Week 8 DVOA Ratings

Week 8 DVOA Ratings
Week 8 DVOA Ratings
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz

The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams remain 1-2 on top of the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings this week. Both teams dropped slightly in DVOA after close wins, but there's still a sizeable gap between these top two teams and the rest of the league. The Los Angeles Chargers remain at No. 3 this week, with the Carolina Panthers moving up to No. 4 after their big win over the Baltimore Ravens. (The Ravens went from fourth to ninth, so the teams essentially switched places.) Chicago is back to No. 5 as Denver's loss to Kansas City drops the Broncos out of the top five. (Still, at No. 7, they remain much higher than conventional wisdom. Only Oakland has played a harder schedule this year by average DVOA of opponent.)

The big change this week is not at the top of the DVOA ratings but at the top of the playoff odds report. Each week, we've lowered the importance of preseason projections in the DAVE ratings we use to compile the playoff odds simulation. It's those preseason projections that were keeping the Rams ahead of the Chiefs even after Kansas City took over the No. 1 spot in DVOA. Well, no longer. With the preseason forecast now only 10 percent of DAVE ratings, this week the Chiefs move ahead of the Rams. And that means the Chiefs also move ahead of the Rams as our Super Bowl favorites for the first time. Our latest simulation has Kansas City winning the Super Bowl 28.0 percent of the time, and the Rams winning 27.5 percent of the time.

What's the difference between Kansas City and Los Angeles? It's almost entirely about strength of schedule. The unadjusted VOA numbers have the Rams significantly ahead of the Chiefs. But the Rams have played the No. 21 toughest schedule based on average DVOA of opponent, and the Chiefs have played the No. 5 toughest schedule. The difference isn't in playing the good teams but rather playing the bad teams. Kansas City has played four games against teams in our top ten (including Denver twice) and only one game against a team ranked lower than 20th in DVOA (San Francisco, 30th). The Rams have played three games against teams in our top ten but also three games against teams in the bottom five (San Francisco, Oakland, and Arizona).

There's one other issue going on with that big gap between the Rams' VOA and DVOA: fumbles. The Rams have recovered a league-high 80 percent of fumbles this year (6 of 7 on offense, 5 of 7 on defense, 1 of 1 on special teams). Kansas City has recovered 55 percent of fumbles. (The teams on the other extreme from the Rams? Miami and Oakland, which have recovered 29 and 30 percent of fumbles, respectively.)

Now that we've gotten to midseason, we're starting to get a lot of discussion of who the early leaders are for MVP. To me, there's only one candidate this year and nobody else comes close. Quarterback is by far the most important position in the modern NFL, and one quarterback is far ahead of the rest of the league in value this year. Patrick Mahomes is obviously the NFL MVP at the season's halfway point.

Right now, Kansas City has 70.7% passing DVOA on offense. Now, I don't have an easily accessible list of what every team's passing DVOA was after every week going back to 1986, the same way I do for total offense and total defense. But I can tell you that only one team has ever finished the season with passing DVOA over 70%: the 2007 New England Patriots at 72.7%. So right now, the Chiefs have the No. 2 passing offense we've ever measured, and that's despite normalizing DVOA for the high average offensive output around the league this year.

Check out this year's passing numbers. Mahomes leads all quarterbacks in both passing DYAR and DVOA. In passing DYAR, or total value, he's nearly 300 DYAR ahead of everyone else. Mahomes is on pace for over 2000 passing DYAR, a number that's only been achieved eight times by four different quarterbacks. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning each did it three times, and Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers each did it once. Let's say Mahomes slows down and finishes with "only" 1800 passing DYAR. He would be only the seventh quarterback to do that, after the four quarterbacks above plus Matt Ryan in 2016 and Daunte Culpepper in 2004.

Do you want to look at passing DVOA instead, so we're not giving Mahomes credit for how much the Chiefs like to throw the ball? OK, Mahomes is on pace to be one of only six quarterbacks to ever finish the season with passing DVOA over 45% on at least 200 passes. Brady and Manning each did it twice, and Rodgers, Randall Cunningham, and Steve Young each did it once.

Again, the strength of schedule comes into play here. Look at the unadjusted VOA on the quarterbacks page, and you'll see that Mahomes and Drew Brees are practically tied. But Mahomes has actually played this well despite playing a harder than average schedule of opposing pass defenses! So he goes from 41.0% VOA to 46.0% DVOA, while Brees, who has played a very easy schedule, goes from 41.1% VOA to 36.3% DVOA.

As a reader pointed out over Twitter, Mahomes' numbers are even more impressive when you realize that this is his first year as a starter. It's not as easy to split out as "first year in the league," but as long as I didn't forget anyone, this is the list of the best passing DYAR seasons by quarterbacks in their first starting seasons in the NFL:

Top Quarterbacks by Passing DYAR
in First Starting Season, 1986-2018
Player Year Team DYAR
K.Warner 1999 STL 1586
D.Culpepper 2000 MIN 1352
D.Prescott 2016 DAL 1302
P.Mahomes (through 8 games) 2018 KC 1101
M.Ryan 2008 ATL 1012
B.Roethlisberger 2004 PIT 908
R.Wilson 2012 SEA 872
R.Griffin 2012 WAS 727
A.Rodgers 2008 GB 708
P.Manning 1998 IND 697

That's incredible. We can't go back to Greg Cook in 1968, and we don't have Dan Marino's rookie season in our database yet (he had only nine starts), but I feel safe in saying that Mahomes is on pace to have the greatest year ever from a first-year starting quarterback.

In case you are curious -- I was, so I checked -- Warner had 817 passing DYAR through eight games in 1999

Meanwhile, on the other side of the offensive table...

THROUGH 8 GAMES, 1986-2018
2018 BUF -51.8%
1992 SEA -49.7%
2005 SF -47.9%
2010 CAR -47.3%
2004 MIA -46.0%
2007 SF -42.0%
1996 STL -41.9%
1993 TB -41.2%
2002 HOU -41.1%
2013 JAX -40.5%
2006 OAK -40.1%
2009 OAK -39.8%

They moved up a couple of percentage points, but for the second week, Buffalo is on pace to finish the season as the worst offense ever tracked by DVOA. The Bills offense is so bad that the Patriots held Buffalo to six points last night and their defensive DVOA got worse. The Patriots got better on offense, but worse on defense and special teams and dropped from eighth to tenth in DVOA despite a 25-6 win.

* * * * *

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 October players for Madden Ultimate Team on consoles, which will go live at 10:30am Eastern on Sunday. These players will also go live in Madden Overdrive for mobile devices sometime soon.

  • QB Philip Rivers, LAC: Led all QBs with 56.8% passing DVOA for October (71% completion rate, 10.7 net yards per pass, 6 TD, 1 INT).
  • HB Marlon Mack, IND: Led all HB with 117 rushing DYAR in October (6.2 yards per carry, 68% success rate).
  • WR David Moore, SEA: Fifth among WR with 108 receiving DYAR in October despite only 11 targets (20.2 yards per reception, 4 TD).
  • TE O.J. Howard, TB: Led all TE with 86 receiving DYAR in October (13-of-17, 15.1 yards per reception, 2 TD).
  • RT Rob Havenstein, LAR: Rams third in October with 5.7 adjusted line yards per carry on runs to the right side.
  • RE Chandler Jones, ARI: Tied for third among defenders with 10 defeats in October, including 3.5 sacks and 4 run TFL.
  • MLB Raekwon McMillan, MIA: Third in the NFL with 18 run stops in October.
  • CB Ronald Darby, PHI: Led NFL with 7 PD in October; 7 of his 13 tackles after receptions stopped receiver short of a successful play.
  • CB Orlando Scandrick, KC: Fourth among CB with 4.6 yards per pass allowed through Week 7; eighth with 66% success rate in coverage.
  • SS Budda Baker, ARI: Led all defenders with 14 defeats in October, including tackle or assist on 10 TFL.
  • K Jason Myers, NYJ: 11-of-12 on field goals in October, including five of 45+ yards. 78% touchback rate.
  • P Britton Colquitt, CLE: Led NFL punters with 48.1-yard gross average in October.

