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10 Sep 2013

Week 1 DVOA Ratings

by Aaron Schatz

You love them when your team is high! You hate them when your team is low! Once again, the famous Football Outsiders DVOA and DAVE ratings return for 2013.

Some of you may be familiar with DVOA, but you have never met our good friend DAVE. Well, DAVE is our rating that combines the preseason projection with the results of early games to give us a better prediction of how each team will rank at the end of the year. For those who don't know the story, this metric is called DAVE as a reaction to criticism that our stats are too much alphabet soup. I mean, who can argue with a guy named Dave? (Technically, it stands for DVOA Adjusted for Variation Early.) In this week's DAVE ratings, the preseason projection counts for 90 percent, and the current VOA counts for 10 percent.

Football Outsiders always preaches caution after Week 1, referring to the next few days as National Jump to Conclusions Week. Right now, the top team in the league by VOA is Kansas City. Not many of us expect them to win the Super Bowl. I don't think anyone is expecting Baltimore to be one of the league's two worst teams either. In fact, the VOA ratings after Week 1 look pretty topsy-turvy compared to preseason expectations, with a lot of surprise winners in the season's first week. The results certainly surprised us, as our premium picks went 3-12-1 against the spread. (Trust me, we're as embarassed about that as you think we are.) 

One game this week stands out for having the team with the lower VOA rating lose the game, and it certainly isn't the one I would have expected. Buffalo lost to New England despite a much higher rating, 26.1% compared to -7.2% for the Patriots. The Bills only had three really good drives, but those drives were so good that they outweighed the rest of the game. The Patriots, meanwhile, really struggled in the middle of the game, with -52.3% offensive DVOA in the second and third quarter.

This week also featured one game with both teams below 0% and three different games with both teams above 0%. We often see games like this once the opponent adjustments have kicked in; when two good teams play a close game, they're both going to come out as above average. But we don't often see it with non-adjusted VOA. Last year, we had two games like this, and that seemed like a lot. There are three this year because it was a very good week for special teams overall, and good special teams often boost one team's rating without hurting the rating of the other team.

The game where both teams were negative was Cowboys-Giants, and I think everyone who agonizingly sat through that one understands why both teams come out as below average.

The DAVE ratings given below are slightly adjusted based on the events of Week 1. Pittsburgh's offensive projection has dropped a bit to reflect the injury to Maurkice Pouncey. Washington's offensive projection has dropped a bit because it is clear Robert Griffin III is not 100 percent healthy. The ratings for the other 30 teams all went up slightly in order to keep the league average at 0%.

* * * * *

Last week, we announced our new partnership with EA Sports to bring special Football Outsiders-branded items to Madden 25 Ultimate Team. Each week, we'll be picking out a handful of players who starred in that week's games. Some of them will be well-known players who stood out in DVOA and DYAR. Others will be under-the-radar players who only stood out with advanced stats. We'll announce the players each Tuesday in the DVOA commentary article, and the players will be available in Madden Ultimate Team packs the following weekend.

The Football Outsiders stars for Week 1 are:

* * * * *

All stats pages are now updated with 2013 data except for SNAP COUNTS, which should be updated by late tonight, and OFFENSIVE LINE and DEFENSIVE LINE, which will be updated after Week 2. The FO Premium splits database will also be updated for the first time after Week 2, next Tuesday. You will find new playoff odds updated here.

Without much to say about just one week of games, we'll be running a DVOA double today. Come back this evening for the unveiling of historical DVOA from the 1990 season.

* * * * *

These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through one week of 2013, 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 VOA are adjusted to consider all fumbles, kept or lost, as equal value. SPECIAL TEAMS VOA is adjusted for type of stadium (warm, cold, dome, Denver) and week of season.

There are no opponent adjustments in VOA until the fourth week of the season, which is why it is listed as VOA right now rather than DVOA. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

DAVE is a formula which combines our preseason projection with current VOA to get a more accurate forecast of how a team will play the rest of the season. Right now, the preseason projection makes up 90 percent of DAVE.

