DVOA Analysis

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

Week 13 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

So, other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mr. Ryan?

I'm sure nobody will be surprised that the New England Patriots move to the top of the DVOA ratings after their 45-3 domination of the New York Jets. Last week, I went in depth on how the Patriots have bounced back from their surprising upset loss to Cleveland in Week 9. This week was more of the same. One of the popular beliefs on Boston talk radio is that the Patriots' young defense is improving with experience. They are, but not by a substantial amount. In Weeks 1-9, the Patriots were 27th in the NFL with 16.2% defensive DVOA. In Weeks 10-13, they are 16th in the NFL with 11.0% defensive DVOA. We've had four very offense-filled weeks of football, so the Patriots' rank in the league is much better over the past month, but the defense itself is only slightly improved.

The offense, on the other hand is blowing the doors off. In that same four-week period, the Patriots' offensive DVOA is 79.1%, more than double the next-best team (the defending champion Saints, at 36.2%). The Patriots were so good last night that they are now close to surpassing their 2007 selves for the title of "greatest offense in DVOA history." Through 13 weeks, the 2007 Patriots were at 48.9%. The 2010 Patriots are now at 48.2%. No other offense since 1993 was above 42% through 13 weeks, and only two others were above 37.5% (table). Tom Brady now leads the NFL with 1,696 DYAR, which is more than 400 DYAR ahead of any other quarterback. The difference between Brady and second-place Aaron Rodgers is larger than the difference between Rodgers and ninth-place Joe Flacco. Unless Brady completely crashes in the next four weeks, he will lead the league in DYAR for the third time in fourth seasons. It's the third straight year if we skip seasons where he played for less than 30 minutes.

As for the Jets, last night may not be as bad as it looked. It certainly identified a number of issues that they can now work on for the next month, and their place in the postseason was basically guaranteed when San Diego and Indianapolis lost the day before. Check out the FO playoff odds report and you'll see that the Jets' odds of making the playoffs actually increased this week by 0.1 percent.

In other playoff odds news, this week's combination of St. Louis and Seattle wins makes it much less likely that we'll have a 7-9 NFC West champion. In this week's simulations, the NFC West champion was more likely to be 9-7 or 10-6 (29.4 percent) than it was to be 7-9 (16.0 percent). By the way, the simulations never project ties, so we don't end up with a projected chance of a 7-8-1 champion or anything like that.

Week 13 is when some distinct differences will start to show up between overall DVOA and weighted DVOA, because this is the first week where there's a game with a strength below 50 percent. This mostly results in a lower weighted DVOA for Seattle and Tennessee, lower-rated teams with big Week 1 wins, along with a higher weighted DVOA for the teams they beat, San Francisco and Oakland.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 13 weeks of 2010, 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 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. 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>

TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 NE 35.9% 2 36.9% 1 10-2 48.2% 1 14.4% 26 2.1% 10
2 PIT 32.5% 1 33.1% 2 9-3 11.8% 13 -17.3% 1 3.4% 6
3 PHI 26.4% 3 27.7% 3 8-4 27.3% 3 1.1% 13 0.1% 18
4 GB 24.5% 4 23.6% 5 8-4 18.3% 5 -9.8% 3 -3.6% 28
5 NYG 22.2% 5 22.4% 6 8-4 12.5% 11 -13.7% 2 -4.0% 30
6 BAL 21.1% 7 23.8% 4 8-4 12.2% 12 -5.7% 7 3.3% 8
7 ATL 18.0% 9 17.0% 8 10-2 16.1% 6 2.1% 16 4.1% 5
8 SD 16.4% 6 19.3% 7 6-6 19.7% 4 -8.7% 4 -11.9% 32
9 NO 11.7% 11 12.6% 9 9-3 14.6% 7 0.6% 11 -2.3% 26
10 NYJ 11.1% 8 6.8% 13 9-3 3.1% 18 -3.8% 8 4.2% 4
11 MIA 9.3% 12 11.7% 10 6-6 10.5% 14 1.1% 12 -0.1% 19
12 CLE 8.4% 15 11.4% 11 5-7 3.5% 17 -2.4% 9 2.5% 9
13 KC 8.1% 13 3.1% 16 8-4 13.9% 8 3.6% 19 -2.1% 25
14 TEN 7.9% 10 3.1% 15 5-7 -4.7% 23 -6.4% 6 6.1% 2
15 IND 6.9% 14 7.9% 12 6-6 13.8% 9 2.4% 17 -4.5% 31
16 HOU 3.6% 16 4.7% 14 5-7 29.6% 2 25.3% 32 -0.7% 22
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
WEIGHTED
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 TB 0.0% 17 0.4% 18 7-5 7.5% 16 5.9% 20 -1.6% 24
18 CHI -0.2% 18 1.9% 17 9-3 -13.8% 30 -7.9% 5 5.7% 3
19 JAC -7.1% 21 -8.2% 21 7-5 9.5% 15 19.9% 30 3.3% 7
20 SF -8.1% 19 -1.2% 19 4-8 -6.7% 25 1.2% 14 -0.2% 20
21 MIN -9.7% 23 -9.2% 23 5-7 -8.7% 26 -0.1% 10 -1.1% 23
22 CIN -10.7% 20 -12.9% 25 2-10 -0.2% 19 6.9% 21 -3.6% 29
23 OAK -11.4% 27 -4.0% 20 6-6 -9.7% 27 2.1% 15 0.4% 16
24 DEN -11.5% 22 -8.8% 22 3-9 13.0% 10 21.9% 31 -2.6% 27
25 DET -13.1% 24 -15.2% 26 2-10 -3.8% 22 11.1% 23 1.9% 12
26 DAL -15.9% 28 -18.7% 28 4-8 -0.3% 20 16.6% 28 1.0% 14
27 STL -17.2% 29 -12.2% 24 6-6 -10.5% 28 7.2% 22 0.4% 15
28 BUF -17.9% 25 -16.5% 27 2-10 -3.6% 21 15.3% 27 1.1% 13
29 WAS -18.0% 26 -19.4% 29 5-7 -5.2% 24 12.1% 25 -0.7% 21
30 SEA -23.9% 30 -30.7% 30 6-6 -11.6% 29 19.0% 29 6.6% 1
31 CAR -38.3% 31 -38.4% 31 1-11 -35.8% 32 2.6% 18 0.2% 17
32 ARI -40.6% 32 -42.4% 32 3-9 -30.8% 31 11.8% 24 2.0% 11
  • NON-ADJUSTED TOTAL DVOA does not include the adjustments for opponent strength or the adjustments for weather and altitude in special teams, and only penalizes offenses for lost fumbles rather than all fumbles.
  • 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
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
1 NE 35.9% 10-2 29.7% 9.6 1 5.5% 8 3.9% 14 17.3% 20
2 PIT 32.5% 9-3 29.2% 8.8 3 7.8% 3 -7.4% 27 13.5% 17
3 PHI 26.4% 8-4 29.0% 8.8 4 1.6% 17 -4.8% 25 11.4% 11
4 GB 24.5% 8-4 27.0% 8.4 6 -2.3% 22 11.2% 4 13.5% 16
5 NYG 22.2% 8-4 26.8% 8.8 2 -7.3% 28 5.8% 11 26.3% 28
6 BAL 21.1% 8-4 12.7% 8.5 5 5.8% 7 3.2% 15 4.9% 1
7 ATL 18.0% 10-2 15.2% 8.1 7 4.0% 14 -22.2% 32 6.0% 3
8 SD 16.4% 6-6 19.8% 7.5 9 -5.1% 26 -5.6% 26 18.9% 21
9 NO 11.7% 9-3 16.6% 7.2 10 -10.6% 31 5.5% 12 7.8% 4
10 NYJ 11.1% 9-3 13.3% 7.0 11 6.3% 6 5.9% 10 16.0% 18
11 MIA 9.3% 6-6 9.2% 7.6 8 7.6% 5 4.0% 13 12.4% 13
12 CLE 8.4% 5-7 6.1% 6.8 13 7.6% 4 6.3% 8 12.8% 14
13 KC 8.1% 8-4 17.4% 6.8 12 -8.1% 29 -1.1% 20 21.0% 23
14 TEN 7.9% 5-7 4.0% 6.6 15 3.3% 16 6.4% 7 27.9% 31
15 IND 6.9% 6-6 5.7% 6.8 14 4.4% 12 -0.7% 18 9.4% 7
16 HOU 3.6% 5-7 1.0% 6.0 17 4.5% 11 2.6% 16 22.1% 25
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 TB 0.0% 7-5 3.1% 6.4 16 -3.6% 23 -10.8% 29 13.3% 15
18 CHI -0.2% 9-3 3.1% 5.8 18 -5.6% 27 15.5% 3 24.0% 27
19 JAC -7.1% 7-5 -11.0% 5.4 20 5.2% 9 -4.7% 24 21.6% 24
20 SF -8.1% 4-8 -7.1% 5.6 19 -4.5% 24 -16.3% 30 26.5% 29
21 MIN -9.7% 5-7 -9.9% 5.3 21 0.9% 20 8.8% 5 9.3% 6
22 CIN -10.7% 2-10 -16.1% 4.4 28 8.2% 2 19.6% 1 10.3% 10
23 OAK -11.4% 6-6 -5.8% 4.5 27 -0.6% 21 -0.9% 19 43.5% 32
24 DEN -11.5% 3-9 -11.9% 5.0 22 1.0% 19 -8.0% 28 20.1% 22
25 DET -13.1% 2-10 -11.8% 4.5 25 3.4% 15 6.0% 9 5.8% 2
26 DAL -15.9% 4-8 -17.2% 4.6 24 4.3% 13 -1.5% 21 23.2% 26
27 STL -17.2% 6-6 -6.1% 4.6 23 -14.3% 32 -3.1% 23 12.2% 12
28 BUF -17.9% 2-10 -21.5% 4.3 30 8.5% 1 16.2% 2 8.8% 5
29 WAS -18.0% 5-7 -19.7% 4.4 29 5.2% 10 -0.2% 17 10.3% 9
30 SEA -23.9% 6-6 -19.5% 4.5 26 -9.1% 30 -1.8% 22 26.9% 30
31 CAR -38.3% 1-11 -38.3% 2.6 32 1.2% 18 7.0% 6 10.1% 8
32 ARI -40.6% 3-9 -35.0% 2.8 31 -4.8% 25 -18.5% 31 17.0% 19


