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16 Oct 2007

Week 6 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Here are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through six weeks of 2007, 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 for opponent and 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.

Opponent adjustments are currently set at 60% and will increase each week until they are full strength after Week 10.

DAVE is an early-season formula that combines early-season performance with our preseason projection to get a more accurate picture of how well teams will play over the course of the entire season. (DAVE stands for "DVOA Adjusted for Variation Early.") In this week's DAVE ratings, for teams with six games, the preseason projection counts for 19 percent, and the current DVOA counts for 81 percent. For teams with five games, the split is 27/73. In addition, the weight of Weeks 1-3 has been lowered slightly.

To save people some time, we request that you 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 NE 62.8% 1 56.2% 1 66.7% 6-0 40.5% 2 -19.3% 4 3.0% 9
2 IND 53.0% 2 45.2% 2 54.6% 5-0 50.2% 1 -8.6% 8 -5.8% 28
3 PIT 36.9% 3 28.8% 3 49.8% 4-1 10.8% 8 -25.9% 1 0.2% 18
4 DAL 34.9% 4 25.3% 4 35.7% 5-1 26.3% 3 -9.5% 7 -1.0% 20
5 TB 28.7% 5 25.3% 5 26.5% 4-2 18.1% 4 -7.5% 11 3.1% 8
6 GB 19.1% 6 15.5% 8 17.7% 5-1 9.3% 9 -9.6% 6 0.2% 17
7 JAC 17.9% 10 20.7% 6 20.2% 4-1 17.4% 5 0.6% 14 1.1% 14
8 BAL 15.8% 8 15.3% 9 26.4% 4-2 -10.3% 25 -18.3% 5 7.8% 4
9 WAS 15.8% 7 15.6% 7 15.0% 3-2 -8.5% 24 -22.7% 3 1.5% 13
10 TEN 14.3% 9 9.7% 13 4.0% 3-2 -3.5% 20 -23.5% 2 -5.8% 27
11 PHI 11.6% 11 12.8% 10 14.5% 2-3 7.9% 11 -8.6% 9 -4.9% 23
12 NYG 10.8% 15 10.2% 11 5.6% 4-2 14.1% 6 -2.2% 13 -5.5% 26
13 SD 7.8% 17 10.2% 12 6.7% 3-3 7.9% 10 2.0% 16 1.9% 12
14 SEA 4.1% 12 2.7% 14 5.9% 3-3 2.2% 15 0.9% 15 2.9% 10
15 MIN 3.7% 14 0.8% 15 10.2% 2-3 -2.7% 18 -4.1% 12 2.4% 11
16 HOU -0.9% 16 -5.8% 17 -4.8% 3-3 -3.4% 19 7.1% 20 9.7% 1
17 ARI -3.4% 13 -6.3% 19 4.3% 3-3 0.6% 16 4.6% 18 0.6% 15
18 CLE -4.2% 19 -3.5% 16 -10.1% 3-3 5.4% 12 16.9% 30 7.4% 5
19 CIN -6.5% 18 -6.8% 20 -10.3% 1-4 11.3% 7 7.7% 21 -10.1% 30
20 CAR -10.7% 26 -6.1% 18 2.3% 4-2 -0.7% 17 4.8% 19 -5.2% 25
21 KC -12.1% 25 -13.1% 21 -7.7% 3-3 -14.7% 28 -7.6% 10 -5.0% 24
22 BUF -19.2% 23 -14.2% 22 -25.5% 1-4 -19.9% 29 8.7% 22 9.3% 2
23 DET -20.8% 22 -19.9% 25 -13.6% 3-2 -7.1% 21 9.3% 24 -4.4% 22
24 DEN -21.3% 24 -20.1% 26 -21.3% 2-3 3.8% 13 12.9% 28 -12.1% 32
25 ATL -21.6% 21 -17.1% 23 -21.6% 1-5 -8.5% 23 9.2% 23 -3.9% 21
26 MIA -22.0% 20 -21.3% 27 -21.3% 0-6 2.6% 14 24.8% 31 0.2% 19
27 CHI -24.0% 28 -18.6% 24 -26.8% 2-4 -29.8% 31 2.5% 17 8.3% 3
28 NO -31.1% 31 -24.1% 28 -43.5% 1-4 -12.4% 26 12.2% 27 -6.5% 29
29 STL -31.8% 29 -29.8% 30 -34.8% 0-6 -22.3% 30 10.0% 25 0.5% 16
30 NYJ -33.8% 30 -24.8% 29 -33.9% 1-5 -8.5% 22 28.6% 32 3.2% 7
31 OAK -37.7% 27 -31.8% 31 -26.5% 2-3 -13.5% 27 14.1% 29 -10.1% 31
32 SF -45.7% 32 -39.3% 32 -39.7% 2-3 -38.2% 32 10.9% 26 3.4% 6

  • 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. (Note: This is based on 2007 performance only. In other words, DVOA, not DAVE.)
  • VARIANCE measures the statistical variance of the team's weekly DVOA performance. Teams are ranked from least consistent (#1, highest variance) to most consistent (#32, smallest variance).

1 NE 62.8% 6-0 5.3 2 -3.5% 21 4.7% 10 3.8% 30
2 IND 53.0% 5-0 6.0 1 -1.7% 19 5.4% 9 8.6% 20
3 PIT 36.9% 4-1 3.8 9 -11.4% 31 -1.4% 17 36.8% 1
4 DAL 34.9% 5-1 4.4 3 -3.9% 23 2.3% 14 10.6% 18
5 TB 28.7% 4-2 4.3 4 -0.3% 17 -12.2% 30 25.5% 4
6 GB 19.1% 5-1 4.1 5 4.3% 10 -14.1% 31 4.2% 29
7 JAC 17.9% 4-1 3.9 6 -6.9% 27 9.4% 5 5.5% 26
8 BAL 15.8% 4-2 3.7 10 -20.9% 32 15.0% 1 4.2% 28
9 WAS 15.8% 3-2 3.5 11 -0.2% 15 10.7% 3 8.4% 21
10 TEN 14.3% 3-2 3.8 8 7.8% 6 -4.5% 20 2.6% 31
11 PHI 11.6% 2-3 3.9 7 -1.5% 18 7.1% 7 14.3% 12
12 NYG 10.8% 4-2 3.5 12 4.3% 9 -0.3% 16 12.8% 13
13 SD 7.8% 3-3 3.3 13 -2.2% 20 1.2% 15 26.7% 3
14 SEA 4.1% 3-3 3.0 18 -3.5% 22 -14.6% 32 21.6% 5
15 MIN 3.7% 2-3 3.2 14 -9.9% 28 -5.0% 23 6.3% 24
16 HOU -0.9% 3-3 2.8 19 0.7% 14 4.2% 13 10.1% 19
17 ARI -3.4% 3-3 2.6 22 -5.2% 26 -11.3% 29 31.6% 2
18 CLE -4.2% 3-3 3.2 16 8.2% 5 -8.4% 27 12.8% 14
19 CIN -6.5% 1-4 3.0 17 11.1% 3 -5.6% 24 1.4% 32
20 CAR -10.7% 4-2 2.8 20 -10.0% 29 7.4% 6 19.4% 8
21 KC -12.1% 3-3 3.2 15 -0.3% 16 -7.8% 26 16.0% 11
22 BUF -19.2% 1-4 2.3 23 13.2% 2 4.6% 11 11.7% 16
23 DET -20.8% 3-2 2.7 21 -5.1% 25 6.3% 8 17.4% 10
24 DEN -21.3% 2-3 2.0 24 3.6% 11 -2.6% 18 20.0% 7
25 ATL -21.6% 1-5 2.0 25 5.9% 7 -3.9% 19 5.5% 27
26 MIA -22.0% 0-6 1.9 26 -4.3% 24 12.2% 2 8.3% 23
27 CHI -24.0% 2-4 1.8 27 5.4% 8 -4.6% 21 11.3% 17
28 NO -31.1% 1-4 1.6 28 14.9% 1 -10.1% 28 8.3% 22
29 STL -31.8% 0-6 1.5 29 3.3% 13 -4.8% 22 19.1% 9
30 NYJ -33.8% 1-5 1.3 30 10.0% 4 10.1% 4 5.7% 25
31 OAK -37.7% 2-3 0.9 32 -10.1% 30 4.5% 12 21.1% 6
32 SF -45.7% 2-3 1.0 31 3.6% 12 -6.2% 25 12.4% 15

Best DVOA Ever Watch

1999 STL 68.7% 1999 STL 64.8% 2000 STL 51.0% 2000 STL 53.6%
1996 GB 63.9% 1996 GB 63.9% 2007 IND 50.2% 2007 NE 40.5%
2007 NE 62.8% 2007 NE 62.8% 1999 WAS 41.3% 2000 IND 40.3%
2007 IND 53.0% 2001 STL 51.4% 2007 NE 40.5% 1999 WAS 39.1%
2001 STL 51.4% 1998 DEN 47.8% 1998 DEN 36.5% 2004 IND 38.6%
1998 DEN 47.8% 2006 CHI 46.7% 2004 MIN 36.1% 1998 DEN 36.5%
2006 SD 47.3% 2000 MIA 43.5% 1999 STL 35.3% 1999 STL 36.1%
2006 CHI 46.7% 2005 IND 43.0% 2001 STL 34.9% 2001 STL 34.9%
2004 PHI 44.6% 2006 PHI 39.9% 1998 SF 34.2% 2005 SEA 33.9%
2000 MIA 43.5% 1999 JAC 39.3% 2000 IND 34.2% 2005 SD 31.8%

I apologize for the lack of commentary today, but I need to get all the numbers online and then go catch a flight home from L.A. to Boston. I promise there will be more commentary on FO next week. (Hey, the good news is, you get the ratings earlier this week because I'm not waiting to write commentary...)

For (short) comments on every team, look for DVOA on AOL, every Wednesday. (This will be linked on the FO Goes Mainstream page.)

Individual stats pages, offensive line, and defensive front seven are all updated. Each of these other pages will be updated through Week 6 later today or tonight:

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 16 Oct 2007

212 comments, Last at 22 Oct 2007, 1:57pm by Andrew


by AmbiantDonkey (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:14pm

Any chance for an answer on what the squib kickoffs do to the Bears ST DVOA?

by iowapatsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:16pm

I am really surprised at the fact that STL is not the worst team right now in DVOA. I would take the Raiders and Jets in a heartbeat...

by Sam (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:18pm

OK raise your hand if in the preseason you had Dave Garrard, Derek Anderson and Jeff Garcia in the top-5 DPAR quarterbacks 6 weeks in.

by jetsgrumberl (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:20pm

Am I correct that the Pats Offensive DVOA went down after scoring 48 points? Who says this is a Pats homer site?

by Seth Burn (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:25pm

Anyone care to explain how the Patriots have 5.3 estimated wins through 6 games while the Colts have 6 estimated wins through 5 games?

by pawnking (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:25pm

Playoff Odds are from last week.

by Cosmos (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:26pm

Surprisingly little movement, especially at the top.

by Sam (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:28pm

One thing I like about the DVOA ratings is the stability in the rankings. Tennessee (ranked #9 last week) fell to a team ranked 5th. There is a temptation in "power polls" and other subjective rankings to drop ANY team ANY time they lose. If the 9th-ranked team loses a close game to the 5th-ranked team, well... that means those teams were accurately ranked about 5 spots apart.

by Brooklyn Bengal (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:29pm

How are the Bengals not ranked #32? Geez, and with all the smack I talked about them beating up on KC...

