DVOA Analysis
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Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Week 12 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

Some teams are rising, and some teams are falling, and it all shakes up the top of the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings this week. After all this week's movement, the Cincinnati Bengals return to the No. 1 spot, followed by the New England Patriots and then the surprise hottest team in the league over the last few weeks, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have actually ascended to the No. 1 spot in our weighted DVOA ratings which lower the strength of early-season games.

What about our last undefeated team, the Carolina Panthers? The Panthers are still the top team in the NFC, but they rank just fourth in DVOA and third in weighted DVOA. There's nothing wrong with being the top team in the NFC, but the AFC is simply the better of the two conferences this year. Eight of the top 12 teams in DVOA are AFC teams. The one weak AFC division is the AFC South... which happens to be the division that Carolina plays this year. Right now, only 13 of the 32 NFL teams have positive DVOA ratings, and only two of those teams are on Carolina's schedule: Seattle and Green Bay.

There's been some controversy about a FiveThirtyEight article from this week titled "The Panthers Are the Worst Team to Ever Start 11-0." But that controversy seems a bit ridiculous to me. How many modern NFL teams have started 11-0 depends in part on how you define the "modern NFL," but the article defines it with the start of the common draft in 1966. Since then, 12 teams have started the season 11-0. Every one of those teams was a very good team, but you can't have 12 teams that rank in the top ten! Somebody has to be 12th!

As it turns out, DVOA does not think that team is the 2015 Carolina Panthers. We don't have DVOA ratings for teams before 1989, but here are the DVOA ratings of all 11-0 teams as of the point they were 11-0:

DVOA FOR 11-0 TEAMS, 1989-2015
NE 2007 71.9% 1 49.8% 1 -14.9% 4 7.2% 3
WAS 1991 59.7% 1 25.4% 2 -25.8% 3 8.5% 1
DEN 1998 48.6% 1 41.5% 1 -2.8% 12 4.3% 3
IND 2005 35.5% 1 26.3% 5 -12.4% 5 -3.1% 27
NO 2009 35.2% 1 27.1% 1 -11.3% 5 -3.2% 26
IND 2009 31.0% 3 23.6% 3 -7.8% 9 -0.4% 18
CAR 2015 27.2% 4 7.0% 10 -24.0% 2 -3.8% 28
GB 2011 26.6% 2 33.4% 1 8.2% 25 1.4% 10

In case you are wondering, the team that ranked No. 2 between New Orleans and Indianapolis in 2009 was New England at 7-4. The one team with a higher DVOA than Green Bay after 12 weeks of 2011 was actually the 8-3 Houston Texans, who had just lost quarterback Matt Schaub to a season-ending injury and disintegrated after that.

We now have Carolina with 24.1 percent odds of finishing 16-0. Those two games with Atlanta certainly look a lot easier now than they did a few weeks ago. In fact, our odds of the Panthers finishing 16-0 are actually higher than our odds of Carolina winning the Super Bowl, which are down slightly to 23.9 percent this week. (The gap is even larger in the numbers published as part of our playoff odds report at ESPN Insider earlier today; the changes come from new opponent adjustments after Monday Night Football and random fluctuation in the 25,000 simulations of each run.)

The ratings may now say that Kansas City is better than Carolina but that doesn't necessarily mean that anybody at FO specifically believes Kansas City is better than Carolina. The Chiefs are probably getting a little bit of an unrealistic boost because they got to be the defense on the field when Peyton Manning suddenly became 120 years old a couple weeks ago. Nonetheless, the Chiefs' climb is a bit stunning. They have the best DVOA in the league since the start of October. Now that we're 12 weeks into the season, we're starting to see some significant gaps between total DVOA and weighted DVOA as teams trend upwards and downwards. Kansas City is by far the team trending upwards the strongest. Two NFC teams have equally clear trends downward: Green Bay and Arizona. Here's a look at the week-to-week DVOA graphs of all three teams.

On each graph, the other line in an opposite color is a five-week rolling trend of average DVOA. The downward trend for Arizona isn't as bad as it is for Green Bay, because the whole thing is a bit higher. The Packers have gone from solid wins to playing average or a little bit below. The Cardinals have gone from steamrolling their opponents to mostly playing a little bit above average, and the results are much better -- after all, the Cardinals beat both Seattle and Cincinnati despite having lower DVOA ratings than their opponents for both games. (We covered that in the DVOA commentary each of the last two weeks; archive here.) The same goes for this week's close and ugly win over the San Francisco Gabberts, although this time the Cardinals' DVOA is lower primarily because of huge opponent adjustments for playing No. 32 San Francisco, not because the unadjusted ratings for the game actually put the 49ers higher.

