DVOA Analysis
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Week 10 DVOA Ratings

Saints defense
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Other advanced analytics may disagree, but the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings continue to drive the New Orleans Saints bandwagon this week. The Saints end up with 52.1% DVOA for their 27-13 win over San Francisco, which is the second-highest single game of the Saints' season (behind last week's dismantling of Tampa Bay) and the second-highest single game of Week 10 (behind Las Vegas).

The high rating is a bit of a surprise for a sloppy game without a lot of yardage on either side, but this rating was built mostly with defense and special teams. The Saints offense put up an average DVOA despite having just 4.6 yards per play because they were moving the ball consistently, albeit without explosive plays. The Saints had a 53% success rate on plays compared to 41% for the 49ers. The Saints defense limited the 49ers to 4.3 yards per play with two interceptions. The running game was particularly bad, with just 49 yards on 25 carries; we'll come back to that in a few paragraphs. On special teams, a good day from Wil Lutz and a big kickoff return from Deonte Harris overcame two fumbles on punt returns. (Remember that our adjustments for playing indoors give a bit of a penalty to offense and a bit of a bonus to defense.)

Of course, the injury to Drew Brees will put a wrench into the Saints' Super Bowl hopes, especially since we don't know how long Brees will be out. Incorporating an estimate for the injury into our playoff odds simulation, we end up with the Saints dropping to fourth in Super Bowl odds.

The new No. 1 team in Super Bowl odds is the Pittsburgh Steelers, just barely over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Steelers played the third-best single game of the week, with a 51.9% DVOA that's basically tied with the Saints. This moved them ahead of the Chiefs and up to third in DVOA. The Steelers are still behind Kansas City in our DAVE ratings that incorporate some of our preseason data, but the Steelers have the one-game lead in the standings and an easier remaining schedule: 23rd by average DVOA of opponent compared to sixth for Kansas City. We now give Pittsburgh an 8.5% chance of finishing the regular season undefeated, although it's worth noting that they are far from a dominant team and would not be favored to finish up that perfect regular season with a Super Bowl title. Even in simulations where they go 16-0, Pittsburgh makes the Super Bowl only 42% of the time and wins the Super Bowl only 21% of the time.

The big winner of the week was Las Vegas, with 63.3% DVOA despite heavy opponent adjustments for playing a bad Denver team. The Raiders were floating around as one of the "record better than DVOA" teams, similar to Chicago and Cleveland, but the win over Denver lifted the Raiders eight spots from 22nd to 14th. The biggest drops of the week by good teams were Baltimore (from 24.5% to 17.2%, though they only dropped one place from fifth to sixth) and Tennessee (from 8.9% and 12th to 2.2% and 16th). Tennessee's drop made room for teams such as Buffalo, Minnesota, and Las Vegas to move up.

Returning to the Saints, I wanted to write a little bit about run defense. Shutting down the 49ers' running game this week moved the Saints into first place in run defense this year. Vince Verhei noticed while writing this week's Quick Reads just how good the Saints run defense has been. You may recall that this year we moved to a new version of DVOA, version 7.3, where the changes included counting quarterback scrambles as pass plays. Run defense is now an even more accurate look at how teams stop planned running plays.

Right now, we have the new version of DVOA run for every year back to 1999. And in that time period, the current Saints run defense DVOA of -37.3% would be the second-best run defense measured, trailing only the 2000 Baltimore Ravens at -38.7%.

It's not just the Saints, either. Right now, six different defenses have run defense DVOA of -28.0% or better. If the season ended today, six of the top 25 run defenses of the last 22 years would be playing in 2020. That's a lot. Are run defenses really that good this year?

OK, probably not. There's actually two things going on here and if we adjust for them, we can get a better idea of how good this year's Saints run defense really is compared to run defenses of the past.

Let's start with the list of the top 12 run defenses since 1999, full season, with a couple of 2020 teams added in:

Best Run Defense DVOA, 1999-2020
2000 BAL -38.7%
2020 NO* -37.3%
2008 BAL -35.2%
2014 DET -35.1%
2019 TB -34.7%
2018 HOU -34.5%
2015 NYJ -33.9%
2020 TB* -32.9%
2006 MIN -32.9%
2018 CHI -32.0%
2011 SF -31.9%
2000 TEN -31.8%
*through Week 10

You may have noticed that the majority of these teams come from just the last few years. Over half of the teams listed come from just 2014 or later. There's a reason for this, and it has to do with how DVOA is calculated. All plays, both passes and runs, get thrown into team DVOA. The league average for all plays is set to 0% every year. However, remember that passes are always more efficient than runs. So overall, the league average DVOA for passes is going to be positive every year while the league average DVOA for runs is going to be negative.

And this difference between passes and runs has gotten larger in recent years. Twenty years ago, the average run defense DVOA was around -5%. This started to go down around 2007 and reached its nadir in 2015, when the average run defense DVOA was -13.9%. For 2020 so far, the average run defense DVOA is -11.2%.

So instead of comparing run defense DVOA as compared to all plays, let's look at run defense DVOA compared only to other runs. We'll do this by subtracting each team's run defense DVOA from the league average for that season. Now we get this list of top dozen run defenses instead:

Best Run Defense DVOA vs. NFL Average, 1999-2020
2000 BAL -38.7% -5.1% -33.6%
2006 MIN -32.9% -4.7% -28.2%
2008 BAL -35.2% -7.2% -28.0%
2000 TEN -31.8% -5.1% -26.7%
2020 NO* -37.3% -11.2% -26.1%
2019 TB -34.7% -10.4% -24.3%
2011 SF -31.9% -7.6% -24.2%
2014 DET -35.1% -11.3% -23.8%
2018 HOU -34.5% -11.9% -22.6%
2006 BAL -26.8% -4.7% -22.1%
2000 NYG -27.2% -5.1% -22.1%
2010 PIT -30.8% -8.9% -21.9%
*through Week 10

Now only four of the top dozen teams have played since 2014. You can see with this table just how special that 2000 Ravens run defense was, as they really stand out compared to other teams since 1999. I've written a few times about the fact that the 2000 Ravens are not the greatest defense ever. They did not even lead the league in defensive DVOA during the regular season; Tennessee did. But the Ravens definitely might be the greatest run defense ever.

But there's another thing to consider if we want to compare the Saints to historical run defenses. The Saints have only played nine games this year. All the other defenses on that table played 16 games. As we know, extreme stats tend to (though they don't always) regress towards the mean with a bigger sample size. So of course, the best run defenses after Week 10 are not the same as the best run defenses after Week 17. No run defense has ever been better than -40% in DVOA through an entire season. It turns out that five different run defenses since 1999 were that good through Week 10, including two Ravens teams (but not the 2000 Ravens) and last year's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There's a new FO+ feature that allows subscribers to see both offensive and defensive DVOA through a specific week in a past season, split into pass and run. We can use that to look at historical run defenses through Week 10 only. We can compare those ratings to the NFL average in run defense for each year through Week 10, and then see where the Saints stand among first-half defenses in recent memory.

