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Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

by Aaron Schatz (DVOA) and Vincent Verhei (Quick Reads)

It may not have been as exciting as a high-scoring shootout, but Super Bowl LIII brought us the biggest gap between the Patriots and their opponents in the nine Brady/Belichick Super Bowls -- by both final score and Football Outsiders' DVOA ratings.

The Patriots had 43% DVOA in last night's game, which was not the best Patriots performance in a Super Bowl according to our ratings. The highest DVOA and VOA (before opponent adjustments) still belongs to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX against Philadelphia. The Patriots also had a higher DVOA in Super Bowl XXXVI against St. Louis because of some massive opponent adjustments.

However, the DVOA gap between the teams was (just barely) bigger in this game than in either of those games. The Rams' DVOA of -24% was the lowest rating for any of the Patriots' nine opponents.

DVOA (with opponent adjustments)
TEAM TOT OFF DEF ST
NE 43% -11% -56% -2%
LAR -24% -49% -23% 2%
VOA (no opponent adjustments)
TEAM TOT OFF DEF ST
NE 21% -11% -35% -2%
LAR -30% -44% -12% 2%

Here's an update of a table I first ran after last year's Super Bowl, showing the DVOA ratings for all nine Brady/Belichick Super Bowls. As I noted last year, the Patriots have a weird history in their Super Bowls where the winning team actually ended up with the lower VOA rating (before opponent adjustments). This was the first Patriots Super Bowl since XXXIX where the Pats won and had the higher DVOA.

DVOA and VOA in Brady/Belichick Super Bowls
    DVOA VOA  
Season Opp. Pats Opp. Pats Opp. Score
2001 STL 60% -2% 7% 7% NE, 20-17
2003 CAR -1% 24% -2% 4% NE, 32-29
2004 PHI 64% 1% 43% -31% NE, 24-21
2007 NYG 6% 47% 9% -12% NYG, 17-14
2011 NYG 13% 15% 10% -3% NYG, 21-17
2014 SEA 22% 41% -6% 23% NE, 28-24
2016 ATL 6% 39% -20% 15% NE, 34-28 (OT)
2017 PHI 16% -5% -7% -20% PHI, 41-33
2018 LAR 43% -24% 21% -30% NE, 13-3

Here's where the 2018 Patriots stand among the best defensive performances in Super Bowls by DVOA. This goes back to 1990, since I haven't had a chance to fully run the playoffs from 1986-1989 yet.

Top Defensive DVOA in Super Bowl, 1990-2018
Season Team Opp. DVOA Score
2000 BAL NYG -120.5% BAL, 34-7
2002 TB OAK -91.6% TB, 48-21
2013 SEA DEN -64.7% SEA, 43-8
2015 CAR DEN -57.9% DEN, 24-10
2015 DEN CAR -57.7% DEN, 24-10
2018 NE LAR -55.9% NE, 13-3
1991 WAS BUF -53.3% WAS, 37-24
1992 DAL BUF -46.3% DAL, 52-17
2007 NYG NE -42.8% NYG, 17-14
1996 GB NE -37.4% GB, 35-21

Last year we announced the winner of the Playoff Challenge in this article on Monday; this year it's going to have to wait until Wednesday and Scramble for the Ball since I'm currently stuck in mid-air with slow Internet.

Thanks again to everyone for a great 16th season at Football Outsiders. We'll start our offseason coverage soon along with announcing the winners of the Football Outsiders reader awards next week.