* * * * *

Stats pages should now be updated through Week 8, including playoff odds, the FO Premium DVOA database and snap counts.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through eight 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 80 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 10 percent of DAVE for most teams (20 percent for teams with just seven games played).

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

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

(Ed. Note: The original posting of this table had incorrect DAVE numbers, showing weighted DVOA instead. These numbers have now been fixed as of Wednesday afternoon.)

1 KC 37.2% 1 33.4% 1 7-1 33.3% 1 6.5% 26 10.5% 1
2 LAR 33.3% 2 31.0% 2 8-0 28.0% 2 -4.2% 12 1.1% 11
3 LAC 20.4% 3 16.4% 3 5-2 26.9% 3 0.3% 18 -6.3% 32
4 CAR 20.1% 9 16.0% 4 5-2 16.9% 5 -0.2% 17 2.9% 8
5 CHI 19.6% 6 13.3% 6 4-3 7.8% 11 -15.9% 1 -4.0% 30
6 SEA 14.5% 10 12.6% 8 4-3 1.9% 18 -12.9% 2 -0.3% 17
7 DEN 14.5% 5 12.5% 9 3-5 8.1% 10 -8.6% 7 -2.2% 22
8 NO 12.8% 7 13.8% 5 6-1 17.9% 4 7.6% 27 2.5% 9
9 BAL 12.7% 4 11.6% 10 4-4 4.0% 14 -8.7% 6 -0.1% 15
10 NE 12.2% 8 13.2% 7 6-2 13.1% 7 -0.6% 16 -1.5% 20
11 GB 8.6% 15 8.9% 12 3-3-1 13.4% 6 1.5% 20 -3.3% 25
12 HOU 8.1% 13 7.6% 13 5-3 -6.9% 24 -11.2% 5 3.8% 5
13 PIT 7.8% 12 10.4% 11 4-2-1 12.7% 8 3.0% 22 -1.9% 21
14 MIA 6.4% 11 5.0% 14 4-4 4.1% 13 3.5% 23 5.8% 3
15 IND 4.8% 14 4.3% 15 3-5 4.0% 15 2.2% 21 3.0% 7
16 WAS 1.4% 18 1.2% 17 5-2 -3.0% 21 -2.3% 14 2.1% 10
17 CIN 0.1% 22 -0.4% 18 5-3 4.5% 12 4.3% 25 -0.1% 14
18 MIN -0.3% 16 1.2% 16 4-3-1 0.1% 20 -2.9% 13 -3.4% 26
19 DAL -3.5% 19 -1.0% 19 3-4 -8.5% 25 -4.8% 11 0.3% 12
20 JAX -4.0% 17 -4.7% 21 3-5 -15.1% 26 -7.6% 8 3.4% 6
21 PHI -5.3% 21 -3.4% 20 4-4 -4.4% 23 -1.4% 15 -2.2% 23
22 NYJ -10.5% 20 -10.5% 23 3-5 -23.3% 29 -5.2% 10 7.6% 2
23 ATL -11.9% 23 -8.7% 22 3-4 8.2% 9 19.8% 31 -0.4% 18
24 NYG -12.3% 24 -12.4% 25 1-7 -4.1% 22 8.5% 28 0.3% 13
25 TEN -15.3% 25 -12.2% 24 3-4 -18.5% 28 1.2% 19 4.5% 4
26 DET -19.8% 28 -15.9% 26 3-4 3.3% 17 19.2% 30 -3.9% 29
27 CLE -19.9% 26 -18.0% 27 2-5-1 -26.1% 30 -11.7% 3 -5.5% 31
28 OAK -21.3% 29 -18.2% 28 1-6 0.4% 19 18.0% 29 -3.7% 28
29 TB -21.8% 27 -18.4% 29 3-4 4.0% 16 22.5% 32 -3.2% 24
30 SF -23.7% 30 -23.1% 30 1-7 -16.4% 27 3.6% 24 -3.7% 27
31 ARI -32.8% 31 -30.7% 31 2-6 -38.0% 31 -6.5% 9 -1.2% 19
32 BUF -40.3% 32 -38.3% 32 2-6 -51.8% 32 -11.6% 4 -0.2% 16
  • NON-ADJUSTED TOTAL DVOA does not include the adjustments for opponent strength or the adjustments for weather and altitude in special teams, and only penalizes offenses for lost fumbles rather than all fumbles.
  • ESTIMATED WINS uses a statistic known as "Forest Index" that emphasizes consistency as well as DVOA in the most important specific situations: red zone defense, first quarter offense, and performance in the second half when the score is close. It then projects a number of wins adjusted to a league-average schedule and a league-average rate of recovering fumbles. Teams that have had their bye week are projected as if they had played one game per week.
  • PAST SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents played this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • FUTURE SCHEDULE lists average DVOA of opponents still left to play this season, ranked from hardest schedule (#1, most positive) to easiest schedule (#32, most negative). It is not adjusted for which games are home or road.
  • VARIANCE measures the statistical variance of the team's weekly DVOA performance. Teams are ranked from most consistent (#1, lowest variance) to least consistent (#32, highest variance).
1 KC 37.2% 7-1 34.9% 7.4 1 5.2% 5 -1.8% 19 6.9% 6
2 LAR 33.3% 8-0 41.0% 6.7 2 -2.5% 21 0.3% 14 8.9% 11
3 LAC 20.4% 5-2 31.1% 5.1 6 -7.1% 30 5.2% 5 6.7% 5
4 CAR 20.1% 5-2 23.2% 5.3 4 -2.7% 22 -5.2% 25 10.9% 18
5 CHI 19.6% 4-3 20.3% 5.6 3 -3.3% 25 -8.3% 31 16.8% 26
6 SEA 14.5% 4-3 21.9% 4.4 14 -1.4% 19 4.3% 9 11.5% 20
7 DEN 14.5% 3-5 14.3% 4.9 8 8.8% 2 -1.0% 17 16.8% 25
8 NO 12.8% 6-1 15.7% 5.3 5 -7.5% 32 4.3% 10 6.0% 3
9 BAL 12.7% 4-4 11.0% 5.0 7 -2.5% 20 -1.2% 18 17.6% 27
10 NE 12.2% 6-2 12.9% 4.7 11 1.5% 9 -6.8% 29 9.9% 14
11 GB 8.6% 3-3-1 8.2% 4.9 9 -4.3% 26 -2.5% 21 11.1% 19
12 HOU 8.1% 5-3 13.8% 4.8 10 -6.5% 28 -4.3% 23 8.4% 10
13 PIT 7.8% 4-2-1 13.9% 4.3 15 -3.3% 24 7.5% 4 6.6% 4
14 MIA 6.4% 4-4 4.0% 3.8 18 -3.3% 23 -8.7% 32 15.9% 24
15 IND 4.8% 3-5 8.7% 4.7 12 -6.9% 29 -5.0% 24 8.3% 9
16 WAS 1.4% 5-2 3.6% 4.6 13 -0.3% 18 -7.9% 30 9.4% 12
17 CIN 0.1% 5-3 0.1% 4.0 17 6.9% 3 0.9% 13 24.1% 29
18 MIN -0.3% 4-3-1 0.7% 4.2 16 -7.2% 31 5.2% 6 10.2% 16
19 DAL -3.5% 3-4 0.4% 3.7 19 1.1% 11 -5.9% 27 5.2% 2
20 JAX -4.0% 3-5 -5.1% 3.2 21 1.3% 10 -2.8% 22 11.8% 21
21 PHI -5.3% 4-4 0.2% 3.5 20 -5.1% 27 4.7% 8 7.7% 8
22 NYJ -10.5% 3-5 -10.5% 2.4 27 0.2% 16 -6.1% 28 28.5% 31
23 ATL -11.9% 3-4 -4.5% 3.0 23 0.2% 15 -2.5% 20 4.5% 1
24 NYG -12.3% 1-7 -14.1% 2.9 24 2.2% 7 -5.5% 26 10.1% 15
25 TEN -15.3% 3-4 -15.2% 3.0 22 -0.3% 17 0.1% 15 9.4% 13
26 DET -19.8% 3-4 -14.8% 2.9 25 0.6% 13 3.0% 11 31.9% 32
27 CLE -19.9% 2-5-1 -8.2% 2.3 28 1.0% 12 10.1% 1 7.1% 7
28 OAK -21.3% 1-6 -27.0% 2.2 29 10.6% 1 8.2% 2 18.6% 28
29 TB -21.8% 3-4 -24.1% 2.5 26 0.5% 14 1.7% 12 13.0% 22
30 SF -23.7% 1-7 -27.9% 2.2 30 1.7% 8 5.1% 7 10.2% 17
31 ARI -32.8% 2-6 -37.1% 1.7 32 4.4% 6 7.6% 3 14.6% 23
32 BUF -40.3% 2-6 -46.6% 1.8 31 6.4% 4 0.0% 16 25.7% 30


