DVOA Analysis

Football Outsiders' revolutionary metrics that break down every single play of the NFL season

Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Although they struggled during a few of their later games, the New England Patriots finish 2007 with the best DVOA rating of any team in the 12 years for which we have the play-by-play breakdowns. They also finish with the best offensive rating ever. The Patriots are the first team to ever finish a season with a total DVOA over 50% or an offensive DVOA over 40%, and the first team to finish with more than 14 "estimated wins." They are the fourth team to finish the year number one in both passing and rushing DVOA, along with the 2002 Chiefs, the 2001 Rams, and the wacky mirror-universe 1996 Ravens. (First in offense, 29th in defense. Really.)

BEST TOTAL DVOA   BEST OFFENSIVE DVOA
2007 NE 51.8%   2007 NE 42.8%
1999 STL 45.8%   2004 IND 39.9%
1996 GB 40.6%   2006 IND 33.7%
2001 STL 38.5%   2002 KC 33.3%
2000 TEN 37.4%   2000 STL 31.7%
2004 NE 35.7%   2000 IND 30.1%
2004 PIT 34.8%   2004 KC 28.7%
1999 JAC 34.8%   2007 IND 28.3%
2002 TB 34.0%   1998 DEN 28.0%
2004 IND 33.8%   2001 STL 27.3%
2005 IND 33.5%   2003 KC 27.0%
2007 IND 33.0%   2005 IND 26.9%

The Patriots also excelled when it came to individual stats, of course. Tom Brady is the first quarterback to ever earn more than 200 DPAR in a season. Randy Moss is the second wide receiver to earn more than 50 DPAR in a season, and his 2007 campaign narrowly edges out Marvin Harrison's 2001 season for the top WR DPAR ever. In addition -- this is discussed further in Quick Reads -- Brady does in fact finish with the greatest quarterback season in modern NFL history according to the formula we used in Pro Football Prospectus 2005. I mistakenly forgot to update opponent adjustments when I wrote last week's Quick Reads, which would have put Brady eighth instead of 11th through last week. Then Brady went and had another great game against the Giants, much more in line with his numbers from the first half of the year, and that was enough to move him past Peyton Manning and Bert Jones.

Speaking of Mr. Jones and Mr. Manning: Clearly, sitting your starters in the final week is a Colts franchise tradition, and once again it affected their DVOA rating this year, dropping the 2007 Colts out of the historical DVOA top 10.

On the other end of the spectrum, the 2007 San Francisco 49ers finish 10th among history's worst total DVOA ratings, and eighth among the worst offensive DVOA ratings. A bad team, but not the historically bad team they looked like a few weeks ago.

Once again this year, teams sitting their starters in Week 17 played havoc with the DVOA ratings. As I've noted in past years, all of the research I've done has shown that removing these "sit starters" games from DVOA doesn't improve the accuracy, and therefore we leave them in. We'll look at this issue again this off-season, but for now, every play of the season is in the ratings. As you can imagine, that means a lot of good teams take a hit. Out of the final top 10 teams, only Green Bay and Tennessee have a higher DVOA after Week 17 than they did after Week 16.

Of course, not every team that had a terrible game in Week 17 was sitting its starters. I'm looking at you, Dallas.

Pittsburgh was one of the teams sitting people, and it cost them the number one spot in defensive DVOA. Instead, Tennessee finishes the year as DVOA's top defense. Last week I wrote about how the Steelers defense is nowhere near as good as the defenses that led the league in DVOA from 1996-2006. After the final game, this year stands out even more as a year when there were a few very good defenses, but no great ones. At -13.5%, the Titans would have finished fourth in 1997 and 2006, and fifth or lower in every other year. This year's best defense ranks 59th among the 375 teams in DVOA history.

Chicago finishes the year with the top special teams. In fact, Chicago finishes with the second-highest special teams rating in DVOA history (9.1%), behind only the 2002 New Orleans Saints. However, that rating comes with an asterisk. Regular readers know that I added a new element to our kickoff ratings at midseason to try to account for teams deliberately short-kicking to avoid Devin Hester (and, eventually, numerous other returners). I have not gone back and standardized this change, or added it to previous years. Using the old formula for special teams, Chicago's special teams rating would only be 7.5%. That would still lead the league in 2007, but it would be far behind from the 2002 Saints.

