Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Week 5 DVOA Ratings
Week 5 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

With a week on the sidelines, New England maintains its place atop the AFC-dominated Football Outsiders DVOA ratings. The top four teams are all AFC squads, the top three being holdovers from last week. Kansas City's loss to Indianapolis does not knock the Chiefs from the second spot, the Jets stay third, and the Steelers take advantage of Green Bay and San Diego losses to move up to fourth. The surprising and extremely confusing New York Giants are now in the top spot for the NFC, narrowly passing Atlanta and Green Bay. The Giants are just one of a number of teams having a ridiculously inconsistent season so far, especially on defense. The Giants' defensive variance of 26.1% is nearly twice that of any other team. Even more inconsistent overall have been the Chicago Bears. The Bears are the only team with a higher overall variance than the Giants, and they've been super inconsistent on both sides of the ball: 32nd in variance on offense, 31st on defense.

Another team with super inconsistency points is the team you might be surprised to see in last place overall: Arizona. That's right, a 3-2 team that currently leads its division is the worst overall team in the league according to our play-by-play metrics. Only three games this season have come out with single-game DVOA below -100%, and the Cardinals own two of those games: their Week 2 loss to Atlanta and Week 4 loss to San Diego. Their first two wins come out as essentially average games, and this week's win over New Orleans actually has a DVOA of -40.8%. How do you win with a DVOA rating that low? Well, you can start by recovering five out of six fumbles in a game, including one where your quarterback gets sacked and stripped of the ball and you score a touchdown anyway by pouncing on the ball in the end zone. Even better, score two touchdowns off turnovers even though scoring off turnovers is generally random. The Cardinals may be the worst 3-2 team in history... and by the way, the Bears may be the worst 4-1 team in history, although their low DVOA comes primarily from one horrible game against the Giants, the only game of the year with a rating lower than those two awful Arizona losses.

Looking over this week's numbers, what's particularly interesting is what's about to happen to the schedules of certain teams. Pittsburgh surprised everyone by going 3-1 without Ben Roethlisberger, but they also did that against the second-hardest schedule in the league so far based on average opponent DVOA. The Steelers' remaining schedule ranks just 27th. An even more dramatic schedule change is about to happen for the 0-5 San Francisco 49ers, who had the hardest schedule in the first five weeks, but now have the easiest schedule for the rest of the season. The 49ers still have five games left in their own awful division, along with three games against the AFC West. Are they going to climb up and win the division? Probably not, but there's a good reason that our playoff odds report gives San Francisco just a 6.1 percent chance of getting the top pick in the draft while the other two 0-5 teams, Buffalo and Carolina, have a combined 72.7 percent chance to get that top pick.

The hardest remaining schedules in terms of average opponent DVOA belong to three teams with only average-strength schedules so far: Houston, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia. Things should get harder for all three of those teams going forward.

I should also point out, lest their fans get upset, that Tennessee is playing surprisingly well. If you want to take an AFC South team seriously as a team that could edge out Indianapolis for the division title, Tennessee is a better choice than Houston at this point.

Anyway, on to the ratings. All stat pages will be updated in the next few minutes. The FO Premium database of DVOA splits will be updated later tonight.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through five 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.

Opponent adjustments are currently at 50 percent strength and will steadily grow stronger until Week 10. 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 DVOA to get a more accurate forecast of how a team will play the rest of the season. Right now, the preseason projection makes up 27 percent of DAVE for teams that have played five games and 40 percent of DAVE for teams that have played four games.

