Week 8 DVOA Ratings

Ravens
Ravens
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

The top two teams in our DVOA ratings flip places again this week, with San Francisco returning to the top spot. The 49ers had a huge game over the Panthers, who drop all the way from ninth to 15th after the loss. The Patriots, on the other hand, end up with a negative DVOA for their win over Cleveland once we apply the opponent adjustments. Overall, the Patriots dropped by over ten percentage points this week, while the 49ers move up by seven percentage points. The 49ers offense moved from 15th to 10th, while the Patriots offense has dropped all the way to 15th and their special teams are down to 26th.

Still, the Patriots defense has been so ridiculously dominant that the Patriots still appear on our list of the best teams ever tracked by DVOA. After the big win over Carolina, the 49ers are appearing on that list too. Both teams finish No. 8 on their respective lists:

BEST TOTAL DVOA
THROUGH 7 GAMES, 1986-2019
  BEST TOTAL DVOA
THROUGH 8 GAMES, 1986-2019
Year Team W-L DVOA   Year Team W-L DVOA
2007 NE 7-0 69.1% x 2007 NE 8-0 73.6%
1991 WAS 7-0 61.8% x 1991 WAS 8-0 58.8%
2019 NE 7-0 54.6% x 2001 PHI 5-3 51.8%
1996 GB 6-1 54.0% x 1996 GB 7-1 47.9%
2007 IND 7-0 48.7% x 1990 CHI 7-1 47.7%
1994 DAL 6-1 48.2% x 2007 IND 7-1 46.0%
2014 DEN 6-1 47.6% x 2003 KC 8-0 45.2%
2019 SF 7-0 46.3% x 2019 NE 8-0 44.4%
2006 CHI 7-0 44.3% x 2013 DEN 7-1 42.9%
1999 STL 6-1 43.2% x 2007 DAL 7-1 41.7%
1998 DEN 7-0 41.9% x 1994 DAL 7-1 41.4%
1990 CHI 6-1 41.1% x 2009 NE 6-2 41.2%

Yes, the 2001 Philadelphia Eagles being so high at 5-3 is a bit strange. DVOA sure loves those Andy Reid Eagles teams. The Eagles had five games over 60% DVOA in their first eight that year -- one of which was actually a loss in overtime -- then didn't have another game that high for the rest of the season.

What's shocking on defense is the absurd gap between the Patriots and 49ers and the rest of the league. The Patriots and 49ers are two of the best defenses we've ever tracked, and then there's a gap of almost 33 percentge points before you get to No. 3 Denver. The gap between the 49ers and Denver is larger than the gap between the Broncos and No. 31 Cincinnati. There's only one pass defense that can even sniff the 49ers and Patriots, and that's Carolina at -23.0%, but the Panthers are also the worst run defense in the league. (Showing you how much more important pass defense is than run defense, Carolina's ranks of 3 and 32 combine to be fifth overall.)

The Patriots still have the best defensive DVOA ever through 8 games, even though the defense had a (relative) off day against Cleveland.

BEST DEFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 7 GAMES, 1986-2019
  BEST DEFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 8 GAMES, 1986-2019
Year Team W-L DVOA   Year Team W-L DVOA
2019 NE 7-0 -49.7% x 2019 NE 8-0 -43.3%
1991 NO 7-0 -44.9% x 2002 TB 6-2 -43.0%
1991 PHI 3-4 -42.8% x 1991 NO 7-1 -39.8%
2019 SF 7-0 -41.6% x 1991 PHI 3-5 -37.7%
2002 TB 5-2 -38.8% x 2012 CHI 7-1 -36.5%
2015 DEN 7-0 -36.0% x 1993 PIT 5-3 -30.8%
2012 CHI 6-1 -33.4% x 1997 SF 7-1 -30.5%
2011 BAL 5-2 -33.3% x 1996 GB 7-1 -30.4%
1996 GB 6-1 -32.8% x 2007 TEN 6-2 -30.0%
1993 BUF 6-1 -31.3% x 1993 BUF 7-1 -29.9%
1997 SF 6-1 -31.0% x 2011 BAL 6-2 -29.3%
1992 WAS 5-2 -30.6% x 2015 DEN 7-1 -29.1%

So, what about the teams beneath the Patriots and 49ers? Well, the Denver defense has climbed rapidly to No. 3 after ranking just 27th in the league after four weeks. The Broncos are one of a number of teams that have seen one unit dramatically improve or decline between the first and second quarter-poles of the 2019 season. Ranks here are based on current opponent adjustments, and yes, Week 5 is an arbitary place to look for a split.