Best Run Defense DVOA vs. NFL Average
as of Week 10, 1999-2020
2016 BAL -50.4% -14.5% -35.9%
2019 TB -45.7% -12.3% -33.4%
2008 BAL -41.2% -8.0% -33.2%
2007 PIT -38.0% -7.8% -30.2%
2006 MIN -36.5% -6.4% -30.1%
2014 DET -42.4% -12.8% -29.6%
2014 DEN -42.1% -12.8% -29.3%
2000 BAL -35.4% -7.0% -28.4%
2007 BAL -36.0% -7.8% -28.2%
2011 SF -35.8% -7.8% -28.0%
2020 NO -37.3% -11.2% -26.1%
2000 NYG -33.0% -7.0% -26.0%

That's a better look at where the Saints really stand among the best run defenses of the last 22 years. You'll notice that the 2000 Ravens aren't at the top of this list. I said that extreme stats tend to regress towards the mean, but they don't always. The 2000 Ravens run defense was great through the first half of the season and then actually got better in the second half of the season, which is why they're on top of the full-season lists above but not this list.

As for the other run defenses of 2020, they also come out lower when we compare them to both the NFL average in run defense and historical teams measured specifically through Week 10. The 2020 Buccaneers would be 21st on this list. The 2020 Ravens and Colts would be 32nd and 33rd.

* * * * *

Football Outsiders playoff odds, snap counts, and the FO+ database are now all updated through Week 10.

We've made another change in our playoff odds this week, with a new, even more accurate equation to predict each team's chance of winning the remaining games. With this new equation, we'll no longer need to do the "scaling of DAVE to standard deviation" that we started a couple of weeks ago. That means the DAVE rating (later weighted DVOA) that is published on the playoff odds page will match the ratings on our regular DVOA pages.

With the new equation, the Jets (who had the week off) see their odds of finishing 0-16 go up from 11.7% to 14.9%. As for the odds I've been running of all the NFC East teams having various dismal records, we're having a technical problem with our query tool today but I'll try to post those odds here once we get things cleared up.

UPDATE: We finally got the query tool working properly.

  • Odds the entire NFC East is 7-8-1 or worse: 82.8%
  • Odds the entire NFC East is 6-9-1 or worse: 45.5%
  • Odds the entire NFC East is 5-10-1 or worse: 9.3%

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 10 weeks of 2020, 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.

Opponent adjustments are now at full strength.

DAVE is a formula which combines our preseason forecast with current DVOA to get a more accurate projection of how a team will play the rest of the season. DAVE is currently 36% preseason forecast for teams with nine games played and 24% preseason forecast for teams with 10 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>


1 NO 36.1% 1 30.1% 1 7-2 13.5% 6 -17.3% 5 5.4% 5
2 TB 29.9% 2 24.9% 2 7-3 9.7% 8 -22.0% 1 -1.8% 23
3 PIT 25.0% 4 20.4% 4 9-0 0.9% 16 -20.4% 2 3.7% 8
4 KC 23.7% 3 23.8% 3 8-1 24.3% 1 -0.6% 14 -1.3% 22
5 IND 23.1% 6 18.1% 5 6-3 0.4% 18 -18.8% 4 3.9% 6
6 BAL 17.2% 5 14.6% 6 6-3 -5.8% 24 -12.7% 6 10.2% 2
7 GB 16.0% 7 9.5% 9 7-2 21.1% 2 3.2% 16 -1.9% 24
8 SEA 15.7% 8 13.5% 7 6-3 16.0% 4 7.2% 23 6.9% 3
9 LAR 14.5% 9 11.8% 8 6-3 14.4% 5 -7.4% 8 -7.2% 29
10 MIA 12.1% 10 3.5% 13 6-3 -0.2% 19 -1.6% 13 10.7% 1
11 ARI 11.2% 11 8.5% 10 6-3 7.3% 12 -5.1% 9 -1.2% 21
12 BUF 5.2% 13 4.9% 11 7-3 6.3% 13 3.6% 17 2.5% 9
13 MIN 4.3% 14 2.4% 14 4-5 8.1% 10 -4.6% 10 -8.4% 30
14 LV 2.5% 22 0.8% 17 6-3 8.6% 9 6.6% 21 0.5% 16
15 SF 2.3% 15 1.4% 15 4-6 -0.9% 21 -3.4% 12 -0.2% 18
16 TEN 2.2% 12 3.7% 12 6-3 20.8% 3 8.9% 24 -9.6% 31
17 CAR 2.0% 16 -1.3% 19 3-7 9.8% 7 9.8% 27 2.0% 11
18 CHI 0.0% 17 0.9% 16 5-5 -21.6% 29 -19.8% 3 1.9% 12
19 DET -3.0% 21 -1.1% 18 4-5 5.8% 14 9.6% 25 0.7% 15
20 ATL -8.6% 20 -2.9% 20 3-6 -0.5% 20 7.0% 22 -1.1% 20
21 CLE -8.8% 23 -6.9% 21 6-3 0.9% 17 3.6% 18 -6.1% 28
22 HOU -9.1% 18 -7.2% 22 2-7 0.9% 15 10.0% 28 0.0% 17
23 LAC -9.8% 19 -8.0% 23 2-7 7.5% 11 4.9% 19 -12.4% 32
24 WAS -13.9% 24 -15.0% 27 2-7 -21.7% 30 -10.4% 7 -2.5% 25
25 NE -14.8% 26 -12.1% 26 4-5 -2.0% 22 16.6% 32 3.7% 7
26 NYG -15.4% 25 -11.8% 25 3-7 -12.4% 25 9.7% 26 6.8% 4
27 JAX -16.4% 30 -15.4% 28 1-8 -4.7% 23 13.2% 31 1.5% 13
28 DAL -21.0% 27 -18.5% 29 2-7 -16.9% 27 6.4% 20 2.3% 10
29 PHI -23.0% 28 -11.3% 24 3-5-1 -20.7% 28 1.3% 15 -1.0% 19
30 CIN -26.0% 31 -21.9% 30 2-6-1 -15.6% 26 11.4% 30 1.0% 14
31 DEN -29.6% 29 -22.5% 31 3-6 -30.0% 32 -3.4% 11 -3.0% 26
32 NYJ -38.1% 32 -29.6% 32 0-9 -23.7% 31 10.5% 29 -4.0% 27
  • 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 NO 36.1% 7-2 31.4% 7.7 3 7.7% 3 -5.7% 26 19.0% 26
2 TB 29.9% 7-3 29.0% 7.8 2 4.0% 8 3.7% 8 31.2% 32
3 PIT 25.0% 9-0 39.3% 7.6 4 -12.6% 32 -2.8% 23 8.5% 14
4 KC 23.7% 8-1 29.4% 8.1 1 -8.3% 31 4.6% 6 3.7% 2
5 IND 23.1% 6-3 28.3% 6.4 6 -7.6% 30 1.6% 14 10.7% 16
6 BAL 17.2% 6-3 24.0% 5.9 13 -2.6% 23 -8.6% 30 17.2% 25
7 GB 16.0% 7-2 12.8% 6.2 9 4.4% 7 0.2% 17 14.7% 21
8 SEA 15.7% 6-3 15.1% 6.9 5 0.6% 14 -8.9% 31 6.4% 10
9 LAR 14.5% 6-3 21.4% 6.2 8 -4.2% 27 2.5% 10 15.4% 22
10 MIA 12.1% 6-3 17.6% 5.9 12 -3.4% 25 -11.0% 32 16.3% 23
11 ARI 11.2% 6-3 18.6% 6.3 7 -4.3% 28 -0.9% 19 6.1% 8
12 BUF 5.2% 7-3 7.2% 6.1 10 -0.9% 19 -2.5% 22 12.5% 19
13 MIN 4.3% 4-5 -1.6% 6.0 11 5.8% 4 3.9% 7 10.0% 15
14 LV 2.5% 6-3 -2.5% 5.0 16 3.7% 10 -3.9% 25 12.2% 18
15 SF 2.3% 4-6 1.6% 5.2 14 1.4% 11 2.0% 11 23.8% 30
16 TEN 2.2% 6-3 5.0% 5.0 17 -2.6% 22 2.7% 9 8.3% 11
17 CAR 2.0% 3-7 -4.5% 4.4 20 10.6% 1 1.6% 12 6.2% 9
18 CHI 0.0% 5-5 -4.3% 4.6 19 8.5% 2 1.3% 15 3.3% 1
19 DET -3.0% 4-5 -7.4% 4.7 18 5.8% 5 6.5% 4 8.3% 12
20 ATL -8.6% 3-6 -3.0% 4.2 21 -1.5% 20 21.2% 1 5.4% 7
21 CLE -8.8% 6-3 -2.3% 5.1 15 -3.1% 24 -6.9% 27 27.5% 31
22 HOU -9.1% 2-7 -10.0% 3.3 26 5.2% 6 0.6% 16 3.9% 3
23 LAC -9.8% 2-7 -8.2% 3.2 28 3.8% 9 -8.5% 29 4.1% 5
24 WAS -13.9% 2-7 -12.5% 3.5 24 -4.9% 29 -3.6% 24 13.3% 20
25 NE -14.8% 4-5 -12.1% 3.5 23 1.2% 13 -2.0% 21 23.1% 29
26 NYG -15.4% 3-7 -14.0% 3.7 22 -2.3% 21 -2.0% 20 8.4% 13
27 JAX -16.4% 1-8 -15.5% 3.3 25 -0.4% 18 9.0% 3 20.3% 27
28 DAL -21.0% 2-7 -22.4% 3.3 27 -0.4% 17 -7.8% 28 20.8% 28
29 PHI -23.0% 3-5-1 -13.8% 2.3 29 -3.6% 26 5.0% 5 4.1% 4
30 CIN -26.0% 2-6-1 -26.7% 2.3 30 0.1% 15 -0.7% 18 4.6% 6
31 DEN -29.6% 3-6 -26.7% 2.3 31 1.3% 12 10.2% 2 12.0% 17
32 NYJ -38.1% 0-9 -45.3% 1.2 32 0.0% 16 1.6% 13 16.5% 24