To save people some time, please use the following format for all complaints:

<team> is clearly ranked <too high/too low> because <reason unrelated to DVOA>. <subjective ranking system> is way better than this. <unrelated team-supporting or -denigrating comment, preferably with poor spelling and/or chat-acceptable spelling>

1 KC 73.1% -7.8% 23 1-0 7.8% 13 -68.0% 1 -2.7% 19
2 DEN 72.8% 25.2% 1 1-0 57.6% 1 -20.0% 6 -4.8% 23
3 MIA 54.9% -2.5% 18 1-0 2.5% 17 -43.7% 2 8.7% 8
4 TEN 51.9% -10.3% 25 1-0 -0.2% 19 -43.3% 3 8.7% 7
5 CHI 32.2% 2.4% 14 1-0 29.2% 5 0.4% 17 3.4% 11
6 IND 29.3% -3.3% 19 1-0 32.9% 4 5.6% 20 2.0% 12
7 BUF 26.1% -10.7% 26 0-1 11.9% 8 -12.4% 7 1.9% 13
8 PHI 25.5% 0.9% 15 1-0 28.6% 6 13.1% 23 10.0% 6
9 SEA 22.1% 21.3% 4 1-0 9.6% 10 0.7% 18 13.2% 2
10 STL 18.9% -13.5% 29 1-0 -2.6% 21 -8.9% 9 12.6% 3
11 HOU 14.3% 6.9% 9 1-0 19.8% 7 -0.3% 15 -5.7% 25
12 SF 11.6% 14.7% 5 1-0 36.7% 3 24.0% 29 -1.2% 16
13 DET 11.5% -1.1% 17 1-0 7.8% 14 -11.8% 8 -8.1% 26
14 NYJ 6.2% -5.6% 21 1-0 -26.1% 28 -23.6% 5 8.6% 9
15 NO 5.9% 7.6% 8 1-0 8.5% 11 0.3% 16 -2.2% 18
16 GB 4.6% 21.7% 3 0-1 39.0% 2 32.8% 30 -1.6% 17
17 TB 1.9% 4.2% 11 0-1 -40.1% 30 -26.7% 4 15.3% 1
18 CIN 1.8% 5.1% 10 0-1 5.6% 15 14.1% 24 10.3% 4
19 CAR -4.8% 13.6% 6 0-1 10.9% 9 7.2% 21 -8.5% 27
20 ATL -6.1% 3.2% 12 0-1 -0.4% 20 7.5% 22 1.8% 14
21 NE -7.2% 24.1% 2 1-0 -14.2% 24 3.2% 19 10.2% 5
22 DAL -7.9% -6.8% 22 1-0 -17.8% 26 -3.3% 13 6.6% 10
23 SD -12.6% -7.8% 24 0-1 2.5% 18 15.0% 26 -0.1% 15
24 NYG -14.2% 0.9% 16 0-1 -8.7% 22 -5.4% 11 -10.9% 28
25 ARI -26.5% -12.6% 27 0-1 -8.8% 23 -0.5% 14 -18.2% 32
26 OAK -27.1% -17.7% 31 0-1 5.3% 16 19.9% 28 -12.6% 30
27 MIN -36.3% -16.8% 30 0-1 -15.6% 25 17.5% 27 -3.3% 20
28 PIT -36.8% -3.6% 20 0-1 -37.8% 29 -5.5% 10 -4.4% 21
29 WAS -38.5% 10.2% 7 0-1 7.9% 12 33.1% 31 -13.3% 31
30 CLE -42.9% -13.3% 28 0-1 -42.7% 31 -4.3% 12 -4.5% 22
31 BAL -82.6% 3.1% 13 0-1 -18.0% 27 53.3% 32 -11.2% 29
32 JAC -118.2% -31.5% 32 0-1 -98.9% 32 14.2% 25 -5.1% 24

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 10 Sep 2013

114 comments, Last at 06 Nov 2013, 4:43pm by keywords demon


by Mxpx (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 4:45pm

New England bias...wait...I mean...Kansas City bias!

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:23pm

DVOA loves Andy Reid.

by DavidL :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:42pm

And hates Blaine Gabbert.

by Bobman :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 1:46am

As if there is any statistical system or analytical methodology that loves him....

by tomdrees :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 2:31pm

I have a proprietary Hairiest Blondest Quarterback Index that likes him okay.

by sam :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 2:25pm

Everybody hates Blaine Gabbert because he sucks.


by bravehoptoad :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 11:57am

His mom loves him.

by Jimmy :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 4:46pm

Holy crap the Bears offense is number 5! 29% DVOA!

