Jaguars Surprise No. 2 in Latest DVOA Ratings

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence and RB James Robinson
Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence and RB James Robinson
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 2 - The Buffalo Bills remain No. 1 in the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings after two weeks. This is not a surprise. The Bills were No. 1 in our preseason projections and they've had two huge wins on prime-time national television. Buffalo is one of the dozen best teams ever tracked by Football Outsiders through two games. Everyone knows how good they are right now.

THROUGH 2 GAMES, 1981-2022
2005 PIT 2-0 116.3% 11-5
1981 BUF 2-0 104.1% 10-6
1990 CHI 2-0 99.9% 11-5
1996 GB 2-0 94.4% 13-3
2007 NE 2-0 93.5% 16-0
1984 CHI 2-0 91.3% 10-6
2019 NE 2-0 90.3% 12-4
2015 ARI 2-0 89.4% 13-3
2002 SD 2-0 87.3% 8-8
1996 SF 2-0 86.8% 12-4
1989 CLE1 2-0 83.1% 9-6-1
2022 BUF 2-0 80.4% --

No, the surprise is the team that is second in DVOA right now: the Jacksonville Jaguars!

This is a bit of small sample size theatre, of course. The Jaguars are No. 2 this early in the season because they had one really huge win, stomping the Colts 24-0 this past weekend. But what a huge win it was. You may not realize just how badly the Jaguars stomped all over the Colts. In the end, the Jaguars get 110.0% DVOA for this game (still without opponent adjustments because it is early in the season) and the Colts are at -110.4%.

How badly does this one game reflect on the Colts' chances to win the division? Remember, they were the preseason favorites in the AFC South. How often do teams recover from an early loss as bad as this? I went back 20 years and looked for every team that got spanked badly in the first three weeks of the season. Since we don't have opponent adjustments yet, I looked at our numbers without opponent adjustments. I made a list of teams that had at least one loss in Weeks 1-3 with a rating of -100% or worse.

There are 32 teams with a loss like this since 2003, not including the Colts. Only two of those teams rebounded to make the playoffs (2013 49ers and 2020 Browns), although two others would have been the seventh seed in the current playoff format. One team went 8-8, and then the other 27 teams had losing records. A loss this bad is usually an indicator that you are not a very good team.

These are the five teams that got spanked early and recovered somewhat:

Rebounding from Horrible Early Losses, 2003-2021
Year Team VOA Really Bad Loss Final
2013 SF -103.8% 29-3 to Seattle, Week 2 12-4
2020 CLE -109.1% 38-6 to Baltimore, Week 1 11-5
2005 MIN -114.0% 37-8 to Cincinnati, Week 2 9-7
2017 BAL -104.7% 44-7 to Jacksonville, Week 3 9-7
2009 CAR -115.8% 38-10 to Philadelphia, Week 1 8-8

Let's flip it around and look at the Jaguars. Could Jacksonville possibly be on the way to the playoffs in Trevor Lawrence's second season? Our playoff odds certainly like their chances, as the Jaguars are at exactly 50% to win the division in our latest simulations. It helps that nobody else in the AFC South has a win or a positive DAVE rating. The Colts and Titans are the bottom two teams in DVOA after two games.

Games below -100% are more common than games above 100%, so there are only 19 teams since 2003 that had a game over 100% in the first three weeks of the season. Thirteen of those 19 teams made it to the playoffs. But greatness was far from guaranteed. The other six teams went 8-8 or worse, including last year's Browns (who dominated the Bears in a 26-6 game in Week 3). The 2014 Redskins had a 41-10 win over Jacksonville in Week 2 but lost the other five of their first six games and finished the season at 4-12!

There were no teams in the past 20 years that had both a game over 100% and a game below -100% in the first three weeks.

The Baltimore Ravens are now third in DVOA despite losing to the Miami Dolphins this weekend. Some readers will be surprised to see Miami all the way down at No. 14 despite their 2-0 record. Offense certainly isn't the reason for their low rating, as Baltimore and Miami currently rank 1-2 in offensive DVOA. The issue is defense and special teams. Special teams is pretty much the difference between Baltimore and Miami. Both teams are very high on offense and below average on defense, but Baltimore is currently first in special teams while Miami is 31st. One Devin Duvernay kick return has a lot of effect on that when we've only played two games.