88 comments, Last at 20 Nov 2020, 11:25am

1 Eyeballing how few teams…

Eyeballing how few teams made a greater than +-1 movement on the DVOA chart, I think we've certainly reached the point of the season where we basically know what each team is, with about 90% confidence. We can definitely put to bed all talks about the NFC West being some sort of powerhouse, as opposed to having three great, but not elite teams, plus a fourth that is elite but is injured back to irrelevance.

That being said, I wonder if it would be advantageous to win the NFCW, or really any of the other divisions, if you knew by losing you got to go play the NFCE team. Basically, is it better to be the 2,3,4 seed with a home game versus a real playoff team, or the 5th seed, and have to play a road game versus a cupcake NFCE team? Considering that even the best NFCE team is 24th in the league at about -14%, and the 7th seed would probably be the third NFCW team, at about +10%, statistically you'd think it would actually be an easier game on the road.

EDIT: It's also pretty funny how only the Eagles have any playoff chances as a wildcard, with a 0.4% chance of being the 7th seed, per the playoff odds. I would love to see the earliest any division has ever had all four teams with a <0.1% chance of making it as anything other than the division winner.

2 DVOA is clearly wrong because...

...there simply cannot be two teams with worse special teams than Minnesota. They almost lost to Chicago due to special teams play. Watching Koyaanisqatsi would bring me more joy than watching the Vikings on special teams...

3 However, remember that…

However, remember that passes are always more efficient than runs.

Be careful in assuming this is always true, especially as DVOA pushes further back in time.

13 In terms of yards per attempt

It is true. 

Lowest yards per pass attempt: 1934 at 4.4 (ypc at 3.8)

Highest yards per rush attempt: 2020 and 2018 at 4.4 (ypa at 7.3 and 7.4)

Always found that pretty convincing (or at least should for a casual). I understand where you're coming from but even when adjusting I'm sure not much changes unless you go WAY back.

14 Rushing vs. passing

Not sure if this is WAY back, but 1978:

Adjusted net yards per pass attempt (which takes into account touchdowns, interceptions, and sacks): 4.0

Rushing yards/attempt: 4.0

The other Seventies years are similar.

15 If you go back into the…

If you go back into the 1980s in DVOA, you can see that the best offenses (top 5 & change) tend to be much more efficient at passing than rushing, but as you get down into the above average-to-average offenses, quite a few of them were more efficient running the ball than they were throwing. Seems to almost be a transition era where the best QBs and offenses were capable of taking advantage of liberalized passing rules, but many teams were still more effective running the ball.

By the 90s it seems that the passing/rushing efficiency split is pretty entrenched, give or take a 1990 Barry Sanders-type season.

The '93 49ers also have a pretty crazy rushing DVOA. Mike Shanahan + Steve Young?

18 Now just need to compare it to adjusted rushing

Which I've actually been tracking (for this year)! Found a site that had a formula for adjusted net yards per rush attempt (ANY/RA). They shut down a few years ago as the latest data was from 2016. 

Would love to input prior years but I'm just doing it on excel right now and I'm not even too great w/that! 

And on top of that, some may quibble w/the values for interceptions and touchdowns (and fumbles for it's rushing counterpart that I found but couldn't find an explanation for where they got, unlike ANY/A). Even since they've been recording sacks (1949, pretty straight forward where that value comes from), NY/A has always been > YPC too. Lowest NY/A: 5.1 in 1952 (and the YPC that year was 3.8). 

Really wish I was knowledgeable in programs like R to compile stuff. Would like to try and make  ANY/RA a little more accurate and maybe another similar metric too, but that's getting ahead of myself.

45 We do need fumble adjustment, but passing has gone thru roof

Taking 3 random years from the 1970's and comparing them to the past 3 years:

                      INT Rate      NY/A (takes sacks into account)     Y/Carry       Pass play/run play

1972                 5.3                        5.7                                          4.1

1975                 5.3                        5.4                                          4.0

1979                 4.7                        5.8                                          4.0

AVG                  5.10                     5.63                                         4.03              +39.7%

2018                 2.1                        7.3                                           4.4

2019                 2.1                        7.1                                           4.3

2020                 2.2                        6.5                                           4.4

AVG                2.13                       6.97                                         4.37              +59.5%

Change           -58.2%                +23.8%                                    +8.4%


Passing is WAY more efficient than running as compared to the 70's.  With interception rates so low, the risk of passing has been greatly reduced, the yardage greatly increased.  Passing is WAY more efficient than running in today's game.  But here are some more factors in favor of the passing game:

1.  Pass interference, defensive holding, illegal contact, roughing the passer, hitting a defenseless receiver

2.  There are more holding penalties called on run plays than pass plays 

3.  NFL stats erroneously puts QB scrambles as a running play. This skews the data if favor of running plays.  DVOA has correctly put these as pass plays.  