I'd better jump to some conclusions pretty quick.

by Michael D (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 4:51pm

They are the best team in DVOA in the NFC, and the only NFC team in the top 7. Jump to conclusions now: Going to the Super Bowl!

by Braddw54 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 4:53pm

and their Def is 17th the end times are on us

by RickD :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:14am

Well it's still only VOA. No 'D' yet.

Though the expectation is that the Bengals will not be viewed as a soft defense, when all is said and done.

by Anonymous2 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 4:48pm

Number 6 in DVOA after week 1, 2012? The Jets.
Number 32 in DVOA after week 1, 2012? The Bengals.

by Alec Hartzler (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 4:55pm

Hence why they call it Jump To Conclusions week, I reckon.

DVOA gets a lot of stuff "wrong" in the preseason & the early going every year - it's inevitable.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 9:29am

Its not necessarily that DVOA gets things wrong (although it does sometimes), its that teams often play very different in the first couple of weeks than they do the rest of the season. This was the first week of full speed 60 minute play, and the first week of playing with an actual playbook.

by garsonf@gmail.com :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 2:41pm

DAVE corrects for some of that, obviously. But, also, I recall reading that leaving aside week 17 (when many teams trot out their B-squads), week 1 has a greater variance from season long performance than any other week of the season. It's intuitive, but it was interesting to see that the numbers back up the apparent inconsistencies that we see in how teams perform the first week of the season.

by bravehoptoad :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:23am

DVOA gets a lot of stuff "wrong" in the preseason & the early going every year - it's inevitable.

There is no DVOA in the preseason and early going. There's only VOA, no opponent adjustments yet.

by RickD :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:15am

No 'D' in the VOA ratings yet.

by jimbohead :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:10pm

Man, -98.7% offense for Jax. We won't know that that'll be in DVOA for a while (I suspect KC's defense is below average, and that number gets worse), but it makes me thirst for a "worst 5 offensive games in history" chart.

by Skwirrl (not verified) :: Sat, 09/14/2013 - 2:25am

I suspect your knowledge about football is below average. KC's defense features Justin Houston (superstar in the making from FBO's information), Derrick Johnson (rated as the best run stopper in the league), Hali, Flowers, Eric Berry who was a premier talent before a blown knee hobbled him for a year, Tyson Jackson who while not worthy of his draft position is solid, Mike DeVito a very under the radar run stopper, Sean Smith who's looked very solid to this point.... And then the capper. The man in the middle who after an average first season at NT as a rookie with late season improvement (impressive in and of itself) has been absolutely dominant through camp, Pre-season and game 1. Dontari Poe. Soon to be the leagues best NT.

by NRG :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:12pm

The 80% spread between VOA and DAVE for KC is pretty amusing. I predict they settle closer to the DAVE.


by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:34pm

Check out Baltimore, too.

by Dired :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:13pm

Jacksonville is even bigger, and both values are on the same side of zero.

by Buck B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 10:49am

The spread between FO Prediction and Week 1 VOA, generally, is pretty amusing. Plot week 1 VOA vs FO prediction. Virtually no relationship. R2 = .002

by zenbitz :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 1:06pm

Don't tease us like that... plot Week 1 VOA vs. end-of-season VOA / DVOA and tell us what you get!

by drsayis2 :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:12pm

Jacksonville is what they thought they were.

by PaddyPat :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:43pm

That game was epic. The announcers made themselves hoarse extolling the momentum of the safety.. and then got really quiet after a few more drives of Gabbert epicness. It was a thing of beauty listening to them attempting to justify screen passes into the face of swarms of red jerseys in the interest of "getting the ball out early" after he took a terrible 7-Mississippi sack. He is truly a special child.

by Deelron :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:49pm

Oddly I choose to watch that game, and while Gabbert was... Gabbert, what was really surprising (as someone who doesn't watch the Jaguars,) were the tremendous amount of drops on catchable balls. I mean they're bad enough without those.

by Paul R :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 9:37pm

When you're playing at NFL speeds, it's difficult for the receivers to overcome the shock of the occasional non-sack passing play:
"Go! Ten steps...fade...turn...well I'll be darned, he actually threw one-whoops!"

