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Week 13 DVOA Ratings | Football Outsiders

8 min read
Week 13 DVOA Ratings | Football Outsiders


It’s lucky number 13 for the Baltimore Ravens, as their Week 13 win over the San Francisco 49ers catapults them into the No. 1 spot in the Football Outsiders DVOA ratings for the first time since they crushed Miami back in Week 1. It’s hard to imagine a game that the DVOA system would have rated more highly for both teams, as Baltimore had a single-game rating of 39.2% and San Francisco had a single-game rating of 32.1%.

The New England Patriots fell to No. 2 in total DVOA and are down to No. 3 in weighted DVOA, slightly behind the 49ers. The Ravens have opened up a healthy gap between them and the rest of the league, with more than ten percentage points separating Baltimore from No. 2 San Francisco in weighted DVOA.

The Ravens are currently ranked in the top four in all three phases of the game and are bidding to become just the seventh team to ever finish in the top five in DVOA for all three phases. The others: 1985 Chicago, 1991 Washington, 1992 Philadelphia, 1996 Green Bay, and 2012 and 2015 Seattle. The Ravens are also climbing on our weekly table of the best teams in DVOA history through X games. Through 12 games, the Ravens are the best team since the 16-0 Patriots of 2007.

BEST TOTAL DVOA
THROUGH 12 GAMES, 1985-2019
Year Team W-L DVOA
2007 NE 12-0 62.5%
1985 CHI 12-0 60.7%
1991 WAS 11-1 56.6%
1998 DEN 12-0 47.1%
1987 SF* 10-2 47.0%
2004 PIT 11-1 44.1%
2004 PHI 11-1 42.9%
2019 BAL 10-2 42.5%
1999 STL 10-2 41.6%
1995 SF 8-4 41.2%
2004 NE 11-1 41.2%
1994 DAL 10-2 40.8%
*not including strike games

A couple of notes on this table. You can see here how good the 2004 Philadelphia Eagles were before they sat all their starters for the last two weeks of the season. That took them out of any of our best ever DVOA lists. They were basically the only good team in the entire NFC that season. You also might be wondering what on earth the 1995 49ers are doing on this list with four losses. As of Week 13, the 1995 49ers were 1-4 in one-score games but had five different wins by at least three touchdowns. They finished the season 11-5 but rank in the all-time DVOA top ten with the best DVOA ever for a team that went 12-4 or worse. Their divisional round loss at home to Brett Favre and the Packers (fifth in DVOA) was a bit of an upset.

The Patriots take a hit to their defensive rating with their worst defensive performance of the season, but it’s not enough to knock them off the list of the greatest defenses we’ve ever tracked. The San Francisco 49ers are also still in the top ten, as their defensive rating this week was -24.9% once we adjust for the quality of the league-best Baltimore offense.

BEST DEFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 12 GAMES, 1985-2019
Year Team W-L DVOA
2002 TB 9-3 -39.5%
1985 CHI 12-0 -37.0%
1991 PHI 7-5 -36.5%
1986 CHI 10-2 -32.5%
1991 NO 9-3 -31.6%
2019 NE 10-2 -31.3%
2008 BAL 8-4 -30.8%
1997 SF 11-1 -30.3%
2012 CHI 8-4 -29.2%
2019 SF 10-2 -28.9%
2006 CHI 10-2 -28.7%
1995 SF 8-4 -27.9%

Below our top three, Kansas City stays at No. 4. New Orleans moves up one spot to No. 5 and Seattle moves up two spots to No. 6. And here’s one I’m sure people are still surprised about: Dallas remains in the top ten at No. 7 despite falling to 6-6 this week. Even more surprising might be the presence of Philadelphia at No. 10 after losing to Miami and falling to 5-7. Everyone looks at the NFC East and sees one of the worst divisions in modern NFL history. DVOA looks at the NFC East, looks past the win-loss records, and sees two good but underachieving teams.

OK, so why does DVOA like the Cowboys and Eagles better than win-loss records? A couple of our usual explanations don’t work here. Both teams have played easier schedules, not harder schedules, in particular the Cowboys. Fumble recovery luck is not an issue either, and neither team particularly stands out in “hidden” special teams.

For Dallas, the raw statistics do a good job of explaining what DVOA and other advanced statistical methods are seeing. The Cowboys have outscored opponents 310-236, which normally would indicate a team that was roughly 8-4. Yes, they haven’t beaten a team with a winning record yet, but those games were mostly close: 12-10 to New Orleans, 28-24 to Minnesota, and 13-9 to New England. There’s a huge yardage difference between the Cowboys (6.61 per play) and their opponents (5.25 per play) and the Dallas turnover margin of -4 is below average but not terrible. The offense is driving the team: Dallas, not Baltimore, has the league’s best success rate this season at 51%.

Philadelphia is harder to explain. Unlike the Cowboys, the Eagles have not outscored their opponents. They’ve been outscored this season, 284-274, and they’ve been outgained on a per-play basis, 5.55 yards per play to 5.19 yards per play. Their above-average DVOA rating seems to be the product of consistency. On offense, the Eagles are more about consistency than big plays, ranking ninth in success rate but just 13th in DVOA. On defense, same thing: Philadelphia is a surprising fourth in success rate behind only New England, San Francisco and Pittsburgh, but the Eagles are 13th in DVOA because of giving up big plays.