DVOA shows enormous difference in DVOA for passing vs running.  The top passing teams are off the charts compared to the top running teams.




47 All true

The rules have certainly helped widen the gap but as you posted, even the run game has improved (and still lagged behind). Took decades for teams to get over their fear of flying and realized that it's way quicker (efficient) than driving and watching the car break down after a few yards as it easily gets honed in on after breaking the LOS. 

Even including scrambles, passing is more efficient. But if you're gonna rush, get running QBs like Cam, Lamar or Kyler (ANY/RA leader) who can always have that to fall back on as it's likely the most efficient running (still want to have them be the most efficient passers though). 

50 Lamar Jackson, do you want him after rookie deal?

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

Yes, the QB run is a great play, we have little to no history with this but...  do these guys have a shelf life?   Are they part RB and part QB so that they never last like Brady, Manning, Brees, Rodgers, Rivers etc.  I am a Ravens fan and am in no way convinced that the Ravens should keep Lamar after his rookie deal is up (maybe do the Dak Prescott franchise tag for 1-2 years). I likely stand alone or in small company in Baltimore on this opinion.  But Cam has declined dramatically at a relatively young age, and I wonder what the future is for these guys, especially Lamar Jackson.

Can the Ravens possibly have a good team with a salary cap that includes a $30 million or more Lamar Jackson?

Is Lamar Jackson really a great QB?  What great QB in recent memory is on a team that has an offensive DVOA where the Ravens are now?  The Ravens fans on here should be responding soon with their dissenting votes.  Wondering what those outside Baltimore think.

52 Might be overreacting

Looking at https://www.playerprofiler.com/nfl/lamar-jackson/ his best comparable is Deshaun Watson who, got paid, and has played 47/57 games and looking at Watsons best comparable, Dak, who, should been paid like his NFCE classmate, has played 69/73(will be 80). Then Daks best comparable wraps back to Deshaun. So take that as you will. And just thinking about other mobile guys like Kyler and Russ, they haven't missed a SINGLE start in their careers so far. And comparing him to Watson as a lot do, he has a higher career ANY/A (and since he entered the league too) and that's really without a surefire WR1. Maybe not the greatest idea to get a LB and (especially another) RB in the first 2 rounds of this years draft but whatever. 

Lamar is a different runner than Cam too so I wouldnt worry so much about that (even though Cam is still playing). Maybe draft a more valuable positions as Lamar can make average RBs look good.

53 Scary comparisons /You are making my point to not sign Lamar

I do not believe that the Lamar Jackson style of QB gets hurt more than the traditional pocket passer, simply that they will age out of greatness at an earlier age than the traditional QB, certainly an unproven theory.  (not that I think Lamar is greatness).

Houston is not good (-9.1% DVOA) with DeShaun Watson on a low cap hit this year, and Dallas had negative DVOA in the games that Prescott played this year. Clearly, he is a monumental upgrade from his replacements.  Losing Dak shows how awful the other 46+QB Cowboys can play.  When you use so much cap space for a QB, you suffer in other areas.  Just ask Seattle, who went from the legion of Boom defense to the legion of Doomed pass defense in a few years.

I would argue that since Dak is on a franchise tag, that Dallas should blow it up.  The Ravens will never be dumb enough to pay a RB what Dallas is paying Zeke Elliott.  In my opinion, Dallas is ruined until they can unwind this absurd contract.

With regards to Watson, if you are going to pay a guy this kind of upcoming money, he needs to virtually be a hall of famer to have a chance at winning a Super Bowl.  The scary thing about the Watson contract is that his cap hit according to overthecap.com is:

2020 $9.8M,

2021 $15.9M

2022 $40.4M

2023 $42.4M

2024: $34.7M

2025  $32M

If the team is -9.1% DVOA at his "low" cap hit this year, what are we to expect of Houston in upcoming years?  To make things worse their 2-7 record will land them a nice pick in the third round, their first pick in the upcoming draft.


63 Houston is not good (-9.1%…

Houston is not good (-9.1% DVOA) with DeShaun Watson on a low cap hit this year, and Dallas had negative DVOA in the games that Prescott played this year.

Woof, knowledge is not wisdom.

Houston is at -9% because Watson is dragging them that high on his own. He's playing on a college roster. Prescott was the only Dallas player who hadn't turned into a pumpkin this year. Those are Jetsian teams without them.

As for aging faster out of greatness, Steve Young's runningest years came at ages 30, 31, and 37. Gannon was at age 35.

66 That's scary?

So not only do you think Lamar is, essentially, bad but also Watson and Dak? Idk what to tell ya man. Sure a Mahomes would be great it's unrealistic for every team to have their own. He's NOT the only QB that can win a SB. Think you're overreacting to a small sample size for all of em. Akin to a lot of the Rodgers overreacting when they went, not just 7-9, but also 6-9-1 the next year. Then reality hit and it wasn't really that Rodgers just lost it but inept coaching and diminishing talent around and now he's suddenly a lot better with a higher cap hit to boot. Rodgers always, more or less, had it, team just started to neglect other important aspects. 

And Watson isn't the 1st QB to be the 2nd highest paid player. That line is always moving. If anything it's a reason to break the bank ASAP and then watch a flurry of others surpass. See it every year (although Mahomes contract is pretty unordinary so that wont be broken for a while, kinda like Aaron Donalds for his respective position, but they will be passed eventually). 

Overall IDK where you think you can get a better QB. If they fall to you in the draft, sure. But let's not act like they're in the long been mediocre category like a Cousins or Stafford where their teams are stuck in purgatory. Dak, Lamar, and Watson are good and their offenses aren't the reason their teams arent good. Dont let half a season change that when they have a bigger sample size of being even better. Dont always need the best QB to win.

68 The hot take is that Mahomes…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

The hot take is that Mahomes is also on a really good roster, one built to his strengths, and he has the perfect coach. Reid is the QB whisperer who can salvage anyone off the scrap heap and who can tame even the wildest of QBs (Vick, Favre).

Because we've seen what Mahomes is when you put a shitty roster around him and give him no defense, even paired with a decent coach. He was 16-21 at Texas Tech, with Kingsbury as his HC. He still puts up big numbers, but his turnovers explode and his discipline erodes. He gets Winston-y.

71 Well what happens when Mahomes high cap hit takes effect?

Mahomes is highly paid, but his cap hit is low.  Here is his cap hit according to over the cap (approx numbers)

2020:  $5M

2021   $25M

2022   $31M

2023:  $42M

2024:  $40M

2025:  $42M

2026:  $42M

2027:  $60M

2028:  $45M

2029:  $45M

2030  $50M

2031 $52M

Certainly their may be some restructuring, but do you think that Mahomes will have a good enough roster once his cap hit expands massively?  Or do you think that he puts up records like you mention at Texas Tech?  Or something else?


74 There's a lot of history of this.

You think Tom Brady, Peyotn Manning, etc stayed on rookie scale contracts throughout their career? No but they're the QB and they're the driving force on offense. So even when Brady lost SB MVP Deion Branch AND had his salary increase, the Patriots offense kept rolling. Even when Pey Pey lost OROTY Edgerrin AND his cap hit went up, he and his offense was fine. Were things always perfect? No but in the end they and their salary were NOT the problem. Even Daks insane cap jump kept them in the top 11 offensively and probably wasnt higher because of Zekes contract, not Daks. Zeke has been really bad this year.  

