DVOA Analysis

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

Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

The Los Angeles Rams continue to set the pace in the NFL after four weeks, opening up a large lead in both the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings and the DAVE ratings which combine 2018 performance with preseason forecasts. The Rams got lots of headlines for adding players to their defense this offseason, and that defense is playing pretty well, ninth in DVOA through four weeks. But the Rams are powered by their insanely good offense. Even after adjusting for opponents and for the current extreme pass-friendly nature of the NFL in 2018, the Rams now qualify as one of the ten best offenses we've ever tracked through four games. Their Week 4 win over Minnesota had the best single-game offensive DVOA of the year so far, 88.9%.

On the other side of the ledger are the Buffalo Bills. They've been dismal on offense this year, and things are even worse once you adjust for the current NFL offensive environment. Buffalo has single-game offensive DVOA ratings of -90.2% in Week 1 and -88.7% in Week 2. Those are the only single-game ratings under -60% put up this year by any team in any game. In the other two games, Buffalo has single-game offensive DVOA of around -30%, which means that even if you take out the two worst games, Buffalo would still have one of the two worst offenses in the league. Buffalo is slightly above average on both defense and special teams this year, but the offense has been so horrendous that the Bills are in last place in overall DVOA by over 20 percentage points.

Last week, we ran a table with the best and worst offensive DVOA ever measured through three games. That table featured Kansas City on the positive side, and Arizona on the negative side. This week, the Kansas City offense slowed down and the Arizona offense played better. Add in the opponent adjustments and now it's the Rams and Bills on these tables instead of the Chiefs and Cardinals. (The Chiefs would still be in the top 20 for best offenses, though.)

BEST OFFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 4 GAMES, 1986-2018
WORST OFFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 4 GAMES, 1986-2018
Year Team DVOA Year Team DVOA
1999 WAS 54.9% x 2013 JAX -67.1%
2013 DEN 53.2% x 2002 HOU -61.5%
1998 DEN 52.4% x 2004 MIA -60.4%
2005 SD 48.9% x 2018 BUF -57.8%
2007 NE 46.6% x 2001 WAS -56.5%
2002 KC 46.1% x 1990 PIT -50.4%
2007 DAL 43.5% x 1986 IND -49.1%
2018 LAR 42.6% x 2009 OAK -45.1%
2005 SEA 42.1% x 2007 CHI -44.8%
1997 DEN 41.0% x 1989 DAL -44.6%
2001 STL 40.9% x 1999 PHI -41.8%
2010 NE 40.8% x 2017 IND -41.0%

Another surprise in this week's ratings is that the Chiefs did not climb into second place after Miami's huge loss to New England. Instead, they stay in third place, passed along the way by the Chicago Bears. This may be a case of small sample size, of course, always a danger early in the season when a team has one huge game out of just three or four. Chicago had the biggest single game of the year with 106.9% DVOA against Tampa Bay this week, moving them up from 10th to second overall. The offense climbed from 27th to 20th, but this team is really doing it with the league's No. 1 defense. Right now, the gap between Chicago and the rest of the league's defenses is over 10 percentage points.

This is the week we start to introduce opponent adjustments, which begin at 40 percent of their usual strength and will gradually increase by 10 percent each week until we are at full strength after Week 10. It's also the season debut for the second weekly table that includes past and future schedule ratings. Adding in opponent adjustments gives us our first chance to look at which teams and players might look better or worse than they really are because of the schedule. As usual early in the season, because our opponent adjustments are only at 40 percent strength, good teams generally get listed with easy schedules and bad teams get listed with hard schedules. However, there are a few teams that stand out, both because of their schedule so far and because of how things will change going forward.