98 comments, Last at 03 Nov 2018, 3:50pm

#1 by dmstorm22 // Oct 30, 2018 - 7:53pm

The success of the Panthers offense under Norv is one of the quietly great stories of the 2018 NFL Season. With that defense starting to play better (I think they were 26th in DVOA three weeks ago), this team is looking really strong.

It's a bit sad that four of maybe the six best teams when you look at record & DVOA happen to play in the same two divisions (Saints/Panthers & Chiefs/Chargers)

Points: 0

#12 by comfect // Oct 30, 2018 - 10:49pm

If we look at just DVOA, we could add the NFC West (Rams/Seahawks) and of course add Denver in to the AFC West group. Very concentrated divisions.

Points: 0

#13 by RickD // Oct 30, 2018 - 11:14pm

The Broncos haven't beaten anybody respectable since Week 1. Their high rating seems to be based largely on losing close games to good teams. Which is a lot easier to do than to win close games against good teams.

Points: 0

#18 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 31, 2018 - 8:02am

The Panthers seem like the Broncos, though. They look better on paper than they do on the field.

That said, they underwhelmed to 15-1 and a SB berth a few years ago. Maybe it's just what they do.

Points: 0

#23 by dmstorm22 // Oct 31, 2018 - 9:23am

I think you're being a bit harsh on them underwhelming in 2015. In the 1st half sure, but that team in the 2nd half had beatdown after beatdown,culminating with one of the most dominant performances of a great team ever in the 49-15 NFC TItle Game win.

Points: 0

#66 by RobotBoy // Oct 31, 2018 - 7:11pm

Norv is a heck of a story: how often does an NFL coaching lifer reshape his strategy late-career to adapt to a unique talent and the evolution of the game?

Points: 0

#2 by Aaron Schatz // Oct 30, 2018 - 8:14pm

Here's something I meant to put in above; I'll put it down here instead as a bonus for people reading the comments. I was curious to see how much of the Rams/Chiefs dominance in the Super Bowl odds was because of their ratings being so far ahead of the rest of the league, and how much was because they have such a significant lead for the No. 1 seeds in each conference. So I ran two additional simulations. The answer appears to be that their rating dominance is much more important than currently having the best record in each conference.

In added sim 1, I reduced the DAVE rating for both the Rams and Chiefs to be the same as the Los Angeles Chargers, essentially having all three teams tied at No. 1. In this simulation, the Super Bowl win odds dropped below 20 percent for each team:

LAR 17.5%
KC 16.4%
NE 11.7%
NO 9.9%
CAR 7.5%
LAC 5.8%

In added sim 2, I kept the ratings the same but only looked at sims where the Saints beat the Rams in Week 9 while the Patriots beat the Packers and the Chiefs lost to the Browns. This would give the Patriots the lead for the No. 1 AFC seed by tiebreaker, and lower the Rams' lead to half a game (and they would no longer have the tiebreaker with New Orleans). This only happens in 7.0 percent of simulations because the Chiefs losing to the Browns is very unlikely. Yet even in this simulation, the Super Bowl win odds for the Chiefs and Rams are still way ahead of everyone else:

LAR 27.3%
KC 24.7%
NE 11.4%
NO 9.6%
CAR 5.3%
LAC 3.7%

Points: 0

#81 by RobotBoy // Nov 01, 2018 - 3:04am

How is K.C. or LA's lead for #1 seed 'such a significant' one? Both have teams in the conference with only one more loss, and the Pats, as you note, own the tiebreaker with K.C.
Even though future SOS favors the Rams (slightly), I think K.C. is likely to lose more games. K.C. faces some excellent offensive units and shootouts can go either way.

Points: 0

#84 by Yu Narukami // Nov 01, 2018 - 4:48am

I am more towards KC keeping a better record.

Apart from their Mexico City game;

Rams have a decent chance of loss with:




Points: 0

#3 by Jose21crisis // Oct 30, 2018 - 8:25pm

I wonder how Jordan Berry's punts and that free kick gaffe haven't sent the Steelers to the bottom 5 of special teams.

Points: 0

#4 by Cheesehead_Canuck // Oct 30, 2018 - 8:25pm

Still very strange to see the NFC North all within 1 game of each other yet range from 5th to 26th in DVOA. My gut tells me the Vikings somehow end up on top. I don’t know why but I simply don’t trust the Bears despite their surprisingly 11th ranked offense.

(I say this as a Packers fan who has no faith in the coaching to do anything positive anymore)

Points: 0

#19 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 31, 2018 - 8:07am

In a league so tilted to passing, take the team with the best QB.

What's scary is that teams are nearly perfectly sorted that way now. Only the NFL North doesn't have arguably their best QB at the top of the standings (Trubisky is clearly 4th), but that division has everyone within a game.

You can argue about the NFC East, but the difference between Wentz, Smith, and Prescott doesn't feel large, especially when they let Prescott do Prescott things.

Points: 0

#44 by Cythammer // Oct 31, 2018 - 1:06pm

Wentz was likely going to win the MVP before he got hurt last year. Prescott did okay in a virtually perfect situation his rookie year and has been mediocre since. It's likely he won't be a starter in the league past next year.

