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Super Bowl LIV DVOA/Quick Reads

6 min read


The Super Bowl ended up as another one of those games that happens sometimes in the DVOA system, where the team that’s more efficient over the course of the game loses because it groups its inefficient plays into three-and-outs (and in this case, four-and-outs) and thus ends up running fewer plays than the other team.

San Francisco ended the game with 44% DVOA, while Kansas City ended the game with 21% DVOA. This suggests that based on the play in this game, we would expect San Francisco to be the better team in the long run. But of course, the Super Bowl isn’t about the long run. It’s just one game, and there’s no tomorrow.

San Francisco outgained Kansas City on average, 6.5 yards per play to 5.3 yards per play. That latter number is a bit deceiving because of the big losses Patrick Mahomes took when kneeling out the clock at the end; take out those kneels and his final time-wasting incomplete pass, and the number is a bit closer, with the Chiefs averaging 5.8 yards per play. Both teams had two interceptions. The Chiefs did fumble three times but maintained possession on all of them; the 49ers fumbled only once, also maintaining possession. But Kansas City ran 75 plays, 71 of which were meaningful, while San Francisco ran only 54 plays, 53 of which were meaningful (they kneeled out the clock in the first half).

DVOA (with opponent adjustments)
TEAM TOT OFF DEF ST
SF 44% 22% -23% -1%
KC 21% 16% 2% 7%
VOA (no opponent adjustments)
TEAM TOT OFF DEF ST
SF 22% 16% -7% -1%
KC -11% -5% 13% 7%

Oh boy, did things turn in this game, though. The Chiefs were a bit lucky to have things tied after the first half, as the 49ers were significantly more efficient, gaining 8.1 yards per play to just 4.7 yards per play for Kansas City. The Chiefs kept the game tied thanks in large part to Garoppolo’s first interception.

For the third quarter through Kansas City’s first drive of the fourth quarter and the interception over the middle by Tarvarius Moore, it was all 49ers. And then after that, the fourth quarter was all Chiefs.

Offensive DVOA of Super Bowl LIV
  SF KC
First half 36.7% 3.1%
Halftime through 12:05 of Q4 87.7% -80.4%
Last 12 minutes of Q4 -67.3% 119.7%

Thanks again to everyone for a great 17th season at Football Outsiders. We’ll start our offseason coverage soon along with announcing the winners of the Football Outsiders reader awards next week.

Now let’s turn it over to Vincent Verhei for some Quick Reads.

Quarterbacks

Rk

Player

Team

CP/AT

Yds

TD

INT

Sacks

Total
DYAR

Pass
DYAR

Rush
DYAR

Opp

1.

Patrick Mahomes KC

26/42

286

2

2

4

66

53

13

SF

Mahomes gains 83 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, and thank goodness today is the last time I’ll have to mention that in this crazy season. His DYAR is dinged for two fumbles — one on a sack, one on a run — though Kansas City recovered them both. His rushing DYAR is based on his six carries for 44 yards and a touchdown, ignoring the 15 yards he lost on three kneeldowns at the end of the game (which caused a lot of havoc in Las Vegas). On third and fourth downs, he went 5-of-10 for 63 yards with as many conversions (two, including a touchdown) as interceptions … though, to be fair, an 11th throw resulted in a DPI for 20 yards, and he also ran for a third-down conversion. Though he had success on throws to the outside, he did little damage on throws down the middle, going 6-of-9 for only 46 yards with an interception. As opposed to…

2.

Jimmy Garoppolo SF

20/31

219

1

2

1

33

35

-2

KC

Virtually all of Garoppolo’s good plays were throws down the middle, where he went 11-of-15 for 136 yards with one interception. To his, right, however, he only went 6-of-10 for 42 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He threw for eight first downs down the middle, but only two to his right and three to his left (where he went 3-of-6 for 41 yards). Eleven of those 13 first downs came in the first three quarters; in the fourth, he went 3-of-11 for 36 yards with a sack and an interception. He did not have a good day on deep passes, completing more to the Chiefs (two) than to his own team (one, for 18 yards) in five throws. He was best on throws to his running backs, completing all six of his passes for 64 yards and four first downs, including a touchdown. And speaking of running backs…

 

Qualifying Running Backs

Rk

Player

Team

Runs

Rush
Yds

Rush
TD

Rec

Rec
Yds

Rec
TD

Total
DYAR

Rush
DYAR

Rec
DYAR

Opp

1.

