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

Week 12 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

The NFL this year is being dominated by four specific NFC teams, one in each division. So when one of those teams beats another one, in convincing fashion, it's going to have a major effect on the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings.

A week ago, the Rams dropped from first to fourth after a loss to the Minnesota Vikings. This week, they're back in first place after a win over the New Orleans Saints that was not as close as the final 26-20 score. Los Angeles gets 83.7% DVOA for this game, narrowly surpassing Week 7's 33-0 shutout of Arizona as the Rams' top DVOA performance of the year.

This game comes out as one of the top five single-game performances of the year by any team. Using current opponent adjustments, the Rams have three of the top ten games, more than any other team. (The Week 1 win over Indianapolis is the third.) The top two games of the year both came back in Week 3: Jacksonville's 44-7 dismantling of Baltimore (102.7%) and New Orleans going on the road to clobber Carolina 34-13 (94.5%). By the way, those NFC South rivals will play the rematch this Sunday, and your humble commentator will be reporting from the Superdome in person thanks to a fortuitous bit of midseason vacation planning.

The fourth of the dominant NFC teams is Philadelphia, of course, which currently owns the league's best record at 10-1. The Rams may be back in the top spot this week but it's just barely over the Eagles, by one-tenth of a percentage point, and the Eagles are still No. 1 in Weighted DVOA which drops the strength of September games. The Eagles have not yet clinched a postseason berth but they only miss the playoffs in ONE of our 50,000 playoff odds simulations this week.

The Rams will complete a run of playing the other three big NFC teams when they host the Eagles next week. Unless there's a major change in the DVOA ratings next week, the Week 14 Eagles at Rams contest will give us a DVOA Bowl for the third straight season, a midseason matchup of No. 1 and No. 2. Last year, the Week 12 DVOA Bowl between Seattle and Philadelphia was the start of the Eagles' late-season collapse. The year before, the Seahawks and Cardinals faced off in Week 17 but the DVOA Bowl became pointless when the Cardinals, their playoff seeding assured, sat starters at halftime.

The top AFC teams are not as good as the top NFC teams this year, but they present much more interesting imbalance. The most shocking move in the DVOA ratings this week has Baltimore moving up two spots to No. 6, passing both Jacksonville and New England. Although their win over Houston was close, the Ravens improve their DVOA in all three phases of the game this week, and they were already No. 1 in both defense and special teams last week.

(I've written plenty about the Patriots and why our system seems to underrate them, most recently last week, so we'll go without that whole explanation today. The Patriots do climb to 29th in defense this week, but the Saints pass them to take over the No. 1 spot on offense.)

Baltimore and Jacksonville are No. 1 and No. 2 in defensive DVOA, and both teams are powered by historically great pass defense. Vincent Verhei wrote a couple weeks ago in Quick Reads about the wide spread between this year's best and worst pass defenses, and the strong effect that's having on opponent adjustments for quarterbacks. Unfortunately, I don't have an easily accessible "DVOA as of Week X" document that lists pass and run splits, the way I have a document with total offense and defense that I often quote. But with only five games remaining, it's safer now to compare these teams to the best pass defenses ever measured by DVOA. Right now, Jacksonville would finish the year with the second-best pass defense since 2000, trailing only the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Jaguars have improved on run defense since trading for Marcell Dareus, so they are now 24th against the run, but that's enough to drop them behind Baltimore in overall defense because the Ravens are tenth against the run.

The Ravens would also rank among the dozen best pass defenses in DVOA history if the season ended today. Yes, there is an asterisk on that, because the Ravens have been lucky enough to face backup quarterbacks in a number of games. They've faced both Tom Savage and Brett Hundley, giving them a boost when the opponent adjustments for those teams are partially based on games with Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson. The Ravens also faced EJ Manuel instead of Derek Carr when they played Oakland. This is going to be an issue with a number of teams this year. It's reasonable to think that the effect of backup quarterbacks on the opponent adjustments might be entirely responsible for putting the Ravens ahead of the Patriots in DVOA right now; you might remember that Watson played one of his best games of the season against the Patriots in Week 3. It's not going to be an issue with comparing Baltimore to Pittsburgh, at least by the end of the season. Pittsburgh also faced Green Bay with Hundley, and they will face Houston with Savage in Week 16. On the other hand, both Cincinnati and Seattle had to play both Green Bay with Rodgers and Houston with Watson... but Seattle gets the benefit of facing Arizona twice without Carson Palmer. You can see where this starts to get complicated, as I explained a week ago.

