Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Week 3 DVOA Ratings
Week 3 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

Baltimore takes over the top spot in this week's Football Outsiders DVOA ratings, followed closely by New Orleans. Baltimore also leads in DAVE, our rating that combines performance so far with the FO preseason projection.

Denver, which FO projected to be the worst team in the league, is a surprising third in DVOA so far this season. While there's no doubt that Denver has played much better than expected, their performance is also the product of a pretty easy early schedule. Once the opponent adjustments kick in, starting next week, their rating is probably going to drop a bit. We'll see how real they are after they take on Dallas, New England, and San Diego in the next three weeks. We're especially going to see how real that number-one defensive rating is for a team that had a historically poor defense in 2008.

This week we debut the secondary table of DVOA stats featuring estimated wins, schedule strength, and variance. (One thing you can't say about Jim Zorn is that he's coaching an inconsistent football team.) However, the usual schedule strength ratings are based solely on this year's numbers. Curious about Denver, I ran a second set of future schedule ratings, based on the average DAVE ratings of future opponents rather than the average current VOA ratings of future opponents. Here's a look at both sets of ratings. Based on current ratings, the hardest remaining schedule belongs to Dallas, but DAVE suggests that the Broncos have the hardest remaining schedule. The Saints have the easiest remaining schedule by both measures.


TEAM FUTURE
SCHEDULE
(VOA)
RANK FUTURE
SCHEDULE
(DAVE)
RANK xx TEAM FUTURE
SCHEDULE
(VOA)
RANK FUTURE
SCHEDULE
(DAVE)
RANK
DAL 17.9% 1 7.9% 2 xx STL -1.1% 17 0.2% 17
OAK 10.5% 2 5.6% 3 xx CHI -1.1% 18 -2.3% 26
NYG 10.1% 3 3.7% 6 xx MIN -1.8% 19 1.7% 12
DEN 9.8% 4 11.6% 1 xx PIT -1.8% 20 -1.2% 24
TB 9.8% 5 2.2% 8 xx CLE -1.9% 21 2.2% 9
WAS 9.4% 6 3.9% 5 xx TEN -3.8% 22 1.6% 13
CAR 9.1% 7 0.5% 16 xx HOU -4.6% 23 -0.6% 22
ATL 6.0% 8 -0.2% 20 xx SF -5.5% 24 -0.7% 23
PHI 5.2% 9 1.9% 11 xx SEA -6.1% 25 -3.2% 28
NE 3.6% 10 -0.4% 21 xx CIN -6.3% 26 -0.2% 19
IND 3.6% 11 1.5% 14 xx NYJ -6.3% 27 -5.6% 31
SD 3.6% 12 0.6% 15 xx GB -6.5% 28 -1.7% 25
KC 2.5% 13 2.0% 10 xx BUF -10.0% 29 -5.0% 30
BAL 2.1% 14 4.1% 4 xx ARI -10.6% 30 -2.9% 27
DET 1.9% 15 2.5% 7 xx JAC -10.7% 31 -4.9% 29
MIA 0.4% 16 0.0% 18 xx NO -13.2% 32 -8.5% 32

Other than Denver, I think the DVOA ratings (technically, just "VOA ratings" right now) do a pretty good job of noting which teams may be better or worse than their early win-loss records. Tennessee, for example, is the highest-ranking 0-3 team after losing their first three games by just 13 combined points. Their rating for these first three games will look even better once the opponent adjustments kick in, assuming the Jets are for real (and I think they are). Seattle and Pittsburgh, who we projected to be division champions, are the highest rated among the 1-2 teams. It is a little strange to see that while San Francisco has a negative DVOA at 2-1, so do San Diego and Chicago.

Perhaps the strangest early rating, other than Denver's defense, belongs to the Minnesota special teams. You may remember that last year's Vikings nearly set a record for the worst punt coverage of the DVOA Era, with their net punts worth -24.6 points of field position compared to average. Overall, they were dead last in special teams. So far this year, the Vikings special teams rank second in the NFL -- yet they still suck at covering punts. The Vikings are top five in kick returns, punt returns, and kickoffs, which is enough to give them a very high overall special teams rating -- but they are still just 31st in net punt value.