First, Denver. The Broncos defense had 14.0% DVOA for September (26) but is -30.3% (3) for October.

Baltimore has simultaneously turned things around on defense and settled into a bit of an offensive funk. Their offense has gone from 23.1% (3) to -3.0% (18), but the defense has improved from 17.3% (30) to -20.4% (6).

There are two other significantly improved defenses. Indianapolis, which has gone from 18.2% (31) to -10.8% (9), and Pittsburgh, which has gone from 5.0% (21) to -21.5% (4).

On the other hand, we have the Chicago defense. In September, Chicago had -21.1% DVOA (3) but the Bears defense for October is at 11.4% (26).

Switching to offense but staying in the NFC North, an October offensive surge is responsible for both Green Bay and Minnesota ranking in the DVOA overall top six, each with at least 70% chance of making the postseason. The Packers offense has gone from 5.3% (11) to 34.2%, the best in the league for October. The Vikings offense went from 3.1% in September (14) to 26.2% (4) in October.

Nobody is paying much attention to the final season of the Oakland Raiders but they're on the periphery of the playoff race in the AFC at 3-4. The defense is poor but the offense has been red hot the last few weeks. Oakland's offensive DVOA was -1.4% (19) in September but 29.0% (2) in October.

The other offense that's been surprisingly hot: Arizona. Remember last year, how Arizona had one of the worst offenses we had ever tracked at Football Outsiders? This year they've improved to 19th overall, and that's split between -15.1% (28) in September and 10.7% (9) in October.

Baltimore is not the only team having offensive problems in October. We can highlight three of them here. First, the problems with the Chargers offense over the last few weeks are so bad they fired their offensive coordinator yesterday. The Chargers had 13.6% offensive DVOA (5) in September but -11.5% (21) in October. The running game is the real problem, with a horrible -65.3% offensive DVOA running the ball in October that was twice as bad as any other team. The Chargers had just 2.3 yards per carry the last four weeks.

Philadelphia and Tampa Bay are getting more attention for the problems in their secondaries, but their offenses have also declined over the last month. Philadelphia went from 11.1% DVOA (7) in September to -9.2% (20) in October. Tampa Bay went from 8.6% DVOA (9) in September to -18.0% (24) in October.

Finally, a little appreciation for a team on the rise. Not enough of a rise to win any games, but a bit of a rise nonetheless. Miami's offense was the worst in the league in September with -40.7% DVOA but had -26.7% DVOA (28) in October. The defense has improved as well. In September, at 41.4% DVOA, it was twice as bad as any other defense in the league. In October, Miami had 19.8% defensive DVOA (28).

Unfortunately, that's not good enough to get out of the cellar quite yet as we continue to track how the Dolphins rank all-time in the worst teams we've ever tracked with DVOA. Miami has had its three best games of the year in the last three weeks, and each game has been better than the one before it, but the worst teams in DVOA history also tended to do (relatively) well in their seventh games also, so Miami is now on the bottom of the list. Don't worry, Dolphins, the 2005 49ers have some really bad performances coming up. Avoid having similarly bad games and you're out of last place! 

WORST TOTAL DVOA
THROUGH 7 GAMES, 1986-2019
  WORST DEFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 7 GAMES, 1986-2019
Year Team W-L DVOA   Year Team W-L DVOA
2019 MIA 0-7 -67.9% x 2019 MIA 0-7 33.2%
2013 JAX 0-7 -63.4% x 1998 CIN 2-5 33.1%
2005 SF 2-5 -63.1% x 1992 ATL 2-5 30.5%
1993 TB 2-5 -58.3% x 2001 ARI 2-5 30.0%
2009 DET 1-6 -55.3% x 2000 STL 6-1 29.3%
1991 IND 0-7 -54.5% x 2000 SF 2-5 27.4%
2005 MIN 2-5 -54.1% x 2000 ARI 2-5 27.1%
2008 KC 1-6 -53.3% x 2006 HOU 2-5 26.4%
2009 OAK 2-5 -51.9% x 2016 DET 4-3 26.3%
1999 CLE 0-7 -51.4% x 1999 CLE 0-7 25.9%
1989 DAL 0-7 -50.8% x 1998 WAS 0-7 25.6%
1996 STL 2-5 -50.3% x 2012 NO 2-5 25.2%

