DVOA Analysis
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Week 6 DVOA Ratings

Jamel Dean
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Tampa Bay climbs back into the No. 1 spot in our DVOA ratings this week, and by a hefty amount. The Buccaneers are over 10 percentage points higher than Baltimore, which drops out of the top spot despite its rating slightly climbing from last week.

The Bucs' DVOA rating for the season shot up thanks to a massive blowout win over previously No. 6 Green Bay, which drops all the way down to No. 12. A huge win combined with a positive opponent adjustment gives Tampa's 38-10 win the best rating of any single game this year at 97.7%. This is the fourth Tampa game with DVOA of 38.0% or higher, and the Bucs now are at 41.1% for the season.

I've been worried about Tampa Bay's high DVOA rating for a couple weeks now, concerned the disconnect between DVOA and other advanced metrics meant that there was something DVOA just wasn't capturing correctly. I'm a little less worried now that the Bucs went out and destroyed the Packers, but it is still a little strange to have Tampa Bay No. 1 by this much.

Comparing DVOA to one specific other metric, the NFLfastR EPA model, it looks like the big Tampa Bay lead is all about opponent adjustments. On offense, it's about the opponent adjustments for Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay is seventh in offensive DVOA compared to 13th in EPA. But take out opponent adjustments, and the Bucs would be 13th in offensive VOA, which matches their rank in EPA. On defense, the issue is opponent adjustments for the Pittsburgh Steelers. In EPA, the Bucs and Steelers are neck-and-neck for the top spot in defense. The same is true with unadjusted VOA. But add in that the Steelers have played the easiest defensive schedule of the season while Tampa has played an average schedule of opposing offenses, and suddenly Tampa Bay has a huge lead over Pittsburgh. Tampa Bay's lead of almost 10% defensive DVOA essentially translates to their 10% overall lead over the rest of the league.

Tampa Bay isn't an all-time great team by any means. Their 41.1% DVOA would rank 28th among all teams through Week 6, going back to 1985. It's the size of their lead that stands out. I wrote a couple weeks ago that 2020 looked like a year with a lack of outliers. That's mostly still true, but this week there are two very clear outliers: Tampa Bay with a lead of over 10% in first place and the New York Jets who are in last place by over 10%. (We'll get to the Jets in a little bit.)

Tampa Bay is the 11th team since 1985 to have a lead over 10% at this point in the season. They have the smallest lead of the teams on this table but I still think it's an interesting historical look at teams that dominated DVOA early on in the year.

10% or Larger DVOA Lead After Week 6, 1985-2020
Year Team W-L DVOA No. 2
No. 2
No. 2
1985 CHI 6-0 47.5% LARD 4-2 29.2% 18.2%
1991 WAS 6-0 63.7% NO 5-0 33.8% 29.9%
1992 PHI 4-1 45.2% SF 5-1 31.7% 13.5%
1994 DAL 4-1 47.6% PHI 4-1 32.8% 14.8%
1996 GB 5-1 59.5% SF 4-1 32.4% 27.0%
1998 DEN 6-0 46.1% NE 4-1 35.6% 10.5%
1999 STL 5-0 55.4% JAX 5-1 37.6% 17.9%
2007 NE 6-0 65.3% IND 5-0 46.6% 18.8%
2013 DEN 6-0 46.6% SEA 5-1 34.3% 12.4%
2014 DEN 4-1 38.7% BAL 4-2 28.2% 10.5%
2020 TB 4-2 41.1% BAL 5-1 30.8% 10.4%

The Bucs are the first 4-2 team to have a lead this big after Week 6. They are not the highest 4-2 team in DVOA history, but they are close. The 2015 Arizona Cardinals were at 45.3% after six weeks. The 1991 Eagles and 2005 Steelers were also over 40% with a record of 4-2.

Tampa Bay was not the only team to have a huge Week 6 victory that dramatically increased their DVOA for the season. Pittsburgh's 38-7 stomping of Cleveland is the third-biggest single game of the season at 83.1% and moves the Steelers up six spots to No. 3. The Arizona Cardinals didn't get quite as strong a rating for embarassing the Cowboys on Monday night (60.6%) but it was enough to move them all the way up from 18th to 10th this week.

Meanwhile, three teams this week had single-game ratings below -80%, giving them three of the four worst games of the year: Dallas, Cleveland, and the New York Jets. Dallas plummets from 16th to 26th and falls slightly behind the Philadelphia Eagles in our odds to win the NFC East. Cleveland drops from 17th to 25th despite a 4-2 record. The Browns have had a crazy year so far: the two worst single games by DVOA (Week 1 and Week 6) combined with three solid wins with good DVOA ratings (Weeks 2-4) and then the Week 5 win over Indianapolis which comes out close to 0%. They are far ahead of the rest of the league in week-to-week variance. The Jets -- well, hold on a little longer and we'll get to them.

Surprisingly, the Browns are not the worst 4-2 team in DVOA history, or even close to it. Six different teams had been 4-2 despite DVOA ratings below -20%, with the 2007 Lions having the lowest rating at -27.1%. There's a full list in this tweet.

In related news, the Chicago Bears are also not the worst 5-1 team in DVOA history, or even close to it. In fact, the Bears climb up nine spots to No. 14 after this week's win against Carolina! The worst 5-1 team in DVOA history was last year's Buffalo Bills. Here's another tweet with a full list.

Speaking of Chicago and the worst 5-1 teams in DVOA history, there's something I wanted to hit to finish up from last week's DVOA commentary, where I talked about the worst 4-1 teams and best 1-4 teams in history. You might be wondering, what does this mean in wins? The answer is probably less than you think, because the fact is that NFL teams are really unpredictable even if they've played really well or really badly in the first six games of the season.

I took a look at all the teams to go 5-1 since 1986, except for 1987. On average, these teams won 6.2 games the rest of the season. That's not really that far off from the 5-5 record that all teams average over the final 10 games of the season.

What about the worst 5-1 teams by DVOA? They do worse than 5-1 teams as a whole. The dozen worst 5-1 teams since 1986 (pro-rating the 1987 teams to a 16-game season) won on average 5.4 games the rest of the season.

Now let's flip it around to the 1-5 teams. On average, these teams register 3.8 wins the rest of the season. However, the dozen best 1-5 teams since 1986 won on average 4.5 games the rest of the season.

I ran one other record out of curiosity. What about the 0-6 teams? These teams average 3.0 wins the rest of the season.

See, I told you we were going to come back to the New York Jets eventually! I know it seems like there's no way the Jets will win another game all year, but it is probably going to happen. Again, 0-6 teams end up averaging 3.0 wins. Our playoff odds report has the Jets at 3.4 wins, which seems a little bit high. They only finish 0-16 in 2.2% of simulations.

But aren't the Jets not just winless but historically bad? Yes, they are on pace to set an all-time record for the worst point differential, but there have been other teams that were even worse over the first six games of the year. The Jets have scored 110 fewer points than their opponents. Last year through six games, the Dolphins had scored 148 fewer points than their opponents. The 2009 Tennessee Titans had scored 114 fewer points than their opponents through six games and ended up finishing the season 8-8!

Based on DVOA, the New York Jets are far from a historically bad team. This is as bad as the worst team in the league usually is every year. There are over 40 teams since 1985 that were worse in DVOA through Week 6. But like with the Buccaneers, what stands out about the Jets is the big gap between them and the rest of the league. Of course, it's nothing like last year's Dolphins, who had the worst DVOA we had ever tracked through six weeks by a substanial margin. But there's a pretty big gap between the Jets and No. 31 Philadelphia.

