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» Seventh Day Adventure: Week 13

The biggest game this week is the Iron Bowl, where the playoff hopes of Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia hang in the balance.

14 Nov 2017

Week 10 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Another big victory helps the Los Angeles Rams increase their lead on top of the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings this week. The Rams move up to the No. 1 spot in defense this week, making them our top team for both defense and special teams. They are now our Super Bowl favorite, winning it in one out of every six simulations (16.7 percent). The Saints move into the No. 2 spot after their huge 47-10 win over Buffalo, replacing the Pittsburgh Steelers, who drop to No. 4 after barely beating Indianapolis. Philadelphia remains at No. 3 after a bye week.

The top of the DVOA ratings shows a very strong dichotomy between the two conferences this season. The NFC has the top three teams and four of the top five. If we go deeper, the NFC has nine of the top 13 teams. If we look at weighted DVOA, it's eight of the top 11 teams, since Kansas City is eighth in full-season DVOA but drops to 12th in weighted DVOA. Of course, you don't need DVOA to know how imbalanced the conferences are this year. There are ten teams with winning records in the NFC and only six teams with winning records in the AFC.

As far as those AFC teams, this was a big week for the New England Patriots, who finally moved into the top ten where conventional wisdom says they belong. Their offense is now over 30%, the special teams have risen to fifth in the league, and the defense moves up another spot to No. 30! The Patriots had one of their better defensive games this week, but let's be honest, holding down Brock Osweiler when his team is constantly blowing field position with special teams flubs is not too difficult.

Of course, it was only two weeks ago that we actually had Buffalo higher than the Patriots in DVOA. At that point, Buffalo was tenth and the Patriots were 13th. After they got run over by the Saints, Buffalo is now 21st with the Patriots up to seventh.

It seems like we do this every year with these two teams. I went back and looked, and while it isn't a regular occurance every single year, there really is a strong trend for the Patriots to get better later in the season while the Bills tend to start strong and then fall apart. I'm not sure why this trend should exist over the last few years, when Buffalo has had multiple front office setups and multiple head coaches, but it does.

I picked Week 6 as the week to measure since that was when this year's Bills had their bye week. Check out the trends for these two teams. First, here's Buffalo, which has seen its DVOA drop after Week 6 in four of the last six seasons. This year probably will make it five of seven.

Buffalo Bills DVOA, Week 6 vs. Final, 2011-2016
After Week 6 End of Season
Year W-L DVOA Rank W-L DVOA Rank
2011 4-2 19.2% 4 6-10 -9.7% 23
2012 3-3 -21.0% 27 6-10 -12.1% 23
2013 2-4 4.2% 14 6-10 -3.3% 18
2014 3-3 0.2% 18 9-7 10.5% 9
2015 3-3 13.4% 8 8-8 2.7% 12
2016 4-2 22.6% 3 7-9 1.0% 17
AVG -- 6.4% 12.3 -- -1.8% 17.0

Now, here are the Patriots, who have seen their DVOA rise after Week 6 every year in the past six except for 2015.

New England Patriots DVOA, Week 6 vs. Final, 2011-2016
After Week 6 End of Season
Year W-L DVOA Rank W-L DVOA Rank
2011 5-1 18.0% 6 13-3 22.8% 3
2012 3-3 25.1% 6 12-4 34.9% 3
2013 5-1 8.8% 13 12-4 18.9% 5
2014 4-2 9.4% 11 12-4 22.1% 4
2015 5-0 44.4% 2 12-4 22.6% 6
2016 5-1 13.5% 7 14-2 24.9% 1
AVG -- 19.9% 7.5 -- 24.4% 3.7

I went and ran this same set of numbers for every team, looking at the last six seasons. Yes, that's a totally arbitary set of years, but for the moment, we're just having fun with this.

Buffalo had the highest average change in DVOA rank when we compare Week 6 to final DVOA from 2011-2016. The New York Jets also had a strong pattern of late-season decline, especially since you can't go any lower than 32nd:

New York Jets DVOA, Week 6 vs. Final, 2011-2016
After Week 6 End of Season
Year W-L DVOA Rank W-L DVOA Rank
2011 3-3 18.6% 5 8-8 13.5% 10
2012 3-3 -2.4% 17 6-10 -18.0% 27
2013 3-3 -2.7% 18 8-8 -7.7% 24
2014 1-5 -21.0% 28 4-12 -15.5% 27
2015 4-1 26.9% 5 10-6 12.4% 9
2016 1-5 -36.1% 32 5-11 -32.4% 32
AVG -- -2.8% 17.5 -- -7.9% 21.5

Atlanta also had a strong decline trend for second halves, but that's essentially just a three-year trend from their three years in the postseason wilderness from 2013 to 2015. Last year, the Falcons were sixth in DVOA after Week 6 but ended the year third. The Packers have a high average drop, but that's pretty much all from the year Aaron Rodgers got injured at midseason. (After this year, that "trend" will be even worse.)

On the other side, one team more than any other team -- including the Patriots -- has a strong recent history of improving in the second half of the season. Some of this was early-season suspensions or injuries to the quarterback, of course. This team has dropped in the DVOA ratings since Week 6 of this season, but they also get to play five of their final seven games at home this year. Hello, Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers DVOA, Week 6 vs. Final, 2011-2016
After Week 6 End of Season
Year W-L DVOA Rank W-L DVOA Rank
2011 4-2 9.8% 10 12-4 22.6% 4
2012 2-3 -10.4% 21 8-8 -1.2% 18
2013 1-4 -6.2% 21 8-8 0.9% 15
2014 3-3 -1.5% 20 11-5 12.1% 8
2015 4-2 20.9% 6 10-6 21.3% 7
2016 4-2 8.3% 12 11-5 17.1% 4
AVG -- 3.5% 15.0 -- 12.1% 9.3

Other teams with a similar trend include Carolina (except it is mostly 2011 and 2012, hooray for my arbitary endpoints) and Houston (which is not happening this year).

Of course, the proper way to look at this would be to look at it without arbitary endpoints, concentrating instead on teams that have had consistency at the head coach position. That's a project for another time, but I looked at a few well-tenured head coaches quickly.

  • In 11 of 17 seasons since Bill Belichick took over, New England has ended the season with a higher DVOA than it had after Week 6. If we include this season, it will be eight out of the last ten. 2009 and 2015 are the exceptions.
  • I took Andy Reid all the way back to the start of his time with the Eagles. From 1999 to 2012, the Eagles had a lower DVOA at the end of the season compared to Week 6 in nine out of 14 seasons. One season was basically the same. Only four seasons saw DVOA go up, and only two seasons by more than 3.0%: 2003 (from -3.9% to 19.6%) and 2011 (from 1.8% to 13.5%). However, the Chiefs have increased their DVOA in the second half of the season in three of Reid's four years there.
  • The Marvin Lewis Bengals have ended the season with a higher DVOA compared to Week 6 in eight out of 14 seasons, plus two of the six declines were really tiny. However, the Bengals have only gotten better in the second half twice in the last six seasons (2012 and 2016).
  • The Sean Payton Saints don't have a strong trend: four seasons they got better, four seasons they got worse, two were about the same, and one Payton was suspended.
  • Results for John Harbaugh's Ravens are also mixed: four seasons up, four seasons down, one about the same.
  • The only clear trend for Mike McCarthy whether we look at six years or all 11 years: "Aaron Rodgers getting injured is bad."
  • In Mike Tomlin's first season with Pittsburgh, the Steelers ranked fourth with 33.6% DVOA after Week 6 but were sixth at 19.4% DVOA by the end of the season. In every season since then, nine straight seasons from 2008 to 2016, Pittsburgh's DVOA has been higher at the end of the season than it was after Week 6.

