Week 13 DVOA Ratings
It's lucky number 13 for the Baltimore Ravens, as their Week 13 win over the San Francisco 49ers catapults them into the No. 1 spot in the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings for the first time since they crushed Miami back in Week 1. It's hard to imagine a game that the DVOA system would have rated more highly for both teams, as Baltimore had a single-game rating of 39.2% and San Francisco had a single-game rating of 32.1%.
The New England Patriots fell to No. 2 in total DVOA and are down to No. 3 in weighted DVOA, slightly behind the 49ers. The Ravens have opened up a healthy gap between them and the rest of the league, with more than ten percentage points separating Baltimore from No. 2 San Francisco in weighted DVOA.
The Ravens are currently ranked in the top four in all three phases of the game and are bidding to become just the seventh team to ever finish in the top five in DVOA for all three phases. The others: 1985 Chicago, 1991 Washington, 1992 Philadelphia, 1996 Green Bay, and 2012 and 2015 Seattle. The Ravens are also climbing on our weekly table of the best teams in DVOA history through X games. Through 12 games, the Ravens are the best team since the 16-0 Patriots of 2007.
|BEST TOTAL DVOA
THROUGH 12 GAMES, 1985-2019
|*not including strike games|
A couple of notes on this table. You can see here how good the 2004 Philadelphia Eagles were before they sat all their starters for the last two weeks of the season. That took them out of any of our best ever DVOA lists. They were basically the only good team in the entire NFC that season. You also might be wondering what on earth the 1995 49ers are doing on this list with four losses. As of Week 13, the 1995 49ers were 1-4 in one-score games but had five different wins by at least three touchdowns. They finished the season 11-5 but rank in the all-time DVOA top ten with the best DVOA ever for a team that went 12-4 or worse. Their divisional round loss at home to Brett Favre and the Packers (fifth in DVOA) was a bit of an upset.
The Patriots take a hit to their defensive rating with their worst defensive performance of the season, but it's not enough to knock them off the list of the greatest defenses we've ever tracked. The San Francisco 49ers are also still in the top ten, as their defensive rating this week was -24.9% once we adjust for the quality of the league-best Baltimore offense.
|BEST DEFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 12 GAMES, 1985-2019
Below our top three, Kansas City stays at No. 4. New Orleans moves up one spot to No. 5 and Seattle moves up two spots to No. 6. And here's one I'm sure people are still surprised about: Dallas remains in the top ten at No. 7 despite falling to 6-6 this week. Even more surprising might be the presence of Philadelphia at No. 10 after losing to Miami and falling to 5-7. Everyone looks at the NFC East and sees one of the worst divisions in modern NFL history. DVOA looks at the NFC East, looks past the win-loss records, and sees two good but underachieving teams.
OK, so why does DVOA like the Cowboys and Eagles better than win-loss records? A couple of our usual explanations don't work here. Both teams have played easier schedules, not harder schedules, in particular the Cowboys. Fumble recovery luck is not an issue either, and neither team particularly stands out in "hidden" special teams.
For Dallas, the raw statistics do a good job of explaining what DVOA and other advanced statistical methods are seeing. The Cowboys have outscored opponents 310-236, which normally would indicate a team that was roughly 8-4. Yes, they haven't beaten a team with a winning record yet, but those games were mostly close: 12-10 to New Orleans, 28-24 to Minnesota, and 13-9 to New England. There's a huge yardage difference between the Cowboys (6.61 per play) and their opponents (5.25 per play) and the Dallas turnover margin of -4 is below average but not terrible. The offense is driving the team: Dallas, not Baltimore, has the league's best success rate this season at 51%.
Philadelphia is harder to explain. Unlike the Cowboys, the Eagles have not outscored their opponents. They've been outscored this season, 284-274, and they've been outgained on a per-play basis, 5.55 yards per play to 5.19 yards per play. Their above-average DVOA rating seems to be the product of consistency. On offense, the Eagles are more about consistency than big plays, ranking ninth in success rate but just 13th in DVOA. On defense, same thing: Philadelphia is a surprising fourth in success rate behind only New England, San Francisco and Pittsburgh, but the Eagles are 13th in DVOA because of giving up big plays.