BEST PASS DEFENSE DVOA, 1986-2017 x WORST PASS DEFENSE DVOA, 1986-2017
Year Team DVOA x Year Team DVOA
2002 TB -51.9% x 2015 NO 48.1%
1991 PHI -48.6% x 1996 BAL 42.0%
1986 CHI -40.8% x 2017 (11 G) OAK 41.9%
1988 MIN -38.8% x 1999 SF 41.7%
2017 (11 G) JAC -36.6% x 1996 ATL 38.0%
2009 NYJ -36.5% x 2017 (11 G) MIA 37.2%
2004 BUF -34.7% x 2009 DET 36.5%
2013 SEA -34.2% x 1989 DAL 36.4%
1991 NO -33.1% x 2016 DET 36.2%
2008 PIT -32.8% x 2009 JAC 35.8%
1999 TB -32.2% x 1991 LARM 35.4%
2017 (11 G) BAL -31.2% x 2000 MIN 35.2%

On the other side of the ledger, we've got some of the worst pass defenses of all-time playing right now as well. Oakland and Miami would both rank among the six worst DVOA pass defenses if the season ended now. These bad ratings are driven more by a lack of interceptions than by historically poor yardage allowed. In fact, neither Oakland (7.1) nor Miami (6.9) is last in the league in net yards per pass allowed. Tampa Bay is last at 7.6 net yards per pass, and their 33.6% pass defense DVOA would also rank among the 20 worst all-time. But the interception thing is kind of amazing. Oakland got its first interception of the year this week against Paxton Lynch. The Dolphins have only four interceptions, even after picking off Tom Brady once. (The Falcons also have four, but an above-average 6.2 net yards per pass allowed.) The all-time record for fewest picks in a 16-game season is four by the winless 2008 Lions. The 2005 Raiders had five. A few teams in recent years have had just six, including the 2015 Ravens and three teams in 2014 (Jets, Chiefs, and Jaguars).

The other issue for the Raiders is that they've put up this horrific pass defense despite playing one of the league's easiest schedules of opposing offenses, featuring the Broncos, Ravens, and the lousy non-Patriots offenses of the AFC East. At least the Dolphins have played a tough schedule: powerful NFC South offenses, and while they're in the AFC East, they haven't played the Bills yet and of course they can't play themselves.

While we're on the subject of the Miami Dolphins, there's one other area where the 2017 NFL season is seeing some mind-blowing, historic failure: ground games. For a while this year, four different offenses found themselves in danger of finishing among the ten worst running games in DVOA history. The Lions and Chargers have improved a bit in recent weeks, but the Dolphins and Cardinals are still down there. If the season ended today, they would rank as two of the three worst run offenses we've ever measured.

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WORST RUN OFFENSE DVOA, 1986-2017
Year Team DVOA
2017 (11 G) ARI -34.1%
1991 IND -30.2%
2017 (11 G) MIA -31.2%
2005 ARI -29.1%
2002 HOU -27.4%
2013 BAL -27.2%
2013 JAC -27.1%
2016 LARM -26.6%
1986 NE -26.5%
1995 ARI -25.1%
2015 WAS -23.5%
2016 MIN -23.3%

Arizona's problem is a league-worst 3.05 yards per carry, including weird plays such as kneeldowns and aborted snaps. (If we count only actual runs, Arizona is at a league-worst 3.24 yards per carry.) An average of 3.05 yards per carry would be one of the ten worst figures since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, and the worst average since the 2000 Chargers averaged 3.03 yards per carry. The lowest average for any team in the 21st century -- remember, 2000 is technically still the 20th century -- belonged to the 2013 Ravens at 3.14 yards per carry.

Miami is averaging 3.6 yards per carry, which is a bit better, but the Dolphins have been horrible at situational running. Their 42 percent success rate running on third and fourth downs ranks 24th in the league, but weirder is the fact that they have only ONE rushing touchdown this season. And weirder than that, it wasn't a short run in the red zone. It was a 66-yard run by Kenyan Drake against Carolina in Week 10, scored when losing 31-13. No team since 1970 has finished a season with only one rushing touchdown. Three teams managed only two: 1972 Eagles, 1995 Jets, and 2005 Cardinals.

