October 2017


There is an interesting tweet by Aaron Schatz in that not a single team has exceeded 30% DVOA this year. None did in 2016 either. This indicates we’re in a season with a lot of pretty good teams and not one great team. That’s my feeling as well. There isn’t a team as well rounded as the Patriots were last year. Most good teams have a better offense than defense.

The 49ers have traded for a NE quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. Eagles have traded for a running back, Jay Ajayi. Ezekiel Elliot’s situation looks grim. Dallas fans are complaining that the NY judge had a conflict of interest (her husband appears to have worked for the NFL) that she ignored.

There is a great World Series in play, and it’s hard not to at least mention baseball. Games 2 and 5 were simply insane.

Global Statistics:
Games  Home Wins HwPct Winning_Score Losing_Score Margin
119        63     52.9      27.66        16.13     11.53

Calculated Pythagorean Exponent:  2.62


Rank  Team    Median  GP   W   L   T  Pct   Pred   SRS    MOV   SOS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1     PHI      7.5     8   7   1   0  87.5  73.9   7.67   9.50 -1.83
2     MIN      9.0     8   6   2   0  75.0  67.7   6.07   5.50  0.57
3     KC       8.5     8   6   2   0  75.0  67.0   9.91   7.00  2.91
4     NE       6.0     8   6   2   0  75.0  62.1   6.86   4.62  2.24
5     PIT      5.5     8   6   2   0  75.0  65.4   6.18   4.50  1.68
6     NO       9.0     7   5   2   0  71.4  67.3   7.82   6.57  1.25
7     BUF      6.0     7   5   2   0  71.4  67.9   3.73   5.43 -1.70
8     LA       5.0     7   5   2   0  71.4  75.5   7.21  10.57 -3.37
9     SEA      3.0     7   5   2   0  71.4  67.7   3.01   6.14 -3.13
10    CAR      3.0     8   5   3   0  62.5  52.7   2.28   0.75  1.53
11    JAX     21.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  79.1   9.66  10.43 -0.77
12    DAL     11.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  63.2   2.55   5.29 -2.74
13    ATL      4.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  50.4   0.00   0.14 -0.14
14    GB       3.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  51.2   2.56   0.43  2.13
15    TEN      3.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  44.1  -5.11  -2.14 -2.97
16    MIA      2.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  21.2  -9.28  -8.57 -0.71
17    BAL      5.0     8   4   4   0  50.0  59.0   2.06   2.75 -0.69
18    HOU     -3.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  58.7   5.26   3.86  1.40
19    DET     -3.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  52.7   1.84   1.00  0.84
20    CIN     -3.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  43.4  -2.95  -1.86 -1.09
21    WAS     -9.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  42.4   0.23  -2.86  3.09
22    DEN    -10.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  40.5  -1.36  -2.86  1.49
23    ARI    -11.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  22.5 -11.81 -10.29 -1.52
24    LAC     -2.0     8   3   5   0  37.5  49.1   0.47  -0.25  0.72
25    OAK     -3.5     8   3   5   0  37.5  42.4  -2.02  -2.62  0.60
26    NYJ     -4.0     8   3   5   0  37.5  39.1  -5.11  -3.62 -1.49
27    CHI     -4.5     8   3   5   0  37.5  34.6  -1.59  -4.62  3.03
28    TB      -5.0     7   2   5   0  28.6  41.8  -2.73  -2.86  0.13
29    IND     -8.5     8   2   6   0  25.0  19.2 -15.86 -13.00 -2.86
30    NYG     -5.0     7   1   6   0  14.3  29.6  -4.65  -6.29  1.63
31    SF      -3.0     8   0   8   0   0.0  21.3 -11.34 -10.75 -0.59
32    CLE     -8.5     8   0   8   0   0.0  20.0 -11.56 -10.38 -1.18
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One of the problems with having a record breaking offense powered by the best season of a good QBs career is just how much of that season was a product of luck. Luck is a major factor in NFL play; just ask the Green Bay Packers. But for some, in particular Atlanta Falcon’s fans, the game against New England was supposed to be the reincarnation of the 2016 offense. Instead, they were almost completely shut down, scoring only late in the game.
So, are the Philadelphia Eagles lucky? A little bit. Multiply a Pythagorean of 0.687 by 7 and you get 4.8 wins. That said they are the only 6 win team this far into the season, with a collection of stats that put them in the top five of the league regardless.
Top five candidates? Kansas City of course qualifies. So does New Orleans and Jacksonville. The last might be the Rams. How much of their success will continue into the second half of the season is anyone’s guess. New England will be in the mix by the end of the year, I suspect, but it’s not there now. It’s one of the teams in the top ten, but not top five just yet.

