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

Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Last week's No. 1 team in DVOA had a big lead over the rest of the league and a bye week. That means that the Philadelphia Eagles are this week's No. 1 team in DVOA as well. This is the week we start to introduce opponent adjustments, which begin at 40 percent of their usual strength and will gradually increase by 10 percent each week until we are at full strength after Week 10. However, the opponent adjustments don't do much to move the Eagles downward. Games against Chicago and Cleveland are mostly balanced by the big win against Pittsburgh. The difference between Philadelphia's VOA and DVOA listed in our tables below is entirely based on fumble recovery luck. The Eagles have recovered all three of their own fumbles on offense as well as four of six opponent fumbles on defense.

Last week it looked like the Eagles were going to take a big hit from opponent adjustments, because Pittsburgh was down at No. 22 after they lost big to Philadelphia. Well, one week sure changed things for the Steelers, who completely curb-stomped the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. In three weeks, Pittsburgh's rank in DVOA has gone from fourth to 22nd and then back up to fifth. Meanwhile, Kansas City drops from No. 2 all the way down to No. 15 this week. I apologize that with the Jewish holiday and my deadline on the ESPN playoff odds article, I don't have the time to comb through 27 years of single-game DVOA to figure out if Pittsburgh or Kansas City are among the biggest week-to-week changes in single-game DVOA ever measured. It wouldn't be surprising if both teams are in the top ten. Based on current opponent adjustments, Pittsburgh had -60.7% DVOA for the Philadelphia loss but 87.6% DVOA for the win over Kansas City. Meanwhile, the Chiefs went from 69.4% DVOA in their Week 3 blowout of the Jets to a horrendous -99.5% DVOA for the loss to Pittsburgh.

Our undefeated teams are generally the class of the league so far according to DVOA. Philadelphia is first, Minnesota is third, and Denver is fourth. The one 3-1 team in our top four is, of course, DVOA's favorite binky, the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks are dominating the league on defense and in two weeks their offensive rating has moved from 27th to 17th. An additional reason why the Seahawks are higher than two undefeated teams in DVOA is fumble recovery luck, or lack of it. Seattle has fumbled four times on offense and recovered just one of them. The Seahawks have also recovered zero of the four fumbles they have forced on defense.

Overall, the DVOA ratings through four weeks are mostly agreeing with the early win-loss records. As you would expect given their ridiculously close losses and blown late leads, San Diego is the only 1-3 team with a positive DVOA. It is worth noting that for all the rending of garments and gnashing of teeth about the Arizona Cardinals, they are the second-highest 1-3 team.

Buffalo is our highest 2-2 team after a 16-0 win over New England that is destined to look completely screwy with opponent adjustments by the end of the year. As longtime readers know, we use one set of opponent adjustments for the entire season even if injuries cause major changes in a team's quality. There are a few reasons for this -- the complexity of programming constantly changing adjustments, the difficulty of deciding which injuries matter and which ones don't, etc. However, that Buffalo win is going to look nuts if, as expected, the New England Patriots offense plays much better with Tom Brady at quarterback for the final 12 games.

The Patriots are one of three 3-1 teams with negative DVOA. The Patriots' defense is down to 26th after this week's loss, and the special teams have had surprising struggles and dropped to 10th. The split for the New England special teams is telling: the Patriots have the best punting in the NFL and close to the best net kickoff value, but Stephen Gostkowski has slumped on field goals (missing two) and they are awful on kick and punt returns.

Nonetheless, the Patriots are far from the worst 3-1 team in the league so far. Same goes for the Los Angeles Rams, who are still ranked only 24th in DVOA despite their hot 3-1 start. It makes sense when you consider that we're talking about three very close wins and a horrific 28-0 loss to a bad San Francisco team. Seriously, what is it with the San Francisco 49ers and Week 1? The Rams still have an awful offense, ranked 31st in DVOA even after three wins. In fact, only one team has a worse offense, and that team also has three wins.

Oh, AFC South. You are so bad.

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The Houston Texans are 29th in DVOA after this week, despite starting the season 3-1. In fact, they oddly have the lowest DVOA right now in their awful division despite having a two-game lead. They have the worst offense in the league to go with the No. 8 defense and No. 25 special teams. Only two teams in DVOA history have been worse than the Texans at 3-1: the 2010 Chicago Bears (finished 11-5, 14th in DVOA) and the 2007 Detroit Lions (finished 7-9, 29th in DVOA).

