Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Week 3 DVOA Ratings
Week 3 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

It takes some getting used to seeing the Arizona Cardinals on the top of the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings, but there they are again this week after stomping San Francisco by a final score of 47-7. In the entire history of DVOA ratings, going all the way back to 1989, Arizona had never sat at No. 1 after a single week until last week. Now they have two weeks at No. 1, and they may be there for a while.

(Note: Sorry I didn't notice this last week, being No. 1 for the first time is a pretty big deal. The only teams that still have never been No. 1 in DVOA, not even for a single week, going back to 1989: Carolina, Detroit, Minnesota, and expansion Cleveland, though the original Browns were No. 1 a few times.)

Arizona is dominating in every way you can imagine, and certainly making our negative preseason forecast look pretty silly. The Cardinals rank third in offense, third in defense, and fifth in special teams. The Cardinals have put up a single-game rating over 60% in all three of their games so far. The Cardinals are one of only five teams to ever have a DVOA rating over 75% after three games. The others were the 1996 Packers, the 2007 Patriots, the 1991 Redskins, and the 2007 Steelers. That's three of the best teams in NFL history, and a team that faded down the stretch and then lost at home in the wild-card round. Fun ironies: the offensive coordinator of that Steelers team was Bruce Arians, and the opponent that handed the 2007 Steelers their first loss in Week 4 was... the Arizona Cardinals.

Of course, a lot of people have been asking if the Cardinals are truly "for real" given the quality of the teams they've played so far this year. On one hand, we know that big wins are a much better indicator of a great team than a string of close wins. On the other hand, opponent quality does matter. It's impressive to destroy a terrible team, but even more impressive to destroy an average team or, better yet, a quality rival. The three teams Arizona has beaten this year are a combined 1-5 in their other games. Those teams currently rank 29th, 31st, and 32nd in DVOA, and not just because of losing to the Cardinals.

Next week, we'll start slowly filtering in our opponent adjustments, which will gradually drop Arizona's rating unless their first three opponents turn out to be better than it seems right now. But there's a way to see the effect of Arizona's easy schedule before we put in the standard opponent adjustments after Week 4.

As you know, we have not only our DVOA ratings this early in the season but also our DAVE ratings, which combine our preseason projection with current DVOA to get a more accurate picture of how good we think teams truly are. Right now, the preseason projection makes up 60 percent of DAVE. What happens if we adjust the first three games of the season based not on the actual ratings for each team so far, but instead based on the DAVE ratings? That hopefully will give us the most accurate measurement of how well teams have played in the first three weeks, since we're considering their opponents based on both play so far and what we knew going into the season. (Since we don't do opponent adjustments in special teams, right now, the special teams ratings with this method will be the same as the regular special teams DVOA through three weeks.)

With these new "DAVE-adjusted" ratings, Arizona is still the No. 1 team in the league so far. However, the Cardinals have dropped from 76.4% to 59.1%. That's a rating that fits the best team in the league through three weeks, but doesn't rank them as one of the greatest teams in NFL history through three weeks. With this drop, the gap between the Cardinals and New England/Green Bay is much smaller. (Also, Green Bay is No. 2 in standard DVOA, but New England becomes No. 2 with this method because of how well Buffalo has played in its other two games.)

Arizona has the biggest gap between their actual "no schedule adjustments yet DVOA" and their "DAVE-adjusted DVOA," but not the only big gap. Tennessee falls through the floor because their first three opponents have also gone 1-5 in their other games. The Titans have played Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Indianapolis. They drop from 11th so far in actual DVOA to 20th in these "DAVE-adjusted" ratings. Carolina also falls: it's only a three-spot drop from No. 8 to No. 11, but a much bigger gap in the actual rating which drops from 20.3% to 6.3%.

Which teams improve the most if we adjust their early performance for DAVE ratings of their first three opponents? Well, Chicago essentially is the opposite of Arizona; as bad as the Bears have been, they've played Green Bay, Arizona, and Seattle. They go from the worst team in the NFL by far to the worst team in the NFL by a much smaller amount. Other teams that have played a particularly tough schedule so far according to DAVE ratings include Kansas City, Jacksonville, San Francisco, and Baltimore.

The full "DAVE-adjusted DVOA" ratings appear in a second table at the bottom of the page, after the standard DVOA ratings table.

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Last week, we made a change in our playoff odds simulation to account for the injury that will keep Tony Romo out for roughly half the season. This week, we've further changed the simulation to account similarly for the injury to Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. As with Dallas, Pittsburgh was run through the playoff odds simulation with two different DAVE ratings. A rating that accounts for Michael Vick as the Pittsburgh quarterback is used in Weeks 4-7, and then in half of the simulations for Weeks 8-9. Roethlisberger is back with the full higher Pittsburgh rating as of Week 10.

