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

Week 15 DVOA Ratings

Drew Brees
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

The New Orleans Saints are the big risers in this week's Football Outsiders DVOA ratings. The top three remain the same from last week, even though Baltimore, New England, and San Francisco all saw their ratings go down. (For Baltimore and New England, this was related to changes in opponent adjustments, not bad games of their own.) New Orleans moves up from No. 5 to No. 4 in full-season DVOA. The Saints were already No. 2 last week in weighted DVOA but their weighted rating goes up over five percentage points this week.

This is the first week where a game (Week 1) has fully fallen out of the weighted DVOA formula, and so the differences between full-season and weighted DVOA are getting bigger. The Patriots are down to fifth in weighted DVOA this week, with their offense falling all the way to 19th. The Tennessee Titans have moved up to 10th in weighted DVOA and sixth in weighted offense despite losing to Houston this week. The Texans move up three spots from 20th to 17th in full-season DVOA, but they rank only 21st in weighted DVOA. Some other major differences between full-season and weighted DVOA:

  • Cleveland's offense ranks 20th for the full season but 14th in weighted DVOA.
  • Indianapolis' offense ranks 17th for the full season but 22nd in weighted DVOA.
  • Green Bay's defense is 17th for the full season but 24th in weighted DVOA.
  • The Los Angeles Chargers defense is 21st for the full season but 15th in weighted DVOA.

The Ravens climb up our list of the best teams in DVOA history even though their rating dropped a little bit this week. It just turns out that some of the other great teams in history also saw their ratings drop a bit after Week 15. At this point, the Ravens rank below only four teams in history, one of which only played 12 games because of a strike (or at least, we're only counting 12 games).

BEST TOTAL DVOA
THROUGH 14 GAMES, 1985-2019
Year Team W-L DVOA
1991 WAS 13-1 57.3%
2007 NE 14-0 56.3%
1985 CHI 13-1 54.1%
1987 SF* 10-2 47.0%
2019 BAL 12-2 40.8%
2013 SEA 12-2 40.4%
1995 SF 10-4 40.4%
2010 NE 12-2 40.1%
2012 NE 10-4 39.8%
2004 PIT 13-1 39.7%
1999 STL 12-2 38.9%
2005 IND 13-1 38.5%
*only 12 games due to strike

Unfortunately -- for our historical tracking, not for Pittsburgh Steelers fans -- the Ravens are likely to sit starters in Week 17 if they win this week's rematch with Cleveland. That's likely to drop their place in the all-time rankings for the full season. Although you never know: the 1991 Redskins sat their starters for half of Week 17 and still came out as the best team we've ever measured.

The New England Patriots also move up a spot in our all-time list of best defenses through 14 games. There are now only three defenses ahead of them, although the 1986 Bears are likely to pass them before the end of the season.

BEST DEFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 14 GAMES, 1985-2019
Year Team W-L DVOA
1991 PHI 9-5 -41.3%
2002 TB 11-3 -36.0%
1985 CHI 13-1 -33.1%
2019 NE 11-3 -31.0%
1986 CHI 12-2 -30.5%
1988 MIN 10-4 -29.6%
2008 BAL 9-5 -29.1%
2015 DEN 10-4 -28.0%
2008 PIT 11-3 -27.9%
1995 SF 10-4 -27.3%
2004 BUF 8-6 -26.4%
2012 CHI 8-6 -26.4%

But instead of writing in length about great defenses this week, I want to show you something about really bad defenses. Each week, I've posted a table showing just how bad the Miami Dolphins defense has been compared to defenses throughout DVOA history. I don't notice a lot of discussion in the general football media about how horrible the Dolphins defense has been this year. That's partly because the Dolphins offense has improved significantly since the early part of the season, so the Dolphins don't seem like a pathetic bunch of historic-level losers anymore. Hey, they've even won three games!

The Miami defense has not improved the way the offense has. It may look like they have if you look at the season splits in the FO Premium DVOA database, but essentially Miami has played one really good defensive game all year: Week 10, when they upset the Indianapolis Colts 16-12 and limited Colts backup quarterback Brian Hoyer to 18-of-39 for 204 yards with 3 interceptions. For Weeks 1-9, Miami has a defensive DVOA of 28.9%, the worst in the league for that period. For Weeks 11-15, Miami has a defensive DVOA of 31.2%, second worst in the league for that period behind Jacksonville.

Miami's run defense is bad: 29th in the league by DVOA. But what's really bad is Miami's pass defense. Miami is on pace for one of the two or three worst pass defense seasons in recent memory. Their current pass defense DVOA of 43.6% would be the second worst ever measured, trailing only the 2015 New Orleans Saints.

To compare the Dolphins with some of the other terrible pass defenses we've measured, I collected a few standard stats for each defense: net yards per pass, completion rate, interceptions, and sacks. For each stat, I've got a comparison of that team to the league average for that season. For example, the 2009 Lions allowed more net yards per pass than the 1996 Falcons, but compared to league average they allowed fewer net yards per pass. I've also got the run defense DVOA for each team for comparison purposes, as well as the average offense faced by DVOA and rank in the league.

Year Team W-L Pass
DVOA
Run
DVOA
Rk NY/P vs. NFL
Avg
C% vs. NFL
Avg
INT vs. NFL
Avg
Sk vs. NFL
Avg
Sched Rk
2015 NO 7-9 48.1% -2.4% 27 7.90 1.54 68.4% 5.4% 9 -4.5 31 -5.1 -3.1% 29
2019 MIA 3-11 43.6% 4.2% 29 7.55 1.23 64.1% 0.3% 12 +0.6 18 -17.1 -4.5% 29
1996 BAL 4-12 42.0% -6.4% 14 7.00 1.17 65.2% 7.6% 15 -3.1 30 -6.9 1.5% 7
1999 SF 4-12 41.7% -4.5% 18 7.36 1.51 60.8% 3.8% 13 -5.1 32 -8.3 1.2% 11
1996 ATL 3-13 38.0% 5.0% 27 7.19 1.36 62.3% 4.7% 6 -12.1 36 -0.9 -2.3% 25
2009 DET 2-14 36.5% -4.6% 17 7.44 1.27 68.1% 7.2% 9 -7.4 26 -8.4 -0.4% 18
1989 DAL 1-15 36.4% -5.6% 11 6.90 0.78 61.7% 5.9% 7 -13.0 29 -10.5 2.6% 2
2016 DET 9-7 36.2% -4.1% 19 6.91 0.54 72.7% 9.7% 10 -3.0 26 -8.9 -0.5% 20
2009 JAX 7-9 35.8% -13.6% 9 7.20 1.03 67.6% 6.8% 15 -1.4 14 -20.4 -2.0% 23
1991 LARM 3-13 35.4% -5.2% 14 7.86 1.89 59.7% 2.3% 11 -6.4 17 -18.4 4.1% 2
2000 MIN 11-5 35.2% 13.8% 28 6.36 0.52 63.2% 5.0% 8 -9.1 31 -8.7 -1.9% 20
1996 ARI 7-9 35.1% -1.1% 21 6.39 0.55 59.8% 2.2% 11 -7.1 28 -8.9 -3.7% 27

Remarkably, the 2019 Dolphins have (slightly) more interceptions than the NFL average, which is currently just 11.4 interceptions in 14 games. And the Dolphins are close to the league average in completion rate. What makes a big difference for the Dolphins is that a) they've struggled against an easy schedule of opposing offenses; b) they never sack the quarterback and c) they allow a lot of passing yardage.