Since Week 6, our odds for Green Bay winning the Super Bowl have gone from 24.6 percent to 2.7 percent. Because the Cardinals keep winning despite the lower DVOA ratings, their odds have dropped by much less, from 16.4 percent to 12.6 percent. Meanwhile, Kansas City's odds of winning the Super Bowl have gone from less than 0.1 percent to 6.0 percent this week.

Finally, no discussion of rising and falling teams is complete without hitting on the Thanksgiving game between Detroit and Philadelphia. The rise and fall there is a lot more short-term than what we're talking about with the Kansas City or Arizona trends in weighted DVOA. Detroit's single-game DVOA of 72.0% is not the best of the year; Denver still has that for the win over Green Bay. Philadelphia's single-game DVOA of -89.0% is not the worst of the year; that belongs to Tampa Bay for the Week 1 loss to Tennessee. But wow, did that one game change the DVOA standings. Detroit jumps up from 28th to 16th and Philadelphia plummets from 13th to 24th.

The disintegration of the Philadelphia Eagles over the last couple weeks is mind-blowing. This is a team that ranked second in defensive DVOA just two weeks ago! It's really just two games for the defense, which was perfectly fine when the Eagles narrowly lost to Miami 20-19 in Week 10. The offense has fallen apart over three weeks, or basically since Mark Sanchez became the starting quarterback. Last year, the drop from Nick Foles to Sanchez wasn't very big. This year, the drop from Bradford to Sanchez is apparently much bigger, although the difference is bigger in DVOA than yards per play because of opponent adjustments and turnovers.

Take a look at what has happened to the Eagles offense over the last three weeks, and the defense over the last two. For those wondering, Philadelphia is now listed as sixth in DVOA in Weeks 1-10 rather than second because of changes in opponent adjustments and stat corrections.

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Philadelphia Offense, Weeks 1-9 vs. Weeks 10-12
  Weeks 1-9 Rank Weeks 10-12 Rank
Yd/Play 5.42 22 4.89 25
Offensive DVOA -5.7% 21 -32.6% 31
Pass DVOA -2.1% 26 -29.5% 31
Run DVOA 1.9% 8 -30.4% 26
Philadelphia Defense, Weeks 1-10 vs. Weeks 11-12
  Weeks 1-10 Rank Weeks 11-12 Rank
Yd/Play 5.28 8 6.87 31
Defensive DVOA -13.9% 6 41.2% 32
Pass D DVOA -13.6% 3 78.9% 32
Run D DVOA -14.3% 11 4.5% 29

I haven't gone into the data or watched film enough to have a concrete explanation for just what has happened to the Eagles defense in the last two weeks. Was this kind of collapse always looming, or has there been a significant change in circumstance? Is it a fluke where the Eagles can return to playing above-average defense, or are they going to be this bad from here on out? Did opponents just figure something out on film? Is there a major personnel change? I'd love to hear from Eagles fans in the comments.

* * * * *

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 12 feature a double dose of Detroit Lions:

  • RE Ezekiel Ansah, DET (24-HOUR HERO): 3.5 sacks, all on third downs.
  • CB David Amerson, OAK: 6 passes defensed, INT; three of the passes defensed (including the interception) came on third downs.
  • LOLB Anthony Barr, MIN: 8 combined tackles, 2 forced fumbles, sack.
  • C Mitch Morse, KC: Chiefs running backs gained 115 yards on 20 carries with 60 percent success rate, almost entirely on runs up the middle; no sacks allowed.
  • RB Theo Riddick, DET: No. 4 RB of Week 12 with 53 DYAR (caught 5 passes on 5 targets for 62 yards and a TD).

* * * * *

All stats pages are now updated with Week 12 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.

We'll be announcing the winners of the special one-week Thanksgiving Loser League sometime tonight or at the latest on Wednesday.

