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

Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Week 10 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

Well, that was certainly an interesting week of games, wasn't it? Road teams went 11-3 in Week 10, while underdogs were somewhere between 9-3 and 11-3 depending on whether your gambling arena of choice listed a "pick 'em" line for the Dallas-Tampa Bay and Washington-New Orleans games. Seven of the top dozen teams in last week's DVOA ratings lost this week at home, and six of those losses were to teams that ranked lower in DVOA. As noted in the Any Given Sunday column earlier today, Andrew Healy's "Surprise Score" would rank Week 10 of 2015 as the second-most surprising group of upsets since 1979, trailing only Week 6 of 2001.

Despite all the upsets, the top four teams in DVOA remain the same and in the same order this week: Patriots, Cardinals, Bengals, and Panthers. However, three of the four teams saw their actual DVOA ratings drop even though they rank in the same places. Yes, I said three of the four. The Patriots at No. 1 fall from 40.0% DVOA to just 34.5% DVOA. The Bengals at No. 3 fall from 30.0% DVOA to 26.5% DVOA.

But here's the surprising one... Arizona at No. 2 plummets from 36.2% DVOA to 30.2% DVOA even though the Cardinals beat the Seahawks this week. Arizona's drop helps explain why Seattle shoots up from ninth (14.0%) to fifth (20.0%) despite losing. The DVOA ratings for this game were very, very different from the final score.

By DVOA, this actually came out as the best game Seattle has played all year, at 79.0%. And it came out as the worst game Arizona has played all year, with a single-game DVOA of -9.0% despite the boost that comes from opponent adjustments for playing Seattle. These numbers are even more surprising given that Arizona won despite Seattle recovering all three of the game's fumbles.

DVOA (Opponent adjustments included)
Team OFF DEF ST TOTAL
ARI 2.3% 20.0% 8.7% -9.0%
SEA 53.2% -23.6% 2.2% 79.0%
VOA (No opponent adjustments)
Team OFF DEF ST TOTAL
ARI -4.0% 27.8% 8.7% -23.1%
SEA 32.8% -4.4% 2.2% 39.4%

Comments

123 comments, Last at 24 Nov 2015, 11:11am

1 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Interesting to see the Broncos with 32nd offence and 1st defence - an offence up to the standards of The Bucs would move the Broncos above the Seahawks so they don't have to aim too high to get the division. The old line about the defensive players asking the offence to just go out and hold the opposition sounds about right. Broncos special teams are about as good as I remember them being as well.

3 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

there were years when broncos special teams couldn't get out of the high 20's in DVOA rankings, so I'm shocked that they've been flirting in the top 15 all year.

that offense.... it's offensive, what a waste of a year if B.Oswhatever can't do something close to replacement level and create a functioning system for the rest of the year.

betting on Manning not coming back, hoping he's healthy... just from the bench.

34 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I'm no fan of Fox but I think the Bronco's would have been better off keeping him and Gase and still hiring Wade for defense. Elway seems to have also really undervalued how important having a good Offensive Line is.

42 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I honestly thought Fox's handling of the offensive line was his weak point. Even in the Super Bowl year, the line wasn't anywhere near as good as Manning was making them look, and as soon as they faced a real pass rush, they were exposed. Then as the years go by you saw them make half-hearted attempts to bring more talent in, only to see them get waived or signed by other teams, or riding the bench. At least now Kubiak and Dennison are making a concerted effort to get the young players some solid playing time by rotating them in. Paradis, Garcia, and Schofield occasionally look good, and they're all very young. Beyond that, it really didn't help that they lost both Clady and his backup (a rookie) to injury. Ryan Harris is a solid right tackle but they have to rotate him and Polumbus at left.

Hopefully Denver will draft one more early-round tackle next year, and then that line might actually turn into a strength.

95 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The problem is the line now is completely incapable of run blocking and also bad at pass protection. They're too weak and uncoordinated, so they may get better with more practice but I don't think they'll improve enough to help the offense significantly. They should have realized this before the current season. If you look at the line as being exposed in the Super Bowl and how ineffective the Broncos offense was then it makes sense that even an average pass rush would hamper the offense with the terrible line play this season, especially with an injured Manning who's trying to process a new system.

Quarterbacks that aren't extremely mobile are always going to suffer behind bad line play. Previous season's Manning and even Brady at the start of last year play their worst when the line isn't holding up.

2 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

How many percentage points of DVOA do you think the Patriots lose now, now that both Edelman *and* Lewis are out?

Also, a sort of question on DYAR- how many "yards above replacement", about, would translate into one "point above replacement"? How many percentage points of DVOA would translate into being a one-point favorite over another team in a neutral site? Points are the more familiar language to me.

