Yes, DVOA Suggests Dolphins Are Overrated

Dolphins WR River Cracraft
Dolphins WR River Cracraft
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Week 3 - The Buffalo Bills remain as the No. 1 team in our DVOA ratings, even after this week's loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Bills had a strong enough lead a week ago that one bad game isn't enough to knock them out of the top spot, even as their rating drops nearly 30 percentage points.

The dramatically improved Jacksonville Jaguars remain at No. 2 after a big win over the Los Angeles Chargers; as I pointed out on Twitter yesterday, this is the best Jaguars start ever by DVOA. The Baltimore Ravens stay at No. 3 after a healthy win over the New England Patriots. Kansas City drops from fourth to eighth after a loss to Indianapolis, which helps Philadelphia and Tampa Bay (despite a close loss) each move up one spot in the top five.

The biggest surprise at the top of our ratings is the team that is missing. We said before the season that our projections suggested more parity than usual this year, and that's in fact what has happened. Only two teams remain undefeated after just three games. One of them is Philadelphia. Where is the other one, the Miami Dolphins?

Miami is climbing to the top of some subjective power rankings around the Internet. That's not the case here at Football Outsiders. We've got the undefeated Miami Dolphins just 11th in the league through three games. You aren't expecting to see them behind teams such as Dallas and Cleveland, or the 1-2 San Francisco 49ers.

Dolphins fans certainly see things very differently. So do subjective power rankings which tend to be based primarily on wins and losses. Other advanced metrics, however, are more in line with DVOA. Pro Football Reference's SRS, which has undefeated Philadelphia No. 1, has Miami eighth. ESPN's FPI has Miami even lower than we do, currently 15th. Vegas oddsmakers clearly don't believe in the Dolphins' superiority either, as Miami is currently a four-point underdog in Cincinnati on Thursday night. Take out home-field advantage and that suggests the 1-2 Bengals are still better than the Dolphins. That's actually what our DAVE ratings have as well, with Cincinnati currently 15th and Miami right behind at 16th.

Let's break down that Miami DVOA to try to explain why the Dolphins are 11th despite going undefeated so far this year. First, remember the idea of Guts and Stomps. The best teams in the league are typically identified through big wins. Miami beat the Patriots 20-7 in Week 1 but their subsequent wins have come by just four and two points.

I assume nobody is too surprised to see the Dolphins second on offense instead of first. No. 1 Baltimore is averaging 7.1 yards per play this season compared to 6.5 yards per play for the Dolphins. Ranking second is certainly very nice considering where we all would have put the Dolphins offense in the preseason. (The preseason projections had them 13th.)

No, the difference between our numbers and public perception is related to Miami's defense. Right now, the Dolphins rank only 24th in defensive DVOA through three games. That's a better match for Miami's rank in yards allowed (31st) than the Dolphins' rank in points allowed (16th).

Look at some of the complementary parts that add up to DVOA and you can see why Miami is ranked so low. There's talent on the Miami defense, which Cale Clinton writes about in today's Any Given Sunday, but the results aren't very good this year on a per-play basis. The Dolphins have allowed a 51% success rate on defense; only Atlanta and Arizona have been worse. They have allowed 6.3 yards per play, which ranks 27th in the league so far. The Dolphins are in the middle of the league with four turnovers: one interception of Mac Jones and three fumble recoveries out of six fumbles on defense. The pass/run split is bad for the Dolphins, since we know pass defense (where they rank 29th) is more important than run defense (where they rank seventh).

The win over Buffalo was the coming out party for the Miami defense, but even in that game Miami had a below-average defensive DVOA (i.e. above zero). They allowed a lot of yards that didn't result in points. The Bills had a 60-yard drive that resulted in a missed field goal and then a 73-yard drive that ended with a failed fourth-and-goal from the 2. Usually, allowing drives like that is going to mean giving up scores. There were also meaningless yards that the Bills gained in the final drive of each half, neither of which led to points. But taking those plays out of DVOA moves Miami's defensive rating for this game from 12.3% all the way to 5.1%. Not much of an improvement.

Miami also ranks just 29th on special teams so far. Allowing a kick return touchdown to Baltimore's Devin Duvernay plays a role in that, as does the butt punt. Miami's own returns have been nothing special. The good news is that special teams is the least predictive of the three units so that's one place where the Dolphins will probably get better going forward.

Another point in the Dolphins' favor is the schedule they have played. Next week, we begin to filter opponent adjustments into our DVOA ratings, but as of now we're still not including them because it is early in the season. Miami has played the second-toughest schedule in the league so far, with both the Bills and Ravens in our top three. If we were to use 100% opponent adjustments -- something we don't do this early in the season, because we don't truly know how good teams are after just three games -- Miami would rise to No. 5 in DVOA and No. 1 on offense.

The Surprising Teams Above Miami

Schedule strength -- or, in this case, not yet accounting for schedule strength -- plays a role in the ranking of some of the teams which unexpectedly come out ahead of Miami. Let's take a quick look at four of those teams, each of whom have played a below-average schedule through three games.

Dallas (6): It's now been three games, including a win over Minnesota last season. At what point do we start actually believing in Cooper Rush? Bryan Knowles will be writing more about this later in the week, but Rush is currently eighth in passing DVOA. The Dallas offense is 15th overall because, after a terrible Week 1, the Cowboys are the No. 6 offense of Weeks 2-3. Meanwhile, we thought the Cowboys would still have a good defense this year, and they have, currently eighth in DVOA. Dallas ends up with single-game DVOA over 50% for both its Week 2 win over Cincinnati and its Week 3 win over the New York Giants, and that all puts the Cowboys sixth overall in DVOA.

Cleveland (7): Jacoby Brissett's performance through three games makes even less sense than Rush's performance through two games, because we had more of a track record for Brissett. The Browns' backup quarterback is seventh in passing DVOA right now while the Cleveland running game is second in DVOA behind only New England. The Browns defense has been a bit of a disappointment, currently 23rd, but the offense has lifted them to a 2-1 record with their only loss that ridiculous late comeback by the Jets.

San Francisco (9): I know, I know. Anyone who watched that 49ers-Broncos slogfest on Sunday Night Football has to wonder what on earth San Francisco is doing here. The answer is that they've played very good defense all season. Some of that is a little monsoon-enabled, of course, but the 49ers have allowed an average of 12.3 points per game. They're third in defensive DVOA so far, and that's enough to get them into the top 10 overall despite a below-average offense.