We're sort of playing it by ear in the way we're accouting for these injuries in the simulation, as it wasn't originally written to do this and we haven't tested this method with similar injuries of the past. As each week goes by, the Dallas and Pittsburgh DVOA ratings will reflect what those teams are like with Brandon Weeden and Vick at quarterback rather than how good they are with Romo and Roethlisberger. This week's simulation may be slightly overrating the Cowboys and Steelers, because the Romo/Roethlisberger DAVE ratings work off the Weeden/Vick DAVE ratings rather than the other way around, and the Weeden/Vick DAVE ratings are partly based on how well the Cowboys and Steelers played in Weeks 1-2 with their original starting quarterbacks. We'll play with the method in future weeks to try to get the simulation as accurate as possible.

* * * * *

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 3 are:

  • TE Greg Olsen, CAR (24-HOUR HERO): Led all tight ends with 60 DYAR in Week 3 (8-for-11, 134 yards, 2 TD).
  • RE Mike Daniels, GB: 1.5 sacks, 2 hurries, and run tackle for a loss.
  • LG Gabe Jackson, OAK: No sacks, hurries, or QB hits allowed; Oakland RB had 15 carries for 123 yards running left with 53 percent success rate.
  • RB Karlos Williams, BUF: 50 rushing DYAR, fourth among running backs in Week 3 (12 carries, 110 yards, TD). No. 1 RB in rushing DYAR through three weeks despite only 24 carries.
  • ROLB K.J. Wright, SEA: 10 total tackles including 4 that prevented third-down conversions.

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All stats pages are now updated through Week 3 of 2015 or will be in the next few minutes.

Some notes on the schedule for the next couple weeks. This is the week for the midseason update of our KUBIAK fantasy football projections. It's a project that takes a ton of man-hours to put together, and the fact that my computer seems to slowed to a crawl in the last few days isn't going to help things. It should be released on Friday afternoon. I'll be working hard to get it out as soon as possible. I know that means you can't use it for trades and waiver pick-ups this week, but we've never been able to do the necessary work that would automate this further.

Next week's update of the FO stats pages and posting of DVOA commentary is going to be even later than usual because of unavoidable scheduling conflicts. For all you Madden fans, we'll see if I can get a posting up earlier that will announce the Football Outsiders stars for Ultimate Team, but no promises. After next week, though, I'll be back to trying to get this all up by 6pm Eastern each week. Clearly not often succeeding, but at least trying.

I also will likely be taking next Tuesday off from my weekly appearances on the ESPN Fantasy Football Weekly Podcast, but I'll be back after Week 5 and for the rest of the season after that. I hope everyone is listening and enjoying the new podcasts this season. Remember you can get links to all the FO-related podcasts in our new podcasts section, which you can find at this link.

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These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through three 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 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.

Please note that there are no opponent adjustments in DVOA until after Week 4. (It's still listed as DVOA instead of VOA because I don't feel like going through and changing all the tables manually.) In addition, our second weekly table which includes schedule strength, variation, and Estimated Wins will appear beginning after Week 4.

DAVE is a formula which combines our preseason projection with current DVOA to get a more accurate forecast of how a team will play the rest of the season. Right now, the preseason projection makes up 60 percent of DAVE. (This is a slight change from previous years, when the preseason projection made up 55 percent of DAVE after Week 3.)

