denver also had Peyton Manning, who was consistently the best draw in the NFL when adjusted for his home markets (Indianapolis, Denver).

Even worse for Monday Night is it goes head-to-head with the 1st Presidential Debate.

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#111 by mathesond // Sep 23, 2016 - 12:11pm

From today's Prograamming Insider newsletter:

"The Houston Texans at New England Patriots match-up scored an estimated 9.7 rating/16 share in the metered market households for the primetime portion (from 8:30-11 p.m.). An almost duplicate overnight performance for football on the year-ago evening (Washington at the New York Giants) translated into 16.88 million viewers and a 6.0 rating/20 share in adults 18-49, based on the Live + Same Day data."

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#112 by dmstorm22 // Sep 23, 2016 - 12:25pm

Apparently the ratings were slightly up this year - really surprising to me given last year was NYG-WAS.

Still, fully expect this weekend to be worse. I wouldn't be shocked if CHI-DAL outdraws DEN-DET from last year (Manning is the difference there), and I expect MNF to do bad given it is head-to-head against the first debate.

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#37 by Will Allen // Sep 21, 2016 - 10:22am

The ratings for the college football championship game last January were down 23% from January 2015. Young people in particular are just harder to draw to a television event.

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#61 by Scott C // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:24pm

I'd tune in if I could watch the team I wanted to, but blackout rules, living in a two team region (and not being a fan of either) mean my options are DirectTV, a sports bar, etc.

Also, the fact that in one time slot each day only one game can be shown limts things.

The NFL's broadcast rules actively limit viewership.

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#71 by Richie // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:16pm

But those rules have been in place for decades. That wouldn't explain any decrease in viewership between 2015 and 2016.

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#28 by dryheat // Sep 21, 2016 - 9:22am

I blame Roger. He's definitely lessened my love for the game over the past 5 years, and I don't think it's all attributable to being a Pats fan. A proper commissioner SHOULD NOT be in the news all the damn time.

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#39 by Will Allen // Sep 21, 2016 - 10:25am

Eh, the more casual fan, which is in large measure is who is being lost, doesn't pay attention to that stuff like the hardcore fan, in all likelihood.

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#43 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:15am

"Eh, the more casual fan, which is in large measure is who is being lost, doesn't pay attention to that stuff like the hardcore fan, in all likelihood."

I don't think this is true at all - deflategate and the Ray Rice thing were national news stories.

Goodell has managed to turn a whole bunch of what should have been internal issues into big scandals - and that wears on people.

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#44 by Will Allen // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:18am

Yes, they are national news stories. Do you have any evidence, besides the personally anecdotal, that it affects the viewing habits of the casual fan?

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#48 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:27am

Do you have any evidence that it doesn't Will? As your the one who made that claim.

If this were demographics, or cord cutting, we'd see long term trends - but we don't. NFL TV ratings were at historic highs last year, and had been trending upward.

The fact that it has been significant, and confined to this year suggests that it's been driven by an event that happened in the last year or so.

Which means it's probably either the significant number of scandals, or it's the Concussion movie.

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#54 by Will Allen // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:03pm

Its only confined to this year is you consider NFL football to be something completely different from other live sports broadcasts. Thats a remarkable proposition. The Concussion movie bombed.

Like I initially said, this is really hard to pin down. My guess is that NFL football has just taken a little longer to experience what other sports broadcasts have experienced. My guess is also that the most casual fan has been lost first, and the most casual fan is aware of various scandals, but is not so emotionally invested that they affect viewing habits. The NBA, for goodness sakes, had a ref fixing games, and that had no discernable impact on ratings.

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#69 by Bright Blue Shorts // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:13pm

I've lost interest in football over the past few years because the of the way the NFL has changed from being a sport to a money-making business.

Every decision now is taken with respect to how to improve revenues not improve the athletic contest.

