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17 Jan 2011

Week 19 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

Once again, it is time for postseason DVOA ratings. As always, the following rules apply:

  • All 32 teams are ranked, whether they made the playoffs or not.
  • Teams are ranked in order of weighted DVOA, not total season DVOA. Since weighted DVOA is meant to lower the strength of older games, these ratings do not include Weeks 1-5, and Weeks 6-11 are somewhat discounted.
  • Teams are treated as having a bye week in any week where they did not play. Since most teams haven't played in two weeks, that means some of the ratings for non-playoff teams can start getting a little unreliable. Really, this is only to be used for playoff teams, the other teams are just there for ranking comparison purposes.
  • DVOA, as always, takes a long-term view of an NFL team's performance. That means that the games of the last two weeks are just two games among many, so teams may be listed below other teams that they have beaten in the playoffs.

The playoff odds report is also updated through through this week's games.

* * * * *

To save people some time, we remind everyone to put their angry troll hatred into the official zlionsfan angry troll hatred Mad Libs form:

<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>

If you are new to our website, you can read the explanation of how DVOA is figured here. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

1 NE 50.4% 1 14-3 46.6% 1 2.1% 12 5.8% 5
2 PIT 39.5% 2 13-4 21.5% 3 -19.6% 1 -1.7% 22
3 BAL 32.7% 3 13-5 6.7% 15 -17.7% 3 8.3% 3
4 GB 31.9% 4 12-6 16.4% 7 -18.5% 2 -3.0% 28
5 NYJ 19.9% 10 13-5 1.9% 19 -14.2% 4 3.8% 10
6 SD 18.5% 5 9-7 21.1% 4 0.4% 9 -2.2% 25
7 PHI 16.8% 6 10-7 18.0% 6 5.9% 17 4.7% 9
8 CHI 16.0% 7 12-5 3.0% 18 -4.5% 5 8.5% 2
9 OAK 15.3% 9 8-8 5.4% 16 -4.3% 6 5.5% 6
10 TB 12.3% 11 10-6 19.4% 5 6.0% 18 -1.1% 19
11 ATL 11.6% 8 13-4 4.7% 17 6.0% 19 12.9% 1
12 NO 11.2% 12 11-6 12.8% 10 0.5% 10 -1.1% 18
13 HOU 9.8% 13 6-10 24.8% 2 13.3% 29 -1.7% 24
14 NYG 7.4% 14 10-6 11.6% 11 -0.5% 8 -4.7% 31
15 JAC 2.4% 19 8-8 15.1% 8 16.2% 31 3.5% 11
16 DET 2.4% 15 6-10 8.1% 12 6.5% 20 0.8% 15
17 IND -0.5% 16 10-7 14.0% 9 8.3% 25 -6.3% 32
18 TEN -2.9% 18 6-10 -4.2% 24 5.1% 15 6.4% 4
19 MIA -3.0% 17 7-9 -2.7% 22 -2.0% 7 -2.3% 26
20 CIN -4.5% 20 4-12 6.7% 14 7.7% 23 -3.5% 29
21 SF -7.7% 22 6-10 -2.6% 21 3.7% 14 -1.4% 20
22 DEN -8.4% 25 4-12 7.6% 13 15.6% 30 -0.4% 17
23 CLE -8.9% 21 5-11 -3.6% 23 8.2% 24 2.9% 13
24 DAL -10.3% 23 6-10 -6.5% 26 5.9% 16 2.1% 14
25 KC -14.9% 24 10-7 0.8% 20 11.4% 28 -4.4% 30
26 STL -17.5% 28 7-9 -14.8% 29 7.7% 22 5.0% 8
27 MIN -18.1% 27 6-10 -13.8% 28 2.8% 13 -1.5% 21
28 BUF -20.1% 26 4-12 -16.9% 30 1.4% 11 -1.7% 23
29 WAS -25.6% 29 6-10 -13.2% 27 10.1% 27 -2.3% 27
30 SEA -27.0% 30 8-10 -6.4% 25 23.7% 32 3.1% 12
31 CAR -32.1% 31 2-14 -24.4% 31 7.6% 21 0.0% 16
32 ARI -34.5% 32 5-11 -30.9% 32 8.8% 26 5.1% 7

Here are the one-game DVOA ratings for the second round of the playoffs. Notice that the Bears have a negative DVOA for their win over Seattle because the Seahawks opponent adjustments bring a significant penalty.

