Week 19 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Once again, it is time for postseason DVOA ratings. As always, the following rules apply:

  • All 32 teams are ranked, whether they made the playoffs or not.
  • Teams are ranked in order of weighted DVOA, not total season DVOA. Since weighted DVOA is meant to lower the strength of older games, these ratings do not include Weeks 1-5, and Weeks 6-11 are somewhat discounted. "Last week" here refers to last week's rank in weighted DVOA, not total season DVOA.
  • Teams are treated as having a bye week in any week where they did not play. Since most teams haven't played in two weeks, that means some of the ratings for non-playoff teams can start getting a little unreliable. Really, this is only to be used for playoff teams, the other teams are just there for ranking comparison purposes.
  • DVOA, as always, takes a long-term view of an NFL team's performance. That means that the games of the last two weeks are just two games among many, so teams may be listed below other teams that they have beaten in the playoffs.

The table below also includes a listing for total season DVOA which adds the eight postseason games in with all 256 regular-season games. You'll notice that all four remaining teams are significantly higher in weighted DVOA than they are in total season DVOA, even if we include the playoffs in both ratings. Although the media has made a lot of Aaron Rodgers' comments about running the table when the Packers were 4-6, all four of these teams have been red hot over the last two months. They have won a combined 30 straight games, and none of the final four teams has lost since Atlanta fell to Kansas City back on December 4.

As Danny Kelly from the Ringer first noticed and pointed out on Twitter, this is the first time in DVOA history that no top-ten defense from the regular season is represented among the final four teams, although Pittsburgh is the No. 8 defense if we look at full-season DVOA including the playoffs. In addition, both New England and Pittsburgh are top-ten defenses according to weighted DVOA. Except for a small upset in Green Bay beating Dallas, the best teams from the regular season are the last four teams left this year. All four teams ranked seventh or higher in total DVOA this year, and all four teams ranked eighth or higher in offensive DVOA. If not for the Steelers sitting starters against Cleveland in Week 17, the final four would all rank among the top six offenses.

I don't really have much very interesting to say about the DVOA ratings for this weekend's games. The blowouts scored like blowouts. Green Bay and Dallas were essentially tied, although the Cowboys were slightly ahead without opponent adjustments and the Packers were slightly ahead with opponent adjustments. As you might expect, Pittsburgh had a much higher DVOA than Kansas City despite the close score, because the Steelers moved the ball so well even though they couldn't get it into the end zone for touchdowns.

You will find DVOA matchup pages for the conference championships on the FO Premium page. Snap counts are updated with full postseason numbers. And if you have a team in the Football Outsiders 2016 Playoff Fantasy Challenge, you can check out your team right here.

* * * * *

Once again this season, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 17 Ultimate Team. Each week, we'll be picking out a handful of players who starred in that week's games. Some of them will be well-known players who stood out in DVOA and DYAR. Others will be under-the-radar players who only stood out with advanced stats. We'll announce the players each week in the DVOA commentary article, and the players will be available in Madden Ultimate Team packs the following weekend, beginning at 11am Eastern on Friday. We will also tweet out images of these players from the @fboutsiders Twitter account on most Fridays. The best player of each week, the Football Outsiders Hero, will require you to collect a set of the other four Football Outsiders players that week, plus a certain number of Football Outsiders collectibles available in Madden Ultimate Team packs.

The Football Outsiders stars for the divisional round are:

  • C Alex Mack, ATL (FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS HERO): No sacks allowed; helped block for 102 rushing yards against No. 2 run defense by DVOA.
  • LE Michael Bennett, SEA: sack, PD, run tackles for minus-4 and 0 yards.
  • DT Jonathan Babineaux, ATL: sack, run tackles for minus-4 and 0 yards.
  • WR Chris Hogan, NE: No. 1 WR of divisional round with 68 DYAR (4-for-4, 95 yards, plus 30-yard gain on DPI).
  • TE Jesse James, PIT: No. 1 TE of divisional round with 34 DYAR (5-for-6, 83 yards).

* * * * *

To save people some time, we remind everyone to put their angry troll hatred into the official zlionsfan angry troll hatred Mad Libs form:

<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>

If you are new to our website, you can read the explanation of how DVOA is figured here. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

Teams in yellow are still alive in the playoffs. Teams in gray lost this past weekend.