6 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The problem isn't that years ago -- and it was a LONG time ago at this point -- we switched from posting individual stats in terms of points to posting them in terms of yards. The problem is the difficulty of separating one player's contribution from the contributions of his teammates. How much of Edelman's value was actually Brady, or the system as a whole? How much of Dion Lewis' value was actually Brady, or the passing game opening things up for the run, or the blocking of the offensive line? Even if DYAR was still DPAR, it wouldn't change the fact that scheme and teammates are not filtered out of those numbers.

And if you're still that hung up on the change from DPAR to DYAR, read the Trey Causey link above.

7 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

And these are very complex problems that presumably have no ideal solutions. I hope I speak for the vast majority of your loyal fans when I say that we really appreciate your openness in acknowledging that these issues exist, it's the right way to do this. Unlike some other platforms that pretend they can rate individual players to three significant figures...

72 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Reading that July 2008 article I got a sharp pain. Tom Brady's projection was listed in red, as someone noted, meant that his numbers would be low due to injury risk.

64 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

*sniff*

Every July 7th, my FO cronies and I gather around and toast a sad toast to DPAR. There follows a silent moment, then a few maudlin anecdotes. Remember how DPAR roasted Michael Vick in 2004? 2005?

The memories.

80 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

it is good you and your friends got togeher to drink. weird thing to drink over but not weird to drink so that is cool. would be reraly weird, but also cool. if you did you DPAR drinking in woods like bunch of high school kids who raided their dadyy's beer

112 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Aren't DYAR and DPAR essentially the same stat, just with different multipliers? Meaning, you can look at DYAR and (say) move the decimal point over one space, to approximate DPAR?

5 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The Vikings-Niners game has quite a lot of context that can be added to it:

- The niners had shifted to a zone run game after running power schemes for the previous four years.
- They'd also shifted from Fangio's approach that had two safeties deep more than pretty much any team and rarely blitzed to Mangini's 'I can outwit everyone' big blitzing, supposedly disguised system. The following few weeks showed how with regular season game tape to watch this new scheme delivers more matchup blessings for the opposing offense than it helps the defense.

So the Vikings had to play a team that they really couldn't have properly anticipated.

And the niners' -44.4% DVOA represents what happens when you couple the retirement and suspension strewn offseason from hell with one of the most outmatched coaching staffs I've ever had the misfortune to see. I really don't think it's too much of a stretch to suggest the top three coaches (HC, OC, DC) are at best the 32nd in the NFL; nobody else was going to offer Tomsula a head coaching job, Chryst was promoted from qb coach after they couldn't find anyone else (and the qb coach was working local radio the previous two years) and Mangini was the tight ends coach after working for ESPN for a few seasons. I did think the much more experienced coaches lower down the totem pole (Chris Foerster, Tom Rathman, Tony Sparano, Tim Lewis, Clancy Pendergast and Jason Tarver) might seady the ship but the cretinous trio at the top have held firm. This bunch might not be in the top fifty pro coaches in their respective positions, they might not be in the best one hundred and it shows.

It isn't like there's much hope because the interfering owner who likes to leak his bile to the press is going to put off any of the top coaching prospects. All I would say is that the players are less to blame that the idiotic system. Coaching matters, why else can you explain the Pats always doing so well ther than the greatness of their coach who took his team to the playoffs even when the had to replace Brady with Cassel.

9 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Technically, the Patriots didn't make it to the playoffs with Cassel. But they had a playoff-worthy record of 11-5 and only lost the division (or a wild card spot) by tiebreakers.

14 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Coaching and who you play.

If I remember right the AFC East played the two worst divisions in football, the AFC and NFC West.

There's a reason everyone in the AFC East had good records that year.

17 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

On the other hand you don't have to look at Belichick to see the effects of coaching. After his first year in Chicago, Lovie Smith was never worse than 7-9 in Chicago, and he's on track to be similar in Tampa Bay.

There is something to be said for a minimum level of competency.

113 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

No, you value CORRECTNESS, regardless of how small the point is. Being correct is always better than being incorrect (but is being correct better than being happy?)

116 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Being correct is always better than being incorrect *all else being equal*.

(Unless, of course, we define the bestest as the correctest. Then being incorrect can never be better.)

26 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

But that 11-5 came against the 28th hardest strength of schedule. It's not like teams were struggling against Cassel more then usual, and Cassel on the 2010 Cheifs (589 dyar vs 458) was statistically better then his 2008 campaign, and that was the one time Cassel did make the playoffs.

When you have Randy Moss and are facing defenses with nobody who can cover him, you're going to win games.