Now let's turn it over to Vince for some Quick Reads. I hope you like negative numbers -- most offensive players will look bad in a game with 16 total points scored, and on top of that, these were two bad defenses coming in, so pretty much everyone took a severe hit from opponent adjustments too.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Tom Brady NE
21/35
262
0
1
1
-10
-10
0
LAR
Brady did not throw a single pass in the red zone. In L.A. territory, he went 4-of-12 for 49 yards with one first down, one interception, one sack, and one fumble. On third and fourth downs, he went 6-of-11 for 81 yards, but only three conversions.
2.
Jared Goff LAR
19/37
229
0
1
4
-72
-72
0
NE
Goff did not throw a single pass in the red zone. In New England territory, he went 5-of-12 for 48 yards with two first downs, one interception, and one sack. His first eight third-down plays resulted in seven incompletions and a sack; after that, he took one more sack, but did complete three passes for 37 yards and three conversions. Throwing to his right, he went 4-of-12 for 35 yards with two first downs and one interception.
Running Backs
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Rex Burkhead NE
7
43
0
2/2
15
0
13
2
11
LAR
Each of Burkhead's carries gained at least 2 yards. Only one went for a first down, but that one gained 26 yards. His two catches were an 8-yard gain on second-and-5 and a 7-yard gain on first-and-10.
2.
Sony Michel NE
18
94
1
0/2
0
0
-7
1
-8
LAR
Michel was stuffed just one time while running for five first downs, the longest a 26-yarder.
3.
C.J. Anderson LAR
7
22
0
2/3
12
0
-23
-20
-3
NE
Anderson's longest run gained only five yards. He had one first down, one stuff, and one fumble. His two catches were a 3-yard gain on second-and-10 and a 9-yard gain on first-and-10.
4.
Todd Gurley LAR
10
35
0
1/2
-1
0
-23
-9
-14
NE
Gurley's only first down came on a 16-yard gain on second-and-10 in the third quarter. He was stuffed twice.
Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Julian Edelman NE
10
12
141
14.1
0
46
LAR
Edelman's totals include 41 DYAR receiving, 5 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 8 yards. All of Edelman's catches counted as successful plays, and eight went for first downs, including three third-down conversions.
2.
Brandin Cooks LAR
8
13
120
15.0
0
21
NE
First three quarters: three catches for 32 yards in five targets. Fourth quarter: five catches for 88 yards in eight targets. He did not have a first down in the first half, but had six in the second half.
3.
Rob Gronkowski NE
6
7
87
14.5
0
15
LAR
Three of Gronkowski's receptions produced first downs; he also had a 14-yard gain on second-and-19.
4.
Robert Woods LAR
5
10
70
14.0
0
0
NE
Woods' totals include -2 DYAR receiving, 2 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 5 yards. Three of his catches produced first downs.
5.
Cordarrelle Patterson NE
2
2
14
7.0
0
-7
LAR
Patterson's totals include -6 DYAR receiving, -1 DYAR rushing for his two carries for 7 yards. His two catches: 5-yard gain on first-and-10, 9-yard gain on third-and-10.
Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Chris Hogan NE
0
6
0
0.0
0
-48
LAR
Yeah, that's no good.

Comments

68 comments, Last at 09 Feb 2019, 7:30pm

1 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

The DVOA gaps in the Super Bowls must be frustrating. The Atlanta one is a good example of the trouble with lopsided sample size, which we also saw in the AFC Championship game this year.

2011 is slightly puzzling, as I felt the Pats rather soundly outplayed NY, especially if you factor fumble luck. I guess NY's regular season accounts for the adjustments, but the NE defense was also putrid that year.

2003 is the one that really stands out to me. Delhomme didn't complete 50% of his passes and was something like 1/7 at one point. The big chunk plays at the ends of the halves really wracked up so much value as to obscure long stretches of ineptitude? I guess that's also a team that advanced stats didn't care for, living on the edge the way they did in the regular season, but the talent on that 2003 Carolina roster was impressive.

3 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

For what it's worth, VOA somewhat agrees with your 2011 perception, having the Patriots at +10% and the Giants at -3%. It's only DVOA, which gives the Giants a significant boost for playing a strong Patriots team while only boosting the Patriots a little for playing a decent-to-good Giants team, that has the Giants higher than the Patriots.

4 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

Harsh opponent adjustments on their RB's DYAR. Again!

18 rushes for 94 yards and a TD, five first downs, and only on stuff. And Sony Michel gets only 1 DYAR for the rushing! Meanwhile, two passes thrown at his feet (I'm guessing) gets -8 DYAR.

