Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Week 7 DVOA Ratings
Week 7 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

This week sees a little bit more churn on the top of the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings, and San Francisco re-takes the top spot. Green Bay remains number two, while the New York Giants drop to third after their close victory over Washington. Chicago is fourth and Denver fifth, still the top team in the AFC despite a 3-3 record. (Vince Verhei talks about that in an ESPN Insider piece here.) The split between the NFC and the AFC got even worse this week, and as of this week the NINE lowest teams in DVOA are all AFC teams. There's a huge gap between "good" and "bad" AFC teams. The Steelers and Jets are 16th and 17th. Then teams 18 through 23 are all NFC, and teams 24 through 32 are all AFC.

Last year, offense reigned in the NFL, as the season was mostly dominated by three teams -- New England, New Orleans, and Green Bay -- that had historically great offense but poor defense. Things aren't quite as imbalanced this season, because the top offenses aren't playing at that same historically great level, but it is still worth noting that the five best offensive teams make up five of the top six teams by total DVOA: the teams mentioned above, plus New England but minus Chicago. Unlike last year, however, these teams with strong offense do not all have terrible defense. San Francisco, Green Bay, New York, and Denver all have above-average defenses this season, and even the Patriots are a reasonable 20th in defensive DVOA (which splits into 29th against the pass and fourth against the run).

Chicago is the big exception, the team near the top of this year's ratings that is built on defense and special teams. Chicago has had defensive DVOA of -15% or better in every game this year, and it's time to start tracking where the Bears stand historically. It's particularly interesting to do so since this is the first year we'll be tracking a team's historical ranking using the new DVOA that is normalized for each season's offensive level. The Bears end up with the fifth-best defense tracked by DVOA since 1991, and the best defense since the 2002 Bucs. 

1991 NO -49.0%
1991 PHI -42.8%
2002 TB -38.8%
1997 SF -37.1%
2012 CHI -34.6%
2011 BAL -34.4%
1993 PIT -33.5%
1996 GB -32.8%
2000 MIA -29.6%
1994 DAL -29.1%

Yes, two teams from 1991 are that far ahead even though the 1991 numbers league-wide are normalized to 0%. Much like three offenses were dramatically better than everyone else in 2011, so too were three defenses (New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington) dramatically better than everyone else in 1991.

The Bears are imbalanced on offense, one of a number of teams that are much better running the ball than passing the ball, or vice versa. Right now the Bears rank 10th in offensive DVOA running, but 22nd passing. Other teams with a big split include:

  • Green Bay is first passing, 17th rushing
  • Atlanta is ninth passing, 24th rushing
  • Pittsburgh is sixth passing, 29th rushing
  • Oakland -- this one is a colossal surprise, given the presence of Darren McFadden -- is 12th passing and dead last rushing
  • Baltimore is 19th passing, third rushing
  • Buffalo is 23rd passing, sixth rushing
  • Seattle is 21st passing, seventh rushing
  • Carolina is 24th passing, 11th rushing

What about defenses with a big split like New England? Other teams include:

  • Atlanta is fifth against the pass, 27th against the run
  • Tampa Bay is 20th against the pass, first against the run
  • Detroit is 22nd against the pass, 12th against the run
  • San Diego is 21st agaisnt the pass, eighth against the run

* * * * *

All stats pages should now be updated (or, at least, will be in the next few minutes) except for playoff odds. Unfortunately, Mike Harris has been having some computer difficulties, so we won't have those updated until later this evening. FO Premium stats will also be updated later this evening. I will post below when those items are updated.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through seven weeks of 2012, 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.

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Because it is early in the season, opponent strength is at only 70 percent; it will increase 10 percent every week through 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 8.5 percent of DAVE (19 percent for teams with only six games played).