To me 2008 was more about how good Randy Moss is, and how bad the defenses the Patriots faced were, then how good of a coach Belichick is.

30 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I'm regretting choosing this example and now finding the pedants less fun.

So Ele, disregarding my (obviously terrible) example that was the first that occurred in my head are you really disagreeing that coaching is vitally important?

I could have pointed to the Jim Johnson defenses that saw players leave, not be as good, return and succeed again or a myriad of other cases.

I think coaching is important. Am I wrong?

35 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Speaking of the Panthers and player development, here is an interesting link about Josh Norman in retrospect:

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/state-team/2013/state-team-carolina-panthers

43 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I really like Norman. I think, though he has a little Ricky Williams vibe about him - not that he smokes weed, but rather he is on a different wavelength than many. I hope he stays. I think he's got a good setup and I think that he'd be unhappy in a lot of other places.

and could someone put my ID back in the captcha filter again so I don't have to do it every time?

45 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Here's hoping Justin Gilbert can show the same kind of career turnaround (although I still don't think -last- year he was that bad, and PFF agrees with me with a yellow/average rating.)

There's no way from that OK State team all three first-rounders, Gilbert, Weeden and Blackmon can flop, right?

57 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

and could someone put my ID back in the captcha filter again so I don't have to do it every time?

Yeah, I'm in the same boat. It sucks.

Captcha: MTAHM

53 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

That's a really odd thing to get annoyed about.

One could use the same Moss logic to the same effect to discredit Brady's 2007 season and award, no?

I tend to agree, of course, given that he was the key element of the top two offenses of all time (at that time) and a total freak... But Cassel is very, very bad, and plenty of very bad QBs have freak weapons and pile up good numbers but still lose frequently. Cassel's many weaknesses were avoided/hidden extremely well by Belichick and McDaniels, much as their current offense avoids their current players' (few) weaknesses to great effect. Credit is certainly deserved for that.

What always amazed me was that Scott Pioli of all people actually knew Belichick and McDaniels well, knew their strengths, and still decided that Cassel was worth not only acquiring but overpaying. I think very little of Pioli but that's a mistake that, given the information he had, surprises even me.

62 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The Chiefs 'only' gave up a second round pick for Cassel - not a huge price for a prospective starting QB. And he wasn't a total bust in KC - he had one solidly above average year (2010) in which the team won its division. He suffered injuries and was awful thereafter, but there have been worse trades in NFL history.

Why teams in 2015 are trading for Cassel, however, remains a mystery.

88 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Yes they did.

Reading back about the trade I was reminded that Cassel had been franchised by NE after 2008 as his rookie contract was up (obviously with the intention of trading him), so the Chiefs were immediately forced to sign him to a long term contract. Obviously that explains why they 'only' gave up a 2nd rounder and got a veteran defender in return, and makes it look a lot less rosy for them.

106 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Though there is a massive difference between the slightly above average performance put up by Cassel in 2008 and the greatest season of the DVOA era and possibly all time.

Moss is in my opinion the greatest Wide Receiver of all time, so obviously when you pair him with a HOF QB like Brady, the QB has a good chance of having a career year (especially given the lack of talent the Patriots had on offense prior to 2007). And as BJR pointed out, the Casseltrade isn't as bad as people made it out to be.

101 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Actually, the best example I can think of that coaching matters is Jim Harbaugh's first year taking over from Singletary. 6-10 to 13-3 with virtually the same roster.

29 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

"I really don't think it's too much of a stretch to suggest the top three coaches (HC, OC, DC) are at best the 32nd in the NFL; nobody else was going to offer Tomsula a head coaching job, Chryst was promoted from qb coach after they couldn't find anyone else (and the qb coach was working local radio the previous two years) and Mangini was the tight ends coach after working for ESPN for a few seasons."

Mangini is worse than Rob "Lebowski" Ryan and Jim O'Neill? (Granted, the Pettine/O'Neill defensive combo looked strong for many years until now.)

I wonder how much of Mangini's recent resume can be attributed to tipping off Spygate. The NFL coaching fraternity might not like Belichick's videotaping, but they like a "rat" even less (especially since Mangini snitched on essentially his father figure.)

32 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

OK, I wasn't trying to get into a 'worst DC' fight. Mangini has been bad as a DC for the Pats, his defenses weren't good as the head coach of the Browns or Jets and after failing to get a job in either college or the pros and then spending a year as as niners' tight ends coach (?!?!) has been dire this year as the 49er DC.

Would you cover Larry Fitzgerald with a 265 lbs OLB? I guess not. Would you do it over and over again as you get whooped up and down the field? I hope not because that would mean that you're as foolish as Eric Mangini. That is just one of his moronic failings, I could give a list but I feel it distracts from the wider point I'm trying to make about how important coaching is and how weak the niners are across the board in that respect.