* * * * *

Once again this season, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 18. This year, our content for Madden Ultimate Team on consoles comes monthly, while our content for Madden Mobile comes weekly. Come back to each Tuesday's DVOA commentary article for a list of players who stood out during the previous weekend's games. Those players will get special Madden Mobile items branded as "Powerline, powered by Football Outsiders," beginning at 11am Eastern on Friday.

  • DE Adrian Clayborn, ATL (HERO): 6 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, fumble recovery.
  • HB Rex Burkhead, NE: Third among RB in DYAR for Week 10 (10 carries for 36 yards against NFL's best run defense; 27 receiving yards, TD).
  • LB Lavonte David, TB: Six defeats, including two run TFL, two run stuff on third down, and two tackles short of sticks on third-down receptions.
  • CB Darryl Roberts, NYJ: Led all defenders with 8 successful Week 10 plays, including interception and two tackles to prevent third-down conversions.
  • G Larry Warford, NO: Helped block for 294 rushing yards by Saints RB, with no sacks allowed.

* * * * *

All stats pages should now be updated through Week 10, including snap counts, playoff odds, and the FO Premium DVOA database.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 10 weeks of 2017, 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 of this week, all opponent adjustments are at full strength.

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>

TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
WEI.
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 LARM 37.1% 1 38.4% 1 7-2 10.1% 11 -19.1% 1 7.8% 1
2 NO 32.1% 5 35.5% 2 7-2 22.1% 2 -13.3% 5 -3.4% 25
3 PHI 29.0% 3 30.3% 3 8-1 13.9% 5 -9.6% 8 5.5% 6
4 PIT 26.8% 2 25.3% 4 7-2 13.1% 6 -15.6% 4 -1.9% 21
5 MIN 24.1% 6 24.1% 5 7-2 13.1% 7 -8.9% 9 2.1% 14
6 JAC 17.9% 4 19.4% 6 6-3 4.8% 12 -18.2% 2 -5.2% 26
7 NE 16.1% 13 17.7% 7 7-2 30.3% 1 20.4% 30 6.1% 5
8 KC 14.8% 7 10.6% 12 6-3 19.7% 3 11.7% 26 6.7% 4
9 CAR 13.6% 14 13.0% 8 7-3 -1.6% 20 -11.7% 6 3.5% 11
10 DET 12.5% 11 10.8% 11 5-4 -1.7% 21 -6.9% 11 7.3% 2
11 SEA 10.9% 9 12.5% 9 6-3 0.9% 14 -10.3% 7 -0.3% 19
12 GB 10.4% 15 10.5% 13 5-4 11.9% 9 1.9% 18 0.4% 15
13 DAL 9.0% 8 11.4% 10 5-4 12.1% 8 6.8% 22 3.7% 10
14 BAL 8.4% 10 5.8% 14 4-5 -15.8% 27 -17.3% 3 6.9% 3
15 WAS 6.5% 16 4.9% 15 4-5 4.4% 13 -5.4% 13 -3.2% 24
16 ATL 2.6% 19 1.4% 17 5-4 10.2% 10 7.7% 24 0.0% 18
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
WEI.
DVOA
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
17 HOU 2.2% 12 2.4% 16 3-6 -0.7% 17 -5.1% 15 -2.2% 22
18 LACH -4.0% 21 -3.2% 18 3-6 0.2% 15 -5.3% 14 -9.5% 31
19 TEN -5.2% 18 -7.8% 20 6-3 -0.2% 16 7.2% 23 2.2% 13
20 OAK -6.5% 20 -7.9% 21 4-5 15.0% 4 24.0% 32 2.5% 12
21 BUF -6.6% 17 -8.3% 22 5-4 -8.6% 22 2.7% 20 4.6% 7
22 CIN -8.9% 23 -7.6% 19 3-6 -13.5% 24 -5.0% 16 -0.4% 20
23 TB -17.1% 25 -18.7% 26 3-6 -1.6% 19 13.1% 28 -2.4% 23
24 DEN -17.6% 22 -20.7% 27 3-6 -14.5% 25 -6.9% 12 -9.9% 32
25 CHI -18.4% 26 -16.8% 23 3-6 -19.1% 30 -7.3% 10 -6.6% 28
26 ARI -18.7% 27 -18.0% 25 4-5 -12.7% 23 -2.1% 17 -8.0% 29
27 NYJ -20.2% 24 -17.4% 24 4-6 -18.1% 29 2.5% 19 0.4% 16
28 SF -24.6% 29 -24.2% 28 1-9 -16.4% 28 12.2% 27 4.0% 8
29 NYG -26.9% 28 -26.5% 30 1-8 -1.2% 18 16.7% 29 -9.0% 30
30 IND -28.1% 30 -25.4% 29 3-7 -22.1% 31 9.9% 25 3.9% 9
31 CLE -32.2% 32 -30.6% 31 0-9 -23.2% 32 3.1% 21 -5.8% 27
32 MIA -35.2% 31 -35.9% 32 4-5 -14.6% 26 20.6% 31 0.1% 17
  • 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).



TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
1 LARM 37.1% 7-2 41.1% 8.0 2 -5.8% 29 6.8% 6 16.4% 26
2 NO 32.1% 7-2 29.1% 9.6 1 -0.1% 17 -1.0% 21 14.1% 22
3 PHI 29.0% 8-1 34.4% 7.9 3 -5.6% 28 2.0% 15 10.1% 14
4 PIT 26.8% 7-2 27.0% 7.3 5 -1.1% 21 -1.3% 22 9.4% 13
5 MIN 24.1% 7-2 21.3% 7.5 4 3.2% 7 7.0% 5 5.3% 3
6 JAC 17.9% 6-3 20.4% 5.7 13 0.9% 12 -13.7% 31 28.9% 32
7 NE 16.1% 7-2 15.9% 6.1 10 0.7% 13 -11.9% 30 10.9% 16
8 KC 14.8% 6-3 11.9% 6.9 6 6.8% 3 -16.7% 32 14.4% 23
9 CAR 13.6% 7-3 13.4% 6.5 7 -1.0% 20 5.3% 11 4.5% 2
10 DET 12.5% 5-4 7.7% 6.3 9 3.5% 6 -2.8% 24 2.8% 1
11 SEA 10.9% 6-3 19.0% 5.8 12 -5.3% 27 7.5% 3 6.5% 7
12 GB 10.4% 5-4 4.5% 6.4 8 5.1% 4 5.2% 12 6.6% 8
13 DAL 9.0% 5-4 12.1% 6.0 11 -1.8% 22 5.4% 10 17.5% 27
14 BAL 8.4% 4-5 14.8% 4.2 21 -4.2% 25 -2.5% 23 20.0% 30
15 WAS 6.5% 4-5 -2.9% 4.8 16 13.6% 1 -7.6% 27 12.1% 18
16 ATL 2.6% 5-4 7.4% 5.2 14 -2.1% 23 11.2% 1 7.8% 11
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 HOU 2.2% 3-6 -3.5% 4.7 18 2.5% 8 -3.4% 25 19.7% 29
18 LACH -4.0% 3-6 1.9% 3.9 22 -2.9% 24 -5.0% 26 6.3% 4
19 TEN -5.2% 6-3 2.9% 5.1 15 -7.9% 31 1.8% 17 21.8% 31
20 OAK -6.5% 4-5 2.5% 4.7 17 -6.6% 30 2.9% 14 12.4% 19
21 BUF -6.6% 5-4 0.7% 4.5 20 -4.7% 26 -7.9% 28 15.5% 24
22 CIN -8.9% 3-6 -10.4% 4.6 19 -0.7% 19 0.5% 18 18.2% 28
23 TB -17.1% 3-6 -14.5% 3.8 23 -0.6% 18 5.5% 9 10.4% 15
24 DEN -17.6% 3-6 -12.9% 3.6 24 2.3% 9 -11.1% 29 15.6% 25
25 CHI -18.4% 3-6 -27.2% 3.0 26 12.4% 2 1.8% 16 6.4% 6
26 ARI -18.7% 4-5 -16.6% 2.8 27 0.5% 15 6.1% 7 8.3% 12
27 NYJ -20.2% 4-6 -9.3% 3.2 25 -10.3% 32 9.1% 2 13.3% 20
28 SF -24.6% 1-9 -26.1% 2.3 28 1.4% 10 7.4% 4 6.4% 5
29 NYG -26.9% 1-8 -27.9% 2.0 30 3.9% 5 5.8% 8 7.6% 10
30 IND -28.1% 3-7 -27.7% 2.2 29 0.5% 14 -0.2% 20 12.1% 17
31 CLE -32.2% 0-9 -34.2% 1.8 31 1.3% 11 4.6% 13 13.3% 21
32 MIA -35.2% 4-5 -29.6% 1.8 32 0.1% 16 -0.1% 19 7.2% 9