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 SF 35.0% 4 32.0% 2 5-2 18.0% 5 -18.6% 4 -1.7% 23
2 GB 34.1% 2 33.2% 1 4-3 26.0% 3 -7.4% 10 0.7% 17
3 NYG 31.6% 1 30.0% 3 5-2 26.4% 2 -2.3% 14 3.0% 11
4 CHI 31.2% 3 28.3% 5 5-1 -10.4% 24 -34.6% 1 7.0% 5
5 DEN 30.7% 5 25.9% 6 3-3 19.9% 4 -11.1% 6 -0.3% 19
6 NE 27.5% 6 28.7% 4 4-3 27.2% 1 3.0% 20 3.3% 10
7 HOU 23.9% 9 22.0% 7 6-1 9.6% 9 -23.9% 3 -9.6% 31
8 SEA 21.7% 7 18.5% 9 4-3 -5.8% 22 -25.1% 2 2.4% 12
9 ATL 18.4% 8 18.5% 8 6-0 7.6% 10 -6.6% 11 4.1% 9
10 MIA 12.1% 12 7.6% 11 3-3 -2.8% 18 -10.7% 7 4.2% 8
11 MIN 10.4% 11 8.1% 10 5-2 -2.6% 16 -4.5% 12 8.6% 2
12 BAL 4.6% 10 4.4% 12 5-2 3.0% 12 6.9% 23 8.4% 3
13 WAS 1.5% 14 0.7% 14 3-4 12.5% 7 2.7% 19 -8.3% 30
14 STL 0.6% 13 -3.3% 18 3-4 -5.3% 21 -7.7% 9 -1.7% 24
15 DET -1.7% 16 -2.3% 16 2-4 11.1% 8 2.5% 18 -10.3% 32
16 PIT -3.6% 21 1.3% 13 3-3 4.3% 11 6.6% 22 -1.3% 22
17 NYJ -4.2% 17 -3.6% 19 3-4 -14.2% 26 -1.4% 15 8.6% 1
18 DAL -4.2% 18 -2.9% 17 3-3 0.8% 13 0.1% 16 -4.9% 26
19 NO -5.9% 24 -1.8% 15 2-4 14.7% 6 22.7% 32 2.0% 14
20 TB -6.3% 15 -6.0% 20 2-4 -2.5% 15 -3.7% 13 -7.5% 29
21 ARI -6.6% 19 -8.0% 23 4-3 -21.8% 30 -14.9% 5 0.4% 18
22 PHI -10.1% 20 -7.3% 21 3-3 -14.4% 27 -10.4% 8 -6.1% 27
23 CAR -11.1% 22 -7.4% 22 1-5 -6.6% 23 1.3% 17 -3.2% 25
24 SD -14.5% 25 -12.4% 24 3-3 -12.7% 25 3.7% 21 1.9% 15
25 CIN -16.0% 23 -14.7% 25 3-4 -4.7% 20 16.1% 28 4.8% 6
26 BUF -17.3% 27 -15.9% 26 3-4 -2.7% 17 22.2% 31 7.6% 4
27 OAK -18.8% 26 -16.5% 27 2-4 -4.1% 19 7.2% 24 -7.5% 28
28 IND -22.1% 29 -20.7% 28 3-3 -1.9% 14 19.5% 29 -0.7% 20
29 CLE -23.8% 28 -23.5% 29 1-6 -18.0% 28 10.2% 25 4.4% 7
30 JAC -36.8% 31 -32.3% 30 1-5 -24.3% 31 14.7% 26 2.2% 13
31 TEN -37.9% 30 -34.9% 31 3-4 -19.7% 29 19.7% 30 1.5% 16
32 KC -44.7% 32 -35.4% 32 1-5 -28.1% 32 15.4% 27 -1.2% 21
  • 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 SF 35.0% 5-2 32.1% 6.0 3 10.7% 5 8.3% 6 26.0% 30
2 GB 34.1% 4-3 22.6% 5.4 5 12.1% 2 -0.1% 14 12.6% 22
3 NYG 31.6% 5-2 31.9% 5.3 6 -2.7% 19 2.1% 10 16.3% 28
4 CHI 31.2% 5-1 36.2% 6.1 2 -5.0% 22 7.8% 7 14.7% 26
5 DEN 30.7% 3-3 23.8% 6.7 1 5.5% 9 -18.1% 32 7.0% 12
6 NE 27.5% 4-3 33.4% 5.5 4 -1.3% 18 0.4% 13 8.7% 15
7 HOU 23.9% 6-1 24.9% 5.0 8 0.4% 16 -7.7% 27 14.8% 27
8 SEA 21.7% 4-3 9.9% 5.1 7 10.8% 4 6.6% 8 4.3% 4
9 ATL 18.4% 6-0 28.6% 4.8 10 -9.5% 29 -2.6% 21 13.4% 24
10 MIA 12.1% 3-3 11.2% 4.8 9 -3.5% 20 -2.4% 20 6.9% 11
11 MIN 10.4% 5-2 18.9% 4.6 11 -9.8% 31 18.8% 2 3.9% 3
12 BAL 4.6% 5-2 7.6% 3.7 12 -6.8% 25 -1.8% 16 16.9% 29
13 WAS 1.5% 3-4 5.2% 3.2 16 4.7% 11 -3.4% 23 6.9% 10
14 STL 0.6% 3-4 -3.9% 3.2 17 13.2% 1 10.6% 4 1.6% 1
15 DET -1.7% 2-4 -5.0% 3.3 13 4.9% 10 10.8% 3 5.3% 6
16 PIT -3.6% 3-3 5.8% 3.1 18 -9.4% 28 -8.5% 28 10.0% 18
17 NYJ -4.2% 3-4 -2.6% 3.2 15 7.9% 7 -5.7% 24 26.9% 32
18 DAL -4.2% 3-3 -9.5% 3.3 14 12.0% 3 -1.6% 15 9.5% 17
19 NO -5.9% 2-4 -0.7% 2.9 20 -6.8% 26 8.3% 5 7.5% 14
20 TB -6.3% 2-4 1.7% 2.8 21 -5.5% 23 1.8% 11 8.9% 16
21 ARI -6.6% 4-3 -8.9% 2.5 24 6.4% 8 18.9% 1 4.8% 5
22 PHI -10.1% 3-3 -11.5% 2.7 22 0.1% 17 0.5% 12 3.5% 2
23 CAR -11.1% 1-5 -15.0% 2.7 23 9.2% 6 -1.9% 17 11.8% 20
24 SD -14.5% 3-3 -5.7% 2.0 27 -9.7% 30 -9.3% 30 10.5% 19
25 CIN -16.0% 3-4 -3.9% 2.3 25 -10.0% 32 -3.2% 22 12.7% 23
26 BUF -17.3% 3-4 -16.0% 3.0 19 -7.8% 27 3.9% 9 26.3% 31
27 OAK -18.8% 2-4 -13.7% 2.3 26 1.0% 15 -13.2% 31 12.2% 21
28 IND -22.1% 3-3 -23.7% 2.0 28 1.8% 13 -8.9% 29 6.6% 9
29 CLE -23.8% 1-6 -8.9% 1.9 29 -6.5% 24 -5.9% 25 7.1% 13
30 JAC -36.8% 1-5 -37.2% 0.8 31 1.4% 14 -2.4% 19 5.9% 8
31 TEN -37.9% 3-4 -36.0% 0.8 30 3.5% 12 -2.3% 18 5.6% 7
32 KC -44.7% 1-5 -48.7% 0.7 32 -3.5% 21 -6.7% 26 13.9% 25