by shoutingloudly :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:20pm

Nice to see "Jay Cutler Reunion Special" showing up so early in the special SB matchups this year. It may be hard to overstate the resentment toward Cutler among us Broncos fans... Well, maybe if you tried to put it in the same league as our resentment toward Phillip Rivers.

by Eddo :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:13pm

Huh. Judging by the Bronco fans who post here, I've always gotten the feeling there's not really any ill-will towards Cutler, but that Josh McDaniels is the worst human being that ever lived.

by RedDwarf (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 7:55pm

Yeah, I definitely blame Josh a heck of a lot more than Cutler. Cutler didn't handle things well at all, but I'd bet a serious amount of money that McDaniels flat out lied to him (and the fans) about pursuing Cassel (any more proof needed of his total idiocy?). And people forget that Bowlen basically said Cutler was the man and the silly boy actually took him seriously, pointing out that he really liked his OC and the offense. Then they hired McDaniels, replaced the entire offensive staff and system (I guess Cutler wasn't the man), and Cutler toed the line that he was looking forward to the new stuff. Then came the whole Cassel mess and I don't care how many millions you make, I'd be pissed as hell at my bosses by that point too.

Again, Cutler didn't handle it well (and seems to be pretty much a d--- anyway), but the Broncos organization didn't cover themselves in glory either.

by shoutingloudly :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 8:14pm

OK, you're right, McDaniels was definitely the bigger tool. I guess I was thinking more in the category of "quarterbacks who are most hated for franchise-specific reasons", which is a competition where Cutler actually still does pretty well IMO.

by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 9:31am

Cutler was asking for a trade before McDaniels was even hired. It was pretty much Shanahan or bust for him, so its a bit silly to blame McDaniels (although McDaniels didn't handle it well either)

by Independent George :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 6:35pm

I don't know - in other circumstances, I can see a young QB wanting to be traded after his mentor is fired as a sign of loyalty, especially given the massive blunders the Broncos management eventually committed.

Obviously, those circumstances don't involve Jay Cutler, though, but I'm just saying that wanting to go after your coach is fired for an 8-8 season is not necessarily proof of douchebaggery.

by merlinofchaos :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 11:33pm

It varies. There are a lot of Denver fans who thought Cutler was a whiny arrogant baby and doesn't deserve anything. There are a lot of Denver fans who thought Josh McDaniels was a whiny arrogant baby and didn't deserve anything. There's quite a few who think both.

by Rick S (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:06am

Cutler did not handle things well with the fans or his teammates. Jake Plummer was beloved by his teammates, especially the OL, and Cutler often acted like a primadona. With fans, Cutler could not handle the microscope of being the highest profile guy on the team.

by batesbruce :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:38pm

Wow, Redskins defense got blistered in the first half but so much of that was because their offense had 3 FIRST half turnovers. Really wouldn't have guessed their offense was 12th best and their defense was 31st worst, esp. with a defensive score.

by markus (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:48pm

Wouldn't have guessed 31st, but outside that TD off the lateral they did absolutely nothing to stop the Eagles. The Eagles stopped themselves late with some mistakes.

by RickD :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:18am

Is 31st worst the same as 2nd best?


by PaddyPat :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:40pm

The Pats-Bills game suffers greatly from the stats vs. eye-test differential. Manuel's multiple almost-picks aren't included. Brady's great throws to the rookie receiver who wasn't quite in position stink up the numbers. The goal-line fumble makes DVOA lose its lunch, but the Buffalo collapse in the fourth quarter was, in all honesty, just as bad if not worse. The funny thing here is that the Pats are likely to put up another statistical stinker on Thursday, and VOA and early DVOA are going to begin eroding the DAVE projection.

by Perfundle :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:00pm

These stats are a reflection of the team, not the QBs, and the rookie receivers are a part of the team, as are the DBs who presumably dropped those almost-picks. A better team would have players who could catch those passes, and their DVOA rating would go up accordingly.

by Paddy Pat :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 1:56am

Let me make my case more clearly then. I think my point was that Buffalo's numbers seem a bit inflated because of a lot of New England's non-capitalizing on its own performance. My sense of the game was a generally poor performance all around, but New England had a lot of bum luck and failed to take advantage of opportunities granted by Buffalo. I would bet that Manuel ends up with at least one extra projected pick at the end of the year from this game, and that future QB-WR connections roast the Bills for making the kinds of secondary mistakes that they made against the Pats. My point is that the eye test would suggest that when a team shoots itself in the foot a lot, it makes the other team look better statistically, hence creating greater numerical separation than physically pertained.