10% or Larger DVOA Last-Place Gap
After Week 6, 1985-2020
Year Team W-L DVOA No. 2
No. 2
No. 2
1985 BUF 0-6 -47.7% DET 3-3 -34.6% -13.1%
1986 IND 0-6 -49.3% PHI 2-4 -37.4% -11.9%
1987 ATL 1-5 -46.0% KC 1-5 -28.4% -17.6%
1989 DAL 0-6 -60.8% PHX 2-4 -30.2% -30.6%
1992 NE 0-5 -56.6% SEA 1-5 -30.9% -25.7%
1993 TB 1-4 -61.2% NE 1-4 -47.9% -13.3%
2000 CIN 0-5 -58.2% SD 0-6 -40.5% -17.8%
2002 CIN 0-6 -55.8% HOU 1-4 -38.7% -17.1%
2013 JAX 0-6 -66.0% NYG 0-6 -37.0% -29.0%
2015 SF 2-4 -36.3% HOU 2-4 -25.9% -10.4%
2018 BUF 2-4 -36.5% ARI 1-5 -26.2% -10.3%
2019 MIA 0-5 -84.1% CIN 0-6 -35.7% -48.4%
2020 NYJ 0-6 -41.2% PHI 1-4-1 -28.2% -13.0%

* * * * *

Football Outsiders playoff odds, snap counts, and the FO+ database are now all updated through Week 6.

Also, a housekeeping note regarding the new DVOA version 7.3. The "DVOA as of a Specific Week" tables in the FO+ database have now been updated with version 7.3 of DVOA going back to 2005. All other tables in the FO+ database (as well as the regular stats pages) are updated with version 7.3 of DVOA going back to 1999. I'm slowly working my way backwards on running all the old years so we get everything updated to the new system, including 1983 and 1984 which we will debut sometime in the 2021 offseason.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through six 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.

Because it is early in the season, opponent adjustments are only at 60% strength; they will increase 10% every week through Week 10.

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 65% preseason forecast for teams with five games played and 55% preseason forecast for teams with six 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 TB 41.1% 2 23.6% 1 4-2 12.1% 7 -29.2% 1 -0.2% 17
2 BAL 30.8% 1 21.4% 3 5-1 0.8% 18 -17.0% 4 13.0% 1
3 PIT 30.5% 9 16.3% 5 5-0 8.4% 9 -19.4% 2 2.6% 7
4 IND 24.9% 7 15.7% 6 4-2 -1.2% 21 -18.6% 3 7.4% 2
5 SEA 24.6% 3 14.0% 7 5-0 26.5% 1 7.6% 26 5.7% 4
6 KC 22.6% 5 21.9% 2 5-1 26.0% 2 -2.4% 10 -5.8% 29
7 NO 20.7% 8 18.0% 4 3-2 7.7% 10 -8.3% 8 4.7% 5
8 TEN 15.9% 10 7.6% 9 5-0 23.7% 3 5.1% 22 -2.7% 26
9 LAR 14.8% 4 10.2% 8 4-2 18.0% 5 -0.4% 13 -3.6% 27
10 ARI 13.0% 18 6.0% 10 4-2 6.3% 12 -6.2% 9 0.4% 14
11 MIA 9.5% 13 -3.1% 21 3-3 4.1% 14 0.5% 15 6.0% 3
12 GB 8.9% 6 4.7% 12 4-1 18.4% 4 12.1% 30 2.6% 8
13 SF 7.1% 19 5.4% 11 3-3 4.3% 13 -2.0% 11 0.9% 13
14 CHI 1.2% 23 -0.7% 16 5-1 -12.6% 26 -16.0% 5 -2.2% 24
15 HOU 0.2% 12 -0.5% 15 1-5 9.6% 8 9.4% 27 0.0% 16
16 CAR -1.9% 14 -8.3% 23 3-3 4.1% 15 5.0% 21 -0.9% 19
17 MIN -2.4% 11 -1.9% 17 1-5 -0.3% 20 1.0% 16 -1.1% 20
18 DET -2.8% 24 0.2% 14 2-3 0.4% 19 5.6% 23 2.4% 9
19 BUF -2.8% 15 1.4% 13 4-2 7.6% 11 11.5% 29 1.0% 11
20 LAC -4.1% 22 -2.4% 19 1-4 2.6% 16 -1.0% 12 -7.7% 32
21 LV -4.7% 21 -4.2% 22 3-2 14.3% 6 17.8% 31 -1.3% 21
22 NE -5.2% 20 -2.2% 18 2-3 -7.5% 25 -0.2% 14 2.1% 10
23 ATL -11.0% 25 -2.8% 20 1-5 -2.4% 22 7.1% 25 -1.5% 22
24 DEN -14.3% 31 -10.9% 26 2-3 -25.6% 29 -11.1% 6 0.3% 15
25 CLE -16.2% 17 -8.9% 24 4-2 -4.8% 23 4.6% 20 -6.8% 31
26 DAL -17.5% 16 -12.0% 27 2-4 -5.0% 24 10.2% 28 -2.3% 25
27 WAS -21.0% 28 -19.9% 31 1-5 -27.4% 30 -8.5% 7 -2.1% 23
28 JAX -22.9% 26 -16.1% 29 1-5 1.1% 17 18.3% 32 -5.7% 28
29 CIN -24.8% 27 -18.8% 30 1-4-1 -22.0% 27 3.8% 18 1.0% 12
30 NYG -26.7% 29 -15.3% 28 1-5 -29.0% 32 2.2% 17 4.5% 6
31 PHI -28.2% 30 -9.4% 25 1-4-1 -23.0% 28 4.3% 19 -0.9% 18
32 NYJ -41.2% 32 -25.0% 32 0-6 -28.8% 31 5.8% 24 -6.6% 30
  • 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 TB 41.1% 4-2 40.3% 5.6 1 1.8% 20 -0.2% 17 12.2% 18
2 BAL 30.8% 5-1 40.8% 4.3 6 -11.2% 28 -1.2% 21 19.7% 28
3 PIT 30.5% 5-0 43.6% 4.9 3 -17.0% 31 -2.5% 24 9.6% 15
4 IND 24.9% 4-2 31.7% 4.2 7 -17.7% 32 7.2% 4 12.5% 21
5 SEA 24.6% 5-0 31.3% 5.1 2 -5.3% 24 -4.6% 26 1.8% 3
6 KC 22.6% 5-1 21.1% 4.5 4 2.3% 18 -2.0% 23 5.7% 8
7 NO 20.7% 3-2 21.8% 4.4 5 7.7% 6 0.1% 16 1.6% 1
8 TEN 15.9% 5-0 20.2% 3.9 9 -8.4% 26 5.0% 7 8.5% 13
9 LAR 14.8% 4-2 25.8% 3.7 10 -14.8% 30 8.8% 3 19.6% 27
10 ARI 13.0% 4-2 24.4% 3.5 12 -12.9% 29 3.2% 12 12.3% 20
11 MIA 9.5% 3-3 18.0% 3.0 17 -6.8% 25 -4.7% 27 21.7% 30
12 GB 8.9% 4-1 6.7% 3.9 8 9.1% 4 -0.7% 19 24.6% 31
13 SF 7.1% 3-3 11.1% 3.6 11 -9.8% 27 6.0% 6 20.4% 29
14 CHI 1.2% 5-1 8.2% 3.0 16 3.9% 13 3.9% 9 3.8% 4
15 HOU 0.2% 1-5 -2.1% 2.5 20 12.4% 1 0.4% 15 4.9% 6
16 CAR -1.9% 3-3 -6.5% 2.3 21 5.9% 11 6.2% 5 5.8% 9
17 MIN -2.4% 1-5 -7.0% 3.3 15 10.6% 3 2.5% 13 13.7% 23
18 DET -2.8% 2-3 -3.7% 2.7 18 4.2% 12 4.9% 8 7.7% 12
19 BUF -2.8% 4-2 -2.7% 3.4 13 2.8% 16 1.5% 14 14.7% 25
20 LAC -4.1% 1-4 -9.1% 2.2 22 11.5% 2 -8.1% 31 1.7% 2
21 LV -4.7% 3-2 -9.7% 2.5 19 6.7% 8 -0.6% 18 7.2% 11
22 NE -5.2% 2-3 -1.8% 2.0 25 7.5% 7 -1.5% 22 11.3% 17
23 ATL -11.0% 1-5 -6.6% 2.1 24 2.2% 19 11.8% 1 5.0% 7
24 DEN -14.3% 2-3 -16.4% 2.1 23 8.2% 5 3.8% 10 13.7% 22
25 CLE -16.2% 4-2 -9.5% 3.4 14 3.8% 14 -7.1% 30 37.5% 32
26 DAL -17.5% 2-4 -21.1% 2.0 26 -0.3% 21 -8.4% 32 14.2% 24
27 WAS -21.0% 1-5 -22.9% 1.8 28 -2.1% 22 -5.7% 28 9.6% 14
28 JAX -22.9% 1-5 -24.4% 1.3 30 3.8% 15 9.0% 2 19.1% 26
29 CIN -24.8% 1-4-1 -23.3% 1.8 27 -2.6% 23 3.6% 11 6.6% 10
30 NYG -26.7% 1-5 -29.3% 1.5 29 2.5% 17 -2.6% 25 9.8% 16
31 PHI -28.2% 1-4-1 -26.6% 1.0 32 6.2% 10 -5.8% 29 4.2% 5
32 NYJ -41.2% 0-6 -46.0% 1.1 31 6.2% 9 -0.8% 20 12.2% 19


