Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Jan 2016

ESPN: Seahawks' Four-Year Run is Second to None

In an ESPN Insider column today, I looked at DVOA over the last four seasons, including the playoffs. FO readers know, of course, that Seattle is No. 1, but can you guess which other franchises have been among the top ten over the four-year span? You'll find out that Carolina has been better than you probably remember, and that Detroit has been surprisingly consistent in its mediocrity.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 13 Jan 2016

6 comments, Last at 16 Jan 2016, 3:38pm by johnmatthewsinla


by DisplacedPackerFan :: Thu, 01/14/2016 - 8:23am

What jumps out at me from this is how consistently top and bottom heavy the AFC is. It just doesn't really change.

Top 5 - 2 AFC, 3 NFC
Top 10 - 5 AFC, 5 NFC
Top 16 - 6 AFC, 10 NFC

Bottom 16 - 10 AFC, 6 NFC
Bottom 10 - 8 AFC, 2 NFC
Bottom 5 - 4 AFC, 1 NFC

Washington is the worst NFC team but they were top 10 in 2012. Tampa Bay the other bottom 10 team cracked the top 20 a few times. Cleveland, Tennessee, and Jacksonville have never been top 20 in the last 4 years and Oakland just managed it this year.

NE, DEN, CIN, BAL, and PIT have pretty much always been top 15. The NFC has teams that actually move around. It's something that I've noticed before but this just solidified it.

by Blykmyk44 :: Thu, 01/14/2016 - 2:48pm

IMO...this has always been the biggest black mark on the "Patriots Dynasty". Obviously, they are a great team with a great HC and a great QB. But, if you go back and look at the Brady era who is the second best QB to play in the AFC East? Former Patriot Drew Bledsoe? The one really good year of Chad Pennington? Is Matt Cassell in the top 5?

Sure is easy to run off a 15 year streak if you play six games a year vs inept QBs. Then when you expand to the whole league. BUF, MIA, CLE, OAK, TEN, JAX have been basically terrible for the entire era. That means 10 teams have been rotating 6 playoff spots for 15 years.

Just crazy.

by Blykmyk44 :: Thu, 01/14/2016 - 2:13pm

I was wondering from a Football Outsider perspective if the Seahawks showing up as #1 for four straight years is a reason to reevaluate the metric or proof the metric is doing a good job?

by tuluse :: Thu, 01/14/2016 - 2:22pm

One should never overreact to a single team's performance. That said, the team has made the divisional round or better 4 years in a row. They're doing something right.

by gomer_rs :: Sat, 01/16/2016 - 12:52pm

You mean a metric that indicates the team that came within 1 yard of back to back SB victories and was prevented from 3 consecutive NFC championship appearances by a crazy blown lead in 2012 is overstating how good the Seahawks have been?

I remember when they were the Sea-chickens.

by johnmatthewsinla :: Sat, 01/16/2016 - 3:38pm

Wow, completely forgot that crazy blown lead -- following the crazier 4Q comeback -- against the Falcons in 2012. And by "completely forgot," I mean I think I just drank that memory away, purposefully.

If I recall things correctly, DVOA was the first to really catch on to how dangerous the Seahawks were becoming/had become in 2012. Being able to suss out that group's talent before the rest of conventional football analysis/punditry did is, I think, a feather in DVOA's cap.