Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Week 11 DVOA Ratings
Week 11 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

The top five in DVOA remain the same after Week 11. New England is still at No. 1. Arizona, Cincinnati, and Carolina are now all in a tight pack, separated by half a percentage point, and then there's a gap and Seattle at No. 5. But while there isn't change at the top of the DVOA ratings, there are starting to be some differences between DVOA and weighted DVOA. The two remaining undefeated teams are trending in different directions, part of the reason why there's a big change in our Super Bowl odds this week.

The Patriots are No. 1 in both regular and weighted DVOA, but there's no question that their best games came earlier in the season. The Patriots have put up a single-game DVOA between 40% and 60% in six of their ten wins, but four of those wins were the first four wins of the season in Weeks 1-5. The Patriots have actually fallen below a single-game rating of 30% three times, all in the past five weeks: Week 6 against the Colts, Week 7 against the Jets, and Week 9 against the Giants.

The Patriots' offense has been decimated by injuries over the last couple weeks, but we didn't really see a drop this week after adjusting for the strengths of the Bills defense. The drop was actually back when the Patriots had a Week 4 bye. New England's top three offensive DVOA games were the first three games of the year. The Patriots had 43.2% offensive DVOA in those three weeks, but they are just 10th in the league for Weeks 4-11 with 9.8% DVOA. However, they've also been consistent: every game betwen Week 5 and Week 11 has an offensive DVOA between 7% and 21% except for the Giants game where they had to adapt to the loss of Julian Edelman mid-game. With the decline of all those weeks, the Patriots actually drop (barely) into second place in offensive DVOA for the entire season, though they are separated from Cincinnati by less than a tenth of a percentage point.

Carolina, meanwhile, has been on fire since a couple of early mediocre performances. The Panthers had 90.3% DVOA for this weekend's 44-16 win over Washington, making it their best game of the year. Overall, Carolina's worst games were all early, the opposite of the Patriots. The Panthers had DVOA over 20% only once in the first four weeks, in a Week 2 win over Houston. They have DVOA over 20% every week since their Week 5 bye.

And so, the Panthers are now nearly neck-and-neck with the Patriots in weighted DVOA. That's important because the Panthers also have an easier road to a No. 1 seed, an easier road to a 16-0 record, and an easier road to the Super Bowl. I cover this even more in today's playoff odds report at ESPN Insider, but there are a couple of elements that play in Carolina's favor. First, an easier schedule over the final six games, in particular because they play the imploding Atlanta Falcons twice. Second, the AFC has more good teams that could pull off a playoff upset. Cincinnati is roughly equivalent to Arizona, the dangerous team that will likely be seeded No. 2. Denver is roughly equivalent to Green Bay, the inconsistent No. 3 seed. (Denver and Green Bay are 27th and 28th in variance this season.) Red-hot Kansas City -- now all the way up to No. 6 in DVOA! -- is roughly equivalent to Seattle, the dangerous wild-card team.

But in weighted DVOA, each of these pairs has the AFC team slightly ahead of the NFC team. Arizona, for example, has cooled after a ridiculous start. The Cardinals had DVOA over 50% in four of their first five games, and haven't had a single game with DVOA over 20% since. Then there are the other contenders. Pittsburgh is seventh in weighted DVOA even though we know weighted DVOA underrates the current squad because of Ben Roethlisberger's injuries. Seven of the top 11 teams in weighted DVOA are currently AFC teams. The only place where the NFC is more difficult than the AFC is that the NFC East champion seeded fourth will likely have a higher DVOA than the AFC South champion that will be seeded fourth.