[eats hat]

by Sam (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:30pm

#6: Note the list of features at the bottom of the article, headed by the title "Each of these other pages will be updated through Week 6 later today or tonight". When "Playoff odds report" says "updated" next to it, then it will be the Week 6 Playoff Odds report.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:31pm

Am I correct that the Pats Offensive DVOA went down after scoring 48 points? Who says this is a Pats homer site?
Opponent adjustments get stronger week-to-week in the beginning of the season. Even if the Patriots play exactly as well as they have up to this point in the season, their DVOA will continue to decline as long as the majority of their opponents play like .500-or-below teams.

On the other hand, San Diego's rebound could bring it back up. Cleveland, too, though they're still not doing much to pad offensive DVOA for their opponents.

by Sam (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:31pm

Do you really think if CIN played the Jets, Rams, Niners or Raiders they would lose on a neutral site?

by Joshua (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:34pm

Anyone care to explain how the Patriots have 5.3 estimated wins through 6 games while the Colts have 6 estimated wins through 5 games?

Estimated wins are calculated as if all teams have played 6 games.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:34pm

As a Colts fan, I apologize to those of you who are sick of hearing about the Colts and Patriots by now.

Raiderjoe is not going to be pleased with the rankings for the Raiders.

I do like that DAVE didn't freak out about Philly, which is now 2-3 and still fairly likely to make the playoffs.

by Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:34pm

"Anyone care to explain how the Patriots have 5.3 estimated wins through 6 games while the Colts have 6 estimated wins through 5 games?"
A fairness adjustment considering the Pats have the first round pick of the 32nd ranked DVOA/DAVE team?

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:42pm

I'm not sure I understand the Pats/Colts estimated wins.

The pats are scoring more points per game, giving up less points per game, have a higher DVOA, and play an easier schedule, and yet have less estimated wins? That doesn't make any sense to me.

by Yaguar (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:44pm

I think Aaron said there was something flukey about the Patriots' estimated wins because they don't yet have a rating for close games, because they haven't played any.

by Joshua (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:45pm

Wow. The Titans have mostly terrible skill position players:

10-V.Young -2.9 34 -18.6% 32
29-C.Brown 12.5 7 30.8% 7
25-L.White -1.2 44 -17.2% 42
86-R.Williams 5.2 38 21.4% 21
81-B.Jones 4.7 42 18.7% 26
83-E.Moulds 1.5 54 -6.1% 52
80-B.Scaife -1.4 33 -23.2% 32

Chris Brown is having a fantastic year, and yet LenDale White has 30! more carries. Vince Young is terrible, and Bo Scaife, his #1 target, is the worst starting TE in the leage

by Joshua (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:46pm

The pats are scoring more points per game, giving up less points per game, have a higher DVOA, and play an easier schedule, and yet have less estimated wins? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Estimated wins heavily weights performance in close games. The Pats haven't been in any close games.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:47pm

16: Estimated wins are calculated based on the team playing an average schedule, so the Pats easier future schedule doesn't come into effect. My guess is what's hurting their ranking most is their red zone defense.

by Brian (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:48pm

#16: I think Aaron talked about this last week or the week before. One of the statistics used for estimated wins is performance in the 4th quarter of close games. Since NE has yet to play a game that was close in the 4th quarter, they get a big fat 0 for that stat and so their estimated wins number is artificially low.

by Joshua (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:49pm

The Madden Curse has defeated Vince Young. None shall challenge the supremacy of the Madden Curse.

by MRH (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:49pm

I saw NE has the 10th hardest schedule remaining and went to nfl.com to see who they played.

I noticed their week 17 game. At the Giants. Saturday night. Could be quite a matchup, potentially for the Pats to become the first 16-0 regular season time. Probably significant playoff game for Giants. Brady vs. Manning the Younger. The Belichick Film Company is back in the Meadowlands. Nice game for national TV, right?

On NFL Network.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:49pm

17/19: Both the Cleveland and Dallas games have been close at some point in the second half, although admittedly not for long. So I think we know a little about how the Patriots will respond in those situations.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:49pm

" and Bo Scaife, his #1 target, is the worst starting TE in the leage"

A lot of Bo Scaife being the "worst starting TE in the league" is that his QB is one of the worst pure passers in the league.

After watching a couple Titans games, I think Roydelle Williams is actually REALLY good. He caught a LOT of balls he had no business getting to.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:51pm


Yeah, I agree. The patriots haven't had no "close game time".. they just blow people away when its close.

by Eric P (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:56pm

5) "Teams that have had their bye week are projected as if they had played one game per week." I don't know why, but there it is.
From previous commentary, the Pats do not show well in 2 of the 3 categories used to compute estimated wins: red zone defense, where they've been fairly awful, and close and late, where they haven't had any chances.

by GBS (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:57pm

Ravens schedule so far: 32nd.
Ravens schedule rest of season: 1st.

That has to be somewhat discouraging for Ravens' fans.

by MJK (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 2:58pm

I'm guessing that Estimated Wins looks heavily at red zone performance. That's been the Patriots weakest aspect this season...they've been horrible on offense in the red zone until recently, and are only now being average. And they've only been slightly better on defense. Of course, their defense is playing pretty decently between the 20's, so other teams aren't getting many red zone opportunities, and they're scoring a bajillion points on big plays, so they're blowing people out despite their pedestrian red zone performance. But estimated wins probably isn't built to take that into account...

by MJK (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:00pm

So, how long until the FOMBC hits Carolina fans? They're bound to start complaining about being 4-2 and yet ranked way behind a slew of 3-3 and 3-2 teams, not to mention two teams with losing records (Philly and Cincy).

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:08pm

30: I think Carolina fans are going to realize that when your starting QB is 44, it's hard to complain about your team being ranked too low.

by James G (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:08pm

Oh great. Not looking forward to this coming week. My wife's team is #3 DVOA, and mine is #24, and their playing each other. Looks like a repeat of the '05 AFC championship game, when her grandma called me at halftime and started rubbing it in.

by Erik Smith (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:13pm

Looking at #31 Raiders and #32 49ers, you can see why NFL games on TV in the Bay Area are virturally unwatchable. The best we can hope for is a Raiders blackout.

The last 2 weeks when the NFL game couldn't be shown on Fox due to contractual agreements, we got *rodeo* on our TVs. And that's when SF had a *bye*.

See you at the bar,


by Thok (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:14pm

My favorite ridiculous New England stat

If the Patriots win the rest of their games by an average of 34-7, they'd set both the record for most points scored in a season and fewest points given up in a season. This isn't likely to happen (the defense hasn't been good enough for that), but just the fact that it isn't totally implausible 6 games into the season gives a feel for ho good the Patriots are.

by Bobman (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:19pm

Surprised that no one points out the historic magnitude of the tables above. Sam #3 gets close with his QB musings....

Look at Jax's offensive and defensive rankings. Whoda thunk it? I assume when the first week fades in importance, the D ranking will climb a bit, but will it ever overtake their mighty O?

Repeat these phrases now, because their shelf life is limited: Jack Del Rio, offensive genius! Jags defense: meh!

Also, who wrote in the Fox commentary (Aaron?) the great line about "Don't let the Reebok suit fool you, Del Rio knew what he was doing (with Garrard)." Very good and (unfortunately) true. This Colt fan wants Leftwich back! Pronto!

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:21pm

The Vikings' defense ranking fell about what I thought it would after their worst performance of the season by far, and hopefully it is an aberration, although I'm curious as to what the Bears' offensive DVOA will be like after 10 games with Griese as qb, compared to the last 10 games of Horribillus Rex.

On the other hand, if you had told me after week 2 that the Vikings would have a top 20 offense after week six, I would have suspected intoxication. They may exceed my six win projection yet, thanks to a rookie. It is a little fustrating to be 2.5 games behind in the divisional standings, but only a little more than one game behind in estimated wins. I wonder if teams with better qb play more often exceed their estimated wins, and if teams with bad qb play more often fall short of estimated wins; in other words, could estimated win projections be improved by weighting projected qb play more heavily. I'm sure Aaron is constantly tweaking the models, to see if projections improve, and it would interesting to see what he has tried.

Back to the Bears, I guess the not wholly unexpected defensive performance variance has taken place.

by peachy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:24pm

More Jax oddness - whoulda thunk before the season that the offense would be very good and the defence dead average? And it's freaky beyond words to see them down in the mid-20s for variance. It's like I don't even know them any more...

by Waverly (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:24pm

Denver's offensive variance is ranked #32;
their defensive variance is ranked #1.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:27pm

Re: 28

The Ravens look like they will struggle offensively all year. The defense is good but not so good that it will be able to keep non-Rams teams to single digit points. They have to play the top three teams (DVOA) four times over the balance of the year. Hard to see them winning any of those games barring catastophic injury. One more loss in any of their other six games probably knocks them out of the playoffs. Tough road.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:31pm

I'm going to sound like the President of the Adrian Peterson Fan Club, but I actually think the Vikings have a chance to give the Cowboys a pretty tough time this Sunday. I think there are some things the Vikings can do with match-ups if they put Peterson and Chester Taylor on the field at the same time which will cause problems, especially if the Vikings receivers can catch the ball like Division I-AA players. The Vikings defense will have to play better than they did on a few blown coverages against the Bears, however.

by SoulardX (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:34pm

Man, The Show was pretty damn good. For all of NE's and IND's 2007 asskicking, they stilll haven't topped the 1999 Rams.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:36pm

Well, I guess there really isn't that huge of a difference between the two conferences (once you get past the top 3 anyway). The top 3 AFC teams are as a whole ridiculous. But once you get past that, it looks like the AFC is about 4% DVOA better. That's not nearly as big as most of the AFC fanboys would like us to believe.

Click my name for the nifty little chart.

by shocker (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:37pm


I agree that the formula is good because it doesn't over exaggerate close losses to good teams (or vice-versa). However, I think philly has a tough road to the playoffs. Not so much because the NFC has good competition, but because their in the east, which has a lot to contend with.

They would probably win the south or west. Looks like we may see 3 NFC east teams in the playoffs again (unless TB/Car has something to say about that)

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:38pm

Subjectively, the top three teams on this list just seem much better than the rest (I'm giving the Steelers a mulligan on the Arizona game). Teams 4-13 seem pretty close (closer than the current numbers indicate). But maybe my Garcia bias is just refusing to let me believe that TB is really better than SD/PHI/etc.

by jim m (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:38pm

I don't exactly understand why there seems to be so much talk about how great this NE team is. Through six weeks they rank 3rd of all teams in the DVOA era. I don't recall to many writers/commentators referring to the other two teams ranked ahead of them (StL 99 and GB 96) as all time great teams. I doubt they'd get a nod in the top ten teams of the last 30 years.

From an historical perspective being the 3rd best team in the last 11 years, isn't particularly impressive.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:40pm


You don't remember the "Greatest Show on Turf" being called historically great?

by Yinka Double Dare (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:40pm

I'm actually curious about #1's question as well.

by Sad Bronco Fan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:41pm

I think there may be a problem with the calcs. I was checking loser league totals and Rob Bironas (1 PAT and 1 FG) is listed as having 6 points. ?? Wes Welker 124 yards, 2 TDS is listed as having 1 point. ??
Is this a problem with the Loser League scripts or is there some undercurrent that raises concerns with the data from which DVOA is derived?

