DVOA Analysis

Football Outsiders' revolutionary metrics that break down every single play of the NFL season

Week 14 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

A wild Week 14 in the NFL ended up with every team in last week's DVOA top five dropping a little bit. The most important game was Sunday night's Bears win over the Rams, which put the Bears back into the top five with a defense that's getting near historic levels and also set up DVOA Bowl XIX on Thursday night. It's the second game this season matching the top two teams in our ratings.

Kansas City is still at No. 1 despite having their first game all season with negative single-game DVOA (-13.1%) in a narrow overtime win over Baltimore. The Chiefs saw their DVOA decline in all three phases of the game. That still leaves them among the best offenses we've ever tracked, but they do drop out of the No. 1 spot in special teams for the first time all season. Your new No. 1 special teams unit belongs to the New York Jets, powered by outstanding seasons from kicker Jason Myers (30-for-32, including 6-for-7 from 50+ yards) and return man Andre Roberts (first in punt return value, fourth in kick return value).

The No. 2 and No. 3 spots are still part of the Fight for L.A., but now switched. The Los Angeles Chargers dropped slightly in DVOA after a narrow win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but the Los Angeles Rams dropped more after the Bears completely shut down their offense, and that means the Chargers move up a spot to No. 2 in total season DVOA. (They were already No. 2 in weighted DVOA, which lowers the strength of games from early in the season.) We reviewed the history of DVOA Bowl games four weeks ago before that fantastic Chiefs-Rams game. The No. 2 team has now won the last six DVOA Bowls, although this probably has the predictive importance of a coin flip coming up heads six straight times.

Unfortunately, the Chiefs-Chargers DVOA Bowl is not quite as important as it would have been if the Chiefs had lost to Baltimore on Sunday. The problem is that the Chiefs will still have the tiebreaker even if they lose to Los Angeles Thursday night; that will give the Chiefs a 4-1 division record compared to 3-2 for the Chargers. The Chargers would need to win out (home vs. Baltimore, at Denver) and have the Chiefs lose one of their last two games, either against a Seattle team that may have nothing left to play for or against an Oakland team that seems to have had nothing to play for all year long. In our simulations where the Chargers beat the Chiefs this week, the Chargers still have only a 20 percent chance of winning the division, and that doesn't account for the possibility of opponents sitting players at the end of the year.

We still have three AFC West teams in our weighted DVOA top five, but not our total season top five. Denver's loss to San Francisco drops the Broncos to seventh as the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens move up. The Bears offense got worse, but boy did their defense get better. Chicago's defense has been good all year, but they are peaking right now. The Bears had -16.7% defensive DVOA in their first seven games, but -36.0% defensive DVOA in their last six games. Thanks to opponent adjustments for playing the Rams defense, the Bears had -84.1% defensive DVOA for Sunday night's game, the best defensive performance of the season so far. Here's a list of the best single games on defense this year:

  • Chicago vs. Los Angeles Rams, Week 14 (-84.1%, win 15-6)
  • Buffalo at Houston, Week 6 (-76.1%, loss 20-13)
  • Dallas vs. New Orleans, Week 13 (-75.7%, win 13-10)
  • Baltimore at Tennessee, Week 6 (-70.5%, win 21-0)
  • Philadelphia vs. Atlanta, Week 1 (-58.2%, win 18-12)

Chicago's defensive DVOA is now at -26.3%, which is enough to put the Bears just on the verge of one of those "top 12 all-time" lists that I like to run. I don't need to run it here because I already ran a top 20 on Twitter earlier today. Click here for the full top 20 list, and excuse my typo about last night's game (Seattle of course played Minnesota, not Chicago):