5 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

I feel like the opponent adjustments misrepresent the game by suggesting that the defences were going up against the high-powered offences we saw in the regular season. Watching the game it just felt like both offences sh*t the bed and couldn't perform rather than any outstanding defensive performance.

6 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

Think that could be an effect of defenses playing well? This same Belichick D suffocated the Chargers and the next week, put the clamps to KC for a half. Philips' D frustrated NO for much of the game as well.
Another factor is complementary football: the punters ensured that both teams usually started off pinned pretty far back. And even though the Patriots didn't finish drives, they did possess the ball and run many more plays than the Chargers, which kept them from finding a rhythm.

8 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

With the gigantic caveat that you can't evaluate the passing game at all well from the normal network feed, I seriously doubt that Brady failed to identify the best receiving option in a timely manner, in the way that Goff did. I thought the Rams somewhat conceded that Edelman was going to get some yards at times, while keeping a handle on other things, like how Parcells and Belichik did with Thurmon Thomas and the Bills in January 1991. It worked. They just needed their teammates on offense to do something, but the Rams offense was just completely befuddled, and for all my griping about Goff fouling up the viewing experience, the Patriots deserve some credit for that.

17 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

I think you also have to put some blame on McVay. As Romo noted, he changed the way the offense huddled, staying in the huddle until 15 seconds left on the play clock instead of getting to the line early. That couldn't have helped Goff's comfort level. To me, that's a huge mistake in a game where your inexperienced QB is already feeling a ton of pressure.

24 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

Yup, I totally agree. I don't know what the heck McVay was doing there: if you want to nullify the other team's ability to adapt to presnap alignment, you do that with motion and presnap shifts, not by staying in the huddle so long that you're practically pushing a delay of game penalty every freaking snap.

31 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

If he really was that worried about Goff, he should've gotten him to the line and helped him out while they still had communication. Think about what McVay did: now, when Goff got to the line, not only was he trying to figure out the defense and protection and what he needs to do, but he's also rushed due to the clock on basically *every single play*. If he wasn't confident in Goff, he did the exact wrong thing by putting *more* pressure on him. It was just dumb. So, so dumb.

7 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

In the narrative you state Goff has two INTs and Cooks gained six second half first downs on five receptions. Pretty sure neither one is true

10 Defensive Ranking

Barnwell makes the claim that the Pats had the best defensive performance in history. That seems hyperbolic and the only stat he mentions is the gap between the losers' regular-season scoring average and their Super Bowl performance:
1. 2018 Patriots Rams 32.9 3 9.1%
2. 1971 Cowboys Dolphins 22.5 3 13.3%
One good point he makes is that the Patriots didn't have the advantage of a big lead which would have let them ignore the running game completely. Deep into the game, the Rams had most of their playbook available, not that they actually seemed to use it.
More convincing is his argument that this ranks as Belichick's best defensive game plan in a SB (including his two with the Giants), especially given the relative mediocrity of the Pats D in the regular season (by DVOA).

11 Re: Defensive Ranking

Barnwell botched that analysis. The Dolphins shut out the Redskins offense in Super Bowl VII, allowing 7 points on a special teams blunder.

He’s not too far off in concept, though. To do a thorough job, you’d want to look at yards per drive and turnovers, too. Defense is primarily about preventing scores. But it’s also about giving your offense favorable field position.

Still, holding such a high powered offense to three points is a great result. Not the best ever. But close to it.

15 Re: Defensive Ranking

To be nitpicky, Barnwell doesn't specifcally say that the Pats' defense held its opponent to the fewest points as a percentage of team points. He spreads the credit across the entire team. So the 7 points for the Redskins' special teams in Super Bowl VII stay in.

Indeed, he would have to re-do the entire table if he wanted to focus only points scored against defenses. After all, the denominators of his fractions (creating the percentages in his rightmost columns) are generated from total points, not "points scored by offenses".

19 Re: Defensive Ranking

What we saw from the Patriots on Sunday night was the best defensive performance we have ever seen in a Super Bowl.
I don't say that as hyperbole. To start, the only other time a team has allowed just three points in the Super Bowl was when the Cowboys defeated the Dolphins 24-3 in 1971.