110 comments, Last at 29 Oct 2012, 3:23pm

9 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Estimated wins is always out of the number of weeks total, for some reason.
Still, 6.7 out of 7 seems ludicrously high for a 3-3 team.

Edit: Ah, I guess the reason is because this way you can compare the teams on a level basis, and that's fair enough.

7 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

It's not even the whole "we have more wins than games" thing that bothers me. Estimated wins thinks Denver has a low variance on a game by game basis, but that's because Peyton has been brilliant in what most people would call garbage time.

10 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Oops. My bad. It's been a while since I read through that. I'm guessing Denver's total is due to adjustment to a league-average schedule and a league-average fumble recovery rate.

2 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Just how good was the Dome Patrol? -49.0% is just plain crazy.

11 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

The Dome Patrol were built by GM Jim Finks. The 1991 Eagles were put together by Buddy Ryan. We have to wait for the '85 Bears to see what a team put together by the pair of them looks like.

15 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

In my (admittedly substance-impaired, as I was 20 at the time) memory, Philly seemed like a much more dominant defense than New Orleans in '91. The Saints' LBs were fantastic, but I remember a not-great Bears offense moving the ball on them pretty well that year (I particularly remember Brad Muster gaining consistent successful-play-type yardage on them).

81 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

The only time the Saints and Bears played in 1991, the Bears scored 20 points but had only 178 total yards of offense. Muster did have 10 carries for 57 yards, but Harbaugh was 5 of 22 for 61 yards passing, with 2 interceptions. So I'd say the Saints defense was pretty solid.

Box score:

89 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Before the Bears' final (and winning) drive of that game, Harbaugh was 2 of 19 for 16 yards. Guessing the Saints went into a prevent.

93 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

But that doesn't take into account the ~40-yard DPI that won them the game! Seriously, though, I hadn't realized the passing numbers were that bad.

16 only through week 7...