At this point, it looks a little weird that the Eagles are still above the 9-3 Buffalo Bills, who have stormed up the DVOA rankings with their two best games of the season. Things are tight around the middle of the table, which has allowed Buffalo to go from 25th to 11th in two weeks. The Bills stand out even further in weighted DVOA, our rating that gradually drops the importance of earlier games. That rating has the Bills up to ninth in the league. This is the first week that a game (Week 1) drops below 50% strength in the weighted DVOA formula, making this a good time to check out the differences between total DVOA and weighted DVOA. Based on comparison, teams with the biggest gap that were better earlier in the season include New England, Oakland, Carolina, Jacksonville, and Detroit. Teams that have been better over the last two months include Miami, Buffalo, Arizona, Seattle, and Baltimore.

However, Miami hasn’t been better enough to make up for its horrible September, which is why the Dolphins are still floating around on our table of the worst teams in DVOA history.

WORST TOTAL DVOA
THROUGH 12 GAMES, 1985-2019
Year Team W-L DVOA
2005 SF 2-10 -59.6%
2008 STL 2-10 -57.9%
2008 DET 0-12 -53.5%
2009 DET 2-10 -48.3%
1999 CLE 2-10 -48.0%
2013 JAX 3-9 -47.7%
1987 ATL* 2-10 -45.8%
2004 SF 1-11 -44.2%
2019 MIA 3-9 -43.7%
2000 CIN 2-10 -42.7%
1998 PHI 2-10 -42.5%
1989 DAL 1-11 -41.8%
*not including strike games

Miami’s offense has improved dramatically since Ryan Fitzpatrick took back the starting quarterback position. They had -39.5% offensive DVOA in the first six games of the year, and -4.6% offensive DVOA since Week 7, which ranks 18th in the league. However, the defense is still a mess. This week, the Dolphins are back to ranking as the worst defense ever tracked in DVOA history through 12 games.

WORST DEFENSIVE DVOA
THROUGH 12 GAMES, 1985-2019
Year Team W-L DVOA
2019 MIA 3-9 24.9%
2015 NO 4-8 24.8%
1986 TB 2-10 24.6%
1987 MIA* 7-5 24.4%
1996 ATL 2-10 24.3%
2001 ARI 5-7 24.0%
2008 DET 0-12 24.0%
1999 CLE 2-10 23.7%
2013 SD 5-7 23.6%
2005 HOU 1-11 23.0%
2004 STL 6-6 22.9%
2004 NO 4-8 22.4%
*not including strike games

 

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Once again this season, we have teamed up with EA Sports to bring Football Outsiders-branded player content to Madden 20 on a monthly basis. Today, we get to announce the Football Outsiders November players for Madden Ultimate Team on consoles, which will go live at 10:30am Eastern on Sunday. (We chose these players based on play in Weeks 9-13, which technically does include two days of December. Some charting stats are for Weeks 9-12 only.)

  • QB Kirk Cousins, MIN: Third in NFL in passing DYAR for Weeks 9-13 (7.2 ypa, 10 TD, 1 INT).
  • HB Patrick Laird, MIA: Fourth among RB in receiving DYAR for Weeks 9-13 (12-of-14, 109 yards, 8 first downs).
  • WR Mike Williams, LAC: Fifth among WR in receiving DYAR for Weeks 9-13 (six different catches of 35+ yards).
  • LT Taylor Lewan, TEN: Titans were No. 1 in adjusted line yards for November; only two blown blocks.
  • C Matt Skura, BAL: Ravens ranked second in adjusted sack rate and seventh in adjusted line yards for November; only two blown blocks.
  • DT Javon Hargrave, PIT: Led DT with 20 successful run tackles in Weeks 9-13; second among DT with 9 hurries in November.
  • LOLB Shaquil Barrett, TB: Led NFL with 25 hurries in November by Sports Info Solutions charting.
  • ROLB Leonard Floyd, CHI: 9 hurries and 6 hits in November by Sports Info Solutions charting.
  • CB Taron Johnson, BUF: Led NFL with 1.5 yards allowed per pass target in November.
  • CB Kenny Moore, IND: Tied for NFL lead with 11 defeats in Weeks 9-13, including two picks, 1.5 sacks, and PD on fourth-and-4.
  • K Wil Lutz, NO: 11-for-11 including 6-for-6 from 40+ yards in Weeks 9-13.
  • P Riley Dixon, NYG: Led NFL with 51.1 average gross punt yards and second with 46.1 average net punt yards in Weeks 9-13.

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Stats pages should now be updated through Week 13, including playoff odds, the FO Premium DVOA database and snap counts.

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These are the Football Outsiders team efficiency ratings through 13 weeks of 2019, 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 to 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. As always, positive numbers represent more points so DEFENSE is better when it is NEGATIVE.

WEIGHTED DVOA represents an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games.

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>

 

  • NON-ADJUSTED TOTAL DVOA does not include the adjustments for opponent strength or the adjustments for weather and altitude in special teams, and only penalizes offenses for lost fumbles rather than all fumbles.
  • 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.
  • VARIANCE measures the statistical variance of the team’s weekly DVOA performance. Teams are ranked from most consistent (#1, lowest variance) to least consistent (#32, highest variance).

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/dvoa-ratings/2019/week-13-dvoa-ratings

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