Yes, that is a 6-1 defending Super Bowl champion on the "worst defensive DVOA through 7 games" table. The 2000 Rams won their first six games by an average score of 44-29, and then lost to Kansas City 54-34 in Week 8. In case you're wondering, the presence of three 2000 teams doesn't show that opponent adjustments weren't strong enough that year; remember that Arizona wasn't in the same division as St. Louis and San Francisco until 2002.

* * * * *

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 October players for Madden Ultimate Team on consoles, which will go live at 10:30am Eastern on Sunday.

  • RB Austin Ekeler, LAC: Second among running backs in receiving DYAR in October (27-of-31, 237 yards, 2 TD)
  • WR Mecole Hardman, KC: No. 1 in DVOA among October WR, min. 10 targets (12-of-15, 207 yards, 2 TD)
  • TE Austin Hooper, ATL: Second among tight ends in receiving DYAR in October (24-of-29, 284 yards, 3 TD)
  • LG Richie Incognito, OAK: No blown blocks in October; Raiders allowed no sacks and were second in adjusted line yards
  • C Corey Linsley, GB: No blown blocks in October; Packers ranked third in adjusted line yards, including second on runs up the middle
  • RE Marcus Davenport, NO: 2 sacks, 9 hurries in October according to Sports Info Solutions (tied for ninth in hurries)
  • DT Quinnen Williams, NYJ: 14 run plays in October for an average gain of just 0.9 yards
  • ROLB K.J. Wright, SEA: Tied for league lead with 11 October defeats including INT, 2 PD on third down, 4 run TFL
  • MLB Alexander Johnson, DEN: Tied for fourth with 10 October defeats including INT, 2 sacks, forced fumble, 4 TFL
  • CB Troy Hill, LAR: Only allowed 3.7 yards per target in October according to Sports Info Solutions charting
  • K Justin Tucker, BAL: 10-for-10 in October
  • P Brett Kern, TEN: Led NFL with gross punt value of 4.1 points of estimated field position over average in October

* * * * *

Stats pages should now be updated through Week 8, including playoff odds, the FO Premium DVOA database and snap counts.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through eight 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.

Because it is early in the season, opponent adjustments are only at 80 percent strength; they will increase 10 percent every week through Week 10. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

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 25 percent of DAVE for teams with seven games and 15 percent of DAVE for teams with eight games. This is the last week we'll be displaying DAVE ratings; next week we switch over to WEIGHTED DVOA.