* * * * *

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These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 12 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 CIN 32.8% 3 32.1% 2 9-2 22.9% 1 -6.4% 8 3.4% 7
2 NE 30.6% 1 28.9% 5 10-1 20.3% 2 -2.4% 12 7.9% 1
3 KC 27.6% 6 32.7% 1 6-5 14.5% 5 -9.0% 6 4.2% 6
4 CAR 27.2% 4 29.5% 3 11-0 7.0% 10 -24.0% 2 -3.8% 28
5 SEA 26.9% 5 29.3% 4 6-5 14.5% 4 -7.1% 7 5.2% 4
6 ARI 25.1% 2 22.0% 6 9-2 12.0% 6 -13.3% 4 -0.2% 17
7 DEN 17.6% 9 17.0% 7 9-2 -11.6% 26 -26.2% 1 3.0% 8
8 GB 15.7% 8 11.4% 9 7-4 11.5% 7 -4.1% 10 0.2% 15
9 PIT 13.9% 7 14.3% 8 6-5 15.8% 3 0.5% 16 -1.4% 21
10 NYJ 10.3% 11 9.9% 10 6-5 -0.9% 15 -12.2% 5 -1.0% 19
11 BUF 5.4% 10 4.8% 13 5-6 8.6% 9 4.5% 21 1.2% 12
12 OAK 4.5% 14 5.0% 12 5-6 10.3% 8 5.2% 23 -0.7% 18
13 MIN 3.6% 16 5.8% 11 8-3 0.2% 14 -1.2% 14 2.2% 9
14 BAL -3.5% 17 -4.3% 17 4-7 -4.5% 19 6.3% 26 7.3% 2
15 WAS -4.7% 20 -3.7% 15 5-6 -4.8% 20 4.2% 20 4.3% 5
16 DET -5.8% 28 -4.8% 18 4-7 -5.0% 21 2.4% 18 1.6% 11
17 NYG -6.5% 12 -7.3% 21 5-6 -5.0% 22 6.8% 27 5.3% 3
18 STL -6.7% 19 -8.7% 22 4-7 -21.5% 32 -14.4% 3 0.4% 13
19 CHI -6.8% 27 -3.3% 14 5-6 4.2% 13 5.6% 25 -5.4% 31
20 IND -7.0% 21 -5.1% 19 6-5 -7.8% 25 -0.5% 15 0.2% 14
21 TB -7.3% 15 -3.8% 16 5-6 -3.6% 17 0.5% 17 -3.1% 26
22 HOU -7.7% 23 -5.2% 20 6-5 -6.7% 24 -4.9% 9 -5.9% 32
23 ATL -10.3% 18 -12.3% 25 6-5 -4.2% 18 4.0% 19 -2.1% 23
24 PHI -11.0% 13 -12.2% 24 4-7 -13.4% 28 -3.7% 11 -1.4% 20
25 JAC -14.2% 24 -14.9% 26 4-7 -5.5% 23 5.5% 24 -3.2% 27
26 MIA -14.4% 22 -12.0% 23 4-7 -2.7% 16 8.7% 28 -3.0% 25
27 SD -15.3% 30 -15.2% 27 3-8 5.2% 12 15.2% 30 -5.3% 30
28 TEN -17.0% 25 -18.6% 28 2-9 -14.4% 29 -1.2% 13 -3.9% 29
29 DAL -19.1% 26 -19.2% 29 3-8 -14.4% 30 4.6% 22 0.0% 16
30 NO -22.0% 29 -23.9% 31 4-7 6.1% 11 26.3% 32 -1.8% 22
31 CLE -22.3% 31 -22.5% 30 2-9 -12.4% 27 11.7% 29 1.8% 10
32 SF -33.7% 32 -31.6% 32 3-8 -15.7% 31 15.4% 31 -2.6% 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 CIN 32.8% 9-2 26.4% 8.8 2 4.4% 9 -5.6% 23 10.3% 13
2 NE 30.6% 10-1 32.1% 9.3 1 -1.2% 20 -8.0% 27 4.6% 3
3 KC 27.6% 6-5 25.2% 7.6 6 6.5% 4 -6.4% 24 21.9% 30
4 CAR 27.2% 11-0 33.9% 8.4 3 -6.1% 27 -11.3% 31 7.4% 7
5 SEA 26.9% 6-5 23.4% 7.9 5 0.8% 14 -0.8% 18 10.5% 14
6 ARI 25.1% 9-2 27.0% 7.9 4 -5.5% 26 5.7% 7 17.2% 24
7 DEN 17.6% 9-2 19.9% 7.3 7 5.8% 6 4.1% 9 15.3% 21
8 GB 15.7% 7-4 13.1% 7.3 8 2.5% 12 1.7% 14 18.4% 25
9 PIT 13.9% 6-5 13.0% 6.7 10 6.0% 5 3.5% 10 8.8% 9
10 NYJ 10.3% 6-5 17.2% 6.7 9 -5.0% 25 -1.3% 19 9.1% 10
11 BUF 5.4% 5-6 8.1% 5.4 13 5.3% 7 -6.4% 25 12.9% 17
12 OAK 4.5% 5-6 5.8% 5.7 12 0.7% 15 14.7% 2 13.0% 18
13 MIN 3.6% 8-3 6.6% 6.3 11 -1.7% 22 10.9% 4 15.0% 20
14 BAL -3.5% 4-7 2.0% 5.0 17 -1.9% 23 17.4% 1 2.3% 1
15 WAS -4.7% 5-6 -6.5% 5.1 16 -1.5% 21 -10.1% 29 16.8% 22
16 DET -5.8% 4-7 -13.5% 4.5 23 8.3% 3 -10.7% 30 22.9% 31
17 NYG -6.5% 5-6 -0.5% 5.2 15 -8.7% 31 3.1% 11 12.9% 16
18 STL -6.7% 4-7 -8.9% 4.9 18 4.3% 10 1.0% 15 10.1% 12
19 CHI -6.8% 5-6 -11.8% 4.6 21 9.9% 2 -9.6% 28 13.2% 19
20 IND -7.0% 6-5 -9.9% 4.1 26 1.1% 13 -7.9% 26 5.9% 5
21 TB -7.3% 5-6 -3.4% 4.6 20 -8.4% 30 -3.7% 22 18.8% 26
22 HOU -7.7% 6-5 -7.4% 5.3 14 0.5% 16 -0.4% 17 17.1% 23
23 ATL -10.3% 6-5 0.2% 4.6 19 -12.0% 32 2.2% 13 4.8% 4
24 PHI -11.0% 4-7 -8.4% 4.6 22 -6.5% 29 10.0% 6 20.7% 29
25 JAC -14.2% 4-7 -14.1% 3.9 28 0.1% 17 -12.8% 32 6.6% 6
26 MIA -14.4% 4-7 -15.2% 4.4 24 -1.1% 19 -0.3% 16 26.0% 32
27 SD -15.3% 3-8 -15.4% 4.3 25 4.1% 11 10.6% 5 8.1% 8
28 TEN -17.0% 2-9 -16.3% 4.0 27 -6.2% 28 2.4% 12 20.7% 28
29 DAL -19.1% 3-8 -17.2% 2.8 31 -0.4% 18 4.4% 8 4.1% 2
30 NO -22.0% 4-7 -18.8% 3.0 30 -3.5% 24 -2.1% 21 12.9% 15
31 CLE -22.3% 2-9 -26.2% 3.1 29 5.3% 8 13.5% 3 9.3% 11
32 SF -33.7% 3-8 -34.9% 2.7 32 10.0% 1 -1.8% 20 19.7% 27