DVOA (with opponent adjustments)
PIT 33% 2% -44% -13%
BAL 23% -10% -25% 8%
GB 46% 41% -32% -28%
ATL -32% -12% 42% 22%
CHI -14% 10% 23% -2%
SEA -9% 12% 25% 3%
NYJ 61% 32% -44% -16%
NE -19% 7% 35% 9%
VOAf (no opponent adjustments)
PIT 17% -8% -38% -13%
BAL -13% -35% -14% 8%
GB 34% 43% -19% -28%
ATL -55% -28% 50% 22%
CHI 9% 21% 11% -2%
SEA -8% 0% 11% 3%
NYJ 27% 37% -6% -16%
NE -29% -3% 35% 9%

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 17 Jan 2011

66 comments, Last at 21 Jan 2011, 11:17am by Eddo


by DGL :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 6:31pm

The Steelers and the Ravens both played better than average. I dub this the Lake Wobegon Playoff Game.

by RowdyRoddyPiper :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 8:04pm

If you look at the VOA the Raven's ended up in negative territory. Opponent adjustments can very much mean that both teams played better than average, if both teams are better than average and both avoid crapping their pants. Though I do like the reference ;)

by luvrhino :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 10:04pm

The more interesting thing to me is that both SEA and CHI had negative DVOAs for the game, which would be much rarer in the playoffs.

I would think it'd most often occur if two mediocre playoff teams had a sloppy game with a lot of missed FGs and other non-zero sum negative plays.

by Kal :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 6:33pm

Wow, is that a high DVOA by the Jets.

What's the highest DVOA in a single playoff game?

by Biebs (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 6:53pm

I think Baltimore was +90% last week.

by Aaron Schatz :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 9:03pm

This year's games so far don't even come close to the best playoff DVOA ratings of all-time. Remember, if you have a big playoff win, you are almost always going to get positive opponent adjustments on top of it.

DVOA > 120% in a playoff game:

Carolina 131.6% in 23-0 win over Giants in 2005
New York Jets 129.6% in 41-0 win over Indianapolis in 2002
Baltimore 127.5% in the SUPER BOWL (!!) over Giants in 2000
Jacksonville 123.3% in 62-7 win over Miami in 1999

However, please note that I never had time to run the playoffs for 1993-1994. I'm guessing the 1994 Super Bowl would show up on this list.

by danbanana (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 9:58am

superbowl XX?

by Shattenjager :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:51am

DVOA doesn't go back that far.

by Eddo :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 6:36pm

Holy crap, those are some brutal opponent adjustments for the Seahawks!

Out of curiosity, why do the Bears come out with a positive defensive VOAf? I assume it's due to the two quick touchdowns at the end of the fourth. It would be interesting to see how VOAf came out after the third quarter, when the Seahawks had only 111 total yards. (NOTE: I am not saying that DVOA/VOA should not include "garbage time" plays.)

by ODBvernon :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:20pm

I've never understood why it did include garbage time plays actually. If the tool is all about measuring success in the context of a situation and helping to predict future success, how is any play that is not contributing to a potential comeback considered "valuable?" Is there some precedent I am unaware of where the FO guys removed "garbage" plays and it adversely affected the DVOA stats? Or is it just because of the difficulty in determining what is "garbage" time? I would think it wouldn't be too hard to do that since it's been done very effectively for college b-ball and there are some great minds working here at FO.

Personally, this facet of DVOA has always driven me effing crazy - I love it is a tool for measuring games that stay within two scores, but for games that move beyond that (especially later in the game) it goes a bit wonky.