At this point, it looks a little weird that the Eagles are still above the 9-3 Buffalo Bills, who have stormed up the DVOA rankings with their two best games of the season. Things are tight around the middle of the table, which has allowed Buffalo to go from 25th to 11th in two weeks. The Bills stand out even further in weighted DVOA, our rating that gradually drops the importance of earlier games. That rating has the Bills up to ninth in the league. This is the first week that a game (Week 1) drops below 50% strength in the weighted DVOA formula, making this a good time to check out the differences between total DVOA and weighted DVOA. Based on comparison, teams with the biggest gap that were better earlier in the season include New England, Oakland, Carolina, Jacksonville, and Detroit. Teams that have been better over the last two months include Miami, Buffalo, Arizona, Seattle, and Baltimore.
However, Miami hasn't been better enough to make up for its horrible September, which is why the Dolphins are still floating around on our table of the worst teams in DVOA history.
|WORST TOTAL DVOA
THROUGH 12 GAMES, 1985-2019
|*not including strike games|
Miami's offense has improved dramatically since Ryan Fitzpatrick took back the starting quarterback position. They had -39.5% offensive DVOA in the first six games of the year, and -4.6% offensive DVOA since Week 7, which ranks 18th in the league. However, the defense is still a mess. This week, the Dolphins are back to ranking as the worst defense ever tracked in DVOA history through 12 games.
|WORST DEFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 12 GAMES, 1985-2019
|*not including strike games|
* * * * *
Once again this season, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 20 on a monthly basis. Today, we get to announce the Football Outsiders November players for Madden Ultimate Team on consoles, which will go live at 10:30am Eastern on Sunday. (We chose these players based on play in Weeks 9-13, which technically does include two days of December. Some charting stats are for Weeks 9-12 only.)
- QB Kirk Cousins, MIN: Third in NFL in passing DYAR for Weeks 9-13 (7.2 ypa, 10 TD, 1 INT).
- HB Patrick Laird, MIA: Fourth among RB in receiving DYAR for Weeks 9-13 (12-of-14, 109 yards, 8 first downs).
- WR Mike Williams, LAC: Fifth among WR in receiving DYAR for Weeks 9-13 (six different catches of 35+ yards).
- LT Taylor Lewan, TEN: Titans were No. 1 in adjusted line yards for November; only two blown blocks.
- C Matt Skura, BAL: Ravens ranked second in adjusted sack rate and seventh in adjusted line yards for November; only two blown blocks.
- DT Javon Hargrave, PIT: Led DT with 20 successful run tackles in Weeks 9-13; second among DT with 9 hurries in November.
- LOLB Shaquil Barrett, TB: Led NFL with 25 hurries in November by Sports Info Solutions charting.
- ROLB Leonard Floyd, CHI: 9 hurries and 6 hits in November by Sports Info Solutions charting.
- CB Taron Johnson, BUF: Led NFL with 1.5 yards allowed per pass target in November.
- CB Kenny Moore, IND: Tied for NFL lead with 11 defeats in Weeks 9-13, including two picks, 1.5 sacks, and PD on fourth-and-4.
- K Wil Lutz, NO: 11-for-11 including 6-for-6 from 40+ yards in Weeks 9-13.
- P Riley Dixon, NYG: Led NFL with 51.1 average gross punt yards and second with 46.1 average net punt yards in Weeks 9-13.
* * * * *
Stats pages should now be updated through Week 13, including playoff odds, the FO Premium DVOA database and snap counts.
* * * * *
These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 13 weeks of 2019, 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>
- 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).
98 comments, Last at 06 Dec 2019, 3:04am
#1 by theslothook // Dec 03, 2019 - 6:37pm
Cue the weekly comments that GB is current ranked behind the 8-4 Vikings and the 6-6 Cowboys and how this glaring mistake is further proof of how bad DVOA is.
I will say the team the Ravens remind me of right now are the 2010 Patriots. No, not stylistically as those two offenses were polar opposites. But the 2010 Patriots, like the Ravens, started slowly before becoming red hot and steamrolling opponents. By the end of the year, they looked like an all time juggernaut. That Jets upset might have been as big a shocker as the 2007 sb loss.