And so, Carolina passes New England this week in pretty much every way that involves probability. The Panthers are now officially our Super Bowl favorite, winning 25.7 percent of simulations compared to 23.2 percent for the Patriots. Again, it's not that the Panthers are better as of right now, but they two teams are pretty even. With an easier path, the Panthers are more likely to win the No. 1 seed and more likely to make the Super Bowl. We even now have the Panthers as the more likely team to go 16-0. Carolina does this in 13.6 percent of simulations, and New England 10.5 percent. One or both goes 16-0 in 22.7 percent of simulations. And both teams now go 16-0 in 351 of our 25,000 simulations. As for 19-0, don't forget that the playoffs mean three games against better opponents. Even in the simulations where the Patriots and Panthers both finish 16-0, each team only wins the Super Bowl roughly 26 percent of the time.

As for the other two teams in this year's big four: yes, once again Arizona won a big game despite a lower DVOA rating than its opponent.

DVOA (Opponent adjustments included)
ARI 16.0% -7.1% -3.2% 19.9%
CIN 35.9% -12.8% 6.4% 55.1%
VOA (No opponent adjustments)
ARI 12.0% 11.9% -3.2% -3.1%
CIN 16.1% 4.9% 6.4% 17.6%

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There are two reasons why Arizona ends up with the lower DVOA here despite actually being more efficient with 6.6 yards per play compared to just 5.3 for the Bengals. First, this game had a lot of fumbles. We ignore the fumble on the final lateral-filled kickoff return of desperation, and that leaves four other fumbles. Arizona recovered three of those fumbles. The only one Cincinnati recovered was an aborted snap, which is a play where we only penalize the offense but don't give any positive value to the defense.

The second reason why Cincinnati has the higher DVOA has to do with the way we handle opponent adjustments. Compare the two tables, and you'll see that both teams get a significant boost in defensive DVOA. But Cincinnati gets a much larger boost to offensive DVOA than Arizona. That's not because the Cardinals have a much better defense than the Bengals. Instead, it has to do with the pass/run ratios on different downs. On third down, the Bengals have the best run defense in the league, but rank just 20th against the pass. So what did Arizona do on third downs? Almost exclusively passes. The Cardinals threw 10 passes on third down, including a DPI. Those plays actually get adjusted slightly downward by opponent adjustments. They ran the ball only twice and were stuffed for no gain both times. Those plays get a bonus from opponent adjustments -- but again, there are only two of them.

There isn't time to write more about the rest of the league because of the short week for Thanksgiving and my late night at Gillette Stadium last night. I do want to bring attention to the fact that Tampa Bay zoomed up from 24th to 15th in total DVOA after that huge win over Philadelphia, and the Eagles' defense dropped from second in the league to sixth. And Minnesota improves to 16th despite the loss to Green Bay, because DVOA sees it as a close game. I'll make sure to write about more of these other teams in next week's commentary.

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Once again in 2015, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 16 Ultimate Team. Each week, we'll be picking out a handful of players who starred in that week's games. Some of them will be well-known players who stood out in DVOA and DYAR. Others will be under-the-radar players who only stood out with advanced stats. We'll announce the players each Tuesday in the DVOA commentary article, and the players will be available in Madden Ultimate Team packs the following weekend. We will also tweet out images of these players from the @fboutsiders Twitter account on most Fridays. One player each week will only be available for 24 hours from the point these players enter packs on Friday.

The Football Outsiders stars for Week 11 are:

* * * * *

All stats pages are now updated with Week 11 information (or will be in the next few minutes) including FO Premium, snap counts and playoff odds. You can also check out further commentary on our playoff odds report at ESPN Insider.

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These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 11 weeks of 2015, 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 for strength of schedule and 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. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE 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.