Best and Worst DVOA Ever Watch


BEST OFFENSIVE DVOA
AFTER WEEK 13
  WORST OFFENSIVE DVOA
AFTER WEEK 13
  WORST DEFENSIVE DVOA
AFTER WEEK 13
  WORST SPECIAL TEAMS
AFTER WEEK 13
2007 NE 48.9% x 1997 NO -47.6% x 2008 DET 28.1% x 2010 SD -11.9%
2010 NE 48.2% x 2005 SF -45.9% x 2008 STL 26.1% x 1995 PHI -10.1%
2002 KC 41.9% x 2002 HOU -40.4% x 2004 STL 25.7% x 1996 NYJ -9.8%
2004 IND 41.7% x 2010 CAR -35.8% x 2010 HOU 25.3% x 1997 STL -9.8%
1995 DAL 37.5% x 2007 SF -35.6% x 2004 NO 24.8% x 2008 MIN -9.4%
1998 DEN 36.0% x 2004 CHI -35.0% x 2005 HOU 23.3% x 2000 BUF -9.3%
1993 SF 35.0% x 2006 OAK -34.1% x 2009 CLE 22.6% x 2009 GB -8.8%
2004 KC 33.2% x 2004 MIA -34.1% x 2002 ARI 22.0% x 1998 OAK -8.7%
2004 PHI 32.1% x 1998 PHI -32.9% x 2010 DEN 21.9% x 2007 CAR -8.4%
2009 NO 31.9% x 1996 STL -32.7% x 2004 MIN 21.5% x 1997 PHI -8.0%


Schedule Strength Revisited

One of the common complaints about our weekly DVOA ratings and commentary is the way that we figure schedule strength. Since I started doing this in 2003, I've always listed schedule strength on our tables with a very simple figure: the average DVOA rating of all opponents. Obviously, this has some weaknesses. Let's say we're talking about remaining schedule, which right now consists of four games. The table above lists Tennessee with the seventh-hardest remaining schedule, while Cleveland has the eighth-hardest remaining schedule. However, the Browns have to play two of the top teams in the league, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, plus two awful teams, Cincinnati and Buffalo. The Titans, on the other hand, play four games against teams that are slightly above-average: Kansas City, Houston, and Indianapolis twice. A good team is going to have an easier time with the Tennessee schedule, but a bad team is going to have an easier time getting at least one win with Cleveland's schedule.

In addition, the current method for figuring schedule doesn't include any adjustments for how many home and road games have been played. That's not an issue at the end of the year, but it is when we're looking at midseason and some teams have played five home games while others have played three.

So let's look at some alternatives. Note that the numbers used in this section are slightly different from those above, because I did these calculations early Monday evening before the Patriots-Jets game. Obviously, the Jets were a harder opponent at 7pm than they were by midnight.