What's really remarkable isn't how good the Bears defense is historically but how much better it now rates compared to all the other teams in 2018. Baltimore has the No. 2 defensive DVOA at -13.3%. The difference between the Chicago and Baltimore defenses is roughly equivalent to the difference between Baltimore's defense and a league-average defense this season. To find a similar gap, you have to go all the way back to 2002, when the Bucs were at -31.8% to end the season and the Dolphins were No. 2 at -15.0%. The Vikings in 1988 were similarly dominant.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the Bears victory was the way they completely bottled up Todd Gurley and the Rams running game. Gurley had 11 carries for 28 yards, with only three carries that gained more than two yards. This is particularly impressive because the Rams are on their way to setting an all-time record for adjusted line yards on offense. For those unfamiliar, adjusted line yards is our metric that cuts off runs at specific distances to better gauge how much of the running game is coming from blocking rather than from running backs in the open field. Even after this week's poor performance, the Rams are easily leading the league with 5.53 ALY per carry.

Here's a look at the top ALY figures for offensive lines, going back to 1996. For each team, I'm also listing their actual yards per carry average for running backs. You'll notice three current teams are in the top dozen, although the other numbers here are for full seasons. Also, numbers for past years may not be the same as the numbers on the free OL stats pages, because we made a change in our method for computing ALY last offseason and we haven't had a chance to propagate the change across all our OL/DL pages yet.

HIGHEST ADJUSTED LINE YARDS
PER CARRY, 1996-2018
Year Team ALY/Carry RB Yds/Carry
2018 LAR 5.53 4.98
2011 NO 5.25 5.02
2018 NO 5.16 4.40
2002 DEN 5.10 5.16
2017 NE 5.05 4.43
2000 STL 5.02 5.08
2010 NE 5.00 4.54
2008 DEN 4.96 4.96
2004 NYJ 4.94 4.70
2016 NO 4.93 4.53
2017 NO 4.93 5.11
2018 NE 4.93 4.10

One other team that I want to address for this week is the Dallas Cowboys. They're being hyped as the hottest team in the NFL thanks to a five-game winning streak that has all but clinched them the NFC East title. So you may be curious why the Cowboys are 17th in both total and weighted DVOA. The problem is that the Cowboys' winning streak really includes just one very impressive win: last week's defensive shutdown of the New Orleans Saints. All five of the Dallas wins have come by just one score, but at least the Saints win was over a really good opponent. The other four opponents Dallas has played over this winning streak all rank 20th or lower in total DVOA.

So, the Cowboys start the wining streak ranked 24th in DVOA at -11.3% after Week 9's loss to Tennessee. For the first two wins, the Cowboys actually ended up with negative single-game ratings. The rating for this week's game against the Eagles was close to zero. The rating for Week 13 againts the Saints is way up at 72.3%, but that one game is not enough to lift the Cowboys past 17th for the season so far.

In fact, by DVOA, the more impressive five-game streak belongs to the Cowboys' division rivals in New York. It's getting less attention because the Giants lost one of the five games, blowing a 19-3 lead and falling to Philadelphia by a field goal. They didn't have a big statement win on national television, and their recent streak of good play doesn't align with an important trade, and they're just 5-8 and basically out of the playoff race because they were 1-7 before this streak of good play. Nonetheless, check out the DVOA ratings for both teams since Week 10. (SCHEDULE is the average season DVOA for the five opponents during this period.)

Weeks 10-14 W-L OFF Rk DEF Rk ST Rk TOT SCHED
DAL 5-0 -3.4% 21 -15.8% 5 -0.3% 21 12.1% -3.0%
NYG 4-1 11.6% 8 -7.4% 8 12.9% 1 32.0% -8.4%

Obviously, there's a little bit of an asterisk on the defensive rating for the Giants because they got to face the Mark Sanchez third-string craptacular but get opponent adjustments based on how Washington has played all year. Take that game out, and the Giants have 0.0% defensive DVOA in Weeks 10-13. So that makes up for some of the difference, but it doesn't explain what the Giants have been doing on offense and special teams. Let's hope for the sake of Giants fans that the Giants do not see this improved play over a small five-week sample and decide it's a sign they don't need a youth movement at the quarterback position.