The other surprise this year is all the way at the bottom, where the Cleveland Browns are not the worst team in the league by DVOA. No, that title now belongs to Ryan Fitz-six-picks and the New York Jets, who now rank among the five worst teams in both offense and defense. At least things should get easier for the Jets. Based on average DVOA of opponent, they have the second-easiest remaining schedule. The only team that gets it easier the rest of the way is Pittsburgh, which also has faced the hardest schedule through the first four games.

Someone asked me on Twitter if the Browns might have the best DVOA ever for an 0-4 team. No, they aren't even close. In fact, the team with the best DVOA ever for an 0-4 team is probably a real surprise to most of you. Only one team has ever had positive DVOA at 0-4, but that team was very positive: 15.0% DVOA and ninth in the league through four weeks. You don't remember it because it was before Football Outsiders launched in 2003. However, it won't be a surprise that this team outplayed its poor record because the next year it won the Super Bowl. In fact, this franchise hasn't had a losing record since the season in question. Yes, the best 0-4 team in DVOA history was the 2000 New England Patriots, who started the year with four straight one-score losses against four teams that would all end the year with winning records.

A few other notes from the arrival of the opponent adjustments and the second weekly table that includes past and future schedule ratings:

  • Based on average current DVOA of opponent, the four hardest remaining schedules in the NFL belong to the four teams of the NFC East. In order, from hardest to easiest, they go Washington, Philadelphia, Dallas, and New York.
  • The schedule also gets tougher the rest of the way for Seattle, which has enjoyed the league's easiest schedule by far in the first four games. On the other hand, things will get easier for the Jets and Steelers (as noted above) as well as the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers. This is one of the reasons it is tough to answer the question, "Whose start is a bigger problem, Carolina or Arizona?" Arizona has been the better team so far this year but Carolina has a much easier path to the playoffs, with an easier schedule and just one 3-1 team in its division.
  • Based on game-by-game variance of DVOA, two of the three most consistent teams in the NFL so far are Tennessee and Indianapolis. The AFC South: not just lousy but consistently lousy!
  • Don't forget that the Estimated Wins figure in the table below is computed as if every team had played the same number of games. That's how New England can be listed at 4.0. I probably should change this at some point to a winning percentage instead of just a raw win total.

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Once again this season, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 17 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, beginning at 11am Eastern on Friday. We will also tweet out images of these players from the @fboutsiders Twitter account on most Fridays. The best player of each week, the Football Outsiders Hero, will require you to collect a set of the other four Football Outsiders players that week, plus a certain number of Football Outsiders collectibles available in Madden Ultimate Team packs.

The Football Outsiders stars for Week 4 are:

  • LE Cameron Heyward, PIT (FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS HERO): 3 sacks, PD that led to interception.
  • TE Martellus Bennett, NE: Finished second among tight ends in Week 4 with 34 DYAR (5-of-6, 109 yards).
  • RB Isaiah Crowell, CLE: Tied for first among running backs in Week 4 with 50 DYAR (15 carries, 122 yards, TD). Remarkably, Crowell leads all running backs in both DYAR and DVOA through four weeks.
  • LT Charles Leno Jr., CHI: No sacks or pressures allowed; Bears running backs gained 63 yards on 11 carries left side; only penalty came on a Hail Mary attempt to end the first half.
  • DT Clinton McDonald, TB: 1.5 sacks, team-high 8 combined tackles.

* * * * *

Stats pages are now updated through Week 4 of 2016, including playoff odds. Snap counts and Premium Charting Data will be updated later this evening.

A quick note about the Football Outsiders player pages: We've finally been able to add all 2015 stats to the player pages, both for offensive and defensive players. That includes hits, hurries, and coverage stats for defenders. If you have a subscription to FO Standard Premium, you will see every player's entire career. If you do not have a subscription, you will only see the last three seasons. We still need to finish up 2015 similarity scores and replace the 2014 scores listed on the player pages; sorry about the delay on that, and I'm going to try to get it finished up in between doing all the 2016 things I do.

* * * * *

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These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through four weeks of 2016, 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. Because it is early in the season, opponent adjustments are only at 40 percent strength; they will increase 10 percent every week through Week 10. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

DAVE is a formula which combines our preseason projection with current DVOA to get a more accurate forecast of how a team will play the rest of the season. Right now, the preseason projection makes up 50 percent of DAVE for teams with four games played, and 60 percent of DAVE for teams with three games played.