Points: 0

#46 by dank067 // Oct 31, 2018 - 1:42pm

Prescott's passing DVOA and DYAR in 2016 were significantly higher than Wentz's in 2017 with a similar number of passes. However you want to account for differences in situation, Prescott was way too good as a rookie and hasn't been nearly poor enough since to start talking about him like he's not being able to get a shot as a starter within two years. His contract situation will be pretty interesting to watch, though.

Points: 0

#58 by horn // Oct 31, 2018 - 4:39pm

Nobody would dream of taking Prescott over Wentz today, either on the current team or to start a franchise. Any QB playing with a top 3 RB behind the top OL -by a wide margin that year- is going to look great.

Points: 0

#51 by Richie // Oct 31, 2018 - 2:33pm

"In a league so tilted to passing, take the team with the best QB."

That would still probably be the Vikings, according to DYAR, YAR, QBR and EYds, but they are all very close. Rodgers still gets the nod in DVOA. And Stafford actually beats out Rodgers in QBR. Trubisky beats out all 3 in QBR!

Points: 0

#22 by cstoos // Oct 31, 2018 - 9:19am

I predicted the Vikings to lose 6 straight starting last week (Saints loss makes them 0-1 so far). Just using the eyeball test, they don't appear to be in the class of GB or CHI this season, and with the schedule they have I think they struggle to even end the season with even 8 wins.

Their best chance for a win in in those 6 is home against Detroit. Depends on which of the Lions' split personalities shows up that week.

Points: 0

#27 by Will Allen // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:24am

Look, I'm not predicting anything, but be a little more reticent about patting yourself on the back, for predicting the winner of a game in which your pick was at a significant deficit on yards per play, yards per drive, and 10 fewer first downs, and largely won because of a fumble return, from a receiver who rarely fumbles, and a pick 6, when a normally terrific receiver failed to complete a route. Your "eyeball test" had absolutely nothing to do with forseeing such events.

Points: 0

#28 by dmstorm22 // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:38am

Fully agree with your end.

I left that game feeling pretty good about both teams. The Vikings won the LOS on majority of the game, if not for hte Thelen fumble they may go up 20-10 and win it.

In the end, the Saints were handed 10 points (good on them for making the fumble into a TD and not a FG), and that was really all they needed.

Points: 0

#31 by Will Allen // Oct 31, 2018 - 11:00am

Well, look, the Vikings are still pretty injured, so all sorts of bad outcomes are possible for them, especially if the injuries continue. That's the dumbest thing about pretending to have insight as to which NFL teams are going to win games several weeks from now; hell, you don't even know which players will be on the field! If some halfwit started pronouncing confidently which trainer was going to win the Triple Crown horse races in 2021, without knowledge of what horses would be running, everybody would just roll their eyes in response. For some reason, though, people take NFL predictions, weeks into the furture , seriously, despite the fact that the predictor doesn't know which human beings will actually be competing. That's before we get to all the other random events which decide outcomes. It's a joke.

Are there people who are actually better than average at predicting such things? Very probably, but absent a very large sample size to establish that, I wouldn't take anyone's pronouncements on such things as anything to pay attention to, beyond merely for purposes of a mildly interesting way to kill some time.

Again, with every year that passes, the more I become convinced that the number of people who actually know anything, with regard to future outcomes, is so small that they can barely be found.

Points: 0

#45 by Cheesehead_Canuck // Oct 31, 2018 - 1:31pm

I'd be quite surprised if the Packers go into Minnesota and win.

Points: 0

#92 by cstoos // Nov 01, 2018 - 9:31am

You're right. It is totally impossible to have an opinion on what team could possibly win in the future. Who could possibly think that a team who hasn't logged a win against a team above .500 and has padded their win total against the likes of the Cardinals and 49ers (while losing to the Bills at home) could possibly struggle with a difficult upcoming schedule? Crazy right?

You're also right that I didn't include potential meteor strikes, future injuries, or infectious diseases into my analysis of the fact that the Vikings appear to be the third best team in that division.

Points: 0

#94 by Will Allen // Nov 01, 2018 - 10:04am

Of course, I expressly wrote that venturing opinions on such things was a source of mild entertainment, so, no, I didn't write that it was impossible to have such an opinion. Why don't you just write what assertions you wish to argue against, and then do so, and leave me out of it?

As to the rest of your post, you unintentionally illustrate my point nicely. You actually think the data points known as wins and losses, with teams somewhere between, oh, .350 and .700, over a span of 7 or 8 games, gives us meaningful insight as to what will happen over the next 7 or 8 games. Read carefully. It really doesn't.

Might you be right about the Vikings? Absolutely. But when making little more than a wild assed guess, it is better to acknowledge that reality, as opposed to dressing up the wild assed guess in a bunch of silly, pseudo meaningful, quantitative analysis, or implying that an "eyeball test" has meaning, absent dozens or even hundreds of hours of analysis. It is also better to avoid taking one data point, categorized as a "win" or "loss" and extrapolating much from it, absent some in depth analysis as to what produced that data point.

Look, I'm sorry for my role in turning this conversation into something less than friendly, but the reason I did respond is because it pertained to the teams I watch the most, and with every year that I watch this game the more it is driven home for me as to how damnably difficult it is to have meaningful confidence in one's view of future events. I really only meant to illuminate how limited our tools for doing so are.

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#30 by cstoos // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:49am

1. I have a highly calibrated eyeball. ISO 17025 certified.

2. I wasn't patting myself on the back, just explaining that the six games I felt they were likely lose started last week for clarification.

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#32 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 31, 2018 - 11:06am

Even if you're 89% confident in each game, you're only 50-50 to get the whole streak right.

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#33 by Will Allen // Oct 31, 2018 - 11:07am

Yeah, but unless you predicted that your predicted winner would lose significantly on a per play, per drive, and first down basis, but get more points via a 52 yard fumble return, from a receiver who rarely fumbles , and via a pick six when a normally terrific route runner didn't complete a route, then you really didn't have any useful insight as to whom would win the game, beyond what anyone would have, if they had a functioning thumb and a coin. That's the point.

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#37 by dank067 // Oct 31, 2018 - 12:05pm

Might make more sense to think of the Bears offense in a cluster of closely-spaced teams with slightly above average offensive DVOA than the 11th best in the league. Something that's mildly interesting is that while Trubisky is 20th in passing DVOA, the Bears themselves are 14th in passing offense DVOA. It might not be that significant, but I wonder how that split comes to be, since it looks like Trubisky has thrown every Bears pass.

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#50 by TomC // Oct 31, 2018 - 2:22pm

I should really know the answer to this, but are QB scrambles added to rushing or passing DVOA? If the latter, then Trubisky's #1 rush DVOA/DYAR probably has a lot to do with this.

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#52 by Richie // Oct 31, 2018 - 2:46pm

I think it's a matter of other teams having multiple QB's. So Trubisky falls behind some QB's who are only partly responsible for those offense's lower rankings. Trubisky falls behind Osweiler, who is only responsible for half of Miami's DVOA; Wentz who isn't responsible for all of Philly; Fitzpatrick, who is only half of Tampa; Matt Cassel had 6 subpar pass attempts for Detroit; Jeff Driskel completed 4 of 4 passes for Cincinnati, but it looks like that may have dropped Cincinnati's DVOA just barely below Chicago's and DeAndre Hopkins attempted one pass for Houston.

Though some of these differences seem larger than the contribution of the players, so individual passing DVOA probably has some differences from team passing DVOA.

