Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Week 10 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

The Colts climb to number two in the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings after their narrow victory over New England Sunday night, but the Patriots remain on top for the third straight week. What's important is that both teams are beginning to separate themselves from the rest of the NFL pack.

I'm sure some of our more devoted readers have been wondering where DVOA ratings have been all day. I spent the weekend visiting friends in Denver, and had to fly back today. There was so much I wanted to write about in this week's ratings that I just couldn't get it done before I had to get on an airplane, so you all had to wait for my return to Boston before you got new ratings. Sorry about that. The silver lining is that you get the first 2009 appearance of that old Football Outsiders favorite: the week-to-week DVOA graph. Hooray! By the way, I want to give a shout out to the Football Outsiders home office for the past few days, Starbucks on the corner of 136th and Colorado Avenue in Thornton. Thanks for the hospitality!

OK, so back to football... With 10 weeks finished, we're in a very good place to get a picture of what this season looks like. Every team has now played the same number of games, all the bye weeks are over, and this is the first week where DVOA includes full-strength opponent adjustments. If we look at the league, what we see is that 2009 is very similar to 2007. Early on, the big story was the reversal of fortune for so many of the league's defenses, with teams like Denver and New Orleans suddenly getting good while some teams (hello, Tennessee) collapsed. However, as things have settled in, it looks like this season is all about offense. Why? Because defenses are so densely packed together. Like in 2007, there are no truly great or truly awful defenses this season. After this week's games, Green Bay has the best defense in the league at -14.0% DVOA. Last year, that would have been sixth. With so many good defenses and no great ones, the rankings are getting scrambled every week. The teams ranked second through fourth last week all dropped to sixth or lower. Baltimore rose from tenth to fourth even though its dominant performance on Monday night gets its DVOA rating blunted by opponent adjustments.

The bad defenses are also rated fairly close together, but oddly their rankings are staying a lot more consistent. The top 13 defenses this week are the same as last week, but not one of those teams is ranked in the same place. On the other hand, the defenses ranked 26th through 32nd all stayed in exactly the same place.

Because defense has such a low standard deviation this year, the good and bad teams are being determined almost entirely by offense. This is probably not a shock to you if you've watched any Raiders or Browns games. The top three teams in offensive DVOA are the top three teams overall. Only one team in the top eight does not have an offense in the top eight: Philadelphia, which is 14th on offense but third on both defense and special teams. Things look the same on the bottom. The bottom three teams overall have the bottom three offenses and the bottom eight teams overall have the bottom eight offenses, although not in exact order.

Sunday night, I wrote in Audibles after the Patriots-Colts game that right now I would take either team over the New Orleans Saints. Looking at the week-to-week results for each team hammers this point home. New England has only one game this year with a DVOA below zero: the narrow Week 1 victory over Buffalo. Indianapolis has only one game this year with a DVOA below zero: the narrow Week 1 victory over Jacksonville. Each team has single-game DVOA of at least 30% in six of the eight games since, including both teams ending up with DVOA above 30% for Sunday night's 35-34 instant classic. (For the record, New England had the higher rating for the game, 55% to 36%.) Here are the week-to-week graphs for both Indianapolis and New England. I apologize if they seem a little blurry, for some reason I'm having trouble saving them clearly in Excel 2007.

New Orleans, on the other hand, has clearly slowed down in the past few weeks. Yes, there are reasons why the game with St. Louis was close, starting with no Darren Sharper, but here's the math: New Orleans had DVOA above 35% in all four wins before its Week 5 bye. New Orleans hasn't had DVOA above 25% in any of the five wins since.

At this point, the Saints are essentially tied with 5-4 Philadelphia for third in DVOA. Oh, Philadelphia. Always so frustrating to us. The Eagles went and had their worst DVOA of the year against San Diego. So why are they still so high in the ratings? Three good games. The Eagles are ranked 31st in consistency, and while they haven't had any really awful losses, you can really see the power of three specific blowouts when you look at the week-to-week graph.

Ah, but the Eagles have nothing on this year's most inconsistent team. That's because this year's most inconsistent team is threatening to set a new record for DVOA variance. What's strange is that the team doesn't seem inconsistent because its three best games all came in a row, right after six straight losses. Oh, Tennessee Titans, whatever will we do with you? Among the remarkable facts about Tennessee's recent three-game winning streak is that their biggest win of the season came against Jacksonville, the same team that dealt the Titans their second-worst loss of the year just four weeks earlier. Here's a look at Tennessee's completely absurd week-to-week graph as well as a table of the teams since 1994 that had the biggest DVOA variance as of Week 10.

Highest DVOA Variance as of Week 10, 1994-2009
Year Team Variance Explanation
2005 SF 51.3% Won twice but also lost games 28-3, 42-3, and 52-17.
2003 SF 48.9% 4-5 including a 49-7 win and a 35-7 loss.
2001 WAS 47.6% Lost first five games, won next five games.
2003 BUF 47.0% Beat Patriots 31-0 on opening day, then lost 30-3 to Jets and 38-5 to Chiefs.
2009 TEN 46.7% Lost first six games, won next three games.
1997 DET 36.4% Won four by more than a touchdown, lost three by more than a touchdown.
1998 NYJ 35.2% 28-3 and 44-6 wins, but 30-10 loss to Rams before Rams were good.
2002 SD 34.8% Six wins balanced by 26-9 and 44-13 losses (latter to Jets, see below).
2006 JAC 34.5% You may remember this season driving FO mildly insane.
2002 NYJ 33.7% Lost Weeks 2-4 by combined score 102-13; later beat San Diego 44-13.

* * * * *

Another astonishing result from this week's ratings: Minnesota has now passed Cleveland as the number one special teams unit of 2009. The Vikings special teams could end up as the first-ever worst-to-first unit in DVOA history. They're also on pace to blow away the record for best-ever year-to-year improvement in special teams DVOA. Good thing I had the list of "most improved special teams" already prepared after last year's Oakland Raiders and their phenomenal turnaround. Let's run it again, only we'll add the Vikings to the list:

Biggest Year-to-Year Improvement in Special Teams, 1994-2009
Team Year ST DVOA
MIN 2009 -6.5% 9.8% 16.3%
SEA 1998 -9.8% 3.3% 13.1%
NYJ 1997 -6.8% 5.6% 12.4%
CHI 1998 -8.2% 2.4% 10.7%
OAK 2008 -4.6% 5.8% 10.3%
CHI 2006 -2.6% 7.6% 10.2%
NO 2002 0.7% 10.0% 9.3%
CIN 2003 -8.1% 1.2% 9.2%
BUF 2004 -1.7% 7.5% 9.2%
KC 1997 -3.2% 5.9% 9.1%

So what happened? Well, we know the biggest reason why the Vikings special teams improved this year. His name is Percy Harvin. But Harvin can only explain so much. A great return man needs blockers. The coverage teams have also improved on both kickoffs and punts. I asked Kevin Seifert, ESPN.com's NFC North blogger, for his thoughts on what improved with the Vikings special teams. He gave me four reasons besides Harvin:

  • New coordinator in Brian Murphy. He's put his own spin on the coverage and blocking schemes. They seem more sound.
  • They have several new special teams-only players, including Kenny Onatolu, who came from the CFL. He is always around the ball.
  • Two of their draftees, Jasper Brinkley and Jamarca Sanford, are very good special teams players.
  • Their special teams captain of two years ago, Heath Farwell, has come back after missing 2008 because of an ACL.