Individual stats are updated through Week 3. So are team stats, playoff odds, and Premium database. Playoff odds add a new "special Super Bowl" matchup to our list of possibilities, the Super Bowl XXX rematch (Pittsburgh-Dallas).

A final note: The KUBIAK fantasy projection midseason update should be ready by Thursday afternoon.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through three 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 VOA are adjusted to consider all fumbles, kept or lost, as equal value. SPECIAL TEAMS VOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season.

There are no opponent adjustments in VOA until the fourth week of the season, which is why it is VOA right now rather than DVOA. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

DAVE is a formula which combines our preseason projection with current VOA to get a more accurate forecast of how a team will play the rest of the season. Right now, the preseason projection makes up 55 percent of DAVE. The preseason projections used in DAVE are adjusted for changes in circumstance during the first three weeks of the season. (For example, the "preseason projections" used for the offenses in Miami and St. Louis drop this week due to injuries.)

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>


TEAM TOTAL
VOA
LAST
WEEK
TOTAL
DAVE
RANK W-L OFFENSE
VOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
VOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 BAL 67.0% 5 38.7% 1 3-0 40.0% 3 -31.5% 2 -4.5% 28
2 NO 65.4% 1 25.5% 4 3-0 45.4% 1 -25.8% 5 -5.8% 30
3 DEN 47.6% 7 8.2% 13 3-0 20.3% 9 -32.8% 1 -5.5% 29
4 PHI 45.5% 3 23.4% 5 2-1 13.4% 12 -29.0% 3 3.1% 7
5 MIN 41.8% 2 28.9% 3 3-0 5.6% 16 -27.3% 4 8.9% 2
6 GB 41.5% 6 15.5% 9 2-1 26.7% 5 -19.1% 7 -4.3% 26
7 IND 37.5% 10 35.6% 2 3-0 36.4% 4 -3.3% 13 -2.2% 21
8 NYG 32.7% 14 22.5% 6 3-0 23.8% 7 -12.8% 8 -4.0% 25
9 NYJ 27.2% 4 2.8% 17 3-0 -2.9% 21 -20.2% 6 9.8% 1
10 DAL 25.9% 11 11.6% 11 2-1 41.6% 2 17.5% 23 1.9% 10
11 NE 14.3% 17 21.0% 7 2-1 24.6% 6 8.6% 18 -1.7% 19
12 ATL 8.9% 9 -4.9% 20 2-1 20.8% 8 12.7% 21 0.8% 14
13 SEA 6.8% 13 9.7% 12 1-2 -3.0% 22 -9.8% 9 0.1% 16
14 PIT 6.1% 15 14.7% 10 1-2 15.4% 10 8.1% 17 -1.2% 17
15 WAS 2.6% 16 -2.4% 19 1-2 2.5% 17 3.6% 15 3.7% 5
16 CIN 1.6% 19 -1.9% 18 2-1 9.6% 15 8.9% 19 0.9% 13
TEAM TOTAL
VOA
LAST
WEEK
TOTAL
DAVE
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 JAC -4.3% 24 8.2% 14 1-2 13.7% 11 18.4% 24 0.3% 15
18 BUF -6.6% 12 -18.2% 24 1-2 11.4% 13 14.4% 22 -3.6% 24
19 TEN -10.9% 21 5.5% 15 0-3 -3.5% 23 -4.9% 11 -12.3% 32
20 SD -11.1% 22 15.8% 8 2-1 -2.1% 20 10.6% 20 1.6% 11
21 HOU -11.8% 25 -10.4% 21 1-2 11.0% 14 26.3% 28 3.5% 6
22 SF -13.2% 18 -17.8% 23 2-1 -20.2% 27 -9.0% 10 -2.0% 20
23 CHI -15.8% 26 5.0% 16 2-1 -22.2% 28 -4.0% 12 2.5% 9
24 ARI -20.0% 8 -19.6% 26 1-2 -14.4% 25 1.4% 14 -4.3% 27
25 KC -26.9% 23 -13.0% 22 0-3 -6.7% 24 21.8% 25 1.6% 12
26 MIA -27.4% 28 -23.2% 27 0-3 1.2% 18 27.0% 29 -1.6% 18
27 OAK -28.2% 20 -19.0% 25 1-2 -25.3% 29 5.9% 16 3.0% 8
28 TB -42.8% 27 -25.3% 29 0-3 -0.7% 19 39.6% 32 -2.5% 22
29 STL -46.5% 29 -23.5% 28 0-3 -19.3% 26 24.2% 27 -3.0% 23
30 DET -56.2% 32 -30.2% 31 1-2 -27.9% 30 33.9% 30 5.6% 3
31 CAR -66.1% 31 -29.5% 30 0-3 -34.6% 31 23.6% 26 -7.9% 31
32 CLE -70.2% 30 -37.0% 32 0-3 -39.2% 32 34.9% 31 3.8% 4