For instance, wouldn't a team consider it a positive defensive play to give up 9 yards on 1st and 10 late in a two-score game? Particularly if the play stays in bound? Without seeing the formula, I've always guessed that DVOA doesn't adjust enough for the context of a game when there is a large disparity in score. Essentially, the notion for what is, or is not, successful needs to change dramatically from one that weights play-by-play versus 1st downs to one that measures drive-by-clock versus scores/TDs.

It was incredibly apparent the Jets were absolutely willing to let the Patriots move down the field in 5-6 yard increments because they were of the belief that this would provide insufficient time for a comeback. And the Jets were right! And it was evident that the Bears defense completely stopped trying at the end of the game. How could any of the measures from the last three minutes of the Bears game could be argued to be either a) predictive or b) reflective? Just like DVOA discounted time resting starters in 2009 for certain teams, I think it could be modified to either a) remove plays that have no bearing on the outcome of the game (down more than 17 points with under three minutes left?) b) more heavily discount any play that isn't moving the ball in an accelerated fashion toward a TD when down late by more than a score.

Sorry for the long rant, but this has irked me for at least the last three years and this week gives me the perfect opportunity to vent. Would love to hear other perspectives on this. Thanks!

by tuluse :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:25pm

Plays in garbage time are compared to other plays in garbage time, so the Bears are worse at playing defense in garbage time than average, still I agree with you. It was obvious the Bears were not trying 100% once they were up 28-0.

by ODBvernon :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:36pm

Right, plays in garbage time are compared against like plays, but teams have HUGELY different philosophies as to how to handle garbage time both on offense and defense. Between pulling startes, playing rookies, etc., I just think it's a facet of the game that provides little-to-no value in analysis.

For my gambling purposes, I track yards-per-attempt (rushing and passing, both offense and defense) as a well as a metric measuring yards versus time of possession (there is some correlation between speedy scoring and covering certain types of spreads). And I definitely don't look at anything from a 28-0 game in the 4th quarter - given that I am just a dude who likes to bet on football whose fairly handy with Excel, shouldn't FO be capable of providing a more nuanced look at the game that betters measures what is actually valuable? Again, the point is to be either predictive or reflective and I don't see how that helps with either.

Either way, still love the site. Not perfect, but the best out there by far.

by tuluse :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:21pm

Looks like the offense played pretty well (+20% DVOA), which offset the poor defensive DVOA and average special teams.

And hey, Chicago's offense is above 0% for the first time since week 2!

Personally, I'm not worried about the defense, I'm pretty sure they were trying out some things they don't normally do against the Seahawks (and Tillman tipping what should have been a pick right to Mike Williams doesn't help).

by ammek :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:03pm

Year of the Defense: #s 1, 2, 4 and 5 still alive; while the #3 put up -25% DVOA and went out. Unprecedented?

by Kal :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:07pm

That's pretty interesting. Not that it's that odd; traditionally the teams in the last round of the playoffs have some top-10 quality one way or another along with a good second set of factors (like a top 10 offense and a good defense).

I think it's mostly odd but not that weird. Good defenses do well in the playoffs as do good offenses.

by cfn_ms :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:34pm

Moreover, teams who win generally see across the board improvement in DVOA (since they did better than the other team, who is generally pretty well rated). All four in the top 5 seems unusual, but all four in the top 10 would strike me as completely normal.

by RowdyRoddyPiper :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 8:08pm

It's interesting to me that the Steelers and the Pack both have great offense and defense with what could be charitably described as questionable special teams. The Jets and Bears have great defense and great special teams and something more questionable on the offensive side of the ball. As a Steeler fan I just hope Weatherford keeps kicking it into the endzone.

by loki13 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:28pm

They've risen to the 10-spot this week. After being middle of the pack (or worse) all year. I'm sure Coach Morris will be proud to know his stats are up after his season is over.

Heck, by the time the Super Bowl is over, the Bucs might be #1 in DVOA. :)

by Kal :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:47pm

It's also interesting to see the gulf between the top 4 teams (NE, Pitt, Balt, GB) and the rest. The difference between Green Bay and the Jets (#5) is the same as the difference between the Jets and the Giants (#14).

by ChargerJeff :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 7:48pm

Hey, check it out! San Diego's ST is up to #25! We're on our way, baby!