1 NE 38.0% 1 15-2 22.5% 3 -9.5% 7 6.1% 5 27.6% 1
2 PIT 27.2% 2 13-5 12.6% 8 -14.6% 4 -0.1% 20 18.3% 4
3 ATL 25.0% 4 12-5 29.4% 1 4.0% 21 -0.3% 22 21.3% 2
4 DAL 22.2% 3 13-4 18.6% 5 0.6% 18 4.1% 7 20.7% 3
5 GB 22.0% 6 12-6 28.0% 2 7.0% 25 1.0% 13 16.4% 6
6 KC 19.7% 5 12-5 5.9% 11 -3.0% 13 10.8% 1 13.5% 7
7 BAL 14.9% 8 8-8 1.8% 14 -5.0% 11 8.1% 3 5.9% 10
8 TEN 12.9% 9 9-7 14.7% 7 6.8% 23 5.0% 6 3.9% 13
9 WAS 11.9% 10 8-7-1 21.9% 4 8.4% 27 -1.6% 24 9.2% 8
10 PHI 10.5% 7 7-9 -3.8% 19 -6.4% 9 7.8% 4 17.1% 5
11 NYG 8.2% 12 11-6 -9.8% 25 -17.3% 2 0.8% 15 4.9% 12
12 TB 7.3% 11 9-7 -1.0% 16 -8.8% 8 -0.5% 23 -1.6% 21
13 ARI 5.5% 16 7-8-1 -1.2% 17 -12.0% 5 -5.3% 28 1.7% 16
14 CIN 5.2% 13 6-9-1 4.3% 12 -1.2% 15 -0.2% 21 3.0% 15
15 IND 4.8% 14 8-8 7.3% 10 5.1% 22 2.6% 9 -5.1% 24
16 OAK 2.0% 17 12-5 3.3% 13 1.9% 20 0.7% 16 5.3% 11
17 SEA 1.8% 15 11-6-1 -5.0% 21 -5.0% 12 1.9% 12 8.3% 9
18 NO 0.0% 18 7-9 14.9% 6 12.8% 30 -2.1% 25 -0.4% 17
19 CAR -2.7% 19 6-10 -12.9% 27 -10.0% 6 0.2% 17 -4.8% 23
20 MIA -5.0% 21 10-7 -0.5% 15 6.9% 24 2.3% 11 -1.9% 22
21 DEN -6.1% 20 9-7 -21.5% 29 -20.0% 1 -4.5% 27 3.8% 14
22 BUF -7.7% 23 7-9 10.0% 9 12.2% 28 -5.5% 29 -0.7% 18
23 SD -9.1% 22 5-11 -9.1% 24 -5.7% 10 -5.8% 30 -1.0% 19
24 JAC -9.3% 25 3-13 -8.4% 23 -2.1% 14 -3.0% 26 -10.7% 26
25 CHI -9.5% 24 3-13 -1.9% 18 7.6% 26 0.0% 19 -7.9% 25
26 HOU -10.9% 27 10-8 -22.0% 30 -17.0% 3 -5.9% 31 -18.0% 28
27 MIN -12.8% 26 8-8 -12.0% 26 1.6% 19 0.8% 14 -1.1% 20
28 SF -16.3% 29 2-14 -5.6% 22 13.0% 31 2.3% 10 -19.7% 29
29 DET -18.3% 28 9-8 -3.8% 20 17.5% 32 3.1% 8 -17.6% 27
30 CLE -27.4% 30 1-15 -15.3% 28 12.3% 29 0.1% 18 -30.9% 31
31 NYJ -33.5% 31 5-11 -27.2% 31 -0.4% 16 -6.7% 32 -32.4% 32
32 LARM -44.2% 32 4-12 -53.0% 32 0.1% 17 8.9% 2 -29.0% 30

Here are the one-game DVOA ratings for the divisional round of the playoffs.

DVOA (with opponent adjustments)
SEA -33% -30% 10% 7%
ATL 54% 50% -12% -9%
HOU -18% -42% -26% -2%
NE 63% 12% -31% 20%
GB 24% 27% 6% 4%
DAL 16% 18% 17% 15%
PIT 37% 3% -23% 11%
KC 3% -13% -6% 10%
VOA (no opponent adjustments)
SEA -59% -25% 40% 7%
ATL 46% 42% -13% -9%
HOU -41% -47% -8% -2%
NE 71% 1% -50% 20%
GB 1% 25% 27% 4%
DAL 6% 20% 29% 15%
PIT 30% 1% -18% 11%
KC -10% -18% 1% 10%


51 comments, Last at 19 Jan 2017, 5:08am

2 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Would have climbed further without Michael's near-muff return to the 5 yard line... The play that nobody-- repeat NOBODY-- has mentioned but was perhaps even more consequential than the subsequent Heath INT in terms of Cowboys getting back in game is Bryant's quick reaction to Hyde's INT. Hyde had a burst of two steps to catch the ball-- if Bryant lets him take one more step without contact he is gone and the game is 35-13 and pretty much toast... Among many things Dez did well in this game, that play should not be overlooked. If Heath doesn't catch that INT, Packers punt and Dallas still gets ball, but probably lose 25-30 yards in field position.