  • 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).


TEAM TOTAL
VOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
1 BAL 67.0% 3-0 64.2% 3.0 2 -36.1% 31 2.1% 14 24.3% 28
2 NO 65.4% 3-0 65.4% 3.0 1 -5.7% 21 -13.2% 32 1.7% 5
3 DEN 47.6% 3-0 48.1% 2.4 4 -32.3% 30 9.8% 4 20.7% 26
4 PHI 45.5% 2-1 50.6% 1.7 12 -9.2% 23 5.2% 9 58.3% 32
5 MIN 41.8% 3-0 41.8% 2.4 3 -46.5% 32 -1.8% 19 0.8% 3
6 GB 41.5% 2-1 44.1% 2.2 6 -20.2% 25 -6.5% 28 12.3% 17
7 IND 37.5% 3-0 37.6% 2.3 5 -17.2% 24 3.6% 11 20.7% 25
8 NYG 32.7% 3-0 32.9% 2.0 9 -4.7% 20 10.1% 3 14.9% 19
9 NYJ 27.2% 3-0 33.7% 2.1 8 -2.8% 19 -6.3% 27 7.9% 14
10 DAL 25.9% 2-1 28.0% 2.2 7 -25.4% 28 17.9% 1 14.3% 18
11 NE 14.3% 2-1 16.5% 1.7 13 9.8% 11 3.6% 10 5.4% 10
12 ATL 8.9% 2-1 10.5% 1.8 10 -26.4% 29 6.0% 8 4.8% 9
13 SEA 6.8% 1-2 2.4% 1.5 17 -25.1% 27 -6.1% 25 7.0% 12
14 PIT 6.1% 1-2 4.9% 1.7 11 -8.4% 22 -1.8% 20 2.4% 6
15 WAS 2.6% 1-2 5.4% 1.6 14 -23.3% 26 9.4% 6 0.1% 1
16 CIN 1.6% 2-1 5.9% 1.6 15 31.8% 3 -6.3% 26 0.6% 2
TEAM TOTAL
VOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 JAC -4.3% 1-2 -3.6% 1.6 16 1.9% 18 -10.7% 31 17.2% 23
18 BUF -6.6% 1-2 -6.3% 1.3 20 12.3% 9 -10.0% 29 25.5% 29
19 TEN -10.9% 0-3 -16.3% 1.3 21 7.2% 13 -3.8% 22 1.0% 4
20 SD -11.1% 2-1 -9.9% 1.4 18 3.8% 16 3.6% 12 8.6% 15
21 HOU -11.8% 1-2 -8.3% 1.3 19 4.0% 15 -4.6% 23 12.1% 16
22 SF -13.2% 2-1 -8.7% 1.2 22 9.5% 12 -5.5% 24 7.1% 13
23 CHI -15.8% 2-1 -9.1% 1.1 23 18.2% 6 -1.1% 18 4.6% 8
24 ARI -20.0% 1-2 -10.5% 1.0 24 6.7% 14 -10.6% 30 54.6% 31
25 KC -26.9% 0-3 -28.1% 0.8 27 28.1% 4 2.5% 13 14.9% 20
26 MIA -27.4% 0-3 -28.8% 0.8 26 11.8% 10 0.4% 16 3.9% 7
27 OAK -28.2% 1-2 -23.3% 0.9 25 3.2% 17 10.5% 2 19.0% 24
28 TB -42.8% 0-3 -37.6% 0.4 30 17.3% 7 9.8% 5 15.6% 21
29 STL -46.5% 0-3 -46.8% 0.5 29 17.0% 8 -1.1% 17 6.9% 11
30 DET -56.2% 1-2 -53.6% 0.5 28 36.6% 2 1.9% 15 22.3% 27
31 CAR -66.1% 0-3 -63.1% 0.0 32 26.8% 5 9.1% 7 26.7% 30
32 CLE -70.2% 0-3 -70.7% 0.0 31 52.1% 1 -1.9% 21 16.2% 22

