DVOA Preview: Bills & Eagles in a Class By Themselves

Eagles LB Haason Reddick
Eagles LB Haason Reddick
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 4 - According to the pre-Monday Night Football DVOA rankings, there’s the Buffalo Bills, then there’s the Philadelphia Eagles, and then there’s everyone else.

Josh Allen and the Bills are once again poised to lead the NFL in DVOA at the end of Week 4. They’re five percentage points ahead of the Eagles, who in turn are eight percentage points ahead of the third-place Baltimore Ravens.

The Bills separated themselves slightly from the Ravens a bit in their 23-20 Week 4 victory, outperforming the Ravens in yards per play (5.3 to 4.6) in an otherwise narrow win. The Eagles traded places with the fourth-place Jacksonville Jaguars with their 29-21 win on Sunday, with Jalen Hurts and company outgained the Jaguars 401-219 and winning a 5-to-1 turnover battle thanks to several Trevor Lawrence miscues.

Welcome to the opening installment of DVOA Preview, a new weekly Football Outsiders feature! The official DVOA results will still be released on Tuesdays, complete with Aaron Schatz’s commentary and analysis. The purpose of this feature is to provide a sneak peak at what’s in the oven, along with some stat breakdowns to help you get an early-week edge, whether in fantasy, at the sportsbooks or just around the water cooler. 

The DVOA results in this article do not contain Monday Night Football, of course, and are therefore subject to change. Remember that opponent adjustments, which are at 40% strength now but become much more important in the weeks to come, can skew the results of any teams that faced the two Monday night participants in the past, so a lot can change between Monday and Tuesday. Still, this is the real DVOA based on all the games that have happened so far. 

DVOA Preview will soon become exclusive content for FO+ subscribers, so be sure to sign up if you enjoy this early look at the numbers!

After the table, we’ll take a deeper look inside the numbers for several teams, using both DVOA-relevant data and some raw stats and splits from NFL GSIS, Pro Football Reference and elsewhere.

* * * * *

This is the Football Outsiders Top 16 through four weeks of 2022—except Monday Night Football—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). Click here for the full table (requires an FO+ subscription on Mondays).

OFFENSE and DEFENSE DVOA are adjusted for performance indoors and 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. Opponent adjustments are 40% strength. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

DAVE is a formula which combines our preseason forecast with current DVOA to get a more accurate projection of how a team will play the rest of the season. DAVE is currently 70% preseason forecast and 30% actual performance.

RK TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
TOTAL
DAVE
RK W-L OFF.
DVOA
OFF.
RK
DEF.
DVOA
DEF.
RK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RK
1 BUF 43.3% 1 24.3% 1 3-1 10.3% 10 -28.9% 2 4.1% 3
2 PHI 38.3% 4 17.8% 2 4-0 17.9% 4 -25.0% 3 -4.5% 29
3 BAL 30.3% 3 16.8% 3 2-2 23.1% 1 2.4% 16 9.7% 1
4 JAX 20.3% 2 0.3% 18 2-2 5.6% 12 -14.5% 6 0.2% 17
5 TB 20.0% 5 12.6% 4 2-2 1.5% 15 -20.9% 4 -2.5% 28
6 DAL 19.6% 6 5.0% 9 3-1 0.6% 16 -15.4% 5 3.5% 6
7 SF 15.7% 9 3.8% 10 1-2 -14.1% 26 -29.6% 1 0.3% 16
8 KC 14.0% 8 10.5% 5 3-1 17.5% 5 1.9% 15 -1.7% 25
9 GB 9.6% 12 8.3% 7 3-1 13.1% 8 2.7% 17 -0.8% 22
10 ATL 7.5% 14 -3.5% 20 2-2 11.2% 9 7.6% 22 3.9% 4
11 LAC 7.0% 15 9.1% 6 2-2 7.8% 11 -1.6% 12 -2.3% 27
12 CLE 5.9% 7 2.1% 14 2-2 16.2% 6 11.1% 30 0.8% 13
13 MIA 3.9% 11 0.7% 16 3-1 20.5% 3 10.5% 28 -6.1% 30
14 SEA 2.9% 21 -4.8% 22 2-2 20.5% 2 19.3% 32 1.6% 10
15 CIN -1.1% 20 3.1% 12 2-2 -14.6% 27 -12.3% 7 1.2% 11
16 DEN -1.1% 10 0.8% 15 2-2 -10.7% 25 -10.6% 8 -1.0% 23

Inside the Numbers

1. Buffalo Bills

The Bills offense leads the NFL in first downs per game (24.8) and third down percentage (55.7%). It ranks third in the league in yards per game with 412.5. With two more interceptions on Sunday, the Bills defense leads the NFL in interception rate (6.14%) and sacks per pass attempt (11.4%) and ranks second in yards per game (235.2) and per play (4.23).

2. Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles lead the NFL in takeaway differential at +8 after forcing/benefitting from four Jaguars fumbles and one interception on Sunday. The Eagles offense leads the NFL with 8.79 passing yards per play, while their defense leads the NFL in (fewest) passing yards per play with 4.75. 

The Eagles defense also leads the league in sack yards with 113. Thanks, Carson Wentz! 

Special teams remain a drag on the Eagles’ overall DVOA, and Sunday’s soggy effort featured a missed extra point and one punt return for two yards. 

3. Baltimore Ravens

Here’s a breakdown of the Ravens pass defense by quarter through four games. Emphasis on “breakdown:”

  • First Quarter: 13-of-27, 180 yards, 48.1% completion rate, 0 TD, 3 interceptions.
  • Second Quarter: 32-of-48, 322 yards, 66.7% completion rate, 2 TD, 1 interception.
  • Third Quarter: 27-of-40, 339 yards, 67.5% completion rate, 1 TD, 1 interception.
  • Fourth Quarter: 42-of-62, 471 yards, 67.7% completion rate, 5 TD, 2 interceptions. 

Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson completes 71.7% of his passes for 8.3 yards per attempt with just one interception in the first half but just 57.9% of his passes for 6.9 yards per attempt and three picks in the second half.

Maybe the Ravens just need more Gatorade or something.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers defense may not be able to buoy the team among the top five much longer. The Bucs allowed just 3.8 yards per play in the season opener, but that number has increased to 4.7, 5.2 and 5.4 in Weeks 2 through 4. The Chiefs also went 12-of-17 on third-down conversions against a Bucs defense which allowed just 13 of 43 third-down conversions (30.2%) entering Sunday. Fortunately for the Buccaneers, a relatively easy slate of opponents (Falcons, at Steelers, at Panthers) should help them sort things out on offense, defense and the injury report.

6. Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys defense ranks second in the NFL in sack yards with 93. Per Pro Football Reference, they rank fourth in the NFL in pressure rate at 26.2%; only the 49ers (pending Monday night), Bears and Chiefs have pressured opposing quarterbacks at a higher rate. 

Michael Gallup’s return resulted in both a touchdown and two pass interference penalties for 65 yards. The Cowboys offense managed to remain just a tick below average during the Cooper Rush era, and Dak Prescott is expected to return soon.

8. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs held steady at eighth overall in DVOA despite a 41-31 victory over the Buccaneers that did not feel as close as the score. The Chiefs defense allowed just three rushing yards, but the Buccaneers averaged 6.4 yards per play to the Chiefs’ 5.4, and the Bucs were 3-for-3 converting red zone touchdowns against a defense that entered Week 4 ranked 20th in the red zone, 30th against red zone passing. The Chiefs’ special teams DVOA are at least on an uptick after a terrible effort in Week 3.

9. Green Bay Packers

Here are the Packers’ rushing yards allowed per game through for weeks:

  • Week 1 vs. Vikings: 28 carries, 126 yards, 4.5 yards per rush.
  • Week 2 vs. Bears: 27 carries, 180 yards, 5.6 yards per rush.
  • Week 3 vs. Buccaneers: 14 carries, 34 yards, 2.4 yards per rush.
  • Week 4 vs. Patriots: 33 carries, 167 yards, 4.7 yards per rush.

That performance against the Buccaneers is keeping the Packers run defense from falling off the back of the truck. But it looks like the Bucs running game was the culprit in that game, while the Packers run defense remains a significant problem.

On the plus side, the Patriots were just 3-of-11 on third-down conversions against the Packers, whose defense now leads the NFL with a 23.8% conversion rate on third downs. So when the Packers stuff the run, they generally stuff their opponent. 

10. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons – yes, the Falcons! – slipped into the DVOA top 10 this week after their 23-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns. The Falcons average 5.1 yards per rush and 7.4 yards per pass attempt, both figures sixth in the NFL. Their special teams metrics are bolstered by Younghoe Koo’s 6-of-8 kicking beyond 40 yards and a coverage unit allowing just 4.5 yards per punt return. 

One other stat worth noting: the Falcons are currently enjoying a 144-yard penalty differential after incurring just three penalties in the last three weeks.

Remember: the Falcons would be 3-1 if not for their utterly on-brand fourth-quarter collapse against the Saints in the season opener. They are unlikely to stay in the top 10 for long, but it’s encouraging that they are running the ball well and playing relatively mistake-free football. 

13. Miami Dolphins 

The Dolphins defense is 3-of-8 at stopping fourth down conversions, with another fourth-and-short stop (the Joe Mixon sweep) against the Bengals.

Tyreek Hill and Jaylin Waddle are averaging 16.5 yards per catch on 52 receptions. The rest of the Dolphins are averaging 8.8 yards per catch on 41 receptions.

The Dolphins’ record and DVOA are better aligned after Thursday night’s loss, but they remain a high-volatility team, and that’s without factoring in any Tua Tagovailoa uncertainty/controversy. A manageable-but-tricky upcoming schedule (at Jets, Vikings, Steelers, at Lions) could either cement the Dolphins’ status as AFC frontrunners or expose them as middleweights who started hot.

14. Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks leapt from 12th to second in offensive DVOA by dropping 555 total yards on the Lions in Week 4. The Seahawks offense ranks fourth in the NFL in yards per attempt at 7.8 and has allowed just six sacks (tied for fifth-lowest in the league). Remember that opponent adjustments are only at 40% strength, and the Lions have allowed a league-high 444.75 yards per game through four games.

Also, Geno Smith's completion rate may be a league-high and historic 77.3%, but it's trending downward: Smith completed "just" 76.7% of his passes in Week 4 and 72.7% in Week 3. No, this dink-and-dunk madness is not sustainable, but give Shane Waldron credit for concocting a scheme that caters to the (few) strengths of his players. 

15. Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow’s under-pressure passing numbers by week:

  • Week 1: 18 dropbacks, 5-of-8 for 40 yards, 1 TD, 7 sacks.
  • Week 2: 15 dropbacks, 3-of-7 for 21 yards, 0 TD, 6 sacks.
  • Week 3: 13 dropbacks, 4-of-10 for 79 yards, 3 TD, 2 sacks.
  • Week 4: 4 dropbacks, 1-of-2 for 18 yards, 0 TDs, 1 sack.

The non-sack, non-attempt dropbacks are scrambles, of course. The Bengals are cutting down on Burrow’s pressure by relying more on dumpoffs and unproductive Joe Mixon runs, but that’s progress of a sort.

17. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings defense allows a 69.8% completion rate (third highest in the NFL) and 8.0 yards per attempt (fourth highest). Their offense has converted just 7-of-32 third down attempts of six yards or more (the Kirk Cousins factor!) So yes, DVOA is as meh about the Vikings as everyone else, including the Vikings themselves.

21. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers face the teams currently ranked first (Bills), fifth (Buccaneers), 13th (Dolphins) and second (Eagles) in DVOA over the next four weeks. Good luck, Kenny Pickett! 

22. New Orleans Saints

Through four games, the Saints have been outscored 45-17 in the first half. They're also dead last in special teams in large part because Will Lutz is just 2-of-5 on field goal attempts of 30-to-50 yards and averaging just 58.2 yards per kickoff, 30th in the NFL.

The Saints also lead the NFL with 319 penalty yards. They lead the league with six defensive holding penalties. With an offense like theirs, the Saints defense cannot keep doling out free first downs.

23. New York Giants

Opponents are completing just 57.4% of their passes against the Giants defense, the fourth-lowest figure in the NFL. Granted, those opponents include Justin Fields, Baker Mayfield, Cooper Rush and Ryan Tannehill, but progress is progress.

Meanwhile, Saquon Barkley has produced 15 plays of 10-plus yards: 12 rushes and three receptions. He’s averaging 6.0 yards per rush on 53 first-down carries.

30. Washington Commanders

The Commanders offense has given up 110 yards on sacks, the second-highest total in the league (Colts). Their 9.6 yards per completion ranks third from last in the NFL, ahead of only the Cardinals and Giants. If you give up a lot of sacks and can’t complete passes downfield, your offense is not very good.

32. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts offense averages just 3.2 yards per play in the first quarter.

Comments

57 comments, Last at 04 Oct 2022, 8:55pm

#1 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:24pm

Look, just bring back Scramble.

Mike is like Russ -- the more you let him cook, the lower his efficiency gets.

Points: 0

#32 by dharrell // Oct 03, 2022 - 4:09pm

yesssss please bring back scramble!

Points: 0

#48 by Ajoe.Smith // Oct 04, 2022 - 11:31am

Vince seemed sure it would not come back this year. (Makes sense, with long-term planning and all.)

I also miss "Scramble...". It was a great finisher to a weekend of football.

 

Agreed on Mike's efficiency: Walkthrough usually is a fine cocktail.

Hope, it does not turn into "Dollarita".

Points: 0

#3 by mehllageman56 // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:41pm

Is the Seahawks offense really that much dink and dunk?  Again, I only watched the first quarter, but it seemed like Geno was hitting the middle zone 5-15 yards downfield a lot.  Accuracy was never really a huge issue for him; his main issue has been reading defenses quickly enough, and it seems sitting on the bench has helped him a lot with that.

Points: 0

#33 by Pen // Oct 03, 2022 - 4:30pm

He's tied for 4th in the NFL in avg. Yds per att.

Yds per completion, however, he's 24th.

However, his y/c has been rising rapidly even as his comp% has been slightly dropping. The reason is - as Pete Carroll admitted- the conservative play calling the first two weeks.

Once they gave Geno full reign and opened up the passing game, the long ball, intermediate passing and the dink and dunk started balancing out.

But as Mike said, he didn't watch the game so can be excused.

Points: 0

#4 by theslothook // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:44pm

I know there are probably Eagles fans who will purport to have seen this coming, but Vegas certainly did not.

The Bills lead the league in expected win totals coming into the year. The eagles were behind 9 teams in terms of expected win totals and tied with 5 other teams at 9.5. if you are curious, take a look at what the Eagles expected win totals were last year. 

The Sirianni hire was panned at the time as a questionable at best hiring of a relative unknown from a ho hum offense despite the rather long and sorry list of "successful coordinators" turned head coaching failures. 

Simply put, this run so far, considering where the team was 2 years ago when Doug Pederson waved the Sudfield flag to where they are now, is one of the great turn arounds in modern NFL history. Once again, I know certain posters will argue vociferously about ALL of the mitigating circumstances and how we really really shouldn't be thaaaat surprised.

Well I am and Vegas agrees with me.

Points: 0

#5 by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:49pm

Yeah, I have to admit I thought they would be a middling team that kinda stumbled into the playoffs last year. I have some concerns about their schedule being very easy, but they look legit.

Points: 0

#10 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:15pm

It's way, way, way too early. Philly on paper isn't the kind of team that can absorb a bunch of injuries (*). The JAX/PHI game was actually a great game for those injuries to happen in because it killed the passing game (so Slay/Mailata being out doesn't hurt much) but it just depends on how long they end up being out. Well, and how soon Dillard can come back and how he looks.

They're doing the best they can to shelter a few of the older guys on the DL - Graham's only played 40% of the snaps and Cox 60%, which is a massive drop from last year when Cox was typically 70-80% and Graham (in '20 obviously) was 60-70%. But that's a trick you can really only do when everyone's healthy: if one of the other guys on the DL gets hurt, you probably wouldn't bump up Cox/Graham's snaps, meaning the dropoff would be larger than you'd expect. Or, similarly, if either Graham or Cox get injured, how would the other guys handle having their snaps bumped up even more?

*: I say on paper because the teams that can absorb injuries are the ones with great QB play, and while Hurts looks great so far it's in very positive situations on balance.

Points: 0

#11 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:16pm

and Vegas agrees with me.

Vegas is literally "the average opinion about NFL teams" so I don't understand why this is a surprise. Generally if you have a typical opinion, Vegas is going to agree with you.

Points: 0

#15 by theslothook // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:26pm

The bills are going to be a 7 win team. The Texans are going to be a 12 win team. Vegas would vehemently disagree with me and happy to take my money. 

I would say it this way. The Eagles being really good isn't as insane as saying the Texans will be great. But it does show its not the conventional opinion. 

Points: 0

#24 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:26pm

The Eagles being really good isn't as insane as saying the Texans will be great. But it does show its not the conventional opinion. 