Those all sound like good reasons why a team would improve on special teams, and it gives us a chance to draw attention to some players who otherwise wouldn't get any. Honestly, who among you had heard of Kenny Onatolu? The Farwell return, by the way, reminds me of a complaint I have about the Madden video games. I know there are people from EA Sports who read FO, so listen up guys: Next year, you need to add two new ratings to Madden. First, you need to have a separate rating for "special teams awareness." There needs to be some sort of rating that makes guys like Farwell, Kaseem Osgood, Matt Slater, and David Tyree valuable in the game as long as you keep them in the proper role. It's strange that a guy like Tyree doesn't have a tackle rating better than other wide receivers -- a special teams awareness rating would solve that problem. Second, you need a long-snapper rating, and you need to put the proper long-snapper on each team. How much programming would it take to add long-snapper as a position? I can't imagine it would take much, and then you don't end up with weird roster decisions like the one made for this year's Denver roster. The Madden people decided for some reason to stick Lonie Paxton on the Broncos, I guess because the Broncos spent money on him, but he serves no clear function in the game because there's no special rating for long-snapping. Having separate long-snappers would also give extra roster value to guys who long-snap and play other positions, like Zak DeOssie and Jay Alford, or Dave Moore back in the day.

OK, enough digression. All individual and team stats pages are now updated, along with playoff odds. We'll have updated Premium stats probably tomorrow, along with the first update for Loser League Part II. Enjoy the new ratings.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through ten weeks of 2009, measured by our proprietary Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) system that breaks down every single play and compares a team's performance to the league average based on situation in order to determine value over average. (Explained further here.)

OFFENSE and DEFENSE DVOA are adjusted to consider all fumbles, kept or lost, as equal value. SPECIAL TEAMS DVOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season. WEIGHTED DVOA is adjusted so that earlier games in the season become gradually less important. It better reflects how well the team is playing right now. 

As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

To save people some time, please use the following format for all complaints: <team> is clearly ranked <too high/too low> because <reason unrelated to DVOA>. <subjective ranking system> is way better than this. <unrelated team-supporting or -denigrating comment, preferably with poor spelling and/or chat-acceptable spelling>

1 NE 39.8% 1 42.5% 1 6-3 33.2% 1 -2.5% 12 4.0% 5
2 IND 34.5% 4 35.9% 2 9-0 26.6% 2 -7.5% 7 0.4% 17
3 NO 30.4% 3 27.9% 4 9-0 26.4% 3 -6.5% 9 -2.5% 27
4 PHI 30.4% 2 28.5% 3 5-4 13.0% 14 -11.5% 3 5.9% 3
5 BAL 27.4% 6 27.2% 5 5-4 18.0% 6 -9.9% 4 -0.5% 21
6 MIN 25.0% 7 26.3% 6 8-1 17.9% 8 2.7% 17 9.8% 1
7 PIT 21.4% 8 24.0% 7 6-3 18.5% 5 -9.7% 5 -6.8% 31
8 DAL 21.1% 5 22.5% 8 6-3 20.3% 4 3.2% 19 4.0% 6
9 GB 20.3% 9 19.8% 10 5-4 14.1% 13 -14.0% 1 -7.9% 32
10 ARI 19.6% 11 19.9% 9 6-3 17.7% 9 -0.9% 15 1.1% 12
11 CIN 18.6% 13 19.5% 11 7-2 17.9% 7 -2.3% 13 -1.7% 23
12 DEN 13.2% 10 12.3% 12 6-3 10.2% 17 -7.4% 8 -4.4% 28
13 MIA 10.2% 12 11.8% 13 4-5 10.2% 16 3.0% 18 3.0% 8
14 NYG 9.8% 14 8.6% 15 5-4 8.5% 18 -3.4% 10 -2.2% 24
15 HOU 9.2% 16 11.3% 14 5-4 15.5% 11 9.4% 23 3.1% 7
16 SD 5.3% 18 8.1% 16 6-3 17.3% 10 11.7% 25 -0.3% 19
17 ATL 4.6% 15 3.0% 17 5-4 12.5% 15 8.6% 22 0.7% 14
18 JAC 2.7% 20 2.3% 18 5-4 15.3% 12 13.2% 28 0.6% 16
19 NYJ 1.3% 17 -1.9% 20 4-5 -8.1% 22 -8.2% 6 1.2% 11
20 SF -0.8% 19 -1.0% 19 4-5 -12.9% 24 -13.0% 2 -0.9% 22
21 WAS -6.5% 22 -6.8% 22 3-6 -8.5% 23 -2.2% 14 -0.3% 18
22 CAR -9.0% 23 -5.3% 21 4-5 -5.9% 21 -3.1% 11 -6.1% 30
23 SEA -10.6% 21 -11.9% 23 3-6 -5.7% 20 5.9% 20 1.0% 13
24 TEN -12.7% 26 -13.0% 24 3-6 2.1% 19 12.3% 26 -2.4% 26
25 CHI -17.8% 24 -18.9% 25 4-5 -16.5% 27 6.9% 21 5.6% 4
26 BUF -22.0% 25 -24.9% 26 3-6 -21.1% 28 1.7% 16 0.7% 15
27 KC -32.1% 27 -33.2% 28 2-7 -21.7% 29 12.5% 27 2.0% 10
28 TB -32.8% 28 -33.2% 27 1-8 -15.1% 26 20.4% 31 2.8% 9
29 STL -37.5% 30 -36.1% 29 1-8 -13.6% 25 21.5% 32 -2.4% 25
30 CLE -42.7% 29 -43.9% 30 1-8 -36.1% 31 16.1% 29 9.4% 2
31 OAK -49.1% 31 -50.8% 31 2-7 -39.1% 32 9.5% 24 -0.5% 20
32 DET -54.7% 32 -54.6% 32 1-8 -29.0% 30 20.2% 30 -5.5% 29

  • ESTIMATED WINS uses a statistic known as "Forest Index" that emphasizes consistency as well as DVOA in the most important specific situations: red zone defense, first quarter offense, and performance in the second half when the score is close. It then projects a number of wins adjusted to a league-average schedule and a league-average rate of recovering fumbles. Teams that have had their bye week are projected as if they had played one game per week.
  • PAST SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents played this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • FUTURE SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents still left to play this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • VARIANCE measures the statistical variance of the team's weekly DVOA performance. Teams are ranked from most consistent (#1, lowest variance) to least consistent (#32, highest variance).

1 NE 39.8% 6-3 35.4% 6.9 3 2.4% 11 3.8% 15 17.9% 24
2 IND 34.5% 9-0 39.4% 6.9 2 2.0% 12 3.2% 16 11.0% 14
3 NO 30.4% 9-0 35.3% 7.2 1 -6.7% 29 -2.6% 22 5.8% 3
4 PHI 30.4% 5-4 38.3% 5.6 10 -6.3% 28 3.9% 14 27.4% 31
5 BAL 27.4% 5-4 31.7% 6.4 6 0.3% 17 -4.0% 24 8.3% 6
6 MIN 25.0% 8-1 32.1% 6.8 4 -10.1% 31 -1.2% 20 5.0% 1
7 PIT 21.4% 6-3 27.4% 6.2 7 -4.7% 27 -6.4% 28 11.5% 16
8 DAL 21.1% 6-3 21.3% 6.1 8 -0.6% 18 2.3% 17 10.4% 12
9 GB 20.3% 5-4 31.6% 5.4 12 -9.6% 30 -2.6% 21 15.5% 22
10 ARI 19.6% 6-3 21.8% 6.7 5 0.7% 16 -16.3% 31 19.1% 25
11 CIN 18.6% 7-2 16.2% 6.0 9 8.0% 4 -24.5% 32 21.9% 28
12 DEN 13.2% 6-3 13.8% 5.5 11 3.5% 10 -5.6% 27 13.2% 18
13 MIA 10.2% 4-5 4.9% 5.1 14 6.2% 5 4.9% 10 8.7% 8
14 NYG 9.8% 5-4 8.9% 4.7 18 -1.4% 23 13.1% 2 19.3% 26
15 HOU 9.2% 5-4 10.9% 5.4 13 -0.8% 20 4.4% 12 8.9% 9
16 SD 5.3% 6-3 5.3% 5.0 15 -1.8% 24 -6.9% 29 8.3% 7
17 ATL 4.6% 5-4 6.9% 4.9 17 5.8% 6 -2.6% 23 11.2% 15
18 JAC 2.7% 5-4 2.6% 5.0 16 -4.1% 26 4.7% 11 22.4% 30
19 NYJ 1.3% 4-5 9.8% 4.4 19 1.9% 13 5.6% 8 13.6% 19
20 SF -0.8% 4-5 -5.9% 4.2 20 1.4% 14 -5.0% 26 9.4% 11
21 WAS -6.5% 3-6 1.3% 4.1 21 -10.8% 32 11.5% 3 9.2% 10
22 CAR -9.0% 4-5 -17.7% 3.7 23 4.9% 8 13.9% 1 22.2% 29
23 SEA -10.6% 3-6 -12.1% 3.1 26 -1.3% 22 -4.9% 25 14.8% 20
24 TEN -12.7% 3-6 -22.9% 3.9 22 8.9% 3 5.1% 9 46.7% 32
25 CHI -17.8% 4-5 -14.9% 3.5 24 -2.4% 25 6.0% 7 10.5% 13
26 BUF -22.0% 3-6 -20.4% 3.3 25 -0.6% 19 10.2% 4 15.1% 21
27 KC -32.1% 2-7 -24.2% 2.2 27 -0.8% 21 1.2% 18 5.6% 2
28 TB -32.8% 1-8 -31.7% 2.1 29 9.4% 2 8.6% 6 12.9% 17
29 STL -37.5% 1-8 -39.9% 2.2 28 4.0% 9 1.1% 19 6.2% 4
30 CLE -42.7% 1-8 -53.9% 1.6 30 11.4% 1 -14.7% 30 20.3% 27
31 OAK -49.1% 2-7 -49.1% 1.3 31 1.0% 15 8.7% 5 15.8% 23
32 DET -54.7% 1-8 -57.7% 1.3 32 5.0% 7 4.1% 13 7.6% 5