 

* * * * *

 

Stats pages should now be updated through Week 15, including playoff odds, the FO Premium DVOA database and snap counts.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 15 weeks of 2019, 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.

WEIGHTED DVOA represents an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games.

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

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

 

RK TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
LAST
WEEK
WEI.
DVOA
RANK W-L OFF.
DVOA
OFF.
RANK
DEF.
DVOA
DEF.
RANK
S.T.
DVOA
S.T.
RANK
1 BAL 40.8% 1 44.6% 1 12-2 28.9% 1 -11.6% 5 0.3% 14
2 NE 33.3% 2 24.7% 5 11-3 1.9% 14 -31.0% 1 0.4% 13
3 SF 29.4% 3 26.2% 3 11-3 6.2% 9 -23.0% 2 0.2% 16
4 NO 28.6% 5 35.3% 2 11-3 19.0% 5 -6.3% 10 3.3% 3
5 KC 27.7% 4 25.7% 4 10-4 21.0% 3 -4.3% 11 2.4% 6
6 SEA 18.8% 6 19.5% 7 11-3 20.5% 4 0.2% 14 -1.6% 25
7 MIN 18.6% 7 20.0% 6 10-4 9.1% 7 -9.3% 6 0.2% 15
8 DAL 17.8% 8 14.5% 8 7-7 27.2% 2 4.9% 22 -4.5% 32
9 GB 8.2% 10 3.6% 12 11-3 10.1% 6 2.7% 17 0.8% 10
10 LAR 5.6% 9 3.2% 13 8-6 -2.0% 18 -8.4% 8 -0.8% 21
11 BUF 5.6% 11 11.8% 9 10-4 -6.6% 22 -13.3% 4 -1.1% 22
12 TEN 3.6% 12 8.4% 10 8-6 6.7% 8 0.4% 15 -2.7% 28
13 TB 3.3% 16 8.2% 11 7-7 -4.0% 21 -7.7% 9 -0.4% 19
14 CHI 0.6% 15 0.6% 16 7-7 -9.4% 23 -9.0% 7 1.1% 9
15 PHI 0.5% 13 2.0% 14 7-7 1.6% 15 1.0% 16 0.0% 18
16 PIT -1.4% 14 1.7% 15 8-6 -21.5% 30 -17.3% 3 2.8% 4
17 HOU -4.1% 20 -7.8% 21 9-5 3.3% 11 9.6% 27 2.2% 7
18 LAC -6.0% 18 -2.8% 17 5-9 2.2% 13 4.6% 21 -3.5% 31
19 CLE -6.9% 17 -7.0% 20 6-8 -2.9% 20 4.0% 19 0.0% 17
20 ATL -7.3% 25 -3.4% 18 5-9 0.4% 16 5.4% 23 -2.3% 27
21 IND -7.8% 19 -9.4% 23 6-8 -1.9% 17 3.0% 18 -2.9% 30
22 ARI -10.3% 24 -6.1% 19 4-9-1 2.8% 12 10.3% 28 -2.8% 29
23 DEN -10.9% 21 -8.3% 22 5-9 -11.5% 26 -1.9% 12 -1.3% 24
24 DET -11.7% 22 -18.2% 26 3-10-1 -2.6% 19 9.5% 26 0.5% 12
25 OAK -13.5% 23 -15.1% 24 6-8 4.8% 10 16.3% 31 -2.0% 26
26 CAR -18.7% 27 -27.6% 30 5-9 -10.8% 24 6.6% 24 -1.2% 23
27 NYG -19.0% 29 -18.2% 25 3-11 -11.4% 25 8.2% 25 0.6% 11
28 JAX -20.3% 28 -29.9% 31 5-9 -11.7% 27 10.7% 29 2.1% 8
29 NYJ -20.7% 26 -19.3% 27 5-9 -25.7% 32 -1.3% 13 3.7% 2
30 WAS -23.3% 31 -24.6% 29 3-11 -22.0% 31 4.1% 20 2.8% 5
31 CIN -25.2% 30 -22.3% 28 1-13 -16.7% 28 13.1% 30 4.6% 1
32 MIA -44.4% 32 -36.6% 32 3-11 -19.9% 29 24.1% 32 -0.5% 20
  • 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).
RK TEAM TOTAL
DVOA
W-L NON-ADJ
TOT VOA
ESTIM.
WINS
RANK PAST
SCHED
RANK FUTURE
SCHED
RANK VAR. RANK
1 BAL 40.8% 12-2 43.2% 11.2 2 -1.3% 21 -4.1% 21 17.8% 24
2 NE 33.3% 11-3 37.0% 11.8 1 -5.2% 30 -19.4% 30 9.8% 11
3 SF 29.4% 11-3 27.9% 10.6 4 0.1% 13 12.2% 3 16.0% 20
4 NO 28.6% 11-3 29.9% 10.8 3 0.2% 12 -7.6% 23 8.8% 6
5 KC 27.7% 10-4 25.0% 10.2 7 0.4% 11 -2.7% 20 9.0% 8
6 SEA 18.8% 11-3 13.0% 10.4 5 4.5% 5 9.5% 7 6.9% 3
7 MIN 18.6% 10-4 22.5% 10.1 8 -2.1% 23 4.4% 12 5.6% 1
8 DAL 17.8% 7-7 23.4% 10.3 6 -2.7% 24 -11.4% 27 8.7% 5
9 GB 8.2% 11-3 6.4% 8.6 9 -0.5% 19 3.5% 14 17.8% 23
10 LAR 5.6% 8-6 2.3% 7.8 10 6.3% 2 9.5% 7 21.2% 30
11 BUF 5.6% 10-4 11.8% 7.2 13 -7.2% 32 6.3% 11 10.7% 14
12 TEN 3.6% 8-6 13.3% 7.7 11 -6.2% 31 12.3% 2 18.0% 26
13 TB 3.3% 7-7 5.8% 6.6 16 0.1% 14 -5.7% 22 9.0% 7
14 CHI 0.6% 7-7 -2.4% 7.0 15 -0.6% 20 23.2% 1 7.6% 4
15 PHI 0.5% 7-7 1.3% 7.4 12 -3.3% 27 -0.6% 17 17.1% 22
16 PIT -1.4% 8-6 0.2% 7.1 14 0.0% 15 10.1% 6 9.3% 10
17 HOU -4.1% 9-5 -3.2% 6.5 17 1.5% 10 3.4% 15 14.7% 18
18 LAC -6.0% 5-9 -2.4% 5.3 26 -4.7% 29 7.1% 10 12.7% 16
19 CLE -6.9% 6-8 -9.4% 5.9 21 1.6% 9 7.8% 9 18.8% 27
20 ATL -7.3% 5-9 -12.3% 6.3 18 5.5% 3 -8.5% 26 17.0% 21
21 IND -7.8% 6-8 -5.0% 6.2 20 -3.2% 26 -19.5% 31 10.3% 12
22 ARI -10.3% 4-9-1 -15.1% 5.7 22 4.7% 4 12.2% 3 15.0% 19
23 DEN -10.9% 5-9 -9.5% 5.7 23 2.0% 7 -12.6% 29 13.5% 17
24 DET -11.7% 3-10-1 -13.6% 5.3 25 1.7% 8 -1.3% 19 6.2% 2
25 OAK -13.5% 6-8 -11.7% 6.2 19 -1.4% 22 -8.4% 25 22.2% 31
26 CAR -18.7% 5-9 -21.2% 4.3 29 2.0% 6 10.4% 5 17.9% 25
27 NYG -19.0% 3-11 -20.5% 2.8 31 -0.3% 18 -11.4% 27 9.1% 9
28 JAX -20.3% 5-9 -19.4% 5.3 24 -3.2% 25 -7.6% 24 20.7% 28
29 NYJ -20.7% 5-9 -15.1% 4.7 27 -4.7% 28 2.1% 16 25.8% 32
30 WAS -23.3% 3-11 -20.0% 4.3 28 0.0% 16 -0.6% 17 21.2% 29
31 CIN -25.2% 1-13 -33.1% 3.5 30 7.1% 1 -25.7% 32 12.7% 15
32 MIA -44.4% 3-11 -45.3% 1.1 32 -0.2% 17 4.1% 13 10.6% 13