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 32.9% 1 28.1% 1 3-1 42.0% 1 13.3% 27 4.2% 6
2 KC 28.6% 2 16.8% 9 3-1 5.1% 15 -16.1% 5 7.4% 3
3 NYJ 26.8% 3 22.9% 3 4-1 16.4% 8 -4.7% 12 5.7% 5
4 PIT 25.4% 6 25.9% 2 3-1 -3.3% 20 -25.0% 2 3.6% 8
5 NYG 23.5% 10 19.4% 5 3-2 5.5% 14 -25.4% 1 -7.4% 30
6 ATL 21.2% 9 20.7% 4 4-1 9.6% 10 -10.6% 7 1.0% 12
7 GB 20.8% 4 19.2% 6 3-2 18.8% 6 -7.5% 10 -5.5% 28
8 TEN 18.7% 12 11.6% 12 3-2 -0.8% 18 -17.7% 4 1.7% 10
9 SD 18.7% 5 12.4% 11 2-3 20.4% 3 -19.5% 3 -21.3% 32
10 PHI 17.9% 7 17.1% 7 3-2 19.9% 5 -0.3% 16 -2.2% 22
11 IND 13.7% 11 15.9% 10 3-2 25.7% 2 8.7% 25 -3.3% 26
12 BAL 11.4% 14 16.9% 8 4-1 8.3% 11 -1.7% 15 1.4% 11
13 NO 7.0% 17 7.7% 13 3-2 6.8% 12 0.7% 17 1.0% 13
14 SEA 6.7% 13 1.0% 15 2-2 -16.7% 26 -6.5% 11 16.9% 1
15 DAL 5.7% 8 4.3% 14 1-3 18.1% 7 10.6% 26 -1.7% 20
16 CIN 0.3% 16 -0.3% 17 2-3 -1.9% 19 -2.6% 14 -0.5% 16
17 TB -0.2% 18 -4.7% 20 3-1 -4.8% 21 -4.2% 13 0.5% 14
18 DET -3.3% 24 -11.3% 23 1-4 -6.2% 23 3.3% 21 6.1% 4
19 WAS -4.2% 20 0.3% 16 3-2 5.6% 13 8.0% 23 -1.8% 21
20 HOU -7.2% 15 -10.5% 22 3-2 20.3% 4 26.1% 31 -1.4% 19
21 MIN -11.1% 25 -1.1% 18 1-3 -19.1% 28 -8.8% 9 -0.8% 17
22 MIA -11.2% 21 -1.6% 19 2-2 2.1% 16 3.1% 19 -10.2% 31
23 CLE -11.9% 19 -14.3% 25 1-4 -5.7% 22 5.3% 22 -0.8% 18
24 CHI -13.5% 27 -6.3% 21 4-1 -29.1% 30 -11.8% 6 3.9% 7
25 DEN -14.4% 23 -12.1% 24 2-3 9.8% 9 20.6% 29 -3.6% 27
26 JAC -16.6% 26 -15.6% 26 3-2 0.8% 17 24.9% 30 7.4% 2
27 SF -22.5% 28 -21.2% 27 0-5 -16.7% 27 3.2% 20 -2.6% 24
28 STL -29.2% 22 -27.2% 28 2-3 -21.3% 29 1.9% 18 -6.0% 29
29 OAK -35.8% 31 -34.1% 31 2-3 -16.7% 25 16.7% 28 -2.4% 23
30 CAR -39.6% 29 -31.0% 29 0-5 -47.0% 32 -10.5% 8 -3.1% 25
31 BUF -39.6% 30 -32.1% 30 0-5 -12.3% 24 29.2% 32 1.9% 9
32 ARI -48.1% 32 -36.9% 32 3-2 -39.0% 31 8.6% 24 -0.4% 15
  • 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 32.9% 3-1 34.8% 3.8 1 -5.9% 24 2.2% 16 11.9% 17
2 KC 28.6% 3-1 25.3% 3.7 2 -0.5% 15 -16.4% 31 8.1% 11
3 NYJ 26.8% 4-1 34.1% 3.7 3 -3.5% 20 -2.0% 21 4.8% 5
4 PIT 25.4% 3-1 22.9% 3.4 6 12.8% 2 -5.9% 27 14.0% 20
5 NYG 23.5% 3-2 19.1% 3.3 8 -5.6% 23 3.2% 11 35.5% 31
6 ATL 21.2% 4-1 23.5% 3.2 9 -10.0% 28 -4.0% 24 13.3% 18
7 GB 20.8% 3-2 25.0% 3.5 4 -8.5% 26 3.4% 10 9.2% 13
8 TEN 18.7% 3-2 17.5% 3.4 7 0.9% 13 2.7% 13 13.9% 19
9 SD 18.7% 2-3 22.0% 3.0 12 -13.0% 30 -2.7% 23 31.2% 29
10 PHI 17.9% 3-2 27.6% 3.5 5 -5.2% 22 6.9% 3 8.8% 12
11 IND 13.7% 3-2 14.9% 3.1 11 2.8% 9 4.4% 6 16.5% 22
12 BAL 11.4% 4-1 7.4% 3.2 10 5.2% 6 -2.1% 22 4.3% 4
13 NO 7.0% 3-2 5.9% 3.0 13 -20.0% 32 -0.9% 19 3.6% 3
14 SEA 6.7% 2-2 6.3% 2.2 20 -11.9% 29 -13.1% 30 23.2% 27
15 DAL 5.7% 1-3 1.2% 2.7 15 -1.6% 18 3.4% 9 18.1% 23
16 CIN 0.3% 2-3 0.9% 2.4 16 -1.5% 17 7.9% 2 7.2% 10
17 TB -0.2% 3-1 3.1% 2.9 14 -6.5% 25 -6.0% 28 18.5% 24
18 DET -3.3% 1-4 -1.0% 2.2 22 -3.0% 19 2.7% 12 9.6% 14
19 WAS -4.2% 3-2 -4.7% 2.3 17 1.6% 11 5.3% 5 5.5% 7
20 HOU -7.2% 3-2 -6.5% 2.3 19 0.6% 14 9.7% 1 21.3% 26
21 MIN -11.1% 1-3 -16.4% 2.1 23 4.8% 7 0.0% 18 4.8% 6
22 MIA -11.2% 2-2 -6.6% 2.3 18 2.2% 10 2.7% 14 10.1% 15
23 CLE -11.9% 1-4 -10.3% 2.2 21 12.3% 3 2.0% 17 2.6% 1
24 CHI -13.5% 4-1 -10.2% 1.7 27 1.4% 12 2.2% 15 39.3% 32
25 DEN -14.4% 2-3 -8.9% 1.9 25 6.8% 5 -5.2% 25 3.1% 2
26 JAC -16.6% 3-2 -17.3% 2.1 24 -0.7% 16 3.9% 8 29.6% 28
27 SF -22.5% 0-5 -30.8% 1.8 26 16.3% 1 -18.0% 32 19.4% 25
28 STL -29.2% 2-3 -17.5% 1.5 28 -16.9% 31 -5.9% 26 15.5% 21
29 OAK -35.8% 2-3 -25.6% 1.2 29 -9.4% 27 3.9% 7 11.5% 16
30 CAR -39.6% 0-5 -42.0% 0.8 31 3.4% 8 -1.7% 20 6.9% 9
31 BUF -39.6% 0-5 -39.5% 0.6 32 10.5% 4 6.8% 4 6.4% 8
32 ARI -48.1% 3-2 -44.5% 1.1 30 -3.6% 21 -8.3% 29 31.4% 30


225 comments, Last at 24 Aug 2012, 3:17pm

7 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Hey, if you saw the train wreck in person on Sunday you'd know that answer. The Chargers should have CRUSHED the Raiders, but San Diego looked inept. Even my buddy who played for Cal was more disgusted with the Chargers losing to Oakland, than with Cal losing to Nevada.

9 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

game about winning. not lookinng good. don't see me complainingn about carrdinals-Raiders game when Raiders blow game

41 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

You're right! And by my count, Kansas City has won more games and lost fewer games than the Oakland Raiders. Sorry, pal, but the Raiders still stink.

207 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I'm not crowning anyone champs until the lights go out at Cowboys Stadium on the evening of February 6, but let's face facts here: the Raiders have needed unsustainably good fumble luck, a weak schedule, AND the boost of opposing one of the worst special teams units I've ever seen...just to win 40% of their games by an average of 4 points and reach a -23 point differential. 31st in the league looks about right. I'd honestly be surprised if they beat the 49ers Sunday.

42 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

comment thread about talking like rorschach, not about being right. dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. this city is afraid of me...

126 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

So what you're saying is: Oakland is clearly ranked too low because they won their game this weekend. Ranking teams based on the latest performance is way better than this. sorry nut season is 17 weeks and chiefs get no crown for being champions from week 1-5

196 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

You don't understand the mastery of all football-related information and the complete lack of understanding of the English language that is the poster "raiderjoe".

2 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

re "Buffalo and Carolina, have a combined 72.7 percent chance to get that top pick." - if I'm reading the chart right, Buffalo has a much harder remaining schedule than Carolina, so I assume that the bulk of that 72.7 is Buffalo's.

Just trying to be optimistic

35 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by Grouchy Bills Fan (not verified)

Given the number of studies conducted that indicate that the top pick in the draft is actually a liability to teams (because of the amount of salary cap invested into an uncertainty, in short) I don't think you should be 'optimistic' about it.

And it's not like you need the top pick to secure your 'QB of the future'. Fitzpatrick has looked pretty competent - he just has almost no talent around him (or possibly even coaching him).

68 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

That's probably still not as good an answer as "Captain Checkdown" because Fitzpatrick looks occasionally competent out there.