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 ARI 76.4% 1 27.7% 2 3-0 37.8% 3 -32.3% 3 6.3% 5
2 GB 51.0% 5 25.7% 3 3-0 42.8% 1 -3.2% 9 4.9% 6
3 NE 47.2% 6 30.3% 1 3-0 42.0% 2 1.6% 15 6.9% 4
4 CIN 36.0% 4 18.2% 4 3-0 26.5% 5 -11.8% 7 -2.3% 22
5 BUF 28.8% 14 8.2% 8 2-1 26.5% 6 0.1% 12 2.4% 9
6 PIT 24.8% 3 11.6% 7 2-1 32.8% 4 3.7% 19 -4.2% 26
7 DEN 23.0% 7 18.1% 5 3-0 -24.3% 31 -39.6% 1 7.6% 3
8 CAR 20.3% 8 6.1% 11 3-0 10.7% 9 -21.0% 4 -11.3% 30
9 NYJ 18.5% 2 7.5% 10 2-1 -11.9% 22 -34.5% 2 -4.0% 24
10 ATL 14.7% 10 7.7% 9 3-0 23.2% 7 9.8% 25 1.3% 14
11 TEN 11.2% 9 -4.1% 21 1-2 4.3% 11 -16.3% 6 -9.4% 29
12 SEA 8.3% 23 17.3% 6 1-2 -4.1% 16 3.4% 18 15.8% 1
13 NYG 5.5% 18 0.3% 15 1-2 6.9% 10 3.2% 17 1.8% 12
14 OAK 5.1% 25 -4.0% 20 2-1 12.8% 8 11.4% 28 3.7% 7
15 DAL 0.9% 11 -4.3% 22 2-1 4.1% 12 3.8% 21 0.6% 17
16 MIN 0.7% 24 3.1% 13 2-1 3.0% 13 3.8% 20 1.6% 13
17 STL -0.5% 16 4.6% 12 1-2 -11.8% 21 -8.1% 8 3.2% 8
18 PHI -2.5% 26 1.7% 14 1-2 -18.3% 27 -17.4% 5 -1.6% 21
19 WAS -3.8% 13 -13.3% 25 1-2 -4.0% 15 -0.9% 11 -0.7% 18
20 BAL -9.8% 17 -1.0% 16 0-3 -4.8% 17 7.3% 24 2.3% 11
21 KC -13.9% 12 -2.3% 17 1-2 -13.7% 23 2.5% 16 2.4% 10
22 IND -14.8% 29 -2.7% 18 1-2 -8.7% 19 1.5% 14 -4.6% 27
23 DET -18.4% 22 -5.0% 23 0-3 -14.9% 24 4.8% 22 1.3% 15
24 SD -18.5% 19 -3.8% 19 1-2 -3.5% 14 7.2% 23 -7.8% 28
25 CLE -23.1% 21 -15.2% 27 1-2 -22.9% 30 10.8% 26 10.6% 2
26 MIA -27.9% 15 -13.3% 26 1-2 -17.3% 26 11.3% 27 0.7% 16
27 JAC -29.3% 20 -21.4% 29 1-2 -11.2% 20 15.7% 29 -2.4% 23
28 HOU -30.9% 28 -15.5% 28 1-2 -17.0% 25 1.2% 13 -12.6% 32
29 NO -32.4% 31 -12.7% 24 0-3 -4.9% 18 26.4% 31 -1.2% 20
30 TB -37.5% 30 -23.9% 31 1-2 -38.4% 32 -2.1% 10 -1.1% 19
31 SF -51.4% 27 -22.7% 30 1-2 -21.9% 29 25.3% 30 -4.1% 25
32 CHI -70.2% 32 -32.8% 32 0-3 -21.6% 28 36.0% 32 -12.6% 31


A second table below presents each team's total 2015 DVOA with the single-game offensive and defensive DVOA for each game adjusted based on the DAVE rating of the opponent. Special teams ratings are not changed.