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
TOTAL
DAVE
RANK W-L OFF.
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEF.
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 SF 46.3% 2 34.6% 2 7-0 5.4% 10 -41.6% 2 -0.8% 22
2 NE 44.4% 1 40.3% 1 8-0 2.9% 15 -43.3% 1 -1.8% 26
3 KC 26.5% 3 24.9% 3 5-3 25.6% 2 -0.6% 17 0.2% 14
4 DAL 26.0% 4 21.1% 5 4-3 28.0% 1 1.8% 19 -0.1% 19
5 MIN 23.0% 6 20.1% 7 6-2 16.0% 5 -6.7% 8 0.2% 13
6 GB 22.7% 5 20.2% 6 7-1 19.6% 4 -4.1% 13 -1.1% 24
7 NO 21.9% 8 22.2% 4 7-1 13.7% 6 -7.6% 6 0.6% 12
8 BAL 17.2% 7 14.5% 8 5-2 12.8% 7 0.8% 18 5.2% 1
9 SEA 13.0% 10 12.5% 9 6-2 20.1% 3 5.2% 22 -1.9% 27
10 LAR 11.1% 11 12.0% 10 5-3 2.9% 14 -8.0% 4 0.1% 15
11 JAX 8.6% 12 5.9% 12 4-4 4.3% 11 -2.9% 14 1.4% 10
12 PHI 6.1% 15 6.6% 11 4-4 1.2% 17 -4.8% 10 0.1% 16
13 HOU 3.4% 14 4.0% 13 5-3 4.0% 12 2.2% 20 1.6% 8
14 DET 3.2% 13 3.2% 14 3-3-1 3.8% 13 5.4% 23 4.8% 2
15 CAR 2.9% 9 2.8% 15 4-3 -6.7% 21 -7.8% 5 1.7% 7
16 IND 1.1% 19 -0.1% 16 5-2 7.1% 9 5.8% 25 -0.2% 20
17 OAK -0.5% 20 -2.1% 17 3-4 12.0% 8 14.0% 28 1.5% 9
18 TB -0.8% 16 -4.0% 20 2-5 -3.0% 20 -2.2% 15 0.1% 18
19 CHI -3.4% 18 -2.1% 18 3-4 -13.9% 28 -7.4% 7 3.1% 5
20 PIT -4.7% 17 -3.4% 19 3-4 -9.5% 23 -5.7% 9 -0.9% 23
21 DEN -7.7% 23 -8.2% 23 2-6 -10.9% 25 -8.8% 3 -5.6% 31
22 LAC -7.9% 22 -4.2% 21 3-5 2.1% 16 10.0% 27 0.1% 17
23 CLE -9.3% 25 -7.1% 22 2-5 -11.3% 26 2.6% 21 4.5% 4
24 TEN -11.0% 26 -8.7% 24 4-4 -13.8% 27 -4.4% 12 -1.6% 25
25 BUF -13.1% 21 -12.2% 25 5-2 -10.8% 24 -0.8% 16 -3.2% 30
26 NYG -18.6% 27 -18.9% 27 2-6 -9.2% 22 6.6% 26 -2.9% 29
27 ARI -20.1% 24 -18.7% 26 3-4-1 -2.9% 19 14.6% 29 -2.7% 28
28 ATL -22.4% 28 -19.2% 28 1-7 0.4% 18 16.9% 30 -5.8% 32
29 WAS -27.3% 29 -25.7% 29 1-7 -22.7% 30 5.7% 24 1.0% 11
30 NYJ -34.7% 30 -27.0% 30 1-6 -41.1% 32 -4.7% 11 1.8% 6
31 CIN -37.7% 31 -33.4% 31 0-8 -21.8% 29 20.4% 31 4.5% 3
32 MIA -67.9% 32 -57.8% 32 0-7 -34.3% 31 33.2% 32 -0.4% 21
  • 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 SF 46.3% 7-0 50.9% 7.9 1 -9.4% 27 4.0% 10 13.9% 26
2 NE 44.4% 8-0 62.4% 7.6 2 -26.3% 32 -5.0% 23 13.2% 24
3 KC 26.5% 5-3 21.8% 5.4 6 6.0% 9 3.6% 11 9.8% 16
4 DAL 26.0% 4-3 37.9% 6.6 4 -14.0% 29 2.8% 14 7.2% 10
5 MIN 23.0% 6-2 27.3% 6.7 3 -5.1% 24 9.0% 6 9.6% 15
6 GB 22.7% 7-1 15.0% 5.7 5 9.1% 4 2.3% 15 11.5% 20
7 NO 21.9% 7-1 23.8% 5.4 7 4.7% 11 -0.4% 18 8.5% 12
8 BAL 17.2% 5-2 26.9% 5.0 10 -14.3% 30 0.6% 16 11.4% 19
9 SEA 13.0% 6-2 15.4% 5.3 8 -5.5% 25 14.3% 1 7.1% 9
10 LAR 11.1% 5-3 11.3% 4.9 11 1.7% 18 6.7% 8 12.6% 22
11 JAX 8.6% 4-4 5.5% 4.7 13 -4.6% 23 -4.6% 22 4.3% 4
12 PHI 6.1% 4-4 6.1% 5.1 9 -2.8% 22 -6.6% 24 23.3% 32
13 HOU 3.4% 5-3 5.4% 4.3 15 3.8% 15 5.1% 9 2.5% 1
14 DET 3.2% 3-3-1 2.8% 4.5 14 4.5% 13 3.2% 12 4.3% 3
15 CAR 2.9% 4-3 -2.3% 4.2 16 6.8% 8 -0.3% 17 12.8% 23
16 IND 1.1% 5-2 -1.1% 4.1 17 -2.8% 21 -4.3% 21 10.4% 17
17 OAK -0.5% 3-4 -7.7% 4.8 12 9.3% 3 -7.6% 26 18.9% 30
18 TB -0.8% 2-5 -2.4% 3.4 22 7.9% 5 -1.5% 20 4.7% 6
19 CHI -3.4% 3-4 -6.4% 3.5 19 3.4% 16 11.4% 5 12.6% 21
20 PIT -4.7% 3-4 1.9% 3.7 18 1.1% 19 -10.5% 29 9.4% 13
21 DEN -7.7% 2-6 -4.4% 3.5 21 4.5% 12 3.1% 13 9.4% 14
22 LAC -7.9% 3-5 -2.7% 2.9 24 -10.9% 28 12.3% 4 4.7% 5
23 CLE -9.3% 2-5 -16.2% 3.4 23 12.3% 2 -19.6% 31 18.9% 31
24 TEN -11.0% 4-4 6.6% 3.5 20 -6.4% 26 8.4% 7 14.6% 28
25 BUF -13.1% 5-2 -0.6% 2.8 25 -17.0% 31 -7.1% 25 4.2% 2
26 NYG -18.6% 2-6 -26.3% 1.2 29 4.4% 14 -9.1% 28 15.8% 29
27 ARI -20.1% 3-4-1 -18.9% 2.5 26 -2.6% 20 14.1% 2 6.3% 7
28 ATL -22.4% 1-7 -24.2% 2.1 27 3.3% 17 12.8% 3 10.4% 18
29 WAS -27.3% 1-7 -29.7% 1.0 30 7.0% 7 -0.7% 19 13.8% 25
30 NYJ -34.7% 1-6 -45.7% 1.8 28 15.3% 1 -24.5% 32 14.4% 27
31 CIN -37.7% 0-8 -43.6% 0.9 31 7.3% 6 -8.1% 27 7.8% 11
32 MIA -67.9% 0-7 -67.7% 0.0 32 4.9% 10 -10.7% 30 6.8% 8