Yes it is a concern but history has shown us the QB is the main piece and ultimately a very small concern. They just have to keep spending on important positions (ie WR and its counterparts) to buoy the best they can when others are up for another contract. So again, look at how the Ravens are doing that in the draft. Not the best of decisions early in the draft this past April. 

73 Not even hot

Everyone knows he's in a great place. But as we saw right before him, Alex Smith is (rather was) in the same company as a Cousins or Stafford. You know what you're getting from your limited QB. And to the Chiefs credit they know the value in pass catchers that the league is hesitant to accept such as WR = 2nd most valuable position. So even when they're down 24 to the Texans in the 2nd, they can wipe that lead out in a quarter despite having a meh defense. 

Kliff is the epitome of failing up. Dude almost cost the Cards the game on Sunday with that inept play calling the drive before the Diggs TD. Speaking of that game, you see how the respective teams in that game value WR? They've reached new levels because of them while the teams that traded them are...not so great (but in the Vikings credit JJ is really good but it took some time as one might expect with a rookie vs the vet Diggs).

So reiterating myself, maaaaaybe dont select a RB in the 2nd when you're top WRs are Brown and Snead and Ingram and Edwards are fine at RB and you selected a LB in the 1st? Juuuuust maybe. And Dobbins is actually pretty good. RBs just dont move the needle though.

80 SO agree on Dobbins

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I say it all the time, the best receivers that the Ravens have are Brown and Snead, but it sounds so much worse when someone else says it.

I was so shocked that the Ravens took a RB (Dobbins) in the second round.  They traded Hayden Hurst for him no less (UGHHHHHHHH!!).  I do not think any RB is worth taking before the 4th round; even that may be too high.

I also agree on Cliff Kingsbury.  The coach QB combo is so important to long term stability of the franchise, I think Cliff is getting a big boost from Murray and should be jettisoned.  At least Cliff went for the hail Mary (had time for two if needed) instead of trying a 10-15 yard out pattern before going for the end zone.  I also know that no Raven in history makes that catch.

 Yes Brown and Snead are the best WR, but this is basically the same WR crew they had last year with a great offense.  I do not know how efficiency is calculated, but I believe every WR on the Ravens was above average last year in efficiency.  As for Dobbins, I do not care if he is in, or Ingram or Gus Edwards.  They even have Justice Hill who they drafted in the 4th round the year before.

As for RB's, the Panthers can lose and occasionally win just as easily with McCaffrey playing or out.

As for Brady and Manning, Brady was always a bargain, salary cap is about relative value, Brady was never the top paid QB, often ranking somewhere in the middle.  I do not know the facts about Manning's salary.  But of course I am willing to pay the best two of all time big money.

Prescott, Watson, Jackson, none project out to best of all time.  I believe that Mahomes was a bit early for such a big signing, I am willing to question the Chiefs future with such an enormous contract.  Time will tell, we can pick up the Mahomes part of this discussion in 5-7 years.  Of course that would be a sample size of 1, if he is great and the Chiefs continue to be great, than it hurts my argument.  But it is interesting to ponder the future of a QB off to a fabulous start to his career.

81 At least Cliff went for the…

At least Cliff went for the hail Mary (had time for two if needed) instead of trying a 10-15 yard out pattern before going for the end zone.  I also know that no Raven in history makes that catch.

First, it's Kliff, and Second, Kliff did indeed call a 10-15 yard out pattern.  You could see it in the replay.  The play took so long to develop that Murray chucked it deep instead.

85 I looked at the replay a few times

I looked at the replay a few times, I do not see the out pattern, please do not throw me off a kliff if I am in error.  Enjoy the game tonight, it should be a kliffhanger.

Part of what I love about making statements on this site is that no matter what you say there is always a contrarian viewpoint.  Of course I am one of those people that make contrarian statements too.  But its all in good fun.

86 They were always gonna regress

I just dont think it's that big of a problem. I mostly agree on the rest.

Brady taking bargains is always overstated. Did he ever destroy the market like Mahomes? No but let's not act like he was playing for barely above what he got on his rookie contract. For example, his cap hit is 8th this year at $25m, tied with Aaron Donald (hmmm), and Pip Rivers. Certifiably top 11 isn't that big of a discount especially when you factor in his age and just simply leaving Bill and NE for the first time which factors in as an unknown. Last year he was 12th. In his SB season, 2018: 11th tied with Pip again. Not exactly "middle." And at the time of his retirement Peyton was the highest paid player of all time by over >$60m more than the next player and is now only bumped down to 5th. 

And Mahomes cap hit isnt #1 until 2023. Likely passed up in terms of AAV by then and even if it's not, he's the best, who cares. Question it all you want but they'll likely be fine as long as they stop selecting RBs on day 1 (a luxury only afforded because they just won and their QB was asking for him too). History is not filled with rookie SB MVPs. If you wanna play russian roulette again, go ahead. But having a good QB is the way to consistently compete. Look at the Packers from when Rodgers got there (or even started starting) to where they are now. Rodgers has gotten paid but he's been passed up and...the Packers are still good! Almost literally everyone is new outside of him. New coaches, new GM, entirely new OL (Bulaga left this spring), weapons, defense, etc. A lil dip for a bit but Rodgers is still Rodgers even with a high cap hit and there shouldnt be one person regretting the money they gave him. Other things yes, but not his contracts. How are the Saints still good? Payton and Carmichael help but it's Brees! 

Dak could've been extended in 2019 BEFORE Wentz, Goff, Russ, Mahomes, and Watson. They could've had him for cheap(er) but now the market has moved on. That's what happens when you dilly dally and cant make up your mind. Go ahead and look like a villian using the franchise tag that no player likes, on the most important position in the game. You'll just increase their asking price. 

56 Run & Gunners

Randall Cunningham?
Fran Tarkenton?
Steve Young?
Michael Vick stayed healthy enough to run for over 6000 yards.
Then you go back to the days before they gave receivers and QBs non-contact jerseys and the passing game was less dominant. Tobin Rote ran as much as he passed and clotheslining was standard tackling form, yet Rote was still in the league for 16 seasons. That was far from an anomaly.

57 Run & Gunners

Randall Cunningham?
Fran Tarkenton?
Steve Young?
Michael Vick stayed healthy enough to run for over 6000 yards.
Then you go back to the days before they gave receivers and QBs non-contact jerseys and the passing game was less dominant. Tobin Rote ran as much as he passed and clotheslining was standard tackling form, yet Rote was still in the league for 16 seasons. He was far from an anomaly.

67 Volume of runs vs Jackson / Dak and Watson discussion

In reply to by RobotBoy

There is no comparison to Jackson here are career run totals over long careers:

Vick:              873

Cunningham 775

Young           772

Tarkenton     675


Jackson 413, and he has not played two full season.  What is the projection over an 18 year career like Tarkenton?


I do not think that Dak is a bad QB.  The point is that it is hard to build a great team with a highly paid QB.  

As far as Watson goes he has been above average the last two years in DYAR (12th in 2018 and 10th in 2019) and 6th this year.