Eagles preseason over-under was around 10 (9.5 but juiced up, if memory serves). Texans were 4.5. In win percentage, that's 0.588 vs 0.265.

Using Pythagorean wins to get a slightly more sane measure (preseason over/under correlates better with Pyth. wins, as you'd expect, and early in the season it's way better), Philly's currently at 0.75. Standard deviation of Vegas predictions percentages is around 0.136, so this is a 1.2 sigma outlier. Let's just assume that you're saying "what if someone said the Texans would be as good as these Eagles." That'd be an 3.6-sigma outlier, or a 1-in-625 occurance, or 1-every-20 years with 32 teams.

Philly being as good as they are relative to their expectation is only a very minor outlier. Stuff like this happens every year.

Points: 0

#25 by theslothook // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:36pm

That assumes Vegas expectations follows a normal distribution. It could very easily follow something else. I also don't believe the STD is uniform across all teams at all. Furthermore, my point is related as well to DVoA, which shows the Eagles are way up there as the current rival to the Bills. I don't think outside of some Eagles homers that people expected this. 

Points: 0

#27 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:40pm

Vegas expectations are so close to normal that they're used in statistics classes as a teaching aid.

edit: to be fair, the Texans comparison there is far enough out on the wings that yeah, it's almost certainly not 1-in-600+. But the Eagles being where they are isn't a "surprising" surprise. Stuff like this happens every year.

Points: 0

#29 by theslothook // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:19pm

Vegas expectations are so close to normal that they're used in statistics classes as a teaching aid.

I don't see how you can know that without having access to Vegas internal methods for determining the spread. 

Stuff like this happens every year maybe true. Just like someone is going to win the lottery every month or so. But predicting my aunt to be the one who wins it IS insanely surprising.

I am always leery of people saying something isn't a surprise unless they happen to say it ex ante. The fact that there were at least 9 teams slated to be better than the Eagles and to see the Eagles where they are to me is a big surprise. 

Points: 0

#30 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:51pm

I don't see how you can know that without having access to Vegas internal methods for determining the spread. 

I don't need to? You just look at the error distribution.

But predicting my aunt to be the one who wins it IS insanely surprising.

Yes, because the lottery has millions of entrants. The NFL season has 32 teams. Philly being as good as they are isn't that surprising. It's not a significant error. It's surprising, sure. But it's not that surprising. 

Jacksonville's a waaay bigger surprise. 

Points: 0

#53 by KnotMe // Oct 04, 2022 - 4:26pm

Trying to measure how "big" a surprise something is pretty difficult after 4 games.(the Eagles would project to be undefeated....which WOULD be a surprise, but probably won't happen) Everyone has had at least 1 score game that probably could have gone the other way, so...You would need to have projected results for after 4 games to really measure the magnitude of surprise. 

Just going by record, the Giants are probably the biggest surprise, although I think everyone knows it's kinda a mirage.

Jax probably does win on true quality over expected however. 

Points: 0

#44 by Noahrk // Oct 04, 2022 - 10:29am

Didn't Aaron have them as the favorite for the number one seed in the NFC or something? I certainly didn't see it coming, but it seems that some of the staff here did.

Points: 0

#46 by Pat // Oct 04, 2022 - 10:46am

Yes, but that was because of the schedule. And the prediction basically had them 6th.

I think the general surprise is because they're "that high" but that's just an early season artifact because the opponent adjustments are weak. I mean, right now they're getting thwacked down 6% due to their schedule: boosting that by 2.5x would put them at 29%, which is still very high but not like, crazy high. Adjustments basically wouldn't touch the Ravens or Bills, for instance, and Tampa would basically be shoved straight up to the Eagles level. Which means Philly could be basically anywhere from 2nd-4th.

So if we look at the projections, what do we see? Buffalo, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and Philly all in the top 6. Don't understand why this is such a huge surprise. If anything this season is being just as chalk-y as the last one, with only Jacksonville's resurgence and the Rams collapsing being a surprise. And maybe the Giants, although we'll have to see there.

It's kinda important to remember that early season DVOA is in some sense "just for fun." The weak opponent adjustments just smooth the transition. DAVE is probably still closer to final-season reality - and although I wish they'd play around with a more Bayesian-type approach, there's just so little information to go on at this point that just "screw it, simple estimate" is probably fine.