#6 by Perfundle // Dec 03, 2019 - 7:54pm
The biggest flaw of that Patriots team was their defense's reliance on turnovers. If a team managed to avoid turning the ball over against them (easier said than done), the defense was quite accommodating, and indeed the Jets didn't turn the ball over in either of their wins against the Patriots that year. Baltimore's recent defense is much more stingy, and makes up for their offense not being quite at the heights of that Patriots team.
#15 by big10freak // Dec 04, 2019 - 7:45am
that commentary is coming from one poster who only shows up at FO when GB is a decent or better team. That poster was MIA in 2017 and 2018.
Anyway, any Packer fan with common sense knows this team has obvious flaws. The defense cannot defend any standing, breathing tight end, cope with the run, nor ever get off the field unless the opposition turns it over or makes a series of self-inflicted mistakes to blow up drive.
The coverage and return units are abysmal.
The offense does more good things than bad but consistency has yet to appear. And while seemingly every opponent against GB can field a competent tight end this position continues to be a mystery to the Packers.
#42 by RoninX // Dec 04, 2019 - 11:37am
"Very hard"? Their past schedule is only 11th most difficult by DVOA and they get to cruise out the year with one of the easiest remaining schedules.
Though when sorting by schedule difficulty it did stand out that Seattle (#3) is the only team in the top 5 with a winning record.
#43 by Cheesehead_Canuck // Dec 04, 2019 - 11:46am
I don't know. We're 3/4 of the way through the season and they still don't feel like a 9-3 team to me. The defense sucks. That just never seems to change in the Rodgers era. Even the two Smiths rushing from the edge, as much as I prefer them over Nick Perry and Clay, haven't made that much of a dent in their defensive DVOA rankings.
Their weighted D ranking is now 26th. It's just brutal when you know they're going to blow a 4th quarter lead in January. It is Thanos-level inevitable.
As for schedule, if I'm looking at it right, they've had the 4th toughest past schedule of the current 12 playoff teams.
#3 by nsandar // Dec 03, 2019 - 7:26pm
Would love to see additional fields showing recency applied to individual sides of the ball. Seattle, for instance, added Diggs and have seen some of their DEs come alive; would this change show up as the defense tending from mediocre to decent (even if it takes a few more games)?
#4 by Vincent Verhei // Dec 03, 2019 - 7:35pm
Team offense and defense pages include weighted DVOA for both sides of the ball.
Also, I should plug the premium subscription, which lets you see each team's offense and defense DVOA, run and pass, for each game of the year.
#23 by Pat // Dec 04, 2019 - 10:20am
I don't get the "DVOA loves Philly" thing. The "top 10" thing is an illusion - they're closer to 20th than they are to 8th. Most years they would've been closer to 13-14th, not 10th. They beat the team in front of them and the team behind them. Yes, they lost close games (on the road!) to Atlanta and to Miami when they should've beaten them, but they also lost close games to New England and Seattle (at home) when they should've gotten destroyed by them. Kinda evens out a bit.
They're a 5-7 team sandwiched between two 9-3 teams, but Buffalo's had a crazy-easy schedule. And right below them we're into the 7-5 range, with the Browns at 5-7 too.
Honestly I think the bigger question there is "why does DVOA think the Packers are so weak?" That's probably a more interesting question. Philly just looks like a run-of-the-mill 8-8 team sitting near 0% DVOA, which is likely where they'll finish the season, too. A ~42% winning percentage team sitting at 5% DVOA isn't crazy, it happens every few years (and an 8-8 team finishing at 5% DVOA or higher happens basically every year).
#36 by Pat // Dec 04, 2019 - 11:14am
And there's KC sitting at 8-4, sandwiched between 10-2 teams. Proof again! And two of those had "narrative-matching Reid late game gaffe" mistakes to just further confirm the narrative that Reid's a great coach whose teams underperform! (This is sarcasm, if you couldn't tell, as I had no problem with either of those decisions and I'm used to seeing unbalanced teams high in DVOA with odd win/loss records).
#38 by Will Allen // Dec 04, 2019 - 11:23am
Two losses in this league has a very good chance of being purely random chance. Just think of the discussions in this forum on officiating decisions alone!