Another note: I have fiddled with the special teams baselines over the last couple weeks to reflect the leaguewide changes in special teams this year. Punt returns were longer than ever, but that was nothing compared to the colossal jump in kick return yardage. On top of this, kickoffs themselves were longer when kickers weren't deliberately trying to avoid the returner, so everything had to be jiggled to keep it from looking like the 32 worst kickoff coverage teams in NFL history all played in 2007. On top of this, field-goal percentage went up around the NFL for like the zillionth year in a row. I will probably need to do a little more adjusting in the off-season, but the changes I've made over the last couple weeks should help even things out for now.

Despite the problem of teams sitting people and not trying in Week 17, this year's DVOA ratings really do a good job of reflecting the best and worst teams. The top 10 teams in DVOA all made the playoffs, as did a team that is effectively tied for 11th (Washington). The Giants are the one straggler, finishing 16th. Even the Bengals' silly-looking DVOA ratings make sense now. Yes, I personally think the Giants are better than the Bengals, but 15th sounds like a reasonable ranking for a 7-9 team in the superior conference.

* * * * *

Here are the final Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings for the 2007 regular season, measured by our proprietary Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) system that breaks down every single play and compares a team's performance to the league average based on situation in order to determine value over average. (Explained further here.) OFFENSE and DEFENSE DVOA are adjusted for opponent 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.

WEIGHTED DVOA represents an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games. LAST YEAR represents 2006 rank, while LAST WEEK represents rank in Week 16 of 2007.

To save people some time, we request that you 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>


TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
YEAR
LAST
WEEK
WEI.
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 NE 51.8% 5 1 40.6% 1 16-0 42.8% 1 -6.1% 8 2.9% 7
2 IND 33.0% 7 2 22.2% 4 13-3 28.3% 2 -10.8% 3 -6.1% 32
3 DAL 23.9% 10 5 17.0% 6 13-3 19.0% 4 -5.8% 10 -0.9% 18
4 JAC 23.7% 6 4 31.1% 2 11-5 20.8% 3 -3.3% 12 -0.4% 15
5 GB 21.0% 15 8 19.4% 5 13-3 17.3% 5 -1.3% 15 2.4% 8
6 SD 18.9% 2 5 27.1% 3 11-5 4.8% 15 -9.8% 5 4.2% 4
7 TB 17.8% 31 6 13.5% 9 9-7 7.7% 10 -10.2% 4 -0.1% 12
8 PIT 17.5% 12 7 5.6% 14 10-6 6.8% 12 -12.3% 2 -1.7% 21
9 SEA 11.7% 25 9 13.8% 8 10-6 5.6% 14 -5.4% 11 0.7% 11
10 TEN 8.8% 24 13 2.2% 16 10-6 -4.0% 21 -13.5% 1 -0.6% 17
11 PHI 7.7% 3 10 7.6% 11 8-8 10.2% 8 -3.2% 13 -5.7% 31
12 WAS 7.7% 23 14 10.1% 10 9-7 1.0% 17 -7.2% 6 -0.5% 16
13 CLE 5.8% 30 12 14.7% 7 10-6 6.9% 11 7.6% 22 6.6% 2
14 MIN 4.9% 22 11 6.2% 13 8-8 3.4% 16 0.2% 18 1.7% 9
15 CIN -0.1% 11 15 0.8% 19 7-9 11.0% 6 10.1% 24 -0.9% 19
16 NYG -0.6% 8 16 -1.7% 21 10-6 -2.5% 19 -2.9% 14 -1.0% 20
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
YEAR
LAST
WEEK
WEI.
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 HOU -2.1% 28 21 1.0% 18 8-8 5.7% 13 13.3% 30 5.5% 3
18 DEN -3.2% 18 19 2.1% 17 7-9 7.8% 9 6.3% 21 -4.8% 28
19 BUF -3.8% 16 18 0.5% 20 7-9 -7.6% 22 0.1% 17 3.9% 6
20 CHI -4.4% 4 20 7.3% 12 7-9 -20.4% 31 -6.9% 7 9.1% 1
21 NO -5.1% 9 17 4.0% 15 7-9 10.3% 7 11.4% 27 -3.9% 26
22 BAL -7.0% 1 22 -13.8% 24 5-11 -12.8% 26 -6.1% 9 -0.3% 13
23 ARI -10.1% 26 23 -12.3% 22 8-8 -0.8% 18 5.4% 20 -3.9% 25
24 DET -19.9% 29 24 -25.3% 28 7-9 -2.7% 20 13.9% 31 -3.3% 23
25 NYJ -20.8% 19 26 -12.5% 23 4-12 -10.8% 25 10.9% 25 0.9% 10
26 KC -21.2% 13 25 -25.0% 27 4-12 -18.0% 29 -0.5% 16 -3.7% 24
27 CAR -21.3% 14 27 -19.5% 25 7-9 -15.2% 27 0.7% 19 -5.4% 30
28 ATL -23.1% 21 28 -24.2% 26 4-12 -10.7% 24 12.1% 29 -0.4% 14
29 MIA -28.1% 17 29 -31.4% 31 1-15 -8.8% 23 16.7% 32 -2.7% 22
30 OAK -28.7% 32 30 -27.1% 29 4-12 -15.4% 28 8.3% 23 -5.0% 29
31 STL -33.9% 20 31 -30.9% 30 3-13 -18.7% 30 11.0% 26 -4.3% 27
32 SF -38.0% 27 32 -32.2% 32 5-11 -30.5% 32 11.5% 28 4.1% 5