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#55 by dank067 // Oct 31, 2018 - 3:11pm

This makes a ton of sense, particularly because I am pretty sure that a QB's rushing value gets added to team rushing DVOA. The only other thing that occurs to me right now is that if a WR fumbles that might hurt your pass offense DVOA without affecting the QB (though that doesn't appear to be a factor with Chicago).

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#57 by Vincent Verhei // Oct 31, 2018 - 4:23pm

Yes, scrambles are counted as rushing plays for both teams and individuals.

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#5 by Mountain Time … // Oct 30, 2018 - 8:31pm

I think RGIII's rookie year is an excellent comparison to Mahomes, in that both lucked out with a coaching staff willing to work with them and commit to an offense designed around their particular strengths, as well as being surrounded by plenty of good-to-great teammates. Let's just pray that if Mahomes gets hurt he's able to recover, unlike Griffin.

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#6 by Jose21crisis // Oct 30, 2018 - 8:53pm

Let's hope that if he does get hurt, he is allowed to fully recover. RGIII busted because he was sent onto the field still injured.

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#20 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 31, 2018 - 8:07am

I think Reid has shown over the years that he can get his QBs back to prior performance after an injury.

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#95 by mansteel // Nov 01, 2018 - 3:15pm

I see why you would say that, as there are undoubtedly some similarities, but I think there is one huge difference between between RG3 and Mahomes in their first years as a starter: Mahomes runs an pro-style offense that requires him to make decisions and find secondary receivers, which he does amazingly well for someone with so little experience. People forget (or didn't recognize in the first place) how limited Shanahan's offense was in RG3's rookie year, probably because success blinds everyone to deficiencies. But that offense was highly non-standard, consisting of a large number of quick-hitting, one- or zero-read plays, which, combined with Griffen's athleticism, was strikingly effective. However, the scheme never asked him to go through reads, scan the field, find secondary receivers, etc, which was a problem on 3rd and long when play action, quick slants, and the like wouldn't work well. That offense's conversion rate on 3rd and long was by far the worst in the league, and Griffen looked very much like the rookie he was in those situations. His injury obviously played its part in his decline, but I think a large part of his problem was that he simply never developed the skills that virtually all NFL QBs have to have to be successful. I see no such problem with Mahomes, who is making all kinds of reads and throws and whose decision-making skills are already well-developed.

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#7 by Cythammer // Oct 30, 2018 - 8:59pm

The Broncos being 7th at 3-5 is a major shock, but the Seahawks being the 6th ranked team in the league is also a pretty big surprise. I don't think they were pegged at being more than mediocre by most people before the season started, and I don't think that conventional wisdom has changed much. I must admit I haven't been paying hardly any attention to them at all.

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#11 by osoviejo // Oct 30, 2018 - 10:25pm

The truth about the Seahawks will be forthcoming in November as they face a DVOA murderer's row: Chargers (3), Rams (2), Packers (11), and Panthers (4). Good times.

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#15 by RoninX // Oct 31, 2018 - 1:27am

Most of what the Seahawks lost was on defense and people had legitimate questions about whether they could actually (finally) pull together an oline. But their oline actually started to get better last year after acquiring Brown and has continued to improve after a rough start to the season. The big surprise, that maybe shouldn't have been a surprise, is that Carroll has once again cobbled together a strong (or at least serviceable) secondary out of youngsters, position converts, and some spare parts.

As others have said, we'll known a lot more about these Seahawks in 4-5 weeks.

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#35 by Will Allen // Oct 31, 2018 - 11:18am

I admit that I did not factor the positive effect of firing Tom Cable. Too many variables in a season to account for, when you get right down to it.

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#49 by scraps // Oct 31, 2018 - 2:15pm

Not that firing Cable hasn't had an effect, but it's exaggerated. As Ronin points out, the improvement starts last year, and also the Seahawks had improved personnel (Sweezy, Fluker) and improved health.

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#96 by formido // Nov 01, 2018 - 4:30pm

Fluker is now Seattle's best offensive line and he was acquired directly as a result of Solari.

Moreover, Seattle's defensive line was getting no pressure on anyone this season until they faced Cable's line at Oakland, where Carr was hounded all day.

I think last year's offensive line improvement was exaggerated.

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#8 by Jose21crisis // Oct 30, 2018 - 9:00pm

Looking at the Running Back section, I managed to find James Conner, who doesn't look that good (27th in DVOA and DYAR). Is the 3 game stretch where he didn't do a lot affecting his DVOA and DYAR? I guess his fumbles are also an issue. His success rate is pretty good though. And the Steelers line is pretty good in all fronts (11th in Adjusted Line Yards, 12th in Second Level Yards, 6th in Open Field Yards, although Conner's Bowling Ball act also helps. And 1st in Adj. Sack Rate, which looks crazy. But there was a 2 game stretch where Ben wasn't even touched.)

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#9 by Will Allen // Oct 30, 2018 - 9:06pm

Weird to see the Vikings and Saints slip in the rankings. I wonder what their VOAs were in their game.

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#21 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 31, 2018 - 8:09am

Even weirder was that after the Seahawks smacked the Lions, both teams moved up the rankings.

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#40 by ChrisS // Oct 31, 2018 - 12:20pm

DVOA however did get worse by a little, other teams passed the Lions in the race to the bottom. It was a "better" loss than the loss to the Jets.

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#10 by Bobman // Oct 30, 2018 - 9:59pm

Whew, the Colts seemed to have realized what madness they were perpetuating with all that good O and ST and have finally reverted to form. Actually, ST is still pretty good, but the D has shown its true colors. That happens when you make a Carr look like a Manning. 18 consecutive completions without your best RB and WR1 just traded away? Yes sir!I don't think the D was hit nearly as hard by injuries as the O, but strangely they seem to have done better early in the season against better offenses, and lately started letting Darnold and Carr just own them. Weirdness. Also, the sacks seem to have slowed down.

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#14 by ryan5581 // Oct 30, 2018 - 11:49pm

I know preseason is only 10% of DAVE this week, but DAVE appears extremely close to DVOA. Is it reflecting the correct information? Thanks

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#16 by MC2 // Oct 31, 2018 - 2:02am

Why are the DAVE ratings on the playoff odds page different (by about 2 or 3 points for most teams, but by as much as 6 points in some cases) compared to the ones listed on this page?

Is this a mistake, or does the simulation use some special variation of DAVE?

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#41 by Aaron Schatz // Oct 31, 2018 - 12:29pm

No, I made an error. That's actually weighted DVOA above, not DAVE. I forgot to paste in DAVE to replace weighted DVOA in the tables because I'm now extending DAVE an extra week. Let me see if I can fix this.


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#17 by Yu Narukami // Oct 31, 2018 - 3:11am

For what is worth, I am running a metric based on game scripts (basically, the average point differential for the duration of the game. An idea from Football Perspective, but with opponent adjusted).

They were very succesful in predicting playoff success in the last two years (sort of the stomp/skeet that was here several years ago).

After Week 8, this is the ranking.

KC 8,16
LARM 4,83
NWE 4,77
CHI 4,51
SEA 4,18
BAL 2,46
LACH 2,36
DEN 1,81
DAL 1,76
WAS 1,74
PIT 1,46
CAR 1,31
NO 0,96
DET 0,50
ATL 0,27
IND 0,06
CIN -0,05
PHI -0,58
NYJ -0,99
HOU -1,02
JAX -1,42
GB -1,49
MIA -1,95
OAK -2,09
MIN -2,28
TEN -2,99
TB -3,05
CLE -3,40
SF -3,43
NYG -4,02
ARI -5,39
BUF -5,79

It hates the Giants and Packers more than DVOA, and loves Pats and Cowboys-Redskins.