Points: 0

#49 by Noahrk // Oct 04, 2022 - 12:18pm

6th is pretty high. Anyway, like you said, it's early, the final chart will probably be very different from what we're seeing now.

Points: 0

#50 by Pat // Oct 04, 2022 - 12:45pm

Yeah, exactly. I was more down on Philly this year than the projections but that's just because of the injury/age risk, and it's way too early to conclude they've threaded that.

Plus their schedule's just been so, so easy, and it's completely nuts that the best opponent they've faced so far they faced in crazy advantageous conditions for them (and they still got lucky).

Points: 0

#52 by JoelBarlow // Oct 04, 2022 - 3:53pm

I think a team being projected to be part of a chunk of teams in the 6-10 range (not really legitimate 'contenders' but good teams) than being a clear top 2 team feels like a big gap, but its probably just random distribution of good team performance

when is the last time we had a truly out of nowhere awesome team? much-ballyhooed NFL parity seems to have died 

I remember when the '99 Rams happened it was a shock but also the attitude was 'thats the NFL'

 

somewhere along the way it became 'have a good QB and stay good for 15 years'

Points: 0

#16 by colonialbob // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:43pm

We're 4 games into the year. The Eagles have wins against Lions, Vikings, Commanders, and Jaguars - not exactly a murderer's row. And sure, Guts & Stomps theory gives them a bit of extra credit for the Vikings and Commanders wins, but also they only beat the Lions by 3 and the Jaguars by a single score in a game in which they were +4 in turnovers. They've banked 4 wins, and that's certainly important, but if they regress to where Vegas had them before the season (9.5/17 wins) the rest of the year they'd finish the year at 11-6. That's obviously a perfectly respectable season, but outperforming by 1.5 wins isn't something to be amazed about. Likely they'll do better than that (absent a major injury), but how much better? And if they go 5-8 the rest of the way (a certainly disappointing but by no means unheard of decline), they would still hit the under for their win total.

Just way too early to be proclaiming anything. To find a cautionary tale, we have to look all the way back to... last year's Arizona Cardinals (also 4-0 through week 4, and 4th in DVOA).

Points: 0

#26 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:38pm

Yup, totally agree. It's especially true because Philly's got so many older vets on the team: yeah, they're doing great now, but it's not the end of the season yet. Veteran rest days exist for a reason: to attempt to keep the guys fresh later in the year.

The entire reason I've been (relatively) down on Philly compared to expectations is because betting with Father Time's always a safe bet. Saying this team has "turned around" since 2020's just silly: they've got 5 high-end major starters at the end of their career. This is just the end of the window for those guys. 2020 was just a one-year blip.

Points: 0

#31 by colonialbob // Oct 03, 2022 - 4:00pm

When Tyron Smith went down at the end of camp, I semi-jokingly, semi-seriously said it might be a good thing since he was gonna get hurt at some point and maybe now he'd be back for the end of the year/playoffs. Of course then Dak went down and Smith's injury was no longer top of mind, but the point is still kind of true, or at least feels true enough.

Points: 0

#35 by Romodini // Oct 03, 2022 - 7:52pm

The Eagles schedule is such a cakewalk that regardless of what their DVOA ends up being, they still have the best chance at the number one seed. As long as they don't have a sudden injury plague, I struggle to see any of their remaining games being a real challenge except for the Packers and Cowboys later on in the year. Maybe the Saints can surprise them with a good defensive showing? 

 

Points: 0

#42 by Pat // Oct 04, 2022 - 10:04am

As long as they don't have a sudden injury plague,

squints at username

Your attempt at a jinx will not go unnoticed, sir!

Points: 0

#45 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 04, 2022 - 10:44am

If the Eagles suffer injuries, there is zero chance the Cowboys will inexplicably choke it away.

Points: 0

#19 by matu_72 // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:52pm

I saw those win totals before the season, and I also had some pessimism about the Eagles as well. But for what it's worth, some analytics (including FO) were optimistic about them. Some film people that I follow were also pretty optimistic about them all offseason due to the talent they had. For analytics and film to agree to that level had me intrigued about how the Eagles would look this year, and they haven't disappointed.

I do agree that the turnaround they've made since the end of 2020 has been really impressive and surprising.

Points: 0

#51 by Pat // Oct 04, 2022 - 12:56pm

I do agree that the turnaround they've made since the end of 2020 has been really impressive and surprising.