132 comments, Last at 22 Oct 2020, 11:43pm

1 Why is Philly favored over…

Why is Philly favored over Dallas for the division? Dallas not only has a better record, they have an easier future schedule.

25 Preseason projection. The…

Preseason projection. The sim's based on DAVE, which still thinks Philly will end up at -10%-ish. Of course, very few of those players the projection was based on are playing, sooo...

Some Philly fans are figuring they'll still get to 6 wins (by sweeping the rest of the divisional games). Granted, Dallas is an easier out now, but I still can't see them winning all of those games.

30 Do you not watch NFL?

Philly has a defense. Dallas doesn't.


After watching Arizona dismantle Dallas despite Murray only completing 9 passes, it's fairly clear that Dallas can't stop anyone.  

If Philly can get anyone on their O-Line healthy, they have enough defense to win the NFC Least.

Would not be surprised to see Washington beat Dallas this week at all...

101 Did you not see Carson Wentz…

Did you not see Carson Wentz score 3 TDs against Balt's [real] D in the 4th q to almost tie the game? Now imagine when he gets DeSean back this week, followed by Alshon and Goedert and Reagor, followed by some O-lineman, followed by Sanders and Ertz.

2 Between the four teams with…

Between the four teams with byes this week, the average Off. DVOA went up by 2.5% and the average Def. DVOA went up by 1.8%. Defenses sufficiently dominated offenses this week that the non-playing teams saw sizable offensive shifts.

12 Of note, Dallas's offensive…

Of note, Dallas's offensive DVOA plummeted after just one game (not surprising), so teams like Seattle definitely experienced a drop in opponent adjustments for their defensive DVOA, despite the fact that they obviously faced a different Dallas offense.

3 The Bucs are not only #1…

The Bucs are not only #1 overall by a solid 10 percentage points, but their defense is #1 by about the same; after years of patently terrible drafting, the last three drafts have included basically the entire secondary, Devin White, and Vita Vea, so the defense is not only good, but very young.  It's amazing what happens when you have a QB who doesn't throw seven pick-sixes in one season; the defense gets a chance to actually play defense.

5 NFC North

In the preseason FO projected the four NFC North teams to hover around .500. Chicago is 5-1 and Minnesota 1-5. But by DVOA the teams are all ranked between 12th and 18th.

Nowt makes sense in 2020.

52 Furthermore all the NFC West…

In reply to by ammek

Furthermore all the NFC West teams are between 5th and13th, and all the NFC East teams are between 26th and 31st.

as Gene Wilder said in Young Frankenstein, "Nice grouping!"

6 I was inclined to think the…

I was inclined to think the Jets' badness was something special, but Aaron's right. "Historically good/bad" means "the best/worst team that I can remember off the top of my head", which for many people means "this year and last year", and sometimes not even the latter. Statements of historical good/badness are usually overladen with recency bias.

I'd throw in the 2013 Jaguars, another extremely "ass" (as Aaron himself might put it) recent team, who were -128 through 6 games, and -178 (!!!) after 8, before somehow going 4-4 the second half of the year, thus rescuing themselves from the historical cellar.

7 Not sure

Tampa has a solid defense, but I don't see this team as clearly the best in the league.  On a neutral field there are a handful of teams I would expect them to lose to...perhaps even Green Bay in a rematch.  Not "denigrating" DVOA, I just don't see it.  The Green Bay win was convincing, but the rest of their games didn't leave me with a feeling that they were a force to be reckoned with. 

Open kimono, Steelers fan here and (despite Cleveland's record) I don't think they have really been tested or shown that WOW factor either.  But I will take the 5-0 record.

11 As a Seahawks fan, I feel you

In reply to by p_cj

The one difference is, the 'Hawks have shown that WOW factor, on both offense and defense . . . only, unfortunately, in opposite directions.

32 You're going to feel it this weekend...

After having seen the Seattle/Dallas game and now watching what Arizona did, I think RW is in for a rough day.

Arizona has a defense.  Seattle, like Dallas, doesn't.

As long as Kyler doesn't throw picks, I expect Arizona to roll at home.  34-21.

This is one of those years that you need a decent defense to win the West.

It's one of those years when Seattle doesn't have one.

29 If Roethlisberger stays…

In reply to by p_cj

If Roethlisberger stays healthy, I really, really like the Steelers to come out of the AFC. They have better balance right now than KC or BAL, and they have the kind of defense that can frustrate Mahomes (with pressure up the middle and on the edge).

This probably gets mentioned on every Steelers broadcast, but I didn't realize it until clicking through PFR: Tomlin has never had a losing season in 13 years (14 if you assume they will eke out at least 3 more in 2020). And he and Colbert just keep restocking the cupboard and coaching the guys up, and ownership keeps supporting them. What a great organization.

34 Steelers...

...should be safe for a playoff seed, but I wouldn't take them over the Ravens or the Chiefs.

Big Ben is a statue and that's a liability in today's NFL.

I am impressed by the Steelers defense, but against the better teams I suspect their offense will stall out.

Ravens or Chiefs will come out of the AFC with the Titans being a darkhorse like last year.

46 Last 9 sb winning qbs

In reply to by DIVISION

Eli manning

Joe flacco

Russell Wilson

Tom Brady

Peyton manning

Tom Brady

Nick foles 

Tom Brady

Patrick Mahomes

The flavor of the month supports your thesis, but not generally supported by recent "today's NFL" superbowl winning QBs. Take the statue QB if hes any good!

57 Statue

In reply to by DIVISION

Not so sure the numbers back up that argument.  He isn't as mobile as he used to be, and he isn't going to break off a 60 yard scramble (he was never a threat for that), but he has run for a few gains when needed.

The real key is that statue is very hard to get to the ground (8 sacks) and he hasn't seemed to make the one or two WTF throws per game that I got used to seeing. 

He has started off slow by his recent standards, last year notwithstanding, but he is on pace for about 3800 yards, 35TD, 3INT.  That doesn't seem to be a liability.

49 That's true, but do they…

That's true, but do they have to blitz?  Are their personnel this year not good enough to rush 4 and play coverage, when facing Mahomes?  I think they are this year, though that hasn't always need the case in recent years.

If I'm right, then the question is whether the coaching staff is flexible enough to play the game that way?  Because if they aren't, then Mahomes is a bad match up for them.