That Duvernay touchdown is why Baltimore ended up with a higher single-game DVOA this week than the Dolphins did. Baltimore was at 19.0% while Miami was at -6.8%. But the gap between the teams was even larger in our Post-Game Win Expectancy formula. Based on PGWE, we would have expected Baltimore to win this game 99% of the time! That makes this the biggest "surprise" win of the last three years, the first game since 2020 that a team lost despite having a PGWE above 95%. Why does the system favor Baltimore so much?

  • Although Miami had the higher offensive rating, 55.5% to 36.6%, the PGWE system gives about three times as much weight to passing performance as it does to rushing performance. And Baltimore was the better passing team over the entire course of the game. Baltimore gained an astonishing 11.2 yards per pass in this game for 143.5% pass DVOA, with Miami at 9.0 yards per pass for 78.6% pass DVOA. Somehow, the Baltimore Ravens are currently first in the league in pass offense and dead last in run offense.
  • The special teams gap of about 40 percentage points.
  • Miami won this game despite being penalized far more than the Ravens. Baltimore had only two penalties in this game, and only one of those actually counted. Miami had 11 penalties, eight of which counted for yardage.

You also may notice a big difference between Miami's listed DVOA and unadjusted VOA. That's because the unadjusted VOA in the table on this page is different from DVOA for three different reasons. First, opponent adjustments, but those haven't come into play yet. Second, weather effects on special teams, not a big deal for Miami. Third, fumble recovery. The Dolphins have recovered four of five fumbles so far this season and the only one they didn't recover was Lamar Jackson's fourth-down goal-line fumble, so they got the ball afterwards anyway.

And while we are on the subject of PGWE, the other big comebacks of Week 2 also had "reverse PGWE" where the team with a higher PGWE lost the game. The Cleveland Browns had PGWE of 83% and the Las Vegas Raiders had PGWE of 61%.

Finally, a brief word about the lowest 2-0 team, the New York Giants. The Giants moved up from 26th to 18th this week with a win over Carolina. Both the Giants and Panthers had positive DVOA for this week's 19-16 contest, although that's likely to change once opponent adjustments kick in for both teams. The Giants have one of the lowest DVOA ratings ever for a 2-0 team, which I covered in this tweet and will cover further in an article for ESPN+ later this week.

* * * * *

Football Outsiders playoff odds, snap counts, and the FO+ database are now all updated through Week 2.

A reminder that all our free stats pages, including DVOA and player position stats, require registration to view. This is not a paywall*! You only need to register (for free) and then log in to the site to view these pages. While you're at it, you can get a seven-day trial of FO+ and check out the FO+ features like a deeper DVOA database, weekly fantasy projections, fantasy football research tools, Derrik Klassen's new All-32 game preview column, and picks against the spread.

*New: It's not a paywall, except on Mondays! As of this week, we are now posting DVOA data on Monday instead of waiting until Tuesday as in the past. If you want to see data from the current season on Monday, including all of Sunday's games, you will need to be an FO+ subscriber. When we post an update on Tuesday morning with Monday Night Football added in, all of the free stats pages become free again. The exception will be snap counts, which will still be available to everyone Monday but now will be updated earlier.

* * * * *

These is the Football Outsiders Top 16 through two weeks of 2022, 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.) Please note that there are no opponent adjustments in DVOA until after Week 4, which is why it is listed here as VOA. Click here for the full table.

OFFENSE and DEFENSE VOA 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. 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 85% preseason forecast and 15% actual performance. DAVE ratings for Dallas and Cleveland are based on projections for the entire rest of the season, including games with both starting and backup quarterbacks. DAVE for Pittsburgh is based on a projection that has T.J. Watt returning at midseason. DAVE ratings for San Francisco are adjusted for Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.