  • Based on current DVOA, New Orleans rates with the easiest schedule in the league so far, but they are only 11th in DVOA. (The top two teams, the Rams and Bears, are ranked 30th and 31st in schedule so far.) New Orleans also is going to face a schedule that gets much harder from here on out. Based on average DVOA of opponent, their schedule the rest of the way ranks fourth in the league. Based on average DAVE of opponent instead, it ranks as the toughest schedule the rest of the way.
  • Cincinnati is seventh in DVOA and 3-1 right now despite having the No. 9 toughest schedule in the league so far. Only two teams with top-ten schedules so far have winning records, Cincinnati and No. 22 Tennessee, which has a DVOA far below any other team with a winning record.
  • Things may get better for Atlanta after a tough 1-3 start. The Falcons rank sixth in schedule so far but 31st in schedule the rest of the way based on DVOA and 27th in future schedule based on DAVE.
  • Other teams whose schedules should get easier the rest of the way: New England, Indianapolis, and the New York Jets.
  • Other teams whose schedules should get harder the rest of the way: Detroit, Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Cleveland.

How do opponent adjustments affect the player stats so far? Here are players with particularly strong differences between DYAR and YAR.

  • Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr have played tough schedules so far. For Rodgers that includes playing two of the top three pass defenses by DVOA, Chicago and Washington.
  • Eli Manning has played an easy schedule so far, which begs the question, is it possible the Giants could actually throw downfield less often when they play stronger pass defenses? (Jacksonville has a strong pass defense, of course, but the other three Giants opponents rank 26th or lower.)
  • As great as Alvin Kamara has been in the early going, he ranks second in rushing YAR but drops to fifth in DYAR. The Giants and Falcons are two of the league's four weakest run defenses so far. Jay Ajayi and Ezekiel Elliott have also had easier schedules so far.
  • On the other hand we have Saquon Barkley, who ranks 16th in rushing YAR but climbs all the way to second once we incorporate opponent adjustments. Why has Barkley's schedule been hard and Manning's easy? The Giants have had a schedule notable for teams that have been stellar against the run and horrible against the pass, including Houston (second vs. run, 29th vs. pass); New Orleans (first vs. run, 32nd vs. pass); and Dallas (11th vs. run, 26th vs. pass). Peyton Barber, Derrick Henry, and Tevin Coleman also get bumped up by opponent adjustments.
  • Antonio Brown has the biggest gap between receiving YAR and receiving DYAR, which goes maybe one or two percent of the way towards explaining why his connection with Ben Roethlisberger has been so bad this year. Brown, who has some of the greatest receiving DYAR seasons we've ever measured, ranks 75th in receiving YAR this year but moves up to... 72nd in DYAR. Like I said, it explains only a tiny bit of the problem.

* * * * *

Once again this season, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 19 on a monthly basis. Today, we get to announce the Football Outsiders September players for Madden Ultimate Team on consoles, which will go live at 10:30am Eastern on Sunday.

  • HB Austin Ekeler, LAC: Second among RB in receiving DYAR (13-for-14, 163 yards, 2 TD). Also 28 carries for 188 yards (6.7 yards per carry).
  • WR DeSean Jackson, TB: Leads all WR in receiving DYAR (17-for-22, 424 yards, 3 TD).
  • TE Jesse James, PIT: Second among TE in receiving DYAR (10-for-12, 228 yards, TD).
  • LG Quinton Spain, TEN: No blown blocks or holding penalties through Week 4.
  • C John Sullivan, LAR: Rams rank first in adjusted sack rate through Week 4, and second in adjusted line yards, including first on runs up the middle.
  • DT Lawrence Guy, NE: Leads defensive linemen with 19 combined run tackles, with an average gain of just 1.6 yards.
  • MLB Alec Ogletree, NYG: Tied for second in NFL with 10 defeats (4 TFL, INT, 5 tackles to prevent third-down conversion).
  • ROLB Darius Leonard, IND: Leads NFL with 54 combined tackles and 13 defeats (8 TFL, FF, 3 tackles to prevent third-down conversions, PD to prevent fourth-down conversion).
  • CB Xavien Howard, MIA: Fourth in NFL with 85 percent success rate in coverage through Week 3.
  • SS Bradley McDougald, SEA: Leads all safeties with 9 defeats (FF, 2 INT, PD leading to INT, 2 TFL, and 3 plays to prevent third-down conversions).
  • K Josh Lambo, JAX: 8-for-8 field goals, no kickoffs returned past the 25.
  • P Lachlan Edwards, NYJ: Second in NFL with estimated 3.6 points of field position in gross punting value; fifth in NFL with 43.8-yard net average.