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 14 Nov 2017

136 comments, Last at 21 Nov 2017, 7:43pm by DezBailey

Comments

1
by smilerz :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 8:47pm

As someone that has watched every Packers game it feels odd to see them middling in each phase of the game, they frequently feel utterly inept more often than not.

9
by dank067 :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:02pm

On defense the Pack are 30th in drive success rate while ranking 19th in DVOA. If I'm understanding these stats correctly it would match my perception that the best thing they have been doing is forcing opponents to at least convert some third and fourth downs as they march down the field.

On one hand, maybe that means they're due for some sort of correction in their overall defensive performance if they can stop more 3rd downs. On the other hand, it looks like they also lead the league in fumbles recovered per drive, so that would likely lead to correction back the other way...

2
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 8:59pm

Rams defense is going to get even better, I think. The Vikings will have a very hard time beating them in Minneapolis, and what chance they have rests on the Vikings defense obtaining benefit from HFA to force Goff into some turnovers. If The Keeser is forced to try to throw the Vikings into catching up, because the Rams score significant 1st half points, it'll get ugly. 16-13 is the Vikings best chance.

3
by panthersnbraves :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:02pm

You should look at The Panthers starting with Ron Rivera, since slow start/strong finish is kind of expected at this point... Last year was a bit of an outlier with Cam's shoulder though...

4
by The Ninjalectual :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:09pm

Denver is clearly ranked too low, having faith in your team no matter what is way better than this! They only signed Brockweiler as a test to see if their HC was dumb enough to actually play him. Obviously he'll be fired after the season, right?

5
by DezBailey :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:10pm

Week 10 BES Rankings went out this morning - http://besreport.com/week-10-bes-rankings-2017/

The BES is showing the same gap in conferences as DVOA with seven of the BES Top-10 hailing from the NFC. That includes four of the top-5 with the Saints ranked No. 1 for a fourth consecutive week.

I see the Saints are closing on the Rams in Weighted DVOA. It's the opposite in the BES where the Rams are making a strong push up the rankings. Actually Weighted DVOA and the BES agree on quite a few teams, especially the Chiefs at No. 12.

And how about the Chargers? They're easily the highest ranked three-win team in the BES at No. 14. I see they're not far off in DVOA/Weighted DVOA at No. 18 but certainly a better 3-win team at this point than the Texans who've fallen to No. 22 in the BES.

138
by DezBailey :: Tue, 11/21/2017 - 7:43pm

Week 11 BES rankings are out - http://besreport.com/week-11-bes-rankings-2017/

7
by Hextall_27 :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:20pm

Its interesting that the NFC is grouped at the top with a bunch of 7 and 8 win teams, but their future schedules really separate from here.

New Orleans and Philly have a few tough games but a generally easy schedule.

Atlanta, Seattle, LA Rams, and Minnesota have tough roads left to finish the season.

The Rams play 5 teams in a current playoff spot the rest of the way.
Titans, Eagles, Saints, Seahawks and Vikings

Carolina falls somewhere in the middle with Saints, Vikings, and Falcons.

I am sure Rodgers has week 16 circled as a chance to ruin the Vikings season.

8
by PatsFan :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 9:53pm

Ooo! The NE "defense" has moved up to two places out of last.

10
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:35pm

Playing Denver can't help your defensive rating much

11
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:36pm

Double post

12
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:37pm

Maybe Pittsburgh plays bad road teams early in the season.

13
by jmaron :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:06pm

DVOA says Keenum is great and Thielen is medicore. From what my eyes tell me - it's the other way around.

14
by Will Allen :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:24pm

Your eyes ain't lyin'. Individual player metrics in football can be a problem.

55
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:56pm

Keenum's 2017 season kind of reminds me of Andy Dalton's 2015 season. 2015 Dalton had AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, good running backs, and excellent offensive line.

The Bengals are probably wondering why Dalton suddenly got worse when they chose not the re-sign a lot of their non-AJ Green skill players and best offensive lineman, and Eifert kept getting hurt.

Somebody will want to give Keenum a lot of money next offseason. If I were him, I would be very careful about which team I signed with.

56
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:04pm

If he gets starter money, I'm sending my GM resume out to 32 teams. How a supposed professional football talent evaluator could not see how favorable an environment he has worked in thus far (schedule gets a lot harder now, so who knows what happens for the next 7 weeks), and how he simply doesn't throw the ball well enough, is beyond my understanding.

60
by milo :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:21pm

You could have given that advice pre-draft to San Diego in 2004 (all things considered, it was good advice). I don't know why you dislike your QB so much given that your favorite site has him ranked #4 in the league and your favorite team is in first place. Record setting, short, high-volume college spread QBs can never take a few years to adjust to the NFL, can they?

I mean, I sometimes yell at Brees when things aren't looking good. And sometimes he doesn't throw receivers open or throws right to a LB. He doesn't always get the distance right on long throws. And once he's forced out of the pocket, good things rarely happen. But then I remember he is first ballot HOF and his name isn't Billy Joe fill in the blank.

64
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:38pm

FO will be the first ones to inform us that what they have ranked #4 is Keenum throwing to the Vikings receivers, behind the Vikings offensive line, both of which have been wonderful this year. Keenum is a terrific back up, who does not throw the ball especially well (the comparison with Brees is problematic), which means his margin for error is very,very, thin. That's been ok so far this year, because they have dominated opponents pretty well. This last game against the Redskins was a good example, with the Vikings o-line controlling the game throughout. Ya'just can't count on that.

71
by milo :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:19pm

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best
And always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life

73
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:28pm

Hey, I really don't care all that much who wins these games, and decided quite a while ago that the game is more enjoyable that way. If The Keeser ends up being John Unitas,Joe Montana, and Peyton Manning, rolled into one, that'll be damned entertaining.

63
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:34pm

Better update your resume, Will. Remember what the Bears gave Mike Glennon? Somebody will give him starter money. My bet is on Washington, once Kirk Cousins walks.

66
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:41pm

Yeah, you are obviously right. Man, the desperation makes people do dumb stuff. Build the rest of the roster, instead of overpaying for 30 year old mediocre qbs.

136
by El Muneco :: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 11:22pm

One of the underappreciated aspects of the early Carroll/Schneider era is how firm they were in the belief "cheap, mediocre players are out there, if we can just find them", then went all in on the belief and went through epic levels of roster churn, turning over every rock in the forest.

It had almost no impact on the team's record, since they weren't finding stars, but every guy they brought in was a little cheaper or a little better than the guy he replaced, so either the cap situation or the talent pool got better each time.