  • NON-ADJUSTED VOA does not include adjustments for schedule, fumble recovery rate, or (for special teams) weather and altitude.
  • ESTIMATED WINS uses a statistic known as "Forest Index" that emphasizes consistency as well as DVOA in the most important specific situations: red zone defense, first quarter offense, and performance in the second half when the score is close. It then projects a number of wins adjusted to a league-average schedule and a league-average rate of recovering fumbles.
  • 2007 SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents played this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • PYTHAGOREAN WINS represent the number of wins projected from the team's points scored and allowed, as described in this article.
  • VARIANCE (VAR.) measures the statistical variance of the team's weekly DVOA performance. Teams are ranked from least consistent (#1, highest variance) to most consistent (#32, smallest variance).


TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK 2007
SCHED
RANK PYTH
WINS
RANK VAR. RANK
1 NE 51.8% 16-0 52.7% 14.2 1 0.1% 19 13.8 1 14.8% 19
2 IND 33.0% 13-3 31.4% 12.4 2 2.5% 8 12.5 2 16.4% 14
3 DAL 23.9% 13-3 27.2% 10.8 5 -1.5% 21 11.0 6 24.2% 3
4 JAC 23.7% 11-5 22.0% 11.3 3 1.7% 10 10.7 7 15.6% 16
5 GB 21.0% 13-3 27.2% 11.1 4 -5.6% 29 11.5 3 21.7% 6
6 SD 18.9% 11-5 16.7% 9.6 7 0.2% 18 11.3 5 25.0% 2
7 TB 17.8% 9-7 22.3% 10.1 6 -7.4% 30 10.0 9 22.1% 5
8 PIT 17.5% 10-6 19.4% 9.3 9 -3.3% 24 11.4 4 22.7% 4
9 SEA 11.7% 10-6 20.2% 9.1 11 -11.0% 32 10.7 8 12.1% 25
10 TEN 8.8% 10-6 3.2% 9.2 10 1.4% 13 8.1 15 18.3% 10
11 PHI 7.7% 8-8 0.8% 9.5 8 4.3% 5 9.1 11 14.5% 20
12 WAS 7.7% 9-7 0.2% 8.3 15 4.4% 4 8.7 12 15.0% 18
13 CLE 5.8% 10-6 9.1% 8.9 12 -5.1% 28 8.5 14 6.2% 32
14 MIN 4.9% 8-8 7.1% 8.8 13 -3.9% 26 9.5 10 19.5% 9
15 CIN -0.1% 7-9 6.8% 8.5 14 -3.2% 23 7.9 17 8.4% 31
16 NYG -0.6% 10-6 -4.4% 7.9 17 1.1% 14 8.6 13 8.4% 30
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK 2007
SCHED
RANK PYTH
WINS
RANK VAR. RANK
17 HOU -2.1% 8-8 -7.7% 7.7 18 2.7% 7 7.9 18 13.8% 22
18 DEN -3.2% 7-9 0.4% 7.3 21 1.1% 17 5.7 21 34.2% 1
19 BUF -3.8% 7-9 -9.4% 8.3 16 5.1% 2 4.9 26 11.8% 26
20 CHI -4.4% 7-9 -6.5% 7.4 20 1.5% 12 7.6 20 14.4% 21
21 NO -5.1% 7-9 -4.9% 7.5 19 -3.5% 25 7.8 19 13.7% 23
22 BAL -7.0% 5-11 -14.4% 6.9 22 1.7% 11 5.0 25 15.4% 17
23 ARI -10.1% 8-8 -0.7% 6.2 24 -9.3% 31 8.1 16 20.0% 8
24 DET -19.9% 7-9 -17.4% 6.3 23 3.5% 6 5.7 22 18.1% 12
25 NYJ -20.8% 4-12 -23.3% 5.0 28 5.1% 1 5.4 24 11.6% 28
26 KC -21.2% 4-12 -23.5% 5.1 27 1.1% 15 4.5 28 21.5% 7
27 CAR -21.3% 7-9 -22.3% 5.8 25 1.1% 16 5.6 23 16.6% 13
28 ATL -23.1% 4-12 -21.5% 5.5 26 -1.2% 20 4.0 29 15.9% 15
29 MIA -28.1% 1-15 -35.3% 4.1 29 4.9% 3 3.8 30 12.4% 24
30 OAK -28.7% 4-12 -28.3% 4.0 30 2.0% 9 4.9 27 18.3% 11
31 STL -33.9% 3-13 -31.3% 3.6 32 -2.7% 22 3.7 32 9.6% 29
32 SF -38.0% 5-11 -33.2% 3.9 31 -4.7% 27 3.7 31 11.7% 27