To save people some time, please use the following format for all complaints:

<team> is clearly ranked <too high/too low> because <reason unrelated to DVOA>. <subjective ranking system> is way better than this. <unrelated team-supporting or -denigrating comment, preferably with poor spelling and/or chat-acceptable spelling>

1 NE 33.7% 1 32.0% 1 10-0 20.8% 2 -4.3% 10 8.7% 1
2 ARI 29.6% 2 26.2% 4 8-2 16.3% 3 -13.9% 4 -0.5% 17
3 CIN 29.5% 3 30.0% 3 8-2 20.8% 1 -5.4% 9 3.3% 10
4 CAR 29.1% 4 31.1% 2 10-0 9.6% 8 -23.5% 2 -4.0% 28
5 SEA 22.7% 5 24.1% 6 5-5 9.5% 9 -7.8% 8 5.4% 3
6 KC 20.8% 9 24.4% 5 5-5 8.8% 10 -7.8% 7 4.2% 7
7 PIT 15.2% 6 14.8% 7 6-4 15.5% 4 -1.3% 14 -1.7% 20
8 GB 14.3% 8 9.8% 9 7-3 13.1% 5 -1.4% 13 -0.3% 15
9 DEN 12.6% 11 12.3% 8 8-2 -16.0% 30 -24.2% 1 4.4% 6
10 BUF 9.7% 10 8.1% 11 5-5 9.7% 6 1.4% 18 1.5% 11
11 NYJ 9.2% 7 8.2% 10 5-5 -1.3% 16 -12.7% 5 -2.3% 22
12 NYG 1.8% 13 1.9% 12 5-5 0.0% 15 4.0% 20 5.8% 2
13 PHI -1.4% 12 -1.3% 14 4-6 -10.6% 26 -10.3% 6 -1.2% 19
14 OAK -2.1% 14 -1.9% 15 4-6 7.2% 11 8.5% 27 -0.7% 18
15 TB -3.7% 24 -0.2% 13 5-5 -2.3% 18 -1.3% 15 -2.7% 23
16 MIN -4.7% 19 -2.9% 16 7-3 -5.1% 22 3.2% 19 3.6% 9
17 BAL -5.0% 16 -5.0% 17 3-7 -3.2% 19 7.0% 26 5.2% 4
18 ATL -5.6% 18 -6.7% 22 6-4 -1.7% 17 1.0% 17 -2.8% 25
19 STL -5.9% 17 -6.7% 21 4-6 -22.1% 32 -15.8% 3 0.5% 13
20 WAS -6.0% 15 -5.8% 20 4-6 -3.9% 20 6.2% 24 4.0% 8
21 IND -6.7% 21 -5.8% 19 5-5 -7.2% 24 -0.8% 16 -0.3% 14
22 MIA -7.7% 20 -5.2% 18 4-6 0.9% 14 6.3% 25 -2.3% 21
23 HOU -9.9% 27 -9.0% 23 5-5 -6.8% 23 -2.8% 12 -5.8% 31
24 JAC -12.2% 23 -12.3% 25 4-6 -4.7% 21 4.2% 21 -3.3% 27
25 TEN -12.3% 28 -13.6% 26 2-8 -12.2% 27 -4.1% 11 -4.1% 29
26 DAL -13.3% 22 -14.2% 27 3-7 -8.5% 25 4.3% 22 -0.5% 16
27 CHI -13.8% 25 -10.1% 24 4-6 3.5% 12 11.2% 28 -6.1% 32
28 DET -16.7% 31 -16.1% 28 3-7 -12.7% 28 5.4% 23 1.3% 12
29 NO -18.4% 29 -19.1% 29 4-6 9.7% 7 25.2% 32 -2.9% 26
30 SD -19.4% 26 -19.4% 30 2-8 1.9% 13 16.0% 30 -5.3% 30