The first alternative might be to look not at the average DVOA of opponents but rather at the median DVOA of opponents. This prevents a couple of outlier teams from massively influencing the entire schedule strength rating, but at the same time it can be really inaccurate since in reality it is only measuring the eighth- and ninth-best opponents for each team. The rankings for schedule strength based on median actually come out very similar to the rankings based on average, with a couple of big exceptions. Detroit, for example, ranks eighth based on average strength of opponents but only 20th based on median. They have five difficult 2010 opponents: Philadelphia, New England, the Jets, and Green Bay twice. There's a drop-off after that, which means that despite those five games against tough teams, Detroit's schedule strength median is based on their eighth (Tampa Bay 0.0%) and ninth (Chicago -0.2%) opponents. The average opponent has a 4.8% DVOA. The median opponent is at -0.1% DVOA.

Jacksonville, on the other hand, has a harder schedule based on median, because the three other AFC South teams are all currently grouped in the "slightly above average" area. By average opponent, the Jaguars are ninth (2.7%). By median, the Jaguars are 16th (5.9%).

Another way to do schedule strength would be to estimate the likely record of an average team. I used results from the last few seasons to come up with a very simple quadratic equation that gave the odds of winning a game based on the simple difference between the home team's DVOA and the road team's DVOA. (This used DVOA ratings for the full season, not DVOA ratings based on what they were the week before each game.) Then I figured out the results for each team's schedule, substituting a team with a 0% DVOA for the team in question. The results go from Cincinnati at .396 to St. Louis at .601. This method has the advantage of being pretty easy to understand. It's easy to say "an average team would win 60 percent of its games against the Rams' schedule." On the other hand, the results for this method were virtually identical to the "average DVOA of opponent" method that people often complain about. Twenty-four of the 32 teams have the same rank using this version of schedule strength as they do using the current style of schedule strength.

Finally, I tried to do schedule strength using the same method that Brian Fremeau uses for Fremeau Efficiency Ratings: What is the likelihood of an elite team going undefeated against this schedule? This method uses the same equation as the "average team winning percentage" method, but instead of substituting in a team with 0% DVOA, I substituted in a team with 40% DVOA. (Only three teams -- the 2007 Patriots, 1996 Packers, and 1995 49ers -- have ever put up over 40% overall DVOA for a full season.) This version of schedule strength ended up with some very different results than the other three. But how accurate is it for comparing NFL teams? As noted above, a good team will generally win more games against a slate of average opponents than against a schedule that mixes great and terrible opponents. But a bad team is likely to win more games against the latter schedule, because they'll be favored to lose all those games against average opponents. This is a useful tool for college football ratings because in college football, we are generally talking about schedule strength in the context of comparing the best 25 teams out of 120. The difference between the top ten teams and the bottom ten teams is massive, which makes it particularly important to figure out which of the top teams have actually played well against other top teams instead of beating merely average and good teams. In the NFL, we generally are talking about schedule strength for every team, and the teams are closer together. New England would probably beat Arizona, but they wouldn't win by 70 points, not even if Bill Belichick absolutely, positively refused to let Brian Hoyer play in the fourth quarter. So is it right to compare NFL schedules based on what an elite team would do against them?

I'm not sure what the best method is, to be honest, although right now the FO staff seems to favor switching from method one to method three because it seems a little more intuitive. I'm willing to take other suggestions, and I'm sure there will be plenty of discussion down in the comments below. To help spur that discussion, here's a look at two tables featuring all four methods. The first table gives schedule strength for the entire 2010 season. The second table gives schedule strength only for the 12 games that have been played so far.