- Taking games international.
- Playing Thursday nights while preaching about player safety
- Talk of 18 game seasons while preaching about player safety
- Teams wanting stadiums at the expense of cities
- Over protection of QBs
- I'm sure the players lockout and the referees strike had subtle impacts also

Beyond that I'd add:
- Issues with player safety. While in one respect it is commendable, it's also makes the game less enjoyable seeing big hits flagged.
- boring having long debates on whether a catch is a catch that eliminate what were perfectly decent plays ten years ago.
- the actual TV coverage is plastered in adverts and logos all over the screeen for any segment of the show they can sell. Plus tickers across the bottom of the screen. It's not enjoyable to watch
- Free agency has destroyed some of the familiarity you got in the 80s when you knew teams would be starting the same players for a number of years in a row.
- Personally I support the penalties for excessive celebration. There's nothing I dislike more than watch individuals draw attention to themselves in a team sport

And finally the shift of the game to be more offense. Every game now has to go down to the wire. I like a good bit of defense. And often there's not much good defense these days.

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#73 by Bobman // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:23pm

"- Personally I support the penalties for excessive celebration. There's nothing I dislike more than watch individuals draw attention to themselves in a team sport."

I hate the penalties but hate the celebrations more (and with three sons playing, the trickle-down effect on their teammates who feel the need to spike a tackling dummy then dance around after tackling a foam-filled bag of vinyl... uh guys, we're trying to practice over here....). Did you realize that NFL.com actually has a site feature called "Sunday's best celebrations"??? Saw it for the first time yesterday. How hypocritical is that?

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#77 by Bright Blue Shorts // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:37pm


I'm not against celebrations but they need to be proportionate for what just happened. You score a 1yd rushing TD at the end of the opening drive, so what, act like you've been there before. You score on an 80-yd bomb to win in OT by all means go crazy and act like it's never happened before.

I guess that's another part of what I don't like about the NFL anymore. I *want* referees to be allowed to make subjective decisions based on what's happening as long as they're consistently applied to both teams. I don't want someone to try and write a rulebook that is so objective we don't know what a catch is anymore.

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#74 by Richie // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:25pm

The NFL has been a money-making business since at least 1960 when Pete Rozelle became commissioner. AFL-NFL Merger, Monday Night Football, Liberalized passing rules in 1978, etc. were all done to increase money for the league.

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#80 by Will Allen // Sep 21, 2016 - 2:07pm

It has been decades since any decision was made without revenue maximization as the primary goal.

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#82 by ZDNeal // Sep 21, 2016 - 2:31pm

I think this has been a slow process going from Franchise Value Maximization -> Franchise value maximization through increased revenue -> Revenue Maximization as an end in itself. Without thought for possible long term problems it might cause.

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#90 by Bright Blue Shorts // Sep 21, 2016 - 4:17pm

Actually short-termism is a general issue with the Goodell-led NFL.

We get a problem so go with a kneejerk response that will try to win the PR battle. Rather than a carefully thought through considered response.

So many rule changes to try and fix problems that were caused by other rule changes. And few of the rule changes actually ever seem to make the game any more genuinely enjoyable. I'd much prefer they do what golf does and introduce a set of rules that will exist for four years without further changes so everybody can get used to them.

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#85 by Thomas_beardown // Sep 21, 2016 - 2:50pm

I think the problem in the Goodell era is that the decisions are being made to maximize short term revenue without considering long term ramifications.

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#108 by Mountain Time … // Sep 23, 2016 - 12:55am

-Free agency has destroyed some of the familiarity you got in the 80s when you knew teams would be starting the same players for a number of years in a row.

Really? What an odd opinion to have. I thought the pre-FA NFL you're describing was stagnant and boring. It's not hard to keep up with player movement, especially if you mostly only follow a couple teams. FO makes it easy in the almanac

- Personally I support the penalties for excessive celebration. There's nothing I dislike more than watch individuals draw attention to themselves in a team sport

I cannot accept this opinion unless you can demonstrate you've actually thought this through. For example, you laud the "team sport" aspect of football, yet the illegal celebration penalty focuses specifically on TEAM CELEBRATIONS.