But they'd wind up with -24.5% defensive DVOA for the season, while Philly would finish '91 with a league leading -42.4%

45 Re: only through week 7...

I remember reading Sports Illustrated's legendary NFL writer Paul Zimmerman declaring that the 1991 Eagles D was the best he ever saw.

I believe he wrote that after being asked what he thought of the 2000 Ravens D after they stomped on the Giants in the Super Bowl.

75 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

"so too were three defenses (New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington) dramatically better than everyone else in 1991..."

Does Ray Handley read Football Outsiders? Is he pointing to this sentence saying "You see! It wasn't my fault!"

You still suck, Handley

110 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by mcgatman (not verified)

Ray Handley is responsible for my clincial depression. Watching those Giants teams broke my brain.

4 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

"The split between the NFC and the AFC got even worse this week"
Despite the two conferences not encountering each other each week?

If you want to say that the bad AFC teams got worse, that's fine, but that only means that the less-bad AFC teams nudged up a bit.

69 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Actually, to be pedantic it is possible for teams (and conferences) to get worse relative to each other in DVOA without facing each other.

For example, if AFC teams missed a larger number of easy FGs this week, and NFC teams made a large number of difficult FGs, then the AFC would get worse and the NFC better because all of the value is placed on the kicking team and no on the opponent.

Still, this is unlikely to be what was meant.

72 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

"Actually, to be pedantic it is possible for teams (and conferences) to get worse relative to each other in DVOA without facing each other."

We know it's possible because it just happened.
The question is whether this is reasonable.

With no comparisons between the AFC and the NFC in the form of actual games, we literally got no new information this past weekend about the relative strength of the two conferences.

My first thought was that the change in relative strength means is that the total of DVOA scores in all NFC games was higher than the total of DVOA scores in all AFC games. But that's not exactly right. It might mean that the total of VOA scores in all NFC games was higher than the total of VOA scores in all AFC games. But the "D"-adjustment might be responsible too. The increase in the defense-adjustments from Week 6 to Week 7 might also be a contributing factor here. That's a way that past competitions account for change in current DVOA ratings through the back door.

77 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

It's possible for both teams to have positive DVOA in a game or for both teams to have negative DVOA in a game. This has been discussed in previous DVOA articles this season. So it's possible for each conference to change in relative standings, even if you just have one game where both NFC teams were positive DVOA and one game with both AFC teams negative.

Another option is that most of the bad AFC teams played slightly better than the good AFC teams, so the good AFC teams slipped down in the ordinal rankings, and if a few of the bad NFC teams played OK or well they moved up a bit. The good NFC teams had a enough of a lead that even if their DVOA went down, they still rank higher and if the good AFC teams slipped because the bad AFC teams played a bit better the gap could have actually grown. That all seems very reasonable. The sum of the DVOA for each conference may still be the same (though the D adjustments that are still getting stronger when the NFC is 19-9 vs the AFC of course could have changed that) and the AFC could still look worse because of how it was redistributed.

5 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

IGGLES: A tragedy in .1 act.

Philadelphia: Oh, DVOA, you used to care for me. I felt so loved, so respected...I don't know what's happened, but I know that something's changed. (Looks downcast, wipes away a tear.)

DVOA: Please try to understand, baby...we've just grown in different directions. It isn't you, it's me. (Turns and walks slowly away.)


105 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

DVOA loved the Eagles before they got all hoity-toity with big-name players. Not to mention the departure of Tanier.

12 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

I want to smugly point out to chemicalburn that Forte's DVOA is 10% higher than L. McCoy's this year. Just ignore the fact that's it's still negative.

It does demonstrate the powerful effect of interdependence in football nicely.

14 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

It's not such a colossal surprise Oakland's rushing offense sucks. They're switching to a zone-blocking scheme (or FROM one?) that McFadden clearly isn't comfortable with. I'll never understand why teams will make changes that result in them sucking. But it keeps happening.

20 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Because most coaches (apparently) aren't clever enough to adapt their schemes to existing personel. Why teams keep hiring dumb coaches I've yet to figure out though.

27 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings


The difference between good and bad coaches is up to 50% their willingness to use the square pegs for the square holes.

84 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Yeah. Zone-blocking is clearly successful, but the Raiders switching to it now is an unfortunate waste of a truly exceptional talent at RB.