* * * * *

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. Our stars for Week 12 are:

  • LB Frank Zombo, KC (HERO): 3 run TFL, two of which were on third downs, plus another tackle on a 2-yard gain to prevent third-down conversion.
  • DE Eric Lee, NE: 2 run tackles to prevent third-down conversions, sack, plus created a sack for Trey Flowers by bull-rushing Miami RT Sam Young.
  • HB Joe Mixon, CIN: No. 2 in RB DYAR for Week 12; 23 carries, 114 yards, TD vs. NFL's No. 2 run defense, plus 51 receiving yards on 3 catches.
  • LB Alex Ogletree, LARM: 7 combined tackles, 3 of which prevented third-down conversions, plus PD.
  • G Wes Schweitzer, ATL: Falcons had no sacks, RB had 7 carries, 42 yards, 86% success rate to the right.

* * * * *

All stats pages should now be updated through Week 12, including snap counts, playoff odds, and the FO Premium DVOA database.

* * * * *

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These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 12 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.

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 35.7% 4 38.2% 2 8-3 14.2% 7 -13.4% 5 8.1% 2
2 PHI 35.6% 1 39.4% 1 10-1 15.8% 3 -16.7% 3 3.1% 10
3 NO 32.3% 2 33.9% 3 8-3 27.5% 1 -6.4% 10 -1.7% 21
4 PIT 29.3% 3 29.0% 4 9-2 15.0% 5 -13.7% 4 0.6% 14
5 MIN 23.8% 5 24.7% 5 9-2 15.6% 4 -8.9% 6 -0.7% 18
6 BAL 19.0% 8 21.1% 6 6-5 -14.7% 26 -24.4% 1 9.3% 1
7 NE 17.4% 6 19.5% 7 9-2 26.0% 2 13.9% 29 5.2% 7
8 JAC 12.5% 7 11.9% 8 7-4 -4.0% 20 -21.6% 2 -5.1% 26
9 CAR 11.3% 9 11.5% 9 8-3 -2.6% 18 -7.8% 7 6.1% 4
10 KC 9.3% 10 3.6% 16 6-5 12.2% 8 8.6% 24 5.7% 6
11 SEA 8.7% 12 10.0% 10 7-4 1.0% 16 -7.7% 8 0.1% 16
12 DET 8.3% 11 6.0% 11 6-5 1.9% 14 0.5% 19 6.9% 3
13 WAS 7.7% 13 5.2% 13 5-6 5.7% 12 -4.2% 13 -2.2% 23
14 GB 4.9% 14 4.6% 14 5-6 5.3% 13 -0.1% 17 -0.5% 17
15 ATL 3.4% 17 3.6% 15 7-4 14.2% 6 9.9% 26 -0.9% 19
16 LACH 3.3% 16 6.0% 12 5-6 8.3% 10 -4.6% 12 -9.7% 32
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 DAL -0.3% 15 -0.2% 17 5-6 7.5% 11 13.6% 28 5.8% 5
18 HOU -2.6% 18 -5.6% 18 4-7 -2.6% 19 -2.1% 15 -2.1% 22
19 OAK -6.7% 21 -6.0% 19 5-6 11.7% 9 19.8% 32 1.4% 13
20 CIN -7.6% 20 -8.3% 20 5-6 -6.9% 21 -0.2% 16 -0.9% 20
21 BUF -8.8% 23 -12.2% 23 6-5 -13.3% 24 0.4% 18 4.9% 8
22 TEN -9.9% 19 -11.7% 22 7-4 -2.0% 17 9.4% 25 1.4% 12
23 ARI -12.7% 26 -10.1% 21 5-6 -13.8% 25 -6.9% 9 -5.8% 27
24 TB -16.4% 25 -18.3% 26 4-7 1.7% 15 14.7% 30 -3.4% 25
25 NYJ -16.4% 27 -15.4% 24 4-7 -9.7% 23 4.5% 21 -2.2% 24