Four Types of Schedule Strength, Full 2010 Schedule
Team Average
DVOA
Rk Median
DVOA
Rk Average Record of
Average Team
Rk Chances of Elite Team
Going Undefeated
Rk
CIN 11.0% 1 13.7% 1 0.396 1 0.6% 1
BUF 10.7% 2 9.5% 3 0.399 2 0.9% 2
CLE 7.4% 3 10.6% 2 0.428 3 1.2% 3
MIA 7.0% 4 8.1% 7 0.436 4 1.3% 4
NE 6.1% 5 9.0% 4 0.443 5 1.7% 8
NYJ 5.5% 6 4.1% 16 0.450 6 1.7% 7
BAL 5.3% 7 8.5% 5 0.452 7 1.4% 5
DET 4.5% 8 0.4% 20 0.457 9 2.1% 11
HOU 4.5% 9 6.8% 8 0.458 10 2.7% 17
PIT 4.1% 10 8.5% 6 0.457 8 2.2% 12
TEN 4.1% 11 5.0% 10 0.461 11 2.4% 13
WAS 4.1% 12 2.4% 18 0.462 12 2.6% 14
MIN 3.2% 13 4.8% 14 0.468 13 1.5% 6
DAL 2.9% 14 5.0% 11 0.473 15 2.1% 10
IND 2.9% 15 4.1% 17 0.474 17 2.9% 19
JAC 2.7% 16 5.9% 9 0.474 16 3.2% 20
Team Average
DVOA
Rk Median
DVOA
Rk Average Record of
Average Team
Rk Chances of Elite Team
Going Undefeated
Rk
CAR 2.7% 17 4.6% 15 0.473 14 2.1% 9
GB 1.3% 18 -3.9% 22 0.490 18 2.7% 16
PHI 0.1% 19 -3.3% 21 0.499 19 4.7% 25
CHI 0.0% 20 -9.4% 26 0.500 20 2.8% 18
OAK -0.7% 21 5.0% 12 0.507 22 3.7% 21
DEN -0.8% 22 5.0% 13 0.506 21 4.1% 22
ATL -2.4% 23 0.8% 19 0.518 23 2.6% 15
NYG -3.8% 24 -8.0% 24 0.536 24 4.6% 24
TB -5.5% 25 -9.4% 27 0.548 25 4.4% 23
SD -5.5% 26 -9.4% 28 0.550 26 8.0% 30
KC -6.3% 27 -9.5% 29 0.558 27 7.9% 29
NO -6.5% 28 -8.7% 25 0.558 28 5.3% 27
SEA -7.3% 29 -8.0% 23 0.561 29 6.7 28
SF -7.4% 30 -11.2% 31 0.566 30 4.7% 26
ARI -8.1% 31 -10.2% 30 0.577 31 8.8% 31
STL -11.5% 32 -11.2% 32 0.601 32 10.4% 32

 

Four Types of Schedule Strength, Past Schedule (Wk 1-13)
Team Average
DVOA
Rk Median
DVOA
Rk Average Record of
Average Team
Rk Chances of Elite Team
Going Undefeated
Rk
BUF 8.7% 1 8.9% 6 0.419 2 3.3% 4
CIN 8.3% 2 10.6% 2 0.421 3 3.1% 1
MIA 7.8% 3 8.1% 7 0.427 5 4.5% 8
CLE 7.8% 4 10.6% 1 0.422 4 3.2% 3
PIT 7.2% 5 9.0% 5 0.416 1 4.3% 7
NE 6.7% 6 9.0% 4 0.438 6 4.0% 5
BAL 5.9% 7 9.0% 3 0.447 7 3.1% 2
NYJ 5.4% 8 4.1% 17 0.450 8 5.3% 11
WAS 5.3% 9 5.0% 13 0.451 10 5.2% 10
JAC 5.2% 10 7.7% 8 0.450 9 6.2% 16
HOU 5.1% 11 6.8% 10 0.452 11 6.1% 15
DAL 4.4% 12 5.0% 12 0.460 13 6.2% 17
ATL 4.1% 13 4.6% 15 0.458 12 4.0% 6
IND 4.1% 14 4.1% 16 0.464 14 5.8% 13
DET 3.8% 15 0.1% 21 0.465 15 5.5% 12
TEN 3.4% 16 -1.3% 22 0.468 16 5.9% 14
Team Average
DVOA
Rk Median
DVOA
Rk Average Record of
Average Team
Rk Chances of Elite Team
Going Undefeated
Rk
DEN 1.6% 17 6.8% 9 0.483 17 7.4% 19
PHI 1.6% 18 2.1% 18 0.484 18 10.0% 24
CAR 1.4% 19 0.8% 19 0.487 20 8.6% 21
MIN 1.3% 20 4.8% 14 0.485 19 4.6% 9
OAK -0.7% 21 5.9% 11 0.506 21 7.4% 18
GB -1.5% 22 -8.7% 25 0.517 22 8.6% 22
TB -3.8% 23 0.2% 20 0.530 23 7.8% 20
SF -4.4% 24 -5.2% 23 0.541 24 8.8% 23
ARI -4.7% 25 -8.7% 24 0.545 25 12.7% 26
CHI -5.4% 26 -13.1% 32 0.551 27 11.1% 25
SD -5.6% 27 -8.9% 26 0.549 26 13.4% 27
NYG -7.1% 28 -9.9% 29 0.580 30 15.2% 29
KC -8.1% 29 -9.5% 28 0.573 28 16.7% 31
SEA -9.1% 30 -9.5% 27 0.577 29 14.5% 28
NO -10.5% 31 -10.1% 30 0.594 31 15.8% 30
STL -14.3% 32 -12.2% 31 0.625 32 20.7% 32

Finally, here is an example of how methods three and four work. Our work here suggests that Minnesota's schedule would be fairly average for an average team, but one of the hardest for an elite team. Here's a look at the Minnesota schedule with DVOA rating for each opponent along with our simple equation's odds for a 0% DVOA team winning each game and a 40% DVOA team winning each game.