1 ARI 59.1% 76.4% 1 3-0 26.0% 4 -26.8% 3 6.3% 5
2 NE 48.4% 47.2% 3 3-0 38.3% 2 -3.2% 10 6.9% 4
3 GB 45.2% 51.0% 2 3-0 39.2% 1 -1.1% 13 4.9% 6
4 BUF 32.8% 28.8% 5 2-1 25.0% 5 -5.4% 8 2.4% 9
5 CIN 32.6% 36.0% 4 3-0 22.9% 7 -12.0% 6 -2.3% 22
6 PIT 27.1% 24.8% 6 2-1 32.9% 3 1.6% 16 -4.2% 26
7 DEN 17.1% 23.0% 7 3-0 -26.4% 31 -35.9% 1 7.6% 3
8 ATL 14.3% 14.7% 10 3-0 23.2% 6 10.1% 26 1.3% 14
9 SEA 13.5% 8.3% 12 1-2 -5.1% 19 -2.9% 11 15.8% 1
10 NYJ 11.1% 18.5% 9 2-1 -13.1% 24 -28.3% 2 -4.0% 24
11 CAR 6.3% 20.3% 8 3-0 3.1% 9 -14.6% 5 -11.3% 30
12 OAK 5.0% 5.1% 14 2-1 13.6% 8 12.2% 27 3.7% 7
13 DAL 4.0% 0.9% 15 2-1 1.4% 13 -1.9% 12 0.6% 17
14 NYG 2.3% 5.5% 13 1-2 2.6% 11 2.2% 17 1.8% 12
15 STL 1.5% -0.5% 17 1-2 -13.0% 23 -11.3% 7 3.2% 8
16 PHI -0.3% -2.5% 18 1-2 -16.5% 26 -17.9% 4 -1.6% 21
17 BAL -0.6% -9.8% 20 0-3 0.4% 14 3.3% 19 2.3% 11
18 KC -3.9% -13.9% 21 1-2 -6.1% 20 0.2% 15 2.4% 10
19 WAS -5.1% -3.8% 19 1-2 -4.5% 18 0.0% 14 -0.7% 18
20 TEN -5.1% 11.2% 11 1-2 0.2% 15 -4.0% 9 -9.4% 29
21 MIN -8.4% 0.7% 16 2-1 -3.1% 17 6.9% 24 1.6% 13
22 IND -9.7% -14.8% 22 1-2 1.5% 12 6.5% 23 -4.6% 27
23 DET -10.8% -18.4% 23 0-3 -7.8% 21 4.3% 21 1.3% 15
24 SD -13.3% -18.5% 24 1-2 -2.1% 16 3.4% 20 -7.8% 28
25 JAC -18.9% -29.3% 27 1-2 -10.8% 22 5.7% 22 -2.4% 23
26 CLE -21.8% -23.1% 25 1-2 -17.6% 28 14.9% 29 10.6% 2
27 NO -26.5% -32.4% 29 0-3 3.0% 10 28.3% 32 -1.2% 20
28 HOU -35.4% -30.9% 28 1-2 -14.3% 25 8.5% 25 -12.6% 32
29 MIA -35.4% -27.9% 26 1-2 -18.1% 29 18.0% 30 0.7% 16
30 SF -37.0% -51.4% 31 1-2 -19.2% 30 13.7% 28 -4.1% 25
31 TB -46.1% -37.5% 30 1-2 -42.4% 32 2.6% 18 -1.1% 19
32 CHI -51.7% -70.2% 32 0-3 -17.1% 27 22.0% 31 -12.6% 31


364 comments, Last at 06 Oct 2015, 4:42am

317 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

This is going to sound more argumentative than I mean it to be, but any motion and differing formations that are used to still run the same play from eight different looks (a staple of the NE playbook) isn't something for which I'd credit Brady. It's the design. And while they use formations and motion to complicate it (and to learn about the defense, of course), at its root it's still the same basic combinations. That Super bowl first half especially. (Manning/Moore's levels was similar in its simplicity, which also changed personnel and formation while running the same combos... but they never pushed the "force bad matchups" envelope as well as these Pats do.) There are two easy reads - one pre-snap: which side is less crowded with defenders (OK, and is it cover 1 or cover 3, which is also on the receivers to read); and one post-snap: how'd those D guys play it and thus which of the two routes do I throw to.

That sounds like a criticism of Brady but it isn't. I believe that most of the best designs are elegant in their simplicity. And there's no better strategy if you're facing elite defenders and the prospect of a rush in your face.

I'd add January's Baltimore game to that list you cite.

(Tangent - Last week would've been the time to have a good Rex defense discussion. I think a lot of Rex, but I also think he has obvious flaws, and while he has had as much success as anyone against the Patriots - which still isn't much - I still attribute a lot of that to individual efforts rather than some specific thing Rex did.)

338 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Appreciate the thoughtful feedback but I believe that motion and differing formations should be credited to the design and Brady equally since it is Brady who executes it and he has final say if he wants the motions to push thru (he sometimes signal wr/rb/te to motion depending on the defensive look. And don't forget Brady is heavily involved in game planning as well, if you recall he and the Hoodie discussed ways during their weekly meeting to attack Ed Reed for their Baltimore reg season game and Brady suggested adding several routes to the game plan to isolate Ed Reed on an island and the Hoodie agreed to it. This speaks to advanced and dedicated film work to formulate good game plans against NFL caliber defenses which forms a huge part of QBing as well. I think regardless of the the systems that PM and TB use the two are functionally equivalent qbs to me with only slightly differing skillsets and philosophies when it comes to executing their jobs. Main difference would be the level of coaching and FO with the Pats having the major advantage here. An instructive point would be SB 48 and 49, the Broncos used a lot of short passing slant/flat combos and the levels concept with the Pats using almost the same concept but making sure the route combinations cleared out zones for YAC (and wr/te and the occassional olineman blocking downfield to clear out areas). These 2 master qbs are really a joy to watch but I'm really looking forward to watching other qbs replicate hhe craftsmanship they have shown thru the years.

240 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

I'm curious who you think the 31st coach is that does know how to play chess.