* * * * *

Most of the stats pages should now be updated through Week 4, including playoff odds. The FO Premium DVOA database and snap counts will be updated later tonight.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through four weeks of 2018, measured by our proprietary Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) system that breaks down every single play and compares a team's performance to the league average based on situation in order to determine value over average. (Explained further here.)

OFFENSE and DEFENSE DVOA are adjusted to consider all fumbles, kept or lost, as equal value. SPECIAL TEAMS DVOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

Because it is early in the season, opponent adjustments are only at 40 percent strength; they will increase 10 percent every week through Week 10. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

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

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>

RK TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
TOTAL
DAVE
RANK W-L OFFENSE
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEFENSE
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 LAR 49.7% 1 31.8% 1 4-0 42.6% 1 -8.2% 9 -1.1% 17
2 CHI 32.8% 10 11.1% 5 3-1 -1.8% 20 -30.0% 1 4.6% 5
3 KC 26.9% 3 12.5% 3 4-0 38.3% 2 25.0% 31 13.6% 1
4 JAX 25.9% 6 10.4% 6 3-1 3.5% 15 -18.7% 2 3.7% 8
5 BAL 21.4% 5 13.0% 2 3-1 4.9% 12 -18.2% 3 -1.7% 20
6 MIA 15.9% 2 4.6% 12 3-1 2.0% 16 -11.6% 7 2.3% 10
7 CIN 14.6% 4 6.2% 10 3-1 17.8% 5 4.7% 23 1.5% 11
8 CAR 12.3% 8 4.1% 14 2-1 13.8% 6 6.8% 24 5.2% 4
9 WAS 10.0% 9 4.4% 13 2-1 8.7% 8 -5.0% 12 -3.7% 25
10 GB 9.5% 22 10.2% 7 2-1-1 3.6% 14 -3.1% 13 2.8% 9
11 NO 8.5% 12 12.4% 4 3-1 21.0% 3 13.8% 29 1.4% 12
12 LAC 6.8% 16 3.0% 16 2-2 19.1% 4 4.1% 21 -8.1% 31
13 HOU 5.1% 11 3.2% 15 1-3 0.0% 18 1.8% 18 6.9% 3
14 DEN 3.2% 15 -2.0% 21 2-2 4.7% 13 0.9% 17 -0.5% 16
15 NE 1.6% 23 10.1% 8 2-2 5.1% 11 0.6% 16 -3.0% 22
16 IND 1.5% 18 0.2% 18 1-3 -10.2% 25 -7.7% 10 4.1% 6
17 PHI -1.9% 13 4.9% 11 2-2 -7.5% 24 -10.0% 8 -4.4% 26
18 SEA -2.4% 14 0.6% 17 2-2 -13.9% 27 -11.8% 6 -0.3% 14
19 NYJ -3.1% 7 -7.0% 25 1-3 -29.1% 30 -15.2% 5 10.8% 2
20 OAK -5.3% 28 -4.7% 24 1-3 8.1% 9 11.7% 26 -1.7% 19
21 PIT -5.7% 17 6.8% 9 1-2-1 1.3% 17 3.6% 19 -3.4% 23
22 TEN -9.1% 24 -4.4% 23 3-1 -13.4% 26 -0.3% 15 3.9% 7
23 ATL -9.6% 27 -2.4% 22 1-3 9.7% 7 18.1% 30 -1.2% 18
24 DAL -11.0% 21 -1.5% 20 2-2 -6.6% 23 3.9% 20 -0.5% 15