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

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

1 PHI 46.4% 1 13.4% 3 3-0 17.8% 4 -30.2% 2 -1.6% 19
2 SEA 35.4% 3 29.9% 1 3-1 0.0% 17 -30.7% 1 4.6% 6
3 MIN 29.3% 4 13.3% 5 4-0 1.8% 15 -24.3% 3 3.2% 9
4 DEN 25.7% 7 13.4% 4 4-0 8.4% 9 -17.8% 5 -0.5% 16
5 PIT 19.3% 22 17.9% 2 3-1 17.6% 5 0.1% 18 1.8% 13
6 GB 17.4% 5 12.0% 6 2-1 10.1% 7 -6.5% 10 0.8% 14
7 OAK 16.1% 11 6.7% 11 3-1 26.9% 2 14.8% 29 4.1% 8
8 ATL 16.0% 9 4.8% 14 3-1 29.7% 1 21.9% 31 8.2% 2
9 DAL 12.4% 8 5.2% 13 3-1 20.9% 3 7.3% 23 -1.2% 18
10 BUF 10.0% 17 4.0% 15 2-2 4.5% 12 -3.8% 14 1.8% 12
11 BAL 8.3% 6 7.8% 9 3-1 -12.4% 27 -18.5% 4 2.2% 11
12 CIN 8.0% 13 6.1% 12 2-2 2.6% 14 -8.4% 7 -2.9% 22
13 SD 4.1% 10 1.4% 16 1-3 8.9% 8 0.7% 20 -4.0% 24
14 WAS 2.3% 21 -3.3% 18 2-2 5.3% 11 8.6% 24 5.7% 4
15 KC 0.9% 2 7.8% 8 2-2 -10.6% 24 -7.2% 9 4.3% 7
16 ARI -3.9% 15 7.1% 10 1-3 -11.2% 25 -14.3% 6 -7.0% 30
17 NE -5.6% 12 7.9% 7 3-1 3.5% 13 12.3% 26 3.2% 10
18 NO -6.7% 23 -4.3% 19 1-3 10.3% 6 13.8% 27 -3.2% 23
19 JAC -6.9% 28 -7.7% 23 1-3 -13.5% 28 -6.3% 11 0.3% 15
20 NYG -7.2% 18 -4.9% 21 2-2 0.7% 16 2.9% 21 -5.0% 28
21 CAR -7.4% 14 -0.3% 17 1-3 -5.6% 20 -3.0% 15 -4.8% 27
22 MIA -8.8% 19 -11.2% 27 1-3 -9.7% 23 -1.4% 16 -0.5% 17
23 CHI -9.5% 31 -9.4% 25 1-3 -4.3% 19 -0.6% 17 -5.8% 29
24 LARM -10.0% 27 -4.5% 20 3-1 -21.9% 31 -5.7% 12 6.2% 3
25 TEN -12.7% 20 -10.6% 26 1-3 -8.1% 21 -4.2% 13 -8.7% 31
26 DET -12.9% 16 -6.2% 22 1-3 6.8% 10 30.0% 32 10.3% 1
27 IND -14.7% 25 -8.4% 24 1-3 -2.4% 18 17.3% 30 5.0% 5
28 SF -16.6% 26 -17.3% 31 1-3 -11.3% 26 0.7% 19 -4.7% 26
29 HOU -19.3% 30 -13.7% 29 3-1 -23.3% 32 -8.2% 8 -4.3% 25
30 TB -21.4% 24 -12.8% 28 1-3 -15.1% 30 4.4% 22 -1.9% 20
31 CLE -29.1% 32 -25.9% 32 0-4 -8.3% 22 10.3% 25 -10.6% 32
32 NYJ -31.1% 29 -16.6% 30 1-3 -14.2% 29 14.7% 28 -2.2% 21
  • NON-ADJUSTED TOTAL DVOA does not include the adjustments for opponent strength or the adjustments for weather and altitude in special teams, and only penalizes offenses for lost fumbles rather than all fumbles.
  • ESTIMATED WINS uses a statistic known as "Forest Index" that emphasizes consistency as well as DVOA in the most important specific situations: red zone defense, first quarter offense, and performance in the second half when the score is close. It then projects a number of wins adjusted to a league-average schedule and a league-average rate of recovering fumbles. Teams that have had their bye week are projected as if they had played one game per week.
  • PAST SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents played this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • FUTURE SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents still left to play this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • VARIANCE measures the statistical variance of the team's weekly DVOA performance. Teams are ranked from most consistent (#1, lowest variance) to least consistent (#32, highest variance).