For those readers who are sticklers for detail, I should mention that the DVOA ratings on the "best DVOA ever" table may differ slightly from ratings on the stats pages, because they may include small play-by-play fixes that aren't reflected on pages last revised a year or two ago. We'll make sure to update everything to the most current numbers over this off-season.

On to the housekeeping... All the team stats pages and individual stats pages are now updated with final 2007 numbers. Because of New Year's, we're not yet sure when we'll have playoff odds and the DVOA Premium database updated.

There will be no new Football Outsiders content on New Year's Day, and no Any Given Sunday this week. We'll be back Wednesday with the Every Play Counts All-Pro Team, the second-half Loser League review, and the usual DVOA on AOL piece with comments on all 32 teams.

For those interested, I'll be chatting about the playoffs over at BaseballProspectus.com this Friday from noon until 1:30pm Eastern. Feel free to also ask questions about what the other 20 teams should be doing over the off-season to improve.

Comments

142 comments, Last at 04 Jan 2008, 11:15am

51 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

hwc: "Wanna see defense again? Take it up with Polian and the competition committee.
It’s quite evident that Belichick understood the implications of the ban"

Let me translate:
Colts (take it up with Polian) = evil
Patriots (quite evident ... Belichick) = good

Say something with an original slant next time. To listen to you, I only wonder why Belichick didn't "quite evidently" realize this last year, when he let a WR walk (or worse, let the WR walk at the end of training camp, too late to do anything about a replacement) and lost the AFCC game. Perhaps it was quite evident to the Pats this year that they lost last year, and that two good WR's were on the market cheap?

52 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Purds, I think you're reading a little too much into that, for good v. evil.

Did the recent rules clarifications, widely believed to be spearheaded by Polian, favor offenses, and, specifically, QB/WRs? Yes.

Leaguewide, how many teams that were tailored for the previous environment have switched to the newer model? Hard to say. The Colts were already there, it took the Pats a couple of years to make the transition (last year's exercise in "plug any WR into the Pats offense and they'll be great" demonstrated that every rule has its limit). Are there several teams still playing oldschool, and cranky when that draws fouls? Absolutely. Are Pats fans now amused that a few years later, everyone they play is bitching about the same tickytacky calls they'd been getting? Vastly.

Are the Colts a good team? Yes. Are the Pats a good team? Yes.