58 With Mahomes, I'm not sure it matters

I saw a statistic from a website that says that Mahomes has never played a *bad* game. His worst game was a "good" game for another QB. It appears that teams can hold him to looking pretty average for a good portion of games, but once he figures out what they're doing on defense, he does his MVP magic and finds a way to win. It's a good time to be a Chiefs fan...

60 Bad game

Mahomes is unreal, but that seems to be hyperbole.

A stat line of 51.2 comp percentage, 2TD 1INT, 83.4 Passer rating (against LV this year) might not be considered a "bad" game, but it probably wouldn't be considered a "good" game for most QBs in this era.

A few games in 2019 that would probably fall into that category and the 2018 game against Jax probably wouldn't be considered anything other than a bad game by any QB (58% comp, 0TD, 2INT).

62 61 DYAR is still on pace for…

In reply to by p_cj

61 DYAR is still on pace for a ~1000 DYAR season. That's roughly 2018 Andrew Luck or Tom Brady. If that's his bad game, well...

89 Yeah, that's pretty wild. …

Yeah, that's pretty wild.  Just looking at PFR's AY/A stat, Mahomes has had just one game with an AY/A below 5.0 since 2018.  And that game was a 4.91 against SD in 2019.

Same with Russell Wilson.  (But his was a pretty bad game in a win over Minnesota in 2018.)

Other notable QB's over that span:

Roethlisberger, 2

Rodgers, 3

Prescott, 3

Brees, 3

Ryan, 4

Brady, 7

Watson, 8

Rivers, 8

and Trubisky leads the way with 12.



59 Maybe

I don't have the exact numbers to back this up, but it seemed like they blitzed less against Cleveland than in previous games.  Maybe that was a byproduct of being ahead by 20+ points in the second quarter, but I know there was talk before the game of blitzing less to correct their inability to get off the field on 3rd down.

Losing Bush for the season wont help with that inside coverage, so maybe they go back to the "don't give them time to throw" philosophy.  Their secondary looks strong, but Pittsburgh seems to have always had an issue with teams finding holes in their zone when the opposing QB isn't worried about 500 pounds of LB crushing him.

111 I don't think PIT blitzes…

I don't think PIT blitzes because they have to, but because they like to, and are effective at it.  So PIT blitzing bad teams they'd likely beat anyway isn't that significant, I don't think.  I think the question is can they be effective without blitzing if faced with a QB who thrives on blitzes?  and will they even try, or will they stick to what they believe they do best?

8 DVOA Opponent Considerations

Eight of the top ten teams have played schedules ranked 20 or below.  Is that par for the course after only 5-6 games?  Is there sufficient consideration of schedule in the ratings?

13 Partly

It's partly par for the course after 5-6 games because we're still at just 60% strength for opponent adjustments. As we get up to 100% opponent adjustments, the schedule strengths become more evenly distributed among the team.

On the other hand, notice that the worst teams do not generally have the hardest schedules. The hardest schedules this year are mostly teams in the middle of the table.

10 Division WC Sweep

Now that we're in this brave new 3-wildcard-team world, would it be possible to get odds on a divisional sweep of the wildcard spots somewhere in the playoff odds? Both of the western divisions seem like they have a non-negligible chance of that happening. 

17 Odds on divisional sweep

Numerically I don't know. Practically, I would say 0%, at least for this year. In the AFC N, they should have 2 (PIT & BAL), and maybe even 3 (CLE) playoff teams; but Cincy won't be a WC. The AFC W has no shot at a WC sweep.

On the NFC side, I would still say 0%--just b/c either the Saints or Bucs and either of the Bears or Packers make it quite unlikely. If we could exclude the "winner" of the NFC (L)East, then maybe.  

14 Shocked to see that there…

Shocked to see that there was as big a difference between the Cowboys and Cardinals according to DVOA last night.  My eyeball test would have expected the two teams to have played to a virtual tie, with the difference in score attributable to maybe 10 big plays that all went in Arizona's favor.  Considering that DVOA measures each play as a stand alone success/failure, a handful of plays usually does not tip the scale that far.

20 maybe, but

two were fumbles that should hurt the Cowboys, but not benefit the Cardinals.  I just got the feeling of watching two bad teams, where one of them got lucky a few times which made the game more of a blow out than it really was.  I guess the opponent adjustment for AZ will come back to earth as the season progresses, and the Cowboys have more Dak-less games.

40 Even without the fumbles,…

In reply to by burbman

Even without the fumbles, Dallas was horrid on offense: 4.1 yards per play, including 4.3 yards per pass play with 2 interceptions. (I forget if one of those might have been a hail mary, but really bad either way.) I didn't think Arizona played that well either but the Cowboys were so much worse.

35 The difference...

...between a good 4-2 team from the best division in the NFL and a bad 2-4 team from the worst division is clear.

It's not like Zeke dropped those two fumbles, they were punched out by the Cards' defense.

Those Dalton ducks weren't miraculously gifted in to Cards' defender's hands.  They made plays on the ball.  They also dropped a third INT early in the game.

If anything, the game showed that Murray and the Cards can dominate even when he's not hitting on all cylinders.  They easily left 14 points on the field.

Your eyeballs might be on drugs, Burbie.

Lay off the Cannabis before you go to bed.

73 FO Staff

He's at it again.

This is the second time that I have made a comment directly to this guy about his comments. 

94 This place has always been…

In reply to by Joseph

This place has always been self-policing in nature.  If everybody simply ignored his posts, he'd go back to Bleacher Report, PFT, or wherever it was from which he crawled forth.

Every time FO staff asks for ideas for site enhancements, I always suggest an "ignore poster" option.  I'm still hopeful.

100 I think there would be a lot…

I think there would be a lot of things that would be good. Upvoting comments would be a nice feature. A built-in notification system I agree would also be nice. 


Incidentally I don't find this poster annoying. His schtick, though weird, feels playful and he has that exaggerating fandom that would make raiderjoe proud though I suspect he doesn't have anywhere near the historical knowledge.

110 His making up demeaning…

His making up demeaning nicknames for other users is definitly annoying. And I wouldn't compare his fandom comparable at all to raiderjoe. Raiderjoe's commentary is always in good fun, not aggressive.

41 Lol... "aside from the…

Lol... "aside from the quarterback's 10 or so bad plays- you know, the six sacks, three picks and that fumble- he was really good! Can't believe he's not leading in DYAR this week!"

I think it was a bloodbath from start to finish. Might've been even worse had that Cardinal defender not dropped one of the easiest pick sixes ever in the first quarter!

15 I am a bit surprised the…

I am a bit surprised the Jets have managed to hold off the Giants for worst offense in football. I know the Giants suck too, but seeing the Jets fail in every meaningful way makes it hard to understand how they haven't outstunk the giants. 

18 DVOA vs DAVE (Ravens slightly climbing comment)

I see that the Ravens DVOA went from 33.9 last week to 30.8 this week.  However their DAVE rating went up 0.2 percent from last week.  As a Pro Football Outsiders reader, am I focusing too much on DVOA and not enough on DAVE?  

43 Preseason projections keep…

Preseason projections keep dropping in weight. Ravens had a preseason DVOA of 13.7% so even though DVOA dropped, that lower mark of 13.7% now has less weight, which counteracted the DVOA dip and resulted in slightly higher overall DAVE.

With regards to DVOA vs DAVE, both have their pros & cons. I personally think the preseason weights should drop off faster, but it makes sense not to totally disregard preseason expectations until well into the season.

50 It's tough, because…

It's tough, because depending on the schedule - and the extent of the injury bug - some teams should have DAVE drop off sooner than others.  If you've played 2 good teams, 2 bad teams, and a couple of maybes, current year DVOA is likely starting to be a better estimate of quality than preseason.  But if you've played 1 good team, 3 bad teams, and a couple of maybes, then which direction those maybes break over the course of the season may warrant a bigger dose of DAVE until we figure that out.