I strongly believe that coaches who overpay for mediocrity either (1) overestimate their own X's and O's genius, or (2) don't have confidence in their own ability to evaluate talent.

I mean, it's a truism that the talent is out there. Just look back at the end of each season and tally up - across the league - how many waiver claims, street free agents, mid-season releases, veteran minimum signings, and low-round trade targets ended up contributing to their final destination teams.

It would take balls of steel to even try convincing a GM to go along with it - and maybe it would require a similarly-balled GM - but I have to believe that what Carroll and Schneider did is repeatable. That you can actually build the skeleton of a cheap, mediocre, team if you trust the process, trust your evaluation, and really buy in to it.

Of course, if you fail, you're going to burn for it - but wouldn't you rather go down that way than signing Mike Glennon to an over-value contract?

78
by Richie :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:47pm

Jones and Sanu always just kind of seemed like "guys" in the Cincinnati offense to me. But now they seem to be important pieces to their new teams. That leads me to believe that they were probably much more important to Cincinnati than I had realized.

15
by dank067 :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:32pm

Weird that Thielen has 3 fumbles while no other wide receiver in the NFL appears to have more than one. Doubt it explains the difference between having an average DVOA vs. top 10 or so, but wonder just how big of an impact those fumbles have.

31
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 6:36am

Adam Thielen receiving stats 2017

ALL PLAYS
DYAR: 156
DVOA: 9.6%

NOT COUNTING THE THREE PLAYS WHERE HE FUMBLED (meaning, take away the target, catch, and yardage too)
DYAR: 196
DVOA: 16.2%

32
by Vincent Verhei :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 6:43am

And looking at this I just realized the WR stats were not updated for Week 10. No wonder Thielen was so low -- his monster game against Washington wasn't counted!

We also need to update receiving numbers for RBs and TEs. We'll get that fixed ASAP.

34
by dank067 :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 8:44am

Thanks very much Vince! Looks like he'll be in the top 10 in WR DYAR this week either way, but that those fumbles give enough of a hit that, without them, he may have already ranked closer to 10-15th rather than 27th last week.

50
by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:24pm

Sorry, this is on me. For some reason the receiving numbers didn't update yesterday when I thought I had updated them. Taking care of that now.

UPDATE: I've fixed this now and yes, Thielen is a LOT higher in DYAR/DVOA after Week 10. Apologies again for the mix-up.

38
by jmaron :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 9:16am

That makes things a little closer to the eye test. But still seems low for just how well Thielen has played. He wins so many contested balls on not great throws by Keenum, and when Keenum hits him on deep balls he's usually 5 yards open at least.

39
by big10freak :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 9:27am

I don't see enough Vikes games to be sure but when a guy with ordinary speed is able to gain this type of separation that is often because of incredible hip change/shift fluidity. Antonio Freeman had that before he got hurt/gained weight. Same with Jordy Nelson before his injury. They manage to get dbs legs crossed/stop-started wihtout having to downshift themselves and then the db is playing panicked catch up.

It's really something because the aspect is so subtle the viewer is left wondering WTF just happened

51
by lokiwi :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:33pm

Jordy and Thielen both ran 4.5 40s. Basically the same as guys like Antonio Brown and AJ Green. They’re not DeSean Jackson or Tedd Ginn, but they aren’t exactly working on a speed deficit compared to other elite receivers.

40
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 9:40am

Watching Diggs and Thielen makes me think of how many receivers get drafted in the 1st round, despite never demonstrating that they are really good at catching any ball they can get their hands on. To me, that's where it begins, and if a guy doesn't show that in college, you can't consider him for the 1st round, or maybe even the 2nd. The test can't end there, of course; I'm pretty sure that the Treadwell mistake happened because they fell in love with his catch radius, and ignored everything else. If guy is not a ball hawk in college, however, you should not be drafting him high, no matter how fast he is, or how impressive a physical specimen he is.

47
by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:45am

Treadwell averaged less than 12 yards/catch in college, which alone should have been enough of a red flag to avoid him. Isn't that one of FO's standard pre-draft WR evaluations? Guys who are possession receivers in college have a lower success rate than "speed" guys, because it's just harder to get open in the pros against better competition?

49
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:02pm

Yeah, like I said, I think they just fell in love with his catch radius, and ignored everything else. I think Spielman's been pretty decent (with some bad injury luck among his higher picks since he obtained complete draft authority after The Ponderous Fiasco), but that was his complete whiff in the 1st round. Even Patterson was an ok late 1st rounder, due to his extraordinary special teams value.

41
by jmaron :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 9:44am

1st fumble was at Pitt with minute to go down 17. Recovered by Pitt
2nd was against Det - 1.44 to go down 7, near mid field, Recovered by Det
3rd was against 14min to go in quarter, at own 35, up 4, fumbled out of bounds

I remember the first two, can't honestly remember the 3rd. The first was in garbage time, the 2nd was very costly. Can't honestly remember the 3rd, but it could obviously been costly.

16
by herewegobrownie... :: Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:46pm

Browns almost out of last place on offense! Yay!

Their passing is still last by 20% - !! - despite signs of life from Kizer this past week. The #6 rushing DVOA ranking confirms the question everyone had earlier this year as to why Hue didn't lean on the run more.

68
by theslothook :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:11pm

Is there any scenario short of massive improvement where Hue Jackson doesn't get fired?

I feel bad for him in a way because this roster gave him no chance, but you'd still expect them to be better than this right? Back to back potential 0-16 seasons is a herculean feat, even for the Browns. Or maybe not. The browns keep resetting expectations.

72
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:27pm

I watched the Browns last week, and in parts of other games (vs Texans with Watson, and vs Vikings). My impression of them is that they are a team that has talent (I think the hoarding draft picks strategy is working somewhat), but they are very sloppy, and continuously self-immolate with unforced mistakes. To me, that falls on coaching. I was never impressed with Hue Jackson when he was with the Raiders (they should have easily won that division in 2011). I don't think he's going to be the head coach of the next good Browns team (whenever that is).

75
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:31pm

Such a bad mistake to entrust a team laden with young high draft picks to a coach who isn't detail obssessed.

77
by theslothook :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:42pm

I think he was one of only a few candidates who actively wanted the job.

79
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:51pm

You may well be right. It's amazing that an NFL team can be so mismanaged that one of 32 head coaching jobs can be perceived to have so little value.

80
by theslothook :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:53pm

Given its history, that amounts to career suicide for most candidates, especially qualified one's.

96
by leviramsey :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:31pm

Yeah of the coaches "hired" by Randy Lerner and Haslam, the best case career path has been back to being a respected coordinator (Crennel and Shurmur). It's hard to see any of Mangini, Chudzinski, or Pettine returning.

107
by jtr :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 9:31am

Chud is the current offensive coordinator for Indy, and Mangini managed to climb back to defensive coordinator after the Browns, albeit for the dysfunctional Jim Tomsula 49ers. Mike Pettine is the only Browns head coach of the Randy Lerner-Jimmy Haslam era who hasn't been able to work his way back to a coordinator job. The last one before Pettine to not make it back to NFL coordinator was Butch Davis, an Al Lerner hire, who slunk back to college after he was fired during the 2004 season.

17
by t.d. :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:13am

Pats look like the clear class of the AFC, go figure, and if they get home-field, they'll be tough to beat (although it at least looks like the AFC will have five non-pushovers in the playoffs this year, so they won't get a Brock Osweiler in the divisional round second bye, barring a repeat of late-season injuries like what felled Derek Carr and Mariota last year). NFC looks wide-open, with legit strong teams atop every division, and more good teams than playoff spots. I've thought the NFC has been better since 2012, but I'd never count Tom Brady or Bill Belicheck out (sorta felt they stole both recent titles from superior NFC teams, but that's the story of their lives, and they probably shoulda won in 2007 and 2011, too)

23
by RickD :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:27am

I expect the division winners to be the Pats, Steelers, Chiefs, and Jaguars. No clue about the wild card, but I don't see where it matters, as the drop-off is pretty steep after that. Who is the fifth non-pushover? Tennessee? Who needed OT to beat the Browns? They're on a 4-game winning streak against teams with a combined 10-27 record.