54 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I think has to do more with not being very smart than it does with being a rat, but the fact that he also didn't really have much of a resume on its own, as pointed out above, doesn't help his case either.

8 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

How the hell are the Patriots still top 10 in rushing DVOA and the best run blocking team after all these injuries?

13 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Because those stats measure a conglomeration of things outside the running game - like safeties having to play off the line because they have an elite QB and passing game. And the QBs ability to audible in and out of plays when running one type would be a bad idea.

Also, coaching and scheme matters. A ton.

55 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

But the safeties really don't have to play off the line against that elite passing attack...

(I get your meaning of course, but that particular oversimplification isn't as good a fit here.)

73 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Yeah, and that one would suggest that the Chargers have a good running game because of it... Nope.

The overall point, that ALY is measuring the total effectiveness in a complicated context stands. Its part the line, part the scheme, part play-calling, part the opponents, part the RB.

21 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Because the rush offense DVOA listed here includes all running plays, not just what happened recently. They were crushing teams early in the year, but they've ranged from -3.6% to -30.8% in the last four weeks.

22 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Or, to put that another way:

From Weeks 1-6, NE's rush offense DVOA was a league-best 16.3%. much better than the second-best team (CAR, 9.6%)

Since Week 7, their rush offense DVOA is -15.4%, 21st.

50 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Cheer up, it may be again. Losing Solder hurts, but if/when they get Vollmer and Cannon back both tackle spots should be good to very good. Similarly, on the interior, they'll miss Wendell's veteran leadership and experience, but it looks like they've got 5 solid starters there.

Right now, it's the loss of Lewis and Edelman that really has me bummed. I think people underestimate Edelman's value to this offense and I expect them to really struggle without him. I really hope he's back and effective for the playoffs.

48 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I think part of the reason the run offense appeared so successful when the both line and skill positions were at full strength was because they were happy to throw the ball as much as they wanted. They ONLY ran the ball in situations where they were confident it would be successful.

With the line in the state it's currently in, they are running the ball much more to protect the line and to protect Brady, even though they know all those running plays won't be as successful.

16 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I think the most important stat to look at for the Vikings-Packers race to NFCN will be in the second table.

GB Future Schedule Strength: 25th
MIN Future Schedule Strength: 1st.

25 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Not only that, but the Packer contribution to the Viking SoS (2 games) is predicated on GB having access to the team that was #4 going into Denver, because they've been on freefall since (DVOA 39%->15%). If GB was considered to be 0% (which would be uhm.. WAS or thereabouts) then the Vikings #1 future schedule likely gets bumped down as well. Not that playing Seattle and Arizona (thurs night on the road, bleh) aren't going to keep that schedule ranking up there, but 2 games against GB at #8 are certainly a strong contribution as well.

23 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Though if we're working under the assumption that the Vikings are underrated in DVOA, part of the Packers positive schedule is facing the Vikings twice. The other part of why the Packers future schedule looks so week is They'll be facing the Cowboys in week 14 with a healthy Romo. That's not something the strength of schedule model can anticipate.

Unless the Packers beat the Vikings twice, the Packers will probably lose the division, cause if they split the series, Green Bay will have to win two more games then Minnesota in their final five games.

18 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

One thought on the Vikings fumble luck and why subjective measurements aren't reflecting that luck...

A significant number of the offensive fumbles for the Vikings have been unforced and without defenders nearby. Diggs put two on the ground vs Denver, in both cases there wasn't a defender nearby so he easily covered it up. AP and Teddy have had a couple botched handoffs that they just fell on. So those count as fumbles, but are situations where it was unlikely the D was going to grab them.

On the other side of the ball, as far as I can remember all of the Vikes defensive fumbles have been forced fumbles. So defenders nearby and aware that the ball is out, which you'll see a higher recovery percentage on.

It's a thought at least.

24 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Though DVOA counts fumbles based on the probability that it will be turned over based on the type of fumble.

And even then, aborted snaps or handoffs probably are recovered by defense 40-45% of the time.

I also don't think you can justify arguing that Diggs fumbling the ball with no defense around him as a legitimate reason to ignore those fumbles. If anything I'd be more worried cause this clearly means the fumbles are happening because of bad ball control by the vikings, and not because they've faced defenses that are good at causing fumbles.

70 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

>Though DVOA counts fumbles based on the probability that it will be turned over based on the type of fumble

I didn't realize this, that pretty much negates my points.