Oh, wait.

by ammek :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 8:05pm

Anyone else surprised that the Jets' offensive VOA is similar to the Packers' for their games last weekend? How much of that is garbage-related?

Green Bay averaged about a yard per play more than New York, despite running fifteen more offensive plays. The teams had the same number of fumbles (one) and picks (none). The Packers faced fewer third downs and converted a higher proportion of them. They were slightly less efficient in the red zone, although they didn't fail to score a TD until they were ahead by 21 points in the fourth quarter.

Presumably the Packers' success rate on the ground was feebler, and they probably had a couple more penalties. Even so, given the deification of Rodgers since Saturday, I greedily anticipated more than +43% VOA — which is, after all, only a little better than average for the 2010 Patriots offense (regular season version).

by Kal :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 8:17pm

I'm not that surprised. The Pats' defensive VOA was a lot better than Atlanta's, and DVoA isn't a counting metric, it's an overall one - so fewer plays actually aids you if those plays are more awesome.

Plus Green Bay's defense shut down Atlanta, giving shorter fields - which makes it more likely for success.

I'd honestly not say that the Jets were that good; I think that the pats defense was soemwhat overrated and the Jets got luckier on their offensive plays compared to the Packers, who just methodically obliterated the Falcons. But from a math perspective it makes sense.

by ammek :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 8:25pm

Plus Green Bay's defense shut down Atlanta, giving shorter fields - which makes it more likely for success.

Forget not the Packers' craptacular special teams!

Packer drives' starting field position through first three quarters:

own 11
own 19
own 8
own 20
own 20

by Milkman (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 9:09pm

The OP was talking VOA, not DVOA.

by Jon in bk (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 8:49pm

I guess I'm late to this, but how do you throw out the first 5 games entirely?

The idea of weighting recent performance is a novel and logical one, but is there any chance at all that the first five games of the current season has NOTHING to do with how good a team is?

I'd like to see a statistical analysis of DVOA after 5 weeks versus all season- it couldn't possibly have no correlation, could it?

by Bryan Knowles :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 9:56pm

DVOA includes everything.

WEIGHTED DVOA only includes the last X weeks.

by tuluse :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 9:57pm

Not exactly, it's last X weeks, but decreased value from Y weeks before that.

by GroshKar (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 10:26pm

Seahawks is clearly ranked too low because BEAST MODE. Draft order is way better than this. SEAHAWKALYPSE!!!!1!!

by matt w (not verified) :: Mon, 01/17/2011 - 11:12pm

In the divisional round preview, Bill said about GB-ATL:

"DVOA suggests that this is about as even of a matchup as you can put together, considering home field advantage."

and then this week the playoff odds report has Green Bay with a 50.6% chance of beating Chicago. Freaky.

Anyone know the exact odds DVOA gave for GB-ATL?

by Joe S. (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:48am

Honestly it is hard to take you seriously knowing how much you hate the Jets. Suck it.

by InTheBoilerRoom :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 12:51pm

My hatred of the Patriots is eclipsed only by my hatred of the Cowboys. You know what's coming close to surpassing both of those, though? Jets fans.

The Jets played great. Everyone has acknowledged that the Jets played great. Many of us are thrilled that the Pats are eliminated. Unfortunately, Jets fans are making it virtually impossible to be happy about all of this.

by Jetspete :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 1:50pm

how can anyone "hate" jets fans? News flash, Team X's fans seeme to talk more in the playoffs when their team is still in and winning.

by Eddo :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 1:56pm

Generally, anyone asking "how can anyone hate XXX?" leads people to start to hate XXX.