To save people some time, please use the following format for all complaints:

<team> is clearly ranked <too high/too low> because <reason unrelated to DVOA>. <subjective ranking system> is way better than this. <unrelated team-supporting or -denigrating comment, preferably with poor spelling and/or chat-acceptable spelling>

1 BUF 80.4% 1 25.8% 1 2-0 21.6% 7 -48.8% 1 10.0% 2
2 JAX 48.4% 13 0.2% 17 1-1 18.6% 9 -30.6% 3 -0.9% 22
3 BAL 34.8% 2 14.6% 2 1-1 31.9% 1 9.9% 21 12.8% 1
4 KC 32.2% 4 12.5% 3 2-0 30.0% 3 0.2% 14 2.4% 11
5 PHI 31.7% 12 12.4% 4 2-0 27.3% 5 -9.6% 9 -5.1% 28
6 TB 28.0% 5 12.3% 5 2-0 -16.8% 27 -45.1% 2 -0.4% 20
7 LAC 23.6% 3 12.0% 6 1-1 10.3% 10 -14.3% 7 -1.0% 23
8 CLE 23.4% 7 3.9% 11 1-1 29.0% 4 9.9% 22 4.3% 5
9 DET 22.1% 22 -1.8% 20 1-1 19.5% 8 5.0% 17 7.5% 3
10 SF 20.2% 17 3.4% 13 1-1 -3.9% 17 -22.8% 4 1.3% 16
11 DEN 17.5% 15 4.0% 9 1-1 0.1% 14 -21.2% 5 -3.8% 26
12 GB 16.5% 24 9.1% 7 1-1 25.5% 6 10.5% 23 1.4% 14
13 NE 13.4% 19 3.9% 10 1-1 7.4% 11 -5.3% 11 0.6% 18
14 MIA 8.5% 9 0.7% 16 2-0 30.4% 2 14.2% 26 -7.8% 31
15 DAL 2.7% 30 -0.7% 19 1-1 -17.8% 28 -17.2% 6 3.3% 9
16 PIT -1.7% 8 -2.3% 21 1-1 -13.6% 22 -10.5% 8 1.4% 15


69 comments, Last at 22 Sep 2022, 4:43pm

#1 by theslothook // Sep 20, 2022 - 3:58pm

Seeing the Jaguars in the pole position for the AFC South Crown makes me think of this:

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#2 by theTDC // Sep 20, 2022 - 4:03pm

Someone asked in a different thread which would be the three worst teams in the league this season, and which would be the three best, with the question being whether any of the three predicted worst teams would end up better than the best. I picked LAR, BUF, and TB as the three best teams, with NYG, NYJ, and ATL as the three worst. I was considering the Jaguars, but Lawrence in year 2 coupled with good coaching dissuaded me from that. And besides, they had a lot of money spent in free agency, so I expected a 7-10 type team.

Well the Rams got blown out by what is potentially a historically great team, and the Giants are a very unconvincing 2-0. Other than that, I feel good with my picks. Still, the Jags do look like the last to first team this year, especially with that awful division they're in.

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#3 by KnotMe // Sep 20, 2022 - 4:24pm

The current AFCS standings(Jax, HOU, Indy, Tenn)  are the exact opposite  of what they were last year.  Crazy. 

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#11 by mehllageman56 // Sep 20, 2022 - 5:51pm

The Jets may end up with a top 3 draft pick, but they'll probably be middling in DVOA.  Their schedule is brutal.  The Jaguars get to play 6 games against the AFC South, with them probably being the toughest team in the division.  Lawrence looks solid at least, although he still throws some passes up for grabs.

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#20 by Kaepernicus // Sep 20, 2022 - 7:59pm

Lawrence does not need to play as well as he did this week for them to win either. Their defense flashed last year with that surprise win over the Bills and the pounding they put on the Colts late in the year. Their pass rush is impressive with Josh Allen, Walker, and Key. Christian Kirk has been very good and they have the potential to turn into a very good running team as well. I have personal hatred for Baalke for a lot of historical reasons but one thing he was good at in his time in SF was drafting top-end talent in the first round. He really only whiffed once with the all-time bad 2012 draft. The issue with Baalke is he is terrible after the first 2 rounds, has a history of overpaying for mediocrity in FA and on his roster, while being absolutely cancerous with office politics. If the Jags are smart they move on from him this year after thanking him for the admirable stop gap and find a new person to maintain this core that has come together. Do not let Wormtongue stay too long.

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#4 by Crouchback // Sep 20, 2022 - 4:37pm

So...New England is ranked 13th, a little above Miami with offense and defense at 11th. I'm a Patriots fan but that seems to call for some discussion/explanation. 

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#6 by MJK // Sep 20, 2022 - 4:49pm

The Pats-Miami game really turned on two plays... the sack-fumble-6 and the long TD to Waddle over a blown coverage right before halftime.  Plays like that will certainly affect DVOA negatively, but since DVOA averages over all plays, their effect on DVOA will be much smaller than their effect on the game was, and once there are a couple of games to average over, their damping effect will be washed out.  