McCarthy? (hard to argue with success)

Carroll? (ditto)

Coughlin? (figured out and shut down Belichick's power offenses twice in SBs)

Kelly? (one of the most innovative, if not successful, current coaches)

O'Brien? (who probably helped Belichick invent these formations)

Ryan? (almost always plays the Pats hard)

249 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Hmm... OK, so I was exaggerating/using hyperbole. But I like your list and challenge...

I would say I consider only Carroll and Kelly to be in Belichick's class when it comes to a combination of both strategy and leadership. (And some of this past year's criticism, even if unfounded, makes me concerned about the player buy-in in Philly.)

I haven't seen anything from O'Brien yet to make me think of him as anything other than JAG, I don't think of McCarthy or Ryan as even remotely in BB's class, intelligence-wise (but I do greatly respect the skills that they do have... Ryan more than McCarthy, though Ryan also has exploitable weaknesses not the least of which are hubris-related). While I have nothing bad to say about Coughlin I rate him simply as "better than most."

Which isn't an insult to any of them... like QBs, I hold coaches to very high standards; basically I consider anything less than the absolute best to be lacking in some way. So I'm comparing everyone to Belichick and Ernie Adams. So everyone in history fails in that comparison.

253 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

I feel like you definitely need to see the patriots multiple times to get a good feel for their offense. If you haven't, then a lot of their tricks end up killing you. I also think you absolutely cannot blitz that offense - they're really smart about finding the right voids in the zone that are inevitably left when you send too many blitzers.

Teams that have defended NE well either overwhelmed the o line with their pass rush or had the most cohesive zone coverage imaginable - here I think of the jets and ravens primarily. Their coaching staffs just had a natural feel for ne's pass tendencies.

OR...you could be the colts and let you run defense be so awful that its a moot point trying to guard those passing routes.

319 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

I think you could get a good feel for New England's offense without ever really seeing it at all, actually. Just scout yourself, be honest about your weaknesses, decide how you'd attack it if it was your offense, and then assume that the Patriots are going to do that and do it very very well without mistakes.

It isn't rocket science. It boggles my mind that every other coach is so stubborn as to just "establish the run" against top run defenses or even poor ones that are playing unusually well... (and I have a feeling that there's a better than even chance that the Colts spend the entire week leading in to Week 6 fixated on stopping the run... when it's obvious to any thinker that the Patriots are going to come out and attack the middle of the field in the passing game because the Colts are so weak in coverage there. Brady could throw for 500 yards in that game. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't even run any running plays.)

220 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

I agree that Gronk is more valuable to the Patriots than most other teams - and I think it's exactly that Gronk and Brady are greater than the sum of their parts.

Brady's biggest weakness has always been his accuracy downfield - the Patriots have tried dozens of guys in that 'downfield threat' role - and almost none of them work - Brady can't hit them consistently. Even when he does hit his receivers deep - it's often guys coming back to the ball, or diving, etc - very rarely does he hit a guy in stride (not that it's easy to do).

Gronk (like Moss before him) allows Brady to take shots down the field without too much risk - he's so big and so strong that even when the throw isn't perfect he can usually out-muscle a cornerback or outrun and out-adjust a linebacker. He basically erases the only significant hole in Brady's game.

Without him the entire field compresses and the short passing and rushing game shuts down.

237 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Hm, now this post makes me think yeah, that does make sense, despite what I said above (we were posting at the same time).

A huge part of Gronk's value is tied to the coaches' ability to so easily use him to force the other team into a massive personnel mismatch. I don't think other teams would be quite so awesome at that, so in that way, yes, the Pats get more from him. (But that's kind of a blanket statement... Brady/Belichick is a greater than the sum of parts thing too. Brady wouldn't be nothing without Belichick, but he wouldn't be in the best ever conversation either, I don't believe. Nor would Belichick have been to all 6 of these latest SBs without a top QB, of course.)

But what makes Gronk and Moss before him so unique is also exactly what you point out- they're uncoverable in that they'll catch just about anything you throw even if it's not perfect. On a team with someone inaccurate or prone to recklessness, it could be argued that a guy like Gronk is actually more valuable, since Brady is generally so accurate in his reads and his (non-deep) throws as to not rely on that quite as much as someone else might.

37 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

It's been a long time, but I think we might finally have a rival to Catholic Match Girl in Russian Online Dating Girl.

151 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

With targeted ads, I think we're all seeing different stuff. Sadly, I don't have any Russian Daters - FO's ads are for some reason convinced I want to buy Lean Cuisines and a Ford Focus.

49 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Mike Daniels refused the Packers contract offer this offseason and openly discussed 'betting on himself'. Daniels wants $10 million/year or thereabouts which is a number that gave Ted Thompson the heebie jeebies.