People will never stop using w-l records over 16 games (or fewer!) as a way to make fine distinctions between teams' quality of performance, I suppose, no matter how inadvisable it is.
#8 by techvet // Dec 03, 2019 - 10:54pm
The victory in Candlestick by the Packers against the Niners was a game-changer for the Packers. It meant they belonged. They didn't get to the Super Bowl that year but they did win it all the following year. I still recall one of the headines after the game on the Internet: "49ers sent Packin'". Before last week's blowout of the Packers by the Niners, one of the longtime Packers beat reporters reviewed all the games between those two teams over the last 30 years or so, and said that game was #1 for the Packers regarding what it meant and there were other candidates to choose from.
#10 by jheidelberg // Dec 04, 2019 - 1:41am
You mention that the Ravens are currently ranked in the top four in all three phases of the game and are bidding to become just the seventh team to ever finish in the top five in DVOA for all three phases.
Meanwhile, Miami has the 9th worst DVOA ever through 12 games, led by their worst ever DVOA defense.
But the most dominant team of all, is the Browns dominance of mediocrity. With a total DVOA of 0.0, split between -0.7 offense, -0.7 defense and an even 0.0 for special teams. If they break the tie with INDY on offense, they will be the most mediocre team in all 3 phases of the game. In other words they are tied for first in offensive mediocrity, and are first in both defensive and special teams mediocrity.
In an attempt to rename the factory of sadness, I tried to find a word that describes the middle of happiness and sadness, but can find no such word. So congratulations to the Browns, for moving from a team that is so bad that words can not describe, to a team that is so mediocre that words can not describe.
#44 by bravehoptoad // Dec 04, 2019 - 11:58am
Not happiness and sadness specifically, but being being confused about which emotion to feel: verblandzhet. (Yiddish)
David Brenner: I'm all verblandzhet. My mother-in-law drove over a cliff, but she did it in my new car.
#14 by big10freak // Dec 04, 2019 - 7:41am
I presume Mason Crosby is holding up the Packers special teams as the punt return team is on track for a historically bad return output. So far the net punt return yardage for the season is negative 6. Kickoffs not much better. Coverage units are pretty bleah. Scott maybe is out of his mini slump so that would mean both kickers are decent or better.
What's amusing is Crosby has been a long-time whipping boy by a subset of Packer fans who have gone to exhaustive lengths to demonstrate that the guy has been mediocre the bulk of his career. Meanwhile he is 92/95 on all kicks since that meltdown against Detroit last season.
#25 by Pat // Dec 04, 2019 - 10:32am
Less, which you can basically see in the table. 1991 had Washington and San Francisco above 30% in weighted DVOA by the end of the season. 2004 should have had Philly, New England, and Pittsburgh all above 30% if Philly hadn't completely abandoned competitive football for the last two weeks.
#22 by johonny // Dec 04, 2019 - 9:57am
There is good news for that putrid Defense. Their IR consists of Cordrea Tankersley, Aqib Talib, Bobby McCain, Reshad Jones, and Xavien Howard. Some combination of which should be ready for offseason camps.
#85 by johonny // Dec 05, 2019 - 10:26am
that he might resign with them. Although, last I saw he's never embraced the team. Jones is probably done too. Sounds like the coachs like Rowe on TEs. McCain might move back to slot. Howard is good. Tankersly is the big what if. He looked decent as a Rookie. Fell into the Gase dog house, got hurt while in the dog house, and couldn't get heathy enough to perform this year. Usually guys that can ball at all as Rookies develope in year 3 to be starters. I'm sort of thinking Miami wants Howard, Tankersly, McCain at corner, Rowe and draft pick at safety with whichever undraft free agent they've liked this year filling it out. If Talib could be lured... that's just bonus. But some combination of those will be back. I don't think anyone else has the free $$ to spend that Miami does. Which might interest Talib. Which has to be better than starting 8 undrafted defensive backs. I hope?
#24 by Will Allen // Dec 04, 2019 - 10:27am
Now that the '85 Bears are being incorporated into the historical lists, my next question, as part of my quest to get Aaron to labor to provide me entertainment, is how the '84 Niners will measure up. I think that team gets kind of lost in the shadow of the '85 Bears, and I wonder what DVOA will show. It'd be also interesting to look at the playoff DVOAs of the historically great teams as well.