It's kind of amazing the Giants even still have a tiny (1.4 percent) shot at the playoffs, but that's what happens when the race for the second NFC wild card is such a festival of mediocrity. I ran some queries on our simulations this week and while we're probably not getting a wild card with a losing record, there's a very good chance only five teams in the entire NFC will make it to 9-7.

  • Odds of NFC wild card being 8-7-1 or worse: 67%
  • Odds of NFC wild card being 8-8 or worse: 28%
  • Odds of NFC wild card having a losing record: 5.5%

Finally for this week, let's update our tracking of the best and worst offenses we've ever measured. A reminder that because these are DVOA numbers, adjustments for era and rules changes are already baked into the numbers. If we didn't adjust for era, the Chiefs would rank higher among the best offenses and the Cardinals and Bills probably wouldn't appear at all on a list of worst offenses. The Bills are one more good week away from not appearing on our list anyway.

BEST OFFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 13 GAMES, 1986-2018
  WORST OFFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 13 GAMES, 1986-2018
Year Team DVOA x Year Team DVOA
2007 NE 49.1% x 2005 SF -47.7%
2010 NE 44.7% x 1992 SEA -47.0%
1998 DEN 39.3% x 2002 HOU -46.2%
2002 KC 38.2% x 1997 NO -40.9%
2004 IND 37.1% x 2018 ARI -38.8%
2018 KC 36.3% x 2010 CAR -38.6%
1992 SF 35.7% x 2007 SF -37.3%
2012 NE 35.7% x 2006 OAK -36.3%
1988 CIN 35.5% x 2004 CHI -36.2%
1995 DAL 33.7% x 2018 BUF -34.2%
1993 SF 33.6% x 2004 MIA -34.1%
2013 DEN 32.3% x 2010 ARI -33.9%

* * * * *

Playoff odds are currently updated through Week 14, as well as the FO Premium DVOA database and snap counts.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 14 weeks of 2018, 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.

WEIGHTED DVOA represents an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games.