There is a ton of data supporting the idea that celebrations measurably increase the quality of play (but only if the celebrating player turns to face his teammates while he's doing it). Then there's the creativity theories that suggest the short and inconsequential tine spent celebrating can allow the player to then get back to the serious business of playing football feeling fresh again.

Really, people who don't like player celebrations don't like football. Or don't like laughing, and I can't acknowledge you as a human in that case.

EDIT: if you don't enjoy the cleverness and creativity that went into the best celebrations, I don't understand you, but okay, you're allowed your opinion. But why do you have to ruin things for those of us that DO enjoy it? If you don't care for it, fine, but it's plain ethically wrong to legislate it out of the game. That's just petty and hateful.

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#113 by Not Jimmy // Sep 23, 2016 - 1:35pm

Here here! Let the guys play. And dance when they score.

Unless they're a Gramatica.

- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you are talking about.

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#114 by Richie // Sep 23, 2016 - 2:54pm

"There is a ton of data supporting the idea that celebrations measurably increase the quality of play "

Seriously? I have never heard of such a thing.

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#115 by Richie // Sep 23, 2016 - 2:56pm

"- Personally I support the penalties for excessive celebration. There's nothing I dislike more than watch individuals draw attention to themselves in a team sport"

Celebrations are fun.

The frustrating part is the OVER celebrating for things that don't deserve it. When a guy gets a first down in the fourth quarter when his team is trailing by 28, and the guy jumps up and makes the "first down!" gesture. That's annoying.

The Ickey Shuffle is an awesome celebration and should not have been banned.

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#95 by roguerouge // Sep 22, 2016 - 8:25am

If they were at historic highs last year, then what goes up must come down. Ratings are variable events: to expect them to continue at historic highs is to bet against the odds.

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#29 by deus01 // Sep 21, 2016 - 9:30am

The NFL really just needs a way to pay them directly to stream all the games. Sure, I can buy Sunday Ticket, but that's $300 and I still can't watch Thursday or Monday games or Sunday Night games. Oh even if you have a subscription to ESPN or NFL network, you can't watch those games on your phone because Verizon has the rights to that.

They should take a lesson from MLB, whose app is fantastic. There are still blackout restrictions but that's much easier to deal with than what the NFL currently has.

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#33 by NoraDaddy // Sep 21, 2016 - 9:50am

Yeah, the corporate deals in North America really screw over the American NFL viewer. But, you can get a VPN and NFL Gamepass international for less than $300.

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#38 by deus01 // Sep 21, 2016 - 10:23am

I have done that in the past. But using a VPN is a bit annoying and the Gamepass stream is several minutes delayed.

And it may be less than $300 but I don't think it's hugely so. If I'm paying that much I want to be able to stream things directly without having to also worry about a VPN.

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#51 by Tomlin_Is_Infallible // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:39am

Streaming quality sucks sphincter already, and that's with hardly anybody using it. If people actually started straining our pitiful bandwidth infrastructure.... LMAO.

Also, I think the last thing Darth Goodell wants is the average moron of this country wondering why this weeks controversy of the week call is what it is when they're watching it on a 5" screen in Hdlite.

The standard is the standard!

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#63 by NoraDaddy // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:36pm

If you are referring to bit-rate problems, I've experience none so far this year or last. Am I just lucky to have a good ISP connection? dunno. If you are referring to compression quality, it's pretty much the same as Sunday ticket so unless you root for the local team and can get it with cable/OTA those are your choices.

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#65 by deus01 // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:50pm

The streaming quality for MLB games is very good and you can stream 4k Netflix which certainly has a lot of people using it.

The problem is that many companies that offer streaming have it only as a half baked compromise and then use the poor quality of it to justify why everyone hates it.