53 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

46, I've always felt offense is most important in a team winning a championship. I think the boring mantra of "defense wins championships" came up in the media a lot when you had a 4-year run (2000-03) of teams that weren't so good offensively winning the SB. Most notably the Ravens were a very impotent offense and still won the SB behind their defense and special teams. But even that team had to make some offensive plays happen (minus the Titans game they won on flukey plays). Most SB winning teams had good years offensively. It's been rare for them to have an average or below average offense.

The point of a game is to score more points than your opponent and you mostly will do that with your offense. A good offense dictates the flow of the game. If you get up early on a team, you make them play to your hand and you help your defense out. And besides scoring, good offenses eat up clock and don't give the opponent enough time to get back in the game.

I'm not saying that defense doesn't matter because you obviously need to get stops, but I'd take my chances at winning a SB with a strong offense/average defense team over a strong defense/average offense any day. A lot of teams that won SBs had to outscore a really tough team on their way to the Lombardi in the postseason. All the talk about the Colts' defense last year in the playoffs, but it all means nothing if the offense didn't put up 32 pts in the 2nd half.

And I know great defenses can still exist in the current passing rules era. I've seen it with the 06 Ravens, 05-06 Bears, 04-05 Steelers, 04 Patriots, etc.

54 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

#40

not that they're in the same category of history's great defenses, but the titans finishing first in defensive dvoa without pacman, albert haynesworth out for three games and injured for the second half of the season, and renaldo hill is pretty impressive. if pacman had a curfew i think this could have been up there with best defenses of the past decade.

55 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

that should have read "renaldo hill prominently involved". not sure what happened.

56 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

"Does that mean they can’t beat Tampa, Dal and/or GB? Of course not. If the Giants stop dropping passes and win the turnover margin, they should be anyone in the NFC. Why? Becasue they are a top 10 team. Just not in DVOA."

I agree, wholeheartedly.

57 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

#36: Not sure what DVOA is missing, but it is missing something regarding the Giants.

I don't think so. DVOA measures how a team has played, not how it is capable of playing. So to DVOA, there is no difference between a bad team and an underachieving team.

58 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Re: Titans Defense

If Sage Rosenfels erases a 25-pt 4th quarter deficit (without Andre Johnson), then you have no claim to being a great defense. Not to mention crybaby Rivers led two TD drives (and they gave up the winner in OT) against them in the 4th after playing terribly through 3 quarters.

I honestly think Tennessee would get smoked by all 11 playoff teams this year (assuming they went on the road for all of them)

61 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

AndyE:

I am just tired of every discussion being turned, by some folks, into a NE/Indy discussion, with exaggerated assumptions. The original post was about offenses taking over. The response I quoted by hwc (#43) just had to turn the discussion into another of the never-ending posts about the greatness of BB, with a shot at the Colts thrown in for good measure.

62 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

AndyE: "Are Pats fans now amused that a few years later, everyone they play is bitching about the same tickytacky calls they’d been getting? Vastly"

Not so many of those Pats fans were amused by last year's AFCC, when NE fans and players howled about tickytacky calls that went against them.

Hypocrisy in NE fans? Immense.

63 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Crap! I just did what I said I wouldn't do -- talk about the Pats and their fans. Crap! Crap1 Crap! I didn't just post those.

Mods: Erase them if you can.

64 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

59: Rivers runs his mouth a lot. That'll get you called a crybaby sometimes.

Also, the Chargers bitched a lot after the NE loss last year. That'll get any random Charger called a crybaby sometimes.

65 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Called Rivers a crybaby ever since I saw him throw a temper tantrum on Sunday Night Football in 2006 against the Chiefs (he was having an awful game; LT carried them to victory as usual).

I don't want the Titans to win this weekend because that'd be a piece of cake for NE next round, but I'd sure love to see Rivers frustrated again in a big game.

66 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Crap! I just did what I said I wouldn’t do — talk about the Pats and their fans. Crap! Crap1 Crap!

Another New Year's resolution lasts to mid-afternoon...

;)

67 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

The Colts schedule since playing NE at home week 9:SD (when they couldn't get out of their own way),KC, ATL,JAC(giving up 411 yards),BAL,OAK,HOU(who have scored over 20 points once on the road since week 2),TEN(9 passing TDs on the year).

The Colts may have a good D, but there is no way to know that with this schedule.