He didn't lie in the data he showed. But switching from "defensive performance" to "team" without a word is a goof up.

29 Re: Defensive Ranking

Pre-SB, but the Giants' only score against GB in the 1962 Championship game was a blocked punt. Of course, that game was as offense-unfriendly as almost any in history, with temperatures falling thru the teens and winds gusting to 60 mph swirling around Yankee Stadium. Jimmy Taylor was the MVP despite gaining less than 90 yards with YPC under 3. Folks who endured both rank the impact of those conditions as being as great or greater than the famed "Ice Bowl" 5 years later.

28 Re: Defensive Ranking

"The Ravens also shut out the Giants in SB XXXV. "

They did more than that - they scored on defense, too. Technically the net scoring result of the Giants offensive unit was 7 points *for the Ravens*.

35 Re: Defensive Ranking

The Bucs did this in SB XXXVII as well.

Raiders scored 21 points, but 6 came on a blocked punt TD. Buccaneers scored 21 points on pick-6's.

Net score for the Raiders offense: -6 points

41 Re: Defensive Ranking

Really good point. And not surprisingly, those two games are atop the defensive DVOA rankings. I have no idea how the hell *anyone* couldn't rank those two games as the best defensive performances in history.

I wouldn't have a problem with someone ranking the Bucs performance highest, either - the Raiders were the 2nd ranked offense in the league, and the Bucs defense *by itself* beat them. If it wasn't for the blocked punt the Buccaneers could've literally handed the ball over to the Raiders once they got to the 20-yard line or so and they still would've won.

45 Re: Defensive Ranking

I agree, if you look at the DVOA era. But the Bears over Patriots, Steelers over Vikings, and Dolphins over Washington Super Bowls were all also excellent defensive performances.

47 Re: Defensive Ranking

I think Bears-Patriots wouldn't rank as high just because the Patriots were really mediocre on offense that year anyway, but it'd be interesting to see. I don't have a good feel for Steelers-Vikings and Dolphins/Washington because they were just so long ago and evaluating defense in the dead-ball era is just really hard.

60 Re: Defensive Ranking

You're right that the 1985 Patriots' offense was just mediocre, and that could hurt the Bears' defensive DVOA.

Here's a list of the teams that allowed no more than 200 total yards and no more than 20 first downs in a Super Bowl.

Tm. | Opp | Year | Yds | 1D | Result
CAR | DEN | 2015 | 194 | 11 | L 24-10
BAL | NYG | 2000 | 152 | 11 | W 34-7
SFO | DEN | 1989 | 167 | 12 | W 55-10
CHI | NWE | 1985 | 123 | 12 | W 46-10
WAS | MIA | 1982 | 176 | 09 | W 27-17
DAL | DEN | 1977 | 156 | 11 | W 27-10
PIT | MIN | 1974 | 119 | 09 | W 16-6
DAL | MIA | 1971 | 185 | 10 | W 24-3

In terms of unadjusted output, the 1974 Steelers really stand out there.

46 Re: Defensive Ranking

I'd put in a word for the SB20 Bears, though opponent adjustment probably shoves them well down the list. The rather mediocre Pats did essentially nothing (Tony Eason did even less than that) until the score was 44-3 in the 4th.

48 Re: Defensive Ranking

It will always be a bit underrated because of the whole "the Bucs knew the Raiders playbook" stuff, which to me was always a bit overblown.

I'm sure it helped, but those Bucs were insanely good on defense, dominated the Raiders OL all day (helped that the Center went AWOL), and just continued what they were doing all year.

22 Re: Defensive Ranking

Believe it or not, "defensive performance" doesn't imply that only the defensive unit is being considered. Not when special teams can score points, too. And have to prevent points from being scored.

Bill's usage of the terms is consistent and it's obvious from how the table is constructed that he isn't excluding points scored on special teams. (Or by defenses, for that matter.)

23 Re: Defensive Ranking

Calling a kick return TD or a special teams fumble return TD a failure of "defensive performance" doesn't make it one.