The game is better now, with free agency and a hard cap preventing the stockpiling of talent, resulting in more competitive playoff games for eventual champions. There was something kind of awesome, however, in those pre free agency days, of seeing a team just curb stomp three straight playoff opponents. I can only imagine how much fun it had to be for fans of such a team. I was in Chicago the Sunday when the Bears annihilated the Patriots, so I've seen some of the spectacle; I imagine it grew larger with each playoff game.
#26 by Aaron Schatz // Dec 04, 2019 - 10:32am
Unfortunately, 1984 is the first season where we simply can't find play-by-play for one game. We even found video for one side of that game, but not the other side. We may just have to put together the season without that one game (or rather, one offense from one game).
The 1984 Dolphins also should rank among the best era-adjusted offenses, so 1984 will be interesting to do. We think we can hit 1983 as well. Then we get to 1982 which is going to be a mess.
#31 by Will Allen // Dec 04, 2019 - 10:51am
Adjusted for opponent, then, the Niners defense, against the Dolphins offense, may be among the most impressive defensive accomplishments in Super Bowl history. That '84 Niners defense, for a championship team, really gets overlooked.
#34 by johonny // Dec 04, 2019 - 10:59am
But that Craig-Tyler backfield and their defense were really good that year. Miami's killer Bs were on the outs in 1984 and they completely collapsed by 86. And, of course, it was the first Super Bowl not really played at a neutral location. Which I think still smarts as a Miami fan (Yeah, I'm that old).
#35 by Will Allen // Dec 04, 2019 - 10:59am
If it isn't a trade secret Aaron, what game is incomplete, and from whom did you get one side from? One of the teams?
I wonder if the the extensive video archives of the late, great, and dearly missed, Dr. Z and Joel Buschbaum have been preserved. I fervently hope it is the case.
#60 by Will Allen // Dec 04, 2019 - 3:45pm
Weird. I wonder if radio calls are preserved at all, that could provide some rudimentary data. I'm pretty sure drive results are available, and I wonder if some kind of extrapolation from the drives could be used to generate a play by play that would help more than harm
#39 by JS // Dec 04, 2019 - 11:28am
I was in Chicago the Sunday when the Bears annihilated the Patriots, so I've seen some of the spectacle; I imagine it grew larger with each playoff game.
Dude, you have no idea. It's still growing. Those '85 Bears are still dining out for free. Drunken hillbilly Steve McMichael still offers commentary on TV and radio. Any ex-Bear from that era is local royalty. 34 years ago. Thirty. Four. So sad.
As always, no place is more provincial than a big city, and nobody is more provincial than a sports fan.
#45 by Will Allen // Dec 04, 2019 - 12:15pm
Nothing to do with sports, but I visited NYC solo for the 1st time when I was 18, sadly (because it means I'm old) not too many years removed from the city's nadir. Forget the South Bronx or the lower East Side ( both of which I thought exploring was fun, maniac that I was back then), walking down even 42nd Ave back then was a trip.
Anyways, I'm in some shithole, enjoying cheap hooch like only a teenager can, and I start talking to a local who notices my Minnesooota accent (which, compared to some fro my native state, is not all that pronounced, I swear) and after mocking it in a good humored way, in his accent, asks where I'm from. I tell him, and his smile dissolves, into a look of concern, and he says to me, utterly serious "You still havin' problems with Indians?"
I told'im we circled the wagons, and dodged arrows, every Saturday night!
#55 by siggyllama // Dec 04, 2019 - 2:02pm
I swear to you, I go back there several times a year to visit family, and there is not a single weekend that passes without the 85 Bears being invoked in some form. It qualifies as a religion.
My sister still memorizes numbers by the jerseys from that team! "They live at Thayer-Buford Maple Street...."
#64 by Joe Pancake // Dec 04, 2019 - 4:26pm
I memorized their starting lineup once, just goofing around, trying to "out-Bears" some Bears-fan friends. My favorite player on their roster is Keith Van Horne -- not to be confused with the former NBA player (and pride of Utah Utes basketball) Keith Van Horn.