68 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

re: 66

What if we just chalk it up to "hair of the dog"?
Happy New Year everybody. May the Football Gods bless all our teams with good health and good play for the coming playoffs.

69 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

26- The Colts defense was good in the playoffs last year because they played against weak and very conservative offenses. Herm, Billick, Grossman and they got torched by the best quarterback in the league :)

28- Maybe getting low is an advantage at the point of impact, but in pass coverage you'd rather have a 6'3 guy with long arms instead of a 5'8 midget any day. It's not like being a midget is an advantage.

38- Great post on the Giants. I agree they should be a lower 10 ten team. They were 3-1 vs the skins and Eagles and didn't get killed by the Patriots like Jason Campbell's skins did.

I think DVOA favors consistancy and NOT making errors. For example, a boring ball control offense that doesn't turn the ball over ( or score points) can be rated higher than an offense like Detroit/Arizona/Giants that scores points but can also have it's fair share of turnovers.

You know that I feel what Jon Kitna or Kurt Warner does is a harder job than say the Redskins or Chiefs quarterback is asked to do but I don't think DVOA has any "style" control or anything like that ( and even a weather control).

The DVOA certainly isn't perfect and the FO guys keep adjusting it but it can be a useful tool.

70 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Re 53:

The defenses win championship mantra is much, much older than that. Also, how many Superbowl winners had average or below average defenses? I can't think of too many off the top of my head. The 2006 Colts would be one, but their defense in the playoff was completely different from the regular season.

71 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

since post 62 doesn't really exist, I don't need to note that there is no hypocrisy in complaining about an environmental change perceived to hurt your team, but then retool to take advantage of the new environment. And then be amused that the people critical of your original complaint complain when the new environment does not permit them to use the same strategies you were forced to stop using.

72 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

I've thought about the Offense/Defense wins championship stuff.

I think the main thing you are looking for, is at the end of the game 2 minutes left in the game. Can your offensive minded team score at the end of the game to win? Can your defensive juggernaut stop your opponenet at the end of the game to win?

We have seen both offensive and defensive teams win championships. I do think that a good efficient offense ( like the Colts or Pats) has an added bonus that you control the game and the clock when you have the ball. You also have the advantage of being more built to " catch up" in case you are losing a game ( Colts last year).

The 2000 Ravens on the other hand with a dominat D and average offense might have to stop their opponent extra times due to more 3 and outs ( on both sides of the ball) and they would generally want good special teams too( Matt Stover, Jermane Lewis had some key returns etc.) If you are going to be playing a field position game, you might as well want to pick up an extra 10-20 yards of field position here and there.

If your team is going to be one dimensional they pretty much have to be dominant in that faucet of the game, otherwise you want a combination really good units working together.

73 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Without adding anything of substance, can I also request that every discussion not turn into a Republican vs. Democrat style spat re: Colts and Pats? Two great teams, two great QBs, two great coaches. We should be happy to observe this great rivalry, not constantly get into catfights about it!

74 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

69:38- Great post on the Giants. I agree they should be a lower 10 ten team. They were 3-1 vs the skins and Eagles and didn’t get killed by the Patriots like Jason Campbell’s skins did.

The Skins also didn't get killed by the Packers, the Cowboys and the Vikings the way the Giants did. While we're using arbitrary measures of team value.

You know that I feel what Jon Kitna or Kurt Warner does is a harder job than say the Redskins or Chiefs quarterback is asked to do but I don’t think DVOA has any “style” control or anything like that ( and even a weather control).

Everybody knows it because you keep parroting it, but repetition doesn't make it any truer. You know that Mike Martz and Al Saunders run the same offense, right? Right?

75 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

73: Agreed. I'll even provide the port/champagne - happy new year, all!

76 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

a quick question. Looking at the DPAR by RB, there are two different values for Michael Bennet, with each having both tampa and KC listed. BUT only one listed for recieving and thats with KC. what gives?

77 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

I noticed that Denver is #1 in variance, and is 9 points ahead of the #2 team in variance; I went ahead and looked at previous years' variance winners.