Global Statistics:
Games  Home Wins HwPct Winning_Score Losing_Score Margin
106        55     51.9      27.56        16.20     11.36

Calculated Pythagorean Exponent:  2.53


Rank  Team    Median  GP   W   L   T  Pct   Pred   SRS    MOV   SOS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1     PHI      5.0     7   6   1   0  85.7  68.7   7.83   7.57  0.25
2     KC       8.0     7   5   2   0  71.4  65.4  11.17   6.57  4.60
3     MIN      8.0     7   5   2   0  71.4  62.7   5.40   3.86  1.55
4     PIT      6.0     7   5   2   0  71.4  64.6   5.38   4.43  0.95
5     LA       5.0     7   5   2   0  71.4  74.8   6.43  10.57 -4.14
6     NE       5.0     7   5   2   0  71.4  60.1   7.27   4.14  3.12
7     NO      11.5     6   4   2   0  66.7  65.4   8.59   6.33  2.26
8     SEA      4.5     6   4   2   0  66.7  71.1   1.55   6.67 -5.11
9     BUF      4.5     6   4   2   0  66.7  60.2   1.69   3.00 -1.31
10    MIA      2.5     6   4   2   0  66.7  37.8  -3.39  -3.33 -0.05
11    JAX     21.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  78.4   9.03  10.43 -1.40
12    GB       3.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  51.2   2.04   0.43  1.61
13    TEN      3.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  44.3  -4.42  -2.14 -2.28
14    CAR      3.0     7   4   3   0  57.1  46.3   0.64  -1.14  1.78
15    DAL      3.5     6   3   3   0  50.0  59.4   0.15   3.83 -3.68
16    DET      2.0     6   3   3   0  50.0  54.9   1.60   2.00 -0.40
17    HOU      0.5     6   3   3   0  50.0  61.6   6.48   5.00  1.48
18    ATL      0.5     6   3   3   0  50.0  48.1   0.41  -0.67  1.08
19    WAS     -3.5     6   3   3   0  50.0  47.4   2.67  -1.00  3.67
20    DEN     -3.5     6   3   3   0  50.0  44.4  -1.40  -1.67  0.26
21    OAK     -1.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  49.6   0.50  -0.14  0.64
22    LAC     -2.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  52.8   2.06   0.86  1.20
23    NYJ     -3.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  39.9  -3.48  -3.43 -0.05
24    BAL     -3.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  41.9  -2.08  -2.57  0.49
25    CHI     -3.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  36.8  -2.74  -4.14  1.40
26    ARI    -11.0     7   3   4   0  42.9  23.2 -12.54 -10.29 -2.26
27    CIN     -3.5     6   2   4   0  33.3  41.6  -2.09  -2.33  0.24
28    TB      -4.0     6   2   4   0  33.3  47.4  -1.97  -1.00 -0.97
29    IND    -14.0     7   2   5   0  28.6  17.1 -18.11 -14.71 -3.39
30    NYG     -5.0     7   1   6   0  14.3  30.2  -4.88  -6.29  1.40
31    SF      -3.0     7   0   7   0   0.0  26.0 -11.74  -9.00 -2.74
32    CLE     -3.0     7   0   7   0   0.0  22.2 -12.04  -9.43 -2.62

It was a moderately surprising week. Two of the best NFC teams played on Thursday night and Philadelphia came out the victor. That said, you can no longer say that the Eagles are unambiguously the best 1 loss team as Kansas City has lost once, and has already beaten the Eagles. New Orleans looks good. Atlanta fans are puzzled over the loss to Miami. Green Bay suffered a huge loss with Aaron Rogers breaking a collarbone. The Giants are no longer winless, having beaten Denver.

Global Statistics:
Games  Home Wins HwPct Winning_Score Losing_Score Margin
91         45     49.5      27.68        16.76     10.92

