Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Week 14 DVOA Ratings
Week 14 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

Hey, look who's back on top this week! The undefeated Green Bay Packers slip into the top spot in DVOA, which now agrees with pretty much every other power ranking system on the Internet either subjective or objective. It's still close though -- in reality, what we have is a pack of four teams who are very tight at the top: Green Bay, Houston, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore. Although Green Bay had its best single-game DVOA of the season against Oakland (+55.6%), the mild decline of the previous few weeks means the Packers are not number one in Weighted DVOA. That honor belongs to Pittsburgh. Houston is second in Weighted DVOA, although that's a bit of a mirage, as their rating is mostly built by the four-game string of games before Matt Schaub was injured. Houston's DVOA over the last three games is just 5.5%. By the end of the season, the Week 7-10 games will drop a bit in strength in the Weighted DVOA formula, which will drop Houston a little bit.

It's also interesting to note that Green Bay's offensive DVOA drops out of the number one slot this week -- ever so slightly behind New England. The difference is tiny, and both teams along with New Orleans rank among the most powerful offenses we've ever measured.

Top 12 Offensive DVOA as of Week 14, 1992-2011
2007 NE 50.6%
2010 NE 48.7%
2002 KC 41.8%
2004 IND 39.0%
1998 DEN 35.6%
2011 NE 35.3%
1995 DAL 35.2%
2011 GB 35.1%
2004 KC 33.8%
2011 NO 33.7%
1993 SF 33.0%
1992 SF 33.0%

The current offensive ratings are much like the current total ratings, with the top three reversed in Weighted DVOA. By Weighted DVOA, the top offense right now belongs to New Orleans, then Green Bay and New England.

* * * * *

This week, I decided to only produce the playoff odds report which is adjusted for injured quarterbacks in Chicago and Houston. It's pretty obvious at this point that the offenses have declined for both teams. What's interesting is that the offenses have declined roughly the same amount, even though they started from different places. Houston has dropped from 25.5% offensive DVOA to -4.0%, a drop of 29.5%. Chicago has dropped from -1.5% offensive DVOA to -34.0%, a drop of -32.5%. 

Last week's adjustments were based on the difference between each team's offensive DVOA before the quarterback change and after. I reduced each team's Weighted DVOA by half that amount. This week, I did the same thing, only I reduced each team's Weighted DVOA by three-fourths of the amount. Next week, I'll adjust by the entire amount. It's not very scientific, but we've never done this sort of thing with the playoff odds before, so I'm just sort of playing it by ear.

By the way, we're no longer adjusting Kansas City, as the drop with Tyler Palko hasn't been very large. Kansas City had -17.4% offensive DVOA through Week 11, -24.0% after, a drop of less than seven percentage points.

* * * * *

I don't have anything else particularly interesting to say about the DVOA ratings today so I thought instead I would look through and point out some of the interesting numbers in our offensive and defensive line stats.

  • New Orleans is the top team in offensive Adjusted Line Yards, by a healthy amount. Tennessee is the team on the bottom, by a similarly healthy amount.
  • If you look at the directional numbers, you'll see that New Orleans has been excellent running left or center, but not so great running to the right. New England, which ranks second in ALY, is the opposite: excellent running right or center, not so great running to the left. And Houston, which ranks third in ALY, is at its best running straight up the gut.
  • Chicago leads the league in ALY on defense, but they're actually not very good in short-yardage situations (67 percent conversions, which ranks 21st). They also have given up some really long runs, so they're 19th in Second Level Yards per carry and 27th in Open Field Yards per carry.
  • San Francisco, on the other hand, has given up almost no runs of note. They rank second in ALY, first in short-yardage success, first in SLY allowed and second in OFY allowed. The weird thing is that they don't stuff a lot of runners behind the line -- only 16 percent of runs stopped for a loss or no gain, which ranks 29th in the NFL.
  • Looking for perhaps the biggest reason why the Packers' pass defense has struggled this year? Look at the decline in the pass rush. The 2010 Packers ranked fourth in Adjusted Sack Rate. The 2011 Packers are just 30th. Total numbers hide the drop a little bit because Green Bay opponents have to throw so many passes.
  • Baltimore has moved in the other direction. We said during the offseason that the Ravens' biggest problem was finding a pass rush after they ranked just 27th in ASR in 2010. This year, the Ravens are first overall.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 14 weeks of 2011, 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>

1 GB 28.8% 2 26.5% 3 13-0 35.1% 2 9.1% 21 2.9% 7
2 HOU 27.8% 1 30.5% 2 10-3 18.4% 6 -8.4% 6 1.1% 13
3 PIT 27.5% 3 32.4% 1 10-3 19.4% 5 -5.9% 9 2.3% 9
4 BAL 27.1% 4 26.2% 4 10-3 9.4% 10 -21.1% 1 -3.5% 29
5 NE 23.3% 5 20.7% 5 10-3 35.3% 1 15.0% 29 3.0% 6
6 NYJ 23.0% 6 19.9% 7 8-5 6.0% 15 -12.3% 2 4.7% 4
7 ATL 17.8% 9 20.5% 6 8-5 9.3% 11 -8.1% 7 0.4% 18
8 SF 17.6% 7 15.1% 9 10-3 -2.3% 21 -11.5% 3 8.4% 2
9 NO 17.1% 8 17.3% 8 10-3 33.7% 3 16.1% 30 -0.4% 19
10 TEN 12.3% 11 7.9% 11 7-6 8.9% 12 1.7% 13 5.1% 3
11 CHI 10.8% 10 12.7% 10 7-6 -8.6% 26 -9.4% 5 10.0% 1
12 DET 8.0% 13 7.5% 12 8-5 6.2% 14 -7.7% 8 -5.9% 31
13 NYG 7.1% 12 7.5% 13 7-6 15.5% 7 9.7% 23 1.2% 11
14 DAL 6.4% 14 5.1% 14 7-6 11.6% 9 3.9% 15 -1.3% 23
15 CIN 4.0% 16 4.8% 15 7-6 5.7% 16 3.7% 14 2.0% 10
16 PHI 2.9% 15 3.6% 17 5-8 7.0% 13 4.5% 16 0.5% 17
17 SD -0.3% 21 3.6% 16 6-7 14.6% 8 12.5% 26 -2.4% 25
18 MIA -2.5% 17 1.4% 18 4-9 -3.4% 22 0.3% 11 1.2% 12
19 DEN -2.8% 19 -0.2% 20 8-5 -1.5% 19 5.0% 18 3.7% 5
20 SEA -4.4% 23 1.1% 19 6-7 -6.3% 24 -1.0% 10 1.0% 14
21 CAR -4.8% 20 -1.5% 21 4-9 19.7% 4 18.6% 31 -6.0% 32
22 OAK -6.5% 18 -10.5% 22 7-6 1.7% 18 7.2% 19 -1.0% 22
23 WAS -10.9% 25 -13.9% 24 4-9 -9.1% 27 1.3% 12 -0.5% 21
24 BUF -11.5% 22 -21.8% 29 5-8 5.1% 17 14.8% 28 -1.8% 24
25 JAC -13.3% 28 -11.2% 23 4-9 -21.2% 31 -10.8% 4 -2.9% 27
26 TB -16.7% 24 -22.3% 30 4-9 -3.8% 23 13.8% 27 1.0% 15
27 CLE -16.8% 26 -15.2% 25 4-9 -7.1% 25 9.2% 22 -0.5% 20
28 MIN -16.9% 27 -20.0% 28 2-11 -2.3% 20 11.6% 25 -3.0% 28
29 ARI -19.1% 30 -17.7% 27 6-7 -12.9% 28 8.5% 20 2.3% 8
30 KC -22.8% 29 -16.5% 26 5-8 -18.9% 30 4.6% 17 0.7% 16
31 STL -38.9% 31 -38.6% 31 2-11 -26.1% 32 9.9% 24 -2.8% 26
32 IND -39.1% 32 -41.7% 32 0-13 -13.8% 29 19.7% 32 -5.6% 30
  • 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).