25 MIN -12.9% 19 -0.5% 19 1-2-1 -0.6% 19 7.2% 25 -5.1% 27
26 NYG -19.2% 29 -16.6% 29 1-3 -4.6% 22 12.7% 28 -1.8% 21
27 DET -23.1% 30 -12.3% 26 1-3 -3.3% 21 11.8% 27 -8.0% 30
28 CLE -23.2% 26 -12.9% 27 1-2-1 -25.5% 29 -16.7% 4 -14.3% 32
29 TB -25.0% 20 -15.1% 28 2-2 7.3% 10 28.9% 32 -3.5% 24
30 SF -26.1% 25 -21.3% 30 1-3 -16.2% 28 4.7% 22 -5.2% 28
31 ARI -35.6% 31 -23.4% 31 0-4 -36.6% 31 -7.1% 11 -6.1% 29
32 BUF -55.7% 32 -39.2% 32 1-3 -57.8% 32 -1.3% 14 0.8% 13
  • 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 LAR 49.7% 4-0 57.1% 4.0 1 -11.8% 30 -3.1% 24 4.3% 7
2 CHI 32.8% 3-1 33.0% 3.3 3 -13.4% 31 -8.3% 32 25.2% 28
3 KC 26.9% 4-0 31.3% 3.5 2 -5.4% 20 4.3% 5 6.7% 12
4 JAX 25.9% 3-1 31.9% 2.8 4 -7.5% 24 -1.4% 18 7.2% 14
5 BAL 21.4% 3-1 25.1% 2.8 5 -10.9% 29 -2.7% 22 14.1% 22
6 MIA 15.9% 3-1 10.4% 2.6 8 -4.0% 19 -5.0% 28 37.4% 30
7 CIN 14.6% 3-1 13.9% 2.3 11 6.4% 9 -0.4% 13 10.0% 16
8 CAR 12.3% 2-1 14.5% 2.7 6 -2.0% 17 -6.7% 30 3.6% 2
9 WAS 10.0% 2-1 19.1% 2.0 15 -8.2% 26 -4.3% 26 3.8% 3
10 GB 9.5% 2-1-1 9.3% 2.4 10 -6.4% 23 -3.0% 23 15.6% 26
11 NO 8.5% 3-1 9.0% 2.6 7 -19.3% 32 4.5% 4 4.3% 6
12 LAC 6.8% 2-2 13.4% 2.1 13 -1.3% 15 -1.4% 17 10.6% 17
13 HOU 5.1% 1-3 6.2% 2.4 9 -6.3% 22 -1.8% 21 4.1% 5
14 DEN 3.2% 2-2 5.7% 2.1 14 10.1% 4 0.9% 12 6.3% 11
15 NE 1.6% 2-2 -1.6% 1.3 26 6.0% 11 -4.9% 27 14.5% 23
16 IND 1.5% 1-3 1.6% 2.2 12 7.0% 8 -3.2% 25 2.1% 1
17 PHI -1.9% 2-2 3.2% 1.9 16 -10.6% 28 4.0% 6 12.5% 19
18 SEA -2.4% 2-2 12.1% 1.7 18 -2.6% 18 2.1% 9 12.8% 20
19 NYJ -3.1% 1-3 -1.0% 1.7 17 -1.1% 14 -5.2% 29 44.0% 31
20 OAK -5.3% 1-3 -7.4% 1.6 21 11.4% 2 3.2% 8 15.1% 24
21 PIT -5.7% 1-2-1 -4.9% 1.5 24 0.0% 12 5.9% 2 8.9% 15
22 TEN -9.1% 3-1 -11.4% 1.6 19 11.3% 3 -1.3% 16 3.8% 4
23 ATL -9.6% 1-3 -2.2% 1.6 20 8.4% 6 -6.9% 31 4.9% 9
24 DAL -11.0% 2-2 -6.0% 1.6 22 -8.1% 25 -0.5% 14 10.7% 18
25 MIN -12.9% 1-2-1 -16.8% 1.5 23 -5.7% 21 1.0% 11 15.2% 25
26 NYG -19.2% 1-3 -20.8% 1.2 27 7.1% 7 -1.5% 19 5.3% 10
27 DET -23.1% 1-3 -19.4% 1.3 25 -9.6% 27 3.6% 7 48.7% 32
28 CLE -23.2% 1-2-1 -8.0% 0.8 31 -1.4% 16 7.2% 1 4.5% 8
29 TB -25.0% 2-2 -23.9% 0.6 32 8.4% 5 -1.6% 20 21.8% 27
30 SF -26.1% 1-3 -19.2% 0.8 30 -0.6% 13 1.6% 10 6.9% 13
31 ARI -35.6% 0-4 -46.7% 0.9 28 22.5% 1 -0.8% 15 13.1% 21
32 BUF -55.7% 1-3 -55.5% 0.8 29 6.2% 10 5.2% 3 30.7% 29

Comments

50 comments, Last at 06 Oct 2018, 11:14pm

1 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by swgallagher // Oct 02, 2018 - 8:46pm

Seattle’s offense is currently ranked 27th in DVOA.