Calculated Pythagorean Exponent:  2.68


Rank  Team    Median  GP   W   L   T  Pct   Pred   SRS    MOV   SOS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1     KC       8.5     6   5   1   0  83.3  69.6  12.52   7.83  4.69
2     PHI      4.0     6   5   1   0  83.3  69.2   8.52   7.17  1.35
3     MIN      6.5     6   4   2   0  66.7  61.1   4.45   3.17  1.28
4     PIT      4.5     6   4   2   0  66.7  59.6   2.96   2.67  0.29
5     NE       4.0     6   4   2   0  66.7  55.2   6.61   2.17  4.44
6     LA       3.5     6   4   2   0  66.7  66.7   3.91   6.83 -2.92
7     GB       3.5     6   4   2   0  66.7  55.7   1.34   2.00 -0.66
8     CAR      3.0     6   4   2   0  66.7  53.2   4.79   1.00  3.79
9     NO      14.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  64.5   8.78   5.80  2.98
10    BUF      6.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  62.1   3.75   3.00  0.75
11    ATL      4.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  56.9   1.96   2.40 -0.44
12    SEA      3.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  65.2  -0.51   4.60 -5.11
13    DEN      3.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  57.1   1.47   2.20 -0.73
14    WAS      2.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  52.3   3.88   0.80  3.08
15    MIA      2.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  29.8  -4.14  -4.60  0.46
16    JAX      9.0     6   3   3   0  50.0  71.8   7.92   7.67  0.25
17    BAL      5.0     6   3   3   0  50.0  44.4  -3.51  -1.67 -1.84
18    DET      2.0     6   3   3   0  50.0  55.2   3.18   2.00  1.18
19    HOU      0.5     6   3   3   0  50.0  62.2   6.38   5.00  1.38
20    TEN      0.0     6   3   3   0  50.0  42.3  -4.64  -3.00 -1.64
21    NYJ     -2.0     6   3   3   0  50.0  38.4  -3.60  -3.50 -0.10
22    ARI     -4.0     6   3   3   0  50.0  31.9  -9.72  -6.50 -3.22
23    CIN     -3.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  50.8  -0.86   0.20 -1.06
24    DAL     -4.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  46.4  -2.63  -1.40 -1.23
25    TB      -5.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  48.3  -2.23  -0.60 -1.63
26    LAC     -2.0     6   2   4   0  33.3  41.9  -0.20  -2.50  2.30
27    OAK     -3.5     6   2   4   0  33.3  48.9  -1.43  -0.33 -1.10
28    CHI     -4.5     6   2   4   0  33.3  28.5  -6.34  -7.17  0.83
29    IND     -8.5     6   2   4   0  33.3  21.0 -18.06 -12.67 -5.39
30    NYG     -4.0     6   1   5   0  16.7  35.1  -3.15  -4.50  1.35
31    SF      -3.0     6   0   6   0   0.0  33.5  -8.12  -5.50 -2.62
32    CLE     -8.5     6   0   6   0   0.0  20.2 -13.28 -10.50 -2.78

There is so much going on this week that my best suggestion is to prowl Youtube for the poison of your choice. I caught the end of the Vikings – Bears game, just enough to see the interception that Trubisky threw. Y A Tittle passed away. Brandon Marshall is out for the year. Odell Beckham is injured. The best team with just one loss is probably the Philadelphia Eagles.

I’m not sure how much that means, as the best team with two losses, Jacksonville, is via scoring stats, superior. But we’ve seen different Jacksonville teams show up. It’s as if the Jaguars identity hasn’t been established yet. A few more games will tell.

I know it’s still early in the season, but over the short term, home field advantage has just about vanished.

Global Statistics:
Games  Home Wins HwPct Winning_Score Losing_Score Margin
77         39     50.6      27.61        16.16     11.45