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:45pm

Re: 40

It's pretty common for coaches (and fans) to talk about plays with two RBs on the field, but I don't really recall it ever producing anything great. The Saints talked a lot about this last year but it didn't really seem to create the mismatches they were hoping for. Opposing DCs seem to have the answer for this.

by jim m (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:47pm

Will - I didn't think the Vikings played to badly on defence up until the incredible meltdown in the last 3 minutes. A McCauley catch of an easy INT or a 1st down out of the offence out of either of the two possessions they had in the last 4 minutes and they would have held the Bears to about 320 yards.

Regarding the offence - in the last 3 games the passing game has had huge opportunities because teams are so overplaying the run. The WR's and AB's are just blowing plays (and the ref in the KC game).

Against KC - Holcomb misses Ferguson for an easy TD. Ref steals a TD from Shiancoe.

GB - Holcomb misses Rice wide open for 50+ pass.

Chic - Rice x 2 and Williamson drop slant passes perfectly thrown with big YAC available. Jackson misses wide open pass to the FB for a walk in 40+ yard TD.

This offence is starting to look semi dangerous because Peterson is unreal and the line is starting to play very well.

The lack of a pass rush is really starting to haunt the defence though.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:48pm

Anybody know off-hand how frequently Bush and McCallister were on the field at the same time last year?

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:51pm


THere have been a couple of issues with cutting and pasting this year... I wouldn't be surprised if this was another.... as well as Sage Rosenfels ridiculous DPAR for a drive in garbage time.

by Tim (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:55pm

45 - The reason is because you have to go back to the 1968 Cowboys to find a team that started 6-0 and had as large an average margin of victory as the Pats through six games. That's pretty impressive.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:55pm

Jim m, the Vikings' defense played o.k. except for three plays, but it only takes three lousy plays to ruin a defensive performance. Like I said, I hope it is an aberration, and you are correct; Tavaris Jackson hitting on a big pass early on, while the Cowboys are crowding the box, would be an immense help.

by b-man (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 3:57pm

Poor Miami fans, all those years with good defense and poor offense. This year they have an average offense but awful defense. Not to mention the 2nd toughest schedule going forward.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:02pm

48: Loser league hasn't been updated yet.

by jim m (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:07pm

46. Rich, I recall a great deal of talk about the Greatest Show on Turf, but the team had clear deficiencies that almost tripped it up in the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl. I also remember the gross exaggeration of Kurt Warner's accomplishments.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:09pm

Here's another chart. This time it's grouped by division.

I'd venture a guess that the Pats may also currently have the record for largest gap between them and the rest of their division. Yikes.

It's also kinda weird (although not particularly interesting or informative) that the division leaders in both conferences follow the same geographic pattern (East-South-North-West).

by jim m (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:09pm

Will - I'm not a big fan of Dwight Smith - I know he rated out the weakest of the 4 secondary starters last year. Curious as to your take. I think he is a big liability back there.

by TED F!@#ING GINN!? (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:11pm

Re 48:

Loser League isn't updated for week 6 yet.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:11pm


Like What?

They had the best offense in the league, the 3rd best defense, and 9th best special teams. They got "tripped up" because theres a huge element of luck in football.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:14pm

"Well, I guess there really isn’t that huge of a difference between the two conferences (once you get past the top 3 anyway). The top 3 AFC teams are as a whole ridiculous. But once you get past that, it looks like the AFC is about 4% DVOA better. That’s not nearly as big as most of the AFC fanboys would like us to believe.

Click my name for the nifty little chart."

So, wait, you get rid of 3 really awesome teams, and the AFC is STILL better? It think you just made the opposite of the point you were trying to make.

by Lou (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:15pm

#1, #47

Me three. I would think that because they consider kickoff distance a 'hidden factor'-because most return teams have no control over it- it would make the Bears return DVOA look less dominant than it is.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:18pm

Jim, Smith, I'd say, is a very, very, poor man's Roy Williams. He is strong and physical, but has very pronounced weakenesses in coverage, especially deep coverage. I was surprised that he was matched up on Hester at the end of the game.

by Matt (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:21pm

I don't understand how the Steelers variance is so much higher than say, the Cowboys, for example. Steelers have had four pretty dominant performances and one bad one, whereas the Cowboys have had four dominant, one this past week that I take it was a pretty good but losing effort, and one horrendous game that they still happened to win. My intuition tells me this seems wrong, but obviously my intuition is not in line with the numbers here.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:23pm

Re: 63

I submitted this question to 'ask the outsiders' after someone raised it last week (I can't recall who posted it originally). I haven't gotten a response yet.

by jim's apple pie (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:23pm

Fox Sports is reporting that the Chargers just traded their second rounder for Chris Chambers. This pick-up is going to be WAY over-rated by the talking heads. Chambers has a horrible catch percentage and the Outsiders had an article about how catch percentage is usually situation-independent.

Most likely, this means that Eric Parker will be IR'd for the year to open a roster spot. I, and the stats here, like Parker a lot and I think the Chargers offense would have been greatly benefited by his return.

Luckily, the Chargers have a bye next week so they'll have a little extra time to integrate him into the offense.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:28pm

67: They better quarantine him to make sure he doesn't infect San Deigo with the suck virus like McMichaels did to St Louis.

by AndyE (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:28pm

#55 - Miami's future difficulty is entirely a result of still having to play the Patriots - twice. Take those two games out, and they have an average schedule.

by Matt (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:29pm

62 - That's what I was thinking. You take away the top 3 teams in the AFC and it still beats everybody else in the NFC by 4%. I guess we are just fanboys though, so what do we know?

by John Kim (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:29pm

#18, We're absolutely horrible on Offense. And it's just that our skill position players... well.. are not that great. LenDale White is making our Offensive line look absolutely horrible, becuase he can't hit the hole fast enough. If we had a better RB (or at least ran Chris Brown more often), I'd think that we'd have a higher offensive DVOA/DPAR

#22 - I wouldn't know. Vince was already a sub-par (at best) passer to begin with, so not so sure if the Madden curse has hit yet =P

#25 - I agree fully. Roydell Williams seems to make at least one of those "Highlight of the Night" worthy catches every game. But of course, since we don't have much of a passing game, he doesn't get to showcase his skills that often.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:31pm

65: In Dallas' game against Buffalo, their offense was horrible, but their defense was really good, but with the Pittsburgh game against Arizona, Pittsburgh was bad on both sides, so they had twice as much variance as Dallas in that one game did.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:36pm

71. R. Williams

That ball over the middle, maybe 3rd quarter, that was about 6 feet over his head (maybe a 15 yard gain or so) really impressed me. Not many guys even get their hands on that ball, let alone catch it.

by Matt (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:39pm

72 - understood. What does variance measure, however? Variance between best and worst when compared one on one, or variance week to week (as the definition suggests)? If the latter how do 4 good + 1 bad = highest variance?

69 - Miami also still has the Giants, the Eagles, the Steelers, and the Ravens -- all currently top 12 DVOA. If their remaining schedule minus the Patriots is average, isn't that only because the other four games are against the Bills twice, the Jets, and the Bengals?

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:41pm


B, everyone's defense is really good against buffalo.

by jim m (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:45pm

Will - Given the strength of the Minnesota run stopping ability of the front 7 I would think getting the 4-6 best cover guys in the defensive backfield would be of paramount importance. I'm hoping to see a change there but I have no idea if anyone else on the roster would provide better coverage skills.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:47pm

Re: 62 & 70

Yeah, you're right. What was I thinking? 4/5ths of the AFC are slightly better than 4/5th of the NFC. That clearly indicates that the AFC is by far the superior conference. [/sarcasm]

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:53pm

Re: 77

It wasn't clear from the earlier posts that you were also not including the top three NFC teams in the comparison. I figured that was what you must have done (looking at the chart) but I can understand why people would have been confused by the text.

by AmbiantDonkey (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:54pm

re: 66
It was me last week as well, I thought it might have gotten lost in the great Rich Conley-Will Allen death match. Hopefully someone will see it at number 1.

by TED F!@#ING GINN!? (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:54pm

Re 67:


So much for AJ Smith being a personnel guru, huh?

by Matt (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:55pm

77 - Are you just trying to live up to your name? [serious question]

Are you subtracting out Dallas, GB, and TB as well? If so, that was not clear from your description back in 42. ("The top 3 AFC teams are as a whole ridiculous. But once you get past that, it looks like the AFC is about 4% DVOA better.")

Either way, why is it fair to say that after subtracting the best three teams thus far (either from one conference or from both) the conferences are actually pretty equal?

I wasn't (and I don't think fnor was) suggesting that your 4% differential made the AFC "by far the superior conference." But when you do not drop out the high and low scores like some kind of figure skating judge, it looks like the AFC thus far is better both at the top end of the range and on average from top to to bottom.


by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 4:58pm

Re: 78

I didn't even think about that. If that's the case, I should have been more clear earlier.

To reiterate, teams 4-16 in the AFC are about 4% DVOA better than their counterparts 4-16 in the NFC. My original point was that while everyone likes to crow about how piss-poor the NFC is in comparison to the AFC, that comparison is really only valid for the very top of the conferences. The vast majority of the two conferences are pretty much evenly matched (although still slightly tilted in the AFC's favor).

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:02pm

Re: 80

Does Norv have some history with Chambers? It will be interesting to see if his FO metrics remain as poor in a different system/role.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:04pm

79: I think I can answer your question. Squib kicks aren't recorded differently in the pbp, so the DVOA formula can't adjust for them, but the game charting project is noting squib kicks, so perhaps that will be used in the final analysis of Chicago's special teams. The data doesn't come in fast enough for it to be ready by Tuesday, though.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:05pm

My original point was that while everyone likes to crow about how piss-poor the NFC is in comparison to the AFC, that comparison is really only valid for the very top of the conferences.
But the difference at the top is friggin' gigantic.

Meaning the oddds are very good that:
1. One of the AFC big powers wins the AFC Championship, and
2. That team then wins the Superbowl.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:07pm

Re: 81

You're right. Now that I go back and re-read my original comment, I could have been more clear. That sentence you quoted probably should have been "The top 3 AFC teams are, as a whole, ridiculous. But once you get past the top 3, it looks like the AFC is only about 4% DVOA better."

by MRH (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:08pm

Re 68 LOL

Re 83 - I think the Cameron/Turner offenses are pretty much the same, so it makes sense for the Chargers from that standpoint.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:08pm

83: Norv was the Dolphins OC in 2002-2003, and Chambers was on the team then.

by Matt (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:08pm

83 - From Chargers.com press release (link in my name):

The Chargers believe the 5-11, 210 pound receiver can contribute immediately due to his knowledge of the team’s offense. In addition to working with Turner in the past, Chambers has spent the last six months working in Cam Cameron’s offense, the same system that Turner runs and the same one that is still in place from Cameron’s tenure as the Bolts’ offensive coordinator.

"The bonus for us is that he’s familiar with the system," Turner said. "It should be a quick and easy adjustment for him. We expect him to come in and be productive right away."