31 CLE -21.6% 30 -21.3% 31 2-8 -12.9% 29 13.1% 29 4.5% 5
32 SF -39.6% 32 -39.3% 32 3-7 -17.4% 31 19.3% 31 -2.8% 24
  • 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 NE 33.7% 10-0 34.9% 8.9 1 0.0% 17 -1.6% 20 4.9% 4
2 ARI 29.6% 8-2 31.4% 7.8 3 -5.4% 29 -2.5% 21 13.3% 18
3 CIN 29.5% 8-2 23.0% 7.7 4 4.0% 7 -7.4% 28 10.2% 12
4 CAR 29.1% 10-0 32.7% 7.8 2 -3.4% 26 -7.5% 29 6.9% 7
5 SEA 22.7% 5-5 23.2% 6.6 6 -2.6% 24 1.3% 16 11.1% 14
6 KC 20.8% 5-5 22.9% 6.0 10 2.0% 13 -6.7% 27 22.3% 30
7 PIT 15.2% 6-4 16.3% 6.3 7 2.0% 12 5.3% 8 8.2% 9
8 GB 14.3% 7-3 16.7% 6.7 5 -1.5% 22 -3.5% 23 20.9% 28
9 DEN 12.6% 8-2 20.0% 6.2 8 -1.5% 21 6.3% 6 17.3% 27
10 BUF 9.7% 5-5 12.9% 5.4 12 6.1% 2 -0.1% 18 12.3% 16
11 NYJ 9.2% 5-5 13.9% 6.0 9 -2.4% 23 2.0% 15 9.0% 10
12 NYG 1.8% 5-5 4.4% 5.5 11 -5.8% 30 3.1% 12 8.2% 8
13 PHI -1.4% 4-6 -0.4% 4.7 15 -2.8% 25 8.7% 2 15.4% 23
14 OAK -2.1% 4-6 2.7% 4.3 22 -1.5% 20 6.1% 7 14.5% 20
15 TB -3.7% 5-5 -2.7% 4.7 16 -4.8% 28 -3.6% 24 21.3% 29
16 MIN -4.7% 7-3 3.5% 5.0 13 -6.7% 31 8.2% 4 14.9% 22
17 BAL -5.0% 3-7 -0.3% 4.4 21 -1.4% 19 9.8% 1 3.0% 1
18 ATL -5.6% 6-4 3.1% 4.7 14 -11.0% 32 3.2% 11 4.7% 3
19 STL -5.9% 4-6 -2.6% 4.4 20 -0.9% 18 3.6% 10 11.1% 14
20 WAS -6.0% 4-6 -13.3% 4.6 17 3.1% 10 -5.1% 25 16.4% 26
21 IND -6.7% 5-5 -12.1% 3.5 26 3.6% 9 -5.1% 26 6.1% 5
22 MIA -7.7% 4-6 -9.3% 4.5 18 0.7% 16 2.3% 13 25.8% 32
23 HOU -9.9% 5-5 -12.1% 4.5 19 4.0% 6 -1.0% 19 15.7% 24
24 JAC -12.2% 4-6 -15.1% 3.8 24 3.7% 8 -12.0% 32 6.6% 6
25 TEN -12.3% 2-8 -13.4% 4.3 23 -4.7% 27 2.0% 14 23.0% 31
26 DAL -13.3% 3-7 -13.6% 3.1 30 2.2% 11 8.4% 3 4.1% 2
27 CHI -13.8% 4-6 -15.3% 3.5 27 5.1% 5 -9.4% 30 12.5% 17
28 DET -16.7% 3-7 -23.5% 3.3 28 5.5% 3 -10.8% 31 16.2% 25
29 NO -18.4% 4-6 -17.5% 3.2 29 1.1% 15 -3.2% 22 13.9% 19
30 SD -19.4% 2-8 -18.4% 3.6 25 1.6% 14 4.0% 9 9.5% 11
31 CLE -21.6% 2-8 -27.4% 2.9 31 5.1% 4 7.3% 5 11.0% 13
32 SF -39.6% 3-7 -39.5% 1.7 32 8.5% 1 0.2% 17 14.6% 21