Week 1 2 3 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Opponent @NO MIA DET @NYJ DAL @GB @NE ARI @CHI GB @WAS BUF NYG CHI @PHI @DET
DVOA 11.7% 9.3% -13.1% 11.1% -15.9% 24.5% 35.9% -40.6% -0.2% 24.5% -18.0% -17.9% 22.2% -0.2% 26.4% -13.1%
Odds for
0% DVOA
Team Win
30% 49% 71% 23% 73% 18% 15% 92% 41% 34% 59% 75% 37% 59% 17% 54%
Odds for
40% DVOA
Team Win
69% 85% 96% 62% 96% 56% 52% 96% 78% 73% 89% 96% 75% 91% 55% 87%

(Late add: There is one other possibility that combines methods three and four and minimizes the weaknesses of each one. That would be to figure out the odds that an average team would go undefeated against a certain schedule, rather than figuring out the average number of wins we could expect. But this has its own problem, which is that the numbers are miniscule and would end up meaning nothing to most NFL fans. The Rams would end up with the easiest schedule, but the odds of an average team going undefeated against that schedule are 0.014 percent. Twenty of the 32 teams would be listed with schedule strength below 0.001 percent. So that wouldn't really work.)

Comments

168 comments, Last at 13 Dec 2010, 11:00am

1 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

HA! HA! Brady's going bald in that picture!

Hey, where are my straws?

47 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

After Peyton's performance from Sunday, I don't need to latch on to something to knock him down a peg.

2 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

8.chargers
26. Raiders

Chargers can have dvoa. Raiders will tajke sweep and 2nd olace for now.

Watch out Chiegs, Raiders coming for you next.

3 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

The odds of a 0% DVOA team beating Arizona in Week 9 (in the Minnesota chart) are 92%, but the odds of a 40% DVOA beating them is only 89%? What gives?

5 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Thank you for addressing this Aaron - glad to hear see listen to reasonable complaints and come up with a bevy of good solutions. seriously, this is why this is my favorite football site...

7 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Too slow with comment.

Does DVOA double-count teams' games against their opponents? For example, would it be more accurate if Cincinnati's 'opponent schedule' excluded all opponents' games against Cincinnati?

6 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

One of the popular beliefs on Boston talk radio is that the Patriots' young defense is improving with experience. They are, but not by a substantial amount. In Weeks 1-9, the Patriots were 27th in the NFL with 16.2% defensive DVOA. In Weeks 10-13, they are 16th in the NFL with 11.0% defensive DVOA.

I guess I don't understand what a "substantial" improvement would look like. 27th is one of the worst defenses in the league, 16th would be essentially median, wouldn't it? Isn't that a "substantial" improvement? I mean, nobody's saying that they're good yet, just that they're playing better than they were. Is that not true?

15 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Forget the ranks and look at the DVOA number. Definitely better, but only by about 5%. There are just a lot of teams in that area that are pretty close to each other so the rank moves a lot.

22 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Or think about the distribution of defensive DVOAs. 5% is about a half a standard deviation. Or about one quarter the distance from average to best or worst in the league. It's a moderately large change - if it's for real - given how little the personnel has changed.

From my perspective, I think it's real. I see fewer blown coverages, better tackling, and all around smarter play. Who knows? Maybe by next year they'll be an average defense.

18 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Ordinal values don't matter to DVOA. If you are the tallest person on the bus, and the bus picks up a basketball team, you didn't get shorter.

44 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

However, if you are a woman and average at basketball and the bus picks up a WNBA team, you do become more attractive by comparison.

81 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

The only way to interpret that as misogyny is if you assume a woman's only value comes from her appearance. That's pretty misogynist, and it has no place here or elsewhere.

89 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Hey, if someone is in the national spotlight, they can be critiqued for their looks. Is this thread any different than the early comments about Manning's large forehead? And... sweet Jesus, he DOES have a huge freakin' dome!

126 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

I was on a flight once with the University of Anchorage basketball team and I thought I was going to faint. So tall! So good-looking! I could hardly see straight.

8 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Why would average-Minnesota have a better chance of beating the Cardinals in week 9 than elite-Minnesota would? Was that supposed to be 98% rather than 89%?

9 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

" Weeks 1-9, the Patriots were 27th in the NFL with 16.2% defensive DVOA. In Weeks 10-13, they are 16th in the NFL with 11.0% defensive DVOA"

What were they in weeks 1-4 vs 5-9? I'm starting to think we're seeing a pretty good trend line here.