Comments

123 comments, Last at 21 Dec 2019, 1:27pm

1 Why do you count 12 games…

Why do you count 12 games for the 1987 49ers? The replacement players were in 3 games, and 1 game was canceled. So I could see counting 14 (the first 14 they played), 13 (14 weeks of the season, less the one canceled game), or 11 (14 games played, less the 3 replacement games); but I don't see where the 12 would come from.

2 "second worst in the league…

"second worst in the league for that period behind Jacksonville."

That's a rough look for Jacksonville. They have some good players on defense (Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, Josh Allen and Myles Jack). Seems like there's enough talent there, that they should be ranked somewhere above "worst"!

121 Myles Jack got hurt in Week…

Myles Jack got hurt in Week 12 and went on IR. They don't have any real linebackers besides him, and so they struggle to stop the run and they struggle to protect the middle of the field in pass defense. They've got an undrafted guy starting at CB opposite AJ Bouye and the safeties are kind of a disaster. Jack has been playing out of position for two seasons as well. He's not a good MLB. Even so, the defense has not performed to its talent level even it was "good" in 2017. They've got good talent on the d-line but they are below replacement level at so many places their defensive stars can't make up for it.

5 How good was Randy Moss?…

How good was Randy Moss? Good enough to drag one of the worst pass defenses in history to an 11-5 record, a Conference championship game, and about one or two plays from a #1 seed. Yeah, there were other good and even great players on that offense, but it was Moss who hid the hideous defense.

10 Almost as good as Matt…

Almost as good as Matt Stafford, who dragged a terrible Lions team into the playoffs.

Then they hired Patricia. Who turned the offense around, instead of the defense. We couldn't hire their cheating coordinator, nooooooo. Lions have to hire the guy who can't actually coordinate off the Patriots. Jesus Christ.

11 Hey that Lions team was just…

Hey that Lions team was just mediocre on run defense, whereas that 2000 Vikings NFCCG participant was truly hideous against the run as well! My most hated Viking team ever, even more than some awful ones that finished with 3 wins! I mean, the 1984 team, which finished about a -900 point differential, was at least trying to accomplish something, in an organized fashion; making sure that Les Steckel never got another head coaching job! Nailed it!

Sorry about the harvesting of yet more bitter fruit from The Dark Lord's tree. Maybe Goodell will start awarding compensatory picks to the team with the coach who has the most impressive beard!

43 Randy Moss was the most talented (not best) WR ever

Watching a QB drag a team into the playoffs with a mediocre-bad defense isn't unusual. Brees, Rodgers, P Manning, and Marino are just a few of the several QBs who have done this. It's no surprise Stafford can do it; he's an excellent (and underrated) QB. RBs like Peterson and Sanders have also done this. Moss really was the unicorn in this respect. CJ was amazing, but Moss was the only WR I've seen who could elevate an offense almost single-handedly. WRs just don't touch the ball enough normally to make that difference. 

47 Well, the qbs you just…

Well, the qbs you just mentioned are all 1st ballot HOFers, so Stafford is due quite a bit of recognition.

To your larger point, I know Rice has Moss handily beat in terms of longevity and consistency, and those things are very important, but if we are considering the best 5-7 years of every player, I think a case can be made for the only non-qbs being in the top 10 players, all time, at any position, being Jim Brown and Randy Moss.

78 I guess I understand where…

I guess I understand where you're coming from, but to me, it's hard to imagine having more impact on a game than communicating to the offense I will cover your best receiver, and you will not be able to throw to him or you will devote your offensive game plan around neutralizing me, or your quarterback might not walk off the field

90 Putting aside Moss and just…

Looking at salary allocation in today's NFL, the next highest paid position after qb is pass rusher. Then its a big toss up between wide receiver and left tackle. My friend and I hypothesized that this result is more about helping your qb than assessing team value, but be that as it may, it at least suggests pass rusher has more impact than wide receiver does.