1 GB 28.8% 13-0 31.2% 10.8 1 -2.0% 29 -1.4% 18 3.9% 2
2 HOU 27.8% 10-3 30.4% 9.0 5 -1.1% 25 -10.5% 31 15.9% 25
3 PIT 27.5% 10-3 27.0% 9.6 3 -0.2% 20 -12.7% 32 14.9% 21
4 BAL 27.1% 10-3 24.6% 9.8 2 2.1% 11 -4.4% 24 20.1% 28
5 NE 23.3% 10-3 24.5% 9.5 4 -2.1% 30 -5.6% 27 10.5% 10
6 NYJ 23.0% 8-5 23.4% 8.1 8 -0.2% 19 2.5% 16 12.8% 14
7 ATL 17.8% 8-5 15.6% 8.7 6 1.6% 12 -4.3% 23 3.1% 1
8 SF 17.6% 10-3 22.5% 8.1 9 -4.6% 32 -5.3% 26 5.8% 4
9 NO 17.1% 10-3 17.8% 8.6 7 -2.7% 31 -1.3% 17 12.8% 15
10 TEN 12.3% 7-6 14.7% 7.7 10 0.9% 15 -8.2% 29 16.4% 26
11 CHI 10.8% 7-6 11.5% 7.5 11 0.9% 16 2.5% 15 12.9% 16
12 DET 8.0% 8-5 10.6% 7.4 12 0.8% 17 7.3% 7 8.3% 7
13 NYG 7.1% 7-6 4.4% 7.2 14 1.1% 14 6.2% 10 16.9% 27
14 DAL 6.4% 7-6 9.9% 7.2 15 -1.9% 28 -2.2% 19 15.5% 23
15 CIN 4.0% 7-6 7.6% 7.4 13 5.7% 3 -10.3% 30 6.9% 6
16 PHI 2.9% 5-8 4.7% 6.4 18 -0.3% 21 6.2% 11 13.6% 19
17 SD -0.3% 6-7 5.9% 6.0 21 -0.7% 23 9.5% 4 15.8% 24
18 MIA -2.5% 4-9 -1.9% 6.6 16 1.5% 13 11.6% 3 11.8% 12
19 DEN -2.8% 8-5 -2.2% 6.5 17 2.9% 9 -3.7% 22 6.6% 5
20 SEA -4.4% 6-7 -1.9% 6.4 19 -1.6% 27 3.1% 14 13.5% 18
21 CAR -4.8% 4-9 -4.2% 5.9 22 -1.6% 26 9.4% 5 14.9% 20
22 OAK -6.5% 7-6 -3.4% 6.3 20 2.9% 8 -5.1% 25 23.5% 31
23 WAS -10.9% 4-9 -15.7% 5.5 24 -0.9% 24 -2.3% 20 12.6% 13
24 BUF -11.5% 5-8 -11.4% 5.6 23 4.0% 6 6.0% 12 30.3% 32
25 JAC -13.3% 4-9 -13.3% 4.9 27 6.8% 2 -3.0% 21 15.2% 22
26 TB -16.7% 4-9 -21.7% 5.1 26 9.4% 1 6.4% 9 21.8% 29
27 CLE -16.8% 4-9 -11.6% 5.1 25 -0.2% 18 11.8% 2 4.8% 3
28 MIN -16.9% 2-11 -17.7% 4.7 29 4.0% 5 5.7% 13 13.3% 17
29 ARI -19.1% 6-7 -14.7% 4.7 28 -0.7% 22 -5.7% 28 10.8% 11
30 KC -22.8% 5-8 -22.8% 4.6 30 2.3% 10 6.5% 8 22.6% 30
31 STL -38.9% 2-11 -43.6% 2.6 31 4.0% 7 16.3% 1 8.6% 8
32 IND -39.1% 0-13 -44.2% 2.2 32 5.0% 4 8.9% 6 9.9% 9


260 comments, Last at 20 Dec 2011, 11:33am

1 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

New Orleans at 9 is so meh to me. In this case, the stats don't tell the story. Atlanta over New Orleans says alot. Even the year they won the SB and started 13-0; the Saints were only 6th overall. On a neutral field would you really take 8 teams over the Saints?

8 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Yes, I would. In their dome, I would take 0 teams over New Orleans. I don't know the DVOA splits, but conventional stats shows that NO is just nowhere near as close to as good outside of New Orleans, and it doesn't even seem to be a outdoor/indoor thing after struggling in STL and having a above average, but unspectacular game in ATL.

114 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

"Nowhere near as close to as good outside of New Orleans" doesn't sound like the team with the most away victories over the last three years in the league to me. That team is, in fact, NO.

129 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I didn't realize that the abilities of the 2009-2010 Saints to win outside of NO helps the 2011 Saints come January playing outside New Orleans.

This year, they have been worse. Brees' numbers in road games are a lot lower than his numbers at home (which are basically along the lines of what Rodgers is doing).

11 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Atlanta over New Orleans says alot.

I'm guessing that by this you mean: "Anyone with a pair of eyes can tell the Saints are far better than the Falcons, so your ratings are obviously wrong." However, if that's true, why did the NO/ATL game go into overtime? Really should have been a blow-out, right?

I'm guessing NO's DVOA is being severely dragged down by losses to TB and STL. That should also drag down anyone's non-scientific, football-intuition-based rating---no truly excellent team would lose to both of those terrible squads.

63 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

New Orleans opened as a 3-point favorite AT Atlanta which translates into roughly a six-point favorite on a neutral field. That's a big margin-- Vegas clearly thinks NO is significantly better than ATL.

74 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Didn't we already have a discussion that Vegas' lines don't represent just how likely a team is to win/cover, but also a way to make sure that the money is bet in a way that the books make money regardless of the outcome?

Regardless, is single TD spread really THAT indicative of Vegas thinking that NO is significantly better than ATL? To me anything within a single score is basically a toss-up.

76 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Six points is a lot. Remember that three points on the road is like nine points at home. It's unusual to be favored on the road.

75 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

But Vegas has been wrong all season with regards to NO.
6-0 at home ATS.
0-5-1 on the road ATS until this week.
Now, it seems the books have come around to this fact with the last game (even though NO almost lost that one too), but it's clear New Orleans is a different team away from home.

245 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The only way to determine if Vegas was wrong is to present the amount of betting on each side. If New Orleans is 6-0 at home ATS and there was equal betting on each side, then Vegas was right. The outcome of the game is irrelevant. Vegas wants equal betting on each side, period.