Believe it or not.

It's no big deal. The Pats D came up huge. It's (by a corrected version of the "points allowed by the defense" analysis) the third best Super Bowl defensive performance on record. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Edit: maybe fourth best? Apparently, there are a few cases where the only scores for a team were special teams or defensive.

33 Re: Defensive Ranking

You don't think part of the job of the special teams is to keep the other team from scoring?

You don't think this qualifies as a defensive task?

Look, you may enjoy this semantic point-of-view, but it's a bit ridiculous to insist it's the only one possible.

42 Re: Defensive Ranking

No, what's ridiculous is implying that this is what Barnwell meant. The freaking article is subtitled "the Flores-Belichick game plan," and talks about Belichick's past performances as defensive coordinator. These are people who have literally nothing to do with special teams. And it's also talking about "how Belichick, Flores, and Patricia stopped the Rams" and how they countered the *Rams offense*, and talking entirely about the guys on offense for the Rams and the guys on defense for the Patriots

The table's completely and utterly misleading. From a historical perspective, the Bucs shut down the #2 ranked offense in the league more than the Patriots shut down the Rams, and they don't even show up in that table because it perpetuates the insane idea that "opposing team points" is the right way to consider how well a defense played, ignoring the fact that teams can score points when not on offense.

27 Re: Defensive Ranking

"Believe it or not, "defensive performance" doesn't imply that only the defensive unit is being considered. Not when special teams can score points, too. And have to prevent points from being scored."

So that means that somehow when a defense scores points it's an offensive performance?

Because even if we lump the special teams TDs bizarrely into the defense, the net change of all Giants possessions in Super Bowl XXXV was zero points.

37 Re: Defensive Ranking

Defense makes a redzone interception and goes straight down, we could call that a defensive play.

If however they run it back say 50 yards into the opponent's territory, we could also call it an offensive action. Or to use an old soccer term "turning defence into attack".

Discuss.

40 Re: Defensive Ranking

In other sports the distinction between "defense" and "offense" is mostly arbitrary - it's the same players playing both sides, so saying "he's great on defense, not so much on offense" is just saying his game is good in some areas, not others. Fine. In smooth flowing ball control games (like basketball, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, etc.) it's even *more* arbitrary, since "defensive actions" don't even have to be purely defensive.

In football the distinction between "defense" and "offense" isn't arbitrary. There's an entirely different set of players. If you're talking about the greatest *defensive* performance in a Super Bowl, you should be talking about the greatest performance *by the guys on defense*, period.

18 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

I wonder precisely how the punting game is measured here. The Pats did a great job making their punts basically impossible to return (coffin corners & downed inside the 10). Do the Rams get punished on DVOA because of the effectiveness of the Pats punting unit (and vice versa, though I think the Rams punts were hypothetically returnable, benefitted from what turned out to be poor decisions not to field the punts).

30 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

Edelman had twice as many DYAR as any other player, which to me means he was clearly the MVP (of the skill position players anyway). Nice to see the numbers back up the award. I'd be curious to know how often the DYAR leader was also the MVP of the game. I suspect that all skill position non-QBs who have won the award led in DYAR but that there have been occasions where a QB won and didn't lead. Total guess.

EDIT: I had to go back all of one year to see that my guess was wrong. Brady led by a wide margin last year but of course Foles won.

49 Fall Guy

Until now, I’d bought into the claims that Goff was the main culprit for the Rams’ offensive debacle. Watching the all-22 allowed me to see just how much pressure he was under and how covered his receivers usually were. Even on the blown coverage where the safeties jumped the under route and let Cooks run free to the end zone, Goff released the ball as soon as the receiver was clear (although he took an extra step in his wind up for the throw). That pass breakup was less an issue of a bad throw and more the case that McCourty made a brilliant play.
I think McVay and the o-line are at least as responsible, if not more so, than Goff. The o-line got bullied and bamboozled all game long and seemed just as surprised by stunting defenders in the 4th quarter as it did in the 1st. For his part, McVay didn’t seem to offer anything new to counter the Pats’ tendencies and gave up on the run far too early. It was the same basic formations and schemes all game long.
It’s hard to blame Goff for his failure to shine in the face of the systemic breakdown around him. Every time he faced pressure it came in under three seconds. If the crossing routes were covered, his next options were deep routes that took time to develop. Rarely did he have that time. If you’re used to having good protection all season only to find yourself running for you life or eating turf on every dropback, you’re probably going to struggle. Which is not to say that I think he’s a great talent – after all, Mahomes found ways to completions under that sort of duress (albeit Reid made much better adjustments). Goff, on the other hand, was set up to fail and it’s not surprising that he did.