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#75 by Tomlin_Is_Infallible // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:32pm

1) MLB has a much more static background for 90% of the content time; easier and smaller encode

2) Netflix original content is optimized in post production months in advance

3) Watch on a properly calibrated 4k projector on a 150" screen from a distance where you can actually resolve all the pixels visually. We won't even discuss audio.

4) Once again, only 1-2-3 people on your block are using this at a given moment. Wait till 'everyone' is and the node is maxed out.
Oh wait, the 'free market' forces will step in and competition will ensue and you will get a magic stream of ultrahd bluray quality streaming PQ with atmos audio and no data caps for 19.99 a month................ahahhahahah..... ahhahahahah... OK, time for my meds....

5) FOAD captcha software.

The standard is the standard!

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#81 by deus01 // Sep 21, 2016 - 2:07pm

Well I also didn't have any issue with Gamepass streaming quality even going through a VPN so there's really no issue.

The captcha stuff is out of control. There should be away to at least white list user accounts as most of us comment here all the time.

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#47 by RickD // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:24am

It's not that hard to find a cause for the ratings decline.

Neither of the two biggest stars from the past few years is playing right now. Manning and Brady are big ratings draw. One is retired and the other is suspended.

The NBA still hasn't recovered from Michael Jordan's retirement.

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#120 by herewegobrowni… // Sep 25, 2016 - 11:42am

"The NBA still hasn't recovered from Michael Jordan's retirement."

This was true in much of the '00s, but the NBA has rebounded very well in the current LeBron/Curry/Durant era.

It has helped that there have actually been 5 unique champions in the last 6 years, in spite of fears that the LeBron Heat superteam would ruin things, and the general (traditionally correct) perception that the NBA is a low-parity league where you're screwed without a superstar (I do fully expect the Warriors superteam with Durant to ruin things, unfortunately, and I'm glad that the Cavs treated their championship window as if it were 1-2 years tops.)

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#67 by Richie // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:07pm

I don't think Thursday night football helps anything. It is creating a bit of football overload. We now have NFL 3 nights per week. I know my wife is always saying "football is on again?!?!" I'm sure that leads to some people not watching all the games.

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#78 by dryheat // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:51pm

It definitely cuts into family time, which cuts into their "objective" to be a family-friendly sport. I don't bother much with Thursday night games if it's not a compelling game, which it usually isn't. It's just not worth the strain on my marriage.

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#79 by Bright Blue Shorts // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:56pm

It also leads to some weeks where the 4pm slot on Sundays really doesn't have any engaging games. Particularly late in the season if they flex out to SNF.

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#87 by Richie // Sep 21, 2016 - 3:05pm

One of the cool things about the Rams moving to Los Angeles is that their home games will generally be 1pm (Pacific Time) starts, so that's a slight increase in the number of 1pm (Pacific) games each week.

It seems like a bad plan for the NFL to schedule so many games in the 10am (Pacific) slot every week.

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#96 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 22, 2016 - 8:57am

Does it?

Half the US population lives in the eastern time zone. Another quarter of it lives in the central time zone.

And even that probably undersells things. A fair portion of Chicago's, Green Bay's, and Tennessee's fanbases actually reside in the eastern time zone. Even a large chunk of Mountain Time Zone are Dallas fans.


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#101 by Richie // Sep 22, 2016 - 1:13pm

I understand that, but is it bad to watch NFL games at 4pm on the east coast?

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#86 by Richie // Sep 21, 2016 - 3:03pm

I live on the west coast, where Thursday games start at 5pm. I usually work until 6pm, which means it's usually at least 6:30 by the time I can get home and turn the TV on.

I hate Thursday games.

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#88 by dryheat // Sep 21, 2016 - 3:50pm

Beats having to stay up until 11:30 on the east coast to see the end.

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#89 by Bright Blue Shorts // Sep 21, 2016 - 4:05pm

As part of the NFL's international market we get them at about 1-4am here in the UK. I don't watch them live.

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#92 by ZDNeal // Sep 21, 2016 - 4:18pm

When I was working in Singapore I'd watch games live Monday and Tuesday morning at like 8am.