by Tanner (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 12:50pm

There was one throw where Manuel could have been intercepted, on that deep jump ball to Robert Woods, but other than that, I don't know where you're getting 'multiple dropped picks' from. Brady could have two passes picked on one drive alone if McKelvin had any semblance of ball skills. The patriots also got two fumble recoveries in buffalo territory so the fumble luck should have been even. Considering Gilmore and Byrd weren't playing, the Buffalo secondary played well and will be even better later in the year. You're coming across as a butthurt patriots fanboy, just like Aaron in aatl, even though week 1 projections aren't that important.

by timekills (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 6:31pm

Well said. Not unusual for any fan but the specific excuses here are Pats fan typical. When they don't beat up on a team, and it is because of 1) bad luck 2) poor play by Pats rather than good play by other teams 3) refs out to get them (that's the one that cracks me up the most given the clear opposite effect in history) 4) anything other than Brady didn't do well.

There were definitely at least two plays that Manuel was lucky didn't get picked. But as you state the odds of Spiller fumbling deep in the Bills zone on their first drive and the second fumble by 88 also in Bills territory are as unlikely as the Pats mysterious fumble and return for TD by Bills. Lots of dropped passes by Bills players and recalled plays due to unusual calls (hands to face twice)...

All in all a typical first week game for both sides. I expect Brady to greatly improve his chemistry as the season goes on, and expect Spiller to have significantly better games as well. I also expect the Pats will take it to the Jets and knock Geno off his unearned self-created throne we saw him on at the end of the Jets-Bucs "game."

by NickB (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 8:22pm

Have to strongly object to any post that unironically uses the phrase "butthurt" being labeled as "well said."

by Gus (not verified) :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 1:44am


by Tanner (not verified) :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 3:01am


by Paddy Pat :: Fri, 09/13/2013 - 3:52pm

I don't honestly understand the hostility from you two. I didn't say the Pats played well; I suggested that the Bills also didn't. My sense of the game from watching it was that the Patriots were generally in control for much of the first half and made a lot of unforced mistakes. I then further observed that DVOA will obviously map self-destruction as a strong performance by the other team. I expect a similar boost to the Jets' defense after the Thursday game, where the Jets obviously had a good showing, but seemingly not nearly as good as the numbers suggest. Likewise, I would argue that the game against the Jets, at least, will inflate the Patriots' defensive numbers. Statistics only capture part of the picture.

Moreover, I don't appreciate the type-casting here. The Patriots annually get whupped by someone who readily outplays them, and then they have games, like the Jacksonville game last year, where they inexplicably play very poorly. I think these first two games by them have been closer to the latter than the former.

by young curmudgeon :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:42pm

The Steelers are clearly ranked too high because it's hard to imagine a team that does not start Blaine Gabbert playing any worse than they did on Sunday. The disquieting feeling of almost-existential dread that is currently seeping into the soul of every Pittsburgh fan is better than this.

Sorry, couldn't fulfill the third sentence requirements.

by countertorque :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 7:41pm

What you complaining about? Pittsburgh is ranked above both CLE and BAL. It's going to be a good year!

by Bobman :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 1:51am

Possibly the result of the Pirates having their first winning season in two decades. They're effing with the space-time continuum. On the plus side, maybe Willie Stargell is free to play RB for the Steelers.

by Jerry :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 3:50am

Unfortunately, speed was never Willie's strong suit.

by drobviousso :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:41am

Well, Pittsburgh has had about 1 RB in recent memory who's running game isn't described as "lumbering," and that was so weird we gave him a nickname to remember it: "Fast"

So maybe he'd fit right in.

by Jerry :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 6:29pm

Have you already forgotten Amos Zereoue?

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 9:08pm

Hey, man, "indecisive" wasn't "lumbering."

by PaddyPat :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:46pm

I am puzzled by San Diego vs. Houston. Yes, San Diego collapsed badly and made some terrible mistakes, but they walloped Houston in the first half thoroughly. I would have thought the numbers would be closer together, especially after the convincing drive to start the third quarter. Does the pick-6 kill them? Or is it just that DVOA hates teams that crumble in close and late?

by markus (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:50pm

TDs were all set up by big plays. Does that factor into it?

by Perfundle :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:56pm

Why does it matter what happened in the first half? Houston walloped San Diego in the second half even more thoroughly, and that's reflected in them getting almost 200 more yards and twice as many first downs.