Denver (10): I know, I know. Anyone who watched that 49ers-Broncos slogfest on Sunday Night Football has to wonder what on earth Denver is doing here. The answer is that they've played very good defense all season. I wrote all offseason about how last year's Denver defense was a bit of a statistial mirage, but this year's defense is facing an average number of drives and stopping opposing offenses with much more efficiency. The Broncos have allowed an average of 12.0 points per game. They're fifth in defensive DVOA so far, and that's enough to get them into the top 10 overall despite a below-average offense.

Schedule Strength for Week 4 Onwards

This is something I usually like to do after three weeks, look at how schedule strength for the rest of the season is different if you look at DVOA and DAVE.

The DAVE calculations here also try to adjust for the major injuries that I'm adjusting for in the playoff odds report. So your future schedule DAVE is different depending on whether you are playing the Jacoby Brissett Browns or the Deshaun Watson Browns, I tried to estimate when Dak Prescott is returning for the Cowboys, and so on.

For the most part, the hardest and easiest schedules remaining match what we expected in our preseason projections, which makes sense since preseason projections are still 78% of the DAVE calculations. The hardest schedules are packed into the AFC North, where the Bengals and Steelers have clearly the two toughest remaining schedules according to DAVE (and two of the three hardest based just on DVOA from the first three games). The Browns are fourth and the Ravens are seventh. Other teams with particularly tough remaining schedules include the Jets, Saints, and Chiefs. In particular, the Browns and Chiefs schedules are going to get much tougher than they were in the first three games of the year.

The easiest remaining schedules based on DVOA belong to Seattle and San Francisco, but the easiest remaining schedule based on DAVE still belongs to the team we thought had the easiest schedule before the season, the Philadelphia Eagles. A big part of that difference is playing the Los Angeles Rams twice, since the Rams are currently 22nd in DVOA but eighth in DAVE. The Eagles, on the other hand, still have two games against both the Cowboys and the Giants, teams which rank better in DVOA than they do in DAVE.

The Cowboys also have one of the easiest remaining schedules based on DAVE ratings. So do Minnesota, Washington, and Indianapolis.

Here's a full table showing schedule strength both so far and over the rest of the season. Both current DVOA and DAVE are listed.

Team Past
Sched
DVOA
Rk Future
Sched
DVOA
Rk Past
Sched
DAVE
Rk Future
Sched
DAVE
Rk
CIN -2.8% 18 12.0% 1 -3.5% 22 5.2% 1
PIT 0.3% 15 8.8% 3 0.7% 15 5.1% 2
NYJ 17.2% 5 10.9% 2 6.7% 3 3.3% 3
CLE -11.4% 28 5.1% 5 -7.3% 31 3.1% 4
NO 5.1% 10 3.0% 11 -1.2% 18 2.6% 5
KC -19.9% 31 3.7% 9 -5.6% 27 2.0% 6
BAL -7.8% 24 6.9% 4 -2.0% 21 1.9% 7
ARI -4.5% 21 2.4% 14 5.2% 6 1.5% 8
CAR -8.3% 25 2.5% 13 -5.7% 28 1.5% 9
LV -17.7% 30 1.6% 15 -5.9% 29 1.4% 10
NE 17.3% 4 -0.6% 22 5.1% 7 1.1% 11
BUF -7.6% 23 0.7% 16 -1.2% 19 1.0% 12
LAR 6.5% 9 0.7% 17 2.4% 10 0.5% 13
DEN -4.0% 20 -2.6% 26 -4.7% 25 0.5% 14
MIA 29.2% 2 -0.1% 18 14.1% 1 0.4% 15
CHI 2.8% 12 3.4% 10 0.9% 14 0.4% 16
TEN 4.0% 11 4.0% 7 1.5% 12 0.4% 17
NYG -2.7% 17 4.3% 6 -7.9% 32 0.2% 18
ATL -14.7% 29 -0.7% 23 -0.6% 17 -0.3% 19
HOU -9.5% 26 4.0% 8 -4.6% 24 -0.6% 20
TB 2.7% 13 -0.3% 20 5.8% 4 -0.9% 21
DET 0.1% 16 2.8% 12 1.3% 13 -1.2% 22
SEA 10.0% 8 -9.0% 31 0.6% 16 -1.3% 23
SF -4.6% 22 -9.7% 32 -4.3% 23 -1.5% 24
GB 0.8% 14 -0.5% 21 2.5% 9 -1.6% 25
JAX -20.3% 32 -2.0% 24 -7.1% 30 -1.7% 26
LAC 15.3% 6 -3.8% 28 4.6% 8 -1.9% 27
IND 15.1% 7 -2.0% 25 1.7% 11 -2.0% 28
WAS 31.2% 1 -0.3% 19 5.5% 5 -2.5% 29
MIN 18.9% 3 -7.2% 29 7.0% 2 -2.7% 30
DAL -3.8% 19 -3.2% 27 -1.7% 20 -2.8% 31
PHI -10.6% 27 -8.6% 30 -5.0% 26 -5.6% 32

* * * * *

Football Outsiders playoff odds, snap counts, and the FO+ database are now all updated through Week 3.

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. On Tuesday morning when we post the update 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 three 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 78% preseason forecast and 22% 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.

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 OFFENSE
VOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
VOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 BUF 51.8% 1 24.0% 1 2-1 16.5% 6 -32.1% 2 3.2% 8
2 JAX 46.0% 2 3.6% 12 2-1 20.9% 5 -24.9% 4 0.2% 17
3 BAL 43.1% 3 18.1% 2 2-1 34.7% 1 4.0% 18 12.4% 1
4 PHI 39.8% 5 15.8% 3 3-0 25.7% 4 -18.8% 6 -4.7% 28
5 TB 20.3% 6 11.9% 4 2-1 -14.8% 27 -34.3% 1 0.7% 15
6 DAL 18.5% 15 3.1% 14 2-1 -0.4% 15 -14.2% 8 4.6% 4
7 CLE 17.4% 8 4.2% 9 2-1 27.3% 3 11.6% 23 1.7% 12
8 KC 17.1% 4 10.8% 5 2-1 13.5% 10 -10.0% 9 -6.5% 30
9 SF 16.9% 10 4.0% 10 1-2 -12.0% 23 -28.5% 3 0.4% 16
10 DEN 10.9% 11 3.7% 11 2-1 -11.1% 22 -24.3% 5 -2.3% 25
11 MIA 9.9% 14 1.7% 16 3-0 27.8% 2 12.8% 24 -5.2% 29
12 GB 9.2% 12 8.1% 6 2-1 14.2% 9 6.2% 19 1.3% 14
13 DET 7.7% 9 -3.0% 21 1-2 15.0% 7 9.2% 22 1.9% 11
14 ATL 2.2% 17 -5.9% 22 1-2 14.9% 8 16.2% 27 3.5% 6
15 LAC 0.4% 7 7.9% 7 1-2 1.8% 14 -0.3% 15 -1.8% 23
16 PIT -1.0% 16 -2.1% 20 1-2 -2.3% 16 -2.4% 12 -1.1% 21