26 CHI -19.1% 22 -17.4% 25 3-8 -15.6% 27 -2.4% 14 -5.9% 28
27 DEN -19.2% 24 -22.4% 27 3-8 -16.8% 29 -5.9% 11 -8.3% 31
28 NYG -23.0% 28 -22.7% 28 2-9 -7.2% 22 8.4% 22 -7.5% 30
29 SF -25.7% 29 -25.7% 30 1-10 -16.0% 28 12.6% 27 3.0% 11
30 IND -28.1% 31 -25.1% 29 3-8 -23.5% 32 8.6% 23 4.0% 9
31 CLE -29.9% 30 -27.1% 31 0-11 -23.0% 31 0.9% 20 -6.0% 29
32 MIA -35.5% 32 -36.2% 32 4-7 -20.9% 30 15.2% 31 0.5% 15
  • 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 35.7% 8-3 33.8% 8.4 4 -0.7% 16 -0.8% 18 17.3% 27
2 PHI 35.6% 10-1 39.2% 9.0 2 -5.5% 28 2.9% 13 12.7% 21
3 NO 32.3% 8-3 27.0% 9.6 1 2.7% 9 -7.7% 26 10.0% 12
4 PIT 29.3% 9-2 31.9% 8.4 5 -1.5% 18 -0.7% 17 11.0% 13
5 MIN 23.8% 9-2 19.5% 8.4 3 7.3% 3 -1.4% 19 4.9% 2
6 BAL 19.0% 6-5 23.5% 6.4 9 -3.7% 25 -5.6% 23 20.9% 31
7 NE 17.4% 9-2 21.0% 6.8 6 -3.4% 23 -8.0% 27 9.0% 10
8 JAC 12.5% 7-4 17.0% 6.1 13 -1.8% 19 -11.5% 29 26.5% 32
9 CAR 11.3% 8-3 12.6% 6.8 7 -2.3% 21 9.6% 5 5.4% 5
10 KC 9.3% 6-5 8.3% 6.7 8 3.0% 7 -14.9% 32 17.0% 26
11 SEA 8.7% 7-4 17.8% 6.2 12 -6.9% 31 14.1% 2 5.4% 4
12 DET 8.3% 6-5 2.8% 6.4 10 4.0% 6 -3.8% 21 3.5% 1
13 WAS 7.7% 5-6 -1.4% 5.7 16 11.4% 2 -10.4% 28 11.6% 18
14 GB 4.9% 5-6 -2.2% 6.3 11 7.2% 4 -0.6% 16 6.8% 8
15 ATL 3.4% 7-4 9.4% 6.0 14 -4.2% 26 16.7% 1 5.2% 3
16 LACH 3.3% 5-6 10.8% 5.0 22 -3.4% 24 -7.2% 25 9.0% 9
TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
17 DAL -0.3% 5-6 -0.8% 5.8 15 1.8% 12 4.4% 10 19.2% 29
18 HOU -2.6% 4-7 -5.7% 5.1 19 1.3% 14 -4.4% 22 16.7% 25
19 OAK -6.7% 5-6 -0.8% 5.1 20 -4.8% 27 5.0% 8 13.5% 23
20 CIN -7.6% 5-6 -4.2% 5.2 17 -5.7% 29 12.3% 3 14.1% 24
21 BUF -8.8% 6-5 -6.1% 5.0 21 -2.1% 20 -12.8% 31 18.9% 28
22 TEN -9.9% 7-4 -4.6% 5.2 18 -6.3% 30 1.4% 14 19.4% 30
23 ARI -12.7% 5-6 -12.8% 3.8 23 0.2% 15 3.8% 11 11.8% 20
24 TB -16.4% 4-7 -12.9% 3.7 25 -2.5% 22 12.1% 4 9.1% 11
25 NYJ -16.4% 4-7 -8.2% 3.8 24 -8.8% 32 8.6% 6 11.1% 14
26 CHI -19.1% 3-8 -28.4% 3.6 26 14.2% 1 -6.2% 24 11.6% 16
27 DEN -19.2% 3-8 -14.2% 3.5 27 1.4% 13 -12.6% 30 13.5% 22
28 NYG -23.0% 2-9 -24.3% 2.9 28 4.3% 5 4.7% 9 11.3% 15
29 SF -25.7% 1-10 -26.7% 2.3 29 2.8% 8 3.3% 12 6.6% 7
30 IND -28.1% 3-8 -26.6% 2.3 30 -1.1% 17 0.2% 15 11.6% 17
31 CLE -29.9% 0-11 -33.4% 2.2 32 1.9% 11 7.5% 7 11.8% 19
32 MIA -35.5% 4-7 -32.9% 2.2 31 1.9% 10 -2.0% 20 6.5% 6

Comments

101 comments, Last at 02 Dec 2017, 10:13am

3 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I have seen this before. This is a confluence of the player playing well, the player surrounded by excellent players and the player experiencing good fortune.