13 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Of course nobody mentions this. Dez situated himself making it obvious he was blocking for a screen. He is the entire reason this INT happened. He also was way slow to react to the play. This was an awful play by Dez, not a great one. You can maybe point to his play here as the reason the Packers won, nothing about it is why the game was still close. Just a dreadful play by him.

17 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Meh, that play is really on Prescott who mis-located the ball. But mostly it was just great prep by GB. Bryant was fine on that play, he was not ready for the GB player to know the exact play call.

4 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Houston had almost 1/3 of their offensive yardage on a single field goal drive in the 1st quarter. They pretty much couldn't move the ball at all the entire game. The only reason they were able to score at all is that the Patriots fumbled and threw an interception inside their own 30.

If those two turnovers happen at the 50 instead of the 20-35, that game is 34-3.

Those plays count, but the field position of turnovers isn't particularly predictive. The quality of play was a lot further apart than the score indicated.

16 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

There was that point in the game where they put up a graphic that Houston had had 24 plays, and New England had had it 1 play ... yet New England were still leading!

No-one's really talked about the (correctly called) 15-yd penalty on Rowe which extended Houston's drive and allowed them to get some points on the board. I guess it's lumped in with the discussion of turnovers. Without that Houston had another 3&out and were punting from about their own 40.

5 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Week 17 BES Rankings - http://besreport.com/week-17-bes-rankings-final-issue-of-2016/

No postseason BES rankings but the Wk 17 report is 7-1 (.875) in the postseason...88% in terms of being predictive. DVOA suggests a Patriots/Falcons Super Bowl....BES says Patriots/Packers. I personally like DVOA's matchup better. Seems like Matt Ryan is due.

7 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

That Falcons-Packers game is going to be interesting. The media buzz has pretty much put Rodgers in the Super Bowl already. And the NFL would absolutely love a Rodgers-Brady Super Bowl. Or even a Rodgers-Roethlisberger Super Bowl, given the histories of both franchises.

They probably are less enthusiastic about the Falcons.

9 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

The Falcons should be getting far more respect at this point. You have to love Rodgers...he provides more thrills. But Ryan has been a true general from the pocket...and ice cold (Matty Ice)...even after TD's...he looks like it's just business...nothing to get all giddy over. The contrast in personalities sets a perfect stage for next week. I can't wait

11 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Yep, over this stretch where Rodgers has played out of his mind to much (and deserved) fanfare, the Packers' and Falcons' offensive production has been basically the same and Ryan's full-season numbers are at least as good as Rodgers's most favorable splits. Falcons come in with the offensive firepower advantage and that's even before considering that GB is barely fielding a secondary.

The good news for Green Bay is that they get to face the only defense left that's arguably worse than their own.

14 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

The reason the Packers should probably lose is they are by far the most injured team in the running still, it isn't even close. Rodgers is making up for being so hurt they should't be in it.

20 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

I'm not sure that's a plus, actually.

GB has had success scoring against defenses that don't usually let the other team score.
ATL enters games fully aware it probably needs to win a shootout.

Basically, it's not like ATL is going to be surprised that Rodgers is having success.

37 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

I thought the Falcon D looked pretty damn efficient--very hard hitting, good pass pressure, a nice compliment to the high powered O.

Then again Green Bay's D was a pleasant surprise to me with its play against Dallas.

39 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

correct, I want to, but cannot back the Falcons given the 65% market price I'm looking at. They're favourites; it certainly looks like they're being respected both as slightly better, and as the home team.

41 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

You are disrespecting the desire for Falcons fans to have their favorite team disrespected, thus engendering a feeling of being put upon vicariously!

STOP IT!!!!!!!

44 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

falcs not bandwagon team. so get less respect.

bandwagon etams- cowboys, steelers 1 and 2

next level in some order- gaitns, packers, 49ers, pates, dolphisn, Raiders

temas good in 1970s and.or multiple super bowl championships in more recent tmes have big bandwagons. fans not always seen. but when tema gets good, they com e out of woodwork.

teams with choppy hiostories and mayheb only one super bwiol title 0(saints, seahaksw, jets, buccaneers, rams) do not have crazy bandwagons that many epoeple find annoying

51 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

According to the money they are being respected directly in line with being about 2 wins better than Green Bay (7.5% per win from a start point of 50% per team gives you 65%/35%). These two wins are shared across 2 factors: 1 win for team quality and 1 win for HFA.