Comments

79 comments, Last at 30 Sep 2022, 2:59pm

#1 by Romodini // Sep 27, 2022 - 5:31pm

The Cowboys had some good drives against the Giants, but left points on the board thanks to CeeDee Drops and the refs adhering strictly to the "be as shitty as possible when the Cowboys are playing" part of the officiating manual. I can see how DVOA would look favorably on their ability to gain yardage yesterday, although not so much against the Bengals when their offense seemed to disappear after the first two drives.

Cooper Rush looks like he is legitimately better than Dak at maintaining his cool against pressure. Dak has a nervousness about him in high-pressure games and seems to play scared and overthink/doubt his ability when things get tough. The mental pressure  seems to be too much for him at the beginning of games against good playoff teams, until they fall behind and he has to start slinging it. Rush hasn't had to face a good defense like the Bucs for a whole game yet, but he has seemed more confident in throwing downfield than Dak has in awhile. I hope Dak isn't "rushed" back into the game before his finger is completely healed, because I can see the pressure of overcoming yet another injury and playing up to the standard Rush has these past two games ruining him if he doesn't live up to it due to lingering injury or nervous jitters. He needs to not try to prove himself by playing hero ball -- just calmly manage the passing game with the newfound running game they've developed. That's when he's been at his best, outside of a few outlier games.

 

Points: 0

#6 by mike07030 // Sep 27, 2022 - 6:36pm

I hope you’re joking about the ref thing in last nights game, where they called maybe the worst offensive pass interference call against Shepard I have ever seen, pushing them out or at least field goal range. 

Points: 0

#12 by Romodini // Sep 27, 2022 - 7:35pm

Like I said, they were shitty. Some of that shit is going to rub off on the Giants.

Points: 0

#38 by Mike B. In Va // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:42am

Well, they also missed a very obvious illegal contact/holding penalty on the Giants earlier in the game that forced a FG try from Dallas, so, yeah.

At least the Shepard call was "technically" correct, even though it doesn't usually get called.

Points: 0

#2 by Robopunter // Sep 27, 2022 - 5:37pm

That's right, folks, Packers special teams are *leans into ASMR mic* slightly above average for the second straight week.

Points: 0

#70 by DisplacedPackerFan // Sep 28, 2022 - 5:07pm

In reply to by Robopunter

3rd week in a row actually.

And it's not just one phase propping them up!
FG/XP: 0.7 (15th) current NFL range -6.1 to 2.5
Kickoff: 0.6 (18th) current NFL range -5.2 to 1.9
Kickoff Return: -0.3 (21st) current NFL range -2.6 to 6.9
Punt: 0.7 (13th) current NFL range -7.9 to 3.5
Punt Return: -0.4 (21st) current NFL range -2.1 to 2.6

So being 14th overall is more about basically being around average in everything. The 2 phases that are negative are only just costing them some points. Kick returns are still and issue and I don't think there is any single incident that is dragging it down they are just a bit worse than average. The fumble on the punt return is likely the only reason that aspect is negative so Amari just keeping doing what he's been doing but not fumbling again will have that improve.

They are also hugely negative on hidden points at -3.8 (28th) and are being helped less than most teams by weather points with 1.1 (23rd). Weather points will keep dropping for them, it's always negative. Hidden points has been negative for them for like 20 of the last 25 years too so I don't expect that to improve. So staying above average with 2 anchors is a huge win.

Not having any aspect really sucking and not having any aspect being really high means it isn't just one specialist propping them up.

It's just been so damn nice to have special teams do what you expect! The one worry I had about the blocking on the punt team after the first 2 games looks like it was fixed for the 3rd game too. Which was also just a huge wow factor.

Points: 0

#3 by JaguarUSF // Sep 27, 2022 - 5:40pm

1 vs 3 (Bills at Ravens) and 2 vs 4 (Jaguars vs Eagles), should be a fun week!

Points: 0

#11 by Pat // Sep 27, 2022 - 7:07pm

I am *not* looking forward to that Jags/Eagles game. Just worry there's too much familiarity from Pederson there, specifically on the OL and defense.

Points: 0

#39 by Mike B. In Va // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:45am

...and it's going to be raining in Baltimore, most likely. I'd like to say it's only because it always rains when I actually go to a football game, but I think Ian has more to do with it. It should be entertaining to see what those two QBs do to two MASH-unit secondaries.

Points: 0

#4 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 27, 2022 - 5:45pm

Cleveland being ahead of Miami doesn't surprise me (We're about three plays away from Cleveland being 3-0 and Miami 1-2). Dallas does a little, just because Tampa controlled that game so thoroughly.

As for SF:

but the 49ers have allowed an average of 12.3 points per game.

That's not very good considering they haven't played against an opposing offense yet.

 

Points: 0

#5 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 27, 2022 - 5:47pm

Rush has looked decent, although in favorable game control situations. He game-manages well and can made reliably efficient plays. Watching the Cowboys offense, you can see how there are plays Dak can make that Rush cannot. However, I do sort of agree above that Rush is better at just taking some of those available plays.

Points: 0

#55 by ammek // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:13pm

QBs whose first names begin with C are to the 21st century what Steves were to the 1980s: prime backups. Cooper looks like another to go with Colt, Chase, Casey, Cade and so on.

Good job if anyone projected Hurts, Rush, Mariota, Geno and Goff to be the top five NFC quarterbacks by VOA at this stage of the season.

Weirdly although the AFC has seven of the top eight QBs by YAR, it also has a (slight) majority among the bottom nine qualifiers.

Points: 0

#68 by Mike B. In Va // Sep 28, 2022 - 3:19pm

To have and to have not in the AFC, apparently.

Points: 0

#7 by jheidelberg // Sep 27, 2022 - 6:47pm

 We said before the season that our projections suggested more parity than usual this year, and that's in fact what has happened. Only two teams remain undefeated after just three games. 