On the specific topic, Jets fans have been talking quite a bit, and whining about hate for their team. It hasn't gotten me to start hating them, but I can see how it bothers some people.

by Led :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 9:27pm

I think the point is that hating a massive collection of people defined as set X based on stupid comments by some relatively tiny subset within X is unjustified at the least, and more than a little bit foolish.

by Eddo :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 9:29pm

That's fine, and I agree with it. I did not interpret JetsPete's point that way; he clearly stated "Jets fans", not "fans of any team".

by GlennW :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 2:02pm

I don't "hate" the Jets or their fans (more so the Patriots), but if you heard even a little bit of the obnoxious Noo Yawkers calling into Boston sports radio the past two days, you might understand. Although as an unaffiliated bystander, I did take some perverse pleasure in hearing the two sides go at it...

by justanothersteve :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 2:12pm

I'm admittedly slow to really hate any team's fans. As a Packers fan, I don't even hate Bears fans as a group. OTOH, it's been really easy lately to hate Patriots fans along with my longstanding hate of Cowboys and 49ers fans. Most Pats fans, like 49ers fans, strike me as bandwagon fans and I believe will disappear when the team stops winning. Cowboys fans irritate me because of that whole America's Team crap. I can see some hating Jets fans simply because it's easy to hate anything New York, plus they can be as annoying as Eagles fans during the draft. But I don't think many besides Patriots fans really hate the Jets.

I admit these are generalities. I respect diehard fans of any team, which I define as those who stick with the team even when they suck. And that includes certain Cowboys, Patriots, and 49ers fans.

by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 2:45pm

Sigh...I vaguely remember the days when the 49ers had bandwagon fans. That was back in the days when the World-Wide Web was brand new and Morgan Fairchild still had a career.

Dude. You carry a grudge for a long time.

by RickD :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:17pm

"Most Pats fans, like 49ers fans, strike me as bandwagon fans..."

That's the opposite of my experience. I've been a Pats fans since Plunkett was the starter.

You may not have heard much from us during the years between Super Bowl XX and the Parcells years, but that's because the team sucked.

And really, if the team is on its 10th year of being a dominant force in the NFL, doesn't the phrase "bandwagon fan" lose some of its meaning? How can you tell at this point?

As for the Jets, I don't hate the team. I don't even hate today's Yankees - not like the Yankees of the 70s. A few of the Jets are thugs, notably Bart Scott, and a few are really whiny, mostly the former Chargers, but Jason Taylor is well-respected by most Patriots fans, Mark Sanchez seems like a decent guy, and we've even grudgingly come to accept that Revis is an elite CB. Even Rex Ryan has a likable side, though his apparent need to take everything personal seems a bit unprofessional.

So no, I don't really have a problem with the Jets. Jets fans, OTOH, come across as really obnoxious. And I could call them "bandwagon" fans too, for the amount of noise I heard from them during 2001-2005. But that's not really fair.

Strangely enough, I've never had any problem with Giants' fans. Same metro area, but definitely not the same people. Even after the Super Bowl upset, I saw less obnoxious crowing from Giants' fans than I have seen from Jets fans after they won their first regular season game against the Pats in about five years. [And to be honest, I still have yet to see any obnoxious crowing from Giants' fans.]

by Jerry :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 3:41am

One of the biggest things I've learned here at Football Outsiders is that there are fans of teams I dislike who I have a great deal of respect for. (I didn't need FO to know that there are members of every fanbase, including the one I'm part of, who I'd never want to discuss football with.)

Generalizing about any team's fans is a mistake. I'm sure there are some Patriot fans right now who think Belichick should be fired because he hasn't won a championship in six years, and others who think that the last six years are part of some master plan, since Belichick's too smart to lose that many playoff games. That doesn't mean that most Pats fans aren't rational about the team.

Every successful team is going to pick up its share of bandwagon fans. Many will stop paying attention when the team stops playing well, but some will stick around.

by armchair journe... :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 4:21pm

I think it just speaks to a general trend... the more popular the site gets, the more PFT-ish the comment section looks. Unfortunate. It could be my own bias, but the comments screaming most about bias seem--as a general rule--to carry the (unverified) tag.