>I also don't think you can justify arguing that Diggs fumbling the ball with no defense around him as a legitimate reason to ignore those fumbles

Not saying they should be negated, just that they weren't situations where he was going to lose the ball. As opposed to say a strip sack where players are all scrambling on the ground to cover the ball up and it's a little random who the ball bounces to.

Regardless, if DVOA adjusts for that then my original thought is wrong.

71 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

DVOA adjusts for type of fumble and historical recovery rates. So receiver running down the field is one bucket. QB misses snap is another, botched handoff would be another, etc.

27 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

In the playoff odds you are now listing some scenarios involving the vikings (albeit remote chances).

In one you tag KC vs Minn as a "Superbowl III rematch". It would be a Superbowl IV rematch (III was Jets-Colts, which will never happen in the superbowl again barring realignment). I'd mention it there but there is no comments thread there (and it is referenced in this article).

37 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Week 10 BES Rankings - http://besreport.com/week-10-bes-rankings/
FAQ - http://besreport.com/about-the-bes/

BES and DVOA agree on the Pats, Bengals and Panthers. After that they differ widely. But the BES is more a gauge of momentum or heat. Vikes No. 4, Texans No. 7, Chiefs No. 13. The Seahawks seem hellbent on finding ways to dramatically lose games. The BES has them ranked 22nd. The BES is also higher on the Bears than most rankings as they ranked 11th this week.

DVOA's take on the Cards, Bills and Saints seems more accurate. The BES has the Bills 21st, Cards 17th and Saints 5th. Saints built up a nice head of steam but BES numbers suggest them capable taking down the Panthers. BES also has Indy at No. 14. They gave the Pats and Panthers hell before beating Denver. BES had the Colts as high as 10th back in Week 7 - http://besreport.com/week-7-bes-rankings/

Overall, it seem like Week 10 was a major shift in power. There will be more than a few teams making a Seahawks-like surge toward the playoffs. Could see a couple of unforeseen division Champs.

39 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

"We could adjust for the loss of Julian Edelman through the playoffs..."

Edelman should be back for the playoffs.

40 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

That Vikings-Chiefs game really was weird, with the team clearly winning on a per play basis having its win expectation percentage hardly ever climbing above 20%.

61 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Minnesota dominated the game in the first half. KC managed 75 yards on 6 drives, resulting in zero pts and 6 punts. Meanwhile Minnesota managed 210 yds on 5 drives scoring 10pts.

The second half was roughly the reverse.

I didn't think that one team was clearly better than the other. Minnesota got a little lucky hanging on in the 2nd half, but KC was lucky they weren't down 20 in the first half.

63 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I messed those stats up a little - KC's 1st 6 drives included a 34yd drive to start the 3rd quarter. Minnesota answered that drive with a 46 yd FG drive.

So it was 13-0 - with 23 minutes to go - KC had run 28 plays for 75 yds for a 2.7 avg. Minnesota had run 47 for 250 and a 5.3 yd.

The comment about KC averaging 5.8 to Minnesota 4.7 is very misleading for two reasons:

1) Minnesota ran 6 plays essentially killing the clock at the end of the half and the game. Those 6 play netted -1 yards...take those away and Minn averages 5.2 yds/play not 4.7.
2) KC piled up all their yards against a team protecting a lead. I'm skeptical of great yards gained when teams are behind.

I still think those teams are probably evenly matched, but there's no way in my mind KC was the dominant team in that game.

44 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

It looks as though the Packers' adventure into above-average special teams is over. Thanks, guys, it was fun. Green Bay is heading for its ninth below-average DVOA in 11 years under Ted Thompson. That will, I think, be the most of any team in that timespan if Washington and Detroit continue to rank positively. Washington hasn't had above-average special teams since 2006. Cumulative ST DVOA, 2005-2014:

CHI 45.6
NE 39.9
CLE 39.6
BUF 30.5
BAL 30.3
NYJ 22.3
SEA 22.3
SF 16.4
TEN 9.4
ATL 8.5
CIN 5.3
PHI 3.0
SD 1.3
MIN 0.1
DAL -1.5
TB -3.3
JAC -4.0
KC -4.5
NYG -4.9
HOU -5.2
PIT -7.9
STL -11.2
MIA -13.3
NO -13.9
ARI -16.1
GB -17.8
OAK -21.3
DEN -22.4
DET -23.3
CAR -24.4
IND -24.9
WAS -26.3

The Browns' ST are good again this season, but otherwise it seems there's a fairly significant connection between special teams DVOA and offensive/defensive DVOA. Only five teams with above average O/D DVOA have below-average ST DVOA, and only one of those (the Jets) ranks in the bottom quartile. Likewise, among the teams in the bottom half of O/D DVOA, only Minnesota and Cleveland are in the top 10 for special teams. Last year, of the top quartile for special teams, all but one had above average O/D DVOA. I wonder if there's any correlation here.