And focusing more carefully on the first half, Houston's offense accomplished some things that are productive in a DVOA sense but in real life ended up being essentially equal to a punt. They had a drive go 57 yards but turned it over on downs, and the next drive go 39 yards ending in a missed field goal.

by sundown (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:54pm

That's a game where my memory from watching it doesn't match what the box score says at all. With those long passes, it's tough for me to believe that Rivers ended under 200 yards and only had 6 yards per pass. And no receiver for them was over 50 yards.

by Perfundle :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 7:06pm

I've heard the same comment by people about the Seahawks game, where people felt like Newton passed for more yardage than Wilson, despite actually having almost 200 less yards. I wonder if it's because of people's expectations of how a QB would perform. Newton and Rivers were expected to play badly, and both did better than expected (well, Rivers did for the first half, at least). I know that Newton's receivers also let him down quite a few times, so perhaps those lost yards get added to his total since it wasn't his fault. Meanwhile, Wilson had difficulty initially, and that must've made people not quite remember all those intermediate passes he completed.

by Guido Merkens :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 5:47pm

More than anything, the stat that shows Jacksonville's futility is that a 2-14 team from last year played them and is now leading the league in VOA.

by RickD :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:20am

That game will collapse when opponent adjustments start to factor in.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:10pm

If there were a way to factor stupid mistakes at particularly bad times into DVOA, Tampa would drop in this list considerably.

by Zieg (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 1:49pm

Shhhh. With a top 5 ranked defense and a crappy offense, I can pretend its the Dungy era again if close my eyes hard enough.

by mehllageman56 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 3:21pm

Dungy's teams didn't give up stupid penalties, which is one reason why they generally won. The Jets' nasty defense may have had something to do with the crappy offense ranking. Unfortunately, the stupid penalties aren't going to go away as long as Schiano is there.

by Eddo :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:12pm

I'm curious as to why the Bengals' special teams DVOA comes out ahead of the Bears'. The Bears kicked a 58-yard field goal and downed two punts inside the ten, and I don't recall any similarly-strong plays by the Bengals. Is it just a lot of small value aggregated over the course of the game?

by Perfundle :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:56pm

The Special Teams DVOA for Week 1 is out, and apparently it's mainly because of the 50-yard punt return that got wiped out anyways because of a block-in-the-back penalty, which seems puzzling. Shouldn't long returns be discounted if there were penalties that might've helped spring the returner?

by Aaron Schatz :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 8:49pm

Whatever punt return that was, we didn't count it as 50 yards. We have only one punt return in that game more than 10 yards, 28 yards by 17-E.Page in Q1.

by Perfundle :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 10:07pm

Perhaps a couple of teams got switched up? While E. Coyote, uh... E. Page did have a 28 yard return, he is on the Bucs. Cincinnati only had one punt return the whole game, returned from the 23 to the opposing 27 with the penalty occurring on the 36, so it went down as a 13 yard return with 10 called back.

by Jimmy :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 2:36pm

Everybody fetch a broom.

by Eddo :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 12:29am

I don't recall Juno returning any punts... but I was sitting pretty far from the field, so maybe.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:13pm

Pondering the Vikings is painful.

by Braddw54 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:32pm

i see what you did there

by wr (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 7:07pm

I see the punishment will continue until morale improves.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 9:51pm

I intend to share the suffering with the rest of the league, as best I can.

by Dean :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 2:22pm

What a tangled Webb you're weaving.

by dbostedo :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 9:15pm

I'm pretty sure that Roethlisbergering the Steelers hurts even more.

by Bobman :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 1:54am

If it's even legal....

by Tundrapaddy (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 4:51am

Ponderous also means weighty and cumbersome. Feel free to work that one in next week, Will (just looking ahead).

by Independent George :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 12:47pm

Are we really sure he's going to Munson every game?