It is dangerous to pay so much to a QB that is clearly not elite.

70 Joe Flacco

Yes it is hard to build a great team.  Only one in 16 teams make the Super Bowl.  On the other hand, some great teams simply get upset in the playoffs.

There is the Brady exception, but he was vastly underpaid.  Denver was an oddity winning the Super Bowl in Manning's final year (winning on defense in this era).

Joe Flacco's Ravens won a playoff game in all 5 years of his rookie deal, making it to 3 AFC Championship games and one Super Bowl.  You are being specific to the AFC, but the NFC has had Wilson, Wentz (Foles), and Goff in the Super Bowl in recent years.  No Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger in over a decade.  They were young and great, became old and great/very good, but still have never made it back to the big stage.  Certainly some opportunity this year.

72 It's been more frequent for…

In reply to by jheidelberg

It's been more frequent for the NFC, but they've been repped by Handsome Jim, Foles, Ryan, Newton, Kaepernick (with Smith's salary), Wilson (with Flynn's salary), Eli (x2), Rodgers, Warner, Breesus, Hasselback, McNabb, Delhomme, and the two-headed Johnson.

Teams who were utterly cheap at the position were basically the Goff Rams, the Grossman Bears, and yeah, the Foles/Wentz Eagles. Two of those teams had utter liabilities at QB in the Super Bowl and lost winnable games. Foles was fortunate to play against a Matt Patricia defense.

30 You need to keep in mind how…

You need to keep in mind how ridiculously profligate the passing game was with turnovers before the recent era. As late as 1992, INTs outnumbered TDs. In 2018, the ratio broke 2:1 for the league. There are active players who played in an environment where replacement-level was 1:1. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Ben Roethlisberger have had a bottom-heavy season.

If you push back to 1942, the ratio is inverted, and is now 1:2.


41 Of course turnovers matter

But running causes turnovers too. Depends on how you value turnovers (or could be turnovers for rushing since fumble recoveries seem random) as stated above. Still, YPC hasn't even been equal to adjusted (for touchdowns and interceptions) yards per attempt (AY/A) since 1950 when they were both at 4.2 and not flat out lower since 1944 when YPC was an abysmal 3.2 and AY/A was 2.2

That football is completely unrecognizable compared to todays. So although in1992 the TD% was 3.8% and the INT% was 3.9%. That total was <8% of throws. Surely it doesnt outweigh the other 92.3%, right? It was still more efficient on a per play basis to move the ball passing wise despite floating around 1:1

Always sounds scary of floating the ball in the air to get it to one guy while the 11 defenders try to get it themselves but then you realize they only get it ~4% of the time (and even less scoring with it)! Which is about the same % as not only your guy getting it, but also scoring a TD! 

4 Weird.  While I don't…

Weird.  While I don't disagree that New England has been bad... somewhere in the low 20-s seems about right... the OFF-DEF splits strike me as curious.  My impression has been that the Patriots defense has been at best mediocre, but has been the strongest element of the team, while their offense has been completely dysfunctional.  Yet DVOA has them as a lower-middle of the road offense and the worst defense in the league.  

Granted, I missed arguably their two worst games of the season (Denver and SF), and they did give up a ton of points to the lowly Jets, but I wouldn't have put them as worst defense in the league, behind even Dallas and Seattle.  

9 In terms of Yards...

...they're nowhere close to Seattle and in terms of points given up they're nowhere close to Dallas.


That said, they got run on by Denver and Seattle viciously, gang-rape style.  So bad that I seriously wondered if Belichick forgot how to coach.

19 Patriots are playing a different type of football than others

The Patriots are basically running out the clock from start to finish .  They run, run, run, and throw dink and dunk passes, the clock is constantly running. Their games are over in less than 3 hours for the most part.  My guess is that there are fewer possessions in an average Patriots game than any other team in football.  This would allow the defense to allow fewer points than many teams, despite having a bad defense.  

Looking at NFL stats, the Patriots are allowing a league worst 8.6 yards per pass attempt, Seattle with Russell Wilson is averaging 8.4 yards per attempt.  Thus, the Patriots defense is basically making the average QB into Russell Wilson.  Interceptions are the only thing that the Patriots defense does well.   Incredibly, the Vikings lead the NFL in yards per pass, and have thrown the fewest passes in the league.  The Patriots have been thrown against the least in the league.

I would chalk this up to Belichick brilliance to take this team to a 4-5 record by randomizing the game by having so few possessions.  Of course you need to have a good running game/short passing attack to accomplish this goal.  I know that the Patriots are among the league leaders in having the fewest 3 and outs as an offense.



58 Ravens-Pats

Time of possession in last Sunday's game was 32:34 Ravens, 27:26 Patriots. The first quarter Ravens TD drive was over eight minutes. The Ravens field goal drive that followed was over six minutes. The Pats two first half TD drives took a grand total of 7:38. Their 3rd quarter TD drive was 75 yards in 1:43. So the Pats were certainly not the main clock eaters in that one.

Drives were 19 total, 10-9 Patriots. In last years much higher scoring game, it was 11-10 Ravens. League average is about 12 per team per game.


77 According to PFR, on offense…

According to PFR, on offense the Patriots actually do have the fewest drives in the league: 89, tied with Cleveland and maybe surprisingly, Kansas City. To agree with your point of their offensive style, they have the 3rd-most plays per drive, but only the 10th-most yards per drive and 25th-most points per drive, giving them the 4th-most average drive time behind the Packers, Raiders, and Panthers.

Interestingly though, despite having the most rushing attempts and 4th-fewets passing attempts in the league, they're only 13th in average time/play.

10 Before last week, I believe…

Before this past week, I believe the Packers had played the 4th most difficult schedule of opposing offenses by DVOA. They are not a good defense, but they did have a tough draw through the first half of the season.

Their defense will also probably appear better off when they play worse teams because they'll have a better chance of jumping out to a lead so they don't have to contend with the opposing running game. Their run defense is definitely a bigger liability than their pass defense. It's not something they'll be able to rely on in their future playoff games, but it could be a factor that helps them get to the #1 seed.

22 Indy Offense (and Chicago's about equal?)

My impression is they are on an upward trend--Rivers had 2-3 games earlier this year with a bunch of INTs, and has had only 1 the past three weeks IIRC. They also got rookie WR Pittman back off IR a week ago and he's been a prominent part of the O since then.  So I think they are measurably better than the Bears, as of today.  Maybe not when you look at all ten weeks.

And DVOA has Indy 11 spots ahead of Chi, which seems about right.

Also, no idea why Reich didn't go no-huddle against the Ravens (horrid mistake in the 2nd half), but he seemed to wise-up vs the Titans.  Now he had an excuse (we simplified the playbook on a short week, which enabled us to go no huddle) but I don't care what the excuse was, they're better on O in no-huddle.  I will smack some sense into his head if forced to.

24 Yeah the Colts are slightly…

Yeah the Colts are slightly below average in all aspects of offense. The Bears are terrible in all aspects. Big difference. There's basically the same difference between them and the top 2 teams as them and the Bears. 

And they definitely do seem to be on an upswing. I think they can definitely be Lions level on offense and possibly even on par with the Panthers by the end of the season, I think that's probably their ceiling. But that would be enough to have a chance in the postseason, for sure.