Here are the teams below them:
27. Seattle – Franchise QB
28. San Fran – Backup QB (and injuries).
29. Cleveland – Rookie QB …. And Cleveland.
30. New York Jets – Rookie QB
31. Arizona – Rookie QB / Bradford / New coach
32. Buffalo – Rookie QB

I was frankly surprised it was this high, and I do expect there is a good chance it gets worse after this weekend ☹

Their seems to be little to no connection between QB - Coach - OC
Russel seems completely lost in the new "system".

And the DVOA corroborating QBR Ratings:

27 Russell Wilson, SEA
28 Sam Darnold, NYJ
29 Case Keenum, DEN
30 Sam Bradford, ARI
31 Tyrod Taylor, CLE
32 Jimmy Garoppolo, SF
33 Josh Allen, BUF

Seems to me... If Russ ain't runnin - he ain't gunnin.

And... to my eye his speed / quickness seems to be at an all time low. Age? Hits? Knee injury from '15? All of the above?

Someone talk me off the ledge.

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3 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 02, 2018 - 9:19pm

There's always next year?

But I feel you… watching helplessly as your team doubles down on being counterproductive is the worst.

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8 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by gomer_rs // Oct 02, 2018 - 10:35pm

You basially just created my "it's time to fire Pete Carroll" chart. The irony, is the blocking and run game are actually beginning to work... ahh, but when you're coach believes a Jeff Fisher retread is the solution at OC.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

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9 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by gomer_rs // Oct 02, 2018 - 10:36pm

Double post

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24 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by mrt1212 // Oct 03, 2018 - 12:20pm

I think the desire to constrain RW with Schotty's well known subpar playcalling and play design is a huge factor here. He has absolutely looked tentative to take some of those big gains on runs but some other stuff is cropping up that is classic Schotty. On Sunday Doug Baldwin ran a curl route on 3rd and 7 and wound up a yard short of the stick. There are multiple examples of this exact thing in previous Schotty offenses and it just leads you to wonder - how does one OC stunt the irrepressible Doug Baldwin?

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31 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by commissionerleaf // Oct 03, 2018 - 1:39pm

Agree that the problem is Schottenheimer, not Carroll or Wilson. I would hire Marty Schottenheimer in a second, but Brian isn't even a good coordiantor, never has been, and never has been in clearly explicable ways. [Creating a Rube Goldberg device of a play to gain three yards on an unnecessarily dangerous pass with an odd blocking scheme that increases the likelihood of a free rusher...] You could blame John Schneider for bad drafting and ignoring the offensive line, too.

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33 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 03, 2018 - 2:36pm

No, I'd blame Carroll as well. Deadspin posted a clip of Wilson audibling into a successful run play, and Carroll calling a timeout to apparently chew him out for it

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34 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by gomer_rs // Oct 03, 2018 - 2:40pm

Worse then that. He was audibling out of a play, after audibling the previous 3 plays and moving the ball. PC saw Wilson audible, called a time out to stop the audible. PC chewed him out for not running the called offense, back to the line, Pick-6, comeback over.
_______

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

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2 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 02, 2018 - 9:13pm

Denver has the 17th ranked defense? They look way better than that, subjectively. What is DVOA seeing, here?

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26 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by merlinofchaos // Oct 03, 2018 - 12:50pm

The secondary has given up a lot of yards and first downs and DVOA does not like that.

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39 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by MC2 // Oct 03, 2018 - 9:02pm

Well, now that opponent adjustments have kicked in, they're probably being penalized for giving up almost 300 yards and 3 TDs to Russell Wilson, who (as mentioned above) is not having a very good year.

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4 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by TomC // Oct 02, 2018 - 9:28pm

As a Bears fan, I'm just going to enjoy this through the bye week and try not to think about what might happen in the rest of the season.