It's hilarious that the Lions had positive special teams last week despite missing two extra points and botching the recovery of an onside kick.

52 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

That Bears number is especially impressive given the two years of horrible ST under Trestman (continuing now under Fox, though I'm hoping once the roster stabilizes a little that will improve).

120 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

It's not so hilarious given that the Lions had a 104-yd KO return that led to a TD, while Crosby laughably screwed up a game winning FG attempt. An attempt that wasn't even touched by a defender.

I can't even guess how Masthay's terrible punts figured into the results.

49 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The Washington chapter is always such a fun read in the annual FO book, but the Special Teams section is usually particularly entertaining. A constant churning of bad kickers and terrible coverage units. This year's was a bit different. Something like: "now that the Special Teams are no longer really, really old; let's see if they can actually be any good."

56 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Interesting notes about the fumbles. I wonder how Denver ranks compared to the league average?

I feel like they'd have a high fumble recovery rate since they got all 3 fumbles in the 1st KC game.

58 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Green Bay is clearly ranked too high because they lost to freaking Detroit. At Home. Where they haven't lost to Detroit since Mike Tomczak was QB. Throwing darts on acid for rankings is way better than this. I think I'll find raiderjoe so we can get drunk on Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and I can be delusional about my team again.

78 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

well if GB was not so high and mighty, they wodul have traded for a receiver like nate Washington or steve smeith sr. before he got injured. but no, they are too high and mighty. "can't deal gold (draft pick) even 7th round gold for a vbet. becuaue it is like bad or something or the vet would give the packers cooties. so no, we will stick with our young guys and hope it works." *LOUD ANNOYING BUZZER NOISE* wrong! you lose to loisn, you dopes. N. Washington would've caught that 2-pinter at end of game . then packer sowuld have won in overtime

85 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

As much as I appreciate Sierra Nevada, I think I'd rather have a 2-pinter from Lagunitas, if I'm going with California brews. I'd always catch one of those.

87 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I heartily agree, Lagunitas is excellent. I also really like Bear Republic. But I will always have a soft spot for Sierra Nevada as one of the first micro-brews distributed t o Michigan.

103 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

They still brew in Petaluma (one time home of the arm wrestling championships) as well as Chicago. Not sure where they brew for shipping to the midwest, have to check my next bottle. They did just sell 50% of themselves to Heineken.

109 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

And Sierra Nevada now has a facility in North Carolina. A lot of popular West Coast craft brewers are also brewing in the midwest or east to facilitate distribution.

93 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

The Jets should have tried that trade too. I'd rather throw a fourth down endzone desperation pass to Vernon instead of Kellen, even if it means losing a 6th round pick. Watch, they draft a hall of fame qb next year.

59 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Watching every Seahawks game of the season, it doesn't seem way out of line to me that they would be the fifth best team. Three (!) of their five losses have come to teams ranked ahead of them in DVOA, another is a road loss to the eight best team, and another a road loss to the 17th best team. And they have held a fourth quarter lead in all of them! You have to be very good to consistently be ahead of the best teams in the NFL late in the game.

Is there some hidden reason why the Seahawks can't hold leads? Maybe. But it seems more likely to me to be mostly chance. I think most people don't put enough stock into natural variance and schedule when determining who are the best teams.

As to the Cardinals game in particular, penalties were a HUGE factor in that game. They were calling the 'Hawks for something on seemingly every play (offensive and defensive). I can't imagine a crew calling more penalties. This doesn't mean the refs were "wrong," but it does mean a different crew on a different night probably would have been more favorable to the 'Hawks. It has just been that type of year so far.

115 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

We're clearly watching very different Seahawks games. Yes they've lost against 3 or the top 4 and 4 of the top 8 teams by DVOA but all of their wins come against well below average teams. They have wins against the number 31 and 32 teams in the league and against the number 31 team they needed a heroic goal line play (stipulating that while the refs clearly blew that call I think in an alternate universe where Wright tries to catch the ball they still win so I'm not going to focus too much on that). They barely squeaked out a win against the number 22 team fielding a backup QB. In fact Seattle has beaten backup QBs in 2/4 wins and 1 QB who has since been replaced by Blaine Gabbert, suffice it to say not exactly a great set of opposing quarterbacks.