OK, you are going by record, how about VOA through three games, is the VOA suggesting more parity than usual?

Now I will go by record.  Unless a number 1 seed wins the Super Bowl, someone will have to win 4 consecutive games to end the season.  Even 3 is proving to be very difficult, and this is against a schedule consisting of all 32 teams, not sorting out for 14 playoff teams.

 

Points: 0

#8 by jheidelberg // Sep 27, 2022 - 6:50pm

I loved talking with all of you last night watching a game that I frankly did not give a damn about, Dallas-NYG.  The app leads to wonderful discussion, and even an inept computer unsavvy individual such as myself was able to use it.

Despite asking last night and getting an answer, I still can not figure out how to tie my comments to a comment made by someone else.  Please explain to me how to use this feature.

Thanks

Points: 0

#13 by Bryan Knowles // Sep 27, 2022 - 7:48pm

If you're on desktop, you can hover your mouse over the comment you want to reply to; that will give you a few icons on the right side of the screen.  You're looking for the arrow, that's the "reply" button.  Click on that, and your next comment will reply to the comment you want to reply to.

If you're on mobile, I believe you have to touch and hold on the comment to get that menu up.  I don't use Discord for mobile that often, so I'm more familiar with how to do it on the desktop.

Glad you enjoyed it, and hope to see you there again this week!

Points: 0

#15 by KnotMe // Sep 27, 2022 - 7:53pm

On mobile, you press and hold ("long press") on a comment till the option comes up. (long press is the right click)

Points: 0

#20 by fyo // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:09am

I have a green Reply text link at the bottom of every comment. Is that not normal? (Same on mobile.)

Points: 0

#21 by Bryan Knowles // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:11am

He's talking about the new Discord chat server rather than this comment section!

 

https://discord.gg/4Q3qsWMtPk

Points: 0

#23 by fyo // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:33am

ahh ;). That'll teach me to read more carefully. Speaking of the Discord server... I tried getting on last week using the links provided in various articles here on FO, but without using the "invite" link first, those links all silently fail. I had to find the original "we're doing discord" article for the invite, then I could use the other links.

Points: 0

#62 by Bryan Knowles // Sep 28, 2022 - 2:20pm

Yeah, I think the initial links were accidentally the "expires in seven days" links, rather than the "good forever" links, which is aggravating.  The link above should work permanently.

Points: 0

#9 by jheidelberg // Sep 27, 2022 - 6:57pm

Since I was unable to tie my comments to yours, here is a list of QB's that we can discuss after week 18 regarding your last comment regarding defending Daniel Jones (much easier for an NFL defense to accomplish than a fan).

Here is my list:

Matt Ryan

Zack Wilson

Jared Goff

Carson Wentz

The conglomerate of what becomes the starting QB for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I've given you some veteran, some young and some in the middle with regards to age and experience.

As for myself, I made a comment on FO last year that Daniel Jones doesn't suck!!!!  (Last time I did this, an FO writer found a prior comment that I referenced).

Now I shall restate.  Yes, we can not separate a player from a team.  If you want to make the argument that Daniel Jones does not suck, look at the last 4 Giants games last year of Jake Fromm and Mike Glennon.

I will state at this time as I did last night, that Daniel Jones is at best near the bottom of the mediocre QB's and at worst at the top of the bad QB's (which I like to refer to as the cream of the crap).

Points: 0

#14 by theslothook // Sep 27, 2022 - 7:48pm

To be honest, in retrospect, I rather regretted the whole Daniel Jones discussion. Mostly because it generated puerile side comments that made me realize its not the right forum. I rather agree with Big10; this site has sadly attracted more than a few malcontents.

I'll try to summarize my point about Jones like this

For one, I haven't watched Daniel Jones that much - basically 0 times this year prior to yesterday and maybe only a few times during his career when the Giants are televised nationally (usually against the Cowboys). The times I watched before yesterday, I saw a QB who had a penchant for making a bad situation look horrendous. So its not as if I held him in high regard. However, people love having it both ways. Everyone assumed Joe Judge was an awful coach and Gettleman a terrible GM but Daniel Jones deserved 0 benefit of the doubt. This is in stark contrast to other qbs in Chicago or Jacksonville or maybe the Jets. In those cases, the QB is a blameless victim as opposed to an active contributor in their own demise. In other words, people are happy to engage in logical inconsistency whenever convenient. 

Coming back to Jones. Strictly speaking from the point of view of last night, I saw a Qb whos line simply could not block the people in front of them. I also so saw an entire drive where Jones escaped pressure, threw a pass to a receiver who basically dropped it. That happened at least 3 times. So you add it all up and I said  Daniel Jones has been given 0 support this game. Maybe that's apropos of nothing because his track record to this point has been so bad, but that doesn't change the fact that his supporting cast completely shit the bed yesterday. I'd be curious of others disagree.

Going to a broader point. Supporting casts matter. That's how Jared Goff, in his best seasons, can finish 5th in DVOA twice and then 22nd last year. And yet, everyone here will swear that they knew all along that Jared Goff was a secretly a bad player. Its why its hard to know for certain what tier a player is until enough time has gone by and we have some certainty around their level of play. If Goff can be good and bad simultaneousy(and top 5 in DVOA is really really good btw); then it stands to reason others who look really bad right now could in fact look really really good. That's kind of what I am hinting at here. Instead, everyone pretends like they know for certain and of course, are never going to admit when their priors were wrong. Its just like I have found in my personal life. Absolutely no one will share the stocks they bought that turned out lousy. 

Bottom line, I believe theres a decent probability given a good supporting cast, Jones ends up a solid starter. There's even a possibility he's better than that, but I wouldn't bet on it. But honestly,  even hoping for Jones to end up solid is not really worth much because teams should aspire to something better than maybe if everything works out, he could be a solid starter. 

 

Points: 0

#16 by jheidelberg // Sep 27, 2022 - 8:40pm

He takes over for awful franchise, awful team, no offensive line gets hurt, see you next year.

Then he takes a mediocre team to the Super Bowl.  Still poor protection, this is a way to define a great QB, overcome adversity, win anyway.

Now he is getting creamed and most are blaming the offensive line.  To me its Burrow’s responsibility to overcome adversity again.  It seems to me that Burrow is getting a free pass this year in what has been an awful start.  
 

Ja’Marr Chase has not left the building, make something work.