At the end of the day, football has so many moving parts and such a short schedule, it probably makes sense to keep as a fair bit of "from past years, here's what we think we know ..." in the numbers for a good portion of the season, even though we'd almost all prefer the numbers to be based on what's happened on the field this season.  Overall, the balance FO's struck seems to make sense, even if for certain teams (like PHI this year), you wonder if the divergence between DVOA and DAVE is more of an information gap in DAVE than in DVOA.

63 Given that ST almost doesn't…

Given that ST almost doesn't correlate from year to year, and DEF correlates less well than offense, it almost seems like those DAVE components should sunset faster than offensive DAVE.

70 I tried this!

I played with this when I was testing to find new DAVE coefficients this offseason and it actually ended up slightly less predictive when I used different coefficients for offense/defense/special teams. And it turned out to be the opposite: the projection sunsets FASTER for offense than for defense and special teams. Early-season offense tells us more about offense the rest of the season than early-season defense tells us about defense the rest of the season.

75 Counter-intuitive, but I…

In reply to by Aaron Schatz

Counter-intuitive, but I suppose that makes sense.

Basically intra-season offensive correlation outweighs inter-season correlation?

78 Curious as to why

In reply to by Aaron Schatz

Might this be because football is graded by the offensive play result? I mean, I know that DVOA grades the play result for both sides of the ball, so on that regard it is "balanced." But (correct me if I am wrong)--aren't good offenses pretty good, no matter the defense; whereas the defensive result is much more dependent upon the quality of the offense?

79 "Early-season offense tells…

In reply to by Aaron Schatz

"Early-season offense tells us more about offense the rest of the season than early-season defense tells us about defense the rest of the season."

Off-the-cuff theory here: could this be because the preseason defensive projections are regressing to the mean more than the offensive ones?  So both early-seasons defense and preseason defense will regress to the mean, but early season DVOA is going to have more outlier teams that will regress more.

Whereas even though offense is more predictable, if an early season offense is different from projections, maybe it's due to more "sustainable" reasons, e.g. an injury to a significant player, a young QB taking a leap forward, etc.

108 Player coefficient theory

I think that offense is more consistent than defense because if we give each position on the field a correlation coefficient to the whole, the QB would have by far the highest correlation to the offense than any other player on the field would to their respective offensive/defensive unit.  Thus, if the QB remains the same, the offense will remain relatively stable even when losing other players due to injury.  

In addition, offense remains stable year to year.  I can't think of any bad Brady, Brees, Manning, Rodgers, Roethlisberger (all prime of career) bad offenses.  It looks like Seattle and Kansas City can be relied on to have a good offense for awhile.



109 You also forget the importance of choice in consistency.

Also, remember the offense gets to choose how to attack a defense.  So, an offense can choose to work through their best players, while also choosing to exploit a weakness.  Defense is reactive, and only gets to fight the battle where the offense chooses to fight the battle.

Going deeper into the conflict metaphor, in actual warfare the defense is usually the 'easier' problem because the defense largely gets to choose where to fight.  In football the offense gets to choose both the where and the who.

19 I feel like the Rams are now…

I feel like the Rams are now correctly ranked as about the 10th best team, and correctly marked as a good, but not great team. Worst of all, the 9ers who appeared to be injured out of the playoffs, are still a team coming off of 13-3 a year ago. 

As far as the Bucs go, I think their offense is even better than the rating. I watched a lot of their games, and Brady looked sharp, but suffered from a lot of critical drops. That would probably even out, especially with the stars getting healthy again.

EDIT: Also, are the Dolphins good now? Them ending up with a winning record would be amazing.

31 I've seen Brady three times…

I've seen Brady three times this year. He's been up and down quite a bit. I thought he was poor in the Bears game, wildly inconsistent in in the Chargers game, fantastic in this recent game.


I stand by my original statement. Brady will look good for most of the season but will fall apart from a year's workload by the end.

38 Bullish on Brady, Slothooker...

He's not nearly as beaten up this year as he was in that last year with the Patriots.

He's also having much more fun with better talent, and of course, the Gronker is back.

As long as they can block for him, he'll be fine.

Arians coached teams lack consistency and discipline (Arizona fan) and I've seen this up-close.

I see them possible getting to the NFC CG, but not the SB this year.


37 The Rams..

...are imbalanced favoring the offense.  That loss to the Niners hurts and it's hard to understand how you get beat by such an injury-riddled team with Jimmy G at the helm.

Donald was doubled teamed and handled.

Goff was not sharp.

It will be interesting to see what McVeigh has up his sleeve going up against Kliffsbury.  The difference in these games may come down to a mobile QB vs a statue.  


53 The Rams seem to be this…

The Rams seem to be this year’s trick-or-treat team.  That game against the Bills is a microcosm of their season.  Half the time they look like an unstoppable force crafted by McVay’s genius, other times they look like Jeff Fisher never left.

The entire NFC West is very high variance this year, except the Seahawks who have been very consistent on both sides of the ball.  As a Seattle fan, I wish they were more inconsistent on defense.  That’d be an improvement.

24 God, this: Dallas plummets…

God, this:

Dallas plummets from 16th to 26th and falls slightly behind the Philadelphia Eagles in our odds to win the NFC East.

is just depressing. It's all due to Philly's high DAVE, which is complete nonsense since most of the guys the preseason projection thought would be playing... aren't. I still have no idea who's going to win the NFCE, but I just hope it's not Philly.

74 Except it's like, not…

Except it's like, not wishing for it if you're one of these teams. I certainly don't want Philly to win the NFC East! Literally the only thing it'll do is result in a bad loss and a worst draft position.

81 I have to think the number…

I have to think the number of players and personnel on the teams that don't wish to make the playoffs is super small.  Maybe some very cynical front office types whose jobs are extremely secure.

As a fan, yeah I see plenty (even though I think it's a silly outlook in most circumstances).

85 Of course the players and…

Of course the players and personnel want to make the playoffs. They always should! Resource trading to get there's another question, obviously - I'd always prefer long-term choices.

But in any other year, the idea of this team making the playoffs would be ludicrous. The only reason it's even remotely plausible this year is because of a confluence of stupid factors. That's why, as a fan, winning the NFC East this year is entirely pointless. There's no Super Bowl possibility (do not give me the "anything can happen!" crap), and the bragging rights just feel totally hollow.

86 I believe the 2007 Giants…

I believe the 2007 Giants had a negative scoring margin and was a long shot. They upended the 13-3 Cowboys, 13-3 Packers, and yes the 16-0 Patriots - that full disclosure - I thought was the best team I've ever seen. Crazier things could happen...

92 "Crazier things could happen…

"Crazier things could happen..."

No! Crazier things could not happen!

Even if Philly ended up at their current DAVE (-9.4%), which is a massive reach considering their current DVOA (-28.2%), they would be the worst Super Bowl team that DVOA's ever recorded by nearly 5%, and the worst Super Bowl winner (... I think) by over 10%. The 2007 Giants were only a "long shot" because the Patriots were so good. The Giants weren't a bad team! They led the league in sacks in 2007. There were absolutely signs that there wasn't that much of a gap separating the teams.

And "10% worse than the worst Super Bowl winner" is pretty much the high bar, and I'd eat my hat if Philly hits that point by the end of the year.

93 They could also improve…

They could also improve. Maybe some of the young guys get better. The Dbs could gel. 


I'm not saying it will happen I'm just saying it's not like it's preordained that this Eagles team will remain terrible for the entire year.