Daniels might just pull it off if he keeps playing like he did Monday night

59 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Short of a guy who I know engages in really heinous off the field behavior, I really root hardest for players like Daniels, who willingly take on substantial performance, and most importantly, injury risk, in an effort to maximize their careers. You know a guy like that is just working his tail off, even by the standards of the NFL players, and is really being an entrepreneur. I hope he has a monumental season, and gets extremely wealthy.

50 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

And I know it's only three games, but the Packer special teams along with results 'look' more organized and controlled in coverage. Jeff Janis in particular has been a tacking machine

63 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Forgive me if this has already been addressed, and for posting a question here, but are the tabs that used to appear on the main page by the playoff odds report gone forever? I enjoyed having them there.

To clarify: the box that has the DVOA playoff odds used to let you click on tabs to see the DYAR rankings for different positions, etc. That's gone now.

103 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

The interest in that box never quite matched the time it took to fill in the data each week. In the future, if we automate our processes in a better way, I might bring it back.

65 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

this thing is broken a little;e bit. maybe needs an oil change. dvoa not as in bad shape as pro footcball Ficus machine which needs new alignment and oil and some shakes and kicks (based on subpar grade of a. Rodgers 5 td game svb kc. yes, true it was against crappy Cgbiefs but was still 5 tds).

no way should Raiders be 14. at least a top 10 team they are.

afc power rankings have them 4- 1. ne pates, 2. cin, 3 denv, 4 raiders
NFC teams that could be ahead of Raiders are GB, Arizona and maybe Falcs and Panthers. So really Raiders at worst are 8th best taam in NFL.

69 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

joe, tell the truth; how much did you borrow, to make the largest possible wager, when the Raiders were 3 point dogs to the Redskins in the Super Bowl?

80 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

I once ordered the Pro Football Ficus Machine from QVC at 3am under the influence of several hallucinogenics. Turned out to be a cheap knockoff of the MLB Chia Pet.

82 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Of all the things I hold against the Emery/Trestman regime, #1 is letting Dave Toub make a lateral move to KC.

Oh, and 28/32/31 has to be close to a record for across-the-board futility. Bear down!

95 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

What makes you think he would've ever wanted to stay? "Hey, come work for a totally unproven CFL coach who we seem to be hiring as a cost-cutting measure! Who knows if he will appreciate or respect you!"

163 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

That's actually an interesting question-

Which team holds the worst cumulative ordinal rankings In history?

I think even the '08 Lions had mediocre special teams.

The '11 Colts? Early 90's Patriots?

231 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

The 2009 Detroit Lions holds the honor, and likely will forever. They were 31st on offense, 32nd on defense, and 31st on special teams, which resulted in their ranking as the 2nd-worst team ever by DVOA, even on a historical basis:


89 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Since you have more data about Michael Vick's effectiveness as a quarterback, is that included in the Pittsburgh projections? It seems to me that knowing the VOA of a QB would allow you to better forecast the playoff odds. Weeden on the other hand, has a lot less data to work with so I would assume you would expect more variance in the Dallas projection.

155 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

2013 he had 141 attempted passes, completion rate of 54.6% VOA -6, DVOS -7, 2014 he had 121 attempts and a completion rate of 52.9%, VOA -41%. I know these are small samples but we do know more about him then the Dallas and New Orleans situations. These look to be similar to his career numbers on other teams. I would say that this Pittsburgh team is more like the Atlanta teams, more vertical passing.

The point is, we have more historical data about M. Vick so I was wondering if this went into their projections.

157 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Michael Vick also played last year in the same kind of emergency relief role - not sure why it's being suggested that he's the kind of long-out-of-comission question mark that Luke McCown is...

179 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Vick's numbers in his games that he started aren't that bad if you eliminate the games he started while nursing broken ribs or other injuries that would have kept most quarterbacks out entirely.

He's frustrating, but he gets the jobs because he can make the throws.

194 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

You mean why am I suggesting it? :)
Mostly because I didn't realize he's had that much emergency work in recent years. It was for a different team and different system, at least...

111 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

It's great to see Larry Fitzgerald on top of the WR page, now that he has the beginnings of a supporting cast. He's always been easy to root for, I hope he can keep it up. Ditto James Jones, #1 in VOA. Jones was drafted the year after Greg Jennings, and certainly was the lesser talent, yet there is Jennings right at the bottom of the table, looking washed up.