Damien Williams KC

17

104

1

4/8

29

1

47

40

7

SF

Only three running backs met our usual threshold for qualifying for our tables this week, so we’ll discuss them here, then three others who each had at least one handoff and/or target. Williams was clearly the best of the bunch. It helps that he gained 19 DYAR due to opponent adjustments, but his numbers were also quite good on their own. He’s the first player to run for more than 100 yards on fewer than 20 carries in a Super Bowl since Frank Gore did it for the 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens seven years ago. In 17 carries, Williams was stuffed just one time; he gained at least 2 yards on every other run, totaling eight first downs, including a 38-yard touchdown. Three of his catches also produced first downs.

2.

Raheem Mostert SF

12

58

1

1/1

2

0

2

5

-4

KC

Mostert loses 13 DYAR due to opponent adjustments. Only one of his runs was stuffed, while four went for first downs, including gains of 11 and 17 yards.

3.

Tevin Coleman SF

5

28

0

1/1

3

0

-5

-1

-4

KC

Coleman had 17 yards on one carry in the second quarter, which produced his only first down, and 11 yards on his other four runs. His one catch was a 3-yard gain on third-and-5.

 

Non-Qualifying Running Backs

Rk

Player

Team

Runs

Rush
Yds

Rush
TD

Rec

Rec
Yds

Rec
TD

Total
DYAR

Rush
DYAR

Rec
DYAR

Opp

1.

Kyle Juszczyk SF

0

0

0

3/3

39

1

35

0

35

KC

By DYAR, Juszczyk was San Francisco’s top receiver against Kansas City. His three targets: 15-yard touchdown on first-and-10; 14-yard gain on second-and-6; 10-yard gain on first-and-10. He did not, however, get a target in the fourth quarter.

2.

Jeff Wilson SF

0

0

0

1/1

20

0

14

0

14

KC

Wilson’s one target: a 20-yard gain on third-and-5 in the second quarter.

3.

Darwin Thompson KC

1

0

0

0/1

0

0

-15

-8

-7

SF

Thompson’s one carry went for no gain on first-and-goal from the 1; his one target was an incompletion on third-and-7.

 

Five Six Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR

Rk

Player

Team

Rec

Att

Yds

Avg

TD

Total
DYAR

Opp

1.

Travis Kelce KC

6

6

43

7.2

1

52

SF

Kelce’s totals include 43 DYAR receiving, 9 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 2 yards (a third-down conversion). Only two of his catches produced first downs, but five of them counted as successful plays. He also picked up 20 yards on a DPI on third-and-10.

2.

Sammy Watkins KC

5

6

98

19.6

0

41

SF

Four of Watkins’ catches produced first downs, including gains of 28 and 38 yards.

3.

Kendrick Bourne SF

2

4

42

21.0

0

11

KC

Bourne’s two catches: 16-yard gain on second-and-7, 26-yard gain on third-and-8.

4.

Deebo Samuel SF

5

9

39

7.8

0

9

KC

Samuel’s totals include -22 DYAR receiving, worst of any player this week, but also 31 DYAR rushing for his three carries for 53 yards and three first downs. Three of his catches produced first downs, but the other two both resulted in losses.

5.

Emmanuel Sanders SF

3

5

38

12.7

0

6

KC

Sanders’ three catches: 18- and 5-yard gains on first-and-10 and a 15-yard gain on second-and-5.

6.

Tyreek Hill KC

9

16

105

11.7

0

3

KC

We had to expand our receivers list by one name to make sure we included the game’s top receiver. Yes, Hill caught nine passes for 105 yards, but it took him 16 targets to get there. And only three of those catches produced first downs; none of the others gained more than 9 yards.

 

Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR

Rk

Player

Team

Rec

Att

Yds

Avg

TD

Total
DYAR

Opp

1.

George Kittle SF

4

7

36

9.0

0

-4

KC

Only two of Kittle’s catches produced first downs, and none gained more than 12 yards.

https://www.footballoutsiders.com/quick-reads/2020/super-bowl-liv-dvoaquick-reads

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