Ok, so Moss was a unicorn for sure, but he was also the kind of player who did nothing for teams like Oakland and that has to be factored in. He was so useless in Oakland that he was sold for a song since most people couldn't tell if it was age or disinterest that caused his play to deteriorate so badly. The fact that the very next year he broke the td record shows what a mercenary he was. I have to admit, I've long never understood why the media hated TO but seemed to universally love Moss.

In any case, if I could pick one non-qb to have on my team, I'd probably take Rice. After that(based on good Ol Dr.Z), I'd probably take someone in the group of White, Smith, LT the original, Alan Page, JJ Watt, and the Destroyer of Worlds. 

91 The nice thing about…

The nice thing about mercenaries is that they are largely predictable; ya' just have to have the right incentive structure in place, and there isn't anybody for whom it is easier to.design a good incentive structure than a mercenary. TO was problematic because he was far more opaque, and sometimes that opacity dissolved, and revealed a shitty teammate, like speculating about his qb's sexual orientation or discussing his qb's questionable conditioning in the media. Moss was a complete A-hole at times, but not to his coworkers.

107 I'd say that Moss was more…

I'd say that Moss was more motivated by greatness than money, considering he took a huge paycut to go to New England.  He knew he wasn't going to be able to be great in Oakland so why bother?

61 Jerry Rice, great as he was,…

Jerry Rice, great as he was, never definitively proved he could drag a collection of tree sloths to a conference championship. Would I pick him over Moss? Sure. I'd rather have the extended consistent greatness. At peak production, however, Moss dictated terms to opposing defenses more definitively than Rice did.

69 Probably the closest comp,…

In reply to by Aaron Brooks G…

Probably the closest comp, but Fitzgerald didn't dominate games as completely. Shanny the Elder said it best in 2004, "Before the Vikings, I've never seen a successful NFL offense operate around the principle of having one guy run deep, and heaving it in his general direction".

102 And the third one being the…

And the third one being the one that works out kind of supports the merit of taking multiple picks at the same position if you have a hole to fill.

I've been speculating for a while whether a team looking for a starting QB would be better off passing on a high first round pick and instead load up on a 5th round, 6th round, 7th round and a bunch of undrafted invites at the QB position.  Would make for a different type of offseason and a crowded QB room, but maybe you have a better chance of finding a guy with the right stuff and a chip on his shoulder that way, as opposed to gambling on a single guy who's been listening to the media hype about how special he is for months leading up to the confirmation-bias of being a first round draft pick.

109 The issue with quarterbacks…

The issue with quarterbacks is that there just isn't enough practice time to effectively develop and evaluate more than 1 (maybe 2) quarterbacks.

Bringing in more than that just creates a logjam at the position.

122 Loading up QB's

Kirk Cousins was drafted in the 4th round, the same year that RG3 was drafted in the first round by the Redskins.  It was a good move and shows that the Redskins have done at least one thing right in the past decade.

I am not sure that I would want a medley of Kyle Allen, Gardner Minshew,  Delvin Hodges and more from which to choose.  

 

64 Hurting Brown's case is that…

Hurting Brown's case is that the Browns teams before and after him were pretty stacked. 

Leroy Kelly's first three years as a starter were basically the same as Brown's first three years. In terms of no other offensive talent, OJ Simpson's stretch from 1972-1976 might never be topped, although both Sanders and Davis had stratospheric sustained peaks.

6 Draft pick odds

Miami appears to hold the tiebreaker over Washington for the first pick. So for Washington to get it, they need to lose out, and have Miami win against new England (if Miami wins their other game, Cincy has the pick).

Are the odds really stating that there is a greater than 1 in 4 chance Miami beats New England? (Washington's 7.7% odds are 27.5% of the non-Cincy cases.)

7 Are you considering that the…

In reply to by Splattered

Are you considering that the tiebreaker for draft position is "strength of schedule"?  Currently, Miami DOES hold that tiebreaker over Washington (.500 to .513), but Miami's final two opponents have a slightly harder average schedule than Washington's, and both teams SOS is bound to change based on game results the final two weeks.  Head-to-head is the second tiebreaker between Miami and Washington (since divisional and conference tiebreakers don't apply).

https://operations.nfl.com/the-players/the-nfl-draft/the-rules-of-the-draft/

  

8 Whoops

OK, I calculated SOS wrong. If you add their final two opponents directly in, the SOS becomes roughly a tossup (.491 for Miami, .492 for Washington). So that explains it.

24 Miami lost to Washington and NYG but will draft behind them

In reply to by Splattered

Which has Miami fans very unhappy trust me. But there's still two more weeks and a lot can happen. Miami could win again this week (a disaster for them to be sure), if they lose then someone is going to win the Wishington vs. NYG game (or a tie, as Miami fans hope), and New England still plays Miami one last time (And for some reason no matter how putrid Miami is New England seems to like to lose to Miami, although it's impossible this year, right?). Of course, none of this matters if Miami is planning to draft the next Charles Harris or Dion Jordan with that pick anyway. 

123 Browns are being projected…

Browns are being projected at 6.8 wins, which we can estimate is roughly 0.1 mean wins from the Ravens game tomorrow, and 0.7 mean wins from the Bengals game.

 

So we can estimate that the Bengals have roughly a 27.9/.7 = 40% chance at the Fins game, assuming sort-of-independent-probabilities and such.

12 While waiting for an uber on…

While waiting for an uber on the busy streets of India, I was thinking about Brees and how he will be remembered as a qb. Obviously, a second sb would bolster his reputation tremendously, sadly for the universe we live in.

A while back there was a thread debating Brees vs Rodgers and even Brees vs Manning. As a Manning fan, its a natural instinct to dismiss Brees and grudgingly stomach Brady as equal / better, but I will try to be as objective as possible.

I think Brees is a hard case because he threw a lot. It wasn't always for stat padding reasons - some of his defenses were so so bad that the only way they could even compete was throwing and scoring. That increased his volume totals while depressing his efficiency statistics. The talent he had was also somewhere in the universe of Manning and Brady, depending on matters of taste. I think an underplayed aspect his how good Brees' lines have been. QBR and DVOA sort if confirm my view - he was consistently excellent but his contemporaries had greater seasons. Manning in particular, has greater per play numbers for a large number of years.

Add it up together and I just can't shake the feeling that at their best, Brees wasn't as good as apex Manning Brady or Rodgers. And then there's this...he's had Payton as his head coach, a similar knock that will follow Brady unless he goes out of NE and wins another sb(looking really unlikely at this stage of his career). People will also bring up the fact that Brees played in a Dome and while there is truth to that, most games are in fact played in good weather so I'm not going to ding him that much for that.