82 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Given his performance over the last two weeks, I would really really like to see what either McDaniels or Martz (preferably the former) could do with him.

But granting for the sake of the argument that he's not really NFL starter-quality (I disagree), I think there are still a couple questions he's the correct answer to. Questions like:

"Who would you be pretty comfortable with as your backup QB?"


"Who might actually be able to provide the Raiders with an actual quarterback while also falling into the category of wild half-baked chances that Al Davis would take a flier on?"

209 Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick will probably never be confused for a franchise QB, but he's not inept. He's a Dilfer - he can manage a game, he can make decisions, play safe and smart, and not gamble.

If he had a half-way competent offensive line, I think the Bills would be in a lot more games. The only position that's really 'set' on that team is the running backs. But it's win at chess when starting with a rook, a knight and 6 pawns.

213 Re: Fitzpatrick

In reply to by Tundrapaddy (not verified)

Dilfer was in no way a "safe and smart" quarterback. His biggest problem was always his penchant for throwing interceptions. He had a career INT%+ of 86 and was only average once in his career (a 105 in 1997).
For comparison, Derek Anderson has an 85 INT%+.

106 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

First off, the study that you're referring to did not indicate that the top pick in the draft is a liability. It indicated that every pick in the draft was a positive asset, but that the picks in the early second were MORE POSITIVE than picks in the early 1st. Even those top-5 first round picks, the guys that everyone complains are so unbelievably overpaid, wind up being strong positive assets and relative bargains compared to what that kind of production would cost through free agency.

Second off, that study had major flaws in its methodology. The most prominent flaw is that it treats NFL players like bricklayers instead of like gladiators. If I replace one expert bricklayer with two amateur bricklayers who each lay bricks half as quickly, but who each get paid half as much, then I've suffered no net loss. My brick-laying project gets done at exactly the same speed and for exactly the same cost. If I replace one expert gladiator with two amateur gladiators who are exactly half as good and who make exactly half as much, then I've suffered a huge loss- instead of one victorious gladiator, I'm left with two dead gladiators.

NFL players are more like gladiators than bricklayers. I can't say "well, Josh Freeman and Ryan Fitzpatrick are both half as good as Peyton Manning, so instead of paying Peyton $12 million a year, I'll just pay Freeman and Fitzpatrick $6 million a year each and I'll be just as well off!". I can't replace one stud WR with two average WRs, because my employees are limited. Only 11 players can be on the field at any one time. Only 1 player can have the ball in his hands at any given time. As a result, a 10% increase in talent or ability is worth a heckuva lot more than a 10% increase in salary. The Massey-Thaler study would consider someone like Matt Schaub to be more valuable than Peyton Manning, because he gets you a large fraction of the production at a small fraction of the price. In reality, Peyton Manning could be paid $16 million a year and he'd still be one of the best bargains in the NFL, because you can only have one QB on the field at any given time, and the small differences between Peyton Manning and everyone else are worth massive difference in terms of resource allocation.

Massey-Thaler suggest that a 2nd round pick should be worth more than a top-5 pick straight up. That suggestion doesn't pass the sniff test. Even the coaches who highly value high second rounders (Bill Belichick comes to mind) would never trade a top-10 pick for the #40 pick STRAIGHT UP. Do you honestly think St. Louis would be better off trading Sam Bradford for Jimmy Clausen and some cap savings? Would Detroit be better off trading Ndamakong Suh for Linval Joseph and some cap savings? Would Kansas City be better off trading Eric Berry for T.J. Ward and some cap savings? I certainly don't think so. And Massey-Thaler also wrote their paper on the assumption that other means of player acquisition were relatively efficient markets. It'd be one thing to say "pass on the top pick and bank on those cap savings!" if there was some efficient market where teams could spend that cap savings. There isn't. Free Agency is a far more inefficient market than the draft (as with any bidding exercise, it's subject to the Winner's curse, which coincidentally enough was the inspiration for the name of the Massey-Thaler study on the draft), which means teams would be better off devoting their cap dollars to draft picks than to established veterans.

119 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Mostly agree with what you said, but your last paragraph is weakened by the failure to account for the fact that you don't know if your top draft pick QB with the megacontract is going to be a Sam Bradford or an Andre Ware. When measuring risk versus reward, one needs to account not only for consequence but also for frequency of outcome.

124 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

True, but the failure rate for high first round picks is probably artificially high, thanks to selection bias in the form of incompetent front offices being more likely to hold said picks. One of the many reasons Belichick's Patriots have been so good is that they've nailed every top ten pick they've had (and have never traded back out of the top ten).

Edit: I notice that TD already made this point below.

130 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

He's only had two top 10 picks. While it is good that he's avoided blowing them, they have not had many instances where they have selected in the top 10 under his tenure.

I concede the point about there being some selection bias, though. It just stands to reason that since the consequence of a bad pick is higher when the pick is earlier (since the contract will be richer), that teams that pick badly will be hit harder.

139 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

You're absolutely right - I thought Warren was higher than 13th, for some reason, and vaguely thought Wilfork was too. Not the best example on my part, then, but the broader point still stands.

107 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The top pick isn't a liability, plain and simple. Blowing the top pick, however, is a devastating liability (and organizations that end up with the top pick don't tend to have elite talent evaluation skills).

208 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I don't think I stated myself clearly - this is what I was getting at. Teams that pick poorly saddle themselves with inferior talent at an inflated price, which leads to not being able to afford other (often, proven veteran) talent, which leads to failure, which leads to high draft pick...rinse and repeat.

I do recall the study indicating that the best 'value' was the early 2nd round. And likewise, the new CBA will probably have a sharp limitation on future rookie contracts. So there is a shining beacon of light on the horizon for Oakland, Cleve, Buffalo, Cincy, and the other perennial 'D'oh, missed by that much!' teams.

Captcha: 1937, bnomblam. Perhaps this is pre WW2 name for Phnom Penh?

156 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Have you looked at the Bills's recent draft history? Any first-round pick is a liability to them.

(I also like the Eagles)

223 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by Tundrapaddy (not verified)

To be fair, there's probably a good chance that having the 1st pick will be worth a bit more post-lockout: the NFL and the PA will probably agree on some kind of rookie scale, because the folks voting for the NFLPA leadership are the veterans not next year's rookies.

The Patriots have been stockpiling draft picks for 2011 for the past couple of years (most notably with the Seymour trade: it's not often that a player like that goes for a draft pick two seasons in the future!) in the expectation of that and Bob Kraft sits on the Labor Committee.