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:13pm

Re: 85

But the difference at the top is gigantic regardless of conference. NE and Indy are waaay ahead of everyone else (Pittsburgh and Dallas are basically even).

I'm not trying to suggest that the NFC has just a good of a chance at winning the SuperBowl and the AFC. All I'm saying is that the vast majority of the two conferences are basically even. The AFC is clearly the better conference, but most of that is due to 2 teams.

I'm just sick of everyone around here (who I hold to much higher standards) blindly following the general perception of the relative strengths of the two conferences.

by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:19pm

re: 28, 39

I think the Ravens difficult schedule is problematic, but all their best players on offense are injured right now (on offense: Ogden, Terry, Heap, and Clayton is nursing a high ankle sprain). They have a OT from the practice squad playing TE for crying out lout.

All of the previously mentioned players (with the possible exception of Ogden) including T. Pryce are locks to be fully recovered after the bye, if they can just get by Buffalo next sunday they should be in good shape at 5-2. Of course no team is immune from injuries, but if they do get healthy (a questionable if), they should be pretty good.

If an injury ravaged team can post a 15.8% DVOA, they have a chance to become legit if they're close to full health. A 5-4 record after the bye should get them into the playoffs: only one team each will come out the AFC east and west, and the AFC south has three good teams which should beat up on each other.

by Erithtotl (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:22pm

What will be interesting is if the Pats have a typical performance against the Dolphins (say 34-14) and the Colts win reasonably in Jax (say, 27-17), the Colts might actually pass the Pats in the rankings because the Pats schedule strength would go down and the Colts would improve. I'm not saying this is a good judgement of where the teams stand relative to each other (even as a Colts fan, I agree that the Pats are playing the best football of any team in the NFL), just that its interesting.

by Boss Hog (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:25pm

On the '96 Packers and '99 Rams, I'll take the middle ground. I remember The Greatest Show on Turf as an all-time great offense -- perhaps the greatest of all time -- but there WERE several important chinks in their armor, many of which were exposed in the playoffs. Their historically dominant regular season, for one, came against a historically weak set of opponents: they only beat one team with 10 or more wins (the Titans, who beat them 24-21). And they played six games against the 49ers, Falcons, and Saints (combined record: 12-36... ahh, the old NFC West). In the playoffs, against non-mediocre competition, the Show was largely held in check -- they outgunned the Vikings, but very nearly lost to Tampa and Tennessee. I think there was probably more involved there than just luck.

The '96 Packers were a better all around team, and have a better case as one of the greatest teams of all time. I don't remember them having any obvious weaknesses, and their statistical record is damn impressive (#1 scoring offense, #1 scoring defense; #1 passing defense, despite being ahead in nearly every game). But as an ALL-TIME great team, I'd put the '96 Pack a notch behind juggernauts like the '85 Bears, '91 Redskins, '89 49ers, '75 Steelers, and '86 Giants. But they'd still probably crack the top 10 in the Super Bowl era -- if the '07 Pats or '07 Colts match their DVOA numbers, I think it would be a historic achievement.

by Boss Hog (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:27pm

Just to make clear: the '99 Rams only PLAYED one team with over 10 wins in the regular season -- the game they lost to the Titans. They didn't beat any 10-win teams until the playoffs.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:32pm

Re: 91

I agree that a 5-4 record after the bye would likely get them into the playoffs, I just think that's a tall order. In addition to the four games against the uber teams, they have to travel to SD and Seattle, as well as homes games against two division opponents that already beat them. They won't be able to survive a couple of off weeks (probably not even one). Odds are they are going to throw in a clunker or two along the way.

by Waverly (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:33pm

Wanker79, that DVOAbyDivision chart is pretty neat. It also shows where there is competition for winning each division.

by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 5:52pm

The Denver special teams have a chance to be worse than the 2000 Bills ST.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:07pm

Wanker79 #58:

Boy, looking at your graph, the NFC East and AFC South and Central are just way ahead of all the other divisions in terms of competitiveness. Every other division has 2-3 teams who are just flat out bad, where their DVOA rating is lower than the homefield advantage number, with the Chiefs and Panthers attempting to drop down in that range also.

by Tony C (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:08pm

The Brownies are 3-3 against the 5th toughest schedule in the league, and now face the 27th toughest schedule the rest of the way? Hmmmmm, wildcard anyone?

by ScottB (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:08pm

Re: 93

Remember, DVOA only goes back to '96. I think a very strong argument could be made that the '96 Pack and '99 Rams are the two best teams in the last 11 years. I would love it if Aaron could get the play by play in software form to calculate DVOA even further back to allow some comparison to some teams that are considered all time greats. I can only begin to imagine the pain in getting the hard-copy play by play for every game and then typing it into a spreadsheet....

by Peder (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:37pm

Patriots is clearly ranked /too low because should be at -5. The football gods would never mess with such a great team. Team will be 25-0 going into playoffs!

by DolFan 316 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:42pm

The Dolphins STILL as high as 26th?! Okay that does it, the system's officially broken.

by jonnyblazin (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:44pm

re: 91

Cincy and Cleveland may have beat the Ravens, but the Ravens moved the ball much more effectively. Cincy won because of flukey INTs, and Cleveland because of lapses in the secondary. Given the Ravens superiority plus homefield advantage should yield two victories. In case anybody missed this, the Ravens have the best home field record in the entire NFL since 2000. Not an easy place to play, even though it doesn't get hyped as such.

Sure the Ravens could throw in clunker, and for every game they play below their average you have to assume they play one above their average as well. But as it stands there are 5 teams that the Ravens play that are worse than them (Cle, Cin, Mia, Sea, SD) and 4 teams that are better than them (Pit x 2, Indy, NE). It wouldn't be a shock if they took at least one game from Pit, I'm guessing those games are going to be quite violent and unpredictable as they are most years.

Of course, if they lose to Buffalo next week I'll likely go into hiding.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:50pm


I wouldn't be all that surprised to see the Brownies win 10 games. I also wouldn't be surprised to see them at 7-9.

Cleveland has had a ridiculous schedule so far, the problem is, they've still got three more games against both Pitt and Bal, and those are losses. If they can knock of Seattle, they should have a decent shot.

DVOA does a decent job, but it doesn't work really well when teams play strings of very strong or very weak opponents. Cleveland is coming off the same thing San Diego just came off of... an absurd stretch of schedule. Expect them to rise a bit on the DVOA side.

by AndyE (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:53pm

74: probably. We could play the elimination game all day long; and the odd distribution of the East divisions makes using an average an odd proposition

by AmbiantDonkey (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:56pm

My real question is how does DVOA view the play? Is it a positive play for the Bears special teams because of good field position(I would think it should be)? Or is it a negative play because of the short return? Subjectively I view it as a positive play for both teams, the Bears get good field position, and their opponent wasn't dumb enough to kick to Hester.

by James G (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 6:57pm

45/46 - Yes, the '99 Rams team was considered historically great, as definitely were the '96 Packers. The '96 Packers led the league in points scored and points against. Both of them cracked my pythagorean cutoff for great teams when I ran a football analysis web page. See the link in my name, but note not that my pythagorean constant is somewhat different, although close. Also note, this is only a list from the merger to 1999.

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 7:16pm


Seriously, Pittsburgh is ahead of Dallas? Why do the Steelers get a mulligan against Arizona but Dallas doesn't get a mulligan for losing to the Pats in a game that was lose until the 4th? And there DVOA's are practically the same. I dunno, I'm a homer but I would take the Boys over the Steelers even at Heinz. Whatever. But I agree I don't se the rest as close to the top 4.

by Raiderjoe (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 7:22pm

something definitely wrong with computers again. No way should Raiders be 31. You and your computers will be wrong at end of year when Raiders make playoffs.

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 7:30pm

I just checked WRs, and Welker has a 0.6% DVOA? Sorry, but he is clearly a DVOA buster. There is no way that Welker is a league average WR, nor should Stallworth be over him in DPAR either.

Some guys the system just seems to have a hard time with and Welker is clearly one of them.

by Aaron (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 7:44pm

Sure thing the Raiders will make the playoffs RaiderJoe. They are 2-3, and have had the 3rd easiest schedule so far. If there's one thing I'm sure of, it's that the Raiders will not make the playoffs. The Raiders have lost their last 16 in a row within the AFC West, after they win a couple of division games maybe I'll start listening.

by BillWallace (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 8:06pm

Pittsburgh is ahead of Dallas because there is a subjective factor for QB playoff experience. Roethlisburger has proven himself to be clutch in the playoffs, while Romo choked hilariously and then cried about it.

The formulas are never wrong, Dallas will regress back to their pre-season prediction in short order.

by Xian (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 8:12pm


I would love it if Aaron could get the play by play in software form to calculate DVOA even further back to allow some comparison to some teams that are considered all time greats. I can only begin to imagine the pain in getting the hard-copy play by play for every game and then typing it into a spreadsheet….

That project is actually going on right now. Which reminds me, I have 2 games to turn in.

On an unrelated note (to #100), I'm glad that someone got around to pointing out the '96 Packers, while perhaps not in the same league as the '85 Bears or the '72 Dolphins or whatever, were, in fact, one of the best teams of the decade. I don't recall where, but I believe I have heard that few (if any) other teams in the history of the league were both #1 in points scored as well as #1 in points against.

by Michael (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 8:13pm


Week 5:
Pit: DVOA 39.4% DAVE: 29.5%
Dal: DVOA 36.4% DAVE: 23.5%

Week 6:
Pit: DVOA 36.9% DAVE: 28.8%
Dal: DVOA 34.9% DAVE: 25.3%

Actually, the Cowboys got closer to the Steelers in both categories, rather than failing to receive a mulligan.

by James G (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 8:20pm

Re: Packers/Rams. Re-reading my old site, I think I'd actually say the '96 Packers and '99 Rams should be slightly above the '91 Redskins and '84 49ers, but behind the '85 Bears. I think because they were 13-3 instead of 14-2 or 15-1, that is held against them.

by Ray (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 8:32pm

I'm no statistician, so can someone explain to me why the Chiefs are ranked well below three teams that they beat? A simple look at the remaining schedule would seem to indicate they are on track for at least nine, and possibly eleven wins. Sorry, but complexity doesn't necessarily equate to accuracy.

by Kami (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 8:34pm

San Francisco Bay Area football!

Catch the Fever!!

by stan g (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 8:40pm

Looking at Ronnie Brown's stats (and feeling sorry for him that he's on the Phins), I wonder about historical DPAR's for RB/WR's--his DPAR for rushing ranks 2nd, and his receiving DPAR alone would rank him 9th as a WR. If he ended the year ranked the same, how would that compare to anyone not named Faulk? Or, heck, even to Faulk--and I don't think Brown is perceived as that kind of back.

by The McNabb Bowl Game Anomaly (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 8:49pm

Re: Squib kicks against the Bears

I'm going to guess that DVOA totally misunderstands this and denies credit to the Bears, viewing the short kickoffs against as "lucky" and not repeatable or predictive (though of course that's wrong).

Other teams will be downgraded by DVOA for having short kickoffs, but the Bears will not be upgraded, like FG misses against, since DVOA will assume that you can't force teams to kick short (again, wrong).