All told - I think if their careers ended today and I were the decider of the qb hierarchy, I'd pick Manning and Brady ahead and would now choose Brees above Rodgers given the way the latter's career is currently playing out.

13 Brees vs Contemporaries

I think Brees is significantly behind Rodgers, Manning, and Brady in the Hierarchy.

#1- How many years was Brees considered the Best QB in the League? Maybe 1 year?  For Rodgers, Manning, and Brady the answer is many more than 1

#2- As you said, Manning has superior Per play stats and Brady has awesome stats + 6 Super Bowl Rings (which to most people is a big deal).

#3- Brees is a Turnover Machine compared to Rodgers. Compared to Rodgers, Brees is Winston-Like. Brees has roughly 150 more Interceptions than Rodgers. Rodgers has a TD/INT Ratio of 4.4 to 1. For Brees it is 2.2 to 1.

**The Dome is definitely something to subtract a bit from Brees (also playing in a warm weather division).

**I think Passing Yards are nearly meaningless as a stat. The key to having a lot of passing yards is often 1)Play in a Dome 2)Have a Bad Defense.  Matthew Stafford having Passing Yardage Seasons #11 and #12 tends to lend support to this notion. Ironically, not being as good as Manning actually helps Brees with the passing yardage record. Manning often was so dominant that his team was running out the clock late in games whereas that has been less the case for Brees.

***The Saints going 7-9 4 out of 5 years during a stretch of his Prime/Near Prime is a significant knock on Brees. Yes they had terrible defense, but Rodgers and Manning were often plagued by brutal Defenses too, and they dominated their divisions.

***The only way to rank Brees above Rodgers is if you place stat compiling and Durability WAYYYY above Peak and Efficiency. (This becomes even more so if you factor in Rodgers mobility advantage over Brees).  A less extreme version of ranking Frank Gore above Terrell Davis.  

14 I don't want to fault him…

I don't want to fault him too much for finishing sub 500 a bunch of times. Those saint offenses were still good, the defenses were terrible and he played in a much harder division than any of his other contemporaries. I agree, Manning and Brady protected their defenses more by virtue of throwing fewer ints/ having much higher third down percentages while avoiding sacks.

 

The biggest issue plaguing Rodgers is that his peak by modern standards and modern contemporaries seems too short. Assuming this is truly the new normal for Rodgers(Which I am not ready to say it is), then it lasted from 2011 to 2017, with a bunch of injuries mixed in. 

 

And since the passing game has such an outsized impact compared to the run game, longevity carries a much larger value. Which would you rather have? 6 all time great seasons of qb play or 12 seasons of marginally worse but still damn good qb play?

15 Rodgers vs Brees

I'd rather have 7 Seasons of All Time Great QB play than 12 year of Quite Good since I think All Time Great makes a team almost a lock to be a Title Contender that year whereas Quite Good doesn't.

Brees having at most 1 year as Best QB in the League to me is a Gigantic Knock against him and any notion of ranking him among truly the All Time Great QBs.  This is also why I would put Favre ahead of Brees. Favre had at minimum 3 seasons where he was the Best QB, and was possibly closer to 4-6 seasons (would have to go through the years to look.)

Additionally, Brees not only gets a Significant Efficiency Deduction and Dome Deduction compared to Rodgers, but also a Payton Deduction.  The Difference in coaching ability between Payton and McCarthy is laughably absurd.

****I am also not so sure about how Strong the NFC South has been during Brees tenure.  Yes, I believe it has had the most SB participants? Although I would caution against putting too much on single elimination playoff formats.

Going back to 2002, the NFC South Collectively averages 1 Win More/Season than the NFC North (As of 2 years ago this is the data I found).  Through the 15 year stretch, the NFC South teams averaged 32 Wins/Year and the NFC North teams averaged 31 Wins/Year

 

16 The thing is, how do we know…

The thing is, how do we know ​​​​​​Payton deserves that credit. We can infer he does(and I think he does) but we don't know in the way we have more evidence that BB does given we've seen it. Furthermore, I laugh in amusement how identical Rodgers' numbers are this year compared to last despite it supposedly being McCarthy's fault. 

Also, saying Brees wasn't the best qb in the league requires context. He was competing with Manning and Brady - QBs virtually everyone considers at the very top of the QB heap.  

Brees production and consistency put him rareified air. It's just not enough to push him past a couple players. 

23 Rodgers's peak

Rodgers's peak was more like 2008-2015. And it was a crazy high peak. I am the first to agree he's now just a good-to-very good QB, but his peak was insane.

 

My impression of Brees is that he nearly always had very, very good pass protection. Don't know if the stats bear that out. The only mark against him is the INTs, and you can chalk a lot of that up to having to make plays because of his frequently horrible defenses. I think he's absolutely a first-tier QB.

18 Matthew Stafford having…

Matthew Stafford having Passing Yardage Seasons #11 and #12 tends to lend support to this notion.

Stafford found himself in the Breesian position of often having to try to throw his defense back into a lead.

You need to adjust for Stafford having to play on teams that while they had no better defenses than Brees' NO teams, they also had less offensive talent. (Yes, Stafford had Megatron. Brees had Colston, Graham, Moore, Thomas, Gates, Evans, Strief, and Bushrod.) This is a franchise that has cratered in any games Stafford misses.

Stafford is 69-79-1. The Lions in games without Stafford are 5-20. 4 of those wins came in a meaningless stretch in late 2010, when they went 4-0 after a 2-10 start. The Lions are basically break even under Stafford, and -100 point differential in the 25 games he's missed. If you project the non-Stafford rates over his career, Detroit turns into Jacksonville, or about 14 fewer wins. The performance in-season suggests that under-represents the actual performance of the Lions in non-Stafford games.

22 Stafford's a first ballot,…

Stafford's a first ballot, no brainer, HOFer, if he gets drafted by, say, Seattle, in 2009. It's easily plausible that he would be generally thought of as clearly superior to Rodgers.

So many of our qb narratives fail to fully, or sometimes even partially, account for the game having 44 starters, not including special teams, and that head coaches in the NFL have a larger influence on team performance than coaching does in any other sport.