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#97 by Arkaein // Sep 22, 2016 - 11:09am

Is DVR a possibility for you?

I prefer not to watch my own team with any delay, but for other games compressing a commercial-laden 3 hours into a commercial-free 1-to-1.5 hours is wonderful.

In your case, starting 1.5 hours late would mean that you could watch just about the entire game sped up, with the end being close to real time.

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#102 by Richie // Sep 22, 2016 - 1:15pm

Yeah, but I just don't like the experience of watching football on delay. Probably the only time I would do it is if my team (Dolphins) ever played a big game that I couldn't catch live. But I haven't tried that because the Dolphins haven't played in a big game since the DVR was invented.

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#104 by ChrisS // Sep 22, 2016 - 1:25pm

If it weren't for the DVR I would probably only watch 1 game a week (the Lions). A game on the DVR can be watched in about an hour, but then you miss Peyton in his bathrobe.

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#106 by LionInAZ // Sep 22, 2016 - 4:50pm

Peyton in his bathrobe trying to sell streaming of games on a smartphone to an old man who probably can't afford either the phone or the streaming.

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#70 by Bobman // Sep 21, 2016 - 1:14pm

Plus everyone is geared up for the presidential debates--they don't want to be invested emotionally in the NFL only to have to miss a couple games in order to watch the debates.

Okay, maybe that was a stretch.

I have a 17 year old exchange student from Norway who no longer has to wake up at 3 am to watch live NFL games, but still... parked on my sofa in front of the TV all Sunday, he has his phone in hand checking scores and highlights of other games constantly. I'm kind of amazed.

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#49 by mattfwood // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:31am

Didn't the Bengals win the AFC North last year?

Anyway, as to concerns about lack of parity, what mystifies me at present is how the perennially bad teams stay bad for so long.

Maybe the answer is that it's just really hard to be good in the NFL, and the teams that have been at or near the top for the last two decades -- e.g., the Patriots, Broncos, Steelers, Colts, Ravens, Bengals, Giants, Packers, Saints, Seahawks (at least for parts of that timespan) -- just found some of the few people on the planet who can do this well and consistently. Even with front office and HC changes from time to time, because the organizations hire well there too.

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#55 by TecmoBoso // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:05pm

Every team you name there has had at least a good QB (I'm not trying to start an Eli or Flacco debate, really!). The Broncos pre-Manning would be an exception, but they also weren't all that great before Peyton got there (more taking advantage of a bad AFC West during the Tebow season).

The bad teams stay bad because they often don't find a good QB. An average QB, with a good D or great skill guys can elevate a team for a season or two (2010 Bears, 2014 Lions, some of those Jets and Vikings teams (I'm not sure what to do with the Mike Smith/Matt Ryan Falcons)).

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#57 by eggwasp // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:11pm

I think the consistency of strong vs weak teams is due to rule/offense changes. As the passing game becomes more and more dominant vs rushing and defense, having an elite QB becomes more of an important factor. And teams fortunate enough to have one, hang on to them for dear life. So if one player, that you can hang onto for a decade or more, becomes the dominant factor in the league, then bang goes parity. You can no longer say - ok we haven't got a great QB but lets sign Marcus Allen & Howie Long.

Edit - knew I should have posted that before being distracted... beaten to it ^^

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#62 by Will Allen // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:36pm

I do think it has been short sighted to make the game even more qb-centric than what was the case previously.

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#99 by mattfwood // Sep 22, 2016 - 12:24pm

Yes, good points about good QBs. But then you have to answer why some teams find them and some don't, even on my admittedly slapped together list of 7 or 8 good teams.

And taking as granted what you guys all say -- that a good QB Is even more valuable today -- you look at my list (and add in or subtract a few teams of your choosing: the Eagles? the Chiefs, off and on? ) and you see that some of those teams did well prior to finding or after losing their QB -- or even managed to find more than one.