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 9:03pm

Just a guess Ray, but the Chiefs have lost by 17, 10, and 10. One of those teams you mention, the Vikings, have lost by 3,3, and 7, the seven point loss to the #6 team by DVOA. The Chiefs and Vikings game is likely seen as a statistical tie, or perhaps even a small edge to the Vikings, given it was at Arrowhead. Finally, the Vikings and Chiefs only have one common opponent so far (this will change soon), and the Vikings beat the Bears at Soldier Field, whereas the Chiefs lost there by 10 points. Losing by a substantial margin usually indicates a high percentage of unsuccessful plays, relatively speaking, which harms DVOA ranking.

by Boss Hog (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 9:05pm

Re: 112, 114

Beyond Pythagorean projections, I think I'd weigh all time great teams on offensive and defensive efficiency (using yardage ranks, until DVOA is available--I can't wait!), strength of schedule, and margin of victory in the playoffs.

For me, that makes the '85 Bears far and away the most dominant Super Bowl champion of all. I'd also put in a word for the '91 Skins, who played NINE teams with 10 or more wins, were a top 5 offense and defense, and had the second highest regular season + playoffs winning percentage of all time. Although, of course, you rarely hear about them in the mainstream media -- I think espn ranked them like 14th overall in their grand (but bogus) list of the best champions of all time.

I'd put the '96 Packers just a hair below the Bears, Skins, and that '89 49ers team, which beat its playoff opponents by an average of 33 points a game.

by Jin (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 9:47pm

Ben Leber will be getting more playing time, he will be playing in the Nickel subbing for Greenway sometimes. Translation: Greenway's coverage has been subpar and they want to see if Leber can do better.

by Brian (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 9:52pm

ON the historical comparisons, does anyone else get sad when they see a Mike Martz team up there and wonder "why can't I be an NFL coach?"

And who the heck was on the 2000 Dolphins? That's a fairly no-name team, with their strength probably more heavily weighted by great defense compared to the offensive powerhouses up there.

by raiderfan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 9:53pm

Quick question guys:

Last week I was checking out the estimated wins for the Raiders, and they had 1.4, while this week they're at a .9. I would have thought that estimated wins would work along the lines of how likely a team won each matchup, say in one week a team has about .4, next week .1, 3rd .8, etc. Maybe that isn't the point of estimated wins, but I would think that maybe a "projected wins" stat, along the lines of how the team performed in each week on a 0-1.0 scale of how many times a team will win that game if its played 10 times, and then summing it up for a season. I kind of assumed that was the way it worked since both Indy was at 5.0 last week with 2 close-ish games, so if both those games were taken into account together they probably would have been at 4.5-4.8ish rather that the 5.0 that they were at.

by Matt (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 9:56pm

104 - I agree, but weren't you the one talking about the Dolphins schedule being of average strength the rest of the way?

by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 10:04pm

118: Why in god's name would it not count them as predictive? It's just the same as a long return. Special Teams ratings are all about field position.

by cdcox (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 10:10pm

#115 Ray, I'm a Chiefs fan, too, but I don't share your optimism based on my observations of their on the field play. We have weaknesses in run defense, running the ball, OL play, and QB play.

My software only uses win/loss outcomes of each game to predict future outcomes, so it provides a simpler but independent method of predicting future outcomes. I'm projecting us at just under 8 wins as a mean outcome. I project we have less than 5% chance of us winning 11 or more games. Of course they could do better than the statistical methods project; that is why they play the games.

by Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 10:16pm

I have to agree... there has to be some data entry error for Welker. He is not a 0.6 DVOA guy. This is especially true considering this piece of analysis from Mike Reiss of the Globe about the NE-DAL game:
One way to assess players when looking at snaps played is how productive they are based on the time they are on the field – and that is where Wes Welker stands out. His 11-catch effort is all the more impressive when considering he played 37 snaps, the third highest total among receivers

by Jake (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 10:24pm

Also re: Welker
Welker got 5 first downs and 2 TD btw. The only thing I can think of is Welker fumbled to himself once and once out of bounds in this last game. Neither was lost but I think DVOA doesn't care.

by cd6 still hates the spam filter (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 10:37pm

I'd like to add two comments:

First, that I found the charts Wanker made to be pretty interesting, especically the DVOA by division one. Kudos.

Second, I cannot believe that both Green Bay and Washington are in the top half of DVOA... their game last weekend was horrible. Clear case of "which team wants to lose it more" with the clear example that the winning TD came on a fumble return. Neither team had any offense, and its not because the opposing defense was lights out, just a lot of bad throws and poor routes, no blocking for runs, etc. Ugh.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 10:46pm

Gosh, the Bears are now down to a 2% chance to make the playoffs, even with a miracle win over the Packers in the bank.

by raiderfan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 10:49pm


I agree it wasn't the greatest game, but DVOA showed that it kinda expects that. Washington, while a top-half team, is negative in offensive DVOA (#24 in the league), while #3 in defensive DVOA, and #2 in pass DVOA against, which plays perfectly against GB's pass-happy offense. Also, GB has an above average (#6 in the league) D, and that stops a poor 'Skins offense, leading to a sloppy-looking game, especially coupled with dumb decisions by Favre and Gibbs/Saunders.

by ernie cohen (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 10:52pm

The NE 16-0 probability (DAVE-based) is now at 6.2%. The NE-IND game now rates as close to a tossup, because of the increase in IND's advantage on offense.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 11:13pm

105: The kicking team would get a negative for having a short kick length, but a positive for getting a short return. Bears get nothing for the kickoff length, and a negative for the short return.

by MRH (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 11:24pm

Re the Chiefs. They have an easy schedule; they could easily go 9-7.

They are a lot better (mediocre now but that's up from awful) than they were in the first two weeks.

1. Defense is better with Allen back after 2-game suspension.

2. Offense is better with Bowe more involved. 1st two weeks, he saw 10 targets, caught five - 4th on team in targets, 7th in rec. Weeks 3-6, he's 2nd to Gonzalez with 32 targets, double the #3 option. He's also caught 21 of those passes.

3. ST is better with Raynor kicking instead of Medlock (that did happen after week 1). And they won't choose to kick to Hester anymore.

It wouldn't be a surprise for them to go 3-0 against their divison foes at home and to win in OAK. That's 4 more wins. Assume losses at IND and at Den. To win nine total, they have to win four of: GB and TEN at home; DET and NYJ on the road. 8-8 with a good shot at 9-7 seems right to me. Of course, if they lose at OAK this week, forget everything I said.

by Catfish (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 11:34pm

Re: 123, that's not how estimated wins are calculated. Estimated wins are an approximation of how many wins this team would get against an average schedule with average luck, with extra emphasis given to certain situational performance (red zone, first quarter, second half of close games). Oakland's DVOA is significantly lower this week than it was last week, so it's estimated wins are lower as well.

Re: 125, because the short kickoff is assumed to be unintentional. Ordinarily, the kicker does not change his approach from game to game, so his kickoff distance is pretty much independent of what the return team does. For teams playing against the Bears this year, this assumption has not held. It would be interesting to see the Bears kick return DVOA calculated with credit given for the shorter kickoffs.

Re: 127, that is impressive, but DVOA can't account for who is on the field each play because that info is not in the play-by-play.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Tue, 10/16/2007 - 11:38pm

"My original point was that while everyone likes to crow about how piss-poor the NFC is in comparison to the AFC, that comparison is really only valid for the very top of the conferences."

That sounds an awful lot like "well, other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

by MarkB (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:07am

Once again, SF is at the bottom. Belichick is sitting, rubbing his fingers together, saying "EX-CEL-LENT!" Manginius, not so much. :-)

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:11am

113, I'm not arrguing the stats. I'm arguing the one guy's opinion that there is a big drop off after the top 3. It seems clear to me that Dallas is at least equal to Pitt. I'm just saying that the dropoff is after the top 2, that is all.

by jimm (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:17am

Not that it matters much but I think the ref's made a major blunder in the Viking/Bear game towards the end of the half spotting the ball about 3-4 yards from where it should have been after a Taylor fumble inside of two minutes. It put the Vikings in 3 and 2 instead of 1st and 10 at the Bears.

Taylor fumbled the ball at the Chicago 46 but they moved the ball back to the Chicago 49. The original line of scrimage was the Chicago 48 and Taylor clearly fumbled somewhere between the 46 and the 45. Shiancoe recovered at the 46. A fumble in the last two minutes can only be recovered forward by the fumbling player otherwise it's returned to the point of the fumble.

Am I missing something or did the refs just screw up?

by AndyE (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:21am

124 Matt -
Sort of. If I was clever, I'd retract, but I'm either not, or too, you can decide.

Every team plays 4 games against each division rank - #1, #2, #3, #4 - two in their own division, one in their conference, and one in the other conference. Since you can't play yourself, the two games against your own rank are covered by the two equivalently ranked teams in the conferences you aren't playing in your division (On an aside, this helps an improving team and hurts a weakening team), The non-Patriots teams in the AFC East are interestingly cursed. On one hand, four of those games are against the the well-rounded NFC East, as Wanker's chart shows; this is nicely counterbalanced by the four games they get to play against the other losers in the AFC East. The AFC North is a slightly harder than usual foursome to toss into the mix for them. The challenge is that the Patriots are such a huge outlier with their DVOA that having two games left against them -- and being the only team to have that - really screws up their average.

It's the problem with using a measure of central tendency on discrete events here. There are two games against the Patriots that DVOA says Miami doesn't stand a chance, making them 0-8, and then 8 games that are spread out and give them about a 16th place difficulty strength of schedule. That actually makes their schedule "easier" than Dallas's, who has two gimmes (in theory) left in the AFC East, but has to keep fighting in the tightest division - over and over.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. Future and past absolute strength aren't really as interesting as the competitive deltas, and sadly, Miami only has three games left against teams whose DVOA is even in their ballpark. A sad day for that franchise.

by Jason (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:43am

One crazy fact about the 96 Packers was that during the season they lost their Top 3 receivers to injury and for a couple game stretch had to use tight ends in the flanker and split end position (Their receivers getting decimated is a large reason they had a 2 game losing streak during the middle/end of the year-they game at Dallas when they Boniol kicked 7 field goals and then at KC). It's crazy to imagine what their DVOA would have been if not for their receiving corps getting decimated-which ultimately lead them to pick up Rison at the end of the year.

*Imagine if Moss/Stalworth/Welker all went down for multiple weeks at the same time

by chris clark (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:26am

44, 107:

Seeing comparisons between the Steelers and Cowboys reminds me of flashdance (and some pretty good football years). You can have you choice of teams and the points, if I get to eat lobster with Jennifer Beals. I wouldn't mind being a fan of either of those teams rather than the Broncos this year, which I unfortunately am. Having them face the Steelers next is not the most pleasant prospect. The good news about that is that if they play credibly, the opponent adjustment ought to bring their average DVOA up.

by Lou (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:41am

Yeah that was weird. I just looked at that play again and it happened just as you say. Maybe theres some rule we don't know about but it definetely looks like the refs screwed up.

Has anyone else noticed the Dick Stockton-Brian Baldinger broadcast crew uses a camera during plays thats at like a 3/4 angle behind either the O or D-line rather than at the LOS? I noticed this in the Bears-Lions game and they had it this week too. I find it infuriating, when teams are close to their own endzone you see the backs of the defense and you can't tell if the qb is play-faking or handing off. Its also disorienting and difficult to tell if a play is going for a good gain or not.

by thestar5 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 3:02am

Yeah I agree with both of you. I saw the play on NFL replay and I can't understand how the spot was so far back.

by RickD (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 7:00am

re: Pittsburgh/Dallas

Yeah, the Cowboys lost to a better team than Pittsburgh did, but what really hurts Dallas is their near-loss to Buffalo. Unlike pollsters, who only care whether you win or lose, DVOA cares about how you win, and who you're playing at the time.