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>

RK TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
WEI.
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 KC 33.5% 1 30.4% 1 11-2 36.3% 1 7.9% 26 5.1% 2
2 LAC 26.4% 3 27.4% 2 10-3 26.0% 2 -4.3% 9 -3.8% 26
3 LAR 25.8% 2 23.6% 4 11-2 22.7% 3 -2.9% 12 0.1% 14
4 NO 21.8% 4 26.3% 3 11-2 17.9% 4 -2.3% 13 1.6% 11
5 CHI 17.2% 6 16.0% 7 9-4 -5.2% 22 -26.3% 1 -4.0% 28
6 BAL 16.9% 9 16.1% 6 7-6 -0.3% 15 -13.3% 2 3.8% 5
7 DEN 15.5% 5 19.6% 5 6-7 5.3% 11 -12.0% 4 -1.8% 23
8 SEA 12.0% 10 13.5% 8 8-5 8.6% 9 -0.6% 15 2.8% 8
9 PIT 11.1% 7 13.5% 9 7-5-1 15.5% 5 -0.1% 16 -4.6% 32
10 NE 10.9% 8 12.7% 11 9-4 14.8% 6 3.3% 21 -0.6% 19
11 IND 7.1% 13 13.5% 10 7-6 2.9% 13 -3.8% 11 0.4% 13
12 GB 6.0% 12 7.1% 13 5-7-1 13.2% 7 5.5% 25 -1.8% 22
13 HOU 4.3% 11 3.7% 14 9-4 -5.1% 21 -6.5% 8 2.9% 7
14 NYG 2.9% 16 8.8% 12 5-8 1.3% 14 2.9% 20 4.5% 3
15 CAR 1.6% 14 1.6% 16 6-7 10.2% 8 8.4% 27 -0.1% 17
16 MIN 1.6% 15 2.9% 15 6-6-1 -1.7% 17 -7.0% 6 -3.6% 25
17 DAL -2.3% 18 -1.7% 17 8-5 -8.1% 25 -6.8% 7 -1.0% 20
18 JAX -5.0% 17 -8.8% 22 4-9 -16.7% 28 -8.4% 5 3.3% 6
19 MIA -5.2% 21 -10.0% 23 7-6 -2.6% 20 4.2% 24 1.7% 10
20 PHI -6.0% 19 -6.8% 21 6-7 -2.0% 19 3.9% 23 -0.2% 18
21 TEN -8.1% 25 -4.8% 19 7-6 -7.3% 23 0.8% 17 0.0% 15
22 ATL -8.4% 20 -6.2% 20 4-9 6.5% 10 16.8% 32 1.8% 9
23 CLE -8.9% 23 -4.6% 18 5-7-1 -8.7% 26 -4.1% 10 -4.4% 30
24 CIN -9.2% 24 -15.8% 26 5-8 -0.5% 16 9.6% 28 0.8% 12
25 TB -13.6% 26 -15.2% 25 5-8 4.2% 12 13.2% 30 -4.6% 31
26 WAS -16.1% 22 -18.5% 27 6-7 -17.7% 29 2.4% 19 4.1% 4
27 NYJ -16.6% 27 -21.4% 29 4-9 -23.1% 30 1.0% 18 7.5% 1
28 DET -21.6% 28 -14.0% 24 5-8 -7.4% 24 13.2% 29 -1.0% 21
29 OAK -21.8% 29 -23.7% 30 3-10 -1.7% 17 15.8% 31 -4.3% 29
30 SF -23.3% 31 -24.1% 31 3-10 -16.1% 27 3.8% 22 -3.3% 24
31 BUF -25.9% 30 -20.3% 28 4-9 -34.2% 31 -12.1% 3 -3.8% 27
32 ARI -36.6% 32 -35.9% 32 3-10 -38.8% 32 -2.3% 14 0.0% 16
  • NON-ADJUSTED TOTAL DVOA does not include the adjustments for opponent strength or the adjustments for weather and altitude in special teams, and only penalizes offenses for lost fumbles rather than all fumbles.
  • ESTIMATED WINS uses a statistic known as "Forest Index" that emphasizes consistency as well as DVOA in the most important specific situations: red zone defense, first quarter offense, and performance in the second half when the score is close. It then projects a number of wins adjusted to a league-average schedule and a league-average rate of recovering fumbles. Teams that have had their bye week are projected as if they had played one game per week.
