Seattle and the Best DVOA Games Ever
Usually I save this sort of thing for the Tuesday DVOA commentary, but I should have enough other things to talk about, so let's spend a little extra time today considering yesterday's 58-0 Seattle win over Arizona.
The opponent adjustments in DVOA will change over the next three weeks, so this isn't the final rating for this game. In fact, the opponent adjustments will change tonight, since both Seattle and Arizona played the Patriots earlier this year (and either beat them, in the case of Seattle, or "I can't f-ing believe this crappy ass team actually beat the Patriots" in the case of Arizona).
Based on the ratings as of this morning, however, the Seahawks come out with the third-highest single-game DVOA rating of all-time (i.e. since 1991). That's pretty remarkable considering that a lot of their dominance was based on fumble recovery, and DVOA is giving less credit for that -- especially for recovering a muffed punt, since muffed punts are almost always recovered by the return team.
Seattle was firing on all three cylinders yesterday: They had an offensive DVOA of 55.5%, defensive DVOA of -68.7%, and special teams DVOA of 16.2%.
When the final Week 14 ratings come out tomorrow, the Seahawks will either be first or second, depending on what happens with New England and Houston tonight. No matter what, there will be a huge gap between the top four teams (Denver, New England, San Francisco, and Seattle) and the rest of the league. With tonight's game yet to be played, that gap is 12 percentage points.
Here are the best DVOA games since 1991; I've included the rank of each opponent for the season in question to give you an idea of how much the opponent adjustments might be responsible for such a high rating.
|Best Single-Game DVOA Ratings, 1991-2012 (as of Week 14)|
And here is a list of the worst DVOA games since 1991. Because of opponent adjustments, there are some different games on this list. Arizona just misses this top dozen, coming in 14th at -137.1%.
|Worst Single-Game DVOA Ratings, 1991-2012 (as of Week 14)|
One other note: The ratings above are regular-season games only; I have not yet had a chance to finish running every postseason back to 1991 with the new version of the ratings introduced this past offseason.