Almost all the starters on the team were on the team in 2020. Literally over 60%. And yes, obviously, many of the new additions (Smith, Brown, Bradberry, CJGJ, Reddick) are having a very big impact but that's mostly a change from last year when they were also above-average.

2020's collapse was injury and Carson Wentz induced. They're basically the same team. It probably makes more sense to say that Carson Wentz's collapse since 2019 has been incredible and surprising. I've actually been pretty forgiving of Wentz (I mean, the '20 injuries were baaaad) but at this point his decline's just undeniable.

The most impressive part about the team is how they're threading the needle of the end of Kelce, Johnson, Slay, Cox, and Graham's career, plus the Wentz disaster, but they're not there yet.

Pushing Pederson out of town was probably on balance a mistake: as I said when they got rid of Reid, all it looks like they did was make another team in the NFL better.

Points: 0

#6 by jheidelberg // Oct 03, 2022 - 12:54pm

1.  Is ATL/INDY a correlation with Matt Ryan with no cause and effect, or will Matt Ryan destroy a team at this point?

2.  Geno Smith may have the most outlying from career standard 4 consecutive games since Joe Flacco's Championship run in 2012.  

 

Points: 0

#7 by theslothook // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:02pm

I picked the 49ers to be the SB representative from the NFC - mostly because I thought overwhelming talent on both sides of the ball + coaching wunderkind + toolsy Trey Lance doing a reasonable Colin Kaepernick year 2 starter facsmile = formiddable team. Whoops. 

However, part of my gut wanted to go with the Packers  - a team that had been at the doorstep for eons that eventually leaks through during a relative down year. That of course could still happen and the Packers are certainly looking the part being a somewhat underwhelming 3-1 team.

However, when I made that comparison, I had the 2006 Colts in mind. And that team had an offense that was consistently terrific. I knew the Packers would take a step back with Adams gone, but I kind of thought Rodgers + LaFleur would reconfigure their offense more around Tonyan and Jones + a receiving core by committee that somehow was greater than the sum of its parts. That probably can still happen but so far, its been sluggish. I've seen three out of their 4 games(I missed this week); but the offense hasn't been what I expected. 

 

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#8 by theslothook // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:06pm

I think this will be the nail in the coffin for Matt Ryan's career(unless he really wants to be Joe Flacco post Denver) but also for Reich, which is a shame.

I've maintained, no coaching staff can keep punching above their weight in perpetuity. Even Andy Reid with a talented Chiefs roster missed the playoffs during his pre-Mahomes years. 

That's why, if I am Irsay, I ask myself what the realistic expectations were for this team. Is what we are seeing really  all that surprising? Yes, there was a universe that Ryan could reverse course and be good. Just as there was a universe where Carson Wentz could revert all the way back to being an MVP candidate. COULD. But there was also many many universes where that rosy picture never happens and Matt Ryan, in particular, plays exactly how he did in Atlanta but without Julio or Kyle Pitts. 

I mentioned on discord a week ago that Matt Ryan was not the worst starting QB in the league and that was probably reserved for Geno Smith. I take that back. Give me Geno. 

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#54 by KnotMe // Oct 04, 2022 - 4:34pm

It might be another instance of "Indy happening to be bad at the right time to draft a QB" since they often seem to nail that. Ryan is only signed through next year I think so it actually could work out pretty well for them. 

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#9 by RickD // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:14pm

No, really.  How did that happen?

And how can they be 32nd in DVOA after doing that?

And is any team really worse than the Commies?  What happened to the vaunted defense that led them to the playoffs two years ago?  (Albeit with a 7-9 record.)  Is Chase Young that important?  Or is Jack of the River just no longer a good coach?

 

 

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#12 by Pat // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:23pm

And is any team really worse than the Commies?  What happened to the vaunted defense 

They got paired with Carson Wentz. At some point Wentz is going to get injured (he's on pace for 72 sacks!) and Washington will improve.

I seriously can't get over how shot Wentz looks. I mean, I know he looked bad in games last year for the Colts and abjectly terrible in '20, but... I can't get over how much the guy doesn't even seem to try to get better.

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#17 by colonialbob // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:50pm

40% opponent adjustments, probably.

As for the defense, aside from it being more volatile, yes I think Chase Young is pretty important. The rest of their defensive line is quite good but they don't seem to have the one problem pass rusher that forces the mismatches / pushes everybody else a rung down the matchup ladder, making it easier for them to win. At least, that was my impression from watching yesterday.