123 Top Pick

In reply to by Grouchy Bills Fan (not verified)

Don't get too optimistic. Having the top pick gets you the most expensive, and likely overvalued, rookie in the draft.

142 Re: Top Pick

In reply to by JasonD (not verified)

That may be the case now, but don't forget about the very real possibility of a rookie pay scale in the next CBA. It's quite possible that Bradford will be the last of the Powerball-winner #1 picks.

3 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Maybe it is just me, which is completely possible, but from what I have seen of the NFC North, I would really say that the entire division is completely average. It does not seem like the Packers have played any "top-10 teams" games, and all of the other teams, outside of Detroit's ridiculous Rams game, appear to be trending downward. I can easily see Detroit owning the division in 2012 (if we should live) simply because the other teams will basically be dismantled by that point.

117 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Adjustments aren't at 100% yet: the Bills beatdown is overvalued still.

Also, a 'top-10 team game' probably isn't as impressive as you think. Beating another top-10 team (Philly) would count; and the Pack probably has DVOA at or not far from average in the three most recent games. Although weeks one and two now seem distant, don't forget that Green Bay was #1 in VOA early in the season, and still is barely out of the top four.

That said, I'd agree that the division looks pretty average. That means lots of close games — and given the Packers' record in those (plus its injury list), the race is wide open.

125 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Packers still have guys like Rodgers, Jennings and Matthews. I'd say that's the nucleus of a team that could contend for a long, long time.

135 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Also, GB is still the 4th youngest team in the NFL, and generally resigns it's top players at a rate as high as any team in the league.

The idea that they will be dismantled in a few years is ridiculous. They will need to replace one offensive tackle (Tauscher or Clifton, whoever Bulaga doesn't take over for), a couple of CBs (Woodson and Harris), and maybe one D-lineman (Ryan Pickett) over the next couple of years. As well as promoting one of their reserve WRs already on the roster to take Drivers spot if he ever actually gets old. That's basically it.

151 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Packers already have the next generation tackles on the roster. McCarthy just refuses to play them.

Put Bulaga at LT and Lang at RT. I think they deserve serious consideration. If nothing else, to determine draft needs for '11.

The more pressing need is at linebacker. Other than Matthews, they have a series of bodies. The fact that they tried three different OLB to replace Chillar opposite Matthews is a pretty good indicator that they don't have any. Hawk had trouble tackling Torain. Bishop filled in well for Barnett. Seems that other than his spirited leadership, Barnett is replaceable.

I agree with the need for a CB.

160 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Hmm. I remember hearing the same thing during 1997. Among the starters, only Reggie and LeRoy Butler were over 28 years old (and Butler was just 29). The offensive 'nucleus' of Favre, Levens, Brooks, Freeman, Chmura, Dotson and Verba (average age: 26) was supposed to take the Packers into the new millennium; and the youngsters on defense (average age, excluding Butler and White: 25) would make them into a dynasty.

By 2001, there were three offensive starters from 1997 left on the roster: Favre, Freeman and William Henderson. The whole defensive strategy was blown up by the Randy Moss coming-out party in 1998, and by the departure of Mike Holmgren and death of coordinator Fritz Shurmur at the end of that season. The dynasty didn't happen. Green Bay's success was "a fart in the wind".

The moral: things changed quickly.

219 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Maybe the players didn't all stay as long as expected, but the team didn't suddenly start sucking, either. In the 7 years after 1997, they had 5 playoff appearances and 0 losing seasons. If you'd prefer just looking at the new millennium they were supposed to lead the Packers into, the Packers won 95 games and had 6 playoff appearances between 2000-2009, with only 2 losing seasons (During the ten years before that, they won 93 games, had 6 playoff appearances, and 2 losing seasons). I'd say that counts as "contending".

4 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

You know, it's actually kinda sad how happy I am to see the Broncos' defense doing so "well". That 29th ranking looks so much better than the last place ranking from last year.

5 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The NYG defense has been really good this year. Even the Titans game, if you actually look at what happened there.

The one exception was the Indy game. The staff did this crazy strategy where they only activated two DTs and wanted to make Indy pass on every down. I'm not saying the Giants would have won that game, but it would have been closer if they had just played conventionally.

Perry Fewell is a pretty good DC, and I'm looking forward to being able to scoop up Tampa-2 defenders at bargain basement rates because so many other teams are running the 3-4.

38 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I'm guessing you misspoke there a little bit-- the Giants were daring Indy to run on every down. Generally, I agree with you about that game, though. The gameplan against the Colts was a risky gambit for a game that they were rather unlikely to win in the first place (it being a very talented team in their home opener after having been embarrassed in Week 1). It failed spectacularly, but risky gambits sometimes do.

And I'd only describe the D as 'really good' in the CHI & HOU games. The Panthers' offense has proven to be pitiful, and although there were mitigating factors in the Titans game (primarily the starting field position for all of Tennessee's scoring drives), I can't get on board with calling 29 points allowed to a non-elite offense 'really good.'

Hopefully, in a month, we'll be talking about those first three weeks as the outlier-- an understandable adjustment period transitioning to the new defense.

50 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

They only allowed 78 in the first half to Titans, only four more than they allowed to the Texans. Things started to fall apart a bit in the second half when it seemed they got a bit frustrated with the deluge of offensive turnovers and penalties. Chris Johnson didn't do much of anything until a couple of garbage time runs.

6 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Let's hear it for those Chargers special teams. Bad enough to take a team ranked 3rd in both offense and defense and turn them into a losing team. That's remarkable, and I have to say, completely accurate. If their special teams had only played well enough to be rated 30th, they would probably be undefeated right now.

11 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Yeah, and the Seahawks special teams apparently makes up for them having the 26th ranked offense.

15 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

San Diego special teams are so bad, that the 31st rated team is closer to the 14th rated team, than they are to the Chargers.

45 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I didn't make any statement on the team last year. I just said this year it's typical Norv turner.

If last year doesn't fit, then it's not typical. I could be wrong about what a typical Norv Turner team is, but I didn't make any value statements on what the 2009 Chargers were.

37 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

perfectly average is considered good at the same time that perfectly average is considered bad. plus how were the chargers special teams in the two years prior to last year? Sorry but you arent winning this one. The chargers have never been bad at special teams aka the small things since norv was the head coach.

26 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I don't think Norv is particularly good at anything. He's just lucky the GM is a stubborn ass who would probably rather be fired himself than have to fire Norv and admit that HE made a mistake.

120 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Yes, you can't slam Turner without at least acknowledging that he has played some role in developing Philip Rivers into one of the top 5 QBs in the league - perhaps even better than that.