254 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Well by those standards, since Vegas will move the line until there's equal betting on both sides, Vegas is never wrong. But my definition of them being wrong is if the line needs to move a lot, or if certain trends don't get corrected. In this last game, I believe the line started at NO -5 and moved to -3.5, which seems like the line is still being set too high. Bettors should not be able to go 11-1-1 following extremely simple rules.

12 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I probably would take at least at 8 teams over NO on a Neutral Grass Field. That being said, I think NO is the 2nd Best Team in the NFC and a Top 5 Team Overall

26 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

You would have a solid argument for any of the teams ranked higher than them to be favored on a neutral field, except maybe the inexplicably DVOA-friendly Jets and the Falcons.

73 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I'm not sure the Schaub-less Texans could beat the Saints right now, though it might be a good match.

The difference in DVOA between NO and ATL is small enough that it probably can be neglected. I think the perception comes from ATL's defense not getting as much attention as NO's offense. That's just life in the present-day NFL.

90 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The Texans, with Schaub, couldn't beat the Saints back in week 3. It was a good match.

Teams which gained over 300 yards against Houston, 2011

1. Saints 454
2. Ravens 402
3. Falcons 337
4. Dolphins 306

Carolina may make this list. That will be a good match.

93 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The Texans, with Schaub, couldn't beat the Saints back in week 3... on the road.

Actually, Houston had the best performance against New Orleans on the road. Who know what would happen away from New Orleans right now.

Although, I don't know about all this neutral field business. Each year there are two neutral field games out of 267; there's not a lot of data on them.

100 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by Perfundle (not verified)

Two? The Super Bowl and what? the Pro Bowl?

Anyway, we're up to 2 (or 3) this year; Jets and Giants both play in the same stadium and will be playing later this year. That's pretty much a neutral field - neither team will be using the visiting team locker room.

103 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by nick thunderdome (not verified)

This: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NFL_International_Series
I don't see "home team designations" as meaning anything.

106 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Good point. Neutral is a theoretical construct anyway. But I crunched these numbers for Saints point differential

Saints Home +21.5
Saints Away Even

This gives some credence to lower rankings on neutral fields.

I believe that the Saints will get little/no attention from certain national sports outlets until they win a game where it's below freezing (see 2006 NFC Championship Game). This skew doesn't to affect other southern dome teams like Dallas or Atlanta for some reason. Maybe it's just my homerism?

134 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Well, after some research, it seems it's mainly because of Brees.

Here are the split stats for the last four years (since Rodgers became the starter):

Manning: 93.0 QBR at home, 97.8 on the road
Brady: 109.1/99.3
Rodgers: 108.7/100.6
Brees: 110.1/90.4

That's an amazing split in passer rating, and it's not even a one-year phenomenon.

140 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

If you are counting the last four years for Manning as 2008, 2009 and 2010 (since he hasn't played this season) that coincides with the opening of the Luke. Odd that his passer rating is nearly 5 points better on the road.

235 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Interesting. I calculated the same for two other southern dome QBs:

Romo 97.6 H / 93.9 A
Ryan 95.7 H / 80.6 A

So both Ryan and Brees QBR drop ~17% when on the road. And they play very similar schedules. This might be an actual thing.

Ryan has a similar split, where Romo is "consistent". (Although I got lazy and just averaged by year, and Romo's 2010 was 87 H / 102 A in 6 G, so had I weighted his seasons/games properly, he would have about an 8 point split.)

It's too bad PFR doesn't break splits into dome/grass or even stadium. Except that I have other things that I should be doing.

87 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

"On a neutral field would you really take 8 teams over the Saints?"

It hardly seems fair to play 88 against 11. But yeah, I'd take the other 8 teams.

97 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I wouldn't be so certain. If the opponent plays defense like http://www.footballoutsiders.com/images/TDZ/Walkthrough100611-1.jpg, with Graham instead of Johnson, then New Orleans has a chance.

On the offensive side, even supposing there's no "88 men on the field" flag, think of all the pre-snap penalties!

2 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Packers ST is in the top ten! Hide the women and children!

57 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Yes and no. Looking at the breakdowns here, these are the points over average for each of the 5 areas of special teams that FO tracks.

AREA . 2011 . 2010 . Change
FG/XP: 6.1 . .-0.1 . . 6.2
KICKS: 1.4 . .-7.0 . . 8.4
K.RET: 6.2 . .-6.1 . .12.3
PUNT: -5.6 . . 3.5 . .-9.1
P.RET: 5.6 . .-2.4 . . 8.0
TOTAL:13.7 . -12.1 . .25.8

The biggest positive change is in kickoff return, and while the new rules could affect that, I think Randall Cobb affects that more than the rule change espcially when you look at the affect he has had on punt returns as well.

Next is kick off coverage (KICKS above) and yeah, I do think the new rule helps there. If Crosby can't boot it through the endzone he has been getting the kicks up more giving more time for the coverage unit to get down field. Still they are only getting 1.4 points more than average so it's still not great. Of course as I've mentioned several of the Packers draft picks played on coverage units in college, I really think the 2011 draft board was done with an if guys were close the ones with better special teams potential got the nod even over a player that might have been a bit better on offense or defense.

Punt return is pretty obviously the affect of Cobb. Though again some of these other rookies are blocking on the punt return units as well.

FG/XP is just Crosby having a career year and is fair to count as luck.

Punts is actually surprising but has been trending upwards from it's low of around -11 (I think) back in week 5 or 6. The Packers don't punt a lot (3.2 a game this year vs 4.4 a game last year), so the needle doesn't move a lot. That unit, recently, is playing a lot more like the 3.5 it was last year. Masthay got himself another special teams player of the week award recently. The Packers being 4th in weighted ST DVOA vs the 7th overall I think is mostly because the punting is much closer to last year than the rest of this year.

The rules certainly help, but I think there was a concerted effort to improve ST in the draft this year, and why not? It was clearly the weakest unit of the three last year and the players that are helping with it aren't only good for ST. When the roster has finally been rebuilt well enough you can afford to shift focus a bit like that. It won't happen next year as I expect the majority of the draft on the defensive side of the ball and the old attitude of if they can help ST, great, if not, oh well.

Just digging a little deeper on it. It's still crazy considering how bad special teams were the last few years, and I still think Shawn Slocumb is a poor ST Coordinator, give the Packers Dave Toub and I bet all the units are 10-20% better than what they are right now.

70 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The punting numbers for the Packers make me wonder about a few other things, things I don't have the answers for, but there are a lot of bright people here, so maybe someone does.

The Pats and the Packers give up a lot of yards. I'm wondering if the average field position start for their opponents is unusually bad, with a combination of the new kickoff rules (both these teams score a *lot*), and the fact that these teams hardly ever go three-and-out, so even on non-scoring drives would pin their opponents extra deep. I don't have the numbers, but it seems possible. This would give their opponents the opportunity to gain more yards, whether successfully or not, than the average team.

When you combine that with the observation that both defenses pretty much suck, you may have some explanation for the apparent disparity between statistical ratings and results. They don't suck as much as we think (and the stats seem to show) because their opponents have so much field to cover. It would also explain how they can give up so many yards and relatively few points: their opponents have farther to go to get in scoring position. Add to that the fact that the Pats and the Packers play ahead and thus teams eschew field goals, leading to some 4th down conversions and some scoring failures, and maybe we have a more complete picture.