Keenum is doing a fantastic job of finding the first good option and getting the ball away.

His receivers are very good and are making all the players. The offensive line is playing well. The playcalling is above average

The last part is that Keenum is throwing 2-5 passes a game that could/should be intercepted but are not. He scrambles, gets tackled, ball comes loose and he grabs it as he falls to the ground.

I am glad for the guy as he has been through the school of hard knocks and learned how to survive. Now Keenum is in a great situation and leveraging it tremendously.

But if one or more of the above changes the change in performance could be dramatic. I suspect most Vikings fans anticipate it cratering in the NFC Championship game with the Vikes up by 2 touchdowns, driving for the clinching score and then all that is bright and glorious turning dark and empty turning their joy to sorrow.

Anyway, that's my hope.

8 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

May your cheese curds become rancid......

Ok, now that this is out of the way, I mostly agree. What he does well he does very well, and in a very friendly environment,it makes up for the fact that he really doesn't have much of an arm by NFL starting qb standards. The Vikings defense has been very good, but they will need to crank it up to great, in the next two months, to fully account for that.

10 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Hey, are the Madison Faithful as offended as I imagine, by how many paid yappers think it is a forgone conclusion that the Buckeyes being favored by 6 is correct? Sure it would be no surprise at all if the Buckeyes win, but nobody should be complacent about a team that had Iowa serve a fifty burger on them. If the Badgers qb avoids the fugue states he occasionally enters, I think Bucky prevails.

21 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Hornibrook's interceptions thing is overstated. He has a slew of young receivers who if you go through the picks have contributed to at least a third. More concerning is that when he gets hit he has gotten lucky in that fumbles have been recovered by Wisky. Taylor is also putting the ball on the ground too frequently.

The Achilles heel of the Badger defense is the deep pass. WI depends on the pass rush to negate, but if a qb gets the time the Badger dbs will be in trail position more often than not. That is how PSU got the upperhand in last year's game.

Buckeyes return game is really good. Hoping WI coverage is up to the task.

My stance is that the contest is WI's consistently very good play versus the Buckeyes ability to play at a super high level while also being capable of laying a stinker. Given what is at stake I anticipate the former versus the latter for the Buckeyes.

17 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Good analogy, but I have soft spot in my heart for Kramer, since he delivered the Lions’ only playoff win in the Super Bowl era.

But yea, we’ve seen this before....journeyman career backup has one great year. Steve DeBerg 1990, Chris Chandler 1998, Steve Beuerlein 1999, Damon (or Brock? I can’t keep them straight) Huard 2006, Josh McCown in half of 2013.

Now that the division title is out of reach for my team, I’m kind of rooting for Keenum. In Hard Knocks ‘16, and season 2 of All or Nothing, he and his wife seem like genuine, down to earth people.

79 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Keenum's 2017 is Erik Kramer 1995 redux. Each time I see him play I see Kramer ducking the rush and getting the ball to Jeff Graham or Curtis Conway.

Thank you for that memory. That stretch of games was magical for this Bears fan. Quite honestly, it's the only time I've ever had complete confidence in a Bears offense, and I've been watching for 40 years. It didn't even last a whole season, and the defense was terrible enough that they only won a little over half the games in that stretch, but I loved every minute of it.

At the very least, Kramer was a much more aesthetically pleasing QB than Keenum. He threw a beautiful spiral, even when it went to the wrong team.

4 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

In the superbowl scenarios, as it is gonna be probably enough to show up on radar, i propose calling a New England vs Minnesota Superbowl the

"Pete Carroll without Pete Carroll Bowl"

5 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

The Week 12 BES Rankings went out this morning - http://besreport.com/week-12-bes-rankings-2017/

The BES really differs with DVOA this week on the top 5. Philly still holds the No. 1 spot in the BES for a second week with the Vikings ranked No. 2. The Patriots, Steelers and Rams round out the top-5 in the BES.