20 Saints Offense vs Defense during losing seasons

Here are the team rankings for offense and defense during the three seasons where the Saints were 7-9:

2012 - Pass Offense 1st, Team Defense 31st

2014 - Pass Offense 3rd, Team Defense 31st

2015 - Pass Offense 1st, Team Defense 32nd (2nd worst defense in history)

2016 - Pass Offense 1st, Team Defense 31st

There is a big difference between the mediocre defenses that Manning and Rodgers played with occasionally and the historically bad defenses that Brees played with consistently. I don't think you can blame Drew Brees for the Saint's losing record those seasons. It is also important to consider that playing with those kinds of defenses affects the QBs efficiency and interception rates. When you are desperately trying to keep up with horrible defenses, you have to play a higher risk game. He certainly has the accuracy to avoid interceptions (he is the most accurate passer in history), he was simply forced to play a higher risk game in order to win. You can see this play out in the seasons where Drew Brees played with better defenses, his efficiency and interception stats improved.

31 They were 9th in 2012 (9/11…

They were 9th in 2012 (9/11 Pass/Rush)

7th (9/9) in 2014.

7th (7/15) in 2015.

6th (6/3) in 2016.

I think your stats are in terms of yardage. NY/A jives with the DVOA ratings, roughly. It's noteworthy that their entire offense worked. They ran efficiently in most of those years, too (really only 2015 was the exception, where they were just mediocre). 

NO usually has good line play -- almost uniformly good in pass blocking and decent to excellent in run blocking.

This is where I bring up Stafford again. Detroit is comically inept at running the ball. Low efficiency, low volume, and an offensive line which is mediocre to terrible at run blocking, and widely variable in pass blocking (occasionally excellent! also occasionally disastrous). I think if you simply swapped Stafford and Brees, they would have had each other's careers.

21 Brees to me is 4th

I think the admittedly subjective 'how many years was he the best' is important when evaluating Brees. Sure, there is a lot of value in being a Top-3/4 QB for like 13 out of 15 seasons, but sadly Drew will probably retire without an MVP award, and it is hard to say he was seriously snubbed in any year aside from maybe 2006 (where if you were to strip it from Tomlinson because of hte 'RB can't win MVP' logic, Peyton is probably a better argument). Maybe 2009 too, but there was an argument for Peyton, and Rivers/Favre had solid arguments too.

When your contemporaries are Manning, Brady and Rodgers, the fact that one guy has 5 MVPs, one has 3 and one has 2 matters.

The Brees/Rodgers argument is interesting because it is becoming a peak vs. longevity argument, assuming Rodgers doesn't have a rennaissance in his late 30s. To me, around 2016 or so I thought this was fairly settled, but Rodgers uneven play (for him) last three years has opened it back up. Rodgers definitely had higher hights, but W-L record aside, probably lower lows at this point.

27 2006 Manning was far far…

2006 Manning was far far better than 06 Brees. 2009 Brees had better numbers than 2009 Peyton, but then 2009 colts on pure talent  was a bad team masquerading as an undefeated sb contender.

 

2006 Manning was a seriously underrated season when it comes to all time great seasons. A 32nd ranked run defense will taper down volume totals no matter how efficient your offense is.

37 Manning 2006 was absurd

I fully agree about Manning's 06 being above Brees's, as you said by almost any advance metric, 2006 Manning is probably the most underrated season ever.

I was looking at it more from how voters would vote, where the Saints post-Katrina rebirth was such a huge story. I think Brees got 1st Team All Pro that year - the only time in his career to date where he got that.

It's amazing really that as good as Brees was, there is really no year where he was the clear-cut best QB in the NFL.

40 This is a hard one, but 2006…

This is a hard one, but 2006 and 2010 were the best seasons Manning has ever ushered that for different reasons. Manning has always compensated pass blocking through quick decisions and audibles, but if the blocking was just whipped immediately, Manning's offenses ground to halt. By 06, he had developed an ability to throw while having his feet all out of whack. That was really the last big flaw in his game. Rewatch the final drive of the afc title game in 06 to really appreciate how much that skill addition ended up paying huge dividends.

 

2010 Manning was, to me, the ultimate testament to a qb needing to protect his defense while having no faith in his overall skill talent, offensive line, nor running game. 

I have a hard time deciding between the two. 

48 For me, 2010 Manning was the…

For me, 2010 Manning was the best single season quarterbacking performance I've ever seen. It's the same reason why Brady's 4th quarter in Denver during the AFCCG might be the best quarter I've ever seen from that position. Brady took a brutal bludgeoning for 3 hours before that quarter began, yet the quality of throws he made, into tiny windows, in the face of more pounding from a great defense, in their stadium, in less than ideal weather, was astonishing. And he damned near pulled it off. 

Don't tell me what a guy did when the blocking was good and the receivers were doing their job. That's not nearly as compelling.

50 Brady 2015 AFCCG

I know I'm a Pats hater and all, but to me Brady's performance in the 2015 AFCCG gets a bit overrated.

That was more about just how absurdly dominant Gronk is. Without Gronk the Patriots probably score 3 points in that game. Brady had one amazing throw on the 4th and 10 on the TD drive, but the rest were fairly routine. I'll give Brady credit for somehow throwing the ball away with his knee approximately one inch over the field a good five times in that quarter.

52 Agreed. I thought that was…

In reply to by dmstorm22

Agreed. I thought that was more about Gronk's herculean efforts than anything else. I think Brady's finest playoff game was probably the 2004 afc title game.

38 Well the other way to look…

Well the other way to look at it is, when your contemporaries are Manning, Brady and Rodgers, it's pretty damned tough to be the best QB in the league! Brees' best years just happened to coincide with Rodgers' best years, which is plain unlucky. If he'd swapped those seasons to 2012 and 2015 he'd probably also have two MVP awards. 

Even if we accept Brees ranks below those contemporaries, ranking him historically on the basis of MVPs (or 'best QB' awards) won is silly. Are we suggesting Brett Favre was a better QB because his best seasons were in the mid/late 1990s when the competition among QBs was far weaker? (To be clear, Favre may have been better than Brees, I have no strong opinion. But this is a poor methodology by which to rank them.)

39 The mid-90s weren't that…

The mid-90s weren't that dire.

You still had Elway, Marino, Young, Aikman, Moon, Kelly, Testaverde, Bledsoe, Cunningham, and Gannon. Depending how you parse "mid", Montana was still around.

42 We are judging Brees against his contemporaries

To me it matters when trying to judge Brees's place against those same contemporaries. I agree it is less meaningful when looking at Brees vs. Favre or Brees vs. Elway.

But as this started with Brees vs. Rodgers, I do think it matters that Rodgers was able to separate himself from the other three on two different occasions.

As far as your point with Brees not winning MVP in 2011 and 2014, not sure why you're pointing out 2014, which wasn't all that great a year for him.