84 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

In fact the numbers are right here on FO (not updated yet for this week, but will be in a few hours, I'm guessing):
(Look under LOS/Dr in the Defense section)
So yes, GB and NE's opponents do have bad field position. But it's only around 2.5 yards worse than the average starting position. Their opponents average 10 drives per game, meaning an extra 25 yards that their opponents can get per game due to field position, which doesn't seem like a lot.

Now, something else that might play a slight role is this: GB averages 0.7 drives less than their opponents. This is mainly due to their 7 defensive and special teams TDs, forcing the defense to be out there for two straight drives.

3 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I have been reduced to rooting for my favored team to continue to have the biggest shortfall of actual wins to estimated wins, in order to secure higher draft picks for a team that should have won more games.


4 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

We're Number One!! We're Number One!! Oops-- of course there's another asterisk, based on the weighted results. Yet if one simply looks at points, for the first 6 weeks, the Packers averaged 33 pts a game, and allowed 20. In their last 7 games, the corresponding numbers are 39 and 23, a bit better. For the last 5 games, they are 38 and 20, better still. But so what-- wins are wins.

We don't need no stinkin' weights!!

But Aaron is dead right about the Packers' pass rush-- Mike Neal, to quote Bob McGinn today in the Journal-Sentinel, has been "just a guy" for his 4 games in the lineup after a preseason injury. Obviously Cullen Jenkins was more than that last year.

Five more than fascinating playoff tests looming (only three can actually occur, of course)-- 1) Giants in 2nd Rd (presuming NY wins division and WC game) in the "2007 two-fer"-- a chance to once again deny the Packers at Lambeau and once again upend history over a team that recently defeated them 38-35 in New Jersey; 2) Saints in rematch of wild and wooly opener between past two SB winners; 3) A Steeler rematch in SB. Never happened in NFL before in successive seasons, but was once a staple in baseball and definitely in NBA; 4) Patriots. Belichick and Brady try to deny Packers from attaining what they almost achieved themselves; 5) dare I say it-- Tebow! God vs. Lombardi-- not sure who wins that one.

Of course, it will probably wind up Detroit-San Francisco-Baltimore, but whatever.

10 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The Cowboys and Bills met in the Super Bowl in successive seasons.

Anyway, I like that gauntlet of teams (Giants, Saints, Steelers). I would like Giants, Saints, Ravens, because after having to outscore Eli and Drew, you then get the league's best defense. Just to mix things up.

13 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The Giants Gallic edge rusher could once again establish that this position is 2nd only to the qb, in terms of potential influence on a game's outcome, in a playoff game against the Packers.

I think a 49ers/Packers play off game might be quite entertaining.

213 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I would add a GB-Niners playoff game to your list of fascinating scenarios. No one's paying any attention to the Niners this season (probably because their offense is bad). But they have excellent special teams, and one of the best defenses in the league this year.

The intriguing thing would be, of course, how their defense deals with the Packers offense, but just as fascinating would be how their generally inept offense fares against the porous Packers' D.

And it would have some history behind it...the last time the Niners were among the NFL elites, their perennial NFC competitors were the Giants and the Packers.

5 FYI: Playoff odds link is broken.

The link above for the revised playoff odds is broken, just like the Bears offense.

6 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Can you clue us in on what the Packers DVOA vs the Raiders was before Aaron Rodgers left the game? Or even just in the first half? I imagine that the 4th quarter was once again a huge drain on their DVOA.

9 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

no real point going there. Aaron and others have explained they haven't seen any reason to adjust for garbage time based on results in previous years. Packers are simply the exception that proves the rule here-- if there was a first 3 Quarters DVOA, would think the Packers would dominate and begin to show they are more of a historically dominant team than they are currently credited for, but then again that would discount some teams (any one in particular that comes to mind??? Hmmmm..... maybe they play in the Mountain Time Zone??) and their ability to rally late.

I'm just watching the games, but to me the Packers are pretty close to what McCarthy said on Sunday-- unbeatable if they play reasonably well, at least to this crop of opponents. And so far they have played at least reasonably well in every key test going back an entire year and, now, 19 games-- so this will all sort out by February.

18 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Too bad GB's lack of willingness to run up the score will likely prevent them from setting the Points Scored Record for the Season. As of 2 or so weeks ago when I checked, basically the entire difference in points scored for the 2011 Packers vs 2007 Patriots came from the Differnce in 4th Quarter Scoring

23 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Which is also a commentary on Belichick--at least that season in the storm of Spygate when, to quote Bill Simmons, Pats were in "Eff-You" mode that entire year.

But-- and this may be getting way too deep into the head games-- did that "crush them every chance we can" mentality (Remember Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma team) lead to a worse performance once they were in a game where clearly that wasn't going to happen? Or was the final Giants loss simply a reflection of a series of closer than expected outcomes (Ravens, Giants the first time, one of the earlier playoff games) as the Pats had already lost their edge?

So is the Packers' consistency and seeming unwillingness to play "EFF-You" football in the 4th Quarter a better predictor of success in three playoff games-- or are we simply in Billy Beane "crapshoot" land regardless?? We need a DPPA-- Deep Philosophical Psychological Adjustment.

162 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The "crush them every chance we can" mentality certainly never seemed to hurt the dominant Australia cricket team of the mid 90s-mid 00s. Obviously they lost games every now and again - we're talking about a period of more than a decade here - but they won three consecutive World Cups and were the #1 ranked test match team for God knows how long. Even when they did get in a tough spot - the 2005 Ashes series away against a very strong #2 ranked England team, for example - they battled like crazy and almost pulled off wins from a couple of seemingly impossible positions.

217 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Possibly, but I think the far easier explanation is that Dan Koppen and the rest of the Patriots' interior line simply couldn't handle the Giants "Four Aces" pass rush when all four of them were playing the best game of their career. And even then, the Giants needed a magical ball-grabbing helmet and some Asante Samuel butterfingers to win.

Your point would tend to imply that the Pats had somehow gotten "soft" and unable to execute in tight, game-deciding situations because they had scored too many points earlier in the season. But that doesn't hold up. When the game was tight and the Pats were down with little time left, they executed a beautiful drive against a defense playing teriffically to go down the field and score a TD. Unfortunately, they did so with just a little to much time left on the clock.

I don't think having scored fewer points earlier in the season would have somehow magically make Asante Samuel hold onto the errant ball that Eli threw, or would have helped Richard Seymour sack Eli before he got off the wing and the prayer that became the helmet catch, or would have helped Rodney Harrison dislodge the ball from Tyree's hands (strike that...from his hand and head). It also probably wouldn't have helped Randy Moss corral either of the two near-Hail Mary's that Brady threw to him at the very end of the game.

21 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I would say that there is a point in asking, and I'm not just posting this be a jerk about the way that FO calculates DVOA (you all know who I'm talking about). I'm honestly just interested to know how not playing the last 1/3 of the game affected their overall DVOA. After all this was the Packers best game of the season, even with all that garbage time. It seems like it could potentially have been one of the best DVOA games ever if they had kept the pedal to the floor, and won 67-0. But instead the Packers made like an NHL team with a 3 goal lead and made the game unwatchable by clogging up the middle of the ice for the whole third period.