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 8:09am

I'd love to know how the Rams aren't 32nd. So much for FO underrates the Rams!!

by Paul (London,UK) (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 8:40am

#146 Podge, I know the 49ers beat the Rams in Week 2 but have you watched them this season?

I finally got to see them at Candlestick when they played the Seahawks and they looked as bad as I can ever remember them being. Bad timing for them on the field and me in the stands.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 9:12am

Just catching up from yesterday. Apologies for multi-posts.

Re: 102

Looking at the nine games after their bye, the Ravens will be favored vs. Cincy, Cleveland, and Miami. They will almost certainly be underdogs against Indy, Pats, and Pitt (in Pitt). That leaves @SD, @Seattle, and home to Pitt. My guess is they are underdogs in at least two of those games (probably Pitt and SD). I'm not saying they can't or won't get to ten wins, but I do think they'll have to pull off an upset (or two) to get there.

On the bright side (for them) it's possible that nine wins might be enough.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 9:26am

Re: 103

Cleveland only has two more games with the Steelers and Ravens. And while I don't give them much shot against the Steelers, I don't think the Ravens game is out of reach. They seem to play the Ravens reasonably well (though I certainly expect the Ravens will be a solid favorite). On the other hand, while there's only one game I think they don't have much of a chance in ,there are zero games where I think their opponents don't have a chance. 7-9 or 8-8 seems most likely (unless the defense suddenly starts playing much better).

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 9:40am

Re: 107

The game the Cowboys need the mulligan for is the fluke win over Buffalo.

I'm not trying to insult the Cowboys (and it's obviously just a subjective opinion as stated originally), I just haven't been as impressed by their play as I have by the Steelers. I could be totally off-base, but the wins over StL, Miami, and Chicago (Grossman era) just haven't demonstrated (to me) that they are a team much better than above average. They have a nice win at home against the Giants, the big loss (at home) to the Pats, and the fluke vs. the Bills.

The Steelers have been dominant in their four wins (including the Bills). I tend to give them a mulligan for Arizona due to Whisenhunt.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 11:21am

133: Wouldn't DVOA see that the average return from a short kick is low, and therefore not penalize Chicago for doing what every other team would do in that situation?

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 11:55am


It should, and I think it does. I don't think Chicago is getting penalized, I think they're just not getting rewarded, when they really should be.

As to the Welker thing, hes catching 75% of the balls thrown at him, for 10+ yards a catch, and has 20 first downs out of 38 catches.

I think:
1) The 3 fumbles are killing him.
2) IIRC, he dropped a lot of balls in the first 2 games on 3rd down.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 11:58am

"The Steelers have been dominant in their four wins (including the Bills). I tend to give them a mulligan for Arizona due to Whisenhunt."

They don't really NEED a mulligan though, Arizona is a decent team. A Great team getting beat by Good team isn't all that suprising.

Pittsburgh is better than Dallas because the cardinals are MUCH MUCH MUCH better than Buffalo.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:08pm

Arizona is a decent team
The Cardinals are also on their third quarterback for the season. I would expect their performance to decline for that reason, making their victory over the Steelers look worse for Pittsburgh as that effect settles in.

A similar effect seems likely to occur in reverse for New England: San Diego was playing poorly around when the Patriots beat them, but are playing better now. That will tend to make the Patriots' win look better (in DVOA terms) as the Chargers look better, even though the Chargers of September 16th will look the same.

by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:18pm

I think the real question here is will Miami, Buffalo, or NYJ win a game this year outside of their own division?

And is this year's AFC East the worst division in the history of the NFL?

by James G (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:20pm

154 - That's in large part the purpose of weighted DVOA.

by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:30pm

I'm still trying to figure out how the Jets defense is worst than Miami's.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:30pm

First, thanks for the compliments on the charts. I was kinda surprised at how interesting the "by Division" chart came out. I was just messing around in excel and stumbled onto it.

Re: 136
That sounds an awful lot like "well, other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?"

If you swap the top team from each conference, the two conferences practically become a dead heat (click my name). So the (perceived) vast superiority of the AFC basically comes down to the difference between just 2 teams.

You can't just swap teams, though. So I'm not trying to suggest that the NFC and AFC are absolutely evenly matched. All I'm suggesting is that the two are much closer to each other than general perception would suggest.

by MJK (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:33pm

Re 155:

I think Buffalo is better than advertised, or was at the beginning of the season, although with all their injuries it's hard to see them doing much now. They went toe to toe with a very good Dallas team, and lost it on a fluke, and I think some of their other games have been reasonably close (not really a Buffalo fan, so I'm not sure).

And even though Miami approaches 2006-Raider-Offense-with-2006-Rams-Defense levels of sucktitude, I actually wouldn't be surprised to see them take one game from New England. For some reason, Miami always plays New England close regardless of their respective levels (remember when the ultimate 14-2 New England lost to the 'Phins a couple of years ago?), which will make them look much better (granted, that would be an in-division game).

As to if it's the worst division in history, well, you're underestimating how bad the NFC west has been over the last couple of years. There was a division where the best team was worse than the third or fourth best team in every other division... Heck, even this season, the combined DVOA of the AFCE is better than the combined DVOA of the NFCW. Team by team, the #1, #3, and #4 teams in the AFCE are better than their counterparts in the NFCW, and Buffalo (the #2 team) may well finish the year better than Arizona due to QB issues...

by admin :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 12:57pm

Heh. Miss one day on a plane and you come back to 154 comments. Hopefully these guidelines will help people get their questions answered:

1) I am much more likely to answer a question if you send it to the mailbag using the contact form.

2) I am much more likely to answer a question if it is posed in a positive fashion ("Hey, I was curious about how DVOA handles all the squib kicks to Hester.") and not a negative fashion ("Hey, DVOA sucks and is wrong about Wes Welker, which shows the clear anti-Patriots bias at Football Outsiders.")*

3) Please remember that I get a hundred questions every week and I can't answer them all.

I will get to the Hester thing soon. I promise.

*P.S. You laugh, but we get a lot of e-mails accusing us of being anti-Patriots. Seriously. When we start getting e-mails accusing Russell Levine of being anti-Michigan Wolverines, that's when I will know people have completely gone off the deep end.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:03pm

That’s in large part the purpose of weighted DVOA.
True, but it takes a while. During that while, the Steelers will look worse (assuming Arizona declines) and the Patriots, better (assuming San Diego improves).

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:23pm

"A similar effect seems likely to occur in reverse for New England: San Diego was playing poorly around when the Patriots beat them, but are playing better now."

Starshatterer, I still really disagree with this.

The Chargers played the Bears (pre-tommy harris hurt), Packers, and Patriots. I think their DVOA is entirely a product of SoS.

Yes, they lost to KC, but so did Minnesota, another above average team.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:28pm

(�Hey, DVOA sucks and is wrong about Wes Welker, which shows the clear anti-Patriots bias at Football Outsiders.�)

Great job of intentionally misrepresenting the tone of the up-thread Welker question, Aaron. You sure you're not spending time hanging out with Peter King?

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:33pm

"You laugh, but we get a lot of e-mails accusing us of being anti-Patriots. "

Aaron, I don't know why you're surprised about that. You go so far out of your way to offset the fact that you're a patriots fan, that you often go against your stats when they say something positive about the Pats.

IIRC, you said the Bengals would play the Pats close. DVOA said it would be a blowout.

by DFJinPgh (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:44pm

#158: That reminds me of the late-80s / early-90s where the NFC had two or three dominant teams, taking the Superbowl 15-ish years in a row. Everyone called the NFC the dominant conference then.

But when Denver finally broke the streak, all of a sudden the AFC was the better conference. Turns out they'd been building up their 3rd-14th teams below everyone's radar. Your graph hints that a similar turnaround may be in the wings here.

by Don Booza (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:48pm

I think we just figured out who's sending Aaron emails.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:50pm

Re: 163

I wouldn't assume he was referring to the Welker discussion in this thread. He specifically mentions emails accusing them of anti-Pats bias (as opposed to discussion boards).

Also his other example (Hester) is almost identical in wording to the email question I sent in.

by admin :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 1:56pm

No, no, the "anti-Pats" e-mails this week have nothing to do with the Welker questions people are asking. I was just giving an example.

Oh, and the answer on Welker is: Yes, I was surprised too, it seems to be related to his two fumbles, and third-down opportunities that fell short in Weeks 4-5, and the fact that his gains are much shorter than those of Moss and Stallworth. Of course, DVOA does not take into account the fact that Welker underneath frees up Moss and Stallworth deep and vice versa.

by Biebs (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 2:01pm


I'm not sure how you came upon the 4% information.

I'm was running a quick table of ranking of each team from 4th to 16th.

AFC NFC Difference
17.90% 15.80% 2.10% - A
15.80% 11.60% 4.20% - A
14.30% 10.80% 3.50% - A
7.80% 4.10% 3.70% - A
-0.90% 3.70% 4.60% - N
-4.20% -3.40% 0.80% - N
-6.50% -10.70% 4.20% - A
-12.10% -20.80% 8.70% - A
-19.20% -21.60% 2.40% - A
-21.30% -24.00% 2.70% - A
-22.00% -31.10% 9.10% - A
-33.80% -31.80% 2.00% - N
-37.70% -45.70% 8.00% - A

Basically the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 16th best team in the AFC is better than the respective team in the NFC.

Furthermore, at level the AFC has larger difference in 3 of the levels than any in the NFC.

Admittedly, this is not the best math to use, but I'm curious how you reached your 4% number

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 2:04pm


No, I've only sent one email in my time here, and it was published as a mailbag.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 2:15pm

Re: #168

Ah, thanks! I also recall he had a couple of drops in the first couple of games that would have been first downs, too.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 3:21pm

Re: 169

The 4% was just an approximate guess from looking at the chart. I didn't run the numbers team-by-team. And after averaging your numbers, it seems I was over-estimating the difference. On average, the AFC is 3.17% DVOA better than their NFC counter-part.

I added the differences where the AFC is ranked better and subtracted the differences where the NFC is better and then averaged. Someone better at maths needs to tell me if this was a valid calculation.

Like I've said repeatedly, I'm not arguing that the NFC and AFC are completely equal. The AFC is the better conference (especially because of NE and Indy). All I'm saying is that the perceived notion (both from the general public/media and from the posters/contributors here are FO) that the NFC sucks in comparison to the AFC is being blown way out of proportion.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 3:23pm

James G #106:

Both of them cracked my pythagorean cutoff for great teams when I ran a football analysis web page.

The only team to ever have over 14 pythagorean wins was the 1985 Bears - 14.05.

Just 7 teams have had over 13 pythagorean wins:
99 Rams - 13.81
96 Packers - 13.80
91 Redskins - 13.79
84 49ers - 13.63
00 Ravens - 13.45
86 Bears - 13.08
98 Vikings - 13.06

The greatness of the 85 Bears is magnified by their reappearance on the 13 win list the next year.