It's a weak explanation, to be sure, but that's all I've got.  To my eye, Miami looks like a significantly better team than New England after two games.  I don't think Miami is ranked too low... but I do feel like New England may be ranked too high.  Maybe 16th-18th feels about right... a top 10 defense and a somewhat below-average offense. 

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#12 by KnotMe // Sep 20, 2022 - 6:04pm

I'm surprised too.  NE offence being ranked so high seems odd. I don't think are quite as bad as the third least points scored so far would make you think, but it seems weird that they would be above average. 

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#18 by Crouchback // Sep 20, 2022 - 7:55pm

Good defense & bad to mediocre offense adding up to average sounds about right to me as well. Maybe DVOA is seeing offensive failure as flukier than it seems at first glance. Thing is, I could see the Pats offense getting its act together as the season goes on so this could be accurate in a month. But it sure doesn't feel right now. 

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#22 by Kaepernicus // Sep 20, 2022 - 8:05pm

The NE defense has been surprisingly good considering the roster talent. If Miami keeps throttling teams on offense that first game will look even better. For some reason I decided to second guess Bill's defense this year and he is again reminding us he is the undisputed greatest defensive coach of all time. The offense is bad though. They have to get Bourne out of the dog house because there is not a replacement on the roster.

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#45 by cstoos // Sep 21, 2022 - 7:50am

"The NE defense has been surprisingly good considering the roster talent."

Well they should be, considering they have three defensive coordinators on that team. 

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#32 by RickD // Sep 20, 2022 - 9:04pm

The Dolphins entered the 4th quarter well behind the Ravens, who had dominated the first three quarters.  And though they had a great comeback, they did it in the way DVOA doesn't like: long passes on blown coverages.  

The Patriots are doing what they did last year in terms of playing the way DVOA likes: solid progress between the 20s (that doesn't necessarily translate into scoring).  

That's the best explanation I've got.  I don't think Pats fans think they're better than the Fins right now.  


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#33 by RickD // Sep 20, 2022 - 9:07pm

If you look at that column of the table, the Dolphins jump all the way up to 7th.  

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#5 by MJK // Sep 20, 2022 - 4:44pm

Interesting that Miami had a big exciting win over a decent opponent, and yet fell 5 spots, ending up below New England (whom they beat handily). 

Not sure I buy New England having the 11th best offense... I wonder how much of this is them dominating Pittsburgh on their final drive where they strung together a sustained, 7 minute clock killing drive to close out the game.  DVOA really likes sustained drives, but there was very little "pop" to their offense in that game.  I had zero confidence they could reliably convert 3rd downs.

I do buy their defense as being top 11.  

I guess Miami's fall is due to their defense making swiss cheese look airtight for three quarters on Sunday...

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#24 by Noahrk // Sep 20, 2022 - 8:19pm

I said before the season there was no way Miami's defense would be 27th and so far I'm right. They're not 27th, they're 26th. Good job me! Now, Lamar Jackson passed the ball really, really well, so my guess is the New England game will end up reflecting better what this defense really is, but we'll see.

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#7 by MJK // Sep 20, 2022 - 4:50pm

Why is New England's special teams so bad?  Was it just the missed 52 yard FG?  They dropped a couple of punts nicely inside the 20 on Sunday, and also had the muffed punt recovery.

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#9 by AFCNFCBowl // Sep 20, 2022 - 5:33pm

The muffed punt presumably only penalizes PIT's DVOA, since NE did nothing to force it.

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#13 by MJK // Sep 20, 2022 - 6:06pm

You're right; this is a basic assumption of DVOA, and is probably mostly true.

But perhaps not entirely true.  There was an interesting article on PatsPulpit where they interviewed the Pats special teams coach.  Apparently, the Steelers had a substitution error where they only had 10 men on the field for the punt, leaving Schooler uncovered.  When Bailey, the Pats punter, saw that, he apparently adjusted his punt on the fly.  Rather than punting for a corner in an attempt to keep it from being fielded, he instead punted higher, with more hang time, and more back spin, to Schooler's side of the field, in hopes of causing a muff where Schooler would be in position to recover it.