7 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Woah, the Niners rush defense DVOA (-34.4%) is better than any team's rush offense DVOA in the NFL (Carolina has the best with a DVOA of +29.7%). All Jim Harbaugh needs is a time machine and he can win the superbowl in 1973.

15 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I'm not so sure. As much as the 49ers Passing Game and Offense can struggle, could you imagine them trying to complete passes without all the rule that currently favor offenses. Limited Passing Game in 2011=No Passing Game at all in the 70s

30 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Well, the 1974 Steelers won the Super Bowl with a dominating defense and 172 rushing yards per game while their QBs combined to complete 43% of their passes for 12 TDs, 21 interceptions, and a 48.9 rating. Could Alex Smith really be that much worse? I think the 49ers would do just fine.

16 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

BTW, Playoff Odds suggests that the Packers have a 15.8% chance of losing at least two of their remaining three games. I would go to Vegas and bet my house, my firstborn, and my expected income for the remainder of my life if you could let me bet at 1/6 on the Packers winning twice. And yes, even if there is a slight prospect that McCarthy pulls the plug after this week-- whioch obviously is NOT reflected in the DVOA odds. If anyone seriously believes that the Chiefs with Palko and the Bears playing at Lambeau with Hanie at QB can win, well be my guest. I would bet you couldn't get 1/20 odds in Vegas for that bet.

The true 16-0 odds have to be well over 50% now. I'd say the Packers are 90% to win at KC, probably 90% to beat the Bears, and maybe 75% to beat Detroit. Which is just over 60% to be perfect.

25 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

But Aaron said he adjusted the Playoff Odds report for the QB injuries. So if those numbers are being used, then the projection does know in this case.

Really the projection is just goofy. 40% change to go 16-0, but only 43% chance to 15-1 or better? It's like the projection expects GB to play exactly one game they are likely to lose, and the other two games the other team might as well not even show up. The percentages are too close for anything else to make sense.

I'm guessing there was some kind of mistake updating those odds. If the numbers were added together instead of inclusive (which is how they are normally presented), then GB would have an 83% chance of going 15-1 or better, which would be much more reasonable.

37 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I don't think I've ever seen a 15-1 that is smaller than a 16-0, or a 1-15 that is smaller than 0-16, though I suppose that isn't definitive. However, with only one team vying for each type of "perfection" and no access to previous weeks data I can't be sure.

Maybe I've just assumed they were inclusive because I've never seen odds that would contradict this (e.g., 15-1 lower than 16-0, or similar, or odds that added up to more than 100%), however, now that I think about it that would be expected in most cases, since 15-1 will always be easier to achieve than 16-0, and the only way the odds would add up to 100% is for a 15-0 team entering it's final game.

Aaron, if you read this can you clarify whether the final record projection odds are exclusive of each other?

42 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Your assumptions go out the window as the difficulty of the victories eases.

If the Packers were 50% to win each game, then the odds at this juncture would be:

16-0 12.5%
13-3 12.5%
and the two in-between outcomes, 15-1 and 14-2, would be identical at 37.5%

If the Packers were/are 70% to win each game, then the odds would be:

16-0 34.3%
13-3 2.7%
14-2 18.9%
15-1 44.1%-- the most likely outcome

But if the Packers climb to 80% to win each game, then the odds would be 51.2% to go 16-0, and it would become the most likely, by far, actual outcome.

It is patently obvious that the 15-1 odds number is exclusive of any other result-- as without it, DVOA would be saying that the likeliest outcome would be for the Packers to lose at least two more games, which is absurd.

31 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

In the end, the "Any Given Sunday" nature of the NFL still applies. Look at the other end of the spectrum. The Colts have a 74% of winning one game and a 29% chance of winning two games. If anyone wants to let me bet 1:3 or 1:4 that the Colts won't win two games, let me know. Those numbers seem out of line, but I'm sure that's how FO has them modeled based on past results.

38 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Exactly. That 15.8% includes all the reasons that the Packers could lose two or more games, including a run of incredibly bad luck, deciding to rest starters, a New Years' Day ice storm at Lambeau, an injury to Rogers, and so on, and so on. When you think of all the things that could go wrong to cause the Pack to lose two or three of its remaining games, and then say that the chance of that happening is around the same as throwing exactly three heads on three consecutive tosses, well, it doesn't sound that unreasonable.

47 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

You could spin it any whch way you want it-- maybe there will be a nuclear holocaust on Dec 24, maybe there will be a volcanic eruption at Yellowstone (real possibility, btw-- and much of the Plains States will be flattened when it happens), etc, etc...

I am going to come back to something I said a number of weeks ago-- too many 100 year floods are happening these days in sports to be treated as within normal statistical variation, even on the outside of same. Tebow is yet another example.

The models are flawed. Conditions are changing. By definition they are rear-views, and thus are never truly "predictive". The Packers ain't losing 2 games-- you know it, God and Tebow know it, the Chiefs, Bears and Lions know it-- not 15.8% of the time, not 1.588888888888888% of the time. It's an absurd statistical attempt to measure something that is beyond DVOA's grasp. But I give FO credit for trying-- almost everybody else doesn't lift a finger.

66 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Certainly the Packers have a good chance of going 16-0.

But the chances of GB losing at least one of the next three games are much bigger than 1.58%. They are bigger, even assuming that GB doesn't have a critical injury or bizarre calls going against them-- there's a chance they might just get outplayed for 60 minutes and lose. That wouldn't make me think the Chiefs, Bears, or Lions are better than GB; no matter what happens the rest of the season, GB has established themselves as a (or the) top team this season.

But the paucity of winless teams in NFL history suggests that these upsets do happen to good teams; there are many examples. There's no reason it can't happen to GB too.

69 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

My apologies-- you're talking about the odds of losing two games! That's weird to contemplate, but I'd still put it at least at 1%. I would agree that 15% seems too high-- maybe that number is high to match examples in NFL history of teams collapsing? A key injury or other tumultuous event is possible, I suppose; but I certainly hope that doesn't happen!

131 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Detroit is the most formidable team left on the Packers' schedule and if they've lost their chance at an unbeaten season and have clinched the #1 seed, it's hard to argue that there's any reason for them to play their starters in Week 17 (at least not for the whole game). I can easily see 14-2 if the Packers somehow lose one of their next two games.

I think the odds of them being 15-0 going into the Detroit game are pretty high, though...but I would go so far as to say I'd favor Detroit in week 17 if the Packers aren't unbeaten and if they've clinched the #1 seed.

68 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

If the Lions go into game 16 needing a win to make the playoffs, you think they wouldn't at least consider Ndomastomping Rodgers? When he got hurt last year, that same Packers offense put up 3 pts.

I'd say there's more than a 16% chance a desperate Lions team beats a Packers team playing in poor conditions, even if they have to play dirty to do it.

81 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I'm on record as saying the Lions are 25% to win that game-- the 15.8 number are the odds DVOA gives to the Packers losing twice. I went on a rant, but actually i think the chances that the Packers lose at least two of the remaining three games are about 5-6%, at most-- a far cry from 15.8.

82 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

First off, Rodgers' concussion last year was his own damn fault for not sliding. No Lion player hit him in the head on that play.