246 comments, Last at 24 Nov 2009, 2:28pm

1 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Heh, get to be first for once. Have to agree with DVOA that the Saints are defnitely not looking as good these days.

2 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

hopw can Raiders be ranked lower than Browns? browns are worst team in football, . Cleveladn browns redifining defintion of words suck and crappy.

12 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Jamarcus Russell is redefining definition of Sucky & Crappy - look at the latest edition of the illustrated dictionary :)

13 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Not so fast, Raiderjoe. There's a game this weekend that just might determine who the worst team in football is.

Maybe we'll be lucky, and instead of showing the actual game, they'll show us one of the Browns-Lions championship games from the '50s.

73 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I'm actually trying to organize some co-workers to go to a bar specifically to watch Browns-Lions. Anyone else in the Indy area interested? It's going to be epic!

123 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I'm in the Indy area, but I'd have to break a commitment.

What makes you think that any self-respecting bar would be showing Browns v. Lions? I went to a bar to watch the first (and also epically bad) half of the Browns v. Ravens, but that's a different kettle of fish.

156 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

A lot of bars these days will play every game, even if it's just on a small TV on the side. The bar I'm thinking of (BW3, Speedway) usually has all of the games on.

14 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Yes, but they're redefining suck and crappy against the hardest schedule in football so far. Oakland has faced a league-average schedule and managed only one more win.

23 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Raiders lose bunch of close games and beat Eagles rela bad and eagles way at top of DOVA charts. What heppend to DAVE? Is the DAVE list some other area of website?
On other hand Browns get blown out a lot of times and only win was 6-3 vs Bills (crap team). Raiders more impressivde than browns. Browns going to finish 2-14. Should beat KC Chiefs becuause that another crap tema.
Raiders going to go at least 7-9. tough game at Dal;as and Pitt. Also Raiders goigng to show Browns who is boss on Decemenber 27 game

33 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

It is kind of depressing to me to read a Raiderjoe soaked in realism, reduced to arguing that his beloved is not as wretched as the Browns. Come back, Old Raiderjoe, we hardly knew ye!

39 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

As the season goes on, the preseason rankings that are used for DAVE count for less and less, until we reach the point where there's enough this-season data and DAVE goes away.

146 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Exactly how did the Raiders beat the Eagles REAL BAD? Seems to me that was a close game, though you're more likely to say the Eagles played poorly in that one game than the Raiders played well.

18 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Unbelievably enough, I agree that the Browns subjectively look worse. Considerably worse, even. I thought the '07 Rams were the worst-looking team I would ever see, but the '09 Browns may be worse.

45 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I kind of agree, though I don't think they look as bad as last year's Lions. They're definitely funnier, though, because the focus of the sucking is on offense. Ludicrous turnovers are just inherently more amusing than a complete inability to tackle or cover, with the added bonus of not inducing CC Brown flashbacks.

135 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

As a Broncos fan, I may be so inured to awful defense that it affects me less when watching.

I used to have a formula (well, I still have it, but I don't use it) for predicting playoff success (sort of a homeless man's DVOA--not even poor man's) and I abandoned it because of two things in 2007:
1. The Giants were ranked, I believe, 24th in the league and won the Super Bowl.
2. The Rams were so unbelievably low that they were ruining all of the averages. As I recall, there were 23 teams above the mean total score (the Giants were the highest below the mean, that I remember for sure) and it was all because of the Rams. And I thought they looked every bit as bad as my formula said. I even tried to work out the formula for the theoretical rating of the '76 Buccaneers and the '07 Rams were about equal. However, no one else seemed to think they were even the worst team in the league that season, much less historically bad.

And I discovered this website, Football Outsiders, that had DVOA, which did everything I was trying to do but much better (even though DVOA is not trying to predict the playoffs).

The point is, the '07 Rams really stick in my mind as unbelievably bad.

65 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by The Guy You Do… (not verified)

I don't think that's unbelieveable at all. I'm with you on this one. The Raiders are terrible, but they do at least have one quality win. The Browns only win was so embarassing that it's used as a point to emphasize how bad they are. This Browns team is just atrocious.

We're definitely choosing between levels of badness here, but if the two were to meet on a neutral field, I'd pick the Raiders to win. At least they will get to settle it on the field, albeit in Cleveland.

113 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by DrewTS (not verified)

Browns won't beat KC or any tema.

I appreciate the confidence that they will help the Raiders, but you know they won't.

Browns don't win another game all year, Browns don't score another offensive touchdown all year, Browns are worse than the expansion Bucs in the 70's. Browns are worse than the Detroit winless Lions.

6-3 vs Buffalo will be the lasting memeory of a year pooped out and flushed down the toilet. Mangini awful> O coordinator Daboll Awful> Randy "inept recluse live in NY and London" Lerner is the main issue for the team. Why don't you hire someone to run the football biz and let him HIRE the coach.....???? I know you love to hire the coach and then hire his boss, then fire his boss, then fire the coach, the hire another coach, then fire them too....sheesh...head hurts.

Raiderjoe......you are right, even JaBustcuss would be the Browns best player...sad sad sad sad sad sad... Raiders by 15 points over the Brown in te pants

163 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by Phil O'sopher (not verified)

Woah, nellie.

"Browns are worse than the expansion Bucs in the 70's."

You take that statement back. First, teams today are bigger, stronger, faster, and, um, steroidy-er. So it's hard to make comparisons.

But while I would be the first to admit the Browns' putridness has hit historical levels from simply watching them, the following observations must be made:

1. The Browns have actually won a game. My inescapable logic allows me to conclude that 1 > 0.

2. The Browns' season is not yet over. While their odor might drive away future opponents from playing the, their is still the (miniscule) possibility for improvement.

3. It's trendy, and easy, to say that "current event X is the BEST/WORST evah!" But that is rarely true (not always- sometimes you are witnessing history- but rarely). You, sir, have no knowledge of how truly bad the Creamsicles were. Consider the following:

a) They went defeated. That's 0-14.
b) They did not score until their fourth game, and it was a defensive score. Overall, they scored less than a pimply high-school guy at a nunnery. Or JaMarcus throwing to TO.
c) Their roster was so bad, that only four *starters* remained at the end of the season.
d) Their offense was so bad (so, um, offensive) that their defense played the equivalent of two seasons.
e) They lost to the other expansion team (FO's fave- the Seasquawks) in what can only be described as the gotterdamerung of pathetic play- at home.
f) Discounting the Seasquawk game and a urprisingly sprited performance agains the Fins, the average margin of their games was: 31.3 - 8. (Taking into account the close games? 29.4 - 9)
g) They wore the creamsicles. Not even the new & improved creamsicles. And the winking pirate (they couldn't have anything to Raider-like or ol' Al would've come and kicked their orange behinds).