Probably stuff like that happens on most well coached special teams on almost every play, but in this case it did pay off, and does suggest that sometimes muffs and recoveries aren't pure luck but are at least partially contributed to by well coached players doing the right thing.

Of course, the article poses the great question of, if Schooler was uncovered and the Steelers only had 10 men, why didn't Bailey throw the ball to Schooler for a 1st down rather than punting it...  

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#42 by Vincent Verhei // Sep 21, 2022 - 2:39am

Yes, it's just the missed field goal. They are dead last in FG% right now (among the 30 teams that have actually tried a field goal), and third-worst in kicking for points on our special teams page.

Now, they are 1-for-2 on FGs and 3-for-3 on XPs, so that rating will rise quickly once they make another kick or two and somebody else somewhere misses one.

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#8 by Mike B. In Va // Sep 20, 2022 - 4:56pm

There's gonna be some baked-in wackiness with this small of a sample size. Still, BUF/BAL/KC/JAX as division winners with MIA a wildcard definitely doesn't sound like it's out of the realm of possibility...

It will be interesting to see how the next two weeks of games play out, as three of those teams beat up on each other. I expect to see a barn-burner in Baltimore on the 2nd...

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#10 by AFCNFCBowl // Sep 20, 2022 - 5:37pm

Surprised to see DEN's offense ranked so high. (Yes, red zone performance is inconsistent from week to week, but all the pre-snap penalties they've accumulated have to drag them down).

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#16 by reddwarf // Sep 20, 2022 - 7:11pm

7th in yards per game and yards per play.  They are moving the ball, just committing suicide (it's gone beyond shooting themselves in the foot) when they get close to the end zone.  24th in points scored.

DVOA loves the yards and assumes the points will come, hence the ranking.

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#25 by KnotMe // Sep 20, 2022 - 8:20pm

I know DVOA is situational, so I think it know yards are more difficult to get in the redzone. It sometimes seems overly impressed with teams that can move the ball well on the open field but have troubles when the defence is compressed.  Sometimes I feel there should be some sort of penalty if your ratio of red zone to green zone yards is bad enough. 

Probably explains NE also, it looks like their lack of a WR1 hurts them there. 


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#14 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 20, 2022 - 6:19pm

How often do teams recover from an early loss as bad as this? I went back 20 years and looked for every team that got spanked badly in the first three weeks of the season. Since we don't have opponent adjustments yet, I looked at our numbers without opponent adjustments. I made a list of teams that had at least one loss in Weeks 1-3 with a rating of -100% or worse.

There are 32 teams with a loss like this since 2003, not including the Colts. Only two of those teams rebounded to make the playoffs (2013 49ers and 2020 Browns)

The 1991 Lions got flattened by the Redskins in week 1, then won the division and beat the nascent Cowboys dynasty, only to be flattened by the juggernaut Redskins *again* in the NFCCG.

Thus ended the best Lions season since 1957.

\The Lions were +121 and 13-3 against everyone not the 1991 Redskins.
\\They were -76 and 0-2 against the Redskins. That team was terrifying.

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#15 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 20, 2022 - 7:02pm

FWIW, that’s roughly the 2020 Bills against everyone else

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#17 by serutan // Sep 20, 2022 - 7:40pm

A bit surprised Detroit was 9th.  Knew they'd be well above last year so far but I was expecting them to be solidly mediocre.

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#19 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 20, 2022 - 7:57pm

DVOA sees the Eagles as really good, and that Detroit hung with them. So it thinks Detroit must be decent, too.

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#21 by MikeyNg // Sep 20, 2022 - 8:03pm

No opponent adjustments are in until week 4 iirc


So it's just raw VOA.  



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#41 by serutan // Sep 21, 2022 - 12:29am

That's exactly why it was surprising to me.  I think the main thing was that the defense isn't that good, but VOA doesn't think it sucks.

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#26 by Kaepernicus // Sep 20, 2022 - 8:28pm

St. Brown is a legit WR1 and Goff is the new Dalton line. Their offensive line is really good and they have a good rushing offense for the first time since Barry Sanders retired. They have a playoff caliber offense at this point. Looks like Aiden is a legit top tier edge rusher. They need to really get better up the middle on defense with safeties, LBs, and tackles. They seem like a 7-8 win team with a chance to ruin the Vikings/Packers seeding with some upsets this year.