75 Shouldn't DVOA take schedule…

Shouldn't DVOA take schedule into consideration? I suppose their run D is so horrid that it's easy to forget they can defend the pass on a decent level. I just noticed the new tables (unless they just don't show up on mobile) and it looks like their defense has faced the 8th best set offenses by DVOA and their offense has faced the 12th best set of defenses by DVOA. So a 7-2 record actually seems legit, unlike last year.

7 Hard to believe...

That Seattle is good enough to be Top 10 in DVOA.

Having seen their pu-pu platter on the field this year, there's no way that can be accurate.  Their ST aren't nearly good enough to make that much of a difference considering the fact that their Defense is dead last in YPG and bottom 5 in Points Given Up.


20 I am honestly surprised at…

I am honestly surprised at your skepticism. They were leading for almost all the game against Arizona at home. Seattle has both the Rams and Cardinals at home left. Win those 2, in games they will be favored in, and I think the division is still there's.

Remember, pass offense is the trump card in this game of war. 

48 I beg to differ, my young SlotHooker!

The Cards will run and pass all over the Hawks.  Leading the NFL in both Offense and Rushing.

I expect both Drake and Edmonds to have good days in-between pass plays.

Seattle has shown me nothing in regards to being able to stop the Cards.

I predicted that Seattle would lose to Arizona, San Fran, Buffalo, L.A., and my Cards again...

I gave San Fran too much credit apparently, but otherwise it's rounding in to form.

For Arizona to lose in Seattle, Kyler would need to have a multiple TO game, which is possible but unlikely considering familiarity of opponent and the fact that he's already 2-1 vs. Wilson.

Cards have always played tough in Seattle and typically injured a few Hawk babies in the process!



54 Why do you even hang out on…

Why do you even hang out on these forums? You just seem to make random predictions without much depth and random insults thrown in for good measure. I'm a die-hard Seahawks fan, but Murray is super fun to watch, Hopkins is amazing, Larry is a legend, and the Cardinals seem like a good team on the rise. Worthy competitors who might end up better than the Seahawks this year, but might not. (See how easy it is to be respectful of a rival team?)

Seriously, there are hundreds of forums that you would fit right in with, but you seem to have picked one of the few where your style and attitude are way out of place. There are lots of people on this forum who have a very poor view of you because of this, but it seems to me you have the potential to make a positive contribution here. But if you aren't interested in doing that, why are you here?

55 Russell hasn’t been cooking

WIth the Seattle D playing the way it has against more dynamic offenses, Russ has to play at an elite level all game. His recent turnoveritis has cost them compared to earlier in the year. Missing their top 2 RB’s, and top 2 corners has been a hindrance but they still need a more consistent pass rush w/o all the blitzing. 

The D has to have some improvement or Russ is going to have to many fires in the kitchen. 

11 I'm amazed the Bears' DVOA…

I'm amazed the Bears' DVOA improved after that game. Maybe previous opponent adjustments have something to do with it.

83 Offense got worse, defense…

Offense got worse, defense and special teams improved (the latter no doubt in part because of Patterson's kickoff return TD). I'd say I'm surprised that the offense didn't go down more than D and ST improved, but one game probably can't skew things that much when the offense is around -20% DVOA.

12 I noticed that Seattle is…

I noticed that Seattle is 4th in passing offense DVOA, but Russell Wilson is 13th in passing DVOA among QBs. Assuming this is due to the recent change to include scrambles in passing offense DVOA, that appears to be a decent-sized split!

Interestingly, the Cardinals passing game (13th) and Kyler Murray (15th) are much closer - must be more designed runs going on there?

49 Bingo!

Many of Kyler's runs are designed plays.

Most of Wilson's are scramble plays because he held the ball too long or protection broke down.

Kyler is the best running QB we currently have in the NFL.  Lamar is a close second, only because he's too long and not as shifty.  Wilson is good, but not as fast as either.


27 Congratulations!

Hey, everybody loves to laugh at predictions that are way off, and hardly anyone gives credit for those that turn out well, but FO is having a great season. As of week 10 the top seven in DVOA are almost the same teams as the top seven in preseason DVOA, and in a similar order too. (Seattle is 0.4 percentage points short of seventh, which must be well within the margin of error.) Of course, DVOA projected the 8th best team to be Dallas, but let's not spoil the celebration by going there!

Especially impressive as few of the celebrity predictors saw the Bucs, Colts and Steelers coming.

The preseason projections didn't expect much of Green Bay, but I wouldn't have expected such a big gap between its DVOA and DAVE at this stage of the season. The Packers' DAVE is six and a half percentage points lower than their DVOA: only Miami's is bigger, and nobody would be shocked if Miami turned back into a pumpkin. If I've calculated correctly, DAVE expects the Packers to average about +1.0% DVOA over the rest of the season. I guess that's in line with the preseason forecast (minus 0.3%), but I imagine most people think of the 2020 Pack as an above average team, rather than an average one. We shall see how it shakes out. It's hard to fault DVOA's work so far!

35 I think it’s more that there…

I think it’s more that there is approximately the same amount of % of season left (43%) and preseason projection weight in the DAVE rating (36%), rather than that DAVE projects Green Bay to be a 1.0% DVOA team for the remainder. The final solution of the math works out similarly as a result, but the driving cause is different.

I feel like if you asked Aaron what he projects the Packers to be for the rest of the year, it would be whatever the actual DAVE rating is (9.6% above average in this case) not the preseason projection component or the per game average DVOA that would decrease current DVOA to the DAVE rating over the remainder.

With that said I do agree with your broader point that the projections have been pretty good this year.

28 Run defense history

The run defense roundup was really interesting. Do Ravens fans realize how spoiled they have been? Amazing consistency.

I'm guessing the Buccaneers' 2019-2020 run defense is in line to be one of the best two-season stretches of this century. I'd love to know how it compares with the 85-86 Bears. Run defense is so unappreciated nowadays.

The lists of all-time run defenses contain plenty of classics, but I didn't realize or have forgotten that the 2000 Giants were special. So that's how they won the NFC! I guess they were overshadowed by Baltimore and Tennessee in what was, retrospectively, a year for great defenses.

29 da Bears

I looked up the Bears' stats from 1985.  I remember them having a stout run D, but DVOA has them at "only" -18.5, not even #1 for the season (the Jets had -20.6).  The Bears' pass D was -44.9, far ahead of #2 LARM at -23.0.  

The '86 Bears are known to have had an even better season on defense, and that year their run D was a touch better (-25.5) and the pass D a touch worse  (-40.8).

Sorry, I can't be bothered to calculate these numbers vs. league averages.  

31 As pointed out above, this…

As pointed out above, this is a glitch based on how DVOA is calculated. Because no teams run effectively, everyone looks to be above-average. It's a Lake Wobegon Problem.

32 Yes, a fascinating reminder…

Yes, a fascinating reminder of a time when run defense was much more important. I saw some other recent analysis that showed the best run defense of the past decade according to EPA/play was the 2014 Lions, and I really had to rack my brains to remember anything about that team (Suh played for them, and they lost narrowly to Dallas in the wildcard round). Since then, the league leaders in run defense DVOA have included the Jets twice, the Texans and the Bucs, which hardly correlates to overall success. As we've seen with Seahawks this year, a good run defense could even be considered a handicap if it encourages opponents to pass aggressively against a much weaker pass D. 