96 Yeah, I get it, weird things…

Yeah, I get it, weird things can happen. Mahomes, Wilson, Rodgers, Brady, and Jackson could all go down with season-ending injuries and Philly could be left playing the Bears and Nick Foles in the NFCCG to get to a Super Bowl against a Chad Henne-led Chiefs.

I'm not trying to say anything's preordained. I'm saying Philly turning things around, becoming a good team, and making it to the Super Bowl would be the greatest turnaround story in the history of the NFL.

It's not one thing that's the problem. There's a huge disconnect between the front office and the defensive coordinator, and that's not going to change this season. They keep getting guys who don't fit what Schwartz insists on playing. The DBs could gel? What DBs? They've got Darius Slay and just a bunch of guys, as well as zero linebackers who know anything about coverage. Literally my best hope for the season is that a bunch of the DBs/LBs get injured (not Slay, goddamnit) so  they have to grab random guys off the street again.

do have hope that the offense is going to get better. That's definitely true. But, c'mon, there's no way Philly's defense is doing anything in the postseason this year. The defensive line is fun sometimes, but... yeah, no.


95 They were middling. NYG were…

They were middling. NYG were 1.4% in the regular season. They were 49% in weeks 17-20, and I can't find the super bowl summary page at the moment.

But if you assume they were 50% in the playoffs, that's something like 11% total for the year.

They were however better than the 2008 Cardinals, even in the regular season.

I think that historical analysis we did was also down on the '68 Jets.

98 I certainly think their…

I certainly think their early season numbers are dragging them down.  They certainly were a good team over the last couple of months.  They lost to New England by 3 in week 17.  They beat 3 good teams on the road in the playoffs, and started next season 8-0.  The Giants team that won the Super Bowl was very good.  Dominating, even, on the defensive side.

99 Let me say this again, with…

Let me say this again, with emphasis: the 2007 New York Giants led the league in sacks, and had the #1 ASR.

Yes, if you look at things in aggregate, they were middling. But that's a super-simplistic way to look at things. The Patriots were super-awesome at offense. Yes. But if you have a defensive line that wins (and a semicompetent back-end as well), it doesn't matter. Note that the 2007 Patriots were not super-awesome at defense, and the Giants scoring 17 points kinda squares dead-on.

The Giants had the best pass rush in the league in 2007. It took over the Super Bowl, and they won. This isn't a hard narrative. Eli Manning suddenly didn't become mega-awesome QB out of nowhere or something.

If, by some wacko miracle the Eagles were to win the Super Bowl this year, it would be a much, much, much bigger surprise than the Giants that year. I mean, if you told someone in week 17 "oh, the Giants are winning the Super Bowl" in 2007, they'd figure "oh, the defense must've totally dominated that game." And they'd be right!

If you tell me right now the Eagles win the Super Bowl this year, there is no part of my brain that can explain this. There's no way they can patch an O-line together with who they have that'd be able to last through 4 playoff games. Even if the DL continues to improve and ends up top in the league, the LBs/DBs are nowhere near good enough. 

102 If, by some wacko miracle…

If, by some wacko miracle the Eagles were to win the Super Bowl this year, it would be a much, much, much bigger surprise than the Giants that year. 

The Eagles this year have an ASR almost identical to the 2007 Giants. Washington's is actually higher.

You need more than just a D line.

\Unlike the 2020 Eagles and Degloveds, the 2007 NYG had a solid O-line.

104 " But if you have a…

" But if you have a defensive line that wins (and a semicompetent back-end as well),"

The '07 Giants had a pretty solid back-end, with Antonio Pierce at MLB for instance. Not spectacular, but definitely solid. Career cut short due to injury, sadly. And the secondary had a reasonable interception count (15 total). The Eagles have Nate Gerry and are on pace for 5-6 interceptions (yes, really).

With the crap that Philly has at LB you just run play-action and throw to the spot Gerry vacates, and most of the time the DL won't matter.

107 Gotta agree with Pat here

I've already declared the Eagles as NFC East Champs, however if they or any of the other 3 NFC East teams win the Super Bowl, I would call it the biggest upset in pro football history.  Yes, one or more of these teams may improve by the end of the season (above and beyond regression towards the mean), but look at these DVOA's.  I am a firm believer in "anything can happen," but an NFC East Super Bowl Champion this year is the longest of long shots in my opinion.

I also agree that if you are a fan of the Eagles or of any NFC East team, that you should not want your team to win this division.  Getting a home playoff game can lead to a playoff win (see 2010 Seahawks), which would lead to a bottom 8 draft pick.  

Sticking specifically with the Eagles, if your fellow employees treated you like Wentz was treated on Sunday (16 QB hits, dropped passes), you would quit your job immediately.  Of course, if I'm Wentz I'll show up for work, take the millions of dollars and take the beating.

42 I thought this might be the…

I thought this might be the case after noticing that the Eagles almost came back on Baltimore, but then looked at the box score and noticed that Wentz finished with 3.7 NY/A - that's worse than his season average, which is already just about worst in the league. And their late TD was set up by a pretty dubious DPI for 49 yards. Even with all of their injuries, I think QB play is still the main thing holding them back...

51 Wentz had no support in this game

Look again at the box score.  The Ravens had 16 QB hits.  This is not in the box score:  Hightower dropped a wide open pass on 3rd and 22 for a first down and a lot more and there was another drop in the end zone.  Wentz had an entire replacement level receiving crew and the offensive line has a lot of replacement players.  Despite this, I posted last night a declaration that the Eagles are NFC East Champions (of course way to premature as all of these inept teams have a shot).  Wentz may not be as bad as his stats indicate, it is hard to separate out his play from the horrific play of his teammates.

64 Even with all of their…

Even with all of their injuries, I think QB play is still the main thing holding them back...

Lol. They are down to one starting lineman and their crappy returning receiver. Their lead back is out. Ertz is out, and sucked before then. This is basically a carbon-copy of what happened last year, except worse and earlier. 

We just excused Newton for being out of sync because he was missing two starting linemen. Wentz is missing four. Newton's receivers suck. Wentz's sucks and are hurt, so he's throwing to rookies and converted QBs, one a rookie converted QB.

His pocket awareness has been for crap, but it may just be awareness that his pocket is crap. The big worry is he's leaning heavily on hero ball because he has to, and bad habits are creeping in.

66 So, to be clear, a lot of…

So, to be clear, a lot of the problem is that with Philly's offense struggling, people are now looking at Wentz and being like "look at his accuracy, pocket awareness, mechanics" and not realizing they've never been good. He's not the kind of QB you can just throw on a random team and he'll never look super bad. He needs a good offensive line and receivers with wide catch radii.

This isn't unique to Wentz or anything - we've had QBs like this forever. Favre was similar in many ways. My instincts tell me that Roethlisberger's similar, except *!#^(ing Pittsburgh seems like they can draft a top-end WR whenever they want, going straight from Hines Ward -> Antonio Brown -> (apparently) Chase Claypool, so we've never really seen Roethlisberger with crap WRs. In my opinion part of the reason Mahomes is freaking preternatural is because he's got that same mentality ("really, the play's just a suggestion...") along with such an insanely honed throwing skill that "traditional" mechanics are completely unnecessary.

The other thing is that people don't like players getting similar excuses multiple times, and of course, like you said, Wentz got this same excuse last year. So how can it be "it's not him, it's his receivers" two years in a row? Simple. Last year, the problem was that the receivers they started off the year with were too old, and anyone with a half a brain could guess they'd be in trouble depth-wise.

This year, the receivers they started off the year with are too young (for those who're saying "but... the real starting guys are hurt!" - please. Jackson and Jeffery should never be considered the "real" starting receivers). So this part'll take time. But of course, because the FO never anticipates new problems, they also didn't bother to restock their OL depth, and of course got bit. (Plus the DBs still mostly suck, and of course the LBs are perennially garbage, but that's more DC-related than anything else).