  • PAST SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents played this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • FUTURE SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents still left to play this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • VARIANCE measures the statistical variance of the team's weekly DVOA performance. Teams are ranked from most consistent (#1, lowest variance) to least consistent (#32, highest variance).
RK TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
1 KC 33.5% 11-2 32.5% 10.8 1 1.3% 10 5.5% 9 11.3% 11
2 LAC 26.4% 10-3 30.5% 9.2 3 -4.4% 28 22.0% 1 7.7% 5
3 LAR 25.8% 11-2 26.9% 10.5 2 3.3% 5 -22.0% 32 7.1% 3
4 NO 21.8% 11-2 24.3% 9.1 4 -3.0% 23 4.8% 10 10.8% 9
5 CHI 17.2% 9-4 21.0% 8.4 7 -6.3% 31 -5.2% 20 13.5% 15
6 BAL 16.9% 7-6 14.8% 8.7 5 0.2% 16 1.3% 13 16.0% 23
7 DEN 15.5% 6-7 16.3% 8.6 6 4.3% 4 -1.5% 16 16.2% 24
8 SEA 12.0% 8-5 12.0% 7.9 8 1.1% 11 -8.8% 27 8.4% 7
9 PIT 11.1% 7-5-1 10.0% 7.2 12 2.7% 7 7.8% 6 15.0% 19
10 NE 10.9% 9-4 11.5% 7.6 9 -1.4% 19 -10.5% 30 15.4% 21
11 IND 7.1% 7-6 14.7% 7.6 10 -7.7% 32 -2.5% 18 14.2% 17
12 GB 6.0% 5-7-1 4.8% 7.4 11 -5.2% 30 -7.0% 26 12.9% 14
13 HOU 4.3% 9-4 9.0% 7.2 13 -2.8% 22 -9.2% 28 6.7% 2
14 NYG 2.9% 5-8 4.3% 6.8 14 -4.0% 25 -1.1% 14 15.4% 20
15 CAR 1.6% 6-7 9.7% 6.5 15 -4.4% 27 11.7% 4 18.3% 28
16 MIN 1.6% 6-6-1 -1.4% 6.4 16 -2.3% 21 -3.2% 19 6.7% 1
17 DAL -2.3% 8-5 1.8% 5.8 19 -3.4% 24 -1.2% 15 10.6% 8
18 JAX -5.0% 4-9 -6.9% 4.9 25 0.8% 12 -5.7% 22 7.9% 6
19 MIA -5.2% 7-6 -5.7% 5.4 23 -4.9% 29 -9.8% 29 15.5% 22
20 PHI -6.0% 6-7 -4.9% 5.8 20 -1.4% 18 4.7% 11 12.7% 12
21 TEN -8.1% 7-6 -7.3% 6.0 18 0.3% 15 -2.0% 17 20.7% 30
22 ATL -8.4% 4-9 -9.3% 5.4 22 2.0% 9 -16.2% 31 7.6% 4
23 CLE -8.9% 5-7-1 -5.4% 5.4 21 4.4% 3 7.7% 7 11.3% 10
24 CIN -9.2% 5-8 -14.9% 6.1 17 8.8% 1 -6.6% 25 18.2% 26
25 TB -13.6% 5-8 -16.0% 4.6 27 0.5% 14 2.0% 12 13.7% 16
26 WAS -16.1% 6-7 -12.6% 5.3 24 -1.7% 20 -6.4% 24 18.2% 27
27 NYJ -16.6% 4-9 -15.6% 4.2 29 -4.1% 26 7.0% 8 20.8% 31
28 DET -21.6% 5-8 -20.1% 4.5 28 0.6% 13 -6.1% 23 18.5% 29
29 OAK -21.8% 3-10 -28.0% 3.6 30 7.8% 2 13.3% 3 16.6% 25
30 SF -23.3% 3-10 -23.3% 3.5 31 -0.5% 17 18.3% 2 14.2% 18
31 BUF -25.9% 4-9 -30.0% 4.6 26 3.0% 6 -5.3% 21 25.3% 32
32 ARI -36.6% 3-10 -35.5% 2.3 32 2.5% 8 9.8% 5 12.7% 13