77 comments, Last at 08 Dec 2015, 8:15am

2 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

[New England] is clearly ranked [too high] because [Forrest Gump is going to be a starter soon]. [Asking RaiderJoe for his picks] is way better than this. [Mah gawd dem Pat-riots need sum of dem dere healths!]

6 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

i dont think any team can complain about injuries compared to the Ravens....

I re-sell on eBay for extra cash and blog about it over at flippingadollar.com

3 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

With Collins coming back from his illness, NE almost can't get any better at linebacker and defensive line. Butler is playing like a true #1 corner, shutting down Beckham and Watkins in back to back weeks, albeit with one big blunder each game. Ryan is a solid #2 corner, and great in some matchups. If you want to attack this defense, you have to get your running backs downfield vs. linebackers, and pound the ball to your 3rd and 4th receiving options. When has NE not made successful adjustments to get their offense back on track as long as Brady is healthy? NE is suffering a rough patch similar to the start of last season, except they keep winning anyway. Once offensive execution gets back to a level Brady can trust, this team will be in a class by itself.

4 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Sea ranks 5th but they have a really tough road to the playoffs. They still have Pitt, @Minn, @Balt, @Arz...

Their best hope is that Minn and/or Atl fall back. Both Minn and Atl have tough finishing schedules.

I could see TB nipping in to get one of the wild cards.

16 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

If the Seahawks could have held on in their two most devastating losses their record would match up to DVOA a lot better, and I'd sure be a lot more sanguine about their playoff chances. Per PFR Seattle was at 99.5% to win heading into the fourth quarter up 24-7 in Cincinnati, and in week 1 they hit a 94% chance to win when they gave Nick Foles the ball at the end of the game needing to drive the length of the field for a touchdown to tie.

Very frustrating year. It kind of feels like they cashed in all their annual good karma in advance in the NFC championship game.

61 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

More that while they have fallen off from their peak, the drop isn't as dramatic as their record makes it look. It's reassuring to see DVOA line up with some of my fan rationalizations.

62 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

They're in about the same position they were in 3 years ago:


They were 6-5 at that time, and 10% DVOA below the leading team, which is pretty much where they're at now as well. The difference is that back then they beat the strong teams and lost to the weak ones.

64 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

2012 was also marked by a number of really bad blown games where they led late in the 2nd half. @ Chicago & divisional playoff @ Atl.

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

5 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

It blows my mind how bad Denver's offensive DVOA is and how they are still 8-2. The 3 fumbles recovered in the first KC game obviously help, but has there ever been a shittier offense that had that good of a record this late in the season?
Maybe the Rex Grossman lead Bears when they made the Super Bowl?

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8 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Grossman's Bears were never this bad on offense:


A better comparison would be the 2012 Bears, who were this bad and in fact worse:


Like Denver, they were great at special teams and led the league in defense, with a slightly worse record of 7-3; they were 7-1 two weeks prior, though.

There is also the 2005 Bears, also 7-3 after 10 games with a garbage offense and a league-leading defense. That team made it to 9-3 even as the offense kept getting worse:


7 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

As we move toward the playoffs, injury luck becomes more important. Panthers and Bengals seem to be doing well. Pats are hitting a rough patch. I know DVOA just loves the Broncos, but it's hard for me to see them doing well in the playoffs either with Brock Osweiler or Peyton Manning right now.
Don't quite know what to make of the Chiefs. It's typical of an Andy Reid team to alternately look great and mediocre. The trick for an opponent is to avoid the former phase.

9 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Osweiler's first week was the second best offensive performance by the Broncos this year following the Green Bay week in which everything magically clicked.

The defense hasn't played as well as it did earlier in the year, but even this game which looked like a poor showing was pretty decent. It remains that only the week against Indy a below average performance for this D.

10 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

I don't know if I'd count the chiefs game as a good week. Granted the Denver defense had to deal with terrible field position all day. The chiefs stuck with a conservative vanilla offense since their D was lights out. A 3rd matchup will be interesting considering how the chiefs lost the first matchup (fumble before trying for OT).

31 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

The defensive DVOA for that game was -15.4 which isn't fantastic, but is above average.

Considering that this wasn't that much of a particularly fantastic outlier of a game for either the Broncos defense or Chiefs offense and considering that this defense had another game with an even better outcome against the same team, it seems foolhardy to me to dismiss the performance as being caused simply by conservative play. Especially considering that DVOA actually adjusts for game situations.