1 PHI 46.4% 3-0 52.0% 3.7 2 -6.4% 24 9.0% 2 7.7% 12
2 SEA 35.4% 3-1 34.7% 3.3 3 -16.6% 32 1.2% 15 15.8% 23
3 MIN 29.3% 4-0 33.9% 3.7 1 -2.5% 19 -0.9% 21 8.8% 14
4 DEN 25.7% 4-0 34.6% 3.0 5 -8.9% 31 0.6% 16 13.3% 20
5 PIT 19.3% 3-1 15.0% 2.9 6 14.4% 1 -6.6% 32 38.1% 31
6 GB 17.4% 2-1 15.6% 2.3 12 3.2% 12 4.3% 7 16.9% 26
7 OAK 16.1% 3-1 17.4% 2.4 11 1.2% 16 0.1% 20 5.9% 10
8 ATL 16.0% 3-1 21.0% 3.0 4 -4.8% 21 5.3% 6 15.7% 22
9 DAL 12.4% 3-1 14.8% 2.7 8 -7.8% 29 8.9% 3 2.9% 8
10 BUF 10.0% 2-2 16.7% 1.9 16 -8.1% 30 -3.2% 26 12.3% 18
11 BAL 8.3% 3-1 13.4% 2.5 9 -2.5% 20 2.8% 9 2.1% 4
12 CIN 8.0% 2-2 13.0% 2.2 13 1.3% 15 1.4% 14 3.3% 9
13 SD 4.1% 1-3 8.2% 1.9 17 -6.9% 28 0.2% 19 1.9% 2
14 WAS 2.3% 2-2 6.5% 2.4 10 -1.2% 17 10.6% 1 9.0% 15
15 KC 0.9% 2-2 -4.6% 2.8 7 -6.7% 26 2.8% 8 49.1% 32
16 ARI -3.9% 1-3 2.4% 1.6 22 -6.8% 27 1.8% 13 12.5% 19
17 NE -5.6% 3-1 -0.7% 1.7 19 -5.5% 23 -1.7% 23 16.2% 24
18 NO -6.7% 1-3 -2.5% 2.0 15 7.3% 7 -1.9% 24 2.5% 6
19 JAC -6.9% 1-3 -3.0% 1.6 20 3.8% 10 -1.6% 22 11.3% 17
20 NYG -7.2% 2-2 -13.6% 1.5 25 9.3% 5 8.3% 4 2.7% 7
21 CAR -7.4% 1-3 -6.9% 1.2 31 13.6% 2 0.4% 17 18.3% 27
22 MIA -8.8% 1-3 -13.9% 1.8 18 2.2% 14 -4.9% 29 9.9% 16
23 CHI -9.5% 1-3 -12.7% 1.5 23 6.6% 9 0.3% 18 8.5% 13
24 LARM -10.0% 3-1 -8.7% 2.0 14 -1.6% 18 -3.2% 27 19.8% 28
25 TEN -12.7% 1-3 -12.2% 1.5 24 3.3% 11 -5.2% 30 1.3% 1
26 DET -12.9% 1-3 -8.9% 1.2 28 -4.9% 22 6.4% 5 14.8% 21
27 IND -14.7% 1-3 -9.3% 1.2 27 2.5% 13 -2.4% 25 1.9% 3
28 SF -16.6% 1-3 -12.7% 1.2 30 7.6% 6 -3.3% 28 23.3% 29
29 HOU -19.3% 3-1 -13.0% 1.6 21 -6.7% 25 2.7% 11 7.4% 11
30 TB -21.4% 1-3 -25.3% 1.3 26 7.0% 8 2.5% 12 26.3% 30
31 CLE -29.1% 0-4 -30.7% 0.3 32 12.1% 4 2.7% 10 2.4% 5
32 NYJ -31.1% 1-3 -31.8% 1.2 29 13.6% 3 -5.5% 31 16.3% 25


88 comments, Last at 11 Oct 2016, 12:49am

27 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

DVOA never likes the Patriots' defense, but the reaction to Sunday's game is reasonable. This is part of the problem with a per-play metric. According to the philosophy of DVOA, the Patriots gave up yards in the worst possible way on Sunday: lots of first downs for the Bills, even if they didn't translate into as many points. Worse, in the first half the Patriots were not even forcing many 3rd downs on defense. The result is a very high success rate. And worse still, the Bills had lots of first downs with plays that didn't get very far past the first down marker. Why does this matter?