Comments

53 comments, Last at 14 Dec 2018, 4:05pm

1 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

So how does DVOA account for Tom Brady's brainfart at the end of the first half, taking away a very likely FG opportunity? It really ought to be treated like a turnover, no?

4 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I don't think there is any way to parse that in the play-by-play. For DVOA to work, they have to compare to objective historical baselines. They have no baseline for similar plays, because it's not in the pbp.

5 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

It's fun to watch the Seahawks claw their way up to respectability. A tip of the hat to Pete Carroll for putting together the #9 offense by DVOA despite rejecting the entire analytical community's conventional wisdom re: how to build an offense.

Not to mention inflicting that abomination of a Monday night performance on an unsuspecting audience.

17 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Does this mean the Seahawks rebuild consisted of one 9-7 playoff-missing season? I was sure the Seahawks would be a 4 or 5 win team this year.

I am very impressed with what they've done.

28 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

As a Seahawks homer I was thinking 7-9 to 9-7 and maybe sneaking into the playoffs. I would never have put money on them clinching a playoff berth with two games left to play.

43 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Seattle's improved offensive line dates back to the middle of 2017 (and then even better in 2018), which most people in the non-Seattle media weren't noticing, and Seattle fans mostly say it's all 2018 because Seattle fans were fine with dumping all the crap on Cable. Which is fine -- getting rid of Cable was a no-brainer -- but still, it wasn't all Mike Solari.

19 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I'd also note that their 5 losses have been to the #2, #3, #3, #5, and #7 teams in DVOA, those losses have been by a combined 25 points, and three of them were on the road, and one was on a neutral site. They're clearly not quite in the same class as the Chiefs, Saints, or Rams...and possibly the Bears, but they're capable of hanging with any of those teams.

35 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Weirdly, it also feels like they've got something left in the tank. We know Wilson is capable of putting up big passing numbers, but he isn't being asked to do so. I still definitely don't trust Brian Schottenheimer to be able to implement a prolific passing offense, so I don't suddenly foresee huge improvement. But at the very least Wilson should be able to turn it loose if they find themselves down late in a playoff game.

46 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

To expand on your point, the Seahawks have all of their losses come against teams ranked above them, and all of their wins come against teams ranked below them. I haven't done an exhaustive analysis, but I think they're the only team for which this is true. I'm wondering if Aaron can tell us if this is no big deal or somewhat unusual.

(I'm still wondering how unusual it was a couple weeks ago for them to be 11th in total DVOA, 11th in offensive DVOA, 11th in defensive DVOA and 11th in special teams DVOA after 11 games).

6 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

It feels to me that the current incarnation of DVOA is placing too much emphasis on steady gains and not enough on explosive plays. It's bias (in the statistical sense) in that direction seems to be causing truly strange results in a couple places. Speaking as a Denver fan I see the running game churn out steady yards (most weeks) and they've had a ludicrously high offensive rank all year. But putting them in or near the top 10 (or even the top 20, on offense) doesn't pass the smell test. Meanwhile their defense is prone to massive breakdowns and long touchdowns, but seems to not get penalized for them much. I can't help but think it's because runs are typically more consistent than passes (even the best passing games will average about 30% complete failure rate with 0 yards gained on incompletions) and Denver is overly benefiting from that.

Anyway, in today's NFL, most offenses seem way more proficient at generating big plays than Denver's (and not giving up so many on defense) and that might be more important in today's league than in previous seasons.

Sorry this isn't in the approved complaint format. At least it's DVOA related! Even if (as is likely) I've totally misunderstood part or all of how it works.

22 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

No, Denver's runs are compared to every other offensive play this season, run or pass. That's why most teams have negative run offense DVOA.

The Broncos are 11th in yards per play, and sixth in turnovers per play, so having them 11th in DVOA seems OK to me.

7 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I've never really paid attention to it, but I wonder how common it is to have, this late in the season, 4 top 10 teams overall in the bottom 10 of special teams performers.

8 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Being reminded again that the 2010 Patriots are the number 2 offense of the DVOA era strengthens my suspicion that the Ravens defensive performance in Foxboro in January 2011 is the best defensive road playoff performance since the 70s deadball era.

10 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

“Being reminded again that the 2010 Patriots are the number 2 offense of the DVOA era strengthens my suspicion that the Ravens defensive performance in Foxboro in January 2011 is the best defensive road playoff performance since the 70s deadball era.”

Rex Ryan says what are you talking about?

15 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Trying to guess what you're alluding to.

If it's the Jets' win in Foxboro a year later, that was a less impressive defensive effort than the Ravens. Not that it was unimpressive, but the Ravens did better in 2010. Fewer points, fewer passing yards, fewer rushing yards, more turnovers...

16 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The 2009 Ravens game (Jan 2010) was the most dominant I've seen a team play in the first quarter.