Maybe the end of game stuff is just odd variance I doubt it. Seattle is playing immensely inconsistently, the offense will get a couple good drives a game and otherwise just a bunch of quick 3 and outs. The oline is playing a little better in that is no longer a garbage fire on 100% of plays, maybe more like 50% now. There is no consistency on defense either, Cary is just bad and it feels like trying to cover for him is causing more stress on scheme. Want to know how to beat the Seattle secondary, just TE seam routes all day, 30th in DVOA against TEs and 30th in defense against the deep middle. The only two teams worse against the deep middle? One team that fired it's DC and one team that fired it's coach, not great company. The most consistent part of the team seems to be the d line but where as in previous years where a pass rush felt like a bonus this year it feels mandatory. If the pass rush isn't getting home I don't trust the secondary to hold up.

Seattle is sticking around because they have some really talented players who can a couple times a game make totally game changing plays but it isn't sustainable and against decent teams the lack of sustainability becomes a major issue.

60 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Watching that Arizona - Seattle game, I have no difficulty thinking Seattle outplayed Arizona by a significant margin and that the referees closed the 88% DVOA gap. It was almost clockwork that Seattle would get a marginal holding penalty or non-existent face mask on offense or Arizona would get bailed out on a marginal defensive holding/pass interference call. It made for a terrible game to watch too because it broke up the game flow.

There is no reason to think it was anything other than just a horrendously called game where the referees had too big of an impact though. I have to imagine the league would have preferred Seattle to win to keep the division race closer.

66 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Are the Saints making a run at worst defensive DVOA ever? If not, they must at least be pretty high on the list of all-time worst passing defense DVOA at +47%.

67 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Seattle is clearly ranked too high.
Not because they were beaten by the Cardinals-
(although the refs were unfair to them) ;)

But because their offense ranks 11th, and their defense ranks 7th in DVOA- putting them somewhere just below the Steelers, the Packers and yes, even the pathetic Jersey Jets.

68 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Quirky thing I noticed is that there are a lot of teams this year that aren't bad at anything. I count 7 teams that are in the top half of the league in all 3 categories.

69 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Regarding DVOA flaws:
What happens when one team is more efficient per play, but the other team gets a lot more plays?
That's not a flaw. No one in his right mind thinks that being more efficient guarantees a win. It doesn't even guarantee a more successful drive.

DVOA measures passes and runs, but only a handful of penalties are currently included.
That's only a flaw if those other penalties are predictive. It looks like they mostly aren't. I suppose you could give a secondary number like 'DVOA including non-predictive events'. That would let you say things like 'Team X looked like it would be the better team in most games, but was outplayed anyway'. There's not much value in that, except to people who look to DVOA for solace when their team loses or for validation when they win.

And if you're still that hung up on the change from DPAR to DYAR, read the Trey Causey link above.
Ah. A link to a mix of wisdom and self-pity. :-)
Don't fall into the trap of confusing criticism with trolling. (You mostly don't. Good for you!) Specifically, the switch from DPAR to DYAR came with a cost: the stats for different positions are no longer commensurate. TE yards and WR yards and RB yards are all different sizes. DPAR at least tried to equate everything to points that were all the same size. So it's easy for longtime FO fans to get wistful about DPAR, even if DYAR is overall a more useful stat.

You should consider writing a periodic column on DVOA and other FO stats from a more technical point of view. It would be too much to do weekly, but deserves more than being hidden in comments or a single off season article. It would also mean that constructive criticism wouldn't always feel so negative to you and the FO team.

You could have topics like "Can a Skill Be Non-Predictive, And Why Should We Care?" or "What Should 'Over Average' Mean When You're Down Twenty?" or "Could and Should Defensive DVOA Be Adjusted for Weather?" Potentially interesting topics, for the stats nerds anyway.

79 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

> >What happens when one team is more efficient per play, but the other team gets a lot more plays?
> That's not a flaw. No one in his right mind thinks that being more efficient guarantees a win. It doesn't even guarantee a more successful drive.

Ah, but that is it --- DVOA likes the more efficient per play team better. That might indicate better future success, but actual success in one game is more of a drive success thing, which might like a team with a higher number of less efficient plays.

There isn't an easy answer. DVOA can favor the team that was more efficient but barely had the ball, which in an individual game might mean a loss to a less efficient team. But that per play success might be a better indicator of future wins.

Perhaps what is needed is a different stat that lives along-side of DVOA for teams that is more representative of past performance than a future predictor. For example, the percentage of total YAR that a team had (VOA * # of plays) in a game would probably correlate more with who won the game than VOA does. A cumulative 'value of play' stat essentially covers this case where one team was better per play but didn't have enough opportunity, but is likely less predictive.

107 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

but in theory the more efficient a team is, in the long run, the more plays that team will run.

I suppose the exception to that (which may be a problem with this years Seahawks) is the consistency of that efficiency. If I get a VOA of 100% on one play, and -10% on next three. That's still a VOA of 17.5%.