Points: 0

#17 by mehllageman56 // Sep 27, 2022 - 10:05pm

The problem with that is the schedule.  Burrow faced TJ Watt and Micah Parsons, Jones has faced... ok, Parsons the other night, but Tennessee and Carolina are not that high on the defensive rankings, or have the talent Pittsburgh and Dallas have.  But Burrow's get well game came against the Jets... who have decided to rank last again in Defensive DVOA.  So, who knows.

Points: 0

#44 by theslothook // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:35am

Sure, but then I've seen similar things happen to quarterbacks in the past.

After winning a super bowl, Ben roethlisberger proceeded to be absolutely terrible for a good chunk of the next season.

I will admit Joe Burrow is still a bit of an unknown to me. If I'm being completely honest, the times I watched him last year and I watched him a decent amount, I thought he looked a bit overrated. I thought a lot of the Bengals offense was coming from hero shots to Jamar Chase. But in his defense he was a second year player on a team that everybody had routinely panned as horrible and a coach who was horrible. So last year was a big improvement, all things considered.

I'm fairly certain Joe Burrow is not a terrible player. At this moment he feels like a tier 3 player with a chance of becoming much better than that. And I'll probably wait till the end of his 4th year, assuming there are no injuries, before I feel definitive about it.

 

Points: 0

#49 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 12:14pm

After winning a super bowl, Ben roethlisberger proceeded to be absolutely terrible for a good chunk of the next season.

What the heck? Are you talking about 2006? You mean the year that he had a near-fatal offseason motorcycle accident and an emergency appendectomy days before the season opener? I, uh, don't think Joe Burrow's offseason consisted of extended hospital stays, so... not really comparable.

Probably a safe bet to stick with Joe Flacco as that example.

Points: 0

#50 by theslothook // Sep 28, 2022 - 12:20pm

Actually, his season long metrics were pretty solid. I just remember him starting off really poorly. It was an example that came to me specifically because, like Burrow, Roethlisberger had just come off a stupendous second year getting to the SB and I was very curious to see what his career trajectory was. I was extremely high on him as a player, regarding him pretty much like I did Herbert this year. And then he proceeded to play a lot worse. Yes I am aware he had the accident and all of that. But he actually looked fine in week 1 and then was a disaster afterwards for the next few games. Hence why the comparison to Burrow after three weeks.

Burrow could get a lot better from the rest of the year and we may completely forget that the start to the season was incredibly slow. 

 

Points: 0

#52 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:02pm

Yes I am aware he had the accident and all of that. But he actually looked fine in week 1 and then was a disaster afterwards for the next few games. 

Psst: look above.

an emergency appendectomy days before the season opener? 

He didn't play week 1. Charlie Batch did. The "disaster for the next few games" you're talking about are Roethlisberger's first games. Unless throwing for under 150 yards on 30+ attempts and 2 touchdowns, losing to Jacksonville 0-9 is a strange definition of "fine" I don't know about.

Points: 0

#53 by theslothook // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:09pm

He didn't play week 1. Charlie Batch did. 

Yes I forgot that. It happened over 10 years ago.

 "...and then was a disaster afterwards for the next few games."

Check out the boxscores for his first 3 starts. I have no idea why that line is so controversial

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/R/RoetBe00/gamelog/2006/

This is what I regard as needless pendantry, for what really was just an in the moment comparison between two players at the very early parts of their careers and the season in question. 

Points: 0

#56 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:18pm

This is what I regard as needless pendantry

How is it being pedantic?? My point's simple: Burrow's struggled in the first few weeks, for no real reason. He's just playing worse than he did in the playoffs.

Roethlisberger in 2006 is a terrible comp because he had a ludicrously obvious reason: he was literally hospitalized and lost like 15 pounds just before the opener. If I time-travel back to 2006 in week 3 and someone's going "man, Roethlisberger looks terrible, maybe he's not that great," that person would be clueless. Everyone knew what the problem was in 2006, and everyone expected him to recover.

Flacco 2013 is a much, much better comparison. Comparing Burrow in '22 to Roethlisberger in '06 makes zero sense.

Points: 0

#61 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 2:19pm

Yeah. Because of the offseason accident. He literally had a serious accident without a friggin' helmet. It was a huge thing in the media where people were calling out Ben for that, calling him selfish and not a team guy, even before the season.

Again this just doesn't look like a remotely similar situation. The main reason this is surprising is because there was no rumblings of anything in the offseason and all the Bengals did was go out and try to get better.

With Roethlisberger they were pointing to things off the field (that did, in fact, impact things on the field, but that's different). With Burrow you start to wonder "maybe he just holds on to the ball too long," which is much different. Again, if anything, you'd compare to Flacco, although with only being 3 games in it's way too soon.

Points: 0

#65 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 28, 2022 - 2:42pm

What the heck? Are you talking about 2006? You mean the year that he had a near-fatal offseason motorcycle accident and an emergency appendectomy days before the season opener? I, uh, don't think Joe Burrow's offseason consisted of extended hospital stays, so... not really comparable.

Burrow's off-season also consisted of an emergency appendectomy.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34413347/cincinnati-bengals-qb-joe-burrow-says-appendix-ruptured-prompting-surgery

 

Points: 0

#18 by laneveramisma // Sep 27, 2022 - 11:54pm

I believe you answered your own question with respect to Daniel Jones being given zero benefit of the doubt versus Fields, Lawrence and Wilson: The latter three were rookies whereas Jones had just finished putting his third year of NFL play on tape and, understandably, a sense of ennui had set in among evaluators of that tape as well as among those whose analysis and opinions are disseminated across the various media platforms. As I watched last night’s game I could not help but note that several of the problematic quarterbacking traits that had permeated Jones’s first three years of film— astonishing lack of pocket awareness particularly regarding pressure to his throwing side, intermittent wildness, happy feet, and a tendency to telegraph throws— were present with a similarly alarming frequency a full forty-one months after Dave Gettleman reached insatiably into the void and drafted him sixth overall. So yes, the benefit of the doubt bestowed upon the other three was and still is that of time, which is running rapidly out for all mentioned here except Lawrence. If provided better talent and a window for the growth and development of players like Evan Neal, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Daniel Bellinger, Jones might become a functional and even productive professional quarterback. If that is indeed the Giants’ ultimate goal, then so be it; however, a better one might be to start over at the position and aim higher. 

Points: 0

#19 by theslothook // Sep 27, 2022 - 11:56pm

I'm happier with responses like this instead of..."LOL he thinks Daniel Jones is Tom Brady"

Which btw, I don't have the stomach for such commentary yet. I admire Will or Peter plays bass or some of the other veteran commenters. I've been silent mostly so that I don't say the wrong thing.