However, I'm increasingly convinced when watching the Chargers now that a massive proportion of their consistently excellent offensive performance over the last few years is down to Antonio Gates. The offence has withstood LaDanian Tomlinson declining from playing at a HOF level to having the worst rushing attack in the league, and this year they don't appear to have missed the presence of their #1 wide receiver one jot. Indeed the only year the SD pass offence ranked anywhere outside of the top three over the last 5 years was in 2007 when Gates was hampered all season by turf-toe. Of course everybody knows Gates is a great player, but it's just possible that nobody realises just how great and important a player he is.

198 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Rivers first 3 seasons were with Marty as head coach, and in Marty's final season Rivers led the team to a 14-2 record. Is Rivers really THAT much better now that Norv deserves the credit ? Or is it more likely that Norv just happened to be standing there looking dopey as Rivers matured into a Pro Bowl QB ?

205 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

its extremely difficult to decipher between the two, but remember that Norv didnt just make alex smith look competent, he made him look good.

32 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Smith might be so damned stubborn, that if he did fire Turner, he'd then install Ted Cottrell, just to prove he was right from the beginning!

34 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Damn, I may have to take back what I said. Turns out Norv has been 2-3 after 5 games for all 4 seasons he has coached San Diego. After his traditional 2-3 start he has gone 26-7 in the 3 previous seasons.

59 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Hey, some of those 2-3 starts turned into 8-8 finishes, but a lucky bounce (recovering an onside kick to score a game winning TD against Kansas City to get a chance for the playoffs), another team collapsing (Denver), or is just dysfunctional (Oakland) padded his total. The chances of getting that lucky again are slim and for a coach that was hired to turn a good team into a great team, I'd say he failed.

88 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

one of the 2-3 starts he turned into an 11 game win streak to finish at 13-3. Norv deserves more credit than he receives, although thats not saying much. Hes still about an average nfl head coach. Much better than tom cable, todd hailey, mangini, singletary, and then some.

96 Chargers Special Teams

What's even more impressive is that given what an abomination San Diego's Special Teams were in the Raiders game, their efficiency barely dropped...going from -20.7% to -21.3%.

In other words, their performance in the Raiders game was right around their average for the season. Yikes.

8 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Saints have the weakest schedule so far by a significant margin, yet their DVOA is higher than their VOA. Can anyone explain?

33 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The pass defense sure does suck. There is a hole at FS. None of the inside linebackers can cover. I understand. But it shouldn't be this bad. The problem transcends the personnel, and it's really freakin' frustrating.

12 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

"Those crazy, inconsistent Giants move up to the top of the NFC in this week's DVOA ratings, but they still sit below four AFC teams including their crosstown rivals."

What makes the other team that plays in the same stadium your "crosstown" rivals?

40 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I don't live there, never have, but I've always goitten the sense that 'Jets-Giants' is much like 'Yankees-Mets', in that they are not so much rivals on the field (neither would compete with the other within a division or for a playoff spot), but rather competing for the 'Hudson River fan base'.

72 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Jets and Giants used to play in different parts of NYC, FWIW.

The (football) Giants are akin to the Yankees, in that they are the long-established team. The Jets are like the Mets - an upstart team that showed up in the 1960s.

The fan bases of both teams are in denial that their teams actually play in New Jersey.

76 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Not really denial. It's just irrelevant. It's still the NYC metropolitain area. The Redskins don't actually play in DC either, but nobody mentions that.

97 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Plus Jets and Mets both have Queens/Long Island fan bases (one friend, whose father grew up parking Dodgers players cars on game days is a mets fan and a Dodgers detester for that very reason, even though they left town three years before she was born. NYers know how to hold a grudge, God bless 'em), whereas Yankees/Giants tend to have a more westerly weighting of their fan bases. I'll ignore CT for the moment... everyone else does! Even though one season the Giants "home" games were at the Yale Bowl)

13 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The AFC dominates DVOA but the NFC teams are actually dominating yards per play. Five of the top 6 are NFC teams. SD and NYG standout significantly in yds/play differential.

Yds Per Play differential

Team Y/P diff DVOA Rank
SD 2.4 9
NYG 1.7 5
GB 0.9 7
Phil 0.9 10
Min 0.7 21
Dall 0.6 15
Pitt 0.6 4
Mia 0.4 22
Chi 0.3 24
KC 0.3 2
NO 0.2 13
NYJ 0.2 3
Tenn 0.2 8
Balt 0.1 12
Den 0.1 25
Cinn 0 16
Indy 0 11
Wash 0 19
NE -0.2 1
Sea -0.2 14
SF -0.3 27
Hou -0.4 20
Atl -0.5 6
TB -0.5 17
Car -0.6 30
Cle -0.6 23
Det -0.8 18
Oak -0.8 29
StL -0.9 28
Arz -1 32
Buff -1 31
Jack -1.5 26

The FAQ section pts out that yds/ply differential has a correlation in season (200-2005) of .7 whereas DVOA is .86. So presumably DVOA is it strange to see such widely different rankings given the similar correlations?

It's an odd year none of the top teams seem very good. NYJ are ranked 3rd but they could barely beat a Viking team seeming intent on beating themselves.

79 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

For SD, two things that yardage differential doesn't measure. In fact, its oppositely correlated:

* Special teams coverage.
* Fumble recovery rate.

SD has had poor ST coverage, and very bad luck with fumbles so far. The latter is not very predictive. The former has improved a lot (in the last game, ST blocking on kicks failed, not coverage).

89 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The one San Diego punt that wasn't blocked or called back by a penalty was run back 46 yds, and had a net yardage of -4. There was also a kickoff out of bounds... there's a reason that the Chargers' already atrocious special teams DVOA decreased after the Oakland game.

Of course, they did force one of those fumbles that they didn't recover on a kickoff, so there's some hope for them on the special teams front.

17 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Is there a crazy Bears fan who will employ the template? Pretty please?

If it weren't for the Amateur Photographer gripping his elbow like he'd been shot, and the fact they get a cornerback hurt each week, I'd actually have some hope for The Chiller's Minions. Moss obviously helps their offense a lot, and if Rice gets back in the 2nd half, they'll present match up nightmares, if anyone is around to throw it half way competently. That'd be more likely to happen, of course, if the Hall of Famer in His Own Mind, Adrian Peterson, would stoop to learn to pick up blitzes. If Cook gets back, and nobody else blows out a knee, the defensive backfield will likely hold together well enough.

Well, if they win two of the next three, which won't be easy, they'll have a decent chance to be still eligible for the playoff going into Week 17.