Any questions? Are we clear? The Brownies are earth-shatteringly bad. But they're not the '76 Bucs.

181 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Teams of today are not steroidier than teams of the 70s. Otherwise, spot on. People forget history that's more than about 3 years old.

3 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Interesting that the difference between NO and NE in total DVOA is almost totally down to special teams. Of course, NE has a big edge in weighted DVOA, but we'll see if that remains when the defense starts to get healthy and when/if the offense gets over its recent turnover binge.

Also fun to see that NO's blowout of the then-undefeated Giants now appears to be the first game of the Saints' decline. Oh, how 5 weeks changes perspectives.

4 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

also Raiders offense deifintiely better than Browms offens.e Browns cant even score. Guy on mike and Mike, one of Mikes the smaller one say 2009 Browns worst offense since 1933 Reds team which get kicked out of league for being so bad.
if compare players Raiders have beter at every psiitons except left tackle. Rssell beter than quinn, Gradkowski better than Andersin, all Raiders baxckcs better than browns one. Harson and lewis not even see field if on Raiders. Raiders bvetter wrs than Browns. massoqoi maybe good somesay but not yet. stukey sucky. nobody else there. Raiders tight end great up and cominger and blow Browns TE otu of water. Raiders lg, C, lg, rg, rt better than browns guys at same positons. Browns win at left tackle only. Also Raiders punter better

6 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

After watching MNF I'm gonna have to agree with you. To my eyes this Browns team is the most inept offensive NFL team I have ever seen. They just have nobody even remotely dangerous on offense and yes, I include Josh Cribbs in that assessment.

24 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings


2006 Raiders give up less points than Clots who go on to win Super bowl.
worst temas in 2000s
2008- Lions
2007- dolphins or ramms,
2006- bucs
2005- texans
2003- cardimals
2001- panthers
2000- Chargers

46 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

2005's an interesting one. Obviously the Texans were awful, and had the lowest win total in the league, but DVOA thinks that year's 49ers were worse, by a huge margin. On the one hand, that's a pretty clear indicator that on a play by play basis the 49ers really were worse. On the other hand, that year's Texans set new standards in finding ways to lose (note the Rams game, in particular). DVOA sees that as bad luck, but having watched most of their games I'm not so sure. I think at some point, a team that simply doesn't believe it can win really is a worse team than PBP makes it appear.

69 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Well, the strength of that 2006 Clots wasn't their defense. I beleive they had the worst regular-season defense of any Super Bowl winner.

132 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Raiderjoe, he said "offensive team." Perhaps you have some special understanding of the game that I lack, but I don't think points allowed is usually considered a good measure of an offense. They had a good defense, maybe even very good when you consider the offense they had to play with.

82 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Guess you're lucky enough to have never seen the Eagles play when Bobby Hoying was QB. THAT was inept offense at it's finest.

116 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Worst Offenses in last 20 years (mix of DVOA + eyeballing of pts, yds, TOs)

1990 Patriots (pre-DVOA)
1991 Buccaneers (pre-DVOA)
1991 Colts (pre-DVOA)
1992 Patriots (pre-DVOA)
1992 Seahawks (pre-DVOA)
1995 Jets
1997 Saints (DVOA shows Chargers to be almost as bad)
1998 Eagles (DVOA not as bad as others listed here or other 1998 teams)
2000 Browns (DVOA shows Falcons to be worse)
2002 Texans
2004 Bears
2005 49ers
2006 Raiders
2007 49ers
2009 Browns
2009 Raiders

5 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Interesting that the 8 worst teams all have the 8 worst offenses

7 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Bears ST is the only bright part of the team this year for sure. Its not 2006 Hester, but at least it is somewhat exciting.

139 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Okay, that's just depressing. Picturing dedicated fans who finally get excited when the kicking teams trot onto the field...oy vey.

8 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I would be really interested to see the Packers week-to-week. Three of their four losses came against the 7th and 8th best offenses (6th and 11th overall, respectively), while they have big wins over the three teams they should have big wins over, a great win against Dallas (4th best offense, 8th overall), and pretty much only one game that is a fluke (Tampa). I would imagine their chart is up and down, but it would still be interesting to see.

Since the Tampa loss was not really a bad defensive effort, I imagine they still look pretty good from a performance standpoint even if their W-L does not make sense ;[

Oh, to be a Packers fan!

19 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Yeah, the Packers are an interesting chart. Up and down the first four games, then two really good games, a slightly-below-average game, and a terrible game.

The Tampa Bay loss actually was a bad loss: special teams killed the Packers.

This is one of those times when the premium subscription comes in handy; you can look up any team's week-by-week DVOA for a given season.

240 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I thought Green Bay-Dallas was a toss up going in. The Texans strike me as the team with the most excruciating 'could have been' season so far. They lost two games on the opponents' one-yard line, and were a missed field goal from overtime against the Colts. So close to 8-1 and being one of the stories of the year

9 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The playoff odds currently give Denver a 2 to 1 chance of taking the division. Anyone else think that San Diego is a slight favorite for the crown at this point? My reasoning is two-fold: First, the injury to Orton will either likely keep him out or limit his productivity. Additionally, the Broncos defense appears to be regressing to the mean. In regards to the Chargers, the offensive line appears to be more healthy than the beginning of the year, which is assisting them in establishing a running game (small sample size with the recent Philly game, admittedly). The defense (particularly Merriman) looks improved and more healthy since the beginning of the year.

I clearly still have plenty of questions about this team (and there is always the risk of getting Norved), but I think they take the division. Huge game this weekend in Denver. Now if they can only find a pass defense.......

15 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Of course San Diego will win the division--even with the Norv factor continually draining the team psyche. They are more than a "slight favorite". Yes, the O Line is coming around and LT finally appears to be fully capable of planting and cutting. Merriman has gotten healthy as well. They will easily outdistance Denver, especially now that Orton is hurt. However, if anything happens to Rivers, then as it is with any team, they will be in trouble. No matter that they have a Hall of Fame running back, no matter their defense, Rivers is coming into his own now and the guy is a definite winner. The NFL is all about the quarterback. And, once again, DVOA cannot quantify "clutch". Philip Rivers is one of about 6 or 7 guys in the entire League that regularly get it done when it matters. Not even Turner can screw him up although Turner could screw up a round steel ball...

37 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Of course San Diego will the AFC West. It'll be news when the AFC West doesn't play out 'Broncos start hot, Chargers start slow, Broncos fade, Chargers win the division'. We're a bit ahead of schedule for it this year, but it's not like you didn't know it was coming.

85 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I would not count the Broncos out yet. McDaniels has already succeeded in bringing in a lot of the tenacity that defines the Patriots. They focus on details. That is the exact opposite of the Chargers. The Chargers are still not crisp in execution. They are like all Norv teams -- uneven, searching for an identity, prone to sustained periods of baffling behavior, and living on the edge with bomb after bomb downfield. They are propelled by the professionalism of players such as Rivers, Tomlinson, Gates, Dielman, etc.

147 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The tenacity of the Patriots? You mean the team that has been busy choking away games against any Manning lately and has not won a title since five years ago (which was also when McDaniels started calling plays for them, umm...)?

152 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I don't think there is the slightest reason for such a generalization. it is simply wishful thinking.

67 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Of course the Broncos already beat the Chargers once which is why they have the lead over them. I'm pretty confident about the game with San Diego coming to Denver. Homefield advantage is great and the Chargers don't have the big physical guys that were giving Denver problems in the Steelers/Ravens games.

10 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The Packers, oh so frustrating. The best defense and the worst special teams. Is there any data on special teams sinking a season? Does the worst special teams completely kill a season (as it appears to be doing to the Packers) or can good teams overcome that?