18 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

I'm probably just spoiled at this point by how well the Bears' D is playing, but I thought they weren't actually dominant last night, at least not for the whole game. From the last drive of the first half through the end of the game, Detroit had more long drives than three-and-outs, the D-line did not get consistent pressure (I'm not just talking sacks, either---they weren't really hurrying Stafford), and they just kept bailing themselves out with takeaways. And I know that causing fumbles is a skill, but 1) not when those fumbles are muffed punts, and 2) six fumbles is still an anomaly, no matter how good Tillman is at ballpunching (if anyone has seen the Onion movie, I want Steven Seagal to play Tillman in the 2012 Bears movie).

My other "please stop complaining, your team is 5-1" bellyache is that the offense failed to take advantage of a secondary filled with street free agents. I would have thought that receivers would have been running wide open enough that Cutler would not have had to hold the ball the way he did, eventually paying for it with the Suh-plex.

29 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

DVOA doesn't know that Bell runs at the goal line with the ball held like a it's an unexploded bomb. It also gives them credit for Calvin Johnson dropping two balls that hit him in the chest on third down.

It does a good job of acknowledging that monstrously deep defensive line though. Peppers, Melton, Idonje, McClellin, Paea, Wooten... I think I'm forgetting someone, it's like trying to name the magnificent seven (without cheating, Bronson, Bucholtz, Coburn, McQueen, Brynner... aargghh)

I hearby christen them the Grizzlies.

60 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

I instinctively went with Lee Marvin as well. It's a number thing...Lee Marvin was in The Dirty Dozen not The Magnificent Seven.

44 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

"A question that comes up regularly in film trivia quizzes is to name the magnificent seven, of the 1960 John Sturges western. Easy to start with: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn and Horst Buchholz. But if Brad Dexter, who has died aged 85, is usually the last to be mentioned, it is mainly because of the fame of the others; actually, he was rather good as the most mercenary of the septet. . . . the cool and taciturn Harry Luck . . .[3]"


51 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

I would take Peyton Wallach over Eli Wallach, although Eli Wallach was better in the last reel.

46 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Yeah, Bell sorta reminded me of the Ura-Kai Orc who carried the ludicrously large bomb, to the gate over the stream, at the Battle of Helm's Deep, in the "The Two Towers". I was looking for Urlacher to shoot him with a bow and arrow.

86 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

It makes me extraordinarily happy that someone just corrected the spelling of a fictional race from LoR on a football board.

108 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Lord of the Rings are usually abbreviated LotR, not LoR?

Hopefully, that just made your day even better! And if it weren't so teenage-y, I'd insert a smiley here.

21 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

The Packers' opponent adjustments are some of the biggest I can remember. DVOA gets a boost of 11.5 percentage points compared with unadjusted VOA. Aaron Rodgers is the #1 quarterback in DYAR by quite a long way, but in YAR per game he's only fifth.

This will not last, for Jacksonville is the next opponent.

26 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

And the two teams ahead of them in the division have two of the biggest adjustments in the opposite direction. And then there's the current NFC #1 seed, with the biggest negative adjustment of any team in the top half of the rankings. The NFC standings are likely to look a bit different around week 15 than they do now.

28 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

On a related note, I wonder why San Francisco gets such a small boost despite playing the 5th hardest schedule.

52 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Ditto with the Rams (by the way, the schedule of the NFC West looks brutal this year).

The oddest one is the Browns though. Past schedule is easy but not ridiculously so, and they have a 15 point deduction from VOA to DVOA. I'm assuming the reason for big adjustments is big performances against teams at either end of the spectrum (great against great teams, bad against bad teams). So the explanation for the Packers difference is presumably mainly the big win against Houston.

I've not paid a huge amount of attention to the Browns this season. I'm assuming a lot of their difference in VOA and DVOA comes from week 1 against Philly? I can't really see anything else that jumps out to show why they'd have such a difference between VOA and DVOA.

22 Baltimore Defence

I'm not surprised that BAL defence has a DVOA number above zero at this point, but I feel its worth noting that they haven't finished a season below average since their 17.5% showing in 1996.

23 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

"as of this week the NINE lowest teams in DVOA are all AFC teams"

The split for total defense is even more eye-popping. The Saints are ranked dead last, and then the twelve next worst defenses are all from the AFC — including Baltimore, Pittsburgh and San Diego. Wow.

53 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Unfortunately their offenses are 21, 22, 30 and 5. Strong defensive play in a division where the best quarterback is Alex Smith.

76 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

I still think it's questionable. If you switched Smith and Bradford, I think the Niners would get better and the Rams worse. Smith has slightly better DVOA (+4% to -4%), but he's in a much better situation.