44 Correct about 2014, my…

Correct about 2014, my mistake. But we could just as easily use last year, when Brees was second in DYAR and DVOA, a long way clear of third, but lost out to Patrick Mahomes' historically great season. 

Looking back through the QB rankings on this site it's remarkable how consistent Brees has been. I wouldn't ding him at all for never finishing a long way clear of the rest, or winning a subjectively decided award, at a time when several other truly great (and famous) QBs were plying their trade.

 

45 I think it would be…

I think it would be interesting to look at those four and where they rank relative to each other each year.

It could be that Brees was never the best, but also always second best, with the others rotating in the top spot.

I do think it's hard to rank Brees over Brady or Manning, given they also have the longevity and career numbers.  But the argument of Brees vs. Rodgers is peak vs. longevity, and honestly, it's not like Brees has a low peak among HOF level QBs.  I think I'd feel comfortable ranking Brees ahead of Rodgers, despite Rodgers crazy high peak.

93 I decided to look into this…

I decided to look into this more.  I looked at the QBs' ranks in ANY/A season by season, and looked at each season where they finished in the top ten.  I then gave it a score using the following:

(11 - rank) ^ 2

This means being the top QB is worth 100, the second worth 81, third worth 64, down to tenth, worth 1.  So this weighs being the top QB heavily, and the difference between 1 and 2 is greater than 2 and 3, 3 and 4, and so forth.

I summed this for the entire careers (using to-date numbers for 2019), and got the following.

Brady: 588

Brees: 710

Manning: 880

Rodgers: 402

I'm actually surprised Brady is so low by this metric.

If we cut it from 2007 on (Brady's first #1), it goes Brees (597), Brady (538), Rodgers (402), Manning (359).  From 2010 on (Rodgers first top 5), it goes Brady (429), Brees (416), Rodgers (376), Manning (234).

I then looked just relative to each other.  For a given season, a QB gets a point for each one of the others he was better than.  (So Manning gets 0 points for 1998-2000; Brees gets 3 for 2009 (all healthy, Brees had the highest ANY/A); Rodgers gets 2 for 2011 (Manning hurt, so only better than two others).)  I like this as a way to remove seasons where not everyone was active - each QB is capped at how many of the others he was better than.

Brady: 19

Brees: 17

Manning: 24

Rodgers: 13

My biggest takeaway is that by this, like with almost all other metrics, Manning looks the best.  But it's surprising how well Brees comes out in a rate metric, and just how short Rodgers's actual peak was.

56 In the offseason, I did a…

In the offseason, I did a dumb little project trying to estimate the best QB's of the Super Bowl era.  I did this by looking at the stats most fans consider as important to being a good QB, and counting how often each QB was among the 5 best QB's in a season.  I then gave bonus points for winning and losing Super Bowls (since most fans weight that pretty heavily).

Anyway, looking just at "being a top 5 QB", here are the rankings:

1. Manning, 15 seasons

2. Brees, 12

3. Favre, 10

4. Marino, 9

5. Brady, Montana and Tarkenton, 8

8. Young, 7

9. Staubach, Rodgers, 6

85 I assume your issue is with…

I assume your issue is with Brady.  Remember, Brady was not a great statistical QB for most of the first 6 years of his career.  I have him as top 5 for: 05, 07, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17.  He barely missed in 2004 (behind Manning, Culpepper, McNabb, Favre, Brees and Trent Green).

51 I think Rodgers probably…

I think Rodgers probably only has an argument as best QB in 2011 and 2014.

Brees has an argument for 2008 and 2009.

Manning has 7 seaons! (00, 03, 04, 05, 06, 12, 13)

Brady has 4 seasons. (07, 10, 15, 17)

54 Is a dome really that much…

Is a dome really that much of an advantage to passing yards?  There have been 59 seasons where a QB has thrown for 4,500+ yards and 30 of them (51%) were outdoors.  2 of the top 3 were outdoors (Manning, Brady).  Marino (outdoors) threw for 5,000+ in one of the biggest outlier seasons ever.  Roethlisberger threw for 5,000 in Pittsburgh.

Yeah, it's good to avoid the potential for bad weather games, but are there that many?  And Mahomes threw for 340 last week in a snow storm.

80 Most games are outdoors

Since the merger, there have been 22,920 regular season NFL games. Less than 20% were played indoors, even if you call an open retractable roof indoors (which seems fair since it means mild weather). If playing indoors was no advantage, you would expect about 12 out of 59 high passing yardage seasons to be indoors. Instead, the percentage is more than double that. 

Even since 2001, outdoor games outnumber indoor games by more than 3-1.

So, yes, using your own stat, it does seem as if playing indoors a lot is a huge advantage in accumulating passing yards.

 

95 This is subject to style…

This is subject to style bias, though. How much of this is driven by Manning, Brees, Stafford, and Warner having played in domes?

Brees has a big dome-outdoor split, but Manning, Stafford, and Warner do not. Manning actually peaks in retractable roofs and has more yards per game outdoors than in.

99 It also is totally skewed by…

It also is totally skewed by a couple outlier QBs.

There have been 59 seasons with 4500 passing yards.  Eight of those belong to Brees.

Which means that if you remove Brees from the dataset, 22 of 51 have come from domed QBs (trusting Richie's count in post 54).

I'm also not sure that comparing a percentage of seasons to a percentage of games is exactly accurate, though it probably is close enough.

Aside: Matt Ryan, surprisingly, is tied with Peyton Manning for the second most 4500 yard seasons, with six.

106 Yeah, is it just coincidence…

Yeah, is it just coincidence that 3 of the top 5 yardage compilers of the 2010's (Brees, Ryan, Stafford) played in domes, or are they compiling because of the domes?

I'm still skeptical that playing in a dome makes it significantly easier to compile passing stats.  (But willing to be proven wrong!)

112 Indoor play helps passing stats...

I would not rely entirely (or even mostly) on the skew of the top 59 passing yardage seasons as evidence, so much as confirmation. The prevalence of indoor passers on the list came up only because an earlier poster relied on the 29-30 split to "prove" (wrongly) that playing a lot of games inside was no advantage.

There are existing studies that show that ANY/A and completion percentage drop in outdoor conditions compared to indoor ones, especially towards the end of the regular season. Similar studies look at particular thresholds of wind, temperature, and precipitation and give similar results: conditions that can only occur outdoors and happen more often later in the year hurt passing.

Those kinds of studies are not vulnerable to selection bias, since they are, in effect, comparing the same home teams and random selections of visiting teams in one set of conditions to another set of conditions. They show that playing outdoors in non-ideal conditions suppresses passing stats, and that at least some of those conditions are accounted for by the time of year.