They're still giving up a lot of yards, but they're starting to force a lot of turnovers. (3 picks on Sanchez, 2 on Hill, 3 on Manning, 1 on Roethlisburger). They've had half their season's worth of Ints in the last 4 weeks. That can't be anything but a good sign.

24 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

What I want to know is is sustainable. They are getting more interceptions, but opponent completion percentage doesn't seem to be changing that much. I've always thought the two are related, so seeing one change without the other would be rather unexpected. Peyton Manning seems to be proving me wrong, though.

10 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

OK, everyone, the problem where I forgot the "limit" for the "40% Team Goes Undefeated" equation is now fixed on all three tables above. Sorry about the mistake.

11 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Why is everyone so obsessed with relative rankings rather then absolute rankings?

If the Patriots played the exact same defense while the rest of the league collapsed, they'd have the number 1 defense in the NFL. They'd also have made zero improvement.

The Patriots have been playing a little better over recent weeks. And I'm willing to bet yesterday's game played a huge part in that.

17 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Why is everyone so obsessed with relative rankings rather then absolute rankings?

Because they desperately want DVOA to be a power ranking system they can use to win at gambling.

115 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

It may be because I am in pain from surgery and hopped up on pain killers, but I don't understand what you are saying. Green is .667, yellow, .531, red .563.

23 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Because it's a competitive league. Your team can play defense like a high school team and still win if everyone else is playing defense like kindergartners.

58 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

This.

I'm trying to figure out if the Pats defense has improved relative to other teams in the league this year. They don't need a great defense to make a deep playoff run, they just need an OK one. I'm still trying to decide what I think "OK" is.

12 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Here's something I'd love to be able to do. Is it available in Premium? I'd like to be able to break down the playoff odds simulations by certain events.

For example, The week 17 Bears-Packers tilt seems likely to decide the division, no matter what. If the Bears win, they hold the tiebreaker (head to head), if the Packers win they hold the tiebreaker (conference record, common opponents), so unless the Bears manage to get an extra game lead over the next 3 (or somehow catastrophically lose 3 in a row while the packers win all 3 and take their own 2 game lead), that game is pretty much it.

13 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

There are still a lot of common opponent games to be played. The Packers play Detroit, NE, and NYG, while the Bears play NE, Minnesota, and the Jets.

If GB loses one of their next three (likely) and Chicago wins all of their next three (unlikely), then Chicago has the division wrapped up.

If GB loses to Detroit and Chicago beats Minnesota then GB loses the division record tiebreaker (which comes before conference record or common opponents in determining the division winner) since both teams would end 4-2, and it could cost them the common opponents and conference record tiebreakers, though I'm not going to figure all of this out now.

In any case, the Playoff Odds report has both teams at nearly 50% to win the division, and since DVOA will favor GB at home pretty heavily that means there significant scenarios where Chicago can win the tiebreaker even if they lose the season finale.

16 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Right, you should be able to calculate the odds that the Packers would beat the Bears in Week 17. Then, ignoring the Chicago complete implosion case, calculate the odds that the Bears clinch the division before Week 17.

Of course, depending on how the seeding works out, it may be the case that the Bears would prefer to get the #5 seed (at STL or SEA) rather than the #3 seed (home vs. GB or NO). Sure, their fans might miss their home game, but it'd improve their playoff chances.

82 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

"If GB loses to Detroit and Chicago beats Minnesota then GB loses the division record tiebreaker (which comes before conference record or common opponents in determining the division winner) since both teams would end 4-2, and it could cost them the common opponents and conference record tiebreakers, though I'm not going to figure all of this out now."

If GB loses to Detroit and Chicago beats Minnesota, then if the Packers and Bears are tied (and GB beat Chicago in the last game), the Bears would win the division because their division record would be 5-1, not 4-2 (which would be the Packers' division record).

The Bears can't beat Green Bay in a tiebreaker based on common opponents or conference record. If they end up tied, then they will have the same record against common opponents, as other than head-to-head games, they both have one loss against non-common opponents (Chi loss to Seattle, GB loss to Atlanta) and don't play any more games against non-common opponents. So their record against common opponents would be the same.

As for conference record, the only way the Bears could have a better conference record would be if they had a worse non-conference record. The Bears' non-conference record is 2-0, while the Packers' is 2-1. So the Bears would have to have a 2-2 conference record (meaning that they would have lost to NE and NYJ), while the Packers would have to beat NE to end up 3-1 against the AFC. That would leave the Bears with only one more game (against Minnesota), which they would have to win to be 10-6. GB, with 8 wins already plus wins against NE and the Bears would have 10 wins, meaning that they would have to lose to Detroit and NYG to be tied with the Bears. But in that scenario, the Bears would have won the division already based on division record (5-1 vs. 4-2 for GB).