Points: 0

#26 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 9:13am

The guy that sarcastically (although not really) says he's secretly Peyton Manning to try and make an exaggerated point that Daniel Jones can be better, is (sincerely) hurt but a guy sarcastically saying, verbatim, "Daniel Jones is secretly Tom Brady" after tons of other discussion (with everyone) on how supporting cast isn't the answer to everything in year 4. And how literally no one disagreed with a better cast helping or Mahomes contract being a good deal. 

Keep my name out of your mouth if you're gonna continue to be petty on a fake moralistic ground. And respond to jheid above about Burrow already with your unchanged freedom of speech despite the the Gruden censoring a year ago.

 

Points: 0

#43 by whocares4 // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:25am

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Hey man, a long time ago I used to post here a huge amount for years (under a different name) but for a while now I just read the articles & comments.

I mean this in the gentlest, friendliest possible way but you are single-handedly bringing the quality of life down around here. I think Aaron and the staff must be aware that it's in the their best interest not to have you constantly getting into petty fights with everyone & making ugly comments but I figured it might be worth it to say this to you directly: is there any chance you could just... stop? I really mean this with no animosity but you're making what has consistently been one of the best message boards on the internet (for decades) into a kinda shitty place to visit.

So is there any chance you could knock it off? I know there's very little chance you'll hear me out but I thought I'd try...

Points: 0

#46 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:52am

Tone policing again.

Go ahead and ignore who started it here for no reason. Yall allow the weirdest subliminal shots and then cry when called out about it. Annoying silent moderates that only speak up when peace is being disturbed but not justice. 

Points: 0

#71 by BJR // Sep 29, 2022 - 7:13am

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

You would hope a comment like the above would provoke a little introspection, but clearly not. 

I'll try another plea. You evidently are not a dummy when it comes to football matters. I have agreed with what you have written on many occasions. Please just try and have a little more tolerance and understanding of opposing points of view to your own, when they are often contributed by long standing members of this forum who are, equally, clearly not dummies either. And please, please cut out the passive-aggressive 'lol' BS.

Points: 0

#74 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 29, 2022 - 9:00am

Pots calling kettle black. I know where I stand and what I believe in. I dont put up with nonsense like yall, who, again, only cry when being called out. Preferring civility over truth. Definition of tone police.  

Has nothing to do with "opinions." But I'm the passive aggressive one lol. Look at how it started here! 

>ajit: weird unnecessary reference to me, saying the wrong thing

>yall: crickets

>me: here's the VERBATIM truth so stop talking behind my back

>yall: whoa now!! Stop being such a meanie!!!

Can't make this up. 

Points: 0

#45 by Noahrk // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:44am

I wonder if Garoppolo and Jones traded places would anyone notice the difference? They have many of the same qualities and flaws, only one has always been in great teams and the other in horrible ones. It's as if they are enacting some sort of the Prince and the Pauper live-action proof of concept or something.

Points: 0

#29 by JonesJon // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:08am

To me Jones shares a lot in common with Trubisky. Drafted by a bad GM, to a bad situation, and was sort of a punching bag from Day 1. Both are not as deplorably bad as fans and certain media members make them out to be but at the end of the day it became readily apparent that they also are probably career backups. 

Points: 0

#40 by Mike B. In Va // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:00am

Coming back to Jones. Strictly speaking from the point of view of last night, I saw a Qb whos line simply could not block the people in front of them. I also so saw an entire drive where Jones escaped pressure, threw a pass to a receiver who basically dropped it. That happened at least 3 times. So you add it all up and I said  Daniel Jones has been given 0 support this game. Maybe that's apropos of nothing because his track record to this point has been so bad, but that doesn't change the fact that his supporting cast completely shit the bed yesterday. I'd be curious of others disagree.

I've seen Jones a couple of times before Monday, and he looked absolutely awful. Monday night, it definitely looked like he got what Daboll wants him to do, and did a pretty good job of executing it. The rest of the team (other than Saquon) did absolutely nothing to help him, dropping catchable passes and completely not blocking.

Points: 0

#58 by KnotMe // Sep 28, 2022 - 1:29pm

I do think there is bit of a development aspect to QB and that is where the team they are drafted by matters. While guys can change teams and improve it's usually a one tier difference at best. Josh Allen is the only guy I can think of who went from bad to elite and he was only in Jones realm of bad his rookie year. 

I think it may be to late to fix Jones by the time he can move to another team. 

 

Points: 0

#63 by KnotMe // Sep 28, 2022 - 2:23pm

Bree's ended up awesome but he wasn't really bad to begin with.  He was more like average-ish and the Chargers were concerned about his injury history and they had Rivers. The whole thing was very much the Chargers.

Points: 0

#64 by theslothook // Sep 28, 2022 - 2:29pm

In his first two seasons playing meaningful snaps brees ranked 23rd and 34th and DVOA. He was so bad in fact in his third season that the team ended up with the number one overall pick. 

 

Points: 0

#66 by Pat // Sep 28, 2022 - 2:42pm

Plus they pulled him after 8 games in his third season so we don't even know how bad it could've been. There aren't exactly a ton of "elite" QBs out there anyway so just the fact that there are 2 of them implies that it's not that uncommon. And Brees's 2004 wasn't average, it was insane. It was a bigger leap than Allen took, nearly 50% change in DVOA.

The weird thing is that at least with Allen there's stories of him like working hard in the offseason on mechanics, accuracy, etc. There's like, nothin' on Brees. The only story there is that he was pissed off they drafted a QB.

Points: 0

#78 by Thomas_beardown // Sep 30, 2022 - 2:50pm

Brett Favre another guy (first guy to ever move to Wisconsin and start drinking less?)

Points: 0

#10 by jheidelberg // Sep 27, 2022 - 7:05pm

Here is a rarity on FO, I'll admit that our prior discussions have changed my opinion.  The QB position is so important that I will pay what I must and worry about the rest of my team later.  As for my rooting interests, please pay Lamar Jackson after this season if he continues anywhere near this rate, the guy is back to being absurd.  The Ravens should be 3-0, teams were 711-0 in the last 711 games with a 21 point 4th quarter lead before the Miami game.