For comparison, this was the ranking after last year's week 8. On parenthesis, the end of season ranking position.

JAX 7,19 (4)
LARM 5,91 (1)
PHI 5,25 (2)
NWE 4,78 (3)
KC 4,25 (9)
WAS 4,18 (13)
PIT 3,46 (7)
HOU 2,81 (20)
DAL 2,73 (12)
NO 1,48 (6)
MIN 1,19 (5)
ATL 0,84 (8)
BUF 0,76 (19)
CAR 0,57 (11)
CIN 0,26 (18)
BAL 0,25 (14)
GB 0,13 (28)
NYJ -0,54 (21)
SEA -1,03 (17)
DEN -1,51 (30)
NYG -1,83 (23)
LACH -2,08 (10)
CHI -2,11 (26)
OAK -2,11 (29)
DET -2,17 (15)
TB -2,72 (27)
ARI -2,92 (16)
TEN -3,66 (22)
IND -4,10 (24)
MIA -5,65 (31)
SF -6,10 (25)
CLE -6,90 (32)

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#24 by nat // Oct 31, 2018 - 9:23am

Isn't "Game Script" just scores weighted by seconds left in the game?

It works great for quantifying narrative, and has some relevance to play calling (and thus fantasy points). But I don't see the theory behind using it to predict playoff success. What's your thinking on that?

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#25 by Yu Narukami // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:06am

"Isn't "Game Script" just scores weighted by seconds left in the game?"

Yes, but I added opponent-adjustment.

"What's your thinking on that?"

Nothing relevant, except that I had some free time and thought about starting from the GameScript intuition, do some math and mixing with the STOMPS/GUTS/SKEETS idea from the FO old age.

I just went with the last two years and for example in 2016 it was right in everything DVOA was right plus GB > NYG (DVOA had the Giants better) and Super Bowl was between no.1 and no.2 (DVOA had 1. vs.3).

In 2017 it would have predicted "better" than DVOA: JAX upsetting PIT, MIN vs. NO and PHI vs. MIN. Super Bowl was between no.2 and 3 in the rankings, while DVOA had 5 vs 6.


Again, nothing to be thrilled about it and DVOA is in another stratosphere, just another simple metrics for "free", now that I had the excel file set.

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#29 by nat // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:48am

I did see that you did opponent adjustments. That's good, although a separate issue from the "weighted by seconds left in the game" topic.

I thought of one theory about using "game script" in this way: by down-weighting late scores, you minimize the "clock management" and "garbage time" problems that can come late in a game for a stat like DVOA.

I have, in other places, wondered if you would get better predictions by ignoring fourth quarter DVOA. Fourth quarter is where you get almost all the strange play-calling that comes with clock management and prevent defense and desperation offense that DVOA has such a hard time understanding.

"Game Script" has a similar effect as ignoring the fourth quarter DVOA, although less so, and with a coarse grained scoring based stat.

Makes me wonder what a "Game Script DVOA" would look like, with each play's contribution to DVOA weighted by time remaining.

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#26 by Dissociated // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:06am

Newly signed FA Terrelle Pryor (a converted washout QB to mediocre WR) has a career higher completion % than Peterman, Allen, and Anderson. That’s all you need to know about the incompetence of this Bills management team this year

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#59 by horn // Oct 31, 2018 - 4:43pm

You didn't draft Allen for him to have a high completion % this year, esp when he wasn't tabbed to start and then got thrown to the wolves. He's always been inaccurate and that needed to be fixed at this level as all scouts and coaches were aware. If you fix that, you end up with a top-notch QB. If.

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#60 by Dissociated // Oct 31, 2018 - 4:52pm

I’m aware of this. Im pointing out maybe they should have signed a veteran who can give him some accuracy pointers or you know, someone who belongs on a NFL field. It’s honestly hard to be optimistic that Allen is capable of developing accuracy combined with any faith the bills management team is capable of coaching him up properly when they seem to not know what accuracy is in a QB or why it’s important

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#61 by Will Allen // Oct 31, 2018 - 5:04pm

If you want a really good example of overvaluing the qb position, taking a qb is the 7 spot, after he failed to demonstrate accuracy in a generally weaker college conference , will do nicely. Top 10 picks should be reserved for players who have not shown any definitive weaknesses in college that would prevent them from being above average NFL starters. If a guy is still substantially inaccurate at age 22, you should not be taking him that high.

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#62 by MC2 // Oct 31, 2018 - 5:44pm

I'm not sure it's so much a case of overvaluing the QB position, as a case of valuing the wrong attributes at the QB position. I would say the most important attributes for a successful NFL QB would be, in order:

1. Accuracy
2. Decision Making
3. Pocket Presence (i.e. the ability to sense and avoid the pass rush)
4. Arm Strength
5. Scrambling Ability

The first 3 are, in my opinion, far more important than the last 2. Yet, time and again, we see NFL teams using high picks on "loose cannon" guys, with lots of arm strength, but almost no accuracy. They always think they can "fix" the inaccuracy, but they almost never manage to do so.

To be clear, I don't have a problem with taking guys who have huge upside due to their raw physical talent, but those "project" types should be taken in the mid-to-late rounds, and certainly not in the first round. As an example, if you look at their strengths and weaknesses, I don't see much difference between Josh Allen and Cardale Jones. They both have lots of arm strength and good mobility for their size, but very little of the more important factors I mentioned above. If anything, I think Jones was a bit better prospect, because he had lots of experience playing against NFL-caliber players in the Big Ten, whereas Allen rarely played teams with NFL-caliber talent, and when he did, he struggled mightily. Yet while Jones went in the, what, 3rd or 4th round (which is reasonable), the Bills not only took Allen in the first round, they actually traded up to do so. That just demonstrates a lack of understanding, not only of the traits needed to be a successful NFL QB, but of basic "risk vs.reward" analysis.

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#68 by Will Allen // Oct 31, 2018 - 7:50pm

I don't disagree with your hierarchy, but if a guy doesn't check the first 4 boxes (because scrambling really isn't needed, if a guy is really good at the top 4), or to be more clear, if he had real consistent deficiencies in those areas demonstrated in college, you have no business taking him in the top half of the first round, except in those years when there is a real dearth of 1st round talent.

For instance, Teddy Bridgewater checked all your boxes, except arm strength, which is why end of the 1st, or top of the 2nd was the appropriate spot for him. You are right however, that the big, mobile guy with the big arm makes too many drafters irrational. Then you have the Christian Ponder picks, which make me think that somebody spiked the draft room coffee with peyote.

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#72 by Mountain Time … // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:16pm

Don't you besmirch the good name of peyote!

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#78 by MC2 // Nov 01, 2018 - 2:44am

Oh, I agree with you. When you use a first round pick on a guy, you really want a player with not only a high ceiling, but a high floor, as well. That's true, to a lesser extent, even in the second or third round. The "high ceiling, low floor" guys are ideally suited for the fourth round and on, which is where I think Allen should have been taken.

I also agree that scrambling is a luxury, rather than a necessity, and to a large extent, so is arm strength. There is a certain minimum level of arm strength (i.e. the ability to "make all the throws") that is necessary to succeed, but beyond that, I think arm strength is overrated. Brady, Brees, Manning, Montana, are all in the GOAT conversation, even though none of them had a particularly strong arm (by NFL standards).