68 He needs a good offensive…

He needs a good offensive line and receivers with wide catch radii.

I'm not sure any QB prospers with dumpster fires at every non-QB position.

Brady looked toasted last year, and he still had solid RBs and an O-line. Brees has struggled just missing his WR1. Indy Manning had a so-so O-line, but good skill players. QBs on 2016 Minnesota, whose O-line studiously attempted to murder their QB had 2.5 good receivers and 1 good TE. Even the worst of the Wilson offenses has had tolerable running and decent WRs. Better QBs have done worse with more.

Wentz would sell his soul for any of those rosters, versus the one he has now. Philly is starting slightly less offensive quality than the 2019 Dolphins. That it works at all is due to Wentz making something happen.

71 "I'm not sure any QB…

"I'm not sure any QB prospers with dumpster fires at every non-QB position."

There's a difference between "not prospering" and "looking god-awful." I mean, Rodgers had a super-bad week and it was still better than Wentz's week 1.

I'm not saying other QBs would succeed in this situation. But definitely other QBs have more robust mechanics and pocket presence, for instance, and so while they'd be bad they wouldn't be as bad. Wentz (and Favre, for instance) both are more sensitive to the quality of players around them.

76 Wentz managed the…

Wentz managed the performance of an average starting QB last season despite playing with NCAA-level talent.

I think all this season has really shown is the minimal level of surrounding competence he can tolerate. We've finally titrated down to the level of crapitude he cannot outweigh.

Consider Burrow. His stats say he's a terrible QB. Reality says he's actually pretty good; he's just saddled with a subpar team.

91 "I mean, Rodgers had a super…

"I mean, Rodgers had a super-bad week and it was still better than Wentz's week 1."


Yeah, but didn't Rodgers have a better supporting cast?  Even in week 1, Wentz had two linemen making their first starts.  His RB was Boston Scott.  One of his WR's was a rookie and the other is 34 years old.  At least he had Ertz and Goedert healthy  (but not now).



106 The best QB performance on the worst offense:

The best QB performance on the worst offense that I can think of is 2017 Seattle.  4 turnstiles on the O line... no run blocking, no running game - Wilson scrambling for 450 yards as leading rusher. 

But, Doug Baldwin and Jimmy Graham as pass catchers.

That was the year where Wilson should have been MVP!!!

69 "but then looked at the box…

"but then looked at the box score and noticed that Wentz finished with 3.7 NY/A"

Yeah, cuz he got sacked 6 times for 43 yards. Sacks are hard to assign, obviously, but considering his OL at this point is on like "3rd string backups," and one of those sacks was literally one of his own linemen sacking him, it's kinda easy to assign blame there.

Philly's ASR was ~6.4% last year, ~6.7% the year before, ~6.2% in 2017, and 8.6% this year.

From what I can tell, Baltimore has the same problem that Philly has, in that a ton of their defensive performance is coming from their DL (hence way better run defense than pass defense + top-half DL) so it's not terribly surprising that Wentz's DYAR was below zero this week (since the sacks get completely assigned to him).


77 Wentz has a bad habit of…

Wentz has a bad habit of retreating backwards from pressure, so a big chunk of his sack rate is on him in a Wilsonian manner.

That said, he's been dropped a few times before he finished his drop because the RT decided to block neither the DT nor the DE. Blocks so bad that I could have done better, merely by falling down and letting them trip over me.

103 Yeah, that's why I gave…

Yeah, that's why I gave previous years. 6% is about league average. Obviously plenty of top flight QBs have perennially low ASRs regardless of the O-line, and Wentz isn't one of them. But ~9% is clearly not Wentz. Nothing Wentz can do when one of his OL just decides to crash right into him.

39 Do you not watch these games?

Philly has a competent defense and can do some things on offense.

Dallas is a dumpster fire on defense and mismanaged on offense, especially now with Dalton.

Of course, Philly is the favorite now in that division.


67 The defensive line's coming…

The defensive line's coming around. They're definitely a high-point on the season, along with Mailata holding his own.

The reason why people think Philly's defense is competent is because it's a pretty damn good run defense, and a godawful pass defense. Which is totally consistent with a very good defensive line, which shuts down another team's running game and can shut down a passing game as well, almost regardless of the coverage.

112 That sounds like PHI falls…

That sounds like PHI falls behind big early, the other team starts to run more to burn out the clock, PHI knows they're going to run more so puts an extra guy in the box, PHI looks like they have a good run D.

I don't know if what I've said is true or not.  I haven't seen PHI play this year at all, and haven't checked out the stats on their games.  It just struck me as a chain that could explain PHI's run D looking like the best component of their team, even if it might not be.  

116 Philly's run D looked like…

Philly's run D looked like crap against the Rams (the entire team looked like crap against the Rams). But other than that, it's pretty good, and has been for years now. You basically can't run against the Eagles' interior, and the edges are pretty solid, too.

119 Yeah, that's because like…

Yeah, that's because like all of the runs were off the end, and, well, "waves arms wildly at linebackers" that. Plus Cox was injured that game, which didn't help.

"and the edges are pretty solid, too."

Yeah... not really. Obviously when you've got rushes towards the edges, it's frequently about the safeties/linebackers, and then it's a question of how well they respond to misdirection. Which... they don't. McVay's stupidly good at misdirection, and so... yeah.

44 Past and Future Schedules

I guess Colts fans will get to see what they're really made of on the coming months.  4-2 with a very nice overall DVOA/ranking, but that was facing the #32 sked.  Next ten games rank as the 4th hardest.  

Well, they were without their all pro LB the last two games (two worst defensively) and should be getting a couple WRs off IR in the next three weeks or so, so maybe they can keep pace.  Despite their lower ranking, TEN looks mighty stout.  

HOU conversely goes from 1 to 15, so despite the hole they're in....

And LAC has a similar (but opposite) flip to the Colts, going from 2 to 32.  Mr. Herbert, time to reap some rewards after a tough early slate.

54 Chiefs

I was somewhat surprised by the Chiefs modest ranking. I know the offence has not been firing on all cylinders, but that is relative, and the defense has been pretty good. Turns out they are being dragged down by their special teams, which is very surprising considering they are coached by the great Dave Toub. One would assume that is a small sample issue and will happily regress to the mean over the season. 

As a further comment, I found the Chiefs/Bills game last night fascinating strategically. Sean McDermott has come out straight and said the Bills were happy to give up the run to prevent being gashed quickly by Mahomes. Whilst I was watching the game I recall thinking that whilst the announcers were marvelling over CEH ripping off chunks of yardage, the game remained close throughout, and it required a couple of crucial late third down conversions to prevent Buffalo having a chance to drive for victory. Had the Bills offence played a little better, that strategy of encouraging the Chiefs to embark on long, slow drives, thereby reducing the overall number of drives in the game, might well have worked. Nice job by McDermott realising his defense was overmatched and coming up with a strategic solution, I thought. 

55 Bills/Chiefs - interesting

In reply to by BJR

That's an interesting point.  I think perhaps the balance was a bit off though, as there were a bunch of times where it looked like a single stop would've been momentum changing, but the Chiefs just kept on moving the sticks on the ground.   But you're right, one way or another they did manage to keep it all close.

Going the other way it seemed like the Bills were taking some interesting approaches early on, with a few conservative plays and a couple of home run shots, which didn't pay off but which might have.  

Interesting also that the Chiefs have now bottled up Lamar and Josh Allen.   

One final thought: Allen didn't get any rhythm until very late, which was a huge shame.  Having watched all the other games this season, he's been playing at a very high level and snapping off the right throws at the right time.  But we really didn't see that side of him until later on.   I'm not sure on the flow of the weather throughout the game, but Mahomes seemed to adjust.  A shame, the game felt like it was there to be stolen.