The Patriots were just shell-shocked. Brady threw what I still think is the worst interception I've ever seen a great QB throw in a big game, just flinging it the middle of hte field to no one.

That said, given how damn good the 2010 Patriots were in the 2nd half, the Jets holding them to 10 points deep into the 4th quarter was incredible.

14 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Today's weird stat: Pats are 6-0 vs. other teams in the top 16, but 3-4 vs. teams in the bottom 16.

20 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Been thinking, if the Bears play defense like they did against the Rams, they're a legit super bowl contender. Aaron comes out with stats that say of course you nincompoop, they'd be the greatest unit ever measured by DVOA.

It is nice though when stats match the eye test.

23 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

You either need a great offensive line (and I mean historically great, like one of Gibbs' or Jimmy Johnson's best crews) or a HOF qb near his peak with either a really good line or receivers, to match up effectively with a healthy 2018 Bears defense in Soldier Field. All impressive metrics aside, the 2018 Rams offense doesn't come close to either of those characteristics. Who does in the NFC? I'm not sure, and of course the Bears offense is such that an NFCCG is not likely to be played in Soldier Field. Pretty intriguing all around.

24 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The Rams do have an excellent offensive line. Even then, I think they needed to adjust their gameplan to get the ball out quicker. I think it's pretty telling that New England, in a season where they are not the offensive juggernaut they've been for so many years, had the most success of any team playing at Chicago this year. (Mack did play in that game, though I think he was hobbled.)

We'll see if Trubisky has some rust he can shake off (getting to face the Packers defense this week should be a nice opportunity for him...), but the Bears may not have quite as much going for them on offense as it appeared earlier in the season. Looking at the numbers, their non-Trubisky running game has actually been far less efficient than I realized. Maybe somewhere that Kyle Long's absence is felt.

26 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

We'll have to differ on the Rams o-line. Don't get me wrong; it is pretty good. To me , however, an offensive line can't be excellent without a very, very, good center, and I think John Sullivan has always been a bit overrated. He just gets too often completely overpowered by a very good nose tackle.

30 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Let's also remember that NE scored 2 TDs on special teams (a Patterson kickoff return and a blocked punt, I think). We'll never know how many points Brady and the offense would have scored if they'd had two more drives, but even with Mack hobbled I think there's a good chance it's less than 14, and then who knows how the end of the game shakes out.

For all of Chicago's flaws this year, they would be sitting at 11-2 and positioned for a bye if Kyle Fuller had caught an interception in week 1 and if Nagy had called plays differently to get a more reasonable FG attempt in OT in Miami. Throw in a cromulent performance from Chase Daniel against the Giants, and they'd probably be 12-1. And as discussed above, NE undoubtedly played better than the Bears that day but it's not like that game was a blowout.

21 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

These are the season-average game-scripts after Week14 (adjusted for opponents)

1 KC 6,19
2 CHI 5,30
3 LARM 4,46
4 NO 3,82
5 NWE 3,10
6 LACH 2,68
7 SEA 2,61
8 PIT 2,13
9 DAL 1,90
10 HOU 1,82
11 BAL 1,82
12 IND 0,63
13 NYG -0,02
14 GB -0,04
15 DEN -0,47
16 DET -0,79
17 MIN -0,90
18 ATL -0,93
19 CAR -1,26
20 CLE -1,54
21 WAS -1,57
22 TEN -1,59
23 PHI -1,62
24 MIA -1,90
25 JAX -1,92
26 SF -2,27
27 TB -2,55
28 BUF -2,80
29 NYJ -2,87
30 OAK -3,09
31 CIN -3,52
32 ARI -5,30

In the Week 14 of 2017 Super Bowl Winner PHI was 2nd with +6,24 and Super Bowl Loser NWE 3rd with +5,08. First was LARM with +6.78. Last was SF with -5,17.

In the Week 14 of 2016 Super Bowl Winner NWE was 1st with +5,73 and Super Bowl Loser ATL 2nd with +4,56. Last was CLE with -5,00.