20 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Bears are clearly ranked too low because Matt Forte found his mojo. Benching Todd Collins is way better than this. Bare down Chicago Bears!!!!!!!!!1111111

44 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Reasons for hope:
1. Future HoF quarterback, throwing to...
2. Moss, Harvin, and possibly Rice (in a few weeks)
3. Purple Jeebus hasn't fumbled in 4 games, yet still runs with power and authoritah!

Reasons for despair:
1. Ancient, immobile QB behind increasingly ineffective O-line
2. No way that Rice is 100 percent prior to Week 10
3. Defensive strength (front four) getting old and less effective
4. Defensive secondary hammered by injuries
5. Still coached by Childress

74 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I'd say 5 is the real problem there. Of course Favre's propensity for late-game INTs is bad, but Childress is a really bad game manager.

210 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Now now, 'statistics have no memory', or however that saying goes. Besides, I've read in a number of places that Anointed Purple and coaching staff worked a lot on how he carries the ball this offseason (I would hope so, after the nth fumble against the Saints in January). He now keeps his arm much tighter to his body, and higher against the torso.

Then again, one of the highlight vids I watched showed him carrying the ball in his 'inside' (right) arm when running off left end. So - not perfect, but better.

214 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The saying doesn't go "statistics have no memory". And you have to be careful about how your represent that.

There are certain phenomena that can be modeled as processes that are "memoryless", meaning the probability of a given outcome in the future is not a function of outcomes in the past. The classic example is flipping a coin...the coin doesn't care how many times it's come up heads in the past, there's still a 50-50 chance of heads on the next flip. This is where the gambler's fallacy of being "due" plays in...just because a roulette wheel has hit red the last 20 spins does not mean that it's "due" for a green.

However, there are many other phenomena that are not "memoryless", and future events do depend on the outcome of past event. A nice toy example would be a box containing 20 red marbles and 20 black marbles. If you pick marbles out at random and happen to pull out no red and 10 black, then your next pull really is more likely to be a red marble...in this case, red really is "due".

Of course, even with a true memoryless process, there is still information to be had from the previous outcomes that do say something about the probability of the next event. The coin has the same probability of heads every time regardless of past outcomes, but we don't actually know what that probability is. We assume it's 50%, but if in the past 100 flips it came up heads in 90 of them, then there's actually some pretty strong evidence that the coin is unbalanced. Note that in this case, however, the outcome is the exact opposite of the "gambler's fallacy"...tails isn't "due" but instead we infer that heads really is more likely on this particular coin.

In the case of Purple Jesus, which is it? Are fumbles a memoryless process? I.e. assuming a player continues to get carries, does the probability of fumbling on a given play change relative to his "normal fumble probability" if he has fumbled (or failed to do so) on a number of previous plays? The only ways I could see that being the case if if (1) he rarely fumbles so he gets complacent about it, or (2) he fumbles a lot so the coaches chew him out and emphasize ball security more. I doubt either applies to Peterson, since they made curing his fumblitis a point of emphasis, so probably no (1), and he hasn't fumbled recently, so probably no (2). So I would buy that, in this case, his fumbles probably are memoryless and the fact he hasn't fumbled recently has no bearing on whether he's about to do so.

The next question is, can we infer from the recent history of not fumbling, that he is now less likely overall to fumble? Probably not...I'm guessing the sample size is too small to conclusively say that his fumble propensity has decreased.

So, he's not "due" for a fumble, but we have no evidence that he isn't the same fumbling player he's always been and just has had a lucky stretch.

222 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Fumbles definitely aren't memoryless. Defenders are more likely to try and strip the ball from a fumble-prone carrier, and a player can learn and become less fumble prone by changing the way they hold the ball and other habits. We don't know for sure if Purple Jesus has improved things, but I do think it's evidence in his favor that this streak happened at the beginning of the year. If he spent the offseason working on this problem, which is likely considering how their season ended, than what we see now could be the fruits of that labor.
Of course, he's going to fumble the ball eventually, but we may in fact see a less fumble-prone player.

94 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

One issue for the Vikes is that the Bears already have 2 division wins and 2 road conference (non-division) wins, and they have a bunch of soft games coming up, so Chicago can play fairly mediocre football for 11 games and still hold most of the division tiebreakers. Then for the wildcard you're fighting with GB, ATL/NO, and whatever NFCE teams end up 10-6 or better.

On the other hand, the Bears might very well play far below mediocre football and end up 8-8 or worse --- particularly if they let a few more teams play whack-a-Cutler and end up having to try and win games in 2005 mode.

19 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Jets officially scare me. Even though two teams have a higher total DVOA, the Jets are quite good in all three phases of the game, which I personally feel is far more likely to predict a strong postseason run than being wonderful in two areas and dog-awful in the third.

77 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Jets' offense appears to be significantly better than I thought it would be. I see two reasons: 1) Sanchez is a lot better than he was last season, especially with regard to turnovers. 2) Tomlinson is alive again! I'm baffled that "offensive genius" Norv Turner didn't know how to get the most of a Hall of Fame running back, but that's the only explanation I can see for how much better Tomlinson looks this season than last.

128 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

1. Tomlinson wasn't healthy through the last two seasons. The Chargers, not unreasonably given his age, did not expect that to change. It has.

2. Last year's Chargers line sucked. This year's Jets line is excellent.

23 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I see that Steelers #8 in ST, and I see them covering kick offs and punts without giving up long yardage, and I still have a hard time believing it.

24 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Bears not good team really.
Think picked them for last place in nfc borth . Had Liosn in 3rd, packers in 1st, other in 2nd.
so not really ever big on Bears this year but hnave to say impressive that are 4-1 but not pretty in how get there. Think losses are coming just like losses comign for KC Cheifs.

57 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

that section of Raideroe's preseason poll looks like this:


Select a winner from each of the following divisions


[ ] liosn
[ ] favers old team
[ ] bears
[ ] other (specify as desired)


[ ] Raiders
[ ] Oakland
[ ] Bay area team (excl. SF)
[ ] The Al Davis Ragtime Band


63 NFC North, AFC West

Sadly, did write Borth here and in preidictions thread at dicsussion forum. Just messed up . hit wrong key.

These were picks made before regular season start---------

.1 Packers
2. Vikes
3. Loins
4. bears

1. Raiders
2. Chargers
3. Chiefs
4. Broncos

65 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

for some strange reason, whenever I read RaiderJoe's comments, I see Chief from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" reciting them. Irony, ain't it a bitch?

27 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

It's a relief to see the Eagles down at a reasonable 10th, so we don't have to hear more pablum about how DVOA is biased toward them, or that DVOA prefers West Coast offenses, etc. That was galling.