It's remarkable, surely, that the Bears have a 36% chance of getting the top pick after just three games. I only saw them on week one, and they looked like a generic 4- or 5-win team, albeit with Cutler and Jeffery healthy. If Chicago takes a QB with its top pick next year, it will continue the NFC North's run of first-round quarterbacks. The most recent Week 1 starter in the division who was not drafted in the first round was Brett Favre, and even he was traded for a first-rounder. Otherwise, you have to go back to 2008 and the unholy trinity of Orton, Kitna and Tavaris. (Since then it's been Rodgers, Favre, Stafford, Cutler, McNabb, Ponder and Bridgewater.)

Any insight into why Atlanta's playoff chances are so much better than Carolina's? The Falcons are nearly twice as likely to win the division, despite an identical record, a tiny difference in DAVE, and the fact that the Panthers have already gone 2-0 within the division. Is it just future strength of schedule?

121 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Carolina has to play the Seahawks, Green Bay and a nearly full strength Dallas. Atlanta already beat Dallas and doesn't have to play the other two (they play SF and Minnesota instead.) I'd say that's a pretty clear advantage to Atlanta - their schedule the rest of the way out is as close to a cakewalk as you can get in the NFL. Carolina also has a few tough-ish outs remaining in the Eagles and Giants that Atlanta has also cleared. I personally would take Atlanta in a heartbeat on schedule alone.

144 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

The Falcons' remaining schedule is astonishing. They've arguably already faced their three toughest opponents. Their toughest remaining opponenet is, like, the Vikings? Or the Colts? Seriously, if the team does turn out to be above average overall (early indications suggest they probably are), then 13-3 and a no. 1 seeding is a distinct possibility.

147 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

It's probably the Panthers, if only because they have two games against them and it's hard to see them sweeping such a solid team. Other than that, it's two semi-competent teams in the Colts or Vikings (and I suspect the Falcons will be favored in both games.) If they go 13-3 and then make another quick playoff exit, I won't be shocked.

137 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Without looking (yes, I am that lazy; don't judge), I'd bet good money on strength of schedule or schedule remaining. CAR won the division last year, so they get to face 2 1st-place (last year) NFC divison teams. ATL was - what, 3rd? - 3rd place last year, so they get the 3rd-place teams from the NFC X and NFC Y. So if Carolina gets SEA and GB, Atlanta gets SF and MIN. That's the difference between 11-5 and a guaranteed playoff spot, and 10-6 or 9-7 and hoping for a good tiebreaker.

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Heck, in week 1 they looked arguably as good against the Packers as they ever have since Rodgers took over. Being in a position to onside kick down 8 points at the end of the game was kind of impressive given the lack of talent on the team.

232 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

With the recent trades they have made, it seems like the organization doesn't care to field the most competitive team possible, and is looking to get as much future value as possible. I can't find how many plays Allen and Bostic played in the for first 3 weeks, but with the strength of their opponents it's highly likely that they are looking to harvest as much upside as possible with a hurt QB and an 0-3 start.

233 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

I can't find how many plays Allen and Bostic played in the for first 3 weeks

Football Outsiders provides a snap count page for this:


Looks like Allen played 56.8% of the snaps and Bostic didn't play at all because he has been injured.

135 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Hey there mehllageman56,
The Jets offense sputtered for sure - 5 of 6 three and outs to begin the game. But I'd like to know what happened on defense. It seemed like the Jets had much success with aggressive & creative blitzing against the Browns and Colts -and I saw very little of those schemes against the Eagles. So did the Jets just get away from it for that game? Or were the Eagles just really good at blocking and making it look like there was so much less pressure? It was the defense that really frustrated me. I'm used to the offense looking kind of, well, impotent! But seemed like the defense was providing an awful lot of time -- and everything that pressured and rattled Luck should have worked against Bradford, no?

146 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Well, the Eagles had about 230 yards of TOTAL offense. They had under 60 yards in the entire second half and were held scoreless. Bradford had 118 yards, a completion percentage of 50% and no completion over 20 yards. If anything, their strategy worked far, far better on Bradford than Luck.

The Jets defense did just fine - Mathews made it to a little over a hundred yards, but as pointed out by FO, the running game was still stuffed repeatedly. The Jets lost that game on idiotic turnovers and bad punt return coverage. The Eagles offense only scored 17 points and needed some field position assistance from turnovers to even get that many. There's a reason Eagles fans aren't crowing about this win.

280 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Sorry I didn't respond earlier. As I commented before, I did not get a chance to really watch the game, only highlights. From those, it looked like the Eagles pecked away at the Jets old defensive weaknesses, the linebackers in coverage. As Chem noted, the Eagles did not really move the ball all that well. I do think the team misses Richardson more than people think, although Williams is doing ok. None of their starting outside linebackers has a sack yet; Trevor Reilly and Mauldin had sacks against Cleveland, but Mauldin is still recovering, and Reilly is really the 4th guy. We'll see how the team does in London; I don't think the Dolphins will play as bad as they did last week.