by Buck B (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 6:48pm

The use of statistical methods to forecast the future depends on the assumption that the future will be like the past. In the case of something like KC, that's a pretty wild leap. Makes as much sense as regressing on labels. Who knows anything about the 2013 team labeled KC. Its a new thing. I thought it was funny watching all the network talking heads pick the Redskins, with so many solid and varied rationales, only to have the Eagles come out and clean their clock. Same thing, nobody knows what PHI is but that doesn't stop the talk. Just because its a bad idea, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it... it seems. DAVE... haha

Having said that, yeah we know what Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees are. Don't need FO for that.

by Vague (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 12:46am

"Why would they come to our concert just to boo us?" L Simpson

by c0rrections (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 1:57pm

You're right! The Kansas City Franchise from last year actually folded and cut every single player from its roster. It replaced them with an entirely new crop of players with no NFL history. Also they're playing in a league in a separate dimension where all of the other teams from last years performance has been severed from the past. There is truly nothing at all that any numbers can say about KC this year given all of these changes.

by Buck B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 1:33am

Look at the correlation between FO prediction and Week 1 VOA FOR THE LEAGUE. R2 = .00something. Yeah....lots of experts.

by Buck B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 1:33am

Look at the correlation between FO prediction and Week 1 VOA FOR THE LEAGUE. R2 = .00something. Yeah....lots of experts.

by Perfundle :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 12:40pm

So... the FO prediction is only for the first week?

by Buck B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 1:23pm

There is no correlation between what the teams did in Week 1 and what FO predicted they would do for the season. It's only a week, but DAVE looks pretty suspect so far. Eventually, there will be some correlation between FO prediction and cumulative performance. Anybody could do that... Just pick the order of finish from last year.

by Perfundle :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 2:57pm

Anyone huh?

2005 0.11 0.07
2006 0.13 0.08
2007 0.24 0.07
2008 0.11 0.04
2009 0.09 0.32
2010 0.45 0.05
2011 0.24 0.14
2012 0.12 0.08

The second column is the R-squared value of the mean wins predictions versus the actual wins. The third column is the wins of the previous year versus the actual wins. Looks like FO's predictions were better every single year but 1.

by willisisgod (not verified) :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 7:34pm

The 49ers offense being below the Packers doesn't make any sense. They doubled GB's passing VOA and were significantly better in the 4th quarter while converting 50% on 3rd down and converting on 4th down late. If this is all because of the 90% DAVE weight FO is about to have a bad year for prediction.

by Perfundle :: Tue, 09/10/2013 - 8:37pm

To start with, DAVE is made up of VOA and preseason predictions, not the other way around.

Second, if you know that SF has twice GB's passing VOA you would also know that SF's rushing VOA sucked, and since SF almost had twice as many rushes as GB, there's more weight on that sucky rushing VOA.

by vesini :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 12:39am

Hey Aaron and the FO troopers

Can we see DVOA from the eagles game divided by blur offense vs non blur offense plays? Can the game data be sorted that way?

vesini, who did not use the proper stats, and is dead.

by killwer :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 7:28am

I got a question regarding the Eagles defensive VOA. How much how that came in the last quarter when they play mostly prevent defense?

The reason I ask, is because VOA is in love with dink and dunk plays, but late in games where a team has a large lead, that is often the preferred play to give up instead of the big play (I would wrongly so, but that is very common way for DCs to play defense late in games with a lead).

by Ryan D. :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 9:13am

What a huge surprise, the Panthers have a terrible special teams rating. I was wondering why their pre-season projection was looking so favorable for this year, and I think that it's because the special teams was projected to be in the top third of the league (11th) instead of the bottom quarter of the league, where they usually (and CURRENTLY) reside. They have been terrible for around 10 years now, so I don't know why anyone would expect it to change now.

by panthersnbraves :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 9:34am

Having the return for a touchdown in Preseason is clouding people's memories. Having two similar penalties by one ST player will bring expectations back down to their typical place.

by panthersnbraves :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 9:22am

I am confused by the Panthers VOA. I don't think anyone would think that the Offense is doing pretty well, and the Defense is terrible.