Compare two situations: in the first, the offense moves 80 yards by getting 6 first downs over, let's say, 15 plays. In the second, the offense moves 80 yards getting only 2 first downs, over 10 plays. DVOA penalizes the first defense more than the second. The value added for yards gained downfield decreases the more of them there are. So the worst thing a defense can do is give up first downs, but very little more.

The Pats' defensive philosophy is to, above all else, prevent long gains. So even when they're playing well, they don't rate highly. When it falls apart, as it did early on Sunday, they really take an ass-kicking from DVOA.

Now, later in the game the Patriots were actually stopping the Bills more often. I'm sure their 2nd half DVOA on defense was better than the first-half's. But the damage had been done.

There is a philosophical question about whether this approach to scoring defenses is the "fairest", but certainly it's consistent here. And there's something to be said about the negative value of a defense that cannot get off the field - points scored really cannot be considered the only measure. A defense that consistently gives up long drives is also bad. It's not bad in the same was as the defense that is a crap shoot between 3-and-out and long passing plays, but it is bad nevertheless.

28 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

The unspoken part of this is that a defense which prevents long plays is most optimized when paired with offensive teammates which are very, very, hard to get off the field, even if they don't have a ton of big gainers. Like the Brady Bunch has been like for a long time now. The Patriots defense isn't often forced back on the field after the Patriots offense has a 3 and out, so the fact it doesn't force as many 3 and outs, relative to other, very good, defenses, isn't as costly.

37 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

Would guess it has to do with this:

1. Arizona is not the very good/great offense that they've been the last couple seasons, so the performance in Week 1 takes some hits.

2. Despite the massive lead that the Patriots took in the first half, the Miami offense has only found high-gear once in four games...in the second half against the Patriots defense.

3. Houston they shut down, but Houston is currently 32nd in offensive DVOA.

4. Buffalo was an alright performance, but the Bills lack of conversions in the red zone was the only thing that kept it from being a three-score game (and they haven't exactly lit it up on offense this season anyway).

42 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

There isn't any opponent adjustment right now. NE's poor rating is primarily attributable to both Buff/Ari having a disproportionate number of positive plays relative to points scored and Miami waltzing up and down the field for a half.

NE is historically better than their rating, and games like the one against Arizona are a good reflection of the contrast between NE's approach and DVOA's valuation, but I can't argue too much with where the Patriots stand at this point.

45 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

From the third sentence of the opening paragraph:

"This is the week we start to introduce opponent adjustments, which begin at 40 percent of their usual strength and will gradually increase by 10 percent each week until we are at full strength after Week 10."

14 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

The battle is on for the coveted prize of Best Wide Receiver on the San Francisco 49ers. Q Patton is narrowly ahead in DYAR with -32, but J Kerley has the edge in DVOA with -26.3%, and T Smith is looking over both of their shoulders at -43 and -37.2%.

Meanwhile, M Crabtree is #1 in DYAR...

16 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

The Browns have a 35% of getting the #1 overall pick. Is there any way to tell if that's the highest chance anyone's had of getting the top pick in the DVOA simulations after 4 weeks?

17 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

Wonder if it's statistically possible for the Raiders' D to climb out of the hole its dug. Yet, the D is 3-0 on getting a stop on the last drive of a game. Now starting 3 rookies in an effort to improve the D, sure would help to get MEJ back healthy and if Williams would return to form at DT.

19 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

Jeez, Denver No 9 in offense? They are certainly better than last year, but they aren't passing the "eyeball" test of being a top 10 offense.

By the by - Den vs. Dal is in the super bowl prediction match up twice in the playoffs odds page.

22 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

Raiders at 7. DBOa computer making sense this week. Team will continue to rise up the charfs.

willl get booze tonight at liquor store. will watghc Mets game while drunkign on weeknight. will be tremendous ngiht. unfortunetly smartpohne situation not fixed so will nto be live tweeting mets game

47 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

Let's hope your phone gets fixed because I've enjoyed reading back on some of your tweets. It's comedy gold.

Loved the old football cards and particularly liked the day you were in your car following a truck carrying giant carrots!

49 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

"I apologize that with the Jewish holiday and my deadline on the ESPN playoff odds article, I don't have the time to comb through 27 years of single-game DVOA to figure out if Pittsburgh or Kansas City are among the biggest week-to-week changes in single-game DVOA ever measured"

Someone please build this man a modern database, or at least one from this century. This should be a 30 second effort.