Comments

159 comments, Last at 13 Jan 2013, 6:43pm

147 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

"The player the Broncos get next year better be pretty good."

Why? Cutler has yet to win a big game and Chicago better hope he doesn't have to because historically he chokes. Big time. Go back as far as you want, every time the playoffs (or in college, a bowl game) is on the line, Cutler lays a big fat egg.

Knox is a decent WR but he is also just a rookie and lots of guys have good years but are not elite or even good receivers.

Besides, why does Denver have to to get a pretty good player? They got rid of a crappy QB who whined his way out of town (but could be sitting pretty at 3-0 right now, still have his awesome offensive line and his awesome receivers and his awesome running game instead of that crap he has in Chicago). They got in return, Orton who doesnt turn the ball over in the red zone and who wont blame his receivers for his mistakes.

Cutler is the most overrated QB in the league....well maybe next to Romo.

152 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

I don't know about Cutler being a "choker"; he did just lead two fourth-quarter comeback drives, one against the defending Super Bowl champs, who have a top-tier defense.

His fourth-quarter splits this year, and all three games were close:
18/23, 203 yards, 8.83 YPA, 2 TD, 1 INT, 114.3 QB rating

Unfortunately, I don't have access to his DVOA splits.

I also haven't heard Cutler blame a single wide receiver for any mistakes. In fact, since he got to Chicago, he's been defending Devin Hester against media attacks that he's not a good receiver.

155 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Three fourth-quarter go-ahead drives, actually: one in each game to take the lead with under 3 minutes left. Twice they kept the lead and won, once they didn't.

156 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Good point. And he actually had two successful fourth-quarter drives against Pittsburgh - one to tie the game, one to take the lead.

153 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Go on then give me the list of big games Orton has won at QB. You are arguing with Bears fans about how good Orton is, we have watched every snap of his career and know a huge upgrade at QB when we see one. I am not at all bitter about Orton who I wish every success but he will need a strong O-line infront of him as there are lichens which demonstrate greater mobility.

Incidentally have you looked at the DVOAs of Orton's awesome receivers? Check last year too while you are at it.

144 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

I just read some speculation that the Bears are actually making it harder for opposing kickers. Apparently in the Seattle game, Mare's first kick was tipped (but still went in), and his second was almost blocked. That lead him to rushing through the two attempts he missed.

I'm not sure if this is a repeatable skill, or even 100% true. If kickers keep having poor days against the Bears it might be though.

145 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Larry Meyer also pointed out that the Bears have lead the league in blocked kicks over the last two years. I remember them blocking quite a few in the years before that, I recall Idonje blocking one in three straight games but no one batting an eyelid - personally I was amazed. I think part of it is that it can be difficult to tell whether the ball has been tipped and slightly deviated or if it is just a wide kick. The angles the broadcasts use typically have trouble spotting them. In the miracle comeback game against Arizona in '06 the kick Arizona 'missed' to lose the game was apparently tipped by Hunter Hillenmeyer. I remember watching it on the video and you could see the ball come off the kicker's foot with perfect end over end spin but as it passed HH's hand the spin changed and the ball swerved wide. What made it tricky to spot was that the tip didn't significantly alter the trajectory of the ball to force it wide, it only altered it's spin which given that the ball still had 35+ yards to go caused it to swerve away. Everyone bins the kicker and no one blames the blocking scheme.

158 FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

I do not know if it's just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering issues with your website. It looks like some of the written text on your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a issue with my internet browser because I've had this happen before.
Thank you