Comments

183 comments, Last at 01 Nov 2019, 11:00am

83 I'm pretty happy Alex Smith…

I'm pretty happy Alex Smith ended up having a solid career. He was drafted into a terrible organization completely bereft of talent. There is a reason the 2005 49ers ended up with a worse dvoa despite coming off a 2 and 14 season. 

If you followed the 49ers back then, they were coming off a roster Purge after years of being an expensive slowing contender. 

Alex Smith was then log jammed into several offensive schemes and two defense first head coaches, including the inexplicably hired Mike singletary.

He did get fortunate in the end when he got paired with first harbaugh and then Andy Reid, but lesser quarterbacks would have long been broken in half by that point. 

 

 

 

169 The 05 49ers DVOA is also…

The 05 49ers DVOA is also depressed by the Wind Bowl game against the Bears featuring weather conditions you see maybe every 20 years. Normal day and they could have easily got a few % boost they needed to avoid the -40 line

69 The amazing thing is just…

The amazing thing is just how similar everything is to when he was in Miami. He says the same things when things don't go well about how it's all his fault, then he feuds with players you'd have thought were doing fine and runs them out of town (so, not his fault so much then?), and the results keep getting worse year after year just as if he hadn't changed teams. Truthfully, though, I don't think anyone expected something this bad.

107 I didn't expect it to be…

I didn't expect it to be this bad because I thought the Jets had enough talent to offset Gase's Gase-iness.  Turn out they don't, especially when Darnold had to miss games.

I'm annoyed that Falk got released the way he did.  Throw him into the lion's den without getting the starter's reps in practice, then cut him the day after the game.  It all smacks of "run him out of town so people forget about those games."

If Tom Brady had been thrown into that situation as a rookie, he'd never have had a career.  A flashy athletic guy like Mahomes or Rodgers, sure, he'd have shown enough to get another gig. But a guy who needs prep time to work the offense, like Eli Manning or Andy Dalton, rather than just making up sandlot plays when things break down?  I doubt any of them survive the introduction to pro football Falk got.

 

114 re Gase

It doesn't do any good to fire a first year coach in week 8 unless he is the one creating the toxic situation. the Jets Oline is the worst ive seen since at least the Joe Walton era, and solving that would solve about 80% of the offensive problems.  As bad as he's looked since, Sam was the offensive player of the week TWO weeks ago, so let's not pull the plug on Gase yet.