42 teams since 1978 (excluding 82 and 87) have had 12 to 13 pythagorean wins. This is a rather ordinary greatness when one looks at it in perspective. However, there are some great accomplishments in this realm too. The 49ers had 12+ pythagorean wins 5 years in a row from 1991 to 1995 (and missed by just 27 points in 1990 and 11 points in 1996 from having this be an 8 year streak). The Cowboys did it 3 years in a row from 1992 to 1994. A handful of teams have pulled off back-to-back years - the 80-81 Eagles, the 85-86 Bears, the 91-92 Saints, the 97-98 Broncos, and the 01-02 Eagles.

by Lemmiwinks (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 3:30pm

WoW this Dvoa is way wrong...

How are the Giants ranked behind 2 teams they beat and also happen to have better record then? They beat Phi by 13 and they beat the Skins in Was? And the teams they lost to are #4 and #6?

In what world does that make any sense what so ever

by Biebs (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 4:01pm


Actually I went back and did a few previous years and pulled out the top 3 teams for comparison sake. I actually didn't realize how dominant the AFC was in 2005. Last year it was about 5% per team after the top 3, in 2005 it was about 8.5% per team.
This year, as you stated it's about 3.2% per team. So the gap is decreasing based on the mediocre teams, but to say it's not significant difference isn't true.

#174 - I'm guessing the Giants low ranking has to do with how bad their defense looked against Dallas and the Jets

by JQM (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 4:23pm

175 I assume you mean Dallas and Green Bay. I don't think the Jets game negatively affected the Giants' defensive rankings.

by Digit (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 4:24pm

If the idea is to compare the -average-, and you're dropping the top-caliber teams from your calculations, shouldn't you -also- be dropping the -worst- teams from your calculations too? Most of the time when I did accounting along those lines, I dropped both the top and the bottom ones as 'outliers', so to speak.

by shocker (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 4:46pm


The giants were by far the worst defense after the first 2 games. Also, opponent adjustments for atl and nyj are keeping those games from dragging the ranking up too high.

Phi has been solid in most of their games, plus an extremely dominate perfomance (det), and Was has been close in their losses too. You're looking for a power ranking, every other sports site has those.

by shocker (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 4:47pm

sorry, the above was meant for #174

by James G (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 4:53pm

Andrew - There's no doubt in my mind that the '85 Bears count as the greatest team. Link to my name in this post, and find an "article" I wrote in '97 comparing the '85 Bears with the '75 Steelers, '73 and '72 Dolphins, '84 49ers, '91 Redskins, and '96 Packers.

Looks like my conclusion was the '85 Bears were the best, then a tight bunch from 2 to 6, and then the '96 Packers in at #7. I wrote it in '97, so the '99 Rams aren't on it. I quit updating my site in 2000 (finishing a PhD thesis and then moving had a lot to do with that), so the 2000 Ravens missed being on my list of PYTH teams.

However, I do want to note by your calculations, you're cutting off teams that only played 14 games. The '75 Steelers actually have the same Pythagorean winning percentage as the '85 Bears.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:07pm

Lemmiwinks, you forgot to use the correct format. Here it is again:
" is clearly ranked because . is way better than this. "

by Andrew (A.B.) (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:09pm

Let me try this again.

[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 and/or chat-acceptable spelling]

by JoshuaPerry (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:29pm

Is it better to have a neg or pos special teams dvoa?

by TheEvilLurker (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:48pm

One thing I would like to see added is arrows showing a trend (like improving Offensive DVOA, Defensive DVOA and Specials? DVOA). This would indicate which teams look to be rising in various categories.

So in the case of the Giants, the trend for Defensive DVOA would be upwards. I could see the same thing for New Orleans D (at least, from last week).

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:51pm

Just a note on Pythagorean Wins:

From what I've seen looking at expected wins/DVOA/etc, good teams with an offensive bias tend to overperform their pythagorean wins, whereas teams with a defensive bias tend to underperform their pythagorean wins.

IE, if the Colts and Ravens both have 10 pythagorean wins, chances are, the Colts won more games.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:56pm

Is it better to have a neg or pos special teams dvoa?
Positive special teams DVOA is better.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 5:57pm

Re: 177

If the distribution was a bell curve, then I'd probably agree with you. The only reason I'm looking past the top three is because that's really the only spot where there's a significant difference between the two conferences. And since the other ~4/5th of the conferences are pretty even, I figured it was a reasonable thing to do. After-all, NE and Indy aren't just way better than their NFC counter-parts, they're way better than anybody else.

I re-linked the chart (click my name) I had originally posted in regards to relative conference strength. I only posted this as a response to the general perception that the NFC is top-to-bottom full of crap in comparison to the AFC (I think I even saw Aaron mention something similar, though I could be mistaken). But if you look at the DVOA comparison of the two conferences, it's painfully obvious that that stigma only applies to the very top of the league. The vast majority of the conferences are fairly even (although the AFC on average is still a little better). I've never once said the the NFC is the AFC's equal. But the difference between the two is much less than I think most people think.

by Rhys (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 8:19pm

Interesting note about the AFC/NFC issue:

The standard deviation of the 26 included DVOAs is 18.77%. Taking a random 13 samples in a population with a Standard deviation X should reduce the deviation by SQRT(13) to 5.20%. This means 5.20% sets the scale size for expected deviations of average 13 team DVOAs. Since 3.17% is less than 5.20%, this means there is no statistically significant difference between the two populations.

(Were getting bad coorelation effects from low sample size and discreteness and such here, so take this with a bit of salt. Also, I'm an Astrophysicist, not a Statistician, so more salt.)

If we DO include all 32 teams, the difference in average DVOA becomes 6.95%. HOWEVER, the expected 16 team sigma becomes 6.60%. This STILL isn't very significant, since the difference is about the same as the sigma. Essentially, the AFC is better than the NFC, but not in any ordered fashion. Any two random conferences built out of random teams in this population should have a difference about the same as that.

However, when determining the effective (rather than average) strength of a conference, it may be useful to look at only the top 6 teams of each conference. These are the teams that will make the playoffs and have a good chance of appearing in the Super Bowl. Doing so, the difference in average DVOA is 13.30%, and the six team sigma is 6.94%. This IS statistically significant, and explains why the common knowledge that that AFC will probably win the Super Bowl is correct. It also suggests some sort of ordered seperation, but I think this is probably due to low sample size.

On a final note, I feel it's a leery proposition to be throwing away 3/16 of your sample as a abberation when you already only have 32 points in it, and I think I've shown that it wasn't even really necessary. The perception that the AFC is so much better than the NFC is mostly because people are concerned more about effective strength since they tend to be more concerned with the better teams than the worse ones. Though I don't really have time or energy now, It'd be interesting if somebody wanted to go back and put a similar check for ordered differentiation between the conferences in prior years, especially the last few.

by Foreigner (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 9:30pm

Another way to look at AFC versus NFC would be to limit the analysis to games between an NFC team an AFC team. I don't have the database to do it but I did calculate the pure game scores. AFC teams won 14 and NFC won 13 (excel typos notwithstanding) scoring 596 to 499. It's much closer than I expected.

by Foreigner (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 9:34pm

75% of games are intra-conference so if there is a wide quality gap between the AFC and the NFC, dvoa scores are skewed in favor of the worse conference.

by JoshuaPerry (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 9:46pm

Thanks 186

by BadgerT1000 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/17/2007 - 9:59pm

A little surprised that the NFL made such a clear comment:

Green Bay - Mike Pereira, the Vice-President of NFL officiating, said Wednesday evening that the official that ruled Green Bay Packers tight end Bubba Franks was out of bounds on a fourth-quarter reception on Sunday against the Washington Redskins was "really wrong."

With 10:06 left in the game and the Packers clinging to a 17-14 lead, quarterback Brett Favre threw a pass to the right corner of the end zone on 2nd-and-8 intended for Franks. He caught the ball but was only able to get one foot inbounds before Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot pushed Franks out of bounds. The official ruled the pass incomplete because, in his view, Franks would not have gotten two feet down inbounds even if contact was not made.

Pereira said that was a call made in error.

"Clearly Bubba Franks would have come down in bounds and it would have been a catch," Pereira said on NFL Total Access on the NFL Network. "I think we were really wrong in making that judgment."

Forceouts are not open to replay review. If it were up to Pereira, forceouts would not be allowed at all. He feels that if a player is forced out of bounds, regardless of whether they would have come down or not, the pass should be incomplete.

"It's the toughest call we have to make because there are so many variables," Pereira said.

by mawbrew (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 8:33am

Re: 192

Seems to me Pereira's guys are already effectively enforcing the rule as they wished it were. It is very rare to see a forceout actually called. It's fairly common to observe situations where it should be called (Owens and Frank just this week).

by ernie cohen (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 9:42am

re: 189

Actually, a 600-500 point edge for the AFC is pretty big. Pythagorianily, that translates to like a 59% win percentage, or an average of 9.5 wins a season. That's close to IND last year. An average AFC team is making the playoffs in the NFC.

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 11:31am

"Of course, DVOA does not take into account the fact that Welker underneath frees up Moss and Stallworth deep and vice versa."

This is what I was thinking too. The way Welker is used leads to shorter ypc, not *necessarily* a lack of ability.

Now, that said, I do agree with Welker's detractors that his skill set probably would never lead to him being a Stallworth-type guy, but he is a perfect slot guy and, as I have said numerous times, the slot receiver is very, very important to NE's offense.

by Lemmiwinks (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 12:49pm

What? In what world doese that make any sense what so ever? Lets try this again.

Giants 4-2
Wash 3-2
Phili 2-3


The 4-2 Giants BEAT 2-3 PHILI

And its not like the Giants lost to bad teams...They lost to Greenbay(#6) and Dallas (#4)

Yet this DVOA thing has it ranked

Was 9
Phil 11
Giants 12

Please explain to me how that comes to be and in what way is it a realistic or accurate ranking "system".

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 1:39pm

Lemmiwinks #196:

Please explain to me how that comes to be and in what way is it a realistic or accurate ranking “system�.

The short answer is that the Giants defense stinks, with its true suckitude masked by the joy of playing against Winston Justice in his first start ever. They are down around 21st in the league in scoring defense (on course for 357 points agains!), and 28th in yards per reception against. They are just average in preventing 3rd down conversions. Those aren't recipes for long-term success. The offense isn't that great either, with Elisha having already thrown 8 interceptions in 196 attempts. He's on course for a 20+ interception year. He's also just middle of the league in yards per reception.

Overall, the Giants are, like in 2004 and 2006 starting out okay, with a couple of unexpected wins. Don't you remember how those years ended?

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 1:44pm

Re: Lemmiwinks

It makes perfect sense if you look at the way the teams are trending. DVOA represents a teams' performance through the entire season, not just the past couple weeks.

Week 1
WAS: 6.40%
PHI: -0.70%
NYG: -52.70%

Week 2
WAS: 8.20%
PHI: -6.20%
NYG: -45.70%

Week 3
PHI: 24.90%
WAS: 0.30%
NYG: -26.20%

Week 4
PHI: 11.00%
WAS: -1.30%
NYG: -1.60%

Week 5
WAS: 17.60%
PHI: 13.20%
NYG: 4.60%

Week 6
WAS: 15.80%
PHI: 11.60%
NYG: 10.80%

So basically the Giants have gone from abysmal to pretty good over the course of 6 weeks while the Eagles and Redskins have both been bouncing around between replacement-level and pretty good. It's to the Giants credit that they're as high as they are considering how god-awful they were the first 2 weeks.