The Bills' resume has nosedived the past two weeks. I would believe in the Texans if they hadn't lost so many of their top players to injuries already.

27
by t.d. :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:32am

The Titans are the fifth decent team in my eyes- Mariota's been playing hurt, and, when he was healthy, they crushed the Jags and Seahawks in back-to-back weeks. They struggled against the Browns, but they won. Good teams have to pull ones out on off days from time to time, and they did. Guess we'll have a better idea how they stack up Thursday

70
by theslothook :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:13pm

I'm not that impressed with the Titans. They played poorly against a mediocre Raiders team at home. They also nearly lost to the crappy Colts at home and have looked listless in several of their other games. Mariotta is starting to look a lot like a solid but unspectacular qb which is probably a disappointment given how high he was drafted.

102
by theslothook :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 7:04pm

"sorta felt they stole both recent titles from superior NFC teams". I buy this argument for the 2014 seahawks, who probably win that superbowl if they don't suffer a rash of injuries in the middle of the game. But the Pats were easily better and more balanced than Atlanta - who was all offense and no defense.

I don't see who the Patriots should fear right now in the AFC. Outside of Pittsburgh, their other opponents are either badly imbalanced(Jags, Chiefs), or thoroughly mediocre(Titans, whoever the 6th seed is). If Pittsburgh has to (gulp) go to Ne, its a walkover. Even at home, I don't like Pittsburgh's chances. I don't trust the Steeler D, nor do I trust their offense or even their coaching.

I don't see how this isn't a cakewalk to the Superbowl for the Patriots. In fact, I'll call it now. The pats will face some opponent from the NFC that looks scary. That team will at some point have a lead or be tied and then the coaches will overthink themselves and the team will meltdown in some diabolically pathetic way. Pats win their 6th superbowl, Brady and Belichick get carved onto Mount Rushmore and the rest of the offseason is spent re-printing articles from 2004.

18
by t.d. :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:22am

Jacksonville, Kansas City, and New England look, to me, like the best of the AFC (not sure what DVOA is seeing in Pittsburgh), and they face the 30th-32nd hardest schedules the rest of the way (and HFA figures to be really important this year). Guess it'll come down to who takes care of business

21
by ClavisRa :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:36am

Jacksonville might actually have a tough matchup against..the Browns. Yes, the Browns. The Browns defense should be able to stifle the Jax offense. Will probably come down to running game, and turnovers. Teams have adjusted to KC's offensive wrinkles, and their defense is waning. Pittsburgh defense will have to do something to NE offense they've never done to have a chance, else, who's even going to challenge NE at this point? (like who in the entire AFC?)

28
by t.d. :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:53am

Jags have the 12th best offense (better than Seattle or Washington). Not sure the Browns have what it takes to "stifle" them (and they've gotten nothing from Fournette since the Rams game, when it looked like he hurt his leg before sitting unexpectedly for three weeks). Jags have more blowouts than anyone else in the AFC. They've also scored on defense about every other game (and got to the 1-yard line against San Diego, and had another touchdown taken away on a phantom 'down-by-contact' call that appears to have been incorrect). They've given up 55 rushing yards a game since they picked up Dareus, and they've crushed quarterbacks that don't have lightening quick releases. I'm actually more scared of Blaine Gabbert and Arizona (Bruce Arians is the first competent coach he's had, they won't have tape on him, and he looked good in preseason). Their achilles heel so far has been shitty special teams, but I guess we'll see (one of us will be really wrong). My only concern is that they've been screwed by refs repeatedly (the phantom down-by-contact, last week the Bengals were given a touchdown on a play that was clearly down on the one, and there was another play like that a few weeks ago). They've played an above average schedule, and have given up 9 points or less five times already (I'll be shocked if the Browns score more than 14 points)

30
by bigpoppapump :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 6:32am

Recipe versus Jags looks clear - what LACH did (but then don't blow it at the end). Take away the run with numbers in the box and put it on Bortles. If he's good enough then fair enough (but he's not).

Doubtful the Browns can actually manage this, but it's got to be the plan.

108
by t.d. :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 9:32am

Call it 'blow it' if you like, but the Jags defense forced that fumble (which should have been called a touchdown, negating at least one of the Bortles picks), forced the three-and-out to get the ball back, and then got the pick on the Chargers first OT drive. They've also played the toughest schedule of defenses, so far, according to dvoa

58
by mrt1212 :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:12pm

The Jags should have a better offensive DVOA than Seattle - Seattle has an absolutely abysmal running game and is bottom quarter or worse in a lot of drive efficiency stats.

82
by Richie :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:00pm

"they've gotten nothing from Fournette since the Rams game, when it looked like he hurt his leg before sitting unexpectedly for three weeks"

One of those weeks was a bye and one was a suspension.

109
by t.d. :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 9:34am

a suspension out of the blue announced on game day. not definitely saying he was hurt and they were hiding it, but it wouldn't surprise me

114
by jtr :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 1:49pm

Have we already forgotten the Tom Coughlin Giants days? Coughlin Justice strikes hard and it strikes fast, like the god of the old testament. Fournette probably wore the wrong color socks to practice or something.

24
by RickD :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:33am

DVOA sees in Pittsburgh their dismantling of the Chiefs, which wasn't as close as the final score.

The Steelers are almost certainly going to win at least 12 games. They only have two more road games, @Cincy and @Houston. Houston is dead in the water. Their home games include the Pats, but aside from that they get the Packers w/o Rodgers, the Titans, the Browns and Ravens. If they can beat the Pats, they pretty much have a lock on the #1 seed, given their previous win over KC.

The Steelers can play as well as anybody. It's just that a lot of the time they don't.

46
by JMM :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:38am

Yea, a lot of the time they don't... but they still have a QB in the top 7, a running back in the top 5, and two receivers in the top 7 of their respective DVOA's by position.

They don't play to expectations (on the road against weaker teams) to be sure, but as bad as their offense sometimes feels, some pieces look to be working.

89
by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:24pm

The fact they have 5 home games left is huge. If they can beat NE, their path to a #1 seed is quite clear given they'll have wins over both KC and NE (assuming say jacksonville doesn't run the table or something crazy).

They basically have to avoid playing NE at all costs. I have no faith in them even competing in that game. They've historically played NE a lot better in Pittsburgh (though still losing more often than not).

Every top AFC contender has a relatively easy schedule left. In many ways seeding will come down to head-to-head. That NE @ PIT game probably decides the #1 seed unless KC wins out.

90
by Richie :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 4:51pm

Jacksonville winning out wouldn't be impossible. They have the 2nd-easiest remaining schedule. They may be favored in all of their remaining games. The biggest concerns are Blake Bortles' inconsistency, and being a newly good team.

Sorted by toughest remaining matchups: vs Sea, at Ten, at Ari, at SF, vs Hou, vs Ind, at Cle.

97
by theslothook :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:43pm

Blake Bortles inconsistency? Do you mean he waffles from being bad and being terrible?

Frankly, when hes your qb, you can lose any game at any time anywhere.

98
by theslothook :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:43pm

Blake Bortles inconsistency? Do you mean he waffles from being bad and being terrible?

Frankly, when hes your qb, you can lose any game at any time anywhere.