11 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

This week's playoff odds report has a NE-CAR Superbowl at roughly 23% of simulations, and each team with double digit probability for 16-0. So, like, can we have the percent chance for an undefeated vs. undefeated Superbowl?

27 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings


We know that both teams go 16-0 in 1.4% of Super Bowls, and that each team wins about 23% of the Super Bowls, assume approx 45% chance of a Super Bowl appearence and that gives you 0.16% chance of both teams going 19-0.

Though I'm sure Aaron could give you a more exact number.

51 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Perhaps Aaron would be kind enough to add a line under the SB 38 rematch with the odds that it is between 18-0 teams in the future, if both keep winning?

12 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

The Week 11 BES Rankings released earlier this afternoon - http://besreport.com/week-11-bes-rankings/
Here's the FAQ - http://besreport.com/about-the-bes/

They're probably more volatile than DVOA and measure momentum so the Chiefs are #4, Texans #7, Bucs #8.The Saints at #6 is the the big head scratcher. DVOA has them more aptly ranked at 29th unless they're on the verge of a serious run. It'll be interesting to see what impact, if any, Rob Ryan's firing has on the defense.

I love how DVOA accounts future schedule strength. I think that helps show where a team has the possibility to end up whereas the BES depicts moreso how hot a team is...or, as in the instance of the Chargers (ranked #32) or the Falcons(No. 28), how cold a team is.

We'll see what happens.

15 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

DVOA doesn't account for anything that hasn't yet happened - it is ENTIRELY built out of actual game data. Predictions about future schedule strength are entirely separate.

75 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Okay clearly the "Even a broken clock is right twice a day" saying applies here because the BES had the Bears ranked 12th and the Packers ranked 21st heading into the TNF game - http://besreport.com/week-11-bes-rankings/

13 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Predictably, as the Vikings have some decent performances against teams which aren't in the bottom third of the league, the Vikings climb from the bottom 25%, to the upper half. Are they that much better than they were, say, a few weeks ago? Probably not, but it is indicative, I think, of how long it takes to get large, useful, sample sizes in football.

18 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

So how does this handle Romo coming back? I know you had adjusted the Playoff Odds. Does anything happen here, or do you just allow it to "resync" naturally?

56 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

We never adjust DVOA based on injuries of any kind. It's based on just the plays that happened.

As Romo plays in more games, the boost we give Dallas in the rating that goes into the playoff odds simulation will gradually get smaller.

19 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

No way shoudl Jets or Eags be ranked ahead of Raiders, so what if reocr dis 4-6
. that will be fixed soon. Will finish 10-6 maybe 9-7. And will be making playoffs. Jets? Crap team. Eags? Crap team too

68 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

tHEThe reidrs are don. Thre strat loses to middling teems and a atrosios defense. The "team* shold move to whatevr lokation/team vacats to LA and be don with there shirad.

58 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

This was my thought. When a team cans the people right at the top it will inevitably lead to hushed conversations around the building about who will be next along with phone calls from every player's agent explaining how much money is at risk. After this minds are sharpened and maximum effort is applied by all.

This effect usually lasts about two weeks.

25 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Offense still sucks, but defense is playing much better. God bless Rashean Mathis, who had a remarkable year last year, but age has caught up to him, and his being put on IR was addition by subtraction. James Ighedibo was also benched at safety.

Also their DVOA might be skewed by the fact that they were lucky enough to catch the Packers when they had an uncharacteristically bad game.

43 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

The encouraging thing with the Lions is that their better play has come from the removal of 3 key players from their lineup .

Most of their issues have revolved around two main problems all season, RT Waddle was getting beat on a high percentage of plays and beaten badly. I don't recall seeing anything like this at the NFL level before with an offensive lineman playing so poorly. Plays were blowing up within seconds of the snap and many time defenders were coming in freely. They finally benched Waddle in the 2nd half of the Green Bay game and since then their offense has looked totally different, normal not great.