As for the Jets fans specifically... I live in NYC, and prior to this year never had any cause to dislike the team or the base.. or, honestly to give them much thought past appreciating the classic uni's. But I have to confess to growing irritation, and for the first time specifically rooting against the Jets--if only not to see the montages on the back page of The Post on the subway.

Maybe fans really take on the persona of their team, and Ryan's deliberate push towards brashness is a root cause. Confidence, even over-confidence, is certainly contagious.

armchair journeyman quarterback

by MJK :: Thu, 01/20/2011 - 1:35pm

Agree with most of this. Although, starting in about 2003, there were a lot of annoying bandwagon fans who would yell "Go Pats" but who didn't know Tedy Bruschi from Matt Light. Thankfully, few of such frequent this site.

I "hate" the Jets, but only in the sense that watching sports is more fun if you choose allegiances and have a rooting interest for or against the players. To me, the Jets are the "bad guys", but there is no actual hatred for them as a team. Now, there are some specific players that I don't like for various reasons (Bart Scott, LdT, Cromartie), and some that I think are cocky and enjoy seeing beat when it occasionally happens (Revis, although it doesn't happen nearly enough). But I honestly think more highly than Sanchez than a lot of people, respect Jason Taylor and Nick Mangold, and I am thankful for Rex Ryan for making the Jets relevant again (it's no fun to hate a rival that sucks ineptitude like the Jets did the last couple of years before Ryan took them over). His blather also make the "bad guy" motif more fun.

But I also agree that Jets fans ARE, on average (not necessarily the ones who post on FO), more obnoxious and irritating than the average NFL fan. And it's not a NYC thing...as RickD points out, Jets fans are quite a bit more annoying the Giants fans (who had the same crowing opportunities that the Jets have now over the Pats back in 2007). It's weird...it just like Mets fans are far, far less annoying than Yankees fans, and White Sox fans are much nicer than Cubs fans, and Niners fans are far more tolerable than Raiders fans, at least in my personal experience.

by NYExpat :: Thu, 01/20/2011 - 9:16pm

It's funny you mention White Sox fans as nicer than Cubs fans, because if there's one fan base that feels similar to my own, it's the White Sox: Small, disregarded on the national and local stages, fiercely loyal, long-suffering, but without the patina of cuteness or epic failure that the Cubs and Red Sox had, respectively. Oh, and drunken yahoos that overwhelm the narrative of the team itself (tackling the first base coach; Gate D).

It's not a perfect fit, I understand. NYC seems to have embraced the Jets in a way that has never happened for the White Sox. I watched them win the 2005 World Series at a bar in Bridgeport, then drove through the city up to Wrigley. Past Division Street was dead silence. City hasn't won a WS in 87 years? Yawn, it wasn't the Cubbies.

A microcosm of our neuroses can be found in Paul Maguire's behavior in 1986, when as a commentator on the NBC pre-game show he constantly picked against the Jets, despite them going 10-1 to start the season. We were 10-1, beat Marino's Dolphins in a shootout, but he keeps picking against them! The craving for recognition, and the percieved lack of it, even when we're successful, is at the core of Jets fans' psyches.

by Eddo :: Fri, 01/21/2011 - 11:17am

To be fair (and I can dissect Chicago fandom, particularly baseball, all day), I doubt you'd see city-wide celebrations for the Cubs, either. Though the Sox celebration would be stifled because the biggest bar area is right on Wrigley's doorstep. It's tough to get a good, Blackhawks-sized impromptu rally going when 90% of the bars in an area are decked out in Cubs colors and memorabilia.

I don't like claims of "the city is mostly Cubs fans", which is usually made by Sox fans. In my experience, it's about as close to 50/50 as you can get. I live within the city limits, and work downtown, and I would say I generally see more White Sox apparel on a given day.

The Cubs are definitely a much bigger national draw, thanks to savvy marketing (and dumbass marketing by the Sox in the 80s), but in Chicago itself, it's even. And sometimes I think Chicago is a baseball town, not a football town, except that at least the Bears are a team everyone can get behind.