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#63 by Joey-Harringto… // Sep 22, 2022 - 5:22am

Don’t forget that one good Reggie Bush year…

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#65 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 22, 2022 - 7:57am

Bush had the best post-Stewart season, just pulling 1,000 yards. Stewart had two of those, though, including a 1,200 yard year. Bush was more valuable as a receiving back.

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#64 by Joey-Harringto… // Sep 22, 2022 - 5:28am

Malcolm Rodriguez is a pretty good LB.  Great run stopper, somewhat limited in coverage, but a quantum leap above what they've fielded in recent years.  Anzalone, the DT’s and the safeties are okay, not great.  Their real weakness is their non-Okudah corners.  If you have him, start Adam Thielen on your fantasy team this week. 

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#23 by big10freak // Sep 20, 2022 - 8:07pm

The special teams are average!  The special teams are average!!


Kind of surprised the Packers getting obliterated in game 1 last season didn't make the chart, but maybe the scoring wasn't as bad as the score or how it looked.  Because the score was bad, and it looked 100 times worse.  

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#48 by DisplacedPackerFan // Sep 21, 2022 - 9:28am

Yeah, 2 weeks in a row where special teams did what you expect NFL special teams to do! It's been so long since that has happened.

I had to check on the Packers last year too because watching it, it felt like a major beatdown: let's us see some of the numbers. We don't have the Packers VOA, but the Saints were "only" 78.4% and since VOA for a single game has reverse symmetry, outside a few things, GB would only be in the -78 +/- 10 range I would guess. So I had to think why GB was saved from an ever worse VOA

I think GB was saved by having "only" 3 turnovers. Turn overs are massive VOA swings. One of the TO's led to a really short field and a 3 play 12 yard TD drive for NO. One was at the end of the game (the sack fumble of Love with 1:11 left) and may have been less of a penalty too. The score was awful in part because of the INT that lead to the 12 yard drive and a GB failed 4th down conversion that led to a NO 5 play 21 yard TD drive. Short TD drives are valuable for sure, but getting them at just over 4 yards a play reduces that value somewhat in a play by play metric even if it's more painful on the scoreboard.

NO also was 2-2 on 4th down conversions. That's not great for GB but it does mean that GB was doing well enough on defense at times to force NO into 4th down situations.

GB also managed to average 4.4 yards a play on offense and NO was only 5.4 for the game. It was 229 vs 322 total yards. So GB's defense on a play by play basis wasn't actually that awful. It was bad, but it wasn't actually cover your eyes bad, just NFL normal really bad day. That seems to be reflected in NO only having a 25.4% offensive VOA. It was GB's offensive failures that gave NO great field position that really made the score so bad again reflected in NO having a -45.8% defensive VOA for the game. I can see 1 or 2 plays changing and that game being 28 - 10 instead of 38 - 3. Still a beat down, but not an epic one.

Again surprised me too and I had to really poke at my memory, the box scores, and the play by play.

Not related to anything that I'm replying to just don't feel like making a separate post
I do tend to think that anything in the -20 to +20 DVOA range is just NFL normal. Sure 20% VOA is good (or bad) but it's nothing that unusual. It's an average team having a good day with a few plays or missed/blown calls going their way. Or the opposite an average team having a bad day. It's things outside that range that really start to show you something a bit unique I feel. Maybe it's just a couple plays and the rest was "Yep that's just the NFL" and so it's only like 25% VOA. Or maybe it's cover your eyes bad defense and it's 100% VOA.

I haven't seen a graph of single game overall DVOA (or VOA) distribution but my guess is that you'll have over half in the -20 to +20 range. I'm not sure that applies to the individual offensive and defensive units for single games, but overall team DVOA where you add O+D+ST I bet you do.

The discussion about how much of an outlier the 100% mark is just really got me thinking that seeing a distribution of single game DVOA ratings would be cool. And for all three of the tracked units too. Just having that perspective that you only see like 32 games a year where some team is +60% DVOA and you get like 14 games a year where a team is +80% or whatever.

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#50 by Arkaein // Sep 21, 2022 - 9:40am

I remember in that first game last year that the Packers gained a first down on each of their first two drives, and then on their third drive (down 17-0, lol) moved the ball right down the field but had to kick the FG before the half ended. Then they moved the ball again to start the second half before their first turnover in the red zone.