If the Bears split with NE and NYJ, beat Minnesota and lose to GB, they could still be tied with GB thru the conference record tiebreaker if GB loses to NYG and wins their other 3 games. Then both teams would be 11-5, 1-1 head-to-head, 5-1 in the division, 9-3 against common opponents and 8-4 in the conference. In that case, it would come down to strength of victory, which the Packers would almost certainly win. Most of their wins would have come against the same teams (DET and MIN twice each, DAL, PHI, BUF, and either NE or NYJ, depending on which team the Bears beat). They each would also have a win against the other, which would be a wash since they would have the same record. So the difference would come down to their non-common wins. The Bears' non-common wins would be against CAR and MIA, while the Packers' non-common wins would be against SF and either NE or NYJ. Unless Carolina and Miami win all of their remaining games and SF and either the Jets or Patriots (whichever team beats the Bears) loses all of their other games, the Packers would win on strength of victory.

I note that even if both teams have a tie game or one team has two ties, there is no way that it could come down to conference record with the Bears winning the tiebreaker on that basis. Either the tie would have been broken before getting to conference record, or the Bears would be no better than still tied with GB through conference record.

91 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

If both teams lose the next 3 games followed by the Packers beating the Bears, then I think common opponents would be the tie-breaker which the Bears would win thanks to beating the Lions twice. They would have the same in division record of 4-2, with the Bears losses against the Vikings and Packers, and the Packers loses against the Lions and Bears. Although this clearly isn't very likely.

Absent that happening, and assuming the Packers beat the Bears to give them the same record, I think you're right, it comes down to strength of victory.

93 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

No, the Bears wouldn't win based on common opponents if they both lose the next three games, followed by the Packers beating the Bears. They both would be 7-5 against common opponents.

The Bears' losses against common opponents would be to NYG, WAS, NE, NYJ and MIN, while the Packers' losses against common opponents would be to NYG, WAS, NE, MIA and DET. The Bears' other losses would be to GB and SEA, while the Packers' other losses would be to CHI and ATL.

In that scenario, they would still be tied through conference record as well, with both teams having 7-5 conference records.

116 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

What's interesting to me about all this is how important this week's game against Detroit is for the Packers. They really cannot afford to drop a division game and fall behind the Bears in the second tiebreaker (division record). Whereas they can afford to lose one of the NYG or NE games, since ANY loss by the Bears in the next three weeks will keep them even.

My favorite scenario in all this is one where the Packers go 2-1 with their loss to the Giants, and the Bears go 2-1 (doesn't much matter against who), the Eagles win the Division at 11-5, the Giants also finish 11-5, and NO & Atlanta both finish 12-4 or better. In this scenario, the winner of the Bears-Packers game wins the division and gets a first round bye, and the loser is left out of the playoffs entirely. :-)

20 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Man, that loss at WAS is looming large for GB. And while their remaining schedule is tough, the Bears are more legit than some think, having moved up from 26 to 18 since week 9. These aren't the 2001 Bears.

27 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

It is horrible that in the NFC we have two less than average teams, Chicago and Seattle. leading their divisions with very legitimate shots to win them.

50 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

I'd be hesitant to label the Bears less than average at this point, regardless of numbers. They have playmakers on defense who can really physically dominate. They have a playmaker in the return game who can change any game. I'd call them a two dimensional team which is a threat to anyone on a day when their offense, especially their very atheletic qb, doesn't screw things up. At home especially, they are, in my view, a lot better than below average.

123 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Nice summary, Will. The Bears have a very good defense, great special teams, and in inconsistent (hopefully improving) offense.

21 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

If you don't mind expanding your table, I'd like 3 columns for SOS:

1) average wins of a poor team versus schedule
2) average wins of an average team versus schedule
3) average wins of an elite team versus schedule

Whether 'poor' and 'elite' should be 40% and -40% DVOA, or some other value, I'm not sure.

28 Re: Week 13 DVOA Ratings

Aaron--instead of "elite"=40% DVOA, which only 3 teams have reached in 15+ years, why don't you use 20%--isn't that appoximately a good team that almost always will make the playoffs?
Or: instead of a team going undefeated against the schedule, how about a team going 10-6 or 11-5 against the schedule? [In other words, how likely is it that a team would MAKE THE PLAYOFFS against schedule X?]