197 comments, Last at 07 Dec 2015, 3:39pm

104 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I don't know how much to blame Jeff Rodgers (and I had to look up his name because I could not for the life of me remember who their special teams coordinator is). It seems plausible that the severe lack of talent/depth on the roster is to blame.

I know a lot of guys whose ceiling is special teams contributor have been playing defense due to injuries, but I don't know if their elevation gets them removed from special teams duty or not. If so, then improving the defense might also improve the special teams just by allowing guys to return to that role. (One guy in particular I'm thinking of is Sherrick McManus, who is beyond awful as corner but seems to be a decent to good special teamer).

I did find it hard to believe that there was no one worth trying as a returner besides Mariani, though.

114 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Look all I'm saying is that if Fox fixed all the problems in one off season, the Bears would be playoff bound.

Is that so much to ask for?

35 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

This week's games thread isn't up yet, so I thought I'd post this here. The first time I saw it, I thought it said "Lord Matthew Stafford."


96 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Yeah, I couldn't stop watching it. I can't decide if I like Suh dropping out of the sky, or the packers receivers not catching balls is my favorite...

38 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I watched that Lions game closely. There wasn't a single phase of that defense that I thought played well at all. They gave up 8 yard runs, they got pressure ok, but not great and that secondary was completely overwhelmed at all levels.

The lions have shown a lot of life since the purges, but its unfathomable that this eagles D was ranked number 2 two weeks ago.