On the flip side, the Saints first few drives were mainly impressive for the number of plays run. Nothing much explosive, and required a couple 4th down conversions from what I remember. Saints just managed to string together a long sequence of mediocre plays just well enough to sustain extremely long drives.

Things busted open more in the second half, but I wouldn't be surprised if the first half DVOA was much closer than the scoring.

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#60 by MJK // Sep 21, 2022 - 5:13pm

Be careful of small sample size theater!  Per above, the Pats special teams are currently rated below average in special teams because of one missed 50+ yard FG.

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#27 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 20, 2022 - 8:37pm

But Kirk's contract isn't hurting them... yet. 

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#30 by Kaepernicus // Sep 20, 2022 - 8:57pm

SF-Denver should be a really interesting game Sunday night between the 10 and 11 DVOA teams. Due to trauma from the last decade I am assuming Russ will win this game out of spite while ignoring his HC for the entire second half and launching moon balls to Hamler and Jeudy to win a game where they only have 4 successful drives, all ending in TDs. 

The 2 biggest positives for the 49ers are their starting guards. Considering all of the uncertainty around the IOL and QB change how much would average IOL play and standard Jimmy change the preseason DAVE number? Seems like the offense is set to move up these rankings quickly when Kittle returns and Jimmy gets settled. The biggest area of uncertainty on defense coming in was at safety. 2 weeks in and Hufanga, second year player at SS, has been the highest graded defensive player by PFF through 2 weeks. Barring a rash of injuries this team could be really dominant by week 5 when Jimmie Ward comes back.

I think the craziest trend emerging here is the 49ers defense is on schedule to be above average creating turn overs on defense for the first time since 2019. They have been a top 10 unit with below average TO rates the last 2 years. Adding TOs to an already great unit could elevate this defense to the top of the league.

The other thing that has really hit home through 2 weeks is it may be time to start comparing Parsons to LT. He's that good.

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#34 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 20, 2022 - 9:07pm

I’m not sure playing Chicago and Seattle really tells you much about your defense.

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#35 by Kaepernicus // Sep 20, 2022 - 9:42pm

Very true. Similar situation with the Broncos playing the Seahawks and Texans. Time to figure out how good these teams actually are against quality competition.

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#31 by RickD // Sep 20, 2022 - 9:01pm

Surprised this Week 1 result from 2003 didn't make your list.  I guess the Pats played well enough to stay above -100 DVOA.

Brady played so poorly (4 INTs) the now-long-forgotten Rohan Davey made it into the game.

That 2003 Pats recovered well enough to win the Super Bowl.

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#51 by Aaron Schatz // Sep 21, 2022 - 10:00am

I forgot to mention that game. I totally meant to mention it in the article. Brain freeze. New England had -97% VOA so it just missed qualifying for my lists above, and yes, it certainly is a good example that you can get spanked early and still rebound to have a great season.

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#53 by dryheat // Sep 21, 2022 - 10:43am

I thought it was a strange omission too, but then again, I really don't think that game is indicative of anything, other than cutting your starting safety a couple of days before the game for your opponent to sign is a horrible idea.  Like not-changing-audibles-when-the-former-head-coach-is-on-the-other-sideline-in-the-Super-Bowl horrible.

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#36 by jheidelberg // Sep 20, 2022 - 10:47pm

1.  Audibles at the line

Solution:  Since you never covered all of the games anyway, how about if selected fans watching the games send the e-mails.  Since FO did a compilation of the e-mails you have control and can assure that nothing inappropriate went to print.  I am a Ravens fan.  I am either at the game or watching it on TV.  Thus, I miss all of the other 1:00 games and sometimes the 4:25 games as well.  Your writers for this piece were both informative and witty.  I wish that you would just bring back the piece as it was, and maybe added fans for the games that you guys do not want to watch.  We have plenty of Lions fans, we have Jets fans, Giants fans, Bears fans.  Maybe you can even find a fan in London to do a Jacksonville game.

Please bring it back.

2.  Open discussion on all games, Thurs, Sun, Mon, later in the season SAT, Thanksgiving.

Solution:  This is an easy one, simply have a place where we the fans can comment.  FO writer interaction is more than welcome.

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#38 by theslothook // Sep 20, 2022 - 11:42pm

In reply to by bdouvikas


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#39 by Bryan Knowles // Sep 20, 2022 - 11:54pm

As for no. 2, the idea on Sundays is that the Liveblog will double as an open discussion thread.  We'll try to make that more clear in the future, and get open threads up for other days when no liveblog is happening, as well.