On defense their pass coverage was on pace to shatter the NFL record for highest completion percentage allowed by a team for a season. In the Green Bay game Mathis was ruled out before the game due to and injury and safety James Ighedibo was benched before the contest and since then their pass defense has went from poor to above average. Keep in mind this was the #3 ranked DVOA defense last year and #1 for a lot of the season also.

I know it's not this simple as football is a team sport etc but more than anything I do think it's encouraging that the improvements have come from different players playing. On the negative side of this, I'm not sure what this says about the Lions coaching staff that it took so long to see something that appeared to be so obvious. In small defense of Caldwell and his staff, those three guys were all former starters last season and all had done a decent job for the Lions.

53 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

I agree about Waddle...it's both amazing and befuddling. As a rookie he looked like an above-average tackle. Last year, he couldn't stay healthy, and looked mediocre when he was in there. Now, he looks like he doesn't even belong in the NFL. The fact that a street free agent (Michael Ola) is huge improvement over him is telling (but we should give Ola props for having a decent game against Khalil Mack).

As far as the defense, we should also point out that after a rough start to the season, Darius Slay has been playing out of his mind lately. He completely took James Jones out of the game in week 10 (not saying James Jones is great, but he's at least been productive on most of his other games), and shut down Amari Cooper this week.

60 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

I'm not surprised Ola is playing decently. He always looked competent* when called upon with the Bears, and I'm surprised they let him go.

(* that's competent at the "decent backup but never your first choice" level, but that level looks great compared to actual incompetence)

29 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

I know some of it has to do with Opponent adjustments, and it depends on who you lose to, but the deltas in the NFCE playoff percentages are funny. WAS loses big - doesn't move, PHI loses big - drops like a rock. Dallas wins - barely moves. The overall Winner - NYG! It looks like "The only way to win is not to play"is the best strategy after all...

30 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Tampa Bay took a heck of a jump! From 24th to 15th, and even better when weighted.

I didn't watch that game. From the score, I guess they beat the crap out of the Eagles. Still, I've seen low ranking teams stomp high-ranking teams before and barely move in DVOA ranking. They must have done something right.

32 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Not a very Pats fan position, but I really hope the Pats win in Denver then hope they lose somewhere along the way, to take the pressure of going 16-0 off the team. This season reminds me more or less of 2007, in that at some point a great start became a life and death struggle to hold on to undefeated status. In 2007 IIRC they had some improbable lucky victories in the back half of the season (Baltimore?), and this year they have the Giants game so far. That trend worried me then and a potential repeat worries me know.

I didn't really care that much about 16-0 in 2007 (it really meant nothing to me after the lost SB) and I don't really care about it this year. I think playoff HFA and some guys back healthy gives them a shot to win it all, which is way better IMO than 16-0.

35 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

The pats could go 16 - 0, but this team is very far from the 07 squad. Plus..the undefeated season feels hollow only after the fact. 19 0 really etches ur name in lore

37 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Have to say that if I were Belchick/Brady, I'd be looking at the state of the NFL thinking there's never going to be a better chance to complete the 19-0 Perfect season.

The problem is injuries. The offensive line is currently a mess and they're down to scrub WRs.

Leaves me wondering whether the Pats would have been willing to pick up Welker if he were available, and whether he would have been willing to return / now regrets going to the Rams.

67 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

I think it was about Moss. And like I said, he's better than Dobson. I wonder what Moss would look like if he was single covered? Probably would be a first for him since his rookie season. I don't think he'd command double coverage anymore, but who knows, he had speed in his 30's and so I think it's more his size/shape (long strides) than necessarily muscle explosiveness.