103
by Richie :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 7:29pm

Yeah, I basically mean the second part. If he stays out of the way, the Jags have a good chance to win.

So far this year they are 4-0 when he avoids throwing an interception.

In the 5 games he DID throw interceptions, they lost 3 of them. And in the other 2, the opposing QB's (Roethlisberger, Rivers) were even better at giving the game away.

19
by t.d. :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:26am

Top 7 teams are also 1-7 in weighted DVOA, in the same order. That's got to be pretty uncommon

20
by t.d. :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:32am

New England has also just started a 5-road-games-in-6-games stretch (though Mexico City shouldn't count, and the Raiders really got boned on that one), and if they go 4-2 or better, they'll have a great shot at the 1 seed

25
by RickD :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:46am

Any team that has a "home" game abroad has taken that loss of a real home game willingly. Apparently this is part of the price a franchise pays when they are changing cities. This applies to the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders. My understanding is that the Raiders are popular in Mexico. Shahid Khan has other sporting interests in England and appears to not mind having the Jaguars travel.

I figure the winner of NE@PIT will almost certainly get the #1 seed. KC is no longer playing as well as they did in September. I suppose there's some path whereby the Jags could win a tiebreaker with Pittsburgh if the Steelers beat the Pats, but that line of thought would likely require the Jags to win out, which itself seems very unlikely. The Jags still have games versus Seattle and @Tennessee to worry about. Also, their QB is Blake Bortles.

29
by t.d. :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:06am

Not really scared of Seattle with that offensive line at 10am on the east coast (if it gets flexed...). Jags usually split with Titans lately, including last year when they were good). Wouldn't surprise me if the Pats run the table, but I also sorta expect the Steelers to lose Thursday (you also aren't taking future strength of schedule into account, obviously- Chiefs have the easiest in the league left, without any games against teams w winning records, easier than jags, who get Cle, Indy, SF, Ari, and Houston in their seven remaining)

Don't think international games are inherently a bum deal, but losing a home game (that they really need to win) against New England is lousy for the Raiders- could have been any of their home games that they forfeited, and they're losing hfa against probably their toughest opponent. Conversely, Pats get a season w only seven real road games, in a season with a close four-way race for hfa. At least the Raiders are lucky that 9-7 probably gets in (8-8 might even do it)

83
by Richie :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:03pm

I don't know. Mexico City may help with laser pointers in Brady's eyes.

92
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:04pm

Bags of urine are cheaper.

123
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 9:46pm

Mexicans are bigger Raider fans than Oaklanders.

22
by Cythammer :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:42am

Was wondering how high the Saints would get after that incredible domination of the Bills.

It's amazing how many of this year's top teams are huge surprises. I went back and looked at the DVOA projections for the year, and three out of the current top six were at 20 or below. The Vikings, and then the Saints and Jags even lower at 26 and 28, respectively. The Rams were only at 14th, too. Saints have to be the biggest shock of all though. Their defense was supposed to be the worst in the league, instead it's 5th best.

26
by MC2 :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:32am

The Saints are definitely a shock, but I think the Rams are even more surprising. It would be different if they were relying on playing great defense and running the ball with Gurley. But for their passing game to be as good as it has been is unfathomable to me. It's almost like if the Patriots were winning with Brady running the option!

35
by ammek :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 8:54am

Yes, if you'd told me preseason that the Saints' pass offense would be its third-best unit, I'd have assumed that Brees had begun to decline and it was a mistake to let their young WRs walk.

Not a bit of it.

There's just no precedent for the Saints improvement in pass defense, is there? Same head coach and coordinator, a massive turnover in personnel but no big-name free agents ... so many reasons to think they would be below average at best. Lattimore looks great, and Jordan is healthy, but there has to be more to it than that.

I picked the Vikings as my preseason NFC champion. I was not expecting pass offense to be its best unit. A Keenum-vs-Goff NFC championship game ought to force everyone involved in preseason forecasting to take early retirement.

44
by milo :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:23am

There is more to the Saints defensive turnaround. Last year, his first complete one as d-coordinator, Dennis Allen hired Peter Giunta as Sr. Defensive assistant and Aaron Glenn as secondary coach. Giunta was the d-coord of the SB Rams and then secondary coach of the Chiefs and 2xSB Giants. They proceeded to coach a backfield that could not walk across the street without getting injured.

This year, the Saints got rid of long time Payton amigo and chief of rah-rah, Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers, Joe Vitt. Joe is now doing his routine with his son in law Adam Gase and has the Dolphins playing way over their heads (4-5). They also got rid of longtime D-line coach Bill Johnson who is now with the Rams (protected from scrutiny by Phillips and Glenn and Brockers?). Replaced Vitt with Mike Nolan and Johnson with Ryan Nielson (coming from D-line coach at NC State).

So, there has been a large coaching change.

On the player side, the backfield consists of Round1 and Round2 rookies, Round2 and UDFA second year players and fifth year S Vaccarro. That's a lot of draft capital back there and they were bad for the first two games (+74.9% and +66.9% Def Pass DVOA). 2nd year UDFA Ken Crawley was a healthy inactive ????? those two games and then replaced 2nd year UDFA De'vante Harris as RCB. Crawley should be the league MVP. Consider that since he stepped in, the Saints Def Pass DVOA has been:-91.7%,-50.4%,-61.6%,-61.4%,-13.7%,-40.6%,-16.1%.
The D line is not quite as young, but close. The linebackers (after Round3 rookie Anzalone was injured) are all free agents, only one was on the team last year (Craig Robertson).

The numbers last year did not show much improvement, but from my eye it was a better defense in 2016 than in 2015. The preseason defense looked to be much improved and the first two in season games were shockingly bad (against excellent QB play). I don't know how to do DVOA splits over say the first two games and last 7, but this defense has been the best in the league after week 2.

45
by milo :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:32am

The Saints Def Pass DVOA was negative (good) only one week total in 2015 and 2016. Now 7 weeks in a row. Marshon Lattimore is god(sic).

48
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:55am

Head coaches really need to walk the tight rope between showing loyalty to subordinates, and ruthlessly replacing them when they are inadequate. Payton kind of reminds me of a mirror image of Dungy. Dungy, before getting paired with his old mentor, Tom Moore, and of course Manning, was really held back in Tampa by tolerating offensive assistants who weren't performing. I think Payton has had a similar experience with a lot of his defensive assistants.

33
by ammek :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 8:36am

Nice job on finding two heroes from the Jets-Buccaneers game. I would like to nominate as a hero anyone who sat through it in its entirety. If anyone sat through the entirety of Jets-Bucs AND Giants-49ers AND Pats-Broncos, then please get help. There's lots to do in New York, even when it's like 20º outside.

What are the odds now that Cleveland finishes 0-16? It plays its three weakest opponents on the road; the home games (GB, Balt, Jax) are all eminently loseable. It would be bizarre – yet oh so Browns – if Cleveland won no games while finishing ahead of, say, 6-10 Miami in DVOA.

43
by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 10:50am

I sat throufh entire Jets-byccs game, saw end of nyg-sf after fox switched to it when dallas-fslcs game ended. Fell asleep during Pates+Broncs whjch is crap matchup for me to deal with anywY

36
by ammek :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 9:09am

A number to watch: the Detroit Lions have been stuffed on 31% of runs this year. Only three teams in FO's database for adjusted line yards (which goes back to 1996) have been stuffed on more than 27% of runs. They are the expansion Houston Texans of 2002 (30%), the 2005 Arizona Cardinals (31%: most productive rusher – Josh McCown) and of course another Lions team, this time the one that convinced Barry Sanders to retire (1998: 28%).

Miami is also at 28% this season.

53
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:48pm

I should cut and paste your post so I can show it Lions fans who say Ameer Abdullah sucks. He's constantly having to make guys miss in the backfield.