Second, it would be stupid to blatantly go out of the way to injure Rodgers, knowing that it would probably lead to a suspended starter for the playoffs. As nasty as some of the Lions players have been, they haven't done anything that got an opponent carted off the field, unlike, say, James Harrison.

115 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Nick Fairley, Andre Fluellen... doesn't have to be a STARTER...

But, Detroit's reputation for dirty play is exaggerated and there is no reason to believe they'll play dirty against GB any more than anyone else. Rodgers needs to learn to avoid contact. Throwing the ball away now and then might hurt his passing numbers, but it will give him more seasons to acquire them in.

121 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Agreed-- he just blamed himself for the blindside hit which caused the "fumble" vs Raiders-- said he should have thrown ball away.

203 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

You do realize that video is readily available on the internet right?

#55 clearly hits Rodgers in the head with his shoulder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vHm0YoDo-c&feature=related

However, I agree that if Rodgers had slid he could have avoided the injury.

85 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

15.8% does sound improbable, but you remember 2009? Two 13-0 teams? Take a wild guess on how many of them lost at least 2 games in their last 3.

135 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

One of those teams (NO) had a DVOA higher after 13 games than the Packers have right now. And that same team lost two games while playing their starters, and one of them was at home to a team that was, I beleive, 2-12 at the time.

91 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Something you need to factor into your considerations. Since the 49ers have now lost a 3rd game, the Packers only need one more victory to clinch the #1 seed. By Monday morning, they might well be into a "rest their starters mode."

I seem to recall the Colts lost 2 of their final three a few years ago doing that, after they had started 13-0. (Googles)

Why yes, it was only two years ago!


Nobody really thought either the Jets or the Bills were a better team, but the Colts didn't play to win.

94 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

And that was with a team that really didn't have anything to play for. New Orleans that year did have something to play for (home field advantage in the NFC) and they still lost all three games.

112 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

They wound up with #1 seed anyway though. Vikings lost to Carolina the same week that Saints lost to Dallas, so they kept their 3 game lead with 2 to go. Vikes lost again the next week, and Saints laid down against TB, which is when I learned not to spend ridiculous sums on late season field level tickets.

219 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Not just much of the Plains states. We're talking a worldwide catastrophe if (or rather when) Yellowstone blows. Not only would it be as powerful as some huge number of nuclear weapons going off in Wyoming, and would it probably kill all life within almost a thousand mile radius, but it would coat most of the rest of North America in nasty volcanic ash (completely crushing our food production capability), and create a dust cloud that would screw the planet's climate for decades afterwards (messing with the rest of the world's food production).

Aftershocks could also tip off other seismic events around the continent, further compounding the problem.

And geologically, we're due. From what I've read, the explosion is going to happen very soon, plus or minus a couple hundred thousand years.

226 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

This always leads me to the same thought, if it's going to wipe us all out the why not try and do something about it? The magma chamber is going to release a massive amount of energy at some stage, why not attempt to take some of that energy away by using it as the world's largest geothermal power source? It would make the Hoover dam look like chicken feed. I don't really care how pretty it is when leaving it alone will definitely lead to a mass extinction?

232 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I'm not any kind of physist, nor do I play one on tv, but I imagine what you are proposing is near impossible. If we could control volcanoes to any degree, wouldn't it have been done with smaller ones near populated areas first?

252 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Not saying it would be simple but if you can deal with the temperatures inside a nuclear reactor then you might be able to at least think about it. If it's a choice between being annihilated or trying then maybe we should at least think about it? I would have thought the biggest problem would be the chance of inadvertently setting the damn thing off, there's quite a lot of pressure down there.

259 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Temperatures inside reactors (especially commercial power reactors) does not get extraordinarily high - you don't want the fuel to melt.

40 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Frankly, I think the Packers are 90%+ to beat the Bears at this point even if they rest all of their starters. If they're still going full speed, I don't see how the Bears even have a chance.

43 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

That's crazy talk. The Bears will be playing for any number of reasons not the least of which is pride.

I could easily see Lovie pulling out all the stops including some halfback options or Hester taking direct snaps.

49 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

have you seen the two teams play recently? I think 90% is about right, but if it isn't it is low. Caleb Hanie cannot get more than 14-17 pts on the board in the best of circumstances, and you could put Butkus c. 1967 alongside Uhrlacher and the Packers won't score less than 20. Not this Packer team. C'mon, Man.

The Lions do have an outside shot because they still have an offense.

51 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Been watching/attending games for a long time. I don't know you from Adam but fans like you make me grimace.

Because I have seen WAY TOO MANY good Packer teams get blindsided by wild, weird stuff.

83 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Leave it to Packer fans to overestimate their odds of winning any game.

Take this homer stuff back to ESPN. Stop trying to ruin the commentary on this site.

104 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Overestimate?? based on what?? DVOA said that the Broncos, as of 5 weeks ago, had virtually no chance of making the playoffs. And it said, as of a few weeks ago, that the Packers had a similarly poor chance of going undefeated. When Aaron listed the actual DVOA-odds for the Packers remaining 5 games, they were 51% to beat the Giants, and basically about 70% to win the other 4. 7 teams were judged as having a higher win expectancy for Games 12-16 than the Packers.

I said then and i continue to say now that, aside from the defense issues we've all been discussing for some time now (garbage time/value of INTs, etc..) this model grossly underestimated the Packers' actual odds of winning. I was not smart enough to see the Broncos coming, but I believe that in both cases the model has simply failed to properly gauge two outliers-- not because they are outliers and these results are well within the model's range, but instead because no model is perfect, including DVOA. Real-time events cause any model to change-- and in this case I would think DVOA will readjust for these and other differences that this season is causing.

I am well aware of the flaws of after-the-fact/results based analysis-- believe me, I know all the theory and foibles. But I have been saying it all before the fact-- call me a homer if you wish, but there is another possibility-- that in this particular case I-- or more correctly, the Packers' skill set-- am/is more close to the truth than DVOA.

113 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The Packers won against NYG by 3 points. How does that make any kind of case against DVOA-odds? In fact, I'd argue it makes a stronger case for it.

122 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

well, we've trod this ground already-- I'll simply say, as the Win Expectancy tables bear out, that there were very few moments throughout that 2nd half where the Packers were less than a 60-65% favorite to win that game. And several where they were over 75%. I think 70% was a much truer assessment of the Packers odds of winning that game-- the Giants played a terrific football game, the Packers did not-- and there was the outcome. Do you believe the Raiders had a 30% chance of winning on Sunday? If yes, you agree with DVOA. And mind you I am no longer challenging DVOA's overall assessment of the Packer defense-- I think it is more right than wrong-- but I am challenging the win expectancy rates their model produces.

Truer odds were at least 85% that the Packers-- a 12-13 pt favorite-- would win vs. oakland.

126 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I never said I agreed with DVOA. I don't. But a small point differential supports a smaller win percentage, not a bigger one.

109 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Really? I'm a Bears fan, and I don't think the Hanie-led Bears beat the current Packers more than one time out of ten.

[edit: just to clarify, the "really?" was directed at LionInAZ, not Paul M.]