Odd how, after Jacksonville at 26, team DVOA falls off a cliff.

78 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The issue with the Pats seems to be the notion that the sum of the various ratings is as meaningful as each rating by itself. I think that the Pats are well placed in both the offensive and defensive rankings. I'm just not buying the notion that their offensive and special teams are so incredibly strong that they are the best team in the NFL, in spite of having the 27th best defense.

110 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Jets and Ravens feel like "better" teams. We'll see about the Ravens this weekend. I'm just not buying the Pats. FO had the Pats 3rd last year as well, when I thought it was plainly obvious that they were far from the 3rd best team in the league. The Pats are 3-1, so I can't say that the standings don't reflect that they are a good team, but hasn't DVOA rankings become less and less like the actual standings the past couple years. It was either last year or the year before where the top 2 DVOA teams both won fewer than 10 games.

129 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I agree that the Jets and Ravens "feel" like better teams. I also think the Steelers "feel" like the 2000 Ravens in some wacky parallel universe where the 2000 Ravens traded for a pro bowl quarterback after Week 4. I don't want to play the 2000 Ravens with a pro bowl quarterback. Not one little bit.

138 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

What has the Ravens actually done this year? They could have lost to the Jets in week 1 when Flacco was terrible and the Jets went into a shell on offense. If they play that game now, the Jets might win.

They lost to a bad Bengals team.

They struggled against the Browns, letting Hillis run all over them.

They barely beat Charlie Batch at the buzzer in Pittsburgh. If Big Ben was playing, they would have lost.

And they blew out the Broncos.

They've made the plays when they've had to, don't get me wrong, and I think they are a good team, but I think everyone is overrating the Ravens at this point. Their run D isn't nearly as good as it was last year, and while everyone is saying how great they are against the pass, who have they played with a great offense? Denver? Their secondary will exposed eventually. And offensively, they really only ran well against the Broncos and Flacco has been pretty average and at times bad this year.

They aren't the best team in the league. Wouldn't surprise me if they lost in NE this weekend.

144 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

To answer the first question, they have won on the road against the Jets and the Steelers, arguably the two best defences in the league. The Bengals team they lost to may not be good, but their defence is an above average unit.

So they've played on the road against three good (and two very good) defences. In their home games against weaker defences they have put up yards for fun. I still think this is defintely a top ten offence. I do, however, agree that their pass defence has not been severely tested yet, and that was the biggest concern coming into the season for Baltimore. The fact that Kyle Orton had the seond best DYAR of all QBs last weekend is a potential red flag.

It wouldn't surprise me if they lost to New England either, but that's kind of a dumb thing to say about any team on the road against another good team. Vegas makes NE favourite for that game, so clearly most people are in agreement that it wouldn't be a surprise if they won.

69 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Actually, I was thinking about the Eagles consistently notably weird high rankings and I had a question. The Eagles rushing offense always ranks very high in DVOA - this year, they are #1 for example, leading to their strangely high #5 overall offensive DVOA ranking. But the Eagles have the most pass-heavy run-to-pass ratio in the league on almost an annual basis.

How much do these DVOA rankings weight for usage? I know that DYAR is a cumulative stat in the player rankings and DVOA is not... so how does that bleed over to the overall team efficiency rankings? Because if their rushing DVOA is consistently very high and they don't run the ball as much as any other team in the league (i.e. as much as DVOA might reasonably expect the "average" team to run)... doesn't that mean DVOA will over-rate them?

86 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

On SNF this week, they put up an interesting statistic. Under Reid, the Eagles are dead last in the league for run/pass ratio, but 2nd in yards per rushing attempt. Can't remember the exact details of the stat, but you get the idea. This season, for example, they're 20th in rush attempts per game, but lead the league with 5.3 yards per rush. DVOA measures efficiency, right?

Also, DVOA is supposed to be predictive. When the Eagles were "overrated" by DVOA, they were still making runs in the playoffs. I'm thinking specifically about the year when they tied the Bengals, went 9-6-1, needed an improbable set of circumstances on the last day of the season to even make the playoffs, and then still went to the NFCCG.

(I also like the Eagles)

217 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Eagles are first in rushing efficiency based on counting stats not because they are a good running team, but because they are a good passing team. The defense plays pass on nearly every down against an Andy Reid team. Reid was just ahead of the curve in accepting that with the NFL's new rules (new as in new since Terry Bradshaw) passing on 60-70% of downs was statistically optimal.

87 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Offensive DVOA is just based on every offensive play, so if the Eagles pass 2/3 of the time, that'll be 2/3 of their offensive score. The fact that they're good when they run obviously helps the overall number, but not disproportionately.

100 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

How much do these DVOA rankings weight for usage? I know that DYAR is a cumulative stat in the player rankings and DVOA is not... so how does that bleed over to the overall team efficiency rankings? Because if their rushing DVOA is consistently very high and they don't run the ball as much as any other team in the league (i.e. as much as DVOA might reasonably expect the "average" team to run)... doesn't that mean DVOA will over-rate them?

No. They don't calculate the Overall Offensive DVOA by adding the Rush Offense DVOA to the Pass Offense DVOA, they just take the DVOA of each play and get the average.

For example, consider a team that had the following results on their first drive of a game against a defense that was average in every way:

1-10: run for 12 yards.
1-10: incomplete pass.
2-10: incomplete pass.
3-10: incomplete pass.
4-10: incomplete pass.

They'd have a great Rush Offense DVOA, but a horrible Pass Offense DVOA. Their Overall Offensive DVOA would probably be quite low, because they had 4 unsuccessful plays, and only one successful one.

Now, consider that same team, against the same defense, but they start the game like this:

1-10: pass for 12 yards.
1-10: rush for no gain.
2-10: rush for no gain.
3-10: rush for no gain.
4-10: rush for no gain.

Now, they'd have a great Pass Offense DVOA, but a horrible Rush Offense DVOA. But their Overall Offensive DVOA would be exactly the same as before, because the situations and the yards gained would be exactly the same. It doesn't matter that the run/pass ratio is completely different.

From "Methods To Our Madness":

Every single play run in the NFL gets a "success value" based on this system, and then that number gets compared to the average success values of plays in similar situations for all players, adjusted for a number of variables. These include down and distance, field location, time remaining in game, and current scoring lead or deficit. Teams are always compared to one standard, as the team made its own choice whether to pass or rush. However, when it comes to individual players, rushing plays are compared to other rushing plays, passing plays to other passing plays, tight ends get compared to tight ends and wideouts to wideouts.

29 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Odd that the Colts beat two of the top-5 teams by double digits, but are at 11th. Sure, they haven't been impressive, but their losses were closer than either of the Giants losses.