2007 Denver: 34.2%
2006 Jacksonville: 30.1%
2005 San Fran: 35.5%
2004 Atlanta: 26.0%
2003 Buffalo: 31.9%
2002 St. Louis: 25.2%
2001 Washington: 29.1%
2000 Dallas: 29.4%
1999 Pittsburgh: 26.4%
1998 Jets: 26.7%
1997 Detroit: 27.4%
1996 Green Bay: 26.6%

So there's another team to stick in your "all time" tables - the 2007 Denver Broncos are the second most inconsistent team of the DVOA era.

78 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Aaron,

Can you run some DVOA numbers on the Skins under Todd Collins? This is clearly a better offense with him making decisions and with a healthy Clinton Portis.

79 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

RE 77:
Destroyed KC and TEN
Was Destroyed by SD and DET
lots of horrible special teams making bad loses close (both for and against them)... sounds about right. Man was Denver all over the map.

80 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Re: #67 Colts schedule:

You have a good point there. Those offenses are a bit offensive. But, you could also point to the barometer against the best -- they held NE to 24 points on the fast track of the dome, NE's lowest total for the year other than the bad-weather game against NYJ.

Or, you could note that no one (not #1 NE, not #10 Tampa, not #3 Jacksonville twice, not #7 NO) scored more than 25 points against the Colts.

I agree that they won't stop NE, but who could? That doesn't make Indy a weak defense.

81 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

69 - "28- Maybe getting low is an advantage at the point of impact, but in pass coverage you’d rather have a 6′3 guy with long arms instead of a 5′8 midget any day. It’s not like being a midget is an advantage."

Sure, but Sanders is a strong safety - he's at his best as an in-the-box player. Not that I've ever noticed him struggle in coverage. Sean Taylor was huge for a safety, and he was like 6'1".

82 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

RE 67 & 80:

As someone who is a Colts fan ( I am a Bears fan first and foremost ) I find it
curious that the Colts defense is always being questioned about it's bona fides.
It seems that several posters on this site go out of the way to discredit the Colts defense. While you can argue that the Colts did not play many offensive " juggernauts " did any of the other "good" to "great" defenses play 15
" good " to " great " offenses? It gets to be silly. There are only going to be a limited amount of " good " offenses in any given year so it would be near impossible to play them all in one year.
This nonsense started last year during the playoffs when the Colts defense improved. When that happened everyone made excuses from bad coaching, to " dumb " game plans to " conservative " offenses to global warming to explain the Colts resurgence. Since the playoffs began last year, the Colts have played good, solid, physical football. I do not think that they have anything to prove at this point. They are a good defense, period.

83 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

In a two deep zone you will usually have both safeties deep ( although you don't have to). There are different variations in coverage like "sky" etc.

Getting below your opponent is good at the point of contact but in the passing game you pretty much always want taller guys that are bigger targets, with longer wingspans etc. Especially in a zone defense.

73- I wouldn't call Phony Fungi a great coach but I get your point.

84 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

I just watched two games I DVR'ed earlier in the year for playoff prep.

Luke McCown actually played alright against the saints in NO ( granted it was the saints), and the Titans/Chargers game in tennesse was a good physical game that looked like a playoff game. Fat Al hanynesworth was a monster in that game and both teams were jawing at each other.

Happy New year and I can't wait until this weekend.

85 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

#40:

Lemon/Lossman offenses is a bit cruel. The Patriots also shut down Romo/Manning when they needed to.

Still, I agree with you that this team doesn't have as good a defense as in previous years. IMHO linebacker play is definitely in need of improvement.

86 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Lionsjoe #83:

It's a slow night, so I'll ask you to clarify two things:

1) Dungy's NOT a great coach? How do you explain away these things:

a) NFL's winningest head coach from 1999-2005 with a mark of 78-34 (30-18 with Tampa Bay, 48-16 with Colts). I can't confirm that he's the winningest head coach from 1999-present. And, then he went 26-6 for the last two years, putting him at 104-40 in the regular season
b) He won a Super Bowl
c) While BB has gotten the better of him, Dungy's team for the past 4 years has either won the SB, or lost in the playoffs to the eventual SB winner (2003 NE, 2004 NE, 2005 Pit), so I would hardly say his teams have choked in the playoffs. They are 7-3 in the last four years of post-season play.
d) He's taken his teams to the playoffs in 10 of his 12 seasons.
e) He has the highest career winning percentage of any active coach.