40 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I'm a little curious why the IND and HOU playoff odds are basically even. Indy is slightly ahead in DVOA/DAVE, has the tie breaker, and has an easier remaining schedule. Plus they host Houston in week 15 and may have Luck back by then (we can debate the actual merits of that, but the computer inputs indicate that Luck is preferable).

I suppose in this binary world, the tie-breaker is meaningless for division rivals, because either you go 2-0, 1-1, or 0-2 (excluding ties). Currently they have an edge, but after week 15, they will either have a HUGE edge, or lose that edge entirely. More meaningful for non-division foes who face each other just once.

Good Lord, am I now to the point where I'm rooting for the Pats? It's a primetime Sunday night game week 13.

46 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

My math (point spread based) has Houston and Indy being almost dead ever as far as their ratings go. Still, with the remaining schedule it looks like Indy will be the favorite in 4 of their games while Houston will only be the favorite in two.

If all holds (with or without Luck), it seems like Indy should be favored to win the division by 2 games with a record of 10-6.

185 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

There are no "if all holds" in the NFL. Houston was supposed to have basically a guaranteed loss on the road against the Bengals and that really brought us to where we are now.

50 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Indy is given a DAVE rating of -13.6 for the games that Hasselback is gonna play.
Houston has a weighted DVOA of -5.2.

Football Outsiders gives Luck a 32% chance of returning by week 15 and given that homefield is worth ~7.5 DVOA, there's a 68% chance Houston will be a slight favourite for that week 15 matchup.

Also Indy is favoured to take the division 48.7% vs 45.7%, but Houston is more likely to get a wild card should they fail to take the division, which is why Houston has a 49.5% chance of making the playoffs.

57 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Was this kind of collapse always looming, or has there been a significant change in circumstance? Is it a fluke where the Eagles can return to playing above-average defense, or are they going to be this bad from here on out? Did opponents just figure something out on film? Is there a major personnel change? I'd love to hear from Eagles fans in the comments.

Yes, it was looming. It was totally looming, and you could even see it in DVOA. If you look at their defense from even three weeks ago - before the two collapses at Tampa Bay and Detroit - they were the second-worst team in the league at covering #1 receivers. They're just not a good secondary. At all.

So what made them look like a good secondary? The same thing that makes every phantom defense look good. Turnovers. Sacks. 8th in interceptions/drive, 4th in fumbles/drive. 7th in sack percentage. And it was the pressure that was leading to those turnovers, too. And those things can disappear as fast as they appeared. Last 4 games? 0.5 turnovers/game. First 7 games? Over 2/game.

The other thing that would be interesting to look at is if teams are keeping more guys in to block against Philly. That's what it looked like with Tampa Bay and Detroit, at least: the Eagles pretty much stick to man coverage, and the extra blockers just bought time for them to find an open area.

63 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

That is what made the 2011 Vikings defense so interesting, if you are a fan of the grotesque. Hall of Fame level play on the line of scrimmage, along with really solid play from more secondary contrbutors on the line, combined with the most inept, poorly coached, play by defensive backs imaginable. They couldn't even catch errant passes that struck them right in the hands, on those rare occasions when they were in the same general area as a receiver. I used to think it was a no-brainer that the o-line coach was the most important unit assistant, but I really think now that the d-backs coach is on the same level.

64 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

That is what made the 2011 Vikings defense so interesting, if you are a fan of the grotesque. Hall of Fame level play on the line of scrimmage, along with really solid play from more secondary contrbutors on the line, combined with the most inept, poorly coached, play by defensive backs imaginable. They couldn't even catch errant passes that struck them right in the hands, on those rare occasions when they were in the same general area as a receiver. I used to think it was a no-brainer that the o-line coach was the most important unit assistant, but I really think now that the d-backs coach is on the same level.

89 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

The 2011 vikes are a poster child for why this view that all you need is pass rush is completely wrong. They led the league in pressure rate that season and had one of the single worst pass defenses of all time(This defense made Tim Tebow actually look like a star...let that sink in for a moment).

From that moment on, I became in love with secondary play.

92 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I maintain that the game against Tebow, in the Metrodome, was the single worst game ever played by a secondary. No, I can't prove it, but it defied any description, it was so bad.

61 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Mitch Morse got a concussion during the chiefs game. He only had 37 snaps on offense and also missed out on about half of Wares's runs, including the 35 yard rush that was Ware's longest.