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#40 by theslothook // Sep 21, 2022 - 12:09am

Bryan, please convince the powers that be to bring back audibles. 

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#44 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 21, 2022 - 7:48am

We’ll pretend we’re gambling so you can justify it!

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#46 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 21, 2022 - 8:43am

The Thursday and Sunday liveblogs

We just need one for Mondays! Or just something else if you don't want to blog on Monday

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#57 by Bryan Knowles // Sep 21, 2022 - 2:10pm

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

This may happen at some point! The liveblogs are something of an experiment; if they draw enough people to the site, I am sure The Powers That Be will want to do more of them.  We'll see how they continue to do as the season continues; we worked it out in my contract to make it easy to increase or decrease their number, depending on how these things go.

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#47 by colonialbob // Sep 21, 2022 - 9:26am

If the choice is between Audibles at the line on Mondays vs live Audibles on Discord + actual articles Mondays, I'm voting for the latter. I recognize that this may be a generational divide type thing but I really like the live, informal nature of the discord chat during the games, and I'm going to assume that it's just way too much work to ask writers to do both.

(Also a plug for the outsiders Discord, it's a fun place!)

Points: 0

#49 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 21, 2022 - 9:39am

Lo, hear my tales of a time before popup video ads, when all that strode the site was Aaron's flop-sweat and Catholic Match Girl.

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#54 by dryheat // Sep 21, 2022 - 10:45am

I can envision you taking your pipe out of your mouth and pointing the stem at us.

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#58 by Bryan Knowles // Sep 21, 2022 - 2:18pm

We have a new Discord server where FO readers and writers can hang out.  During the games, a bunch of us are on the server talking live -- this past Sunday, it was me, Mike, Aaron, Vince, Carl and Tom, but others pop in and out on a semiregular basis.  It's a lot of fun during games, and we're slowly building up a community.

We also have channels there for fantasy advice, questions about DVOA and our other numbers, highlights, weird quotes, stupid jokes, etc (and, yes, there's a betting channel).  Even during non-game days, there's a bit of chat and fun going on.  If you're comfortable with chat programs, I'd really advise checking it out.


Kind of what we're going for, in general is:

  • The Liveblog itself as the open thread on Sundays, with highlights and notes from the writers as the games go along as well as kind of in-the-moment reactions and analysis.
  • The Discord as a way to interact with the writers and other readers during the games themselves; a place to watch things while hanging out with people who look at the sport in the same sort of ways you do. 
  • Tanier's Monday Walkthrough as a place for the old Audible comment section -- more thought out, day-after conversations about the games.

It's an experiment!  We're continuing to tinker and adjust, and we'll see what ends up working out best in the long run.

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#67 by TomC // Sep 22, 2022 - 1:50pm

One old-fart suggestion for the discord channel: Make it blazingly obvious that you have to agree to the code of conduct (by clicking on the thumbs-up emoji) before any channels other than the welcome one appear. I was trying to navigate that on Sunday with one quarter of my brain (the other 3/4 was watching games), and I failed utterly.

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#55 by TTP // Sep 21, 2022 - 11:29am

Pretty shocking to see the Steelers offense ranked 22nd.  I guess it's the lack of turnovers? They are pretty much in the bottom 3 in yards per play, first downs, expected points, etc.  But, close to the top in lowest turnover rate.  

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#59 by DGL // Sep 21, 2022 - 4:22pm

They do poorly on a per-play basis, but make up for it by running very few plays.

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#61 by KnotMe // Sep 21, 2022 - 5:39pm

So doing badly on a few plays is better than doing badly on alot? I guess since you accumulate the difference relative to the baseline it makes sense.

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#62 by big10freak // Sep 21, 2022 - 6:43pm

Cannot remember the bit but your comment reminded me of Letterman saying “we lose money on every sale but make up for it in volume”

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#66 by Robopunter // Sep 22, 2022 - 8:46am

Week 2 of the Packers not being #32 in special teams!

(Heck, Week 1 of them being in the top half of the league but let's not go overboard.)

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#68 by KnowGuruz // Sep 22, 2022 - 4:41pm

You just wrote an article explaining how your ratings arent accurate without saying that your ratings arent accurate. And people actually fall for this nonsense

Points: 0

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