 

170 First-year firees

The last coach fired midway through his first season was Pete McCulley, who was fired by the 49ers on Halloween 1978 after a 1-8 start.  

(Bobby Petrino quit the Falcons 13 games into the 2007 season.)

29 Have to appreciate opponent adjustments

Packers defense does not come across as a top half of league defense but when you sift through everything you get why ok maybe GB is ok.

The special teams, though. Good golly miss molly

42 I’ll be the first to admit…

I’ll be the first to admit GB doesn’t feel like a 7-1 team. The Lions game felt like a loss that we stole and Mahomes injury was just some good luck really. 5-3 or 6-2 does seem like a more realistic record for this squad but you take what you can get in this league and even with a stacked NFC, they have a shot at a bye if they can hold off the Vikings and surprise the 49ers in SF in a few weeks.

51 Eagles Game Counters Lions

We caught the Bears offense in disarray (turned out to be more constant), Played Vikes and Lions at home, missed Mahomes. But wins over Chargers and particularly 49ers in California opens up a 13-3 or 14-2 season and the distinct chance at home field. I still think 11-5/12-4 is more likely,  but then again I never thought they'd be 7-1. offense is now functioning better than at any point since 2014.

43 The two teams tied for the…

The two teams tied for the second best record in the AFC are ranked 16th and 25th in DVOA. Weird. Outside of the Patriots and a few bottom feeders, it's remarkable how many teams in the AFC are hovering close to mediocrity. There are 10 teams with between 3-5 and wins right now. All except the Chargers and Titans have at least a 28% chance of making the playoffs. The two-win Cleveland Browns also have surprisingly high odds to still make the playoffs at 23%. Presumably that's because of their very easy future schedule.

45 Patriots Defense

"The Patriots still have the best defensive DVOA ever through 8 games, even though the defense had a (relative) off day against Cleveland."

It is funny how that happens when they finally face a team with an actual pulse on Offense. Granted, it is a bone headed Offense that sits at #26 in DVOA. However, compared to the other teams they have played they are basically The Greatest Show On Turf Rams.

We are going to be seeing a lot of off days for the NE Defense in the next month or so. They will still be pretty good, but you can only play against the Offenses of the Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Redskins, etc so many times.

56 Perhaps, but they still…

Perhaps, but they still forced three turnovers and scored as many TDs as the opposing offense.  There's a reason Aaron put a "relative" in his statement.

76 Hmmm.

"you can only play against the Offenses of the Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Redskins, etc so many times"

If you're the Patriots, "so many times" = 6 out of 16 games every season.  Must be nice.

86 It's worse than that! They…

In reply to by anon76returns

It's worse than that! They also got the Giants, and still get the Bengals!

They opened PIT-MIA-NYJ-BUF-WAS-NYG-NYJ and close CIN-BUF-MIA!

Mind you, the week 16 Dolphins might actually have an NFL QB, unlike in their first game. That said, Pittsburgh can't really pass this year, either. NE only gets six games against ept offenses, and "ept" includes Jackson and Mayfield!

88 I don't really count Baker…

I don't really count Baker or Lamar to be honest either. If I were being polite, Baker has been up and down. Lamar is still a remedial passer, though his legs and the scheme make the Ravens offense punchier.  I also have seen Dak look terrible as well so you might lump him there too if you want to be a cynic.

 

That leaves Mahomes, Watson, and Wentz as the only known competent qbs they will face. That's 3 in 13 games, 5 out of 14 if you include Dak and Big Ben. That's insane. 

 

 

94 It would be interesting if…

It would be interesting if there was a way to quantify the QB quality that New England has played and how it compares historically.  

 

I would guess somebody like the 85 Bears or 85 49ers might be in the running.

102 Not to invalidate your point…

Not to invalidate your point, but to nitpick, Tony Eason was the starter for New England that year.  When he got hurt somewhere around midseason, Grogan came in and they went on a big winning streak, but when Eason was healthy, he went back in as the starter.

159 Jesus. It's worse than that…

In reply to by Aaron Brooks G…

Jesus. It's worse than that.

 

The Rams' average opponents were a -6% DVOA offense.

New England's are a -22% DVOA offense! That's a bigger difference than from 1st to 31st in 1999.