68 The Adventures of Captain Chip: The Man with the Magic Staff

Dearest Arlette,

The grim fate of the Green Eagle looms on the horizon like a storm cloud.

After a disastrous journey to Roanoke Island, our spirits rose during our siege on the Port of Dalianas. Alas, once we continued down the coast, misfortune followed us. First, a swarm of vicious sea monsters attacked the ship, injuring our helmsman. And no sooner were we free of them, then a fleet of pirate ships overwhelmed us. Seaman Sanchez was no match for their mastery of the sea, and they inflicted a most humiliating defeat that left us reeling. In the aftermath of this misadventure, a man with a magic staff attacked us, devastating our already weakened defenses. Many good men were lost to the sea that day.

Now, we travel to the icy waters of the Northern Shore, to confront a great evil. Captain Chip assures us that we will emerge victorious, but I have begun to lose faith. I am now praying that the ship is destroyed, though I will perish with it, if only to spare others from the indignity of following a madman to their doom.

If you do not hear from me again, know that I have died with your sweet visage in my mind, and your gentle spirit in my heart.

Your loving husband,

70 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

The Chiefs are red hot right now. The BES Report has them #1 Overall - http://besreport.com/week-12-bes-rankings/

They were #4 last week. They've simply been flat out impressive in all key areas. Meanwhile, Packers are 26th, Falcons 30th and Broncos 15th. They seem to be trending downward despite their records. The BES had the Bears ranked higher than the Packers going into last Thursday's game. - http://besreport.com/week-11-bes-rankings/

72 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I have no idea what the BES report is, and I don't intend to find out. The Packers are in a deep funk on offense, but they're not the seventh-worst team in the NFL. Mike Tanier's piece on Monday still seemed to think they would breeze to the division title; I think he's wrong too, the main problems are with personnel, for which there is no easy fix.

It's quite rare for a team to be above average in all five aspects of special teams, but the Ravens are on course to do it. Really, most of the attention goes to the wrong Harbaugh.

I've watched NFC East teams two weeks in a row now, and I'm keen not to watch any of them again. A few weeks ago, Aaron said it was much stronger than the AFC South, even though the extra-divisional records were similar. Now there is only 1 percentage point of difference per team. By VOA, the second most successful quarterack in the NFC East this season has been Brandon Weeden.

189 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

The BeS report suffers from an extraneous letter-guess which one.

I've checked, it's just one asshole's subjective opinion on stuff. Utterly worthless, and it had no place on a heady site like this one.

195 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Here's a read charting the Chiefs movement in the BES wk 2-10: http://besreport.com/bes-team-tracker-hail-to-the-chiefs/

The Chiefs been ranked as low as 32 by the BES so I wouldn't imply homerism here. Judging by your screenname, you might be interested to the know the Pats held the No.1 spot atop the BES wks 4-8 and 10-11, being supplanted by Cincy in Week 9 and the Chiefs in Week 12. You'll also note their decline in BES Offense pretty much coincides with the rash of key injuries they've been hit with. So again, no bias. And also, the BES is a different take, different format but it is number/stat driven...some may like it and others won't. That's perfectly fine. Can't make everyone happy.

194 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Nothing subjective about the BES - http://besreport.com/about-the-bes/

Took a miracle for the Pack to beat the Lions whom the BES had ranked 26th and 20th respectively. Chiefs are No. 1 in the BES...also in Weighted DVOA. So I wouldn't say it's worthless. A different take and method on ranking teams? Yes. Worthless? That depends on the reader I suppose.

97 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Oh don't worry, I'm sure if Green Bay wins the next 3 games, he'll pop up again and resume complaining about how DVOA doesn't adequately capture how great the Packers actually are.

102 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I really want to know what happened to the people who littered these boards back in late 2011 season when the Packers were undefeated, who were like cultists claiming the Packers had invented a higher way of playing football and were going to be a dynasty unlike anything we've ever seen?

I don't think Oaktoon was one of them (the only one I remember was QQ), but it was fun times!

103 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Paul M was the one who famously informed us, in a serious manner, as Jehovah is my witness, that 'Yes, the water really does run colder and faster in Green Bay". Unlike a lot of people who grew up Vikings fans, I've never hated the Packers. Hell, I always liked watching Favre, even before there was a chance he'd wear a purple hat, and even with all the stupid hype. I really, really enjoyed it when the Giants upset the Packers in the playoffs that year, however.