39 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

On "gut" I'd say Giants, Tennessee, Green Bay, San Diego don't belong in the top ten, at least above the Colts, whatever the record says. So that would move you up to 7th, which is perfectly respectable for a 3-2 team. Right? Now the actual DVOA difference between 7th and 11th is... 7 percentage points. Don't really think that it's a huge deal at the moment.

80 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Colts were flattened by the Texans in a humiliating fashion. They've also lost to the Jaguars. Neither of those teams has looked particularly strong against anybody else. Also, the Colts barely beat the Chiefs in an unimpressive fashion.

I'm guessing those three results are at least as important as their two impressive wins.

199 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

The Colts defense has been hammered by injuries and is pretty much a joke at this point. The only teams they can stop are those who have poor blocking and inaccurate quarterbacks; Caldwell's off-man Cover 2 scheme is not working with his personnel. The linebackers can't tackle, the corners don't cover (I don't know if they can cover, they haven't been asked to except deep downfield), and Freeney and Mathis are not showing up every week and aren't great run defenders anyway.

That said: Antoine Bethea is one of the better safeties in football (he's playing FS now that Bullitt is gone), and Moala is in the lineup now. There's reason to think that a few adjustments and telling Sessions, Wheeler, and Brackett to, um, wrap up their damn guy, would improve matters.

But they weren't "flattened" by the Texans. They lost because they gave up 200 rushing yards. Manning had 430 yards and 3 TD's, and Addai was effective when he had the ball. Likewise, the Jags game wasn't one sided. It was a close loss. I still believe the Colts will win their division, and probably are among the top ten teams in football.

I'm also impressed by the Giants, whose offensive woes against the Colts mystify me.

31 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Boy the AFC playoff race is looking like a potential snoozer. 5 teams with 74% or better odds of making the playoffs. Only the South looks like an interesting race (according to the odds report, anyways, I suspect the West will get more interesting as I doubt the Chiefs maintain an insurmountable looking lead for long).

The NFC may be worse this year, but it looks to be quite a bit more interesting so far.

48 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I don't see the Chiefs maintaining an 'insurmountable' lead, but I certainly see them staying in the mix. Maybe that's all you're saying, but there have been a few comments about the Chiefs being exposed soon.

I don't see it. Their new DC was the DC of the Pats defense during its supremacy. The new OC was OC for the same teams. The GM was the personnel man for the same teams.

I would think that we can expect at least some of these guys to know their bidness. KC is rebuilding, and doing it well. Denver and San Diego should be on notice.

53 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by Tundrapaddy (not verified)

As a Charger fan, I've noticed. The days of the Chargers getting handed the AFC West even with a slow start are coming to an end. They may get away with it again this season, but the Chiefs are coming and may have already arrived...

60 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Yes, that's actually exactly what I meant. Currently the playoff odds has the Chiefs with a 45% chance of a bye, 84% chance for winning the division, and an incredible 90% chance of making the playoffs after only a quarter of the season.

I feel their odds of securing a playoff spot and even a high seed are quite good, I just don't think it's likely that those particular odds stay that high through the middle of the season.

70 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

How would you feel if eight of their remaining 12 games were against teams ranked 25th and lower in DVOA (24th and lower in DAVE)?

Granted, I'm biased because I have some money on them winning the division.

83 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Ah yes, the joys of a last-place schedule. The Chiefs get the Browns and Bills, both of which are considerably weaker than their division mates.

90 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

I'm pretty sure that the Broncos had better odds at 6-0 last year. I wouldn't worry too much about the playoff odds 5 weeks in.

132 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Actually, with all due respect to the playoff odds page, I expect the AFC race to be pretty interesting. I see 8 good teams spread evenly across 4 divisions competing for 6 playoff spots. That should make both the division and wild card races compelling

Going further, I’m intrigued by the very real possibility all 8 divisions could have different champions than the year before for the first time since the realignment to 8 divisions (I’m not sure if it ever happened when there were 6 divisions). According to the same playoff odds page I disparaged above, the Colts are the only division winner from last year currently favored to win their division, and the Titans are neck-and-neck with them. All of the other reigning division winners have less than a 25% chance of repeating right now. The other 7 are either: in an early season hole because of multiple close losses (Vikings, Cowboys, Bengals); trapped in a division with another elite team they’ve already lost a head-to-head matchup with (Saints, Patriots); both (Chargers); or the worst team in football according to DVOA (Cardinals). It probably won’t happen, but if this keeps up it could become the go-to talking point for everyone who wants to rant about parity, good or bad.

46 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

When I saw San Diego's abysmal -20+% special teams last week. I thought that they were going to have to work really hard to keep that up.

Bravo. Bravo.

47 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Well, at least DVOA pushes the offensive values and defensive values around for the Raiders each week, even if it doesn't change the total, regardless of outcome. But how can S.D. be "only" -21 or so in DVOA on special teams? They are simply horrific.

51 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Seems about right to me. I'm a charger fan and it seems about right to say that their special teams are so bad, it completely negates their outstanding offense.

99 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

IIRC the percentages presented in the table are presented in a way that allows you to add them up to get total DVOA (i.e. offense% - defense% + ST%, no additional calculation necessary). However, since special teams is only weighted 1/3 as much as offense or defense, you have to be 3x worse (or better) on a per-play basis for special teams, compared to offense or defense, in order for the percentages in the table to be equal. So a -21 in special teams should look as dysfunctional as a -63 on offense or a +63 on defense -- it just generally doesn't have as significant of an effect on a game.

That's my understanding of it, anyway.

104 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by whitty (not verified)

I believe that you're correct - and of course, -63% is tremendously terrible. The worst Special Teams of the DVOA era belong to the 2000 Bills, with -12.9%, and the second worst was the 1997 Seahawks, with -9.8%. In the past 5 seasons, no team has been lower than -6.5%, so the Chargers special teams are currently performing about 3 times worse than any team has over the past five years.

Also, a note for whom it may concern: On the 2006 and 2007 special teams DVOA pages, the drop-down menus that allow one to browse other DVOA pages (i.e. the "Pick Position" and "Pick Year" menues) appear to be missing; they work for me on all other pages I've checked.

218 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

Saw this while looking through here for mailbag topics. I'll make sure this issue with 2006 and 2007 gets fixed. Thanks for noticing.

52 Re: Week 5 DVOA Ratings

IND's O and D look right but I'm a bit surprised to see their ST at 25th. With the exception of some stupid low net yardage punts that never should've happened (three from inside the 40 against the Texans, IIRC), their special teams has been kind of a pleasant surprise this year.