25 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Somehow the Patriots' DVOA went UP. Based on Aaron's tweets after the game, he's just as surprised as I am.

38 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Me too. I'm also surprised the Jets' defensive DVOA got worse. I know there was no turnovers by the defense, but only 20 points (including OT) and holding Brady to about 6 YPA? Seems like a pretty good performance.

40 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Ten drives: 2 pts/drive, 2.6 first downs/drive, 0 TO/drive, 38 yds/drive, DSR .765.

Not actually good results. The pts/drive is about league average. Then again, the Jets D benefitted from good field position. Everything else is pretty bad.

43 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

I think most of the improvement was ST.

Their offense went down a little (28% down to 27%) - makes sense, as they put up a decent but fairly mediocre game against what DVOA thinks is a good defense.
(Again doesn't know Revis is out...and they ran pretty effectively).

Defense mainly stayed the same...tiniest improvement (3.8 dropped to 3.0)...probably because the Jets did what worked only a few times (throw deep), and what didn't far more (run into the line, let Sanchez try to fit the ball into a tight window, use Tebow).

The big change is special teams. Went from essentially 0 to +3. I guess making a couple of long FG's and running a kick back for a TD will do that despite fumbling another kickoff, especially given that the Jets have pretty good ST.

54 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Increase in opponent adjustment strength as well? I'd guess that any hits they took from the Jets game would be papered over by increases in the relevant strenght of their performance against the Broncos, Ravens and Seahawks.

34 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

This is starting to feel kind of like the 2005 season, where dvoa keeps telling me that the broncos are better than they seem to me. If this season culminates in a trip to the AFC championship, that totally works for me... Particularly if it is a less crushing/direction altering loss in that Championship was.

47 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

I'm mildly surprised at how high the Vikings offense still ranks. Some value still in an offensive line that'll throw hooks and uppercuts, I guess.

(edit) Oh,and with 6 of their 9 remaining games against top 8 DVOA teams, they damn well better not lose at home against the Bucs in 48 hours.

57 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Hey Will,

If you're feeling masochistic, you can check out MIN's rankings at ANFLS. Their O is ranked 27th due to an ineffective passing offense. As a niner fan, I still don't understand what happened a month ago. I have nightmares of Ponder escaping the pocket and throwing tridents at my face.

Looking at the schedule, the Vikings will probably need to get to 10 wins (go 5-4) to get the wildcard. As far as I can tell, they should only be favored in 3 of those games. So... they damn well better not lose at home against the Bucs in 36 hours!!

Using nfl-forecast's tool, if MIN beats TB on Thursday, their playoff odds should rise 10 percent (absolute) from 37 to 47.

63 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Assuming Minnesota wins on Thursday, 4-4 is still a tall task against the remaining schedule:

SEA (away)
DET (home)
CHI (away)
GBP (away)
CHI (home)
STL (away)
HOU (away)
GBP (home)

Hosting Detroit and traveling to St Louis may result in a couple more wins. Assuming that, they may be able to get a win hosting the Bears and hopefully Houston or Green Bay will be resting starters in the last couple of weeks for another sneaky victory. Otherwise the Vikings will need an inspired game similar to when they hosted the 49ers at some point. @ SEA or hosting the Packers are probably the best possibilities for that, but not something I'd put any money on.

Still, a 6-2 start followed by a 2-6 finish will still be a big step forward for the team from last year.

79 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

In reply to by peterplaysbass

I think MIN stands the best chance at home against its division rivals. They could even sneak a division title if they get lucky. Seattle has been pretty great at home. STL is unpredictable. I agree that facing HOU or GB resting their starters could be another opportunity. This season will be a nail biter for MIN.

I should revise my earlier playoff probabilities. If MIN wins, they'll probably have around 45% chance of making the playoffs. If they lose, they'll have about a 25% chance.

A 20% swing makes for a big game!!

83 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

It seems unlikely that MIN gets to face a GB team resting its starters while still being in contention themselves.

GB is currently behind MIN and CHI in the standings, and even if DVOA thinks GB is the best team, the edge over CHI is slight, and the race between those two teams is likely to come down to the wire. The only way GB has the division wrapped up leading into the final week would be to nearly run the table, or have some sort of collapse by CHI in addition to MIN dropping a few other games. And even with a division title wrapped up, GB would still likely be fighting for a top seed, which would be hard to guarantee with three losses already, and a fourth coming from a rest the starters game.