Green Bay can be backed at almost 2 to 1. That's the opposite of disrespect to Atlanta, unless you think the real numbers should see GB a 4 to 1 underdog or some such? In which case, lay me a bet? (currently Weighted DVOA is 25% v 22%)

There's no such thing as a bandwagon team (objectively). Just people with prior expectations (of the media) then hearing things which confirm their expectation. The epitome of confirmation bias.

6 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Funny that the Pats have the highest DVOA of the weekend. You wouldn't know that from the coverage of the game. Feels like the coverage is overemphasizing the Pats' turnovers, ignoring the interceptions of Osweiler, and completely downplaying the importance of the defense's importance - since everybody knows the Texans' offense sucks.

Of course, getting a 20 point boost from the special teams wouldn't hurt.

The 12% value for the offense seems about right.

It has been weird seeing many people wring their hands about the Pats somehow covering a 16-point spread. I think the basic problem is that, if you only judge them by their three best and three worst plays, they didn't look very good. But if you judge them by the game as a whole, the three worst plays were not characteristic of their effort. The turnovers are bad, but it's not like they were being gashed on defense as had been the case many times this season. And they did manage to score 34 points on a top defense.

19 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

And 7 more came on a 6 yard drive.

NE's offense was mediocre at best this past week, IMO undeserving of their positive DVOA. 20 points scored with a sub 50% comp, two picks and 3.6 ypc rushing? The only things they did well was to limit sacks to 2 despite regular pressure and go 3/4 in the red zone.

All factors considered, particularly health and home field, this was about as bad a performance as possible and perhaps worse than they did against Denver in last year's AFCCG.

The defense was much better. Two of Houston's scoring drives didn't even earn a first down, another went for 12 yards and the final one was extended by a post-play penalty after a 3rd down stop. As bad as Os has been, NE was still dominant. I wonder, though, how it would have looked had Fuller caught the TD.

27 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

FWIW, before opponent adjustments that Pats had 1 point of VOA.

"All factors considered, particularly health and home field, this was about as bad a performance as possible and perhaps worse than they did against Denver in last year's AFCCG."

No, I'm not buying that. I think the problem of having turnstile pass protection is much worse than having two picks and a fumble that the offense recovers.

If you look at the two box scores side by side it's clear they were better on Saturday. Against Denver, they only got 44 yards rushing on 17 attempts. More sacks (and many more pressures) against Denver. And in both games Brady was one completion below having a 50% completion rate. The passing game had marginally more yards but on considerably more pass attempts. The only X on the Texans side is the interception box.

And if you want to bring health into it, the leading receiver against Denver was Gronkowski with 144 yards. This year they have Lewis and Blount healthy, but missing Gronk is huge.

30 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

No, I'm not buying that. I think the problem of having turnstile pass protection is much worse than having two picks and a fumble that the offense recovers.

You might have overlooked the "particularly health and home field" part of my comment, since that - along with the fact that last year's Denver defense was significantly better than Houston - includes everything you introduced.

For instance, being down Gronk is obviously a big deal, but last year's NE team was so beat up that they literally were not running offensive practices at the end of the year. The lack of able bodies also meant the defense was practicing against air.

Add in NE being down both starting OTs- with one of the remaining backups having a painful toe injury - and you would expect the OL to struggle. Even more so once you take home field into account, since NE wasn't able to vary the snap count.

I fully concede side-by-side stat checks will show raw performance was worse against Denver, I just think they overcame a lot more to reach that level than they did this past weekend. This is entirely subjective so feel free to disagree. :)

31 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

If not for Rob Gronkowski and a fluke fumble recovery on a backwards swing pass, the Patriots might have been shutout in the AFC Championship Game. Gronk was an absolute monster (and Brady had some great seam throws and deep ins to Gronk).

I agree that there was a lot the Patriots had to overcome, and on its face it seems they played worse on Saturday, but the Patriots were not very good last year despite having relatively healthy WRs and an O-Line that protected Brady brilliantly against KC one week earlier.

32 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

The WRs weren't healthy at all. Both Amendola and Edelman had subsequent surgeries and Julian couldn't even take his shoe off by himself after the game. Most other receivers (including Gronk) were on the injury report as well. As I said above, the injuries were so severe on the offensive side of the ball that NE couldn't field a scout team for the defense, let alone run a normal practice.