6 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

The Vikings have soundly whipped 3 teams in the top 6, all at home, and have been soundly whipped by one in the top 6, on the road, in Keenum's 1st start. The disparity between the Rams DVOA and Vikings DVOA comes down to special teams, which my eyes agree with.

To state the obvious, it would be huge for them to get HFA.

58 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Yes, they will have difficult road games in Atlanta and Carolina. Good teams win difficult road games, so just like the Eagles next two games in Seattle and at Rams, we will learn some things, although the Seahawks injuries on defense lessens the challenge.

The revenge angle for Rodgers really doesn't mean much, in my view. If he is recovered, and the Packers are still contending for a playoff spot, it will be a challenge, because Rodgers is great, and the rest of the team pretty good. When the Vikings have had decent teams, and decent health, they have competed just fine at Lambeau, and when they have had more talent and/or health than the Packers, they tend to win at Lambeau. The Rodgers era has just coincided with the Vikings having a fair number of years without much talent. That isn't the case this year.

49 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Despite their wins over top competition including the Rams, the Rams remain well ahead of them...

I am reminded of the FO article that identified Stomps, Guts, Skates and Dominates, Stomps (good teams thoroughly beating (by 14 or more) bad teams) as being more indicative of greatness than Guts (good teams barely beating good teams) or even "Dominates" (Good teams solidly beating good teams (by 14 or more)). as a reminder, stomps and dominates are wins over bad (sub .500) teams and good (over .500) by 14 or more, while guts and skates are the same except by 1-8 points. So...

If we take the season as if it ended now, here is how the wins of the top NFC teams break down:

Eagles:
Stomps: 5 (Cards, 49ers, Broncos, Cowboys, Bears)
Dominates: 0
Guts: 1 (Panthers)
Skates: 2 (GIants, Chargers)

Vikings:
Stomps: 2 (Bucs, Browns)
Dominates: 1 (Rams)
Guts: 2 (Ravens, Lions). (Ravens win was only by 8 due to last play of game, was dominate prior to that)
Skates: 2 (Bears, Redskins).

Rams:
Stomps: 4 (Colts, Cards, Giants, Texans)
Dominates: 0
Guts: 1 (Saints)
Skates: 2 (49ers, Cowboys)

Saints:
Stomps: 2 (Fins, Bucs)
Dominates: 3 (Panthers, Lions, Bills)
Guts: 0
Skates: 1 (Redskins)

Panthers:
Stomps: 3 (49ers, Bucs, Fins)
Dominates: 0
Guts: 4 (Bills, Patriots, Lions, Falcons)
Skates: 1 (Jets)

So... what can we see here?

Stomps: Eagles 5, Rams 4, Panthers 3, Saints/Vikings 2
Dominates: Saints 3, Vikings 1, Eagles/Panthers/Rams 0
Guts: Panthers 4 (!), Vikings 2, Rams/Eagles 1, Saints 0
Skates: Eagles/Rams/Vikings 2, Saints/Panthers 1

The Bucs are very stompable

55 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

The win over New Orleans was by 10 points so it doesn't fit in any of these categories, which I've never much liked anyway. On a single-game basis, margin of victory isn't a very useful number: the Vikings were two missed kicks away from beating Detroit by 11 instead of 7, for example. It makes much more sense, here on this site, to use DVOA.

I think it's worth highlighting Minnesota's low variance and difficult schedule vis-à-vis the other top teams. It has been super consistent, and it's quite a feat to go 9-2 against the third-ranked schedule, especially as IIRC it has only needed one game winning drive (against the Bears of all teams). Have the Vikings trailed in the second half at all in any of their wins?

59 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

If I remember correctly, no, and like most well coached teams, especially ones with good offensive lines (still feels really strange to type those words in a post about the Vikings), they seem to make sound half time adjustments.