Also, the Packers and 49ers are the top two defensive teams, and will be colliding in a sack fest of defensive titans this weekend. I wouldn't be shocked to see something like 13-10 in that one.

22 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

You guys always forget that Special Teams are 1/3 of the game. Absolutely equal to the other two phases. The Packers have more problems than that, however. But as to your question, some teams are so good in one or more of the other phases that they can overcome a poor ST. The 99 and 01 Rams made it to the SB with a weak defensive ST and the Steelers of 05, and last year, were continually giving up long kick returns and so on. But the Pack is far from the level of those two teams. Basically, a whole bunch of people, and DVOA, over-rated them. Don't be too excited that they beat the Boys. Rodgers has alot of talent but alot to learn. And their O Line has suffered. Maybe next year. It's all Minny right now. Although, watch out again everybody, take a look at the Cardinals remaining schedule and realize they will not have to go on the road first...

27 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

In nfc playofofs ging to come down to Saints Vikes, Cards. divisonal round maybe Cardinals at Vikings, and some other team at s aints. then NFc cgamponship game be Cardnals Vikings winner vs Saints. Cardinals good shot to win at Vikings staidum. good shootout maybe ebwteen Fave and Warner.

107 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I think that the actual mix is likely 2.5 parts offence, 2.5 parts defence, .75 parts ST and 1.25 parts luck.

Hence the difficulty of your task.

42 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Which guys "always forget" about special teams? FO? Is that why they're given their own column in the DVOA ratings? Their own DVOA page?

DVOA didn't over-rate the Packers, at least not in the offseason (which is what you're referring to, I guess): the Almanac estimated 7.4 wins, one of the few media outlets that didn't go gaga over the team. DVOA now says they have an average offense, hapless special teams, and the #1 defense in a season where no defense has been outstanding. That passes the eyeball credibility test.

That's a bold prediction about Minnesota winning the North. Thanks.

99 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Pretty much everyone that never played and the overwhelming majority of fans, pundits, power rankings watchers etc. You're welcome about the Minny prediction. Of course I'm the person that was saying this in the first couple of weeks, especially after seeing them live. But, you know, anybody can collapse. Minny has quite a history of fast starts and second half wanings. Brett Favre can get knocked out, at long last, at any time. Then your beloved cheese pizza could come back, couldn't they ? After all, DVOA proclaims them as the best defense in football. And they just beat the awesome Cowboys. Yeah, right...

114 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I remember this guy, now. He's a troll who's proud of the fact that he played high school football, and now apparently resides on an island in the Caribbean living off his gambling (because he knows so much more than the rest of us about who'll win.)

Stay away. Do not feed.

134 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Hey kid, what does "troll" mean in cybernerd language ? I know what a Bridge Troll is. Is that your night job ? You, obviously, have lots of free day time. Bridge Troll work must pay pretty well.

141 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Trolling is posting statements for the sole purpose of getting a reaction from someone. Usually a negative reaction.

44 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

1st, 2nd and 3rd down are offense and defense. Special teams is only 4th down and even that is only one play per drive if said drive doesn't result in a turnover.
And even then, not 1/3 of the yards are made on special teams.
No, a coach who dedicates 1/3 of his practice on special teams is not a winning coach.

58 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Yes, but . . .

It's not just 4th down. Special teams also include kickoffs and kickoff returns. Better-than-average performance results in 5-10 extra yards of field position per ST play (in my opinion).

Special teams yardage can be a significant portion of total yardage. 5 kick returns at 25 yeards per, and 5 punt returns at 5 yards per is a 150 yards--certainly more than the average team rushing performance.

A small error on special teams can result in a touchdown on returns, or a fumble with very good field position/touchdown on coverage (how much is luck? I don't know).

101 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Hey this thing posted wrong. "Baloney" was in response to no. 58 saying
"a coach who dedicates 1/3 of practice to ST is not a winning coach".

197 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Either be funny or add some arguments.
Again: football is not 1/3 special teams and practices aren't either.
Normally 15 minutes of specific special team things (snap, hold, kick, coverage) per practice of 2 hours is enough.
Don't tell Mike Tomlin!

199 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Um, who said special teams is 1/3 of football? If Vince is correct in saying "Actually, our research shows the game is 3 parts offense, 3 parts defense, and 1 part special teams," wouldn't that mean that FO essentially believes that special teams is 1/7 of the game (or looking at it another way, worth 17 minutes of a 2 hour practice)?

204 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Rick A, in post #101: "'Baloney' was in response to no. 58 saying
'a coach who dedicates 1/3 of practice to ST is not a winning coach'."

211 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

and Rick A in #22 before that.

But now now. Lets not repeat the 1/3 thing, because people are bad at remembering things in context.
You can hold a 2h lecture about how special teams are NOT 1/3 of football, but after that, when people are quizzed about it, it will go something like this:
"Johnny. Tell us something about special teams"
"uhm... retards, football, kickers, one third of football, holder, super bowl, stop the time!"

215 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I see now -- don't you know RickA has played the game at a high level? Anyway, I wasn't considering troll estimates. I didn't think FO was saying it was a third of the game -- Vince's estimate sounds about right.

11 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I'm pretty sure it was a 2k game, or maybe it was one of the Head Coach games, but at least one of those had designated long snapper.

16 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

If one oddball game can so dominate the entire years score, there's something wrong with your accounting. New England doesn't get to save some of that 59-0 for next week to use, and Tenessee isn't in debt for the next game.

17 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

If one oddball game can so dominate the entire years score, there's something wrong with your accounting. New England doesn't get to save some of that 59-0 for next week to use, and Tenessee isn't in debt for the next game.

25 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

New England has a +40% DVOA. It looks like 5 of their 9 games are above that. That seems pretty normal to me.

31 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Yeah, that 130% DVOA game against a team that was an absolute wreck at the time doesn't look like an outlier at all. I mean, it's only 80% higher than any other game they've played this season.

142 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

It's not just NE, that was just an example. PHI is obviously rated high because of three great games. Therefore the teams that crush them look better than they should, which spreads the problem.

In a game, I don't think DVOA gives 80 times the credit it gives for a 1 yard run on 3rd and 1 if you go 80 yards, because there's only so much 'game changing ability' a single drive can do, no matter how efficient you are.

The same is true if you are wonderfully efficient at crushing a hapless team, there's only 1 win to get.

162 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I think it appears to be worse this year because the bottom teams in the league are simply so awful. DVOA in general works better than FEI and college metrics because the teams being evaluated are closer to each other in terms of true talent plus play many more common games. When teams are as bad as the Lions/Browns/Rams etc. I imagine the system has a hard time dealing with it.

Perhaps there should be a cap on DVOA. I know it is supposed to essentially ignore garbage time stats anyway, but for example when the Colts played the Rams, they were up 21-0 midway through the second quarter. The game was a laugher at that point. DVOA I'm sure still says its early and counts plays significantly at that point, but honestly if you told someone the Colts were ahead of the Rams 21-0 would anyone honestly say "It's early. They are still in this game." Probably not. The Patriots didn't do any '07 level running up at the score hijinx against the Titans this year, but I'm sure they still get a good amount of credit for some of those scores, even though at some point the game was feasibly over.

So my point I guess, isn't that the Eagles are breaking DVOA, it's that the complete suckitude of the "s****y six" is skewing the ratings of the teams that pummel them.

165 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

What if the Rams were the team that was up 21-0 in the 2nd quarter? Would the game be a laugher at that point or would you say "it's still early, the Colts are still in this game"?

Those plays should count until the game is really out of reach, and you can't just arbitrarily change the rules for when a game is out of reach based on previous performance.

173 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I'm not really arguing arbitrarily changing the rules. Obviously in the reverse situation it is still very much a game. I'm more just pointing out how utterly hopeless a few teams are this year and how that may be skewing the ratings a bit.