The Steelers and the Ravens (granted, just one Super Bowl win combined in the late 90s through early 2000s) when they were all about defense and had inconsistent QB play. The Packers handing the reins (eventually!) from Favre to Rodgers. A poorer man's version of that with Hasselbeck to Wilson in SEA, or Manning to Luck in IND. Heck, even the far more inconsistent Cardinals, with Warner then Palmer off the retreads pile. Brees to Rivers in SD. Etc.

So I guess I go back to my original, qualitative and half-baked supposition: it's just really, really hard to be a good NFL organization, combining personnel management with coaching. Yes, you need to find the franchise QB; but we all kind of know which franchises are likely to find them and which ones always seem to strike out (*cough* Cleveland *cough*).

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#100 by Will Allen // Sep 22, 2016 - 12:51pm

The sample size is quite small. There's a decent chance that the patterns you see are in good measure just randomness.

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#103 by Richie // Sep 22, 2016 - 1:22pm

The Steelers have done a much better job of consistently winning since drafting Roethlisberger.

No losing seasons since drafting him in 2004 (though three 8-8 seasons) and four 12-win seasons.

In the 12 seasons before drafting Roethlisberger, the Steelers had 3 losing seasons and two 12-win seasons.

Clearly, they are a well-run franchise. But the wins are a little easier to come by with Roethlisberger playing QB.

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#105 by PaddyPat // Sep 22, 2016 - 3:43pm

Consistent quality qb play is key, but being a quality professional organization is at least as important. For example, the Jeff Fisher Titans were a playoff team in 07 and top seed in 08 despite mixed/mediocre qb play, and Dallas has enjoyed many strong seasons of Romo play without making the playoffs, as has SD with Rivers and NO with Brees. Front office management and drafting are very important, and putting the whole thing together year after year is exceedingly hard, but those who can do so are consistent. Moreover, the distribution of organizations by division is bad for parity. Teams like Detroit and perhaps San Diego suffer by long-term competitive association with better organizations. And while you have 3 strong teams in the AC North, then you have divisions like the AC East and South...

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#25 by JboxCSU // Sep 21, 2016 - 8:40am

The Denver D being low is a bit curious, but I have to remember the 4 and forever holding penalty in the Panther game and Lucks 3rd and forever run last week that should have not happened. I vaguely remember a long bomb pass play on a 3rd and long too. The Panther one almost cost the game. Can't wait for the opponent adjustments to kick in though, the D has done very well against those 2 good offenses.

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#35 by Raiderjoe // Sep 21, 2016 - 10:07am

doesn't matter. Raiders will shoot up lsit soon enough. Undefeated in afc games so far. Should still go 12-4 or 11-5 and win ADC west. loss to Atlanta not good thing btu tolerable cbebcuase was vs tema from other conderence.

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#121 by The Hypno-Toad // Sep 26, 2016 - 12:57am

For what it's worth, if you're talking about tiebreakers to win the division, Atlanta is a pretty meaningful loss, as common games come right after divisional and ahead of conference games in the tiebreakers. The Raiders can lose their games against the Ravens and Bills all day with minimal chances of those games playing into the tiebreaker, but it would not surprise me at all if the division crown came down to one team with a 4-0 record vs the NFC South compared to a team with a 3-1 record against them. Call it 10-2 in common games vs 9-3.
But in terms of wildcard berths, yeah, for sure, interconference losses are an easy obstacle to overcome to snatch a favorable matchup in the first round of the playoffs.

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#36 by andrew // Sep 21, 2016 - 10:16am

what is the greatest discrepencies between DVOA and DAVE we have seen, per week?

(should be a mailbag suggestion maybe)....

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#41 by slomojoe // Sep 21, 2016 - 10:46am

Oops, wrong thread

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#52 by bravehoptoad // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:46am

Crazy that SF can rank #5 in defensive DVOA over 2 games after giving up 46 points last week.

Defenses across the league are clamoring to play the Rams.