The Lions have had some decent pass-blocking lines during Stafford's career (not this year), but I can't remember the last Detroit offensive line that was even halfway competent at run blocking. You might have to go back to the Kevin Jones (2004) era.

57
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:05pm

I cut and paste it for Smith and Payton fans. Sanders rushed for 1491 yards behind a line that was 29th in rush protection and 23rd in pass protection. He rushed for 0.75 yards/rush more than expected, per line performance.

124
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 10:21pm

I cut and paste it for Lions fans who think they need to run the ball to win. When was the last time the Packers won running the ball?

The Lions don't draft RBs for slamming into the line; they draft for pass catching.

129
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 6:21am

I’m not advocating that they become a run-first team (that would be stupid). But being able to reliably convert 3rd and shorts would be nice, as would not losing yards on 50% of running plays. Asking Stafford to drop back 50 times a game behind this offensive line as currently constructed is just begging for him to get hurt. Also, the Packers and Saints have been pass-first teams for years, but they’ve been at their best when they have solid running games to complement it (the 2009, 2011, and this year’s Saints are good examples).

131
by Will Allen :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 8:58am

You'd think people would have picked up from watching the Patriots all these years, if from nothing else, how much value there is in being able to run efficiently,when the opponent sells out completely to stop the pass.

133
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:45pm

Exactly. The Lions had one of their best performances of the year against Pittsburgh, but lost the game because (as you pointed out) they couldn't take advantage of the Steelers dropping eight into coverage near the goal line.

134
by Will Allen :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 1:13pm

Fer' the 'luv of Bart Starr on The Frozen Tundra, How much DYAR/DVOA have the Patriots gained over the past 17 years from a damned quarterback sneak?!

Get some leverage, and BLOCK SOMEBODY!

135
by LionInAZ :: Sat, 11/18/2017 - 6:39pm

I don't take much away from failing conversions to two top-5 rushing Ds. It's going to stink in any case so I'm not going to worry about it if they win games, especially if they beat the Bears on the road this week.

Hell, how many times have we seen Adrian Peterson fail to get a single yard? Haven't there been whole articles written about that?

37
by big10freak :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 9:15am

Baltimore and GB are evenly matched. GB looks to have a minor opportunity in that Baltimore's run defense is not as strong as its pass defense. One can hope that MM remembers what worked in Chicago.

What is worrisome is that GB's special teams are nowhere to the level of Baltimore's units. This is a real deficiency. Zook cannot seem to generate a return game of any kind. Meanwhile, his groups commit penalties at every opportunity.

42
by Sophandros :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 10:25am

The oft forgotten Black and Gold Super Bowl would rank #3 at 8.7% if it were not oft forgotten. :)

-------------
Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

52
by young curmudgeon :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:36pm

And, if Pittsburgh wears home uniforms (I forget how that is determined and too lazy to look it up) while New Orleans wears the white jerseys/black pants combination, it would be one of the best-looking Super Bowls of all time.

59
by ammek :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:14pm

Poor Jacksonville doesn't merit a single entry in the Special Super Bowl Matchups feature, such is its unspecialness. Perhaps an Expansion '95 Rivalry Bowl? Or a Semi-Resident in London Bowl (vs the Rams)?

Patriots-Vikings could be the Randy Moss (or Joe Kapp) memorial bowl.

62
by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:34pm

There are Jacksonville games listed in the database but the NFC teams are terrible: Tom Coughlin Reunion Special JAC-NYG and Florida Bowl JAC-TB. I'll add the 1995 Expansion Challenge for next week.

94
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:12pm

No Van Brocklin's Revenge for LARM-PHI?

He QB'd both teams to their last titles in their present cities.

99
by leviramsey :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:48pm

I don't think there are special NFC Championship Game matchups in the database...

101
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 6:26pm

Yeah, you're right.

I can't imagine why I get them confused with that other carpetbagging LA team.

86
by Richie :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:10pm

If the Jags and Rams meet in the Super Bowl, they should move the game to London as a gift to the Londoners for having to sit through so many bad games over the years.

Have they had any good games beside that Atlanta-Detroit game from (I think) 2015?

110
by t.d. :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 9:39am

memory fails, but it seems like there was an entertaining chargers-saints game a while back, and of course they got the giants thrilling matchup with the dolphins in their '07 championship season

112
by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 12:37pm

I went to the Chargers-Saints London matchup ... but it was back in 2008 ... score something like 38-33.

(And I also went to the 2007 'thrilling' Giants-Dolphins game. Can't believe *that* Giants team won the Lombardi).

115
by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 2:16pm

Here are all the one-score games in London history:

2007: NYG 13 MIA 10
2008: NO 37 SD 32
2010: DEN 16 SF 24
2011: CHI 24 TB 18
2013: MIN 34 PIT 27
2014: DET 22 ATL 21
2015: JAX 34 BUF 31
2016: JAX 30 IND 27
2016: NYG 17 LAR 10
2016: WAS 27 CIN 27 (OMG A TIE!!!! The English must have loved it!)

117
by jtr :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 2:39pm

Pardon, chap, but the proper term is "draw"

118
by Richie :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 2:53pm

I guess I stand corrected - there have been plenty of competitive matches.

119
by dmstorm22 :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 3:23pm

I have little actual memory of most of these games, but I feel like some had some garbage time scoring to make them seem more competitive than the score.

Also, I didn't post all the other games. There's been a TON of absolutely blowouts.

There have been very few 31-17 type games. Just the ones above, a bunch of 42-10's, and then a select few average games.

127
by BJR :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 5:20am

I was at that Detroit/Atlanta match and it was wild (if not particularly well played). Atlanta was 21-0 up at the half (where have I heard something similar before?), and Detroit eventually won on a last second field goal, which was missed on the first attempt, but had to be retaken because one of Detroit's own linemen false-started.

128
by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 6:16am

It was actually a delay of game penalty, which is kind of worse. The Lions basically iced themselves.

You’re right about the game not being well-played. Atlanta looked like they forgot how to play football in the second half. Matt Ryan had a terrible interception in the 3rd quarter, where he threw where nobody was within 20 yards except the intercepting defender. In fact, if the DB dropped the ball, Ryan would have been called for intentional grounding.

130
by bigpoppapump :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 7:21am

I've been to the most recent 6 games on that list.

Just for future ref, you probably want to refer to attendees of the London games as "Europeans" or something. There's as much German as English being spoken in the crowds.

The Wash/Cin tie was meh. Detroit/Atlanta by far the best game on that list...Honorable mention for Min/Pitt.

61
by Eddo :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:23pm

Would you say Rams/Patriots have the same color combination? Because the Patriots' silver is the metallic version of the Rams' white, just like the Saints' gold is the metallic version of the Steelers' YELLOW.

Or Lions/Patriots? They're both silver plus a shade of blue.

125
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 10:27pm

Patriots have no yellow, Lions have no red, and the Pats have entirely the wrong blue.

137
by The Ninjalectual :: Sun, 11/19/2017 - 4:06pm

A.k.a. the "My Little Pony bowl" xD

54
by LyleNM :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:51pm

How does Pete Carroll do among your well-tenured coaches analysis?

65
by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 1:41pm

I probably should have done this one in the article because Pete Carroll's history with this is a bit nuts. The Patriots teams all crashed out hardcore after hot starts. The Seahawks teams have almost all started hot and then ended hotter to get to No. 1 in DVOA, except for both 2010 and 2016, when the team divebombed in the second half.

Let's see if I can get a table to appear in the comments here.