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#82 by RobotBoy // Nov 01, 2018 - 3:29am

By the time you get to the end of the first round, early second round, teams are already picking guys with low floors because - red flags, injury histories. I mean, 'history of injuries that could end your career before it gets started' is a pretty low floor.
The four QBs you mention might not have been on 'all-time cannon' lists but every one could throw a VG-great deep ball and zip throws into tiny windows, with pace to beat DB adjustments. Looking at some early Peyton footage the other day - I'd forgotten that he was actually a decent athlete and something of a gunslinger who would wing the ball all over the field, even arm-throws when he was off balance.

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#86 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 01, 2018 - 8:48am

The 4th round is high floor/low ceiling guys.

The average weighted AV for a high 4th rounder is 13. While it's not quite identical to compare to Career AV (unweighted), that's all PFR lets me search for, so I used it.

My list ended up with weighted AV of 12-13 anyway. Of the 213 guys with an AV of 13 -- matching the expected value of a high 4th rounder, 5 had Pro Bowl appearances. None were starters at valued positions.

The best was Le'Ron McClain, who at least had a 900 yard season, but who made the Pro Bowl twice only because it still required a fullback.
There was a kicker (in Denver!) and two punters.
And then there was Mel Gray, who made it three times as a returner, but who had 263 career yards from scrimmage.

That's the best of the median 4th rounder-equivalent guys. A returner, a fullback, and three kickers.

That's not where you expect to find boom-busty starters. You might luck into them, but you're looking for diamonds in a manure field.

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#69 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Oct 31, 2018 - 8:46pm

Arm Strength passes the "eye test" of a good QB. Scrambling generates plays you remember. The fallibility of human decision making is the reason why these two weigh heavily on decision makers, and more often than not leads them astray. It's even worse if they're right once, as they'll apply the same factors again in the future, regardless of whether there's any real predictive value to them.

Accuracy can be determined by looking at the stats; you don't need a highly paid professional to assess who's accurate. No one's going to go far in the business if their contribution to the drafting decision is to identify the 5 most accurate passers available. They should, but they won't.

Pocket Presence is an interesting one. If someone has a way to distinguish between the impact of the OL and the impact of the QB on avoiding sacks, that could potential be a very useful insight into the future prospects of a QB.

I'm not sure about Decision Making. That sounds like something that would just convince scouts to ignore the true stats and go with subjective assessments. Not that it isn't important, just that you're probably better going with what the stats tell you about Decision Making, not substituting your own judgement about what were good or bad decisions.

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#77 by Will Allen // Oct 31, 2018 - 11:30pm

Quickly identifying the best target option is incredibly valuable, and measurable, from video. Now, with enough throwing talent, errors in this area are greatly mitigated, but you really can measure decision making.

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#85 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 01, 2018 - 8:45am

That'd be a Next Gen stat I'd love to see!

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#79 by MC2 // Nov 01, 2018 - 2:59am

Actually, I think people frequently make the mistake of conflating accuracy with completion percentage. There are a number of things that affect completion percentage, but have nothing to do with accuracy. For example, some offensive systems involve lots of "easy" completions (screens, slants, etc.), while others involve throwing downfield into very tight windows. Also, the quality of the receivers can affect completion percentage, due to either receivers not getting separation and forcing lots of throwaways, or simply dropping accurately thrown passes.

Matt Ryan is a good example of this. When he came out of BC, there was a lot of talk about his low completion percentage and how "inaccurate" he was. It didn't take very many games of watching him in the NFL to see that his low completion percentage in college had nothing to do with an inability to make accurate throws.

On the other hand, I think arm strength is probably the easiest thing to quantify. With modern technology, it is very easy to measure not only how far a QB is capable of throwing the ball, but also to measure the velocity of his passes at different lengths, when throwing into the wind, and so on.

Finally, when I mentioned decision making, I was talking not only about deciding which receiver to throw to, when to throw it away, and so forth, but also the QB's ability to call audibles, adjust protections, and so on. You're right that those things are hard to quantify, but that's why I think it's important to combine qualitative and quantitative analysis, especially when making as big a decision as a first round pick.

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#89 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 01, 2018 - 8:52am

Very good point that completion percentage is affected by other things than accuracy. Over time I'd expect a lot of them to wash out, but college careers are very short, the quality of your receivers matter, the quality of your opposition matters, scheme matters, etc etc. So yes, it is more complicated than my quick comment implied.

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#70 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 31, 2018 - 8:47pm

So what you’re saying is you really loved Chad Pennington?

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#76 by Will Allen // Oct 31, 2018 - 11:23pm

Chad Pennington with a healthy shoulder may be a HOFer. With Jay Cutler's shoulder he's a lock first ballot HOFer. Which is why watching Jay Cutler reliably irritated the hell out of me.

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#83 by RobotBoy // Nov 01, 2018 - 3:32am

He had everything except adequate arm strength and the first surgery took what little he had. I'd like to see a piece on the offense that he ran - it seemed like an early version of quick-pass offenses today with Wayne Chrebet in the Edelman/Welker role.

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#87 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 01, 2018 - 8:49am

If my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle.

With Jay Cutler's shoulder he's Peyton Manning. The whole knock on Pennington was that he didn't have Jay Cutler's arm.

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#80 by MC2 // Nov 01, 2018 - 3:03am

Compared to whom? I mean, he certainly wasn't a perfect QB, but I would definitely take him over "big, athletic, strong arm" types like Allen, Jake Locker, or Tim Tebow.

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#88 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 01, 2018 - 8:51am

You can do worse than Pennington. I think he's the second best QB in the AFC East in the Belichick era. (I think you or I are probably somewhere around 6th)

But I think he's the best of the barely-professional-arm-strength QBs. If you completely devalue arm strength, he's your ceiling.

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#98 by mehllageman56 // Nov 03, 2018 - 3:50pm

I realize almost none of you will see this response since it's so late (Been stuck taking apart my former workplace), but here goes:

First, Pennington should have been 2nd on that list up top of first year quarterbacks with great DYAR. He had 1412 in 2002, his first year starting. He had a DVOA of about 40%. Second, his arm strength was fine when he entered the league. It wasn't great, but it was as good as Bridgewater's, at the very least. After all, he was quarterback for Randy Moss and didn't have problems hitting him with bombs. If you want to see a college quarterback with arm problems, check out the guy the Patriots drafted last year. I kept watching D.J. Chark footage and tried to figure out why defensive backs kept catching up to him, and then I realize LSU's quarterback couldn't throw that far. Third, well, I think Pennington would have been in the Hall of Very Good if not for the injuries, especially if he had just slid in that game against Buffalo in 2004. But then, Culpepper was really really good for a couple of years, and then he wasn't.

Quarterbacks in the Belichick Era, AFC East:
1)Peyton Manning. Yeah, I know no one thinks of it that way, but he played in that division for two years against Belichick before the switch. 2). Brady. Only argument is if he should be first. Please let's not have that argument, either order works for me.
3). Pennington.
4) Vinny Testeverde. Same thing as Peyton, everyone forgets about Belichick's first year.
5). Ryan Tannehill.
6). Drew Bledsoe.
That's just off the top of my head. Doubt anyone posting here can reasonably say they'd make a better quarterback than Sanchez, Geno Smith, Matt Cassel (maybe he belongs higher on the list), Brett Farve (ok, forgot about him, he's got to be 4), Fitzpatrick, etc. I doubt I could do as well as Greg McElroy, and man was that game bad.