50 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by RobotBoy

I'll agree that seeing more distributes the responsibilities more generally, but severely disagree with the analysis of the nortorious Cooks in the back of the end zone play. Goff sees what should have been obvious WAAAAAY too late. There's no getting around this. When a receiver is standing 40 yards downfield, flat footed, at the back of the end zone, waving his hand, no defender within 20 yards, because the receiver has yet to see the ball travelling to him yet, from a qb in a clean pocket, you're looking at a qb issue.

51 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by Will Allen

I’m with RobotBoy on this one. Your description of the play is at odds with the NextGen animation of the play (see Audibles). It’s not possible to know Cooks is going to be open until you can see that Devin McCourty has blown his assignment. That doesn’t happen until Cooks is at the five yard line. How could Goff know before that? Heck, none of the Patriots knew, and it was their coverage call. If Goff read the coverage early, he probably would have thrown to the crossing route.

The ball is in the air before Cooks reaches the one yard line. So if it’s late, it’s by a step or two. No more than that.

52 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by nat

At the 15 yard line, or sooner, it is clear that Cooks will be all alone in the end zone, unless you suppose that New England dbs having to turns hips and run back are faster than Cooks running in one direction the entire time. If this is the case, Cooks doesn't belong in the league.

https://mobile.twitter.com/baldynfl/status/1092464567630876673

53 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by nat

"It’s not possible to know Cooks is going to be open until you can see that Devin McCourty has blown his assignment. How could Goff know before that?"

That is *not* how quarterbacking in the NFL works. At all. You know in the replay of that play, where Cooks raises his arm because he's clearly open? That's way too late for Goff to realize he's going to be open. Will's completely right - as soon as Cooks is even *approaching* McCourty and his hips haven't turned, Goff needs to know that McCourty isn't going to be going with him.

That doesn't mean that Cooks will be open, of course: Gilmore's turned to go with him, but he plays way too far off of Cooks, almost like he's expecting a corner route rather than a post. But it *doesn't matter* - as soon as McCourty overcomitted to Woods on the crossing route, Cooks had inside leverage on Gilmore and is open. The fact that Gilmore didn't go with him should've meant that the pass was automatically complete, rather than possibly tight depending on how accurate Goff was. But Goff didn't need to *see* Cooks open in order to go to him.

I'm pretty darn sure that Woods was the first read on that play, because the play's designed to pull coverage deep to open up space for Woods underneath, and Woods is an easier completion. And most likely Goff just second guessed himself as to whether he should go with Woods or Cooks (really, they were *both* open), and ended up getting neither. That's definitely what it seems like with the extra step he takes to reset himself.

"The ball is in the air before Cooks reaches the one yard line. So if it’s late, it’s by a step or two. No more than that."

Yeah, that's literally the difference between success and failure at the pro level. You can't wait for receivers to come open, you have to anticipate them coming open. Cooks blew past McCourty nearly at full speed! There's no way Goff should've missed that, and he probably didn't - he just took too long to make the decision.

54 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by Pat

To put it in context, if Nick Foles or Kirk Cousins was playing for the Rams on Sunday, wearing their Mission Impossible Goff masks, I think the Rams score 17-20 points at a minimum.

56 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by Will Allen

Oh, God, I think that's on the very low side.