34 Ravens historic run defense

I know how difficult it has been to run against the Ravens.  Once upon a time I wondered why anyone even bothered to try.  The 2000 Ravens were incredible, their DVOA equated to allowing less than 1000 yards for the season and a Super Bowl Championship.  The 2006 Ravens were 13-3 led by the run defense and Steve McNair who completely nosedived in 2007.  The 2008 Ravens made it to the AFC Championship behind their run defense and a rookie Joe Flacco, who did not exactly light things up. This 2020 version looks like the Ravens that I've been watching for years as offenses around the league light up the scoreboard, the Ravens offense sputters and wins with defense and special teams.  I guess the more things change the more they remain the same.  

Looking back, the Ravens won a playoff game every year from 2008-2012, won a Super Bowl, went to two AFC Championship games.  This was with Joe Flacco as QB!

The Ravens had a 46 game streak of not allowing a 100 yard rusher that ended in 2001, and a 39 game streak that ended in 2009.  Those are many season of stuffing the run.  Currently when Brandon Williams plays, the Ravens run defense is stout.  As we saw on Sunday, when he is out, the Ravens can be had in the run game.  I've never seen one player make such an impact to a run defense.

I haven't gone back over DVOA year by year, but I know that the Ravens run defense is likely the best in the NFL since becoming a team.  During the first two years the Ravens were poor on defense.

36 Packers Poised

For all the justifiable critiques of the Packers over the past two seasons, the facts are that a) Matt LaFleur is 20-5 in his first 25 games-- which i believe may be the best start (outside of George Seifert) for a new coach in the Super Bowl era and b) if they can win in the Indy Dome (a big if, but Rodgers historically plays very well indoors) their season opens up to very possibly a 13-3 repeat and the #1 seed.

Consider that after this game, they have 4 home games remaining against mediocre-- or worse-- opposition (CHI, PHILA, TEN, CAR) and just 2 away games-- both in the division and, again, v mediocre opponents (CHI, DET). Yes, it's the Any Given Sunday league where home field has been somewhat neutralized by lack of fans but I think a 5-1 record down the stretch is very doable.... And then they get a week off assuming the 7 team playoff stays intact-- and for the first time since 2011, have the prospect of 2 home games at Lambeau.

In other words, this game Sunday might have Super Bowl implications...

38 Lambeau feels like one of…

In reply to by oaktoon

Lambeau feels like one of the two stadiums (Denver is the other) where the HFA is as much environmental as it is a crowd effect.

40 The Packers seem to keep…

The Packers seem to keep their grass in relatively decent shape into the winter (just compare to Chicago), but it just fells like in addition to the inevitable wear and tear that it gets really slick in those cold games late in the season. The way the Packers are constructed isn't super conducive to playing in that environment, but I think they get a decent edge from being more familiar with the footing.

39 The Titans are actually…

In reply to by oaktoon

The Titans are actually quite similar on offense and defense to the Packers. They'd be much closer in DVOA without Tennessee's miserable special teams rating. Tennessee has a worse offensive line, thanks in part to injuries, but better skill position players. The Packers have a better pass rush and secondary, assuming Alexander recovers from his concussion, but neither team's defense is really any good. I'll be interested to see if the upcoming Packers/Colts and Packers/Bears games play out anything like Titans/Bears and Titans/Colts these past two weeks.

37 NFC East

We finally got the query tool working properly.

  • Odds the entire NFC East is 7-8-1 or worse: 82.8%
  • Odds the entire NFC East is 6-9-1 or worse: 45.5%
  • Odds the entire NFC East is 5-10-1 or worse: 9.3%

43 NFC Least

In reply to by Aaron Schatz

And still the bottom 4 teams in the NFC by both DVOA and DAVE. Just an incredible showing by the NFC East this year, and I'm embarrassed to say I've watched way too much of it! 

42 It would give some useful…

It would give some useful context if we had the variance in that run defense table so we could see how many std. devs. out on the distribution the Ravens were. Anyone know if in the playoff odds if the DVOA remains at the current value or is adjusted to account for the results of the individual sim? Because if the Steelers end up going undefeated I would expect their DVOA to increase significantly so their super bowl odds would be higher. 

44 Dynamic sim

We use what we call a "dynamic simulation" where every team's DVOA goes up after a win and goes down after a loss in order to simulate the type of thing you're talking about. That's why Pittsburgh's Super Bowl odds after a 16-0 season are a little higher than their overall Super Bowl odds. But the dynamic changes are a bit conservative... perhaps we'll do some testing after this season to see if a larger number for dynamic change after each game would be more accurate. The dynamic change for the Steelers still wouldn't put them into 2007 Patriots territory even after seven more wins, and of course the 2007 Patriots didn't even win the final game...

46 DVOA so you want your team to be better at running than passing?

There are 5 teams that are better at running than passing by DVOA with their offensive DVOA rankings:

NE    (22)

NYG (25)

PHI   (28)

WAS (30)

DEN  (32)

Of these 5 teams, the only one that does anything well is NE at running.  For the other 4 teams, running is the lesser of two evils.  We need Dallas QB play to be more inept so we can get the whole NFC East on this list. Those early Dak Prescott games ruined it.  



59 2000 Gianrs

Saw sommeone earlier in thread mention 2000 Gisnts as having good defense. Maybe but team did face number of craptastical wusererbacks. Dont have rull shcedule in front of me but know they pkayed skme afc central teama like Titans and Browns. Do think steve mcnair started for Titans so that would have been game vs good QB. Was that one of Giants 4 losses? Think it was. Doug Pederson was quarteback of Browns. Also NYG got to face Anthony Wright as Dallas quarterback at least once. To me, giants were like middling team that got incredibly lucky with schedule.

My super bowl pcik was Baltimore 20, nyg 0. Final score was 20-0 if do not count three return touchdowns.  Of course, they do count. Giants closest team to beinf shut out in Super Bowl. Only pionts came frlm kickoff return. Whatever momentum giants had was instantly gone as Ravens returned next kickoff for their own touchdown 

60 2000 Gianrs

Posted samr thing 4x by mistake so will delete 2000 giantd thing and mention Raiders here. 


14 is better.  DVOA soberinf up and realizeing Raiders are good

61 2000 Gianrs

2000 giants thing gof posted 4x. Will write differrnt football thing here soon


II remember they also got tp face Dave Brown

62 2000 Gianrs

Nfc east

Thinm wimner eill have 7 or 6 wins. Think 5 istoo low. As for buggest loser, key game will be cowbiys va Squirrels. Loser excellent chance to be last place and have better pixl for taking wuarerback jn draft. Washington might do it, dallas less likely.  D. Haskins lpoks done there. Probably not right mindframe for nfl quarterbacking

 Did come across as horrible on draft night. Displayed poor body language. Face read, "I am the man. Screw, the Giants for passsinf on me." Has played mostly junky in nfl. 

79 If older rushing defenses…

If older rushing defenses get a "boost" because passing is more efficient now than it was back then, then could it be turned around to say that passing defenses now should be suppressed when comparing them to past years? If that's so, then do the 2015 Saints* still have the worst pass defense in DVOA history?

*Just going off of memory. I can't remember if they had the worst defense overall or worst pass defense.