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#75 by El Muneco // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:32pm

I think it's a good signing. Who better to act as a veteran mentor for the highly-touted QB prospect that you're going to position-shift to receiver at some point in order to salvage some value out of a wasted draft pick?

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#90 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 01, 2018 - 8:55am

Now the Bills can start duplicating some of those multi-QB sets that are all the rage this year.

The defence won't know where the interception will be launched from!

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#34 by tkinsman9 // Oct 31, 2018 - 11:18am

Can anybody explain the Redskins poor DVOA and rush D ranking, in contrast to their excellent conventional statistics (2nd in rush yds per game)? Is this a statistical anomaly, or a red flag indicating underlying weakness?

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#36 by nat // Oct 31, 2018 - 12:05pm

Poking around a bit in conventional stats, I see the Skins have decent yards per carry allowed, but a poor 1st Down % allowed. Looking further, I see they have allowed no long runs at all, but have recovered just one fumble.

If you look at FO's defensive line stats, you'll see what looks like a weak line with strong secondary play against the run. So: easy short yardage, few stuffs, but few longer runs, and no big plays allowed.

It comes down to this: their overall yards allowed stats look fine, largely because they haven't allowed any long runs. But they haven't generated turnovers, and have been unsuccessful in short yardage situations.

It's a true weakness. You'd have to look at sample sizes to decide how seriously to take it.

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#39 by ammek // Oct 31, 2018 - 12:13pm

They've faced the second fewest rush attempts per game.
They're excellent at preventing long runs, but not much else.
More than 28% of runs against Washington go for a first down, which ranks 28th in the NFL.

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#38 by ChrisS // Oct 31, 2018 - 12:13pm

Preseason conventional wisdom was that San Francisco was on course for improvement and was a sleeper playoff contender. In the 4 game stretching starting last week they play no team ranked higher than 25th in DVOA and are unlikely to be favorites in any of them. They are currently FO's runaway leader for getting the #1 draft choice. QB-centric league!

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#43 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 31, 2018 - 12:58pm

Preseason conventional wisdom wasn't that would immediately lose Garoppolo.

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#42 by Aaron Schatz // Oct 31, 2018 - 12:57pm

The original posting on Tuesday evening listed weighted DVOA instead of DAVE by mistake. Tables are now fixed to list DAVE properly.

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#47 by morganja // Oct 31, 2018 - 1:44pm

Unfortunately for the Panthers, Matt Kalil comes back after this week.

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#48 by Mountain Time … // Oct 31, 2018 - 2:11pm

How much of Green Bay's 4th ranked rushing offense was from Ty Montgomery?

Also interesting is that Washington's rush offense is ranked 14th. Pretty middling for all that AP is probably 100% going to the pro bowl this year

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#53 by Will Allen // Oct 31, 2018 - 2:54pm

He'd need to average 83 yards a game for the remainder to get to 1328, which is the equivalent of a thousand yards in the 12 game seasons through 1960, when 1000 yards was a tremendous accomplishment. My guess is that he doesn't get it, but if he does, it would be quite a feat, and make him a good candidate for comeback player of the year. If they win the division while he gets that many, he'll almost definitely get that award.

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#54 by Aaron Brooks G… // Oct 31, 2018 - 3:06pm

AP appears to be the part of Washington's running game that DVOA does like. It really doesn't like Thompson as a rusher. It liked him as a receiver, but also likes AP more there, too. If anything, AP is buoying the Washington rushing DVOA.

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#65 by DisplacedPackerFan // Oct 31, 2018 - 6:28pm

Montgomery had -2 DYAR and -10.1% DVOA on his 26 rushes. I don't think he had more than 6 carries in any one game. He was not a huge part of the plan. The Packers have done a lot of rotation with the backs though. Williams was the primary back until Jones got back from his suspension in week 3 (splits with Montgomery were 15-2 and 16-5). In week 3 the 3 backs were pretty evenly split but Jones got the bulk of the carries and Montgomery the least with a 6-5-4 split. Then it was an 11-11-2; then a 7-6-4 split, then a 8-6-4, finally a 12-4-2 last week. They want Jones to carry the ball, and they should as he has a 29.8% DVOA and Williams has a 10.1%, as mentioned Montgomery was -10.1%. With all 3 backs having an injury history, I was OK with the rotation and maybe the few carries Montgomery got have helped the other two be a bit fresher, but even when they only had the 2 backs it was clear that Ty was going to get 2-5 carries and that was it.

What he did do well was catch the ball and he got 2-5 targets a game, Jones and Williams do not get targeted as much and are not the same type of receivers. You would expect that from a converted wide receiver. Montgomery was generally better at pass protection than the other two. That is Jones' biggest weakness, he is also the smallest of the three backs.

So other than a little less security against injuries I don't think the running game is going to be hurt as much. It may have an impact on the passing game (Montgomery 11.4% DVOA, Jones -0.6%, and Williams -40.4%) and as mentioned a weaker pass blocker at RB. Though Montgomery still trailed in snap counts to the other two as well. So it's not like he was on the field and not getting touches significantly more or anything, the touches/targets are fairly representative of usage.

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#71 by LionInAZ // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:05pm

I doubt that AP is 100% guaranteed Pro Bowl. I would definitely take Gurley, Elliott, and Kamara ahead of him. Then you have Barkley, McCaffrey and Kerryon Johnson as outside contenders. Way too early to make those kinds of claims.

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#73 by Mountain Time … // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:20pm

I'd take those other guys first too, I'm more alluding to the public's eagerness to believe in APs comeback than his actual talent

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#63 by Jose21crisis // Oct 31, 2018 - 6:00pm

So, the Jaguars signed Landry Jones, ex-Steeler backup QB. He's definitely not a terrible QB, but he's not the greatest ever. He was a reliable backup. I think the Bills had a tryout with him? Why they didn't sign him? As for the Jags, what does that mean for Bortles if the offense keeps sputtering?

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#64 by Dissociated // Oct 31, 2018 - 6:09pm

Well idk about the Jags, but he was far too competent for the bills

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#74 by Mountain Time … // Oct 31, 2018 - 10:20pm

Landry is probably better than Bortles immediately, IMO

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#91 by Aaron Brooks G… // Nov 01, 2018 - 8:58am

His completion percentage is a tick higher than Bortles, but he has a lower TD% and a 50% higher INT%. He's a step down from Bortles. He's also a statue in the pocket and his playoff INT rate is Petermanian.

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#97 by Jose21crisis // Nov 01, 2018 - 7:36pm

If the Jags keep sputtering on offense, they might have to turn to him or Kessler. They probably hired Jones to serve as a mentor to Bortles/Kessler, and as a veteran presence if needed. I still wonder why he didn't went to the Niners or Bills.

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#67 by RobotBoy // Oct 31, 2018 - 7:20pm

Pats get unfairly punished because Anderson's replacement-level 'competence' (after another week to readjust to the NFL) is a Peyton above whatever the Bill's were putting behind center before that. Of course, the Pats also just missed giving up a TD that would have had the Bills one score down in the 4th, so...
Funny that the narrative in Pats Fandom, even with many of the analysts, is that the D played a great game while the O was meh.

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#93 by MaineRaider // Nov 01, 2018 - 9:57am

Things are looking up for the Raiders: they're going from the toughest first-half schedule to the second-toughest for the rest of the season. And their fake home game overseas is done. I vaguely remember them sleep-walking through it. Tankapalooza!

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