Disclaimer: I am a White Sox fan.

by karl (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 5:19pm

Well, there do seem to be some quite publicly obnoxious Jets fans, like the one who started this thread. But none any more annoying than, say, Simmons is as a Patriots fan -- think back to some of his columns about the Colts in 2005 or so, or his triumphant columns when the Pats were running it up in 2007 ("Kneel to the Pats cuz the Pats ain't kneeling" sticks in my head).

But the commenters and -- to a lesser extent -- some of the writers have fallen into the trap where, in order to be analytical, you have to combat the hype -- even if the hype isn't quite there. So Sanchez's low-to-middling-with-some-high-spots performance is trumpeted as downright lousy, in order to fight some largely non-existent claim that he's the second coming. A few days ago someone pointed to his 1.6% DVOA (about halfway between the highest and lowest on the scale, and nearby Garrard, Cutler, etc) as proof that he was NOT middle-of-the-pack. Peter King (!) went through an entire MMQB only mentioning him by name once, on the 4th page, and yet somehow we have to be ever vigilant against claims of his greatness.

Same with the "lucky" meme. Unless you're superstitious it doesn't mean anything. It's either random chance, which makes its repition surprising, or they tended to win close games against young, easily flustered teams, provided Sanchez didn't shoot them in the foot. There's *something* to talk about there, if you want to. But the sense -- due to their New York-ness, and Rex's Rex-ness -- that everyone was anointing them made it necessary to burst that bubble. But that bubble didn't seem to exist. And even if it did, say, in the tabloids (which are really Giants territory anyway), would folks here really have to spend their time on that? Should the discussion of a team be so largely an attempt to argue against unimportant, and often just hypothetical, nonsense?

There are annoying fans of every team everywhere (are the worst Jets fans any worse than the worst Eagles or Raiders or Steelers fans?) but I think there are more annoyed Jets fans here for those reasons. Seems a bit much say, as Aaron did, that those fans are "not nice people."

by NYExpat :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 4:36pm

"The Jets played great. Everyone has acknowledged that the Jets played great."

Not to fall into a meta rabbit hole, but I think if you look at the discussion thread and the Audibles post, you'll see more "Patriots/Brady had a bad game" than "Jets played great".

I can't speak for non-regulars, but that lack of acknowledgement, and lack of curiosity on how the Jets beat Manning and Brady in back-to-back weeks, is what irks this Jets fan, and I suspect regulars like newjamarcus as well.

by Jetspete :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 4:55pm

honestly expat, i'm pleased by this befuddling lack of credit the Jets have gotten. Theyll all eat crow, and more importantly its kept the Jets a tremendous value in Vegas. They should be 3 point favorites, and instead theyre 3.5 pt dogs.

by cfn_ms :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 11:43am

3 point favorites on the road? Really? IMO the Pit -3 line was about fair, though it looks like it's moving higher (I wouldn't be stunned to see 4 eventually).

by Eddo :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 11:58am

Yeah, Jets-as-three-point-favorites-at-Pittsburgh seems like a stretch. That would mean they'd be a nine-point favorite at home (six neutral).

Though it could just be that JetsPete means he considers Jets +3 to be a great bet this week.

by RickD :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 9:59pm

Part of the problem is that the strength of the Jets is their defense. And often the success of a defense is interpreted as a failure of the offense.

With regard to Sunday's game, some of the success of the Jets' defense was clearly due to excellent defensive play (esp. their pass rush and their coverage) while some of it was due to poor offensive play by the Pats (esp. the ridiculous interception, when Tom Brady pissed away a 330+ non-interception streak by making a rookie mistake and lobbing a duck into the defense).

The Jets' defense was excellent. The offense was good and, more importantly, Mark Sanchez made zero mistakes. Given his multiple failures 6 weeks earlier, that was a bit of a surprise. Even the special teams was good, except for Folk's one missed FG.

I'm pretty sure I credited the Jets on Sunday.

by NYExpat :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 11:56pm

"I'm pretty sure I credited the Jets on Sunday."