GB may be unlikely to rest starters too much in any case, given how flat they came out last year in the playoffs after sitting Rodgers and other key starters in their finale against DET, then going into their first round bye.

HOU seems a lot more likely to have things wrapped up early.

100 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Playoff odds post makes this converstaion extra interesting...

The North will likely have GB or CHI win the division with the other being one of the wildcards for the NFC.

Atlanta looks to be a shoe-in with no wildcard coming from the South. (Screw New Orleans!)

Giants are heavy favorites to win their division with the rest of the East being a crapshoot, although that division certain *could* produce a wildcard team.

San Francisco still looks like they should win the West with Seattle being the strongest wildcard contender in the conference outside of whoever does not win the North between Chicago and Green Bay.

The 10 days between Minnesota's games against Tampa Bay and Seattle are going to feel like 20 - I think that Seattle game will feel very, very important by the time it rolls around, and the Vikings are quite likely to lose it. Minnesota's last best hope will be to win their three remaining home division games and get a little help.

62 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

"Tampa Bay is 20th against the pass, first against the run"

uh oh.

TB has faced CAR, NYG, DAL, WAS, KC and the saints* so far - plenty of good rushing talent in that group. I'm not saying Tampa will shut down Peterson (he's so hot right now), but this definitely increases the weight on Ponder's shoulders.

I'm hoping for brilliant play-calling.

*dirty cheap bastards

48 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Now if only San Fran could improve on that variance number...

91 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

It seems to be caused by their interaction with the AFC East, SF is 30th with NYJ at 32 and Buffalo on 31.

55 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Of all the Steelers' defenses, I wouldn't have expected to see 1993 among the best ever. That team was 4-2 after seven weeks (or 4-3 after seven games), and its regular stats were solid, though not spectacular except for the 20 turnovers it had forced. Opponent adjustments probably weren't a factor, because although the Steelers had faced two among what would be the best five offenses of 1993 (49ers and Chargers), they'd also played two of the worst (Saints and Bengals).

Pittsburgh finished with 1993's best defense but it regressed over the second half of what proved to be a 'down' season for the Steelers, in between two years where it had the AFC's best regular-season record.

59 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

I don't know if any of the historical stats take into account new coaching staffs but I was wondering if teams with a new staff and a big split on defense (such as Tampa Bay 20th against the pass, first against the run) can be expected to improve the "other side." Similar to the old "third down defense" indicator? Would this type of split be a good indicator that things are improving (that the pass defense will improve in time and even if run regresses a little they meet in the top ten) or is there no correlation?

61 Complaint Template

The Bears are clearly ranked too low because a team should't drop in the ratings when they grind out a win against a division opponent in prime time. Rankings based on Cutler's toughness and Peanut's D against Megatron is way better than this. Bear Down!

64 in season improvement/decline

Do we know within a given season which phases change the most and in which direction? Are passing offenses likely to improve? (my guess is yes based on '11 NYG, AZ from a few years ago) Is a rushing defense likely to wear down? Is there credence to the idea of a new OC and team hitting their stride as the year moves on? I seem to remember that year to year a team good in between the 20s but bad in the redzone is likely to improve.

End of year idea: how do Thursday games compare to Sunday games? Adjusted games lost in the following weeks would be interesting.

65 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Premium stats and playoff odds are now updated for Week 7. Apologies for the delays.

71 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Thanks. We were wondering.

Cool AFC playoff picture. Other than Houston, the playoffs are a mish-mash. The Patriots are the most likely other team to get a bye, but not the most likely team to get the first or the second seed. Denver and New England are neck-and-neck for advancing deep into the playoffs. Baltimore is farther down in the running. The next team up is ?!? Miami ?!? - but only because it is more likely to win the AFC championship game if it makes it there.

League-wide is interesting, too.
Houston is favored to win the Super Bowl, although it is expected to be the underdog if it gets there. For some reason, New England is the only AFC team that is favored to win the Super Bowl if they get there. That doesn't make sense to me, so I'm guessing it's just an outlier result in the simulation.

Atlanta is favored to represent the NFC. But of the strong contenders, it is the only one not expected to be a clear favorite if it gets to the Super Bowl.

It looks like it's the NFC's year to take the Super Bowl, but who knows which team will do it?

No doubt the picture will come into focus over the next three or four weeks. But for now, Holy Crapshoot, Batman!