To be clear so Patriots fans don't think this is disrespect or anything, this is in a mythical weirdo-land where the Patriots play "Nick Goffins" the exact same way and don't adjust at all, which is of course insane: I guarantee Belichick was coaching the players to trust the scouting, read Goff's eyes, and jump as soon as they see him start to throw. Again, remember, the Patriots defense flat out said that they probably played more zone that game than they had all year. That defense was *designed* for Goff's limitations - it's not like the Patriots think this is some sort of new super-defense or anything.

57 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by Pat

Yeah, that's what mean by Mission Impossible Goff masks, where somebody like Foles and Cousins is faced with the exact same throws against the same defensive alignments, which would't happen if Belichik knew the opposing qb was Foles or Cousins. This is a compliment to Belichik. He correctly assessed how very limited Goff is in some respects, and exploited those limits. On the other side, there were a lot points to be scored if the Rams qb would get the ball out on schedule to the right target. There was sufficient time on enough plays; if Cousins watched the game, that looked like pretty good protection, compared to what was his typical game day was like this past fall. Goff is just not a good qb at this point, I don't care what the offensive stats are.

58 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by Pat

Heck, on Gilmore's INT Gilmore said after the game that he was looking at Goff the whole time, could see Goff looking at him, and was amazed that Goff actually threw the ball anyways.

59 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by Pat

Keep in mind, DBs have been known to decoy QBs into disastrous throws by disguising coverage. Often that involves pretending you are going to cover one guy (via things like hip position) then covering another. That limits how much earlier Goff can make that read, especially since all the other reads said McCourty was going to switch to Cooks.

61 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by nat

By the time Cooks hits the 15 yard line, maybe sooner, the hip position of the dbs renders it physically impossible for Cooks to be covered as he enters the end zone, unless Cooks runs no better than I do.

62 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by nat

Goff has two reads telling him that Cooks is going to be open - McCourty's hips (which, as Will stated, already meant that Cooks was going to have inside leverage open) and Gilmore's distance. By the time Cooks even crosses the first-down marker, he's accelerating to top speed and Gilmore's over 5 yards off and *not* accelerating. He could've read either one of those *very* early and thrown to either side of Cooks and he would've been fine.

Either Gilmore *or* McCourty not going with Cooks at all means that he should be the read on the play, and Goff just didn't read it that way early enough. Part of that might've been that both Woods *and* Cooks were open, although that might be because Goff's eyes/body shifted to Cooks late.

55 Re: Fall Guy

In reply to by RobotBoy

"Until now, I’d bought into the claims that Goff was the main culprit for the Rams’ offensive debacle. Watching the all-22 allowed me to see just how much pressure he was under and how covered his receivers usually were."

Um, what? That's not what I saw at all, and I've seen plenty of other people break down a bunch of the plays in exactly the same way I did.

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/02/super-bowl-53-jared-goff-rams

I mean, if I just go through the pass plays of the first few series, you can see it.

Pass 1: Not Goff's fault, the Patriots just didn't bite on play action at all, and the play had nowhere to go.
Pass 2: Pressure up the middle but Goff doesn't dump to the hot read (Gurley) who's wide open, and instead goes for Reynolds, heck if I know why. Neither of them are going to get the first down, but Gurley practically doesn't have anyone within 10 yards of him.
Pass 3: This is a good play by Goff, play action that doesn't fool Shelton but Goff still makes a play.
Pass 4: Collapsing pocket, bad throw by Goff. Not enough space to make a good throw, but even a middling one still could've been completed.
Pass 5: Patriots only had 4 rush and Goff had a nearly picture-perfect pocket and makes a solid throw.
Pass 6: Cooks runs a rub route right behind Reynolds and it works perfectly, springing him totally free, but Goff goes to Woods, who's well covered.

This isn't something new with Goff, either, some of the flaws exposed here (poor throws in constrained spaces, sometimes locking onto receivers) have been talked about as his flaws for a long time. But also there were a ton of cases where Goff just didn't read the defense's reactions fast enough or just totally misunderstood the way the play was going to go. Which, again, he's only 24, with more experience those things come faster.

But considering the Patriots players both before and after the game flat out basically stated that the game plan was "pressure, stop the run, run lots of zone, make Goff beat us" which is *exactly* what you would want to do against a quarterback with limited experience, I'd say that the Patriots also knew that Goff was the weak point.