I do think a DVOA cap (and floor if you like) wouldn't be a bad thing to explore. As a random example let's say Team X plays 10 games and has a DVOA of 0% in the first nine then goes up against a good team who has a few secondary injuries and a Brad Johnson level backup QB playing for that game and absolutely destroys them with a 125% DVOA for that game. Their DVOA would then stand at 12.5%. An otherwise perfectly average (or slightly above average with the pummeling in Game 10) shoots up the board and tends to be overrated. As someone else says you can only beat a team once. It's good that they blew out a good team, but their DVOA is artificially inflated by this one game. Now it'll probably show up in variance and estimated wins if I understand correctly, but putting a cap on extremes prevents them from skewing the results.

202 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

If a team is destroying everybody, and another one is just winning by slightly higher margin then the theshold, a system that caps the DVOA would show them as close.
I think a better way to do it is to take out the best and worst DVOA games when calculating the average. That way one strong win or one strong loss does not push the DVOA in one direction that much.

212 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Well, close-ER. But not necessarily close.

I don't know the exact range, but from what I remember ranges of plus or minus fifty are considered "best of all time"/"worst of all time" kind of teams. If that's true, what was the game with NE and TEN? A team twice as good as the best ever facing one three times as bad as anyone has ever been?

I didn't see the game, but from that you'd expect that Brady discovered the cure to cancer during the game while two Titan players strangled on their own shoelaces.

Again, this isn't trying to be anti-Patriot. The graphs show the Eagles are even more distorted, and trying to figure Tennesee out seems difficult. But again, what does it mean to a team that just beat the Titans 24-10? That they are crappy compared to NE, because a normal team should go 34-3?

26 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The defensive line stats page seems to contain the offensive line stats instead.

30 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

A question about something I've been wondering about lately. Is DVOA adjusted for a team's run/pass ratio? For example:

Team A has an 50% pass DVOA and -50% run DVOA but passes 80% of the time.

Team B has a 50% pass DVOA and -50% run DVOA but passes only 50% of the time.

These teams aren't both rated as having about equal offensive DVOA's are they? Because if so, that seems like a big flaw in the analysis, as Team A's offense is obviously much better than Team B's. It's probably factored in somehow and I'm not noticing where but I just wanted to make sure.

35 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

If Team A has a rush DVOA of 100% but only 1 carry, and a pass DVOA of -100% on 99 pass plays, their overall offensive rating will be about -99%, not 0%.

32 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I hate it when my free ice cream is delivered late! The nerve!

Anyways, it would interest me to see defensive DVOA for the Packers correlated with the rate by which officiating crews call penalties on defensive backs, compared to the correlation for the rest of the league. The Packers play a style which seems to benefit more that average from a crew which allows more contact. This is not meant as criticism; I prefer crews which allow more contact. I just wonder if my intuition is correct.

The Vikings defensive rank is suffering, I suspect, from the fact that their dbs, especially the safeties, don't get many interceptions despite frequently playing with the lead, and behind a good pass rush. This might well cost them dearly in the future.

155 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by Will Allen (not verified)

It is not free any more than TV or radio are free their are ads on the site and as far as i know Aaron is supporting his family off this work. Lets not all live under the false impression he is doing this for our benefit.

168 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I don't pay for OTA radio or TV. For me, they're free. If the sponsor were complaining something was late, that would make sense.

176 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Hard to say whether 155 is taking a shot at Will Allen (who it seems is clearly being ironic) or Aaron, who certainly has a right to try to support his family with this work, regardless of whether any part of what he does is literally for our benefit (although it seems he (and ESPN/other sponsors) believes that at least some of us believe we benefit somehow from reviewing/discussing DVOA etc.).

196 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by Will Allen (not verified)

But the point is that is no reason to act as though it isn't another business. I see people constantly treat this site as though it were a non-profit dedicated to improved football research, it is not unless I missed something. It seems straightforwardly a normal website trading selling advertising.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The problem arises when people make legitimate suggestions about things they would like to see changed or improved and the response is "you are getting this for fee you ingrate how dare you look a gift horse in the mouth". When the real response should be, "Thank you for using our service we will take your concerns under advisement".

Some of the posters in particular often seem to feel like this site is a gift from Aaron's own heart, something he does in his free time for our benefit, which while that may have been what it originally was, is not at all the case. I think Bill is even an FO employee. So to the extent they are a business trying to sell something it is perfectly legitimate to complain about the service, perhaps stupid, and pointless, but legitimate.

34 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Save your images in .png instead of .jpg and they won't be fuzzy.

36 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Makes one wonder that a 6-3 team that just lost to the Colts is ranked as the best team in Football. Does anyone outside of FO staff and fans really have them winning the Super Bowl this year? They don't look nearly as good as they have in recent years. Unless I'm the pre-double bird Bud Adams' Titans, I'm not really that scared of them this year. Subjective I know, but it seems a bit off this year.

38 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Everybody always makes this particular mistake. I would expect more from somebody who has premium membership, and therefore should have a lot more experience with this.

Consider, their first two losses came early in the season against two good teams, and those losses mean less, since more weight is given to the most recent games. They just lost to the second best team in football according to DVOA in a game where they should have won, being up 17 in the fourth. Outside of one questionable call (or a series of calls, as it were), they had the game won outside of two defensive lapses.

If you look at their games, they have played some pretty good football.

And I absolutely dislike the Patriots.

63 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Just curious, but how do you know "morganja" has a premium membership. You can't tell by the lack of "not verified" in the commentor name - you just have to register for that, not pay anything. I don't have a premium membership for instance.

79 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The line was Indy -2.5 at home which indicates that bettors agree with DVOA and think NE is slightly better than Indy. Home field is generally considered to be worth 3 points.

219 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Yeah, my thoughts exactly. If, for some reason a ton of bets started flooding for the Colts, they would have raised that line to 4 to even things out.

Remember folks, Vegas is not trying to predict a winner/loser or score exactly. They are trying to get close, but more importantly (for them) keep the bettors evenly distributed to optimize the bookie business model returns (BBMR). If everyone bet one side and lost, great, sports books win big. But if everybody bet one side and won, fuck! the books are in hock to their eyeballs paying off the bets. If half win and half lose, Vegas makes less but loses nothing.

A business model where you make a little and lose nothing is called "a sure thing." The trick is scaling it up enough to make that small profit worthwhile.

222 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Also, remember, most of the money bet on games is bet by "professional" gamblers; that is, the public perception or popularity of a team has very little effect on a line compared to the effect that gamblers, who have systems of their own, have.

Futures lines always seemed to be skewed in favor of very popular teams; that is, you'll have Cubs fans who always put money on them to win the Series, which makes it terrible odds for real gamblers, but as far as individual game lines go, they're usually pretty accurate reflections of real percentages.

41 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I wouldn't be shocked if the Pats won the Superbowl.

They essentially played a tie on the road with the #2 team in DVOA. What are you complaining about?

48 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

What do you mean by "recent years"? They certainly don't look as good as the 2007 edition, but they look way better than the 2005, 2006 or 2008 versions. I'd take the 2004 Pats over this year's group, but I think 2009 probably beats 2003, and easily beats 2002 or 2001.

Also note that DVOA may say that they're better than the Colts, but FO's playoff odds give the Colts nearly double the Pats' chance of winning the Superbowl.

40 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Well technically their first loss came against a mediocre team, but the other two losses came against good or very good teams.
The only thing that is probably skewing their rating is the tenessee game, because on that day TEN was really not worth playing in a highschool league, but since then is continously playing better and so NE win is getting raised in value with each week due to opponents adjustements. But no matter how you really value this game, it can't account for more then 5-10% DVOA since its only one of 9 games.

As far as the SB goes, well they just went to Indy and laid down 17 points on them, before having a historic meltdown. and no matter how you put that it should be possible to agree that there was at least a 50-50 Chance of them winning that game.

I think people are looking for the early 2007 Pats when they ask that question, and they are not that good. but they are as good as the 2003/04 version which won two SBs so I would never count them out.

Apart from that Indy is probably going to have HFA in the playoffs. So when they DVAO ratings stay like that Indy will be favorite for AFC representative in the SB.