Unless you're saying there can be only one great coach ech generation, then Dungy has to be in the discussion.

2) "Phony Fungi"? Does this have something to do with him speaking his mind about non-football things? I don't agree with his stance on homosexuality, but I don't find him phony. He states his opinion, and I disagree. Nothing hidden by him there.

87 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Re 81;

Shorter players have lower centers of gravity. This lets them make quicker cuts, and keep going full speed. This is why a lot of slot receivers are short.

88 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

87.
No, they're shorter because the Flying Spaghetti Monster is pulling them down more. (more people = taller people)
That extra attention from the FSM gives them the talent to be an NFL receiver.
.
Could also be that with shorter legs you can stop and turn easier.
.
Could be both.

89 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

86- Are Mike Mccarthy and Wade Phillips the 3rd and 4th best coaches in the league? You can't just look at results absent of talent ( the greatest or 1A greatest quarterback ever).

Barry Switzer won a super bowl. Jon Gruden went to two in a row and some people don't think he's so solid.

The term "greatness" is thrown around way to often and especially for a coach that was known for choaking for years. You know, he had paper champions for years and was ousted from tampa because he couldn't win the big one on a team with double digit probowlers.

90 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

#36 - You mean teams like the Ravens and the Eagles? Next time, use the form in a manner similar to this:

The Giants are clearly ranked too low because Eli Manning didn't overthrow receivers every other attempt. Ranking teams by how close they played one particular opponent in one particular week is way better than this. Teh eegles suk

91 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

89 - The difference between the examples you offered up and his argument for Dungy is that Dungy has maintained excellence for two different franchises over an extended period of time. Comparing him to Wade Philips this year and Barry Switzer isn't fair at all.

90 - Who is this mystical, other "Scott"? I suppose I will switch to my typical handle, which is socctty... sigh.

92 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Let it be noted that the term "phony fungi" was posted by a lions guy.

If Dungy's contract expired the last day of this season, he would have 32 contract offers from NFL teams, 150 in the NCAA, and 1 from each television network in the US.

93 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

89 - As Scott noted, Chris, you're offering up a silly comparison by picking one year's stats to prove your point. Give me the list of their other years, their other accomplishments. Or, rather, why not post YOUR criteria for a "great" coach. Then, we can objectively look at Dungy and others in that light.

94 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

91
The TB and IND jobs in Dungy's tenure also represent 2 different phases of 2 different franchises. TB was building from worst franchise ever into a contender, while INDY has been built from contender into excellence.

The only thing you can question is whether he can truly implement a great offense. He never got TB up to elite (no one gave him a QB), which seems to ultimately be what he was fired for...and elite offense was pretty much in place when he got to Indy, including the same offensive coordinator and QB.

95 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

94 - I agree. And you can't blame Tony Dungy for not throwing out the OC and QB in Indy when he arrived, obviously. So saying he's inept when it comes to offenses isn't very fair even. Only an idiot would have gotten rid of those two, even if it was to "prove" that he's a great coach at all facets of the game.

92 - The team that fired him would offer him a job? Bill Polian is a weird guy...

96 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

92: Subtract one, I think NE is happy with the other great coach of this generation :)

(Look, see, a Pats fan, making nice comments about the Colts. Even though I hate them, and kind of hope Bob Sanders has the runs the weekend of the 19th).

97 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

In reference to the O-line stats: Are the Left End stats for runs to the left of the left tackle, such as a stretch play? If that's the case, what do "left tackle" runs mean - between the LT and LG?

98 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

The way I see it, if by accident The Colts let Dungy's contract run out, Polian would see his mistake and call a meeting with Dungy to explain the error of his ways. He would make a contract offer and then invite Dungy out for tea and hookers.
Being the wholesome man he is, Dungy would accept the job but decline the invitation, and Polian would respect that and be happy he declined...because, hey, more hookers for him.

99 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

I'll probably end up emailing Aaron with this, but I'd be interested in whether or not dropping (or atleast reducing) the opponent adjustment from the Week 17 games would help.

And I'll have all my pretty charts up shortly.

100 Re: Final 2007 DVOA Ratings

Re: 98

I really can't decide if I hate you or love you. Screw you for toying with my emotions!