Pete Carroll Team DVOA, Week 6 vs. Final, 1994-2016
Team Year After Week 6 End of Season
NYJ 1994 3-3 -14.5% 22 6-10 -6.1% 17
NE 1997 4-1 28.5% 4 10-6 12.0% 7
NE 1998 4-1 35.6% 2 9-7 7.4% 11
NE 1999 4-2 7.2% 12 8-8 -3.5% 21
SEA 2010 3-2 9.0% 13 7-9 -22.9% 30
SEA 2011 2-3 -20.7% 25 7-9 -1.5% 19
SEA 2012 4-2 23.5% 7 11-5 38.7% 1
SEA 2013 5-1 34.3% 2 13-3 40.0% 1
SEA 2014 3-2 26.8% 3 12-4 31.9% 1
SEA 2015 2-4 12.0% 9 10-6 38.1% 1
SEA 2016 4-1 29.3% 2 10-5-1 8.0% 11
76
by nat :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:38pm

Nice.

Can we haz table markup? Pritty pleez?

(Yes, I know that the more markup you allow, the more broken comments there are. But I can dream, can't I?)

67
by rich006 :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:03pm

Are the Saints on pace to set an all-time record for Estimated Wins?

69
by LyleNM :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:13pm

Do we really have to do this EVERY week? Can we just get a new zlionsfan template that is applicable to Estimated Wins? Or maybe the FOMBC will take care of it?

91
by rich006 :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:01pm

I get that it's based on 10 games played. My point was the Saints are at 0.96 EW per game played, which projects to 15.4 for the year. Looking back over the last several years, the closest I saw to that number was the 2007 Pats at 15.2.

100
by nat :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 6:06pm

I saw that, too. The Saints have nowhere near the DVOA of that 2007 Pats team. But they seem to have done all the things that the "Forest Index" likes.

It's interesting, isn't it.

106
by RickD :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 12:57am

The Forest Index - does it reward teams that run a lot?

Run, Forest, run!

I'll show myself out.

74
by nat :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 2:31pm

Aaron: Regarding Estimated Wins, does this sentence still apply after all teams have had their bye week? Or do you revert to the actual number of games played?

Teams that have had their bye week are projected as if they had played one game per week.

81
by morganja :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:00pm

Will Allen, do you think the Panthers offensive line will improve dramatically by doing what the Vikings did, and cutting Matt Kalil this off-season?

If so, there could be a career for Matt Kalil in going to teams and getting cut.

84
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:05pm

Ok, that's pretty funny.

85
by Hoodie_Sleeves :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:05pm

"I'm not sure why this trend should exist over the last few years, when Buffalo has had multiple front office setups and multiple head coaches, but it does."

This seems pretty self explanatory to me - the Bills have had bad coaching for pretty much the entire time that Bill Belichick has been in the division - while the Patriots have not.

As the season goes on, teams get more information about each other - newly implemented schematic wrinkles, players improving/losing skills, etc. The Bills do a poorer job than average utilizing this information, while the Patriots do a much better job than average. The Patriots are fixing their holes, and exploiting other team's holes. The Bills are doing nothing.

87
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:40pm

Not a comment on Buffalo's staffs specifically but New England is one of the few that has been in place long enough to get a feel that we are seeing a trend, and not just making a trend out of noise. I wonder what the Steelers did under Cowher.

88
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:46pm

Reid's trend in Philly, compared to what it has been in K.C., gives me doubt as to whether this is a useful metric. I mean, it is possible that Reid became dramatically better at adjusting/modifying/coaching his team as the season progressed, after 12 years of head coaching, but I doubt it.

93
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:06pm

Reid's Eagles teams had a bad habit of racking up late season QB injuries, which didn't help.

95
by Will Allen :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 5:14pm

In other words, the sample size is too small to have confidence that the metric is telling us something which relates to our inquiry, and not some other variable.

116
by NoraDaddy :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 2:36pm

I think context is important in this as well. 11 out of his 14 years as Eagles coach they ended the year with a top-10 DVOA. (The 3 bad years being his first, last, and the famous TO pushups in the driveway year with McNabb hurt.) How big a problem is it to start out the year with a 25% DVOA and then drop to a 20% DVOA by the end of the year? (for example) It's not like he couldn't win in the playoffs either, he just couldn't string 3-4 wins in a row to get a Super Bowl win.

104
by Van Buren :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 8:11pm

My guess is that the Redskins will do something dumb enough that they will wish they had Keenum.

105
by Pat :: Wed, 11/15/2017 - 11:29pm

From 1999 to 2012, the Eagles had a lower DVOA at the end of the season compared to Week 6 in nine out of 14 seasons.

How much of that is from resting starters, though? The Eagles famously rested practically everyone in 2004 for multiple games, with the last two games being comically bad - McNabb came out for the second-to-last game for one drive, marched straight down the field and scored. And then he left the game (and several other starters didn't even play at all). That was all the scoring for Philly. 2001 and 2010 also had pointless final games where fans got treated to the Backup QB Show.

2004 was a big enough deal that FO's Super Bowl preview had to specially mark those games because they were such ridiculous outliers.

111
by jgibson_hmc95 :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 10:24am

Looks like the Awful Eight has become the Terrible Ten. Tampa Bay last week and now Denver this week. No bigger single rank DVOA gap than between #22 Cincinnati and #23 Tampa Bay. And Denver now slides in behind Tampa Bay.

113
by oaktoon :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 12:57pm

Interesting that Packers have now had an offense led by Brett Hundley for about 40% of their season, and they still rank 9th... The much-maligned Capers-led defense is not good, of course, but 18th is not 28th or 30th, which is probably where most Packer fans would think it belongs... This is a long way of saying that wins over BALT, TB at Lambeau and at CLEV in the next four weeks would leave them 8-5 with a trio of tougher games (at CAR and DET, home to MINN) remaining but some prospect of a different QB for at least two of them... If Seattle or Atlanta stumble, and the Packers win that Carolina game, as well as these others-- big ifs, of course-- they would be poised for a playoff run and at that point one assumes Rodgers plays for sure... A longshot to be sure, but so was winning 8 straight and getting to NFC title game last year...

126
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 10:50pm

They've had Hundley starting two (2) games. Hundley is -14.9% DVOA, compared to Rodgers +11.2%. Are you really trying to argue that Hundley is a fine substitute for Rodgers?

In any case, rankings are not relevant. DVOA is what's relevant.

132
by ammek :: Fri, 11/17/2017 - 10:01am

The Packers defense ranks in the bottom five for yards/drive, points/drive, drive success rate, and red zone performance. It has been terrible at forcing punts and getting off the field on third down. It seems to be surviving on stripsacks and botched snaps, which is an unlikely formula for long-term success. I'm amazed it ranks as high as 18th in DVOA.

I never quite understand the point of these 'If [very best case scenario] happens, then my team could win [arbitrary number of] games leading to [unlikely outcome]' posts, unless they come with a dash of Raiderjoe wit. I guess they'd be more tolerable if there were a similar number of equally obvious posts saying 'If our superstar QB gets hurt and few if any of our rookies and sophomores develop as we need them to, then we'll be unwatchable garbage'.

120
by Sid :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 6:10pm

So Houston and Green Bay's weighted DVOAs are roughly equal to their overall DVOA?

They've been bad since the QB injuries. I would think their weighted DVOA would be worse.

121
by gomer_rs :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 8:28pm

Surprised there is no article on the Tyrod Taylor benching. I always thought he was basically a poor man's Russel Wilson. Not as talented as Wilson, so needing more of a tailor made offense, but still an effective NFL QB.

I think Tyrod would tear it up if the Jags had him.

I would be very interested in an analytical approach to him.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

122
by gomer_rs :: Thu, 11/16/2017 - 9:11pm

Ok, found the Tyrod thread. Would still think it's worth a full article. CRAZY!!!
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.