105 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Paul M(not verified) was that guy as I recall. Similar in some respects to those who thought post-dog murder Vick revolutionized NFL offense and things would never be the same again. IIRC, similar things were said about Kaepernick for f*ck's sake... Crowning their asses waaaaaay too early...

129 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

"I really want to know what happened to the people who littered these boards back in late 2011 season when the Packers were undefeated."

They probably went to the same place where all the Seahawks fans who were saying the same thing about their team last year went. Actually a couple of them are back here now that their team has won a couple of games in a row. What a coincidence.

139 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I wonder about all the people that were worshipping Jay Cutler as the best young QB in the league right around the time he was traded to Chicago. I recall that he was better than Rodgers, Eli, Big Ben, Rivers, and was sure to be a first ballot HOFer.

148 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

In general, FO and the commenters here were high on Cutler, yes, but I don't recall anyone being that high. If anything, the prevailing sentiment was that the Bears paid too much to get him and that his interception figures were a little scary.

And remember, back in April 2009, Cutler was coming off a year in which he finished 4th in DYAR, 7th in DVOA; better than Rodgers (10th/14th), Eli Manning (8th/9th), and Roethlisberger (26th/27th). Rivers was coming off the best year of his career, but I also don't recall anyone arguing that Cutler was better than Rivers at that point.

But regardless, I don't remember anyone talking about Cutler in the way that Paul M. and QQ did about the Packers mid-2011 or the Seahawks crowd that (still, sometimes) acts like any insinuation that Russell Wilson isn't by far the best sub-30 QB in the league is the ranting of a crazy person.

106 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Re the Packers, to my not-extremely-interested eyes, their offense appears to sort of suck, or at least is performing way worse than I thought it would. Can the cogent Packer posters please give us some insight?

118 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Their offense has indeed been pretty awful during this past 5 game stretch. Really, to me they started noticeably declining starting in game 4 at SF. (Before that they had been pretty good.) It isn't all of these things at any given time, but some things that have stuck out to me:

-WRs are struggling mightily to beat man/press coverage across the board. Cobb dealing with more attention/better corners than he's used to. James Jones is old and slow. Davante Adams has sucked.

-Following the above, Packers stubbornly insisted on asking their receivers to consistently win these 1 on 1 matchups (a major part of McCarthy's offensive philosophy) instead of going to different formations and play designs to help the receivers get open. (The gameplanning has seemingly improved in recent weeks—a little more variation in formations, some more screen passes.)

-Execution, however, continues to be awful. Rodgers appears to be getting flustered by the struggles and has been doing things like flee the pocket too early, hesitate to make throws, not see open receivers, and has been prone to bouts of inaccuracy. The receivers, for their part, have responded by dropping lots of passes. I would imagine lot of this has to do with the timing on routes being screwed up because the WRs can't beat their man.

-OL has been banged up, and had really bad games against Denver and Carolina. They haven't been as bad in recent weeks though (probably because they aren't playing Denver and Carolina).

-Really poor TE play.

-Run game has been struggling (has picked back up in recent weeks).

-Promising young receivers are either injured (Montgomery, Abbrederis) or so far in the coaches'/Rodgers' doghouse they can't get on the field (Janis).

152 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

How much do you think teams keeping Rodgers in the pocket has been a factor? I noticed it in the Den and Det games, and then he seemed to break contain well against MN and burned them significantly when he did. I didn't see the Chi game.

178 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Before that they had been pretty good.

So what changed from the first three games? Did the coverage schemes from the opponents change or did the receivers simply decline in performance?

I remember Adams not doing a very good job of separation last year either, but Rodgers would toss absolutely perfect spirals that caught him exactly in stride even in tight coverage. I wonder if opponents are mucking up the timing of these routes because the receivers are getting jammed at the line of scrimmage more.

184 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I think there has been some adjustment by opposing defenses—I remember Kansas City (possibly out of necessity, as they had CB injuries/suspensions) consistently playing off the receivers and getting burned all night long by quick outs. Nobody has played GB's receivers like that since then, and it certainly seems that both Rodgers and the WRs can't get in sync.

I think you're right too, ZDNeal—the third down conversion and third down TD to Jones were huge, huge plays in that game. Rodgers has made those improvised plays look routine over the years, like they're just another part of the offense, but when the defense is able to limit those opportunities it really stresses execution from the pocket, which is totally lacking right now.