FanPost

Fun with DVOA

I know a lot of you are suspicious about Football Outsiders and DVOA.  Football isn't a very easy game to quantify using statistics, three games of football isn't a very meaningful sample size, and after three games, it's hard to tell just how difficult our schedule has been.  Still, while DVOA (just VOA for now since opponent adjustments haven't been included yet) may not mean all that much right now, it's probably a better measure of performance than some traditional metrics.  Just think of it like a version of passer rating that doesn't think Michael Vick is the second best QB in the league. 

Anyway, here are our rankings after 3 weeks.

Overall: 3rd.  Green Bay and Kansas City are just a hair above us, largely because strength of schedule isn't being considered.  They also both have decent (or great) offenses. 

Offense: Eh, let's just go on to defense.

Defense: 1st, and it's not even close.  Woo!  I like DVOA!  Guess who second is?  Tennessee, helped no doubt by our offense's sterling performance in week 2.  We're currently #3 against both the pass and run.  Tennessee (hmm...) and Green Bay are 1 and 2 against the pass, while the Jets and the Seahawks (?) are the top two against the run. 

Offense: Okay, I'll brave the running game.  Hey, 7th overall!  Not bad considering our 25th ranked passing game.  Our offensive line grades out at about average in the running game, again not bad considering the fronts we saw in Tennessee.  If you're wondering why we're 7th in running, but 17th in run blocking, the OL gets a lot of credit for the first 10 or so yards of a run, after which the RB gets most of the credit.  Mendenhall had some big runs, but we also got stuffed on a fair number of carries (again, a 4-4 front will do that).  Mendenhall checks in at 5th in the league, ahead of everyone in his draft class ;)

Special Teams: 2nd (!).  That is not a typo.  We are currently ranked 4th in kickoff coverage and 4th in kick returns (for obvious reasons).  We're also slightly above average in punt coverage and punt returns.  The punt return thing seems odd, but I believe the length of the punt plays a factor, and since TB was wretched in this phase last week, it may account for the oddity. 

Playoff odds: According to their projections (which start to rely on a bunch of assumptions), we have a 90% chance of making the playoffs, a 70% chance of winning our division, and a 50% chance of getting a bye week. 

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