242 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Well, losing to Denver is about to look like losing to a mediocre team, too, especially if the Chris Simms experience gets an extended viewing.

43 Confused?

My friend (a Packer fan) turned me to this website to try and convince me that the Packers are better than the Bengals (me being a Bengals fan). I refuse to believe this because they play in a better division, have played better competition, have a better record overall, and most important.... beat GB "at" GB. I try to tell him that stats don't matter in the NFL... only W's, but he refuses to say the Bengals are better. Now I already am a non-believer of this site's rankings seeing as they have the Steelers, Ravens, and Packers ahead of the Bengals. Bengals beat all of them on the road, and beat Pitt and Balt at home. Now maybe statistics say they're better, but head to head competition is the only way to determine a better team.... NOT STATS... and the Bengals have the "W's" to back that up....so I ask anybody who is reading this... is my friend wrong for thinking the Packers are better? Everything says the Bengals are better (Better competition, better record overall and head to head, better division), besides these DVOA rankings, I don't see how this is even an argument, but he does.

47 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

head to head competition is the only way to determine a better team

So the Bucs are better than the Packers, and the Packers better than the Cowboys, and the Cowboys better than the Panthers, and the Panthers better than the Bucs.

Thanks for your contribution. I'll remember that stuff about 'W's.

60 Re: Confused?

In reply to by ammek

Heh heh---

You should design an entire site around that, where you'd rank teams by "W's". The Premium version could rank teams by "Lack of L's"

136 Re: Confused?

In reply to by I am excellent… (not verified)

It already exists. It's called beatpaths.com

The transitive property is actually pretty fun to play around with.

89 Re: Confused?

In reply to by ammek

And don't forget, the Raiders are better than the Eagles.

94 Re: Confused?

In reply to by ammek

obviously wins aren't the only thing that matter, but when Cincy beats pitt and balt twice and gb on the road you have to ask yourself is GB really a better team?

GB's DVOA is higher because they stomped Cle and Det and Cincy posted a -75 in one game against Clev?

What would you take as better evidence of which team is stonger? 5 wins against top DVOA teams - or two stomps of crappy teams vs one horrible outing against one crappy team?

98 Re: Confused?

In reply to by jmaron

Obviously the Stomps. Read the research.

167 Re: Confused?

In reply to by ammek

Cowboys win was part of the pre-Hollis/pre-Jake resurrection 0-3 Panthers. Panthers are 4-2 since Hollis, plus replaced Bad Jake with Good Jake.

185 Re: Confused?

In reply to by panthersnbraves

Yeah, how the hell DID that happen? Was it a "heaven can Wait" kind of thing, where Delhomme died but was reanimated by the ghost of a not-so-sucky QB? Or was it for of a "Face Off" deal, where Steve Young decided to give it one more try, while Jake started doing rambling pre-game analysis?

49 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

I suggest you look a little closer at the numbers, instead of the rankings. You'll see that the Bengals are rated very closely to the Packers. The stats say the teams are essentially equal. Considering how close the game, that seems fair, don't you agree?

Anyways, I don't think you should worry too much, the Bengals seem like a team that will continue to get better. As long as Palmer stays healthy they should do some damage this year. Enjoy the W's and don't worry too much about stats, unless they tell you something about the team you didn't see.

50 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

Well Jesse, I agree with your central thesis: the Bengals are a better team than the Packers. Seriously, would anyone here not back Cincy to beat Green Bay on a neutral field? But Ammek's right that you're using the wrong argument: head-to-head is not the best or only way to assess teams. I would point out to your friend that the difference in DVOA is only 1.7% (and only 0.3% in weighted DVOA), and that means DVOA can detect essentially no difference in team quality. Moreover, the opponent adjustments in DVOA are still far from perfect at this stage of the season: it's entirely possible that calculations using end of season opponent strength will say the Bengals had actually been more impressive up to this point. Whichever way you want to make the case, you (ie he) can't rely on DVOA to do it. Unfortunately, that pretty much leaves you with subjective observation, because DVOA is sure as hell better than any other statistical metric out there, including W-L or head-to-head record. I also certainly don't agree with you that the Bengals are better than the Steelers, though like you I'm a little dubious of the Ravens' ranking. I'm aware of the results of FO's Guts vs. Stomps research, but I still on some level think some teams are so awful that results against them should simply be thrown out. The Browns are one of those teams.

52 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

If you're new to this, you shouldn't get too worked up about the rankings without looking at the actual DVOA numbers. Green Bay and Pittsburgh are ranked above Cincinnati by such marginal amounts that DVOA sees them as being essentially the same. We are dealing with differences of like three percentage points here, on a neutral field DVOA wouldn't favor the Packers over the Bengals by a full point (and would give the Bengals the edge if they were playing at home).

If you hover over "Statistics" up above, you may be interested in the "Stats Explained" link.

53 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Crabbie (not verified)

Oops, Mr Shush's comment wasn't there for some reason when I posted this.

68 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

Head over to Advanced NFL Stats and you'll be happier about the Bengals relative to the Packers.

77 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

I just wanted to highlight that W's and L's are indeed statistics, so we're not really arguing about stats vs. non-stats, we're arguing about which are the best stats to judge teams by.

If W's and L's are your sole concern, I've got good news. There is an excellent website out there that measures results by those two statistics, and you'll be pleased with where the Bengals currently rank:


95 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Todd S.

I realize I made a stupid comment in the heat of the moment about "head to head" being the only way to decide . But isn't that what you should rank the stats by? Wins and losses? Nobody ever won a superbowl with zero wins... In every sport, the only stat that matters in the end is "W's" am I wrong? Not which team has better Defensive stats, not which team has better offensive stats, but Wins and Losses. People don't say "remember that team back in 2000 who had a really good defense and subpar offense and went 4-12? No, because people tend to remember the winning teams, not the teams with good stats. I just don't understand how this site can say the Pack are ahead of the Bengals when everything leans the Bengals way. Better divison, better overall record, better head to head record (at GB mind you) , and played way better competition thus far... I just don't see how a team who goes 7-2 against the 4th hardest schedule thus far, is behind a team that has went 5-4 against the 3rd easiest schedule thus far. Makes not one bit of sense to say a team that has played better competition and has more wins should be placed behind a team that has more losses in a weaker schedule. I understand that the Bengals are better team, I have no problem admitting that and defending that, but can we all agree stats don't always tell the story? You cannot go by only stats, some of it has to be common knowledge, or else Boise St, Hawaii, Utah, and TCU would get into the championship game ever year, because statistically they are way better than 98% of the league, but common sense would tell you that they play in a garbage conference, and play powder puff teams and don't deserve to be placed with the Florida's and other SEC teams that play legit competitors. All I'm saying is the Packers have played 4 teams that are 1-8... almost half their games... why shouldn't they have amazing stats. It's ludicrous to say they are better than the Bengals though... just absolute blasphemy. Even if it's by a tenth of a pt or 100 pts.

104 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

You should read the link about what DVOA is and how it works. DVOA is a measure of strength that predicts future success, not a measure of past success. Plain VOA gives that, and closely matches W-L. DVOA is more predictive than W-L moving forward. It's likely future success vs past success.

DVOA removes the types of plays that are non-predictive, even if they are important to past wins and losses. The best example of this is fumble recovery rate. It's completely random. If each team in a game fumbles twice, but one team recovers all 4, they're likely to win. Removing those 4 plays, they might have been outplayed by the other team. Which is more indicative of team strength, plays that are random (like fumble recoveries), or ones that are not?

You're trying to use stats and strength of plays and schedule, but you're falling into the trap of assuming W-L is the final arbiter of strength.

Also, well done on following the zlionsfan template for irrational attacks on DVOA. I haven't seen a serious one of those in a while.

108 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

"You cannot go by only stats, some of it has to be common knowledge, or else Boise St, Hawaii, Utah, and TCU would get into the championship game ever year, because statistically they are way better than 98% of the league..."