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7 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Chip // Oct 02, 2018 - 9:56pm

Very prudent. But I will day dream for you.

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15 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by dbt // Oct 03, 2018 - 2:19am

I’m sure there’s at least one bullshit loss still coming, but on paper they shouldn’t lose more than 3 games the rest of the way. (NE, STL, maybe GB depending on A. A. Ron’s knee.)

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29 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by TecmoBoso // Oct 03, 2018 - 1:31pm

They could very easily lose both Minny games and @Detroit (short week, early start) too. They should get to 10 wins, and that probably wins the division thanks to the GB/Minny tie, but I don't think the Bears have the division on lock down by any means.

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5 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by D // Oct 02, 2018 - 9:42pm

Woo Hoo! Second in DVOA and the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL (though that might be a bit tougher if you used DAVE). And the Bears' pass defense is the best in the league by a huge margin.

If Trubisky can even play at replacement level from here on out, the Bears might really have something going (too bad he doesn't get to play TB's defense every week).

[Knocks on wood]

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6 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Chip // Oct 02, 2018 - 9:56pm

10 long years in the wilderness for the Chicago Bears, who now see themselves in the top 5 of DAVE.

Immediately after the Mack trade, the best case seemed to be a 1+ 1 = 3 scenario for the defense. That Mack would draw double teams, freeing up L. Floyd and A. Hicks to beat 1:1 matchups. Ultimately, the unit might upgrade from a 10th ranked unit to just looking in from the outside at the top 5.

It seems that a 1 + 1 = 4 or 5 scenario for the unit (optimistically for now). That the addition of Mack has completely changed the dynamic of the unit. He has been so dominate that he still produces vs double and triple teams. Vic Fangio can now rush 3 and drop 8 resulting in more INTs (Bears are in the bottom 5 of blitzing and near the top in dropping 8). Hicks has played well and even role players like Roy Robertson-Harris and B. Nichols are making splash plays. Not sure the unit has reached its true potential as first-rounders like L. Floyd and R. Smith haven't really stood out yet. Better yet, the schedule looks much easier now as they now play the AFC East (next four games), Lions 2x, SF, NYG, while the Packers/Vikes have obvious flaws. Only the LARM loom large.

Bottom line, arrow is finally pointing up for this team. Defense is legit - reminds me of 2005/2006 Lovie peak - and should finish as the #1 DEF (if Will Allen’s cruel injury mistress can stay away).

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21 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Eddo // Oct 03, 2018 - 9:56am

I loved the Mack trade for the same reason; I was hoping that the Bears wouldn't just get Mack's production, but a higher level of production from solid defensive players who were facing fewer double teams.

That said, I suspect we're probably at the peak of the defense right now, and not that is has not yet reached its potential. For one, Mack can't possibly be better than he's been the first four games. The Amukamura injury hurts, and I think he, along with all non-Eddie-Jackson members of the secondary were playing over their heads(*). Hicks is a force, and the defensive line has solid depth, but still injuries and wear-and-tear probably mean the defense slips a bit. They still could very well have the #1 defensive DVOA, but I can't really see a likely scenario where they stay this dominant(**).

(*) Aside: I'm torn on the Kyle Fuller contract. On one hand, I think they needed to make keeping him a priority. On the other, I think they paid too much for a good-not-great cornerback.

(**) Pet Peeve Alert: the adjective form is "dominant". Your usage, "He has been so dominate", is wrong; dominate is a verb, not an adjective. So "He has been so dominant" (or "dominating") would be the proper grammar.

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23 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Guest789 // Oct 03, 2018 - 12:09pm

(**) Pet Peeve Alert: the adjective form is "dominant". Your usage, "He has been so dominate", is wrong; dominate is a verb, not an adjective. So "He has been so dominant" (or "dominating") would be the proper grammar.

THIS. I've seen this pop up a lot recently, and I don't get it. Like, it even sounds weird said aloud.

I have a similar issue with people using "bias" instead of "biased". I.e. "He's so bias".

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25 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by deus01 // Oct 03, 2018 - 12:43pm

I imagine this is possibly an artifact of autocorrect on phones which sometimes makes weird changes (or changes the correct word into an incorrect one).