73 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Any discussion of the AFC playoff picture needs to account for the decimation of the Ravens' defenses, which hasn't been fully integrated into the DVOA stats yet.

74 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

"The Patriots are the most likely other team to get a bye, but not the most likely team to get the first or the second seed."

Other than Houston, the Pats are the most likely to get (first or second seed) at 40.7% to Denver's 34.7%. They are neither (most likely to get first seed) or (most likely to get second seed). Was that your point? But that's what you expect from the #2 team in the conference, as their bye likelihood is nearly evenly split between the #1 and #2 seeds, while most of Denver's bye likelihood is on the #2 seed.

97 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Was that your point?
Only that it was an interesting effect. Houston fans will be relish being favored for the top seed. Denver fans will celebrate being favored for the second seed. New England fans will be pleased about being favored over Denver to get a bye. They are all correct.

92 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Unless Football Outsiders is engaging in some time-traveling shenanigans and changing the outcomes of past games, I believe that the correct chart for odds of earning the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft should read:

Carolina - 100.0%
everyone else - 0.0%

Or, you know, just change it to read "2013" since that's obviously what you mean. ;)

70 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Surprised that the 2000 Nevermores' D is not on the "Best defensive DVOA after 7
weeks" chart...

82 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Without checking, I remember that Ravens team getting better near the end of the season. I think they had a pretty even record at the midpoint of the season, then won almost all their games in the second half (and obviously through the playoffs as well). For full-season defensive DVOA, weren't the Titans better in 2000 anyway?

78 It's not just DVOA, Falcons fans

Can someone explain to me how the Falcons are underdogs to Philly this week? We joke here about DVOA baiting the Atlanta fan base by ranking them 9th even though they're undefeated, but even DVOA would say Atlanta should be favored this week (they have a ~28% advantage, and the home-field correction is less than that). So apparently Vegas is even less impressed by 6-0 than DVOA. Or, in keeping with yc's scenario above, maybe the Eagles have shaken off getting dumped by DVOA and have managed to seduce Vegas.

80 Re: It's not just DVOA, Falcons fans

09/18/2011 Eagles @ Falcons - Atlanta Falcons 35, Philadelphia Eagles 31
10/17/2010 Falcons @ Eagles - Philadelphia Eagles 31, Atlanta Falcons 17
12/06/2009 Eagles @ Falcons - Philadelphia Eagles 34, Atlanta Falcons 7
10/26/2008 Falcons @ Eagles - Philadelphia Eagles 27, Atlanta Falcons 14

I root for the Eagles in the NFC and it's kind of accepted, in my group of friends at least, that the Eagles "have Matt Ryan's number".

88 Re: It's not just DVOA, Falcons fans

Falcon fan here. I'll be pleasantly surprised if we win in Philly on Sunday. The Eagles tend to have our number, last year notwithstanding. Ryan was injured for that 2009 game, and the other Mike Smith-era losses to the Eagles were basically death by big play.

And I can't find much to disagree with on the Falcons being #9. The OL is a weakness - pass protection is inconsistent - and the inability to run the ball is a huge problem. (Dimitroff values "urgent athleticism" all over the field, well, with the exception of RB, I guess.) Just a lack of brutish physicality up front on both sides of the ball. However, we might be getting back our best run-stuffing DT Corey Peters in the near future (been on the PUP) and there are some young drafted OL on the bench, so there are alternatives. I actually will not be surprised if we see a new starter on the OL on Sunday, in fact.

94 Re: It's not just DVOA, Falcons fans

The after-the-bye point is interesting, thanks for that. But no matter how long Reid has to game-plan, I have a hard time seeing how the Eagles are going to score against a very solid pass defense. About the only weakness Atlanta has (in pass D) is against #3-4 wideouts, and it's not like the Eagles have that kind of scary WR depth.

99 Re: It's not just DVOA, Falcons fans

I think homefield would make the 28pt difference about half that, so DVOA would have Atlanta about 3 point favorites. But maybe its a match-up (russhing/passing offense/defense) favoring Philly or perhaps the HFA for non-dome vs. dome teams is bigger or the bye effect (if there is one).

107 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

I'm surprised the Lions' ST DVOA didn't improve more after keeping Devin Hester in check. I guess muffed punts count for a lot.

109 Re: Week 7 DVOA Ratings

Muffed punt aside, the Lions special teams would have to do a lot (get some return TDs themselves) to cancel out some their shenanigans from earlier in the year.

-I'm not Billy Bad-Ass.