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#59 by Tomlin_Is_Infallible // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:17pm

they're no 2013 Jaguars

ps, it's mega-super-awesome that linking internally to this website generates a spam flag and forces use of the stupid-ass captcha crap that is unreadable.

The standard is the standard!

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#53 by Temo // Sep 21, 2016 - 11:47am

I'm shocked that NYG's defensive DVOA is so mediocre. They've looked really good to me in the eye test.

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#60 by Travis // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:21pm

No interceptions or forced fumbles probably has a lot to do with it.

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#56 by TecmoBoso // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:10pm

Are the Eagles #1 because they haven't turned the ball over? They haven't exactly lit it up offensively, especially compared to, say the Steelers, Falcons, or Chargers (all ranked high of course). But they also have yet to commit a turnover, so I'm guessing that's why their offense is top ten, and thus the #1 ranking?

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#58 by Tomlin_Is_Infallible // Sep 21, 2016 - 12:14pm

I'd suggest you look at their Defense.

The standard is the standard!

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#94 by panthersnbraves // Sep 21, 2016 - 9:21pm

Since Bradberry is a player of the week, you must not be penalizing him for the TD he gave up? How is that credited? Is that against Boston, the Safety for dropping down on the TE, or is that just "Hole in Zone"? In the end, it was a Cover-4 beating play called against Cover-4... whatchagonnado?

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#117 by panthersnbraves // Sep 23, 2016 - 8:27pm

sooo - I guess he DIDN'T give up the TD, then?

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#107 by SirimarA // Sep 22, 2016 - 8:32pm

Dear FO,

I used to really respect your analysis, but clearly something is going wrong. Can't you see something is wrong? Don't you notice your against-the-spread picks are getting consistently worse? Figure it out....

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#109 by theslothook // Sep 23, 2016 - 1:26am

Its almost like Football is a hard to measure sport and that the odds in vegas are meant to capture a 50 50 split of opinions on the games...

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#110 by theslothook // Sep 23, 2016 - 1:30am

I wish there was a more relevant thread to post this is, but its fresh in my mind so I don't want to wait till a more appropriate one comes:

How do people view what Ne has done sans Brady? I'm not trying to turn this into a Brady is overrated discussion(honestly!) - Its more, how shocked is the larger FO community at the results we've seen? I have to say, I'm pretty baffled and that was already having a pretty pro BB opinion. These 3 wins make me think that BB isn't just worth a first rounder, he's worth trading Matt Ryan, JJ Watt, Julio Jones - basically anyone to get. I might even consider trading Big Ben if I could get 20 years of Belichick. I simply cannot fathom making that statement about anyone else. Am i being crazy?

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#116 by panthersnbraves // Sep 23, 2016 - 8:26pm

Nope. And it isn't like he's leaning on his assistants and they are the ones doing all the heavy lifting while he gets the credit. His "tree" isn't all that distinguished, is it?

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#118 by Bright Blue Shorts // Sep 24, 2016 - 2:58am

BB has probably just sealed his 'legacy' as the greatest coach of all-time barring a George Seifert-like collapse. But even the 3-13 final season doesn't get counted against Tom Landry. Think the only other genuine contenders are Shula, Paul Brown, Lombardi. Halas and Lambeau are up there on the wins list but I'm not sure how much people rate them.

The only thing I'd question against Belichick's greatness is one of the things that people use to say how he great he is. His success in the free agency period. I just wonder if that's made it easier for him. In the same way that Reggie White and Jerry Rice dominated in the 1987 strike season with their 20 sacks and 23TDs in only 12 games. The lack of preparation and continuity for others becomes an advantage for him.

It would be nice to see how he'd do in the sort of 'fixed' conditions that Gibbs, Walsh, Noll coached under. We got a little glimpse of what he could do in the pre-FA era with Cleveland but you can't now tell a lot from it.

Like I opened with, I think he's probably the greatest because of his ability to utilise the talent he has and create matchups/gameplans that take advantage of that.

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