It's perhaps the the greatest NFL/NBA homonym name ever. Steven Jackson/Stephen Jackson were superior in terms of athletic ability, but the name isn't as good.
#56 by brecherdc // Dec 04, 2019 - 2:23pm
"It's hard to imagine a game that the DVOA system would have rated more highly for both teams, as Baltimore had a single-game rating of 39.2% and San Francisco had a single-game rating of 32.1%"
This sounds like something that should be easy to check, no? I'm curious if 71.3% combined is truuly the record, and if not, what is.
#59 by Perfundle // Dec 04, 2019 - 3:32pm
Well, the single-game combined DVOA has little to do with how the game went down, as it's pretty much the combined DVOA of the two teams in question. So likely candidates would be other juggernaut clashes. Super Bowl 48 came close, with Sea 126% + Den -57% = 69%. Another possibility is the second Seahawks - Niners game in 2012, with a combined 73.3% going into the game.
#79 by Eddo // Dec 05, 2019 - 4:55am
A Scramble article last year discussed the games last year where both teams had 20% DVOA or higher for the game, and it was basically a list of games in which two good teams played each other.
#84 by RevBackjoy // Dec 05, 2019 - 9:52am
I'm terribly disappointed in you guys... how could you possibly forget the clear and obvious winner??
"New England's DVOA for the Game of the Century was 79.8%, only slightly higher than their season DVOA to that point. Indianapolis's DVOA for the Game of the Century was 31.9%, a little bit lower than their season DVOA to that point."
111.7% combined!!! Granted, I'm sure the final DVOA totals were much lower, since both teams were above 50% DVOA after Week 9, whereas they dropped considerably by the end of the season. But I'd be stunned if this game wasn't the record. Their final DVOAs were 52.9% and 28.3%, so 81.2% would the new clubhouse leader.
#67 by Joe Pancake // Dec 04, 2019 - 4:37pm
The Seahawks and Bills were the two teams who seemed to be overachieving (win-loss) when looking at DVOA early in the season. But both of them have been climbing up the DVOA ladder, and by the end of the year their record might not be that out of whack with their ranking. It's almost like DVOA is regressing to match their win-loss, not vice versa.
Is this a common thing? I'm thinking it could happen, because teams with good records are more likely to "go for it" down the stretch -- e.g., pick up good players (see Quandre Diggs) -- and less likely to "play for the future" -- e.g., rest dinged up guys, play raw rookies, etc. Also, it could be there is something DVOA doesn't pick up on right away.
Or maybe it's just not true at all and it was more likely the Seahawks and Bills would stay where they were on the DVOA list and their win-loss record would've started to reflect that given enough time.
#70 by Perfundle // Dec 04, 2019 - 5:24pm
I've only seen one Bills game, the last one, but they certainly looked much better than a league-average team against Dallas. Still, their schedule is so awful that they could've stayed at -10% and still be 8-4; up until the Dallas game they had beaten every team worse than them and lost to every team better than them.
As for Seattle, they've clearly improved their pass rush in the last three games, though they've been fortunate to face three straight offenses with hobbled receiving corps.
#73 by tjb // Dec 04, 2019 - 5:40pm
In the Bills case, the offense improved steadily after the dumpster fire performance against New England and then improved even more drastically since the loss to Cleveland. In the 8 games since the loss to New England, Josh Allen has 18 total TDs (13 pass/5 rush), only 3 total turnovers (2 picks, 1 fumble lost) and leads the league in completion percentage on passes between 10 and 25 air yards.
They were winning earlier the season because the schedule was pillow-soft but Allen's evolution from a turnover machine into a down-field weapon is why they have blown out their last 3 opponents and climbed the DVOA ladder. He stopped playing YOLO-ball and started finding open receivers.
#88 by Mike B. In Va // Dec 05, 2019 - 12:59pm
The defense - especially Ed Oliver - have also made some significant improvements, and Taron Johnson seems to have figured it out and been playing lights-out.
Singletary returning from injury has made a big difference, too.
But Allen's progression is definitely the core of the change.
#86 by gomer_rs // Dec 05, 2019 - 10:38am
Pete Carroll's defense with a true free safety, Diggs, is so much different then his defense without. Additionally, with the rookie safety, Blair, shaping up into a good player, Seattle is no longer matching up base 4-3 defense against 3 and 4 WR sets.