50 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

Top 10 Changes in Single-Game DVOA, 1989-2016:
232.1%: 2009 TEN, Weeks 6-8 (week 7 was a bye)
200.1%: 1999 GB, Weeks 6-7
198.9%: 1997 TB, Weeks 16-17
198.2%: 2007 GB, Weeks 16-17
192.8%: 1996 STL, Weeks 10-11
191.3%: 2007 DEN, Weeks 13-14
190.8%: 2005 SF, Weeks 7-8
187.9%: 1999 TB, Weeks 15-16
187.1%: 2014 OAK, Weeks 13-14
179.1%: 2003 SF, Weeks 8-9
(47th place: 2016 PIT, Weeks 3-4)

Bottom 11 Changes in Single-Game DVOA, 1989-2016:
-204.3%: 2005 WAS, Weeks 7-8
-186.5%: 1992 NE, Weeks 12-13
-185.0%: 2007 MIN, Weeks 9-10
-184.6%: 1997 CAR, Weeks 10-11
-180.7%: 2003 SD, Weeks 10-11
-177.8%: 2011 BAL, Weeks 1-2
-175.4%: 2005 SF, Weeks 1-2
-175.3%: 2008 IND, Weeks 6-7
-174.9%: 2008 CAR, Weeks 5-6
-171.6%: 2005 CHI, Weeks 2-3
-168.9%: 2016 KC, Weeks 3-4

68 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

I assume the comment was about the amount of time it would take to do the work a database query could do in seconds, not about Aaron's (completely justified) choosing a religious holiday over work.

And I, too, shudder every time an Outsider refers to using Excel to do all the DVOA calculations.

60 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

How does inter-conference games affect DVOA overall? What I mean is, that if the two conferences did not play any games against each other apart from the Super Bowl it would be difficult to compare the teams DVOA between the conferences (I presume). Does that mean, that the relative few games the conferences play against each other somehow end up being more important than other games in deciding DVOA? This week the top three teams are from the NFC (as are 6 of the 9).

69 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

DVOA measures things on a per-play basis, but doesn't weight any plays differently depending whether or not your opponent is in your division or conference or not. Therefore, every play against a team in the opposite conference is weighted as much as any other similar-situation play against any other team.

72 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

But as an underlying concept, DVOA is necessarily a measure of per play success compared to league wide averages (right> or am I conflating things) as such if the NFC and AFC never played each other the league wide average could be skewed. However, 25% of all games played in the regular season (4 out of 16 for every team) are cross league at this point so that is probably fine to smooth things out statistically.

74 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

You're correct, lack of connectivity is a challenge. In your scenario, where one conference never played the other, I would assume a "better" thing to do would be to compare each conference with the average of only teams within that conference.

As to my post, I was simply answering the original poster's question about DVOA in interconference games being weighted more heavily. Which it isn't.

71 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

I believe this is the first time the Jets have been last in DVOA any week since at least 2004, but I don't believe MacCagnan and Bowles have shown themselves to be massively incompetent. The real issue is Idzik's incompetency; 22 picks in two years, and only Sheldon Richardson, Calvin Pryor, Quincy Enumwa and Geno Smith to show for it. And Richardson is one more incident away from being suspended for a season. Hope Johnson doesn't clean house at the end of the year; he's shown he will give a guy a mulligan on one bad year in the past.

85 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

Could someone run me through the impact that fumbles have on DVOA? I understand that they are measured with equal value but why would this inflate the Eagles and Seahawks DVOA? Just sheer volume?

86 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

The DVOA value is for the event of a fumble happening, with this value including an amount to account for the average recovery by either side. It is generally assumed that fumbles will be recovered 50/50 on average (there might be more accurate figures for specific areas of fumble - strip sack, punt muff, etc... not sure, but it doesn't effect the overall idea). So a team that is recovering fumbles far above the average will have a DVOA that is lower than their results (they are penalised/credited in DVOA for the fumbles [depending on whether their own, or forced on their opponent], and gain no DVOA for the recoveries), whereas one that is unlucky fumble recovery will likely have a worse scoreboard result than their DVOA would suggest.

This is because DVOA attempts to be as predictive as possible from past performance, and some things - like fumble recovery luck, blocked kicks and interceptions returned for TDs, etc... tend to be fairly random. Whilst the ability to play good special teams, make more interceptions and force more fumbles seems to be predictive, what exactly happens next is somewhat random (or has a low enough sample size that making useful predictions is not possible, so average results are used instead).