63 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

Those 2000 Ravens beat the living hell out of a team that racked up 521 yards and scored 41 points in the NFCCG.
Like others have said, they also scored on D and gave up 0 points on defense in that Super Bowl.
They gave up 23 points in 4 playoff games while scoring 14 on D.
Their 4 playoff opponents averaged 5.8 points (2.3 net points) 207 yards and 3 turnovers.

Don't undersell the 2013 Seahawks.
They scored 9 points on the Broncos offense and the team was up 36-0 before the 600+ regular season points Broncos found the end zone for the only time all day.

The 2002 Bucs scored 21 points on defense and only gave up 15 (6 of Oakland's points were from a blocked punt)
That Tampa team scored 4 TDs on defense and gave up 3 TDs on defense over 3 playoff games.

Here is your winner though. No surprise its the 1985 Bears
They gave up 10 points in 3 playoff games and scored 9 on defense.
Their 3 playoff opponents averaged 3.3 points (0.3 net points) 145 yards and 3.3 turnovers.
The Patriots put up 123 yards of offense with a net 1 point and 6 turnovers. Their QBs were sacked 7 times.

64 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

The 2000 Minnesota Vikings had, by the end of the season, one of the worst defenses of all time, and not just for playoff teams; one of the worst for ANY team. They were completely helpless on the road, especially if their offense hadn't staked them to a lead. I think the Ravens were great, but not because the Giants put 41 on the Vikings.

65 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

The 2000 Minnesota Vikings had, by the end of the season, one of the worst defenses of all time, and not just for playoff teams; one of the worst for ANY team. They were completely helpless on the road, especially if their offense hadn't staked them to a lead. I think the Ravens were great, but not because the Giants put 41 on the Vikings.

67 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

If you are talking 'sacred DVOA means everything' then New Orleans should have easily scored 30+ on them the week before like they did to beat the Rams. The Vikings only gave up 16 points in their divisional round win. DVOA is a measuring stick as are lots of other things. Context as always is key.

Is the 'helpless on the road' logic here to mean that home field is worth about 3 points on average but it was worth 7+ to the 2000 Vikings?
Their 4 division opponents combined to score 107 points at home and 100 points in Minnesota. That's 17 points closer than expected in a 3 point swing each way.
The only thing you can really say about the 2000 Vikings is that their schedule gave them the Rams and the Colts on the road and the Dolphins and the Cardinals in Minnesota. Their road schedule was offense heavy and their home schedule was offense light.

The Vikings gave up about 23 ppg in their 17 games before the NFCCG.
Put it another way: The great offenses of St Louis and Indy put up 35.5 points per game on the Vikings.
The Rams offense was 1 in yards, 1 in points, and 1 in DVOA. The Colts offense was 3 in yards, 4 in points, and 2 in DVOA.
FACT: The Giants played like one of those great offenses when they played the Vikings.

Those Vikings gave up 518 yards to the Giants in that NFCCG. They gave up 508 to the defending champ Rams with that offense.
They gave up an average of 347 yards per game over the other 16 games they played, including 355 to the Saints the week before.

The Giants played an incredible offensive game in the NFCCG even if the opponent was weak.

This did not make the Giants equal or even close to the Rams on offense, but it clearly shows that they were playing well going into that Super Bowl.

68 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

You need to pay attention to weighted DVOA with the 2000 Vikings defense, and yes, the Vikings that year were one of the most extreme examples of a very good offensive team being able to protect a horrible defense at home, but on the road, on a day when the offense didn't show up? 41 points and 500 yards was merely a good performance.

66 Re: Super Bowl LIII DVOA/Quick Reads

About half of those 123 yards came with the score 44-3 in the 4th, as relief pitcher Grogan led the garbage TD drive. The other 3 points weren't really on the D, as the game's first play from scrimmage was a Bears fumble on their own 13. 3 incompletes and a FG later, the Pats actually led, after notching the first score off the Bears in the PS.