Seattle's defense is no longer fundamentally difficent in the DB corp.
Also, Reed at DT after 6 weeks suspended improved their pass rush.
#74 by sinocentric // Dec 04, 2019 - 6:23pm
There's a discrepancy in the weighted DVOA between this list and the one in the playoff odds section. Here, the titans are a below average team, but in the playoff odds section, they have a 10% weighted DVOA and a 52% chance of making the playoffs. Is that an error or am I missing something?
#75 by Bryan Knowles // Dec 04, 2019 - 6:30pm
The playoff odds make team-by-team adjustments for different situations, especially at quarterback. For Tennessee, their weighted DVOA in the playoff odds section only considers games started by Ryan Tannehill, throwing out the Mariota games -- that's a more useful indicator for projecting what the Tannehill-led Titans will do going forward. The weighted DVOA for the Titans HERE, however, does not throw those games out, so you still have Mariota games with a significant impact on their weighting.
Other teams have similar adjustments -- the Saints with Drew Brees and not Teddy Bridgewater, the Chiefs just with Patrick Mahomes, etc. The full list is found on the weighted DVOA page just above all the tables.
#82 by PTORaven // Dec 05, 2019 - 8:37am
A couple people over on a Ravens message board were trying to figure out if DVOA accounts for benching Lamar Jackson in the 4th quarter of blowouts. So far he's basically missed a whole game since he's been benched in the 4th four different times (weeks 1 and 10-12) including three of the last four games. But I was also under the impression that DVOA tries to account for garbage time, i.e. if a team is losing 40 points in the 4th, scoring two TDs does not improve their overall game DVOA nearly as much as two TDs in the first quarter. Can you offer any insight? Seeing as how when he's stayed in for the 4th quarter they've had long, slow, productive clock-eating drives (probably the sort of drives that are the most valuable with a big lead in the 4th), is there any way to project where they'd be on the all-time list if he'd stayed in for the 4th quarter? If that's too much to do in response to a comment, maybe you could include a little of that analysis in next week's DVOA write-up if you're again talking about the Ravens spot on the all-time list. Thanks!
#89 by Cheesehead_Canuck // Dec 05, 2019 - 1:28pm
Sort of off topic, but thinking of the Steelers and their disastrous start with injuries and losing their first three. They now sit 7-5 and in a playoff position. Should they make the playoffs, should Tomlin be COTY? I have to think he would be on the shortlist. The Titans are right there, but Pitt has the more favourable schedule for the final quarter of the season:
Steelers have the tiebreaker.
#92 by Joseph // Dec 05, 2019 - 2:32pm
Depending on how things shake out: Shanahan, esp. if the Niners get HFA; Payton, if the Saints get HFA (5-0 w/Bridgewater); Carroll if the Seahawks get HFA; I also think you could look at the coaches (sorry, I don't know them all) for GB/MIN--winner of NFCN would have a narrative advantage--and that's just the NFC!
In the AFC, Belichick is always a candidate; BUF's coach has a great shot; Tomlin definitely worthy too.
I think how the rest of the regular season plays out will determine who emerges with the COTY title--for example, if the Bills were to win 3 of their last 4 (not very likely, but still) to finish 12-4, their coach looks great; but if they stumble to finish at 10-6, and get in with the 6th seed--the narrative just isn't as good.
#94 by jimbojonessmith // Dec 05, 2019 - 5:01pm
I know it's not common to give Coach of the Year to a dominant team, but if the Ravens end up as one of the few teams that are Top 3 all-time in offense, defense and special teams, wouldn't that merit consideration? It's not like everyone was jumping on board the Lamar bandwagon before the season started, or even after the Ravens' 2-2 start.
#96 by LyleNM // Dec 05, 2019 - 5:44pm
It's usually less about dominance than it is about going to the coach of the team that most outperformed "conventional wisdom". In that sense, Payton and Belichick are not really candidates. Shanahan, Harbaugh and Carroll are the three frontrunners. Lafleur, Zimmer, and the Buffalo guy whose name won't stick in my head are a step below and Reich and Tomlin are kind of wild cards considering what happened to their QBs.