25 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Looking at the passing rankings, it seems the NFL is Wobegon, with a bunch of above average QBs. Last year only four qualifying QBs finished with DVOA between zero and +10%, the previous year there were eight; this year there are a dozen. Part of the reason is the leap in completion percentage; part is the Battle of the Rookie Joshes dragging down the bottom of the ratings and thus drawing the mean away from the median; but part is the near-universal terribleness of backup QBs this year. Nathan Peterman has been a punchline for 14 months, but by DVOA Peterman is in fact around halfway between Alex Smith and his backup's backup, Mark Sanchez.

31 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The Packers having the 30th ranked past schedule at first glance seems a bit strange as GB has played the Rams, the Patriots, the Bears and the Seahawks. But Washington has collapsed, Detroit is pretty bad and SF/Buffalo/Arizona are the worst. That GB went 2-3 against this sorry bunch is all one needs to know about the 2018 season. Though I do think Washington early season is a different team from what is playing currently.

33 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Hence the limitations in adjusting for schedule. When D.C.'s o line and Alex Smith were healthy, they were a tough opponent, especially in FedEx. Now? It's not remotely the same team.

34 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

We really need to develop a single number to quickly communicate to what degree a team was affected by injury. I don't know if adjusted games lost quite gets us there.

39 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Cumulative AGL listed in a column next to strength of schedule. AGL could be updated weekly and teams ravaged by injuries would be more readily apparent.

I pay attention enough but I couldn’t tell you how much of the bottom five DVOA is to do poor talent / coaching and what’s attributable to injury (usually the more dominant factor).

45 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

You could use previous year's pfr's approximate value, but that would be very crude and prone to "player gets hurt, never returns because he sucks now that he's old" syndrome.

48 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

For defense, maybe you could look at team DVOA for just the plays a given player was on the field for, then compare that to the defense's DVOA overall?

50 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

This is hugely important, and key to our understanding of football. To me, it’s essentially impossible to predict ahead of time what impact an injury will have on DVOA.

You can’t immediately assume an injury will have a given impact based on some previous estimation of player quality, because that neglects changes in scheme, the essentially unknown quality of backups, etc. Basically if the QB goes down you can make some estimate, but even then that varies greatly among QBs and their backups. No one could have truly predicted how things would change with Lamar Jackson, for example.

I think the problem is that we just don’t have quality information on the replacement player. Perhaps player-tracking data can help with this by expanding the breadth and depth of the data available to us, even if there’s still limited reps to go off of.

52 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The NFL does keep track of player participation data on each play, but as far as I know doesn't make it available to the public except via snap counts.

The NFL's official data site does provide aggregate lineup detail, which means you can calculate yards/play for a given player or combo, but not much else. (The Giants averaged 4.57 yards/play with Ereck Flowers on the field, but 5.98 without; the Jaguars 4.06 with and 5.46 without. Ereck Flowers is terrible.)

36 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

In the past 4 weeks the Giants have improved their DVOA from -13 to +3. 25th to 12th and weighted looks even better.

44 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I think this is mostly a mirage, because WAS is going to plummet in the ratings and take at least some of that credibility with them. On the flip side, they are still not mathematically eliminated from the postseason, and Dallas will almost certainly have nothing left to play for by week 17 (certainly have the division, pretty unlikely to catch CHI).

How are we 3 weeks from the end of the season and only one non-division-leading NFC team has 8 wins? Literally 5 teams are even above .500 out of 16 and only 6 are even at .50 or above. This conference is a dumpster fire.

47 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Wow, yeah. Last year at this time, there were seven NFC teams with eight or more wins; this year, there are four.

The AFC is no different than last year, however, as four teams each year had eight or more wins.

The difference looks like it's the Browns, who last year were 0-13, of course. This year, the worst AFC team is 3-10.