You're just trying to make my head explode, aren't you?

by NYExpat :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 10:23am

And by that I mean: When I wrote my comments above @42, I was thinking specifically of you, so I'm pretty sure you didn't.

by armchair journe... :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 4:28pm

I seem to recall this same consistent "bias" against the Giants in '07 and the Cardinals in '08...

But I don't remember too many angry tirades about it.

Well, a few tirades maybe (Chris), but not so much the anger and hyperbole.

armchair journeyman quarterback

by just cuz (not verified) :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 8:15pm

You are not seriously comparing the '07 giants and this year's Jets to the '08 Cardinals...?

by armchair journe... :: Thu, 01/20/2011 - 3:06pm

No. I am "seriously comparing" three times that FO has apparently shown bias against an overperforming team, and the way that team's fans responded to the "disrespect."

by tselliott63 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 9:17am

I also like the idea that there should be some sort of differentiation for meaningless points scored late in a game. Something like a reduction in importance for any points given up when a team is up/down by 3 scores or more in the 4th quarter of a game. By that point most teams have figured out the game is decided and they're trying out different players/schemes and/or rotating our their starters.

Obviously playoff games are different to a degree in that in it's win or go home time.

by Wanker79 :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 11:47am

That's already inherently part of DVOA. Every play is compared to similar situations. So scoring in garbage time is already compared to how other teams perform in garbage time. If it really is more likely that a team will give up garbage time points, then that would mean scoring would be considered closer to the expected outcome (meaning it wouldn't be rewarded nearly as heavily as scoring in a situation with a less likely scoring outcome).

Former Eagles Fan. Go JETS!

by Jetspete :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 1:52pm

i'm even surprised the jets ST isnt lower (although im not sure how the cromartie return / two onside recoveries factor into play). Weatherford might as well have received a paycheck from New England for his inability to pin the Pats deep.

by NYExpat :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 4:26pm

He did have that TD saving tackle on the last punt, though.

by GlennW :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 3:24pm

I find it interesting that the Steelers have moved all the way to #3 in weighted offensive DVOA (granted there's a pigpile of teams in the 15-20% range). In related news, Bruce Arians has reported a sharp dropoff in crank phone calls...

by A.B. (not verified) :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 9:24pm

I'm surprised that the Pats defense had such poor VOA. Considering the field position (three drives starting in their own territory), giving up only four scores doesn't seem very bad -- it's certainly not the reason they lost.

by RickD :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:06pm

I am also surprised and think this reveals a flaw in VOA thinking. VOA appears to hate it when the defense gives up a TD, but doesn't notice if the reason for the TD is related to needing to defend a short field because of turning the ball over on downs or because of a failed onside kick. Or an interception return.

It's particularly silly that the Patriots' special teams is rated higher than the defense. The special teams
a) turned the ball over on downs at the Patriots' 40
b) failed at the first onside kick
c) failed at the second onside kick

I know the defense wasn't great, but the Jets had only two sustained drives, which is fewer than the Patriots had (look at the game book).

by Boots Day :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:20pm

I don't think the fake punt is scored as part of special teams. I believe it's counted as an offensive play.

by RickD :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:01pm

Can anybody answer this question: how do VOA/DVOA treat a turnover on downs? And is it treated differently if the ball is turnover by "the offense" (like on the incompletion to Branch) or by "the special teams" (the silly snap to Chung).

by Andrew Potter :: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 10:39pm

It's pretty simple: Rushing and passing plays go down as offense, kicking plays as special teams.

This came up after the failed Weatherford fake punt against Green Bay, and was addressed then. I can't find a link, unfortunately.

by nat :: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 9:38am

If I recall correctly, fourth down plays are bucketed with third down plays in determining the success points and the average to compare with. This is because there are too few fourth down plays to do good statistical analysis on, and because Aaron deems the situations essentially the same: success = get a first down.

I believe fake punts and kicks are treated as another variety of offensive play, like a flea-flicker or a triple reverse.

One consequence is that a failed fourth down conversion does a lot more actual damage to a team's chances to win than shows up in VOA.

If anyone can confirm (or refute) this, please feel free to comment.