So maybe there needs to be a stronger emphasis on consistency in DVOA. Though maybe putting too much focus on consistency would hurt DVOAs correlation coefficient with future wins.

108 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I'm not sure your theory is true. You would expect more points scored and more successful drives, but I don't know you would expect more plays (or drives). The most efficient offense imaginable would score on 1 plays drives, so nearly by default their opponents would run more plays.

110 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

yeah that's true, but when you get that efficient, you're winning regardless of how many please your opponent runs.

And besides, the most efficient offenses do tend to run 5-6 plays per drive, 4 from the least efficient. Since 1-play TD drives are rare, but 3 and outs are common.

I should probably correct my statement and say that the more efficient you are, the less likely a team will beat you just through extra plays.

111 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I used an exaggerated example, but this isn't strictly academic. Arizona is 1st in yards per drive, 2nd in points, 2nd in drive success rate, and 3rd in offensive DVOA, but they are 15th in plays per drive. They like to throw deep.

77 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

No way should Raiders be bleow Bills, Jets or chiefs. Raiders beat Jets head to head. Bills and Chiefs not better than Raiders. No problem, though. Raiders will finish 11-5 or 10-6. bills or chiefs will lose in week 12, so that is at least lsos #6 for one of them righte there. Raiders will beat chuiefs in week 13.

81 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

For lack of a better place to ask this, is there a quick explanation for why Jamison Crowder's DYAR and DVOA are so low? He has been very effective for Washington with a very high catch rate and I believe a reasonably high first down rate. Two fumbles should hurt him, but not that much? Is it related to his very low yards per catch?

86 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

In light of the Trey Causey link. I like FO, a lot, I read it most days during the season, thanks for the product. DVOA is a model and as such it should not be expected to be perfect, it should be expected to give insights into reality and it does. I think pointing out potential weaknesses in a model is important and makes the results more useful.

90 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Am I wrong in relating the Arizona/Seattle and Kansas City/Minnesota games from this year to the infamous New York Jets/New England game from a few years ago?

The team that appeared better by DVOA concentrated their bad plays to several three-(or fewer)-and-out drives.

94 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Seems reasonable. I did not get the impression that Seattle was better than Arizona watching that game; the Cardinals put up 39 points in Seattle, and could have scored more/allowed less with better ball security.

97 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Totally agree........ I don't know how anyone could have watched that game and felt Seattle was better team. They benefitted in a big way from two defensive touchdowns to grab their only lead of the contest and then quickly gave that lead up on the very next drive by Arizona.

96 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Here's a link to the final part of that Jets/Patriots discussion from 2011: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2011/absolute-final-word-jets-patriots

This may be where Aaron learned (or relearned) that the best way to handle strange and perhaps broken results is to treat them as a learning and teaching opportunity. That seems on topic this week with Aaron's commentary.

If I recall and read correctly, there were multiple effects going on in that game to make its VOA a mismatch for what fans thought they saw. There was a small problem with how red zone bonuses were applied (do those still exist?) giving a small unearned bonus to the Jets. The Jets by pure luck avoided high expectation situations, and so got an easier average to compare to overall. The Jets got the ball last for a garbage time drive. The averages compared to in garbage time are tiny, giving a large unearned VOA bonus. The Jets' drives failed quickly when they failed, as you say about those other games. And, last but not least, the Jets had two truly awesome drives, turning a game's load of success into just fourteen points.

It was probably just bad luck that all these factors ended up skewing the VOA one direction, giving a seemingly wacky result for VOA.

Some of those issues were just timing ones. Football is like that: Four barely good-enough drives are better than two awesome ones. Some issues were perhaps weak points in DVOA - maybe unavoidable, but worth being aware of. For example, DVOA rewards teams that fall behind and almost catch up over teams that build leads and let them dwindle as they burn clock.

I have no idea if similar issues apply to the games you mention. Probably some of them do.

102 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Thanks, nat.

The Cardinals/Seahawks game does seem to have some similarites. The Seahawks had some catastrophic failure drives (the safety, in particular) that were over quickly. And based off someone else's description of the Vikings/Chiefs game (I didn't see that one), it sounds like the Chiefs quickly went three-and-out a lot.

123 Re: Week 10 DVOA Ratings

I am curious to see where KC ends up in the Week 11 rankings. My numbers have them as the #5 overall team (just behind Carolina) when looking at the whole season.

If you look at just the last 6 weeks though (including Chicago and MIN losses), they are #1.

Last 5 weeks, they are #1 by a LONG ways.

Not sure I have seen a turnaround quite this profound. Record wise, sure, but they are truly dominating on both sides of the ball.