In the DVOA era, only one team has faced a schedule in negative double digits -- Arizona in 1992, at -11%. NE's opponents are twice as bad as that. There's nothing like this schedule in the DVOA era. Hell, after Arizona, the next-worst team is at -9%. NE's opponents are more bad than the difference between the first and last-place schedules most years. They are simply not facing professionals.

103 I was just having this…

I was just having this conversation within the past hour with a friend of mine.  It's not too hard to get down to maybe 12 QBs that you would say are good.  So there's a lot of teams that haven't played many good QBs yet.  I mean, who is undoubtedly a good QB when we're setting the bar higher than Mayfield, Jackson, and Prescott?

Brady, Roethlisberger, Watson, Mahomes, Rivers (is he still?), Wentz (?), Brees, Ryan, Rodgers, Stafford (?), Cousins (?), Garoppolo (?), Wilson, Goff (?)

So that's 8 slam dunks --- and maybe I'm being generous with Roethlisberger in 2019, and 8 more (including Prescott and Jackson) that you can argue.   I guess you can throw Newton in there if he ever gets healthy, but I don't think he's coming back the way he used to be.

So roughly half the league has a good quarterback.  And roughly half doesn't.  I don't think the Patriots defense is an extreme outlier as to the quality of quarterbacks they've faced.

77 A lot not being considered with regards to Green Bay

Their DVOA has been in flux in all 3 categories, and rightly so.

Green Bay's first win v. CHI proved to be huge for them, and their rookie Head Coach, Matt LaFleur, walking into a hostile Soldiers Field, facing last season's Division Winners, a 12-4 team, and walking out with the W.

They faced tough defenses every week to start the season, through the first 4 weeks, all top 10, and were learning an entirely new system. Their offensive DVOA was in the trash heap mostly, but kept progressing upwards as they became more accustomed to LaFleur's schemes, and the variations he runs within. Their run blocking was abysmal during this stretch, but progressed.

Conversely, Green Bay's defense kept them in games, and really were solid through the first 3 weeks prior to meeting up with a well coached and highly motivated PHI team. Their defensive DVOA slipped quite a bit with the loss of Darnell Savage to his ankle injury, who has turned out to be a gem of a FS, along with Raven Greene, their hybrid S/LB. Both players essential to making the back end of Pettine's defense sound.

The Packers STs DVOA meanwhile, has tracked them into a steady decline having worked through 3 returners, and now look to be going with a 4th. All the while, their Kicker and Punter have played well. Green Bay has suffered in both KR/PR and coverage throughout, again, in a new system.

Add in the loss of Davante Adams on his best career receiving night against PHI week 4, through a critical stretch where the offense started coming together, running the table in October, and I think we will be seeing a more complete picture of who they are moving forward. It takes a while to learn a new offense.

Everyone and their brother seemed to have Dallas pegged to go to the Super Bowl, and Matt LaFleur, rookie HC comes out of DAL with a W, smashing them in the face on their home turf Week 5. Guess they figured out how to run block in their new zone scheme. The Packers followed that with a W vs. DET, a blow out of OAK on a short week, then walked into KC and managed another W in a place where they had lost 8 of their last 9 games.

Green Bay did this facing quality opponents, suffering injuries to key players on both sides of the ball, learning an entirely new system, and started the season 7-1. Pretty impressive. If the Packers get their injured players back performing at a high level, and address their return and coverage units, look out.

79 While I feel we got away…

While I feel we got away with one in the Detroit game, the Philly DBs were mugging the GB receivers a lot in that game. The bad penalty flags are easier for the impartial observer to get upset about than the missed flags, but missed calls can be just as influential in deciding a game. I tend to think these calls even out over the course of a season for the most part. Having said that, I tend to think NE gets more in their favour in critical scenarios and Detroit gets more against them.

After the last few seasons, I'm ecstatic to see 7-1 half way through this season with what has proven to be an incredibly tough schedule. And it doesn't get any easier with 5 road games in the back half of the schedule, including 2 against probably the better division rivals and the current top team in the conference.

And is it just me or even with the Adams turf toe, have the injuries been a little less severe this year?

183 The 2005 49ers after game 7…

The 2005 49ers after game 7 mostly kept it close with the exception of a 24-6 loss to the giants and a late season blowout by a super bowl bound seattle team.

Regarding Brian Flores, New England's D is all time good without him, and Miami is all time awful with him. Interesting!