Home field advantage was particularly useful to NE's OL, as evidenced by how poorly they played in the final two weeks of the season (both road games). I'll admit I was hopeful that the performance against KC indicated improvement, but that was clearly not the case.

The point about the unforced fumble is a good one, but NE also eschewed FG attempts later on that would have earned those same six points. Not that they would have gone for it down 20-0, just pointing out that they did move the ball better as the game went on.

Again, this whole thing is more of a subjective disappointment-O-meter. I came away from Denver unhappy about the outcome, but with the resignation that Denver had taken out the best a beat up team had to offer. Against Houston, it felt like the Patriots just played poorly.

33 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

That team didn't seem to injured against KC. Just sayin'...

I feel your point, but I think their performance in that game was not all that good even then. KC is a pretty good defense, and Edelman got consistent separation. Chris Harris locked him down all game.

34 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

I hear you, that's why I think home/road is an important consideration.

Chris Harris locked him down all game.

Yes, and since Edelman had schooled Harris to the tune of roughly 9 catches and 100 yards per game beforehand, this could be interpreted as evidence for my position. :)

46 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

I read somewhere that Stork in particular was giving away the silent count the Patriots were forced to use due to the road crowd noise in Denver.

So at least they shouldn't have that problem again, although the new center had trouble with Mercilus et al on the inside rush so they may still have o-line problems

The Patriots seem much healthier and much improved all over the field.
Except for Gronk.
it's a testament to how remarkable Gronk is that losing him might counter all the other improvements.

45 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

I don't think I understand why health and home field are being brought into this. Are you arguing that the performance was better or are you grading on a curve? The NFL doesn't care that the Pats had a bunch of injuries last year. That's part of why they played worse. The fact that they were playing in Denver is also part of it.

18 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

If the Houston receivers could catch, the Pats would not have covered the spread. Very poor execution by the Texan's receivers. Brock wasn't great but his receivers made him look worse.
The difference between receiver play in this game was huge. The Pat's receivers caught many contested balls; the Texan's receivers dropped some big uncontested passes.
I don't remember a game where Brady threw so many touch/lob passes down the field. They weren't perfect but the amount of completions on those passes amazed me, both because of Brady's accuracy and because of some of the catches made by covered receivers.

25 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

If the Houston receivers could catch, their offense would have been better going in and the spread wouldn't have been 16 pats.

The fact that the line was 16 and the Pats won by 18 (and the Texans could have easily kicked a late game FG in their comeback attempt) means Vegas got it just right.

8 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Interesting that the consensus worst performance by a winning team -- NE over HOU -- tanks as the top overall performance in DVOA.

21 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

I'm surprised DVOA didn't like Pittsburgh over KC more. Pittsburgh had a ton of long grinding drives, which DVOA usually loves. They just all ended up in FGs.

22 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Agreed. They certainly appear to align better with DVOA than the Patriots, who had a few chunk plays intermingled among mediocre running, incompletions and turnovers.

29 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

VOA had the Patriots offense as essentially neutral, and then the defense adjustment made them positive.

That sounds pretty damn close to what you're describing.

26 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

I think they had a lot of bad plays in the red zone (relative to a normal number of RZ plays) that probably have a leverage/importance effect. According to Vince Verhei "Inside the Kansas City 30, he went 7-of-15 for 9 yards (not a typo), one sack, one interception, and zero first downs". and regrding Bell "three incompletions, a 1-yard loss, and a 3-yard loss. Four of those came inside the Kansas City 30".

36 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

Since I live in a Colts-centric universe, imagine my surprise when I looked at this table and saw my team no longer in the 22-25 range. What happened? I promise you Indy has not improved in the past two weeks (unless Irsay decided to fire Grigson and Pagano and hasn't told anyone yet).... Is it that GB is doing so well and Indy beat them (and Ten beat GB and Indy beat Ten twice) so those snowballing opponent adjustments are lifting Indy's WEI DVOA?

Indy also lost to 25th ranked HOU late in the season to douse any "they got hot late" rumors.

Also, I love telling my Seattleite neighbors that the NFCW has a worse overall record than the AFCS--"proving" that my team no longer resides in the worst division in football. Whew! Wait, wait, and they STILL couldn't win it? Oy vei!

38 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

It's like the NFCW got abducted by aliens and replaced for a few years between 2010-15. From about 2006-2009 it was the worst in football then suddenly became the best and now back to worst.

43 Re: Week 19 DVOA Ratings

wel,l, 49ers got good for few years under jim harbuagh who is now coaching a colleg team. rams stink as suual. cards after some good years wnet back to stinking this uyear. so that is why division back in the stink bomb category