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#22 by turbohappy // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:02pm

Their defense is decent and matched up well against the Chiefs except when Gilmore went out for a bit. Then you have special teams melt-downs by the Chiefs combined with surprisingly good red-zone efficiency on the Colts end. The Colts offense still wasn't very competent overall tbh and I can't imagine they scored well in DVOA, but they did avoid the number of turnovers they've had in every other game this season.

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#13 by Tutenkharnage // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:24pm

Meanwhile, Saquon Barkley has produced 15 plays of 10-plus yards: 12 rushes and three runs.

Not sure which one of these is supposed to be "receptions," but I'm sure one of them is.

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#14 by Theo // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:26pm

What?! The Steelers are not a top team now that Ben is retired?

Color me very surprised.

 

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#18 by BigRichie // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:50pm

So SOME-one thought Ben '21 was a good quarterback? Or even barely adequate? Or even anything other than putrid?

Color me very, very surprised.

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#36 by Theo // Oct 03, 2022 - 10:18pm

Strawman. I didnt say that.

At least Ben had the experience to call a play when Canada's offense fell apart. 

Ben, being the horrible qb you describe, had 7 game winning drives last season. Out of 9 wins. Those wins are gone now.

Now that the offense doesnt have audibles installed yet, you can see Canada's genius in full glory.

 

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#43 by Pat // Oct 04, 2022 - 10:05am

 Out of 9 wins. Those wins are gone now.

As is a $25M/yr Hall of Fame pass rusher.

Losing Watt is a massively bigger blow to the team than Roethlisberger.

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#20 by nat // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:54pm

It's your site, and you can do what you want with it.

But did you really intend to block seeing the non-preview (as of last week) DVOA stats when you put up the preview stats?

That feels like you've paywalled your main draw every week, at the exact moment when people might want to review last week's stats.

Maybe the previews should be on their own links.

Points: 0

#41 by David // Oct 04, 2022 - 9:39am

Subscribers get the ad free experience.

I've got to be honest, those videos were the tipping point for me to subscribe so...good job, I guess?

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#21 by Pen // Oct 03, 2022 - 1:54pm

they've got DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Rashaad Penny, Will Dissly, an offensive line that's - as you yourself pointed out - has given up the fifth lowest sacks in the league. How many strengths do they need to have to qualify as more than few?

Points: 0

#34 by El Muneco // Oct 03, 2022 - 6:12pm

I'm as big a booster of this year's Seahawks as anyone based in reality - I still see six wins on this schedule, maybe seven. But. Be realistic.

The next time Dissly and Penny _combine_ for a full, effective season will be the first. The young OL have held up well, but they are still vulnerable to penalties, and they haven't been tested all that much. Smith, given an offseason to prepare in a system that was not designed around a completely different QB is surprisingly effective, but still Geno Smith.

There's a lot of positive indicators. But I think "a few proven strengths" is still fair.

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#39 by Pen // Oct 04, 2022 - 2:06am

it's the defense.  Let's base ourselves in reality. Dissly has now gone a couple full seasons. And Geno Smith is not "Still" - whatever that means - Geno Smith.

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#23 by AFCNFCBowl // Oct 03, 2022 - 2:06pm

Looks like Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson were holding their teams back, if anything.

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#28 by brambo // Oct 03, 2022 - 3:16pm

Koo...

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#40 by ih8california // Oct 04, 2022 - 8:12am

So let me get this straight, the Chiefs dominate the Bucs, but DVOA likes the Bucs more because they racked up a lot of garbage time stats when down 3 scores against an average Defense and the Chiefs get almost not extra credit despite scoring 41 points against the "#1 Defense", got it. 

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#55 by BigBen07 // Oct 04, 2022 - 5:53pm

Pretty ridiculous isn't it? Anyone with eyes could see Mahomes was the best player on the field. The Bucs had been allowing NINE points a game . NINE. Hopefully when opponent adjustments are in full swing the DVOA/DYAR for that game will go up where it belongs. Aaron Rodgers by the way scored 14 points against that D.

Points: 0

#57 by ImNewAroundThe… // Oct 04, 2022 - 8:55pm

When eliminated from the playoffs, tank, and you could be in great position like the 22 Eagles :)

Points: 0

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