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27 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 03, 2018 - 1:00pm

I thought that's just how the kids like to talk these days, like that's so doge

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28 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by deus01 // Oct 03, 2018 - 1:06pm

I do have a group of friends where some common spelling mistakes have worked their way into our group lexicon and are now intentionally misspelled. Something like land instead of lame

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35 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 03, 2018 - 2:53pm

Yeah, but you would never use those inside spellings on a public forum where you know nobody else is on the inside with you. Of course in a sample of one it may well be an innocent typo, just an especially unfortunate one because it's something lots of people (annoyingly) do on purpose.

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42 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by deus01 // Oct 03, 2018 - 9:39pm

Likely not, however, it might result in autocorrect choosing that word instead of the correct word. On a related note, I do feel like autocorrect has gotten much worse at actually correcting words within the last year or two. I have a feeling that the machine learning these companies are using to try and determine corrections is actually picking up some commonly misspelled words and making changes based on that.

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30 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Oct 03, 2018 - 1:34pm

Dominate for dominant is a common misspelling. I do it myself. I blame alien hand syndrome.

It's like vampire hunter D syndrome, but warmer.

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36 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Eddo // Oct 03, 2018 - 3:30pm

I wonder if sloppy pronunciation (people dropping the last "n" in "dominant", so it sounds like "dom-eh-net") is a cause.

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40 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by MC2 // Oct 03, 2018 - 9:03pm

Yeah, that was my thought, as well.

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43 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 03, 2018 - 10:05pm

should of

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44 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by dbostedo // Oct 04, 2018 - 7:57am

Augh... you found my pet peeve. I should of known someone would probly do that.

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37 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Chip // Oct 03, 2018 - 5:09pm

** sorry, autocorrect.

Peak vs potential: sure it will be nearly impossible to generate a better than -30% DVOA for the DEF the rest of the way. My point was that several players have not played particularly well given their draft pedigree (Fullerton, Smith, Floyd). This represents upside or a countervailing force to the inevitable injuries or deceleration that we might see from Mack - such that the unit still has the ability to finish as the #1 DEF on a go forward basis.

Either way, it’s an exciting time to be a Bears fan. Pace has really done an amazing job with the turnaround job.

It will be interesting to see how many times they get flexed into later time slots (SNF, Sun afternoon games).

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38 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by TomC // Oct 03, 2018 - 8:12pm

Speaking of autocorrect! If I ever doubted you were a Chicagoan, I don't now. ("Fuller" -> "Fullerton")

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45 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Chip // Oct 04, 2018 - 9:34am

Ha! I live off of Fullerton thus the machine learning autocorrects. Stupid smartphone.

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10 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Oct 02, 2018 - 10:37pm

What happened from 1999 to 2001 in Washington that they went from a top-5 offense to a bottom-5 one?

Snyder?

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11 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by dank067 // Oct 02, 2018 - 11:33pm

Jeff George

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12 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Bobman // Oct 03, 2018 - 12:49am

That explains the spike in suicide rates there as well.

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17 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by apk3000 // Oct 03, 2018 - 8:31am

Who was one of many big "names" that seduced Dan Snyder. Yes, this is was the start of Dan's fantasy football era. Marty did one heck of a coaching job to get them respectable after he decided to simply bench Jeff George. But Dan couldn't stand not being able to have a say and fired him.

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19 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Mike B. In Va // Oct 03, 2018 - 9:20am

Making that team decent was one of the better coaching jobs I've ever seen. Doing it despite the owner raises the level of difficulty considerably.

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20 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by JimZipCode // Oct 03, 2018 - 9:22am

Snyder actually HIRED Marty in order to fire him. Remember when Marty said on-air that he could never work for Dan Snyder? Snyder went and got him, specifically to screw him after saying that.