64 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

To reinforce my point about Minnesota's variance, here's a list of teams since the divisional realignment who have finished in the top quartile (ie, top 8) in DVOA for both offense and defense, and in the top quartile for (lowest) variance:

2005 Colts: 3rd offense, 5th defense, 1st variance
2012 Broncos: 2nd, 5th, 4th
2014 Broncos: 3rd, 4th, 4th

The 2017 Vikings are currently 4th, 6th, 2nd. Very similar to the others. It's illustrious company to be keeping, even if the postseason proved disappointing for all three of those teams. They each reached the superbowl the following season, of course, so if Forbath shanks a field goal in the last minute of a playoff game this coming January, or if Keenum doesn't turn out to be the next Peyton Manning, there shouldn't be a need to despair.

For completists, some near-misses:
2005 Broncos: 2, 9, 4
2009 Cowboys: 3, 10, 2
2014 Ravens: 9, 8, 5
2015 Bengals: 2, 10, 5

The Martyball Chargers finished 1st in variance twice in three years, and 5th the season in between.

95 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

the lost by 10 due to a meaningless garbage time TD. It was an absolute throttling. The Vikings have completely dominated both the Rams and the Saints. If DVOA can't reflect that (as it apparently can't), so much the worse for DVOA.

101 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

Something I just noticed about the Vikes, they have 0 come-from-behind 4th quarter wins. That's got to be unusual for a team with a high winning percentage, right? They do have one win where they were tied in the 4th quarter and kicked a last minute FG - at Chicago where they always seem to play like garbage - but that's it. They're winning their games that they win, not relying on 4th quarter heroics which usually aren't sustainable, even if every year there's a few teams that do sustain it over a 16 game season only then to take a step back next year. The fact they have no such wins feels significant.

11 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I guess for the Ravens the fact that the team is all way up in 6th even with Flacco performing as one of the absolute worst QBs in the league is a reason to be optimistic. If Flacco can simply return to a level of mediocrity the team might be really great. The way they are right now, they are reminiscent of the 2015 Broncos: best defense in the league, extremely bad QB play, and an overall ranking in about the same area (Broncos were 8th in DVOA that year).

39 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I don't hold out any hope for Flacco at this stage. He has been abysmal ever since he returned from a torn ACL after the 2015 season. Not just bad - the absolute worst in the league. Of all the teams, Baltimore deserves to draw the most ire for not approaching Kaepernick.

53 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

>> Of all the teams, Baltimore deserves to draw
>> the most ire for not approaching Kaepernick.

Supposedly there were within days of signing Kaepernick, when his girlfriend tweeted out the pic comparing Bisciotti & Ray Lewis to & DiCaprio & Samuel Jackson from Django.

https://twitter.com/nessnitty/status/892902143983792128/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fnews%2Fearly-lead%2Fwp%2F2017%2F09%2F06%2Fray-lewis-blames-colin-kaepernicks-girlfriend-for-qbs-lack-of-nfl-employment%2F

And then their interest evaporated. Which is understandable.

13 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

It's hard to see what DVOA liked about the Saints offense this week. They hardly did anything outside of Kamara's superhuman 75-yard TD run in the first quarter and a too-late-to-matter series of nice pass plays when the Rams were playing prevent.

15 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

1) As I say over and over, those pass plays when the Rams are in prevent DO have predictive value for the future. It's better to be able to pass against a prevent defense than not, and the game wasn't completely out of hand. I know people don't like that all my research has shown that these plays should be considered, but that's what my research has shown.

2) No turnovers. (One fumble, recovered by Saints.)

3) Opponent adjustments for playing the Rams are strong.

4) Opponent adjustments also changed for previous New Orleans opponents, in particular the last two, Washington and Buffalo.

27 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

I have been critical of the Saints being rewarded for bad play against the 5 minute drill in the first few weeks of the season. In the last 2 games they scored late TDs in 42 and 48 second drives. If the Redskins and the Rams were playing prevent D, then they were doing it wrong.

The Saints got lucky against DC and had a chance to win if they got lucky vs the Rams, but their offensive skill got them in position for luck to matter.

48 Re: Week 12 DVOA Ratings

When I was watching the game, at the end, I was totally thinking "oh, crap, they've made Drew Brees angry." I told everyone else watching that the game was going to come down to an onside kick recovery, because Brees was going to march down the field and score, and if they got the recovery, he was going to do it again.

I don't get how people can say "oh, the Rams were just in prevent" and dismiss it. The Saints scored in 42 seconds. If the Rams were in prevent, their prevent sucks.