Keeping the Seahawks out of the endzone except for one really bad sequence, while only managing one good drive on Offense would make it seem the other way.

by fullofgunk :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 9:55am

Agree with Panthersnbraves comments on the confusing numbers for Panthers. Seems like the defense did well and offense was anemic.

by Perfundle :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:21am

The stats are skewed by the extremely low number of drives by both teams (9 for Seattle, 7 for Carolina), and by the poor starting field position of both teams (own 23 for Seattle, own 20.7 for Carolina). Both teams managed pretty good yards per drive numbers, and DVOA likes sustained drives like that, even if they don't pay off (both teams had one long drive that ended in a red zone turnover). Their third down conversion rates were also quite good considering the lack of points in the game.

by Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 10:11am

KC over Jax was clearly a situation where both sides played to at least 1 standard deviation above/below their norm.
So, sure, expect a regression to the mean. Jax will score points on offense at some point, and the Chiefs defense will give up points.

But the Chiefs did have 4 pro-bowl players on defense last year. Two of those players are young enough to still be ascending (Berry, Houston). One is in his prime (Johnson). One might be on the downside of his career, but still effective (Hali). Now add in that Flowers is one of the top AFC cornerbacks, just short of pro-bowl consideration. Consider that Poe is fulfilling his Freak-of-Nature draft measurables. Then consider that weak points at #2 CB and DE were upgraded and depth improved.

Then consider: Even at 2-14, no one shut out Jax last year, even when they were missing MJD.

Then add in: the Chiefs offense went extremely conservative in the entire 2nd half.

Don't forget: the only drive that Jax had that got past their own 36-yd line until there was just 8 minutes left in the game and KC had substituted in 2nd-string players on defense.

My point is: There will be a regression to the mean. But there are several reasons to believe this wasn't a complete fluke, nor was it simply because Jax is "so bad". We'll know more next week after Dallas plays in KC next week.

by Anon (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 10:59am

Texans Special Teams, now only half as bad as last year!

by peterplaysbass :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:01am

Interesting that NE is the worst team that won and BUF is the best team that lost, and that they played each other. Maybe the "Any Given Sunday" article should have been about that game.

Also, EVERY SINGLE COMMENT I try to post returns this message:

"We are sorry, but the spam filter on this site decided that your submission could be spam. Please fill in the CAPTCHA below to get your submission accepted."

Does that happen to everyone else every time also?

by RickD :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:24am

Dallas also won and they're one spot below NE.

by peterplaysbass :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 4:04pm

Yup, you're right. I noticed that and promptly forgot it, even though it makes complete sense after watching the sunday night trainwreck.

by Rick S (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:11am

Can some measure of last years DVOA be weighted into the first few weeks. The top and bottom of the rankings are essentially an inverse relationship of a blow out game.

by Independent George :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 12:46pm

That's what the DAVE ranking is.

by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 1:35pm

Love my Colts at #6, but honestly somewhat puzzled they're that high. My lying eyes said they didn't play that great, BARELY getting by the Raiders. VOA says they outplayed the Raiders by a large margin. (Be sure and tell 'em, Large Margin sent ya!) The 1st, 2nd, and last Colt drives must have outweighed the whole rest of the game.

by Nick Bradley (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 7:50pm

Someone explain this to me: how are the Packers higher than the 49ers in offensive VOA?

Even if I control for run/pass mix differences (34% run for GB, 46% for SF), it still doesn't add up...not even close.

Note: I'm multiplying the DVOA coefficients by the number of run and pass plays.

by Eddo :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 10:56pm

It's not quite so simple, you also have to include penalties, I believe.

by Nick Bradley (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:24pm


GB 5-44 SF 11-85

by Nick Bradley (not verified) :: Wed, 09/11/2013 - 11:36pm

SF D penalties -5.25 EPA
SF O penalties - -3.21 EPA
TOTAL - -8.46 EPA

GB D Penalties 0
GB O penalties -3.05 EPA
-3.05 EPA

** GB had two ST penalties that I can't really quantify, but they couldn't have totaled more than -1.5 EPA

by ChicagoRaider :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 9:46am

Pretty big spread between Oakland and Indianapolis given that the game was still in doubt with less than a minute to go.

by Fire Chilly (not verified) :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 10:21pm

is clearly ranked because . is way better than this.

by Fire Chilly (not verified) :: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 10:22pm

[Vikings] is clearly ranked [too high] because [Christian Ponder sucks and OC Musgrave needs to be fired]. [The eye test] is way better than this. [IMHO, this passing game makes me hate rooting 4 this team. Ponder is now the 2nd worst starting QB now that Gabbert is hurt. There is a no way a team with this bad a passing offense is not in the bottom 3 ranked teams.]

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