You can also click my name for a chart of this weeks DVOA rankings. You should notice that NY and Philly are basically dead even and Washington is only a tiny bit ahead of them.

You cannot just look at the 1-32 rankings. You must look at the actual numbers and how teams are trending. If that concept is too difficult for you, you may want to go elsewhere for your football "analysis".

by nat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 2:28pm

196 Lemmiwinks:

May I recommend the "beatpaths" site for an interesting ranking system that only considers wins and losses, and ignores how well a team actually plays? DVOA considers how well a team plays, and ignores whether it wins or loses.

Beatpath ratings are a nifty simulation of a sports bar who-beat-who argument, without the annoying drunk people.

DVOA ratings, on the other hand, are a simulation of a stats geek argument, without the annoying sober people.

You may fit in better with the drunk people.

by Lemmiwinks (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 3:32pm

" Overall, the Giants are, like in 2004 and 2006 starting out okayDon’t you remember how those years ended?"

Well you just proved that you have no clue what you are talking about...

First off they took a dump in 2004 because they started a ROOKIE QB half way threw the season...If you cant understand why a ROOKIE QB would struggle against D's like Pit, Balt, Was, Phi, Atl (All top D's in 04)Then maybe you should watch the games and not base everything on stats

Second off 2006...Lets go with just a few people that were hurt from the middle to end of the season.









And thats just some of the starters that were hurt most of if not all of the year

And Please stop with the ignorant Eli hating...He is playing Pro Bowl Football this year...WATCH THE GAMES...dont just look at B/S stats...Even that Tool Jaw's put him top 8 in NFL..And he is an Ex-eagle that HATES the Giants..

Winston Justic...LOL... is that all you can come up with...LOL...(If you watched the game you would have seen Winston only got beat for 3 of OSI's RECORD BREAKING 6 sacks)..

If you watched Football on sundays instead of looking at your FF stat tracker...You would understand that when a D has as much of a turnover as the Giants D did...It takes 2-4 weeks for that D to jell...How has the Giants D played from about 1/2 way threw the Washington game? Oh Ok got it..How many TD's have the Giants D given up in the last 3 1/2 games? 2...Oh Ok..Thanks for playing...Dont hate..You Most likely wish you were a Giants fan...

Sorry normally I try not to bash people and I really was just asking a question..Sorry if it came of harsh..But this Tool started it

by Lemmiwinks (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 3:37pm

"Thanks >>> Wanker79 — 10/18/2007 @ 12:44 pm"

That helps and makes a little more sense...

Just so you guys know, Im not tryng to start Trouble..And Im sorry if Im angering anyone (except Andrew of corse) :) ..Im just trying to get a better handle on this DVOA thing..

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 3:49pm

"He is playing Pro Bowl Football this year"

No, hes not. He's playing better this year, but hes still on pace to throw 20+ picks.

He's the 18th ranked QB in the NFL right now, behind such luminaries as Joey Harrington. If I had to guess NFC probowl QBs, it would be Romo, Garcia, and Favre.

Eli is about 7 or 8 on that list.

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 4:27pm

Re: 201

Just a little background info, since FO has started spreading to more mainstream sites we've been getting more and more posts from people who just don't understand and don't want to understand what DVOA is all about.

Generally we just berate these people until they get bored and leave. From your previous posts, I (and I'm assuming Andrew and most of the other regulars) thought you were one of those people. Looking at your last post, that may have been a hasty judgement.

Back to your question about the Giants. In your response to Andrew you mentioned "...from about 1/2 way threw the Washington game" and "...in the last 3 1/2 games". The answer is waaaayyy the hell better than in the first couple games". But DVOA doesn't ignore how bad they were in the beginning regardless of how good they are right now. As the season goes on, DVOA starts to be weighted to put a little more emphasis on the most recent games, but (iirc) that doesn't start until Week 8. And the full effect of the "D" in DVOA (Defense-adjusted) doesn't take full effect for another couple weeks.

So if everyone in the division keeps playing in line with their current trend, Philly and Washington will continue to bounce around average to pretty good and NY will continue to improve and overtake both of them in the rankings. But I'd be shocked if the three teams play at the exact same level for the remainder of the season as they have the past two weeks.

by Dean (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 5:16pm

I think that DVOA automatically downgrades the team of any fan who can't type PHILLY.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 10/18/2007 - 6:19pm


First off they took a dump in 2004 because they started a ROOKIE QB half way threw the season

Actually, they started taking a dump several games before that, losing winnable games against the Bears and Cardinals. A number of their losses after that were generally close too. They could have won some of those games if they'd just made a play or two.

Second off 2006…Lets go with just a few people that were hurt from the middle to end of the season.

So are you assuming the Giants will have no midseason injuries this year? Are you saying that injuries were the only reason the played poorly?

Then maybe you should watch the games and not base everything on stats

Around here we like to do both. Watch games AND look at stats.

And Please stop with the ignorant Eli hating…He is playing Pro Bowl Football this year…WATCH THE GAMES…dont just look at B/S stats

I have watched the games. Its the same old Elisha. Outside of the offensive explosion against Dallas, who I don't think is really that good in pass defense, Eli has 213 yards per game, 7 TD's, 7 INT's (on just 155 passes!). That's not pro-bowl level. That's pedestrian. That's a 3400 yards, 22 TD, 22 INT season in the making.

Eli's had 48 games now, and has thrown 56 INT's. He's only had 12 games free of interceptions. He's a freaking turnover machine.

Winston Justic…LOL… is that all you can come up with…LOL…(If you watched the game you would have seen Winston only got beat for 3 of OSI’s RECORD BREAKING 6 sacks).

I did watch the game. Originally he was being blamed for 5 of 6, then 4, now 3 by you. At this rate, maybe by midseason, it will turn out Justice was a perfect blocker! What exactly is so great about the accomplishment though? That Osi beat a guy who may not be very good, or that he brought down a crippled QB? Which of those items is supposed to be predictive of the future?

If you watched Football on sundays instead of looking at your FF stat tracker…

Oh I watch the games.

You would understand that when a D has as much of a turnover as the Giants D did…It takes 2-4 weeks for that D to jell…

Now that is a bunch of BS. Plenty of other D's have new faces and new starters around the league, and they are playing way more consistent than the Giants.

How has the Giants D played from about 1/2 way threw the Washington game? Oh Ok got it..

Not as great as you seem to think. A great D and great team doesn't rely on its opponents to trip over themselves, like the Redskins, Eagles, and Jets did. It stops them and denies them the opportunity. The Giants D didn't, for example, make McNabb throw from across the line of scrimmage to Reggie Brown, and it didn't make Joe Gibbs call ridiculous stupid plays at the goal line.

How many TD’s have the Giants D given up in the last 3 1/2 games? 2…Oh Ok..Thanks for playing…Dont hate..

So you are all excited about how the Giants have performed against the low-wattage Redskins, the injured Eagles, the Pennington lead Jets (what are they, 31st in the league in passing offense?), and the pathetic Falcons? Woohoo! You beat up some of the worst offenses in the league! Woohoo! Will you come crowing again if they hold down Trent Dilfer and Co. to 1 touchdown? I mean come on! What an accomplishment that would be!

That's a pretty meaningless question really. Denver fans here were all excited about how few touchdowns their defense was giving up last year, and look where that got them.

As to the Giants, they've coughed up 15 on the season, good for somewhere down in the mid-20's in league ranking.

You Most likely wish you were a Giants fan

Why would I want to cheer on the Midgets with the likes of you?

Sorry normally I try not to bash people and I really was just asking a question..Sorry if it came of harsh..But this Tool started it

Yeah, but you will anyway. Sorry you are all upset from the problems with the Giants being pointed out.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 10/19/2007 - 9:20am

And Please stop with the ignorant Eli hating…He is playing Pro Bowl Football this year.
He's doing reasonably well this year, but I put Romo, Favre, and Garcia ahead of Manning the Even Younger on my Pro-Bowl ballot. Each conference only gets three, after all.

by Alex (not verified) :: Fri, 10/19/2007 - 10:56pm

Second off 2006…Lets go with just a few people that were hurt from the middle to end of the season.

So, wait, you're saying that 5 of the team's current starters now have significant injury histories, their backups aren't good enough to keep the team competitive in their absence, and this is a good thing?

by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 10/20/2007 - 11:57am

Giants beat the Eagles and Redskins by a combined 20 points, they lost to Dallas and GB, and beat the 2 crap teams on their schedule. The Giants lone "bad game" was against Green Bay, and the game was closer than the score dictates. Also remember that was Eli's first game after that cheap shot he took from Anthony Spencer. He was initially supposed to be out for a month, but he played the very next week ( and the team had 1 bad game).

The only reason the Eagles and Redskins are higher in DVOA, is because of all the garbage yards they put up on that Detroit Lions defense and that they haven't had a bad loss yet. What is the difference between putting up 49 points or 56? In the Redskins game, it was a 2 possession game until the 4th quarter. You would think the DVOA would factor out some of those blowouts, but it doesn't look like it.

Washington beat the Winless Dolphins by 3 in OT and at home? So who have the Redskins really beat? A 2-3 Philly team that beat themselves?

The only argument I could see is that Philly and the Redskins have a little bit lower variance ( because they didn't lose to GB bad like the Giants), but they also didn't win as many of their closer games ( Philly is 2-3!). The Cowboys and Steelers are allowed their "mulligan", while the Giants loss to Green Bay seems to be the only thing holding them back.

Also remember the FO staff had the Giants falling somewhere between the #1 pick in the draft next year, and a 5 win team that " hates their coach and is screwed without Tiki Barber". They had the Eagles in the super bowl, and the Redskins bouncing back. I think Schatz is a Redskins fan.

by Alex (not verified) :: Sat, 10/20/2007 - 12:39pm

I'm beginning to think the FOMBC could hit the Giants soon, the way things have been going.

I think Schatz is a Redskins fan.

Funny, I always figured he was a Patriots fan.

by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 10/20/2007 - 12:59pm

You could like more than 1 team.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Mon, 10/22/2007 - 1:57pm

Chris #208:

Elisha thowing 9 interceptions in 7 games to go with 3 fumbles 2 of which were lost might have something to do with the less than stellar rating.

The wins over the Redskins, Eagles, and Jets also hinged on quite a bit of luck and unforced opponent mistakes (stupid penalties and playcalls). Its not hard to see how the Giants could be 2 and 5 right now with a difference of a handful of opponent plays and ref calls. The Giants have had convincing wins over the harmless 49ers and Falcons. None of their other wins were convincing in terms of domination, and the Packers loss was a very convincing loss.

For the remaining schedule, the Giants have three probable gimme games - Dolphins, Vikings, and Bills unless they blow possibly one of them (can happen to the best of teams). Of the other 6 games (Cowboys, Redskins, Eagles, Lions, Bears, Patriots), they could win anywhere from 0 to 4 of them. I don't think they'll beat the Patriots or Cowboys. So I see them headed for anywhere from 8-8 to 12-4 barring major injuries. Call it 10-6, and bet on a 0-1 or 1-1 exit from the playoffs by the divisional round, per Coughlin's history of playoff ineptitude.