I'll admit that if the Ravens can not win the Super Bowl that I must root for the 49ers a truly excellent team lead by the ultimate of mediocrity Jimmy G.  This man is the reincarnation of Joe Flacco, he keeps getting to the playoffs, getting his team to the cusp.  Give him 10 more years in the playoffs and he will win the ultimate prize just through sheer odds.  He can even knock out your Packers by standing on the sidelines watching a punt get blocked for a TD, then lead a FG drive after doing literally nothing all game.

Man those 49ers are great, except for QB.

But of course that is your point and now is my point, a mediocre QB will win an upcoming Super Bowl, but what are the odds that YOUR mediocre QB will win one?

Points: 0

#24 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 9:02am

Kirk is a scary precedent but Lamar has more than proven he's better. Imagine if he had Jefferson...although I do wish Lamar doesn't lose out on any money because of a freak injury and misses a big payday, which is what he's risking now. So far so great and I hope he continues to avoid the nasty bug. Sometimes "only 11m more" isn't actually bad in the grand scheme of things.  

I can't root for SF though. They've had enough success and Jimmy is too blase. In the realm of mediocre QBs, Shanahans propping can only do some much for so long. And the SB team was pretty stacked and they still couldn't get it done. When most QBs are mediocre, the chances that your team has not only the best supporting cast, but a great one as well, are slim. 

 

Points: 0

#72 by BJR // Sep 29, 2022 - 7:33am

I almost think that Lamar has already done enough to convince the Ravens to cough up, unless he suffers a truly horrendous injury. 

In fact a non-career threatening season ending injury now would be preferable to some outcomes. For example, a season ending injury in January. Or a nagging injury that he can play through, but significantly limits his productivity. Or concussions. 

Points: 0

#73 by jheidelberg // Sep 29, 2022 - 8:19am

There is no point to signing Lamar mid season as they did with Ronnie Stanley who had a major injury during the first game after he signed.

However, after the season is over, the Ravens will cave to Lamar’s demands, I believe.

The franchise has never had a good QB, not a formula for success in today’s NFL.

Well, maybe one year of McNair before he was washed or maybe you prefer late 1990’s Vinny Testaverde.

Regardless, the choices are to keep this saga going with the Dak Prescott franchise tag, sign him, or trade him for 5 number 1 picks, praying to get an excellent new QB, along with comps to Suggs, Ogden, Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed.

Of course with 5 number 1’s you may end up with comps to Kyle Boller, Patrick Queen, Hayden Hurst and 2 others.

With that risk on the table, I expect the Ravens to sign Lamar.

Points: 0

#75 by KnotMe // Sep 29, 2022 - 12:12pm

Yeah, unless he is terrible this year (which seems unlikely given a hot start) I don't see how they don't sign him. When you got a guy with tier 2/1 potential you just gotta sign him and hope it works out bc your odds of finding another one arn't good.  Sucks for the GM.  Sign him and he is bad->fired.  Let him go and he does well ->fired. 
 

Points: 0

#76 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 29, 2022 - 1:31pm

And more than Watson, that's a tough pill to swallow for any one of 22 starters. 

Points: 0

#22 by fyo // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:29am

As a huge Miami Dolphins fan and active in several communities, I don't think I've met a single fan who *seriously* believes the Fins are the best team in football. There are always crazies, obviously, and there are certainly those who will say that the Dolphins have played the best football so far against the best teams and thus deserve the top spot in "Power Rankings", but at the same time fully willing to admit that they wouldn't consider the team favorites on neutral ground against at least a few teams.

As for DVOA and Strength of (Past) Schedule, I think there's an argument for including opponent adjustments earlier. Right now, the Dolphins are the only 3-0 team with a top 10 SOS. In fact, they have had the second toughest slate of opponents thus far - with a huge jump down to the #3 spot.

Only 2 of the other teams with top-10 past schedules have winning records. That would seem to indicate the un-opponent-adjusted DVOA could use some opponent adjustments ;).

It's a bit more muddled at the other end of the table, although there are more wins than losses, and it would certainly be necessary to look at more years to get more data.

Ultimately, I'm not sure I understand the fundamental reason for having DAVE and still not adjusting for opponent strength. If the belief is that DAVE-adjusted DVOA reasonably represents how good teams are right now, what is the argument for NOT using that to adjust for opponent? Fundamentally, that would seem to indicate that DAVE-adjusted DVOA right now is completely worthless in terms of predicting how good teams really are and that doesn't seem to be a viable argument.

Is the correlation of early-opponent-adjusted-DVOA with future DVOA really worse than non-adjusted-DVOA? (over many seasons, obviously).

Points: 0

#27 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 9:18am

I know defense adjustment is pseudo but it doesn't seem to make it more predictable comparing it to other metrics. 

And Miami is the only .500+ team that's 3-0 ATS (Philly 2-1 due to week 1). They're not just winning but covering. 

Points: 0

#28 by Noahrk // Sep 28, 2022 - 9:42am

You have to give it time. It's too early to draw conclusions using strength of schedule in general, but if Baltimore and Buffalo are as good as they look, Miami's DVOA for this early games will climb.  Right now it seems like subjective rankings are overeating them while DVOA -let alone DAVE- are underrating them. But while Buffalo and Baltimore look clearly like they're going to be beasts, it's hard to say exactly what the Dolphins are going to be yet. Maybe tomorrow's game will bring more clarity.

Points: 0

#30 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:09am

I think it'd be fine adjusting a couple weeks in. Because they've beat Bill B by 2 possessions. Beat John Harbaugh in Baltimore then just beat the SB favorites (still, with a lot dropped ints in the 4th). Might just want to adjust after week 1 because that sounds impressive in any year.

Points: 0

#47 by Noahrk // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:53am

I agree if you adjusted for the Dolphins right now you would get more realistic DVOA, but I don't think it would work for most teams -hence why Aaron doesn't do it. There's a lot of uncertainty about how teams like the Broncos or the Cowboys or the Chargers, to name just a few, will end up in DVOA at the end of the year, while I'm pretty sure the Ravens and Bills will remain near the top when all is said and done.

Points: 0

#48 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 12:08pm

what DAVE and VOA is for though? 

Denver being ahead right now, feels weird anyway. Miamis defense specifically feels middle third (like OPPG) more so than bottom third (like here). 

I'm not usually picky and try to understand but someone else brought it up and does feel out place 3 weeks in (Miami simply looks to be just better than what people expected, not sure it's super flukey).

Points: 0

#33 by fyo // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:18am

There's no question that "power rankings" sticking the Dolphins at #1 are overreacting, at least in the sense that they are certainly not the best team.

That's not the discussion.