281 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Sam Bradford had 118 yards on 32 drop-backs and Darren Sproles was the least efficient RB of the week in Quick Reads- no one should be nit-picking the defense over that loss. The focus should squarely be on Fitzgerald's limitations and Marshall's profound brain-farts...

(Eagles offensive DVOA went down this week - and it was bad to begin with.)

168 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Cardinals schedule:

v. Rams (I think this is probably 70-30)
@ Lions (Probably a win)
@ Steelers (Without Roethlisberger, so probably a win)
v. Ravens (Probably a win)
@ Browns (Obviously a win)
@ Seahawks (Probably a loss)
v. Bengals (Toss up, maybe an edge at home)
@ 49ers (Win)
@ Rams (Toss up)
v. Vikings (Win)
@ Eagles (Win)
v. Packers (Toss up)
v. Seahawks (Toss up)

So that's wins against the Lions, Steelers, Ravens, Browns, 49ers, Vikings, and Eagles, to get to 10 wins. Figure they split with the Rams, beat the Bengals, lose to the Packers and Seahawks (twice) (in Seattle and then resting starters in Week 17), to go 12-4. That could easily be the NFC 2 seed this year.

If they lose one or two earlier on they don't rest starters against the Packers and Seahawks, and probably split weeks 16-17.

I think 11-5 is probably most likely, with 12-4 and 13-3 not out of the question.

[All this assuming Palmer stays healthy.]

187 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

It just appeared to me that Luck was completely thrown off his game - (out of his rhythm) and he was hit about 13 times from 8 different defenders. Bradford? Not so much. Seemed to me he had a lot of time to operate and his pocket was pretty clean.
I remember very few creative blitzes, and don't remember any safeties pressuring/contacting him in the pocket. Also seem to remember quite a few first downs gained by the birds in that first half. But I hear ya ...

201 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

It's an honor to have my favorite team now included in the playoff odds/injuries experiment. A depressing honor.

226 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Would it be possible to have the Week drop-down menu on the Snap Counts page display all the weeks instead of just the ones that have been played so far? Right now if you want to see a week after the third one in a previous year you need to hit submit on, say, Week 1 of 2014 to be able to have access to all the weeks in that year.

Also, since I just looked this up, could you fix the 2010 Team Efficiency page so that Minnesota's weighted DVOA isn't -17.0%font>?

235 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Right now, the preseason projection makes up 60 percent of DAVE. What happens if we adjust the first three games of the season based not on the actual ratings for each team so far, but instead based on the DAVE ratings?

I guess I don't understand why you don't do this as a matter of course. Later in the season, you adjust based on your best estimate of opponent strength. Why wouldn't you do this always...just that early in the season, the estimate is based on DAVE and not performance to date?

325 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Can it sometimes be a good idea to replace a linebacker with a defensive back on passing downs --instead of repeatedly having your linebackers get beat in pass coverage? Seems to me -a CB/safety has a better chance of tackling a running back -than a linebacker does covering a receiver.
But I'm no Vince Lombardi.
Now that I think of it, I think Rex had a lot of success against Tom Brady when he only rushed 2 or 3 and he had about 6 DBs in the game. He gave him time to sit in the pocket and throw...but no one to throw to. Every now & again ol' Rex came up with something creative & it worked, he usually played the Pats pretty well.

327 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Oh, Bowles does play with 5-6 d-backs a lot, but the guys getting swapped out are Calvin Pace and the outside linebackers. Davis and Harris stay in, and they are the guys (other than Coples, who should never be covering anyone), getting beat by the running backs. Davis was the one who got beat on Matthews' touchdown catch. That scheme by Rex worked well in the 2010 playoffs, but then Leonhard got hurt, they traded Dwight Lowery, and the safeties couldn't deal with Gronk and Hernandez the next year.

328 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

So Harris & Davis are being targeted and victimized over & over again. Yikes! This is going to be the Achilles heel... I have a feeling we're going to see a lot more of that wheel route

356 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

That's been their achilles heel since 2010, 2011. If that's your only achilles heel, you'll have a pretty good defense. Too bad the offense has been so OFFENSIVE.

364 Re: Week 3 DVOA Ratings

Robo-Punter is a hoot but perhaps the most interesting thing about the thread is how self-evident it seemed to many people that drafting Reggie Bush #1 was a no-brainer.