110 Thinking the outdoor/indoor math through...

Using "indoor stadium game percentage" as a proxy for "home stadium is indoor stadium" is almost exactly correct, since every game has exactly one home team, and almost all home games are played in the home team's home stadium.

Another way to think of it is to ask "what percentage of home games are played outdoors?" and then to realize that the percentage of away games played outdoors must be exactly the same.

108 Here's a data point.  While…

Here's a data point.  While playing for the Saints, Drew Brees has averaged 313 passing yards per game at home, and averaged 309 passing yards per game in dome games on the road.  I thought a lot of his dome/outdoor split had to do with playing games on the road, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

82 Brees "WAR" info is actually informative!

I must strongly but respectfully disagree with "Q"...

(using PFF's "WAR" data...0

The highest WAR value in the PFF era is not actually a player who earned an NFL MVP award (Drew Brees, 5.54 in 2011). In fact, Brees led the NFL in WAR during both of Aaron Rodgers’ MVP seasons. Rodgers (2010) and Matt Ryan (2012) have both led the league in WAR and won an MVP in separate seasons. Tomlinson’s 2006 WAR number is the highest for a full season we’ve seen for a running back, while the highest non-quarterback WAR we’ve ever seen was earned by Antonio Brown in 2015 (1.36). The highest WAR ever earned by a defensive player was generated by Darrell Revis in his famous “Revis Island” season of 2009 (1.19)."

25 So Patriots/Giants Super…

So Patriots/Giants Super Bowl I has to be the biggest playoff upset in the DVOA era, but the '87 divisional round Vikings defeat of the Niners is a surprisingly close 2nd.

49 Saint Timothy smites, dare…

Saint Timothy smites, dare we say "tebows", the handlers of fiery pits of molten metal! 

I remember Fox and Elway practically rolling around on the grass on the sideline, laughing hysterically, so shocked they were by how that played out.

26 The Rodgers-Brees chatter is…

The Rodgers-Brees chatter is fascinating to follow because even though I'm clearly a Packers fan, Brees has long been my favourite non-Packer QB. And it really does come down to peak vs longevity. I would say Rodgers' peak is above Brady's, above Brees', and is in the P Manning stratosphere. However, he isn't playing the way he was in the 2009-2014 timeframe. 2016 had that nice "run the table" stretch, but it seems that is an outlier when you look at his play since *that* Week 7 game in 2015 when they were 6-0 and got stomped by Denver and never looked the same after.

Longevity speaks for itself. Brees is 40. He'll turn 41 during the playoffs.I don't expect to see Rodgers playing at the level Brees is (if he is playing at all) 4 years from now. I badly want Brees to maintain his records and play long enough that Brady can't catch him.

As for surrounding cast, you could say Rodgers had the defense (which isn't saying much), Brees had the coaching, and supporting skill position players could be a toss-up. Rodgers had more depth at WR until a couple years ago. Brees had better RB/TE weapons. Call it a wash.

The two areas I would say Rodgers has the clear leg up on Brees is his mobility and ball protection. At this stage in his career though, he is scrambling much less and instead of throwing INTs, he's just getting sacked on 3rd down *all* *the* *time*... which is infuriating to watch.

As for Stafford, he is definitely great. Is it fair to say his era with the Lions is a poor man's version of Brees with the Saints?

28 I also want to say how…

I also want to say how refreshing it is to have discussions like this with fans of all different teams and it stays pretty objective and level-headed. Venturing into the NFL subreddit is brutal.

30 Stafford is clearly…

Stafford is clearly underrated and has been wasted on awful teams, but I think calling him Brees in disguise is a bit of a stretch. Rivers was a QB who similarly toiled on inept, awful teams but his star shined more brightly. I think his career could have stretched even higher had he gone to an org with semi competence. 

32 When were the Chargers…

When were the Chargers really execrable? Rivers' early SD teams were some of the most loaded teams I've ever seen. Then the Lord of No Rings fired Marty.

34 Oh man, looking up post 2007…

Oh man, looking up post 2007 Sd was even worse than I thought. The average defensive DVOA ranking was like 24th. One year they had the 2nd ranked offense but had the 32 ranked defense. Another year they had a top 5 offense and defense but had a historically awful special teams that cost them a playoff spot.

 

In addition, I watched two straight years where the Chargers o line injuries nearly got Rivers killed in 15 and 16.  The chargers have also been notoriously snake bit when it comes to insane turnovers, missed fgs, and other untimely pratfalls. Then you add in the routinely pathetic fan showing causing home games to feel like road games and I find Rivers the most tragic qb figure that I've ever seen. There are alternate universes he ends up w four rings instead of being a forgotten martyr.

87 Welp, a disapointing end to…

Welp, a disapointing end to the year for the Rams, who are essentially eliminated from the playoffs with a crushing loss to the Cowboys. Technically if the Vikings lose twice and the Rams win twice they could get in, but that's not going to happen. It does feel a little bit unfair that the NFC is so good this year that the Rams could be tied for the fourth best team in the AFC, if they were an AFC team, and yet are full value for not being good enough to make the NFC playoffs. It feels like every year there's a team or two that are clearly good enough to be in the playoffs, it just sucks that this year it happened to my team.

104 At the start of the year, I…

At the start of the year, I read a stat that said over the last 21 or 22 years, one of the previous year's final four did not make the playoffs. I could not for the life of me decide who out of Pats, Chiefs, Saints, and Rams would miss out so I did the cowardly thing and decided this would be the year that trend stopped.

114 Repeat Divisional Champions

On a related note, it seems likely the AFC will repeat all 4 divisional champions. That has to be pretty rare - does anyone know the last time a Conference had all repeat division winners?

117 What is the competition for…

What is the competition for best free agent move in history?  Peyton Manning, Reggie White, Drew Brees.  Was Deion Sanders a free agent to SF or Dal?

Winner has to be Drew Brees, considering they have gotten 13+ seasons of HOF QB?

116 Found it

In both 2011 and 2012, the AFC Divisional winners were New England, Baltimore, Houston and Denver. In 2011, New England won the Super Bowl and in 2012, Baltimore won.

In both 2018 and 2019 the AFC Divisional winners look to be New England, Baltimore, Houston and KC. In 2018, New England won the Super Bowl and in 2019...

118 DVOA question

There's total DVOA and WEI DVOA. Then there's Off, Def and ST DVOA in the table which add up to total DVOA.

Wouldn't it be more informative to list the Off, Def and ST DVOA based on WEI ? You know, how those units are doing now.