Um, no, if you went by wins only, which you're advocating, then Boise State, Hawaii, Utah, or TCU would get into the championship every year, since their easier schedules enable them to win every game.

In fact, all the BCS statistical rankings punish those teams for having easier schedules, placing them behind teams with fewer wins.


Also, why come to this site for rankings if you only want to go by wins? Just go to http://www.nfl.com/standings instead, that has all the information you're looking for.

120 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Eddo

Well that's what sports is about... Winning. Plain and simple, I'm just trying to see if any to see if anyone understands that stats don't always tell the truth. And mostly that the Bengals are better than the Packers as a whole, no just in Defense or Offense, but as a whole. I realize that there are probably hundreds of nerds working behind these statistics, but truth is they're flawed and apparently nobody sees that. You all just go along with what these stats tell you, and have no thoughts of your own. These stats tell you who is better, who should win, who should lose, who is more likely to win the superbowl. Maybe they are right most of the time... actually I'm quite sure these guys are right most of the time, but fact of the matter is, these stats cannot tell you everything you need to know. Bengals are better than the Packers, that's all I came here to prove, and though I haven't, I refuse to let these "stats" tell me that a team with an easier schedule, easier competition, worse record, worse division is ahead of a team that has a harder schedule, better competition, better record, better division. You guys are all trying to look for answers in the "future", why not just look at what is in front of you. The stuff that has happened thus far in the season is all factual, no predictions, no calculations, just hard facts. The future isn't always certain fellas, and either are these computerized predictions.

125 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

True statements that no one disputes:
- "the truth is [dvoa is] flawed"
- "these stats cannot tell you everything you need to know"
- "The future isn't always certain fellas, and [n]either are these computerized predictions"

Selected problems in your post:
- Believing DVOA is doing anything other than predicting the future.
- Using stats (schedule, schedule, record, schedule) while railing against people using stats.
- Asking people to look at what's in front of them, when that's exactly what's being done. It's just not being done the way you prefer.
- Assuming that we use DVOA as the end-all of all things.
- Saying that the whole is not the sum of its independent parts.
- Stating a "fact" without appropriate supporting evidence.

126 Re: Confused?

In reply to by tgt2 (not verified)

One more note:

I agree that winning is what matters in sports. We already know who won in the past, so what's interesting is trying to figure out who will win in the future. DVOA does that better than previous W-L and schedule strength. DVOA shows who has played better and is likely to win in the future. Would any Pats fan have rathered a 19-0 season and a 25% DVOA over and 18-1 lack of superbowl and a 40% DVOA? Pretty much all of them. Does that mean DVOA is stupid? No. Does that mean W-L is a better measure of team strength? No.

127 Re: Confused?

In reply to by tgt2 (not verified)

Your telling me that the Colts and Saints being 9-0 isn't a fact? Those are the things right in front of you that you are ignoring. If that isn't a "fact" to you sir, you got some problems.

150 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

Was that in the post I replied to? No. Do you like strawmen? Apparently so.

148 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

If I were you, to avoid further disappointment I would avoid this site unless the Bengals stomp the Raiders, Browns and Lions in the next three weeks. I shouldn't imagine DVOA will take too kindly to anything other than total domination in those three games.

110 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

DVOA takes the strength of opponent into account, so the strength of schedule isn't exactly being ignored here. I'm not sure why you keep coming back to that, since it's generally one way that DVOA makes a big predictive improvement over simple win-loss records.

You're right that wins are what determine how far a team advances, but that doesn't mean that they're the most predictive metric for future wins. It's pretty easy for a three-point win to be determined mostly by dumb luck, and three of the Bengals' victories were by that margin, including one over the lowly Browns. (Granted, I would also classify their Week 1 loss as "dumb luck.") Their stomp of the Bears and the 17-7 victory over the Ravens were certainly impressive, and it's worth noting that their weighted DVOA is, as expected, higher than their regular DVOA. (Weighted DVOA places greater emphasis on more recent games.) Finally, take a look at their rank in variance -- they're one of the most uneven teams in the league; that suggests that they're capable of playing very well, but don't always do so. Such a team could easily be 8-1 or 5-4, just as their margins of victory have suggested.

That said, DVOA has certainly been wrong about teams before, but I think most people would be more convinced that the Bengals are one of those teams if your argument were based on something that isn't already included in DVOA (e.g., key players coming back from particularly significant injuries). Strength of schedule isn't one of those things.

115 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

I may have been coming off as sarcastic even though I wasn't trying to be. Seriously, Beatpaths is a great site, and it purposefully only uses wins and losses for rankings. DVOA isn't the end-all, be-all ranking system, but it is fantastic. For example, you can look up things like "Which team has been the best this year against #1 wide receivers?" (Answer: New Orleans. Cincinnati is 13th, BTW.) That type of information simply isn't available with only 'W' and 'L' analysis.

Maybe this type of information isn't your cup of tea, but just try to realize that the statistics have been tested over multiple years to make sure they are as descriptive as possible. You are basically saying, "It has to be wrong because of Cincy vs. GB." But you need to give a specific step in order to improve it. That's what Aaron and his team do each off-season. They look at specific variables and test them to see if the ratings can be improved.

Like the one poster said above, don't sweat the rankings. If you're a Bengals fan, be thrilled with where your team is right now, record-wise. The great thing about 'W's is they go in the bank. They never get changed.

122 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Todd S.

[cite]You are basically saying, "It has to be wrong because of Cincy vs. GB." But you need to give a specific step in order to improve it.

I'd go farther than that. Because the rankings are meant to be predictive, not descriptive, unexpected values are NOT counterevidence. You would need future results before your claims make any sense.

192 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

You're taking a bit of flak (not to be confused with Flacco) here for some valid skepticism. In your post, you mention "common sense." I think what DVOA does is provide some uncommon sense. After following it for a few years, I can say that it's a pretty cool system and it does a pretty good job overall of predicting which teams are going to do well as the season progresses. It has the capacity to show you whether or not your emperor is actually wearing clothes.

However, it isn't infallible. I look at DVOA and think "yeah, my Bengals are underrated." But what DVOA says is that the Bengals were supposed to be a bad team, played inconsistently and kinda got lucky in a few games but they've been improving. I don't think that's unreasonable.

Anyway, if you use DVOA, use it as another tool for analysis in your arsenal, ALONG WITH any other quantitative AND qualitative measurements you think are helpful. Hope you enjoy the site!

200 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

DVOA and DAVE not real people. Just computer progr ams. Compuetsr smart with math nut not with comomn sense.
Bengals better than Pakcers in record and other things overall so defeinitley Bengals are better. Better record, harder scheudle, beat Pakcers on field

111 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Jesse Tiedt (not verified)

Thank you. One would think the obvious would resonate with your friend and many of these people. But they are deep into this conceptual system of quantification. While it is a very interesting system and very good, it regularly produces ridiculous proclamations like those you cite. It measures "every play", as the hype says, and, in a League where the discrepancy between the better teams and the poorer teams keeps on widening, many of those measurements mean little if anything. And there are many cheeseheads, apparently, who are regulars here. Given the incredibly emotional nature of many of those people, you will probably take alot of flak in this thread and your friend may end up not being your friend if you keep pointing to the scoreboard!!

118 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Rick A. (not verified)

By talking about "the obvious," you appear to imply that even though DVOA takes into account lots of factors because they have been found to be predictive (and doesn't take into account the ones not found to be predictive), you would rather use only some of those factors, while ignoring other ones, because you think it's a better idea, even if you're only backing is intuition (notoriously wrong) and historical usage (also notoriously wrong).

Did I sum that up properly?

Oh, I almost forgot that you claim that many people on the boards are biased towards the packers (new one to me) and are unable to listen to reason. Ad hominem attacks are never warranted.

133 Re: Confused?

In reply to by tgt2 (not verified)

Look at the scoreboard pal...

151 Re: Confused?

In reply to by Rick A. (not verified)

Thanks for proving my point.

161 Re: Confused?

In reply to by tgt2 (not verified)

Rick A. is a troll. Do not feed.