127 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

If the Bears had Jay Cutler and Matt Forte healthy, then I'd agree they have a chance; with Caleb Hanie I will be pleasantly surprised if the Bears-Packers game is more competitive than the Raiders-Packers game was on Sunday. Playing for pride/an outside shot at making the playoffs is one thing, but I just don't see the Bears making something out of the nothing that is their offense right now. (And I'm a Bears fan, so it pains me to say all this. I would have liked nothing better than for the Bears to take out the Packers' chance of an undefeated season).

Also, I will be pleasantly surprised if I ever see Lovie pulling out all the stops in any game, ever.

151 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Rest all their starters? Just rest Rodgers and I think it's 50/50. It's not like the Packers have a defense, while the Bears do. Yeah, they lost to the Denver Tebows, but all the cool kids are doing it these days.

We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.

98 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Could you publish the rankings/numbers for First-Three-Quarters DVOA? Paul M had an interesting question. (And you might do the same for Fourth-Quarter DVOA, because you would be right to fear the wrath of {parts of the fanbase} otherwise)

In theory, this all-but-late DVOA should avoid the prevent-defense, garbage time, hail-mary, shut-the-offense down, play-the-backups issues - while still being a large enough sample to characterize each team pretty well.


111 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

In the 4th quarter, the Packers rank 2nd in Offense DVOA and 24th in Defense DVOA. I believe that doesn't include the last game. Basically very similar to where they are overall.

22 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The Bears are clearly ranked too high because Caleb Hanie is not only bad, but unlucky. MSPHLS (Marion Barber Stupid Plays per High Leverage Situation) is way better than this. Jay Cutler 4 mvp!

159 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I swear Hanie walks under 13 ladders while letting 13 black cats lead the way to practice every day.

Though I'm chalking up this week's excruciating loss to karmic vengeance for the 2006 Arizona Cardinals "They are who we thought they were" win. I would have loved to see Lovie blow his top after the game, but we know that will never happen.

191 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I was shocked to see Hanie ranked #23 in Quick Reads this week, directly below Tim Tebow. (Granted, there's a 23 DYAR gap between them, and both had negative total DYAR). He really didn't play that badly on Sunday; he just didn't play well either. (And arguably a big reason the Bears lost was that with Hanie at QB, there was no question that they were going to run the ball three times and punt late in the 4th quarter. Put Cutler in the game and I think they really would have tried for first downs. Of course, put Cutler in and the lead would have likely been too big at that point for even Tebow to catch them).

27 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Bills down to 29th in Weighted DVOA. Is this the farthest fall for a former #1 team? Or at least, one ranking #1 so late in the season?

28 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Tebow is clearly ranked too low because of a lack of media coverage for Tebow. TEBOA is way better than this. I will Tebow that you fix your shoddy rankings before Tebow wins the Super Bowl and triggers a reimagining of the entire sport.

33 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

It is funny how Buffalo is 32nd in Variance when in all realilty they have been consistent.

-Beginning of the Year people did not know how to Defend their Gimmick Offense so they were consistently putting up tons of Points and won some Shootouts

-Later in the Year teams figured out how to Slow Down their Gimmick Offense (and Fred Jackson being hurt has not helped) so now they consistently stink.

**I understand that DVOA just sees multiple good games and multiple bad games but yet they have been consistent all year (consistently good early) and (consistently bad recently)

36 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Do you understand what "variance" means? Aaron has said that the variance column is literally that -- running the Excel variance function on the team's individual game DVOAs.

Variance is not affected by the order things happen in.

The variance of the sequence (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20) is identical to the variance of the sequence (1, 20, 1, 20, 1, 20, 1, 20, 1, 20).

39 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I don't think you guys really disagree on what variance is measuring. QQ is pointing out that there are different kinds of variance worth considering.

In some cases a high variance would indicate that you can't guess what a team will do next week (DVOAs all over the place throughout the season). In the Bills case, you can predict them much more easily due to the distribution.

It's a valid point if you want to use variance to do any sort of prediction of future performance. If there were a weighted variance the Bills would be much lower, and this might be better for predicting future success.

35 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

If you look at the top defensive lines the top six are all 4-3 teams and conversely the bottom five or six teams are all 3-4s, including some very good run defenses (SF BAL, though one caveat, are the Bills a 3-4 or a 4-3? I haven't been interested enough to watch them this year).

In second level yards the trend is reversed and the 3-4 teams rise to the top. This makes some sense to me as most modern 4-3 teams use their linemen in a one gap scheme and so are more likely to penetrate into the backfield and bust up the play whereas most 3-4 linemen are two gapping, holding up their areas of the field and trying to create a wall of linemen. The 3-4 teams also have more second level defenders so their better performance in that metric makes sense too.

41 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I just really enjoy football come December. It's likely imagined but I sense a difference among the teams still in the hunt. Hint more urgency. Like players can taste the playoffs.

Just a great time.

44 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I still don't know what to think about the Lions. They could go 0-3 or 3-0 (if Green Bay loses week 16 and rests starters which yeah not going to happen). Oakland and San Diego are both tough opponents, and I'm in a history-based denial that the Lions are possibly good enough to beat both. That means we're looking at a 9-7 record and needing a lot of luck to get the WC spot.

Competition: I assume neither Arizona nor Seattle are going to win out. So the threats are Bears and Cowboys/Giants. The Bears are much worse than the Lions but have a much easier schedule as well. The Cowboys could plausibly either win out or lose out (though if they lost to Tampa that would be bad). The Giants have a tougher schedule, but the game lead in the division.

Conclusion: There isn't one. Lions need to beat Oakland and San Diego and try to beat the Packer too. I just don't see it happening.

"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel

61 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I think you worry too much.

Though I confess to not understand your tie-break situation.

Dallas and Giants must still play each other, meaning one of them gets a 7th loss for sure. And you only have to worry about one.

I would think, despite the home field difference, that your chances against a cratering Raider team without its best player are about as good as the Bears against a Seahawk team which has now won 5 of 6.

San Diego could be eliminated by Christmas and have little to play for. Bears and Hanie have no chance vs. pack-- you have a fighting chance

Just win the next two and you're in and then clap at Lambeau as we go 16-0 and who knows? We may meet again in a couple more weeks. But seriously I think you and the falcons are clear favorites for WC now.

64 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Yeah, per the Playoff Odds page, ATL is 86% likely to get a wildcard (plus the 9% chance they take the NFCS, in which case NO slides into that spot), and DET is 74% likely to take the other one. The remaining contenders are Chicago (14%), the NFCW also-ran (14%!), and the NFCE also-ran (only 3%).

The Giants and Dallas have pretty terrible tiebreakers with the rest of the NFC-- in case of a 9-7 (the best record the non-division-winner can have) tie, they usually lose. Particularly with Detroit, who beat Dallas head-to-head, and who (I think) would probably have a better Conference record than the Giants.

80 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Detroit is 4-5 against the NFC with 1 game left (@GB). Dallas is 5-2 against the NFC with two left (PHI, @NYG), but a head-to-head loss to Detroit. NYG are 3-5 against the NFC with two left (WAS, DAL).

Detroit is better off with NYG winning the NFCE and Dallas losing the head-to-head for the wildcard. If Dallas wins, and NYG finishes +1 vs Detroit in the last 3, then there are no head-to-heads and likely even conference records. If it came to it, DET and NYG likely also tie for the 3rd tiebreak (common opponents). Both are 1-4, with one left -- but both would likely lose that game (DET&GB, NYGvsDAL) to result in a WC showoff. Detroit is +87 in point differential at the moment, which is the 4th tiebreak. Detroit, unless it totally ganks a game, likely wins that, and sings hosannas to Tim Tebow and Drew Brees.