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32 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Oct 03, 2018 - 2:33pm

Where did you hear that? I'd easily believe it, I just hadn't heard that before

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48 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by JimZipCode // Oct 04, 2018 - 6:00pm

"Hear" it? I watched it unfold in real time, along with the rest of the country. It was big news when Marty said, on whatever NFL-countdown-style show it was, that Marty could never coach for Dan Snyder. Danny fired Norv – and hired Marty! At the press conference Marty talked about how, when he met Snyder, he was inspired by his passion to win etc etc. Marty challenged a lot of big names in training camp, including some cherished veterans who were used to cushy lives, like Darrel Green and Bruce Smith. There was a fair amount of controversy and griping in the local paper. (I live in the Balt-Wash corridor, read the WashPost every day.)

Marty coached the team thru a difficult start, 0-5. They rallied in the second half to an 8-8 finish. They finally gelled into a Marty team. That offseason Snyder fired Marty and hired Steve Spurrier.

The thing speaks for itself.

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41 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by MC2 // Oct 03, 2018 - 9:09pm

Marty didn't just bench George, he actually cut him. In more than 30 years of watching the NFL, I think that's the only time I've ever seen a (non-injured) QB go from starting multiple games to being released before the next game. It was hilarious.

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46 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Richie // Oct 04, 2018 - 2:01pm

Didn't Belichick do that to Bernie Kosar as well?

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49 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by MC2 // Oct 05, 2018 - 7:39am

Sort of. I couldn't remember exactly how that saga unfolded, so I went and looked on PFR's game logs. In 1993, Kosar started the first 5 games. Then he was benched for Vinny Testaverde in Weeks 6 and 7. But Vinny got hurt, and so Bernie started again in Week 8, after which he was cut. (Amazingly, he then threw 21 passes for the Cowboys in Week 9!!!)

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/K/KosaBe00/gamelog/1993/

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47 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by GwillyGecko // Oct 04, 2018 - 2:40pm

josh freeman in tampa 2013, although i guess he was benched for a couple weeks first

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50 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by usernaim250 // Oct 06, 2018 - 11:14pm

In 2000, injuries on the interior of the offensive line killed the run game and made blitzing up the middle intolerable.

Plus, Michael Westbrook had only one healthy, useful season—1999. Pounding the ball with Stephen Davis was much more effective with a deep threat. The 2000 Redskins had a terrible receiving corp with James Thrash as their number one, when he should have been a number four, Albert Connell hauling in a majestic 39 of 102 targets, and Irving Fryar three years past his expiry garnering 76 targets.

That injured and flawed 2000 team nonetheless beat the defending champs (Rams) and both Super Bowl participants on the road. And people say Turner was a bad coach.

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13 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Bobman // Oct 03, 2018 - 1:02am

Ah, the good old Colts, getting by on top-ten D and ST. Just like always.

I don't know if Pagano was just generically bad, or if his existence drained the good from his teams, but somehow Reich/Eberflus return the team to the Tampa 2, warn fans that they will take a couple years to add the right personnel, and yet the D turns around overnight (helped by plenty of new guys and rookies).
If Deon Cain (5th rd WR, Clemson) had not injured himself, they'd have a really super rookie class so far. (We'll see if they all fade by December)
Helps to have the #6 pick and four second-rounders, I suppose. Also helps to avoid guys named Trev Alberts, Shane Curry, and Tony Ugoh (who actually had a good first year, before he decided he didn't like football).

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14 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by nefftron // Oct 03, 2018 - 1:13am

Huge boost to Green Bay's rank this week. What helped them more: Shutting out Buffalo, or introduction of opponent adjustments making their Week 1 win over Chicago vastly more impressive?

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16 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by big10freak // Oct 03, 2018 - 7:42am

GB is 9th in ST and while I cannot attest to other units around the league I do GB has a pretty solid all around group. The return teams are not doing much but the kicking game is pretty top notch.

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22 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Arkaein // Oct 03, 2018 - 11:02am

Tramon Williams was surprisingly aggressive on punt returns last game. Not sure I love it, it hasn't yielded any huge returns yet, but as long as he can avoid injury and fumbles he's getting 5-10 yard chunks that a lot of returners would eschew for a fair catch.

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18 Re: Week 4 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Oct 03, 2018 - 8:38am

Imagine how good KC would be if they started their special teams guys on defense.

And, in other news, the Chargers remain the Chargers.

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