The goal with DVOA early in the season should be to present the most accurate early season DVOA according to the design goals of DVOA. If adding opponent adjustments late in the season improves upon these design goals (e.g. correlation with wins), then that's a good thing to do and obviously FO has found that this is the case, otherwise why do opponent adjustments late in the season?

The same criteria should guide the decision on whether to use early season opponent adjustments and not just a "feeling" that "we don't really know how these teams are". FO may well be doing that and this year may well just be an outlier, I don't know. Naively, my initial thought would just be that if early season DVOA is in any way valuable (otherwise why publish it), then actually using it to adjust for opponents should improve the performance. If you have two teams that have played equally well according to early season DVOA, but one has played what the two best teams (according to DVOA) and the other the two worst, would opponent adjustments not improve the performance?

Points: 0

#37 by ImNewAroundThe… // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:32am

& win* (because the Texans are 3-0 ATS)

I think I saw Miami +3.5 for tomorrow, that sounds good if I were betting.

Points: 0

#31 by James-London // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:13am

Add me to the list of Miami fans that don't think they're anything like the best team in football. Better than I expected? Yes. Far more likely to be a palyoff team than I expeceted? Sure. 3 wins, 2 in division and all in conference provide handy tie-breakers (especially against the BIlls & the Ravens), are great, but Miami could and arguably should be 1-2 right now. If you played the Ravens & Bills games another 100 times each, Miami win how many of them?

It's much better than I expected, but not 'Best Team in the Divison' Good, far less BBest in the NFL Good

Points: 0

#34 by jjohnson177 // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:22am

If this were the college system, there's no way you couldn't have them as number 1 in your polls. But DVOA, as we all know, isn't a poll or ranking. As a Dolphins fan, I'm okay with where Miami sits right now in DVOA. The schedule softens up after Thursday's game and if they can take care of business in those games, then we'll know this team is for real.

Points: 0

#36 by Aaron Brooks G… // Sep 28, 2022 - 10:30am

If this were the college system, there's no way you couldn't have them as number 1 in your polls. 

Oh that's easy. Miami isn't in the SEC.

Points: 0

#41 by Johnny Ocean // Sep 28, 2022 - 11:04am

Miami is winning right now through good coaching.  The Miami coaching staff seems to know they don't have the better team so they look for advantages that are available to them to have a better outcome then their roster can deliver.  Using their speed advantage late in the Ravens game, they made Tua look like Mahomes for a quarter.  Managing the clock well at the end of the Ravens game gave their defense enough help to prevent another Ravens score and win the game.

Buffalo came into the week three game missing key contributors in the defensive secondary but brought a scheme to stop Tyreek Hill and make Miami beat them another way.  Miami obliged them by using River Cracraft to score twice and keep Miami in the game late.  Buffalo made enough mistakes to lose the game but Miami kept the pressure on them long enough that they were more likely to make those mistakes.

The question is what will the Miami coaching staff pull out of their hat for the quick turn-around on Thursday vs the Bengals.  The Bengals pass defense looks exploitable with some weakness against WR2 & TE.  The Bengals one game against a decent offense came in week 2 vs Dallas and their rush and pass defensive DVOA for this game suggests that the Bengals defense is closer to a ranking of 20th to 25th when playing a competent offense.  Miami may be without the services of Tua but I would expect the coaching staff to come prepared to win the game no matter who suits up and this will likely be enough to beat the rudderless Bengals.

Points: 0

#51 by Mike B. In Va // Sep 28, 2022 - 12:31pm

Cracraft only scored once, and he ran a nice slant route on that. The other two were rushing touchdowns. The important throw was the long pass to Waddle on third down, which Tua executed well on. That play shows how important Hyde and Poyer are to that defense, because you don't even ATTEMPT that throw against their starters unless you want to throw a pick. CBS did a good job in the broadcast of showing how the inexperienced safeties fell for the route combinations, whereas Hyde and Poyer would have played it differently. Trent Green might know something about coverages - who would have guessed?

Points: 0

#69 by DisplacedPackerFan // Sep 28, 2022 - 4:53pm

I expected the Packers pass catchers to be highly variable on a game by game basis. I expected every single one of them to miss at least one game due to injury and 1 or 2 to end up on IR at some point. I expected rookies to see a lot of targets.

I did not expect that Romeo Doubs would be the only qualifying WR for the DYAR leaderboards after 3 weeks with 3 DYAR on 16 passes. (-9.7% VOA I suspect that when the D is added this will go up). I'm not all that surprised that he qualified for the leaderboard, just that he is the only WR to do so. Cobb is the DYAR leader on the team at 53 on 8 passes. Watkins (now on IR) has 46 at 7 passes, and Lazard (missed game 1 with an injury) has 37 on 9 passes. So they have 4 WR with positive DYAR (OK technically YAR since no adjustments yet), which doesn't fully surprise me.

Tonyan is on the TE leaderboard but doesn't look great (-12 DYAR on 14 passes). That is mostly because of the TB game where Rodgers was checking down and dumping off to RB and TE in poor situations and TB has great LB and short yardage pass coverage too, so that might improve when adjustments start showing up next week.

Leading targets
Week 1: Dillon 6, 3 with  5 (Doubs, Tonyan, Jones)
Week 2: Watkins 4; 6 others with 3 (Jones, Dillon, Cobb, Doubs, Lazard, Watson)
Week 3: Doubs 8, Tonyan 7, Lazard 6

I won't be surprised if there is never a back to back target leader all season. Given what I've seen of NE I'd guess Lazard or Jones will be the target leader this week.

Points: 0

#77 by Pmadsen04 // Sep 30, 2022 - 11:50am

Last year the story for the packers was how a team couldn't win with extremely poor special teams. They ended up firing the ST coordinator in the offseason. SVOA shows significant improvement. Can a coach make that much  difference in special teams, or is this more about just playing better this year?

Points: 0

#79 by Thomas_beardown // Sep 30, 2022 - 2:59pm

The coaching staff is hugely important. I say this as a Bear's fan who's missed Dave Toub for 10 years now.
 

Another thing that's important is talent evaluation and a commitment of resources. I was listening to Pat McAfee on the Mannings this monday and he was talking about how Polian with the Colts was more interested in backups who could play offense than really help on special teams. Which is probably worth it when you have Peyton.

Points: 0

Save 10%
& Support Aaron
Support Football Outsiders' independent media and . Use promo code SCHATZ to save 10% on any FO+ membership and give half the cost of your membership to tip Aaron.