102 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I count DET at 6-5 in NFC games (wins against Bucs, VikesX2, Cowboys, Bears, Panthers; losses to Niners, Falcons, Bears, Pack, Saints) with GB left, while NYG is 4-6 (wins against Rams, Eagles, Cards, Cowboys; losses to Skins, Seahawks, Eagles, Niners, Saints, Packers) with WAS & DAL left. The only way they tie in Conference record is if DET loses to GB, and NYG beats both WAS & DAL. But in that instance, NYG wins the NFCE at 9-7 (at best, DAL also be 9-7, but NYG would have swept the head-to-head games).

133 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Well I wasn't really doing tie-break math so much as stream-of-consciousness Lions fan panic. When you haven't made the playoffs in longer than the Texans (among others) and they finally did...

"When you absolutely don't know what to do any more, then it's time to panic." - Johann van der Wiel

45 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Having watched a very good GB team lose to an awful Indy team the presumption of GB fans that 'of course' GB is a better than some high percentage to win in each of its remaining games to be pretty dangerous talk.

Let's stay grounded shall we?

52 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

OK-- I'm going all Mora/Iverson on you for this one.

I presume you mean the pre-season game.

"Pre-season??? Pre-season???"

We talkin' about "pre-season", man. We talkin' about pre-season.

You know Aaron Rodgers once lost a game of tiddlywinks as a kid, too.

53 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

No. How about the 1997 season? Ring any bells?

Good grief. Who cares about pre-season other than the concession workers?

56 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

OK, sorry. But that was then and this is now. I see a discipline and business-like even-handed approach that may not have been as prevalent in 1997. And they have something very real to shoot for. that said, the Lions game, as I said before, is the one that worries me.

60 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I'm pretty sure he means this game:


The records of the teams shown are for after the game, so you had a 8-2 team losing to a 0-10 team.

62 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

You also might remember this game:


or perhaps this game:


or of course this classic:


Upsets happen, kids.

65 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Don't be silly, Aaron.

Don't you realize that GB is obviously so transcendent that it is immune to the forces that impinge on all other, lesser NFL teams (even such schlubs as the 1985 Bears)? Thus your appeal to history is irrelevant and laughable.

110 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

PatsFan and LioninAZ,

Your whining and jealousy is annoying if not predictable.

That being said, I think that the vast majority of Packers fans here are intelligent enough to realize that the "Any Given Sunday" nature of the NFL means that even in the best matchup, there is still a 5-10% chance of losing ANY game (After all, Rodgers has been knocked out of over 5% of his career games. We're 0-3 in those I believe). If you're paying attention, you would notice that a good amount of Packers comments on these forums relate to DVOA not doing an adequate job of measuring the Packers dominance this year, because of how it values playing with a large lead, so while people may quibble about certain odds, the odds are still pretty high that we will lose a game (hopefully not in the playoffs).

So to clarify, it has nothing to do with Green Bay being "transcendent" (we're merely very good, we're no 2007 Patriots), or having "superior history" (we do, especially compared to the Lions), but thanks for bashing any way.

144 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I disagree about GB "not being the 2007 Patriots". Even if we ignore the 19 Straight Wins and the 19 Straight Games of Never Trailing in the 4th Quarter, GB simply has not come as close to losing as the 2007 Patriots came.

In 2007, the Pats came much closer to losing to Balt, Indy, and Philly than GB has come to losing any game this year. Yes GB this year does not have the insane blowouts like NE did (52-7, 56-10) but they also have not needed opponent's timeouts to have saved them from a loss

179 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I for one am a Packer fan who would not begin to compare this team to the 2007 Patriots regular season accomplishments. It took something like 14 games for them to even play a close game. The Packers have only stomped the Denver Broncos (as opposed to the Denver Tebows). And the Vikings once. The rest of the time, they've been content to win without the bloodshed.

231 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Being 30 seconds from OT is not nearly as close to losing as thinking the game is over and finding out the other team called a Time Out or even being behind late in the 4th Quarter.

187 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The 2011 Packers have not played any team of the caliber of the 2007 Colts. And I'm really not seeing a huge difference between Packers-Giants 2011 and Pats-Giants 2011.

The toughest team the Packers have faced this year was New Orleans, and that was Week 1, in Green Bay.

145 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

That being said, I think that the vast majority of Packers fans here are intelligent enough to realize that the "Any Given Sunday" nature of the NFL means that even in the best matchup, there is still a 5-10% chance of losing ANY game

Wouldn't have thought so from the more vocal Packer fans here this year. (Gives a Wave to Certain Packer Fans in the Audience!)

175 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

"...there is still a 5-10% chance of losing ANY game ..."

There is evidence that the chance of losing any game is closer to 25%.


178 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Or try this:
Take a season's worth of games. Try to assign a ranking to the teams that minimizes the number of upsets. No matter what you try, you can't do better than around 20% upsets.

Split series, rock-paper-scissors sets, and longer "beat loops" all conspire to guarantee that a sizable portion of games are upsets by mathematical necessity.

If you assume that all upsets are the result of play-clumping, fumble luck, or other non-predictive factors that could equally go either way, you see how at least 40% of game results might be driven by non-predictive "luck" rather than predictable dominance of one team over another.

88 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Packer fans appeal to history incessantly to show that the Packers are superior to every other team in the NFL.

86 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Ahhh, yes. A punt return for a TD is enough to change a game (TB over NO)

Man, Tom Brady had a bad day in that 2nd game. I had never heard of those MIA guys who grabbed those 4 INTs until today.

It's anyone's guess how Denver lost that third game. Fatigue, maybe? I mean we're talking Kent Graham beating Elway.

153 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Sammy Knight was a pretty solid player for many years. Ayanbadejo was strictly a special teamer. Antonio Freeman was a young guy that never gelled.

IIRC, the Miami passrush was killing it that day.

We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.

48 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

The Ravens have a top 10 offense!!!!

When has THAT ever happened???

174 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

So, not very often.

Funny how easy it is to forget the Vinny Ravens, with their explosive offense and utter lack of defense. Vinny in the Pro Bowl. Up is down, black is white, dogs and cats living together...

50 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Tampa only drops two spots after giving up 41 to the Jags? I'd think they should have dropped to 33, with the Pottsville Maroons being placed somewhere above them.

171 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

Can't. By NFL edict, the Pottsville Maroons lose all tiebreaks due to geographic crossover with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Frankfort Yellowjackets.

54 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings


Is it possible for you to have your rational side hang here but when you feel the need to be overly exuberant take that to Yahoo or Fox boards?

58 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

I'll try, but nothing about nothing is rational in the NFL these days, is it?? At least I'm not trying to explain the Sermon on the Mount, loaves and fishes, and the Resurrection every week unlike Bronco fans.

77 Re: Week 14 DVOA Ratings

You should tone down your exuberance if only for the possibility that you're greatly annoying the football gods. Don't annoy the football gods. Their karma is much badder than yours.

Or you could do what Tim Tebow would do and check out Proverbs 16:18.