39 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

While I can understand your point of view, I disagree slightly with your take (although not being a pats fan--haven't been since they replaced Carrol and Bledsoe (wise moves given their resulting record but not appealing to me) except in 07, perhaps my opinion counts less here). However, those feelings on my part inform my disagreement. In 07, I rooted for the Giants in the regular season game as I did not want the Pats to go 16-0, but once the Pats won that game, I started rooting for them to go 19-0. I still feel like the 07 Pats are likely the best team to ever play in the NFL--and I say that as a non-pats fan. Going 16-0 was a significant accomplishment (to me). Whereas winning the SB, is a one year phenomenon--every year someone wins the SB and after a couple of years, that win unless it is somehow part of a dynasty (or is just a phenomenal game) erodes in importance. (Prime example: the Seahawks pasting of the Broncos 2 years ago in the SB is not as significant after them losing to NE last year, despite the fact that they still made it to the SB. Had they won two in a row the significance of the win 2 years ago would be enhanced not eroded.)

Now, do I want the current team (or the Panthers) to go 19-0? Not certain. My opinion is that if one of them does, at least given the current state of play in the league, it won't be as much a referendum on the team which does it being the all-time best, but more that this was a very skewed season.

41 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

I want the Panthers to do it because I really want to see the hot taeks when that Panthers team, which is really great but definitely not an all-time great team, accomplishes the feat of going 19-0.

Do people call them the best team ever? Do we get a million articles about how the '72 Dolphins were better because they didn't go dabbin' after every TD? What happens exactly.

I had a similar feeling in 2008 when the Titans started 10-0.

34 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

19 teams with estimated wins below 5, after 10 games. I wonder what the record is, with 32 teams.

36 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

The Rams offense is clearly ranked too high because DVOA doesn't understand the skill required to downgrade a Brain Schottenheimer/Austin Davis offense. Kellen Clemmens was better than this.

38 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

While DVOA is not predictive (in the sense that it is adjusts for events that have not yet happened, e.g. strength of future schedule), the playoff odds do include predictive adjustments. They start with the current (weighted) DVOA and adjust based on how the team performs in the simulations. At least that's what the commentary I read a few weeks ago said, assuming that I read it right.

40 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

So the Ravens have the hardest remaining schedule with Matt Schaub, an All-Anonymity receiving corps, and a weak defense. Hello No.1

44 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

I wonder what has been the highest DVOA ever for a team with the number 1 draft pick. I'm too lazy to research it right now, but I could see the Ravens being in that conversation.

45 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

2003 Chargers -11.8%

Of course they would have to outsuck the other train wrecks in the NFL this season to get the pick, so their DVOA would go down, but if it happened they'd be in the conversation.

42 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

I would have expected the Bills' defensive DVOA to have jumped after shutting down (relatively) the Patriots on Monday.

49 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Last week:
"DVOA results aren't actually that crazy. Seattle was actually the much more efficient offense in general, gaining 6.6 yards per play compared to 5.4 yards per play for Arizona." Seattle recovered two fumbles that directly led to scores.

This week:
"There are two reasons why Arizona ends up with the lower DVOA here despite actually being more efficient with 6.6 yards per play compared to just 5.3 for the Bengals. First, this game had a lot of fumbles. Arizona recovered three of those fumbles. "

57 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

Looking at the running back page, at the current rate, 2015's top runner by DYAR will be the worst #1 so far. Neal Anderson had 254 DYAR in 1989, which seems to be the lowest of any DYAR champion; even so, three backs from that year (James Brooks 250; Barry Sanders 239) would finish with more DYAR than Devonta Freeman's projected 228. Thomas Rawls is a bit of a wildcard, though, I grant you.

Having crept upwards fairly consistently from 2005, rushing yards per attempt peaked in 2012-13 and are down again this year, despite slightly fewer attempts. Several of the best RBs are injured or getting older, and (post-Griffin) coaches seem to be more cautious about letting their quarterbacks run. One more possible explanation for why I'm finding this season a bit disappointing.

70 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

(The Patriots) is clearly ranked (too low) because (it's freaking November). (Billboard Hot 100) is way better than this. (u think they ever loose more games? LOLZ)

76 Re: Week 11 DVOA Ratings

These ratings really help clarify the relative strength of teams. Thanks for all the great work.