56 Oh for sure, giving up 6…

Oh for sure, giving up 6 yards a carry and 25 first downs is not a formula for winning many games. But the savvier coaches around the league have woken up to the fact that facing these Chiefs is an extreme situation, and unless you have a very talented defense that can someway match up, it requires very specific game-planning. 'Conceding' the run is preferable to letting Hill & co run free downfield.

Maybe, given the weather, they could have challenged Mahomes to pass a little more. In that regard, I wouldn't be too harsh on Josh Allen. He was poor against Tennessee, but those were tougher conditions last night and DYAR graded him ok for the game. The TD drive towards the end was really nice. Unfortunately it wasn't enough, the 3 punts either side of half-time killed them. 

72 I was also fascinates by…

I was also fascinates by that defensive strategy. A chiefs team passing 40 times, even at middling efficiency, feels like they could stumble into 30 points. 

I think this game kind of showed just how much scoring mileage you can get by gashing someone in the run game. It eats up yards and chews the clock, but its far better to give that up than back breaking long passes and quick strike tds.

This is FO but people still can't help themselves by giving nearly all the credit to Mahomes. I mean guys...Alex Smith put up huge numbers with this crew of offensive players. The fact that this offense is so terrifying is part Mahomes, but also the supporting cast, who know how find holes in the coverage when Mahomes begins his scramble drills.


80 I like Smith. I think Smith…

I like Smith. I think Smith takes way more shit from analysts than he deserves, due almost entirely to Singletary's incompetence when he was a rookie. Smith isn't Mahomes.

Smith was a 500-1000 DYAR guy in a competent offense.
Mahomes is a 1500-2000 DYAR guy in a competent offense.

He's sort of like Terrell Davis as compared to Clinton Portis (who was himself a large step up from fungible Shanahan RB). Portis was a pretty solid 400 DYAR/15% DVOA guy. Davis was a 600 DYAR/25% DVOA guy. He was the difference between 1600 yards and 2000 yards. (Fungible guy was 200 DYAR/10%/1200 yards)

83 Smith is a polarizing player…

Smith is a polarizing player. Since all pre Harbaugh years are blamed on everyone but Smith, we can look at his non KC years. He was exactly average in 2011, top 10 in 2012, and pretty awful in 2017. It's important to note that in 2012, Colin Kaepernick was ranked 3rd; though Kaepernick is similarly an unknown quantity.


All this muddies what Smith would look like on an average team. Me personally, his style of play is probably going to lead to a lot of 6-10 records. Stylistically he may be a polar opposite, but functionally he may not be that different from Ryan Fitzpatrick, if not maybe a little worse.

87 Since all pre Harbaugh years…

Since all pre Harbaugh years are blamed on everyone but Smith, we can look at his non KC years. He was exactly average in 2011, top 10 in 2012, and pretty awful in 2017.

He was 9th in DYAR and 10th in DVOA, with 1000 DYAR.

That's not "pretty awful."

I suspect you meant 2018, but I'm not sure I'd consider 2018 Washington to be a competent offense. That said, it functioned a ton better with Smith than with their other QBs.

113 Not sure if this is considered inappropriate

However, if there is a forum capable of removing emotion from the discussion and debating a topic on a philosophical level, this would be it.

Antonio Brown

Reportedly he has a chance of ending up on the Seahawks, so I now need to come to terms with that prospect.  The first reaction is obvious, his off the field issues are well known.  That said he has been judged and punished, as well as served that time once he is made eligible by the NFL. (I'm aware of the open case pending further evidence potentially adding time)

I'm not concerned at all about the possibility he might disturb team chemistry.  Carroll, Wilson, Wagner, Wright and Lockett wouldn't allow any noise he could make to be impactful.  D.K. Metcalf is young and might have looked up to Brown in his time coming up.  He has since attached himself to Wilson and Lockett after joining the team though and he also seems to have a very good head on his shoulders.

I guess my biggest question then is whether people feel that "time served" is "time served" and people should be allowed to restart their lives afterward?  I don't agree with the notion that Brown should be shunned for the rest of his life, however he makes his livelihood in a role that many consider to be a privilege.

I can't say that my ultimate decision on the matter will change my outlook for the Seahawks, but hearing others thoughts would be welcome on how they might handle him being a part of your own team.

(The football consideration is a moot point in my opinion, as I don't think even his biggest detractors would say he wouldn't make an impact on the field.)

115 Well, I'm a fan of his last…

Well, I'm a fan of his last team, and how I felt was duped, as there was no disclosure by Brown or his agent that he was the subject of an investigation that almost certainly would lead to a suspension, if not arrest.

That being said, we really don't know what exactly happened (as far as the alleged sexual assault), so it's hard for me to know how to feel.  He's been effectively suspended for just about a year now.  I think I'd feel better if the suspension ran for the rest of this season, and he became a free agent after the Super Bowl, but disagreeing with the length of suspensions is a common occurence among football fans.  Absent hard evidence of rape, he should be allowed to resume his career at some point.  While he's never been locked up, he's forfeited millions of dollars in lost earnings, and I would hope his re-instatement was conditional on some education and public service.

124 I can certainly see that…

I can certainly see that from your viewpoint.  As far as I can tell he was released more for his dishonesty/lack of disclosure than the allegations levied against him.

I also agree that much will be determined based upon the outcome of the ongoing investigation.  Should further damning evidence emerge, or the ruling go against him in the civil action, he'll likely be suspended further and if already signed released by the Seahawks. (Or whichever team he ends up on)

I don't expect any of that will take his future employers by surprise again though.

125 I wouldn't expect them both…

I wouldn't expect them both to remain on the roster, though I could be wrong about the Seahawks plans.  I believe this is a measure to make their strengths even stronger, and perhaps to play keep away from any potential competition.

120 I think you are under rating how ugly:

I think you are under rating how ugly cancer can be.  Growing up in the Portland suburb of Vancouver I was a big Trailblazers fan.  For the 1999-2000 season they built an all star roster around Rasheed Wallace and Scotty Pippin and finished 2nd to the Shaq-Kobe Lakers in the West.  In the playoffs they had a 20 point lead over the Lakers in the 3rd quarter of game 7 of the Western Conference Finals before having an Atlanta Falcons style collapse.

Fast forward a season... through January of the 2000-2001 season the Blazers are destroying the NBA.  The only team close to them is the defending champion Lakers.  Then, mid year, they add Rod Strickland, a washed up head case guard Portland's GM fell in love with.  The team collapses finishes in the 3rd or 4th seed after having a losing record over the final quarter of the season and is bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

It's taken almost 20 years to recover from that.

I could see Brown being that kind of head case.  Even Randy Moss eventually was bounced from the Patriots.  Gordon just likes weed.  Liking weed is, I'm going to say expected, in Seattle.

127 Weed is banned, however the…

In reply to by scraps

Weed is banned, however the NFL will no longer suspend players for positive results.  They are simply placed into the abuse program.  It's PED's which are the issue, which I don't believe have been part of his demons.

126 Sure, I could be…

Sure, I could be underestimating the problems he could pose.

I'm just of the belief that if things did begin to get out of hand, that the Seahawks could easily release him and be no worse for the wear.  I can't imagine he'll receive a contract that isn't heavily laden with behavior/performance incentives.

The Seahawks have recent history dealing with similar situation in Malik McDowell. (Hello Miami)  That had a far more impactful effect, from lost draft capital and opportunity cost.  (Hello T.J. Watt, Ryan Ramczyk, Budda Baker)

131 Yes

which is why the absence of pro football is felt even more acutely


on another note, the NFC East has to be the worst division in the modern era

130 NY

Well, cheer up, you can always root for the Rangers, oh, maybe the Knicks, hmm, how about the Nets, er, then the Mets, agh, OK the Devils, no, perhaps the Islanders, ehhh. Wow, no wonder New York is so focused on the Yankees.