Calculated Pythagorean Exponent:  2.92


Rank  Team    Median  GP   W   L   T  Pct   Pred   SRS    MOV   SOS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1     KC       9.0     5   5   0   0 100.0  75.8  17.52  10.60  6.92
2     GB       4.0     5   4   1   0  80.0  64.3   3.46   5.00 -1.54
3     PHI      3.0     5   4   1   0  80.0  72.1   8.65   7.60  1.05
4     CAR      3.0     5   4   1   0  80.0  58.0   4.18   2.20  1.98
5     ATL      5.0     4   3   1   0  75.0  61.2   4.99   3.75  1.24
6     DEN      4.5     4   3   1   0  75.0  69.4   6.93   6.00  0.93
7     JAX     21.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  81.9  11.16  11.20 -0.04
8     BAL     13.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  44.5  -1.91  -1.40 -0.51
9     DET      7.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  66.7   3.26   5.20 -1.94
10    BUF      6.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  63.2   5.62   3.00  2.62
11    NE       3.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  53.0   8.47   1.20  7.27
12    SEA      3.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  66.5  -2.44   4.60 -7.04
13    PIT      3.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  57.7  -0.30   2.00 -2.30
14    MIN      3.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  54.6   1.33   1.20  0.13
15    NYJ      3.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  39.8  -3.60  -2.80 -0.80
16    LA       2.0     5   3   2   0  60.0  66.1  -0.41   6.20 -6.61
17    NO       5.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  62.6   5.54   3.75  1.79
18    WAS     -1.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  51.6   7.12   0.50  6.62
19    TB      -1.5     4   2   2   0  50.0  51.7  -0.46   0.50 -0.96
20    MIA     -6.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  19.2  -6.80  -6.50 -0.30
21    HOU     -3.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  57.4   9.56   2.80  6.76
22    IND     -3.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  19.1 -21.30 -12.40 -8.90
23    CIN     -3.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  50.9   0.61   0.20  0.41
24    DAL     -4.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  46.0  -3.44  -1.40 -2.04
25    TEN     -6.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  32.2  -3.96  -6.40  2.44
26    OAK     -6.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  49.3   0.71  -0.20  0.91
27    ARI    -11.0     5   2   3   0  40.0  22.0 -13.96  -8.80 -5.16
28    LAC     -2.0     5   1   4   0  20.0  39.2   0.81  -3.20  4.01
29    CHI     -6.0     5   1   4   0  20.0  20.5  -7.40  -9.20  1.80
30    SF      -3.0     5   0   5   0   0.0  29.4 -12.99  -6.20 -6.79
31    CLE     -3.0     5   0   5   0   0.0  19.9 -14.70  -9.40 -5.30
32    NYG     -5.0     5   0   5   0   0.0  23.8  -6.24  -8.00  1.76

Been going through the 2017 Green Bay – Dallas game in my head, and can’t help but wonder what happens if Dak takes a knee at the one yard line in the Green Bay game. Green Bay has no choice. At that point it has to burn a time out and it’s unavailable for later. Zeke was on fire. I don’t believe the Green Bay team could have stopped him on the one. Continuing this thought experiment, Dak then takes a knee again, on first down, killing 45 seconds and giving Dallas 3 plays in 30 seconds to win the game.

I’m proposing this here (I first suggested this in fan circles) because the responses to this idea says a lot about fans and their particular attachment to teams. It’s a not uncommon response to say that if you can’t stop an opponent in 1:13, you don’t deserve to win. I like what I’ve heard, so offering the suggestion to a wider audience. What do you think happens if Dak takes a knee at 1:13?

It’s been an interesting week, if nothing else. I feel sorry for the way the game ended in Kansas City, as Washington deserved better than to give up 7 more points on the last play of the game. Buffalo surprised. The Rams look a lot more like the Rams of 1999 than they do the Rams of last year. Carolina pulled off a surprising upset. Or did they?

I’m not going to post complete OSRS and DSRS stats this time. Even SRS is a little unbelievable at this point. That said, certain comparisons are in order. The Patriots had the highest DSRS of any team last year, at around 7. This year they are -8, for a 15 point turnaround. The common issue I hear is no pass rush.

Atlanta’s SRS last year was 8.5, and this year it is around 5. Their OSRS was 11.2 or so, the best in the league and their defense was a below average -2.7. This year, Atlanta’s SRS is around 5, their OSRS a 4 and their DSRS a 1. So their DSRS has improved by almost 4 points, and their OSRS has declined by over 7 points. Matt Ryan is merely good, rather than top of the heap elite.

Dallas’s problems, if you listen to talking heads, is everything from Dak to the offensive coordinator, to the offensive line, to special teams, to the defensive coordinator, to the linebackers, with a surprising amount of fan venom directed at de-facto rookie Jaylon Smith. Getting past fan stupidity, I’ll note that OSRS and DSRS are both down, compared to last year. OSRS has shrunk less, about 2 points, while DSRS has shrunk on the order of 7 points. The issues are clearly more defensive than offensive. The new rookies (and Jaylon) have plenty of talent, but it will take time for these people to adapt to the speed of the NFL game. Dallas has replaced almost the whole of its secondary and injuries have depleted the linebackers and the backfield. People are playing that no one expected to play in the back 7.

Goff’s turnaround in performance has led to a series of questions about who is better, Dak, or Wentz or Goff. I went to high school in the same small town as Dak, so I’m hardly unbiased in this debate. The best comments I’ve seen recently are those of Mike Tanier, which I highly recommend. His Bleacher Report article, in my opinion, is a must read. Benjamin Morris reappears, in an article about two point conversions. Brian Burke recommends an article about Alex Smith, which suggests his NFL passer rating is misleading.

Global Statistics:
Games  Home Wins HwPct Winning_Score Losing_Score Margin
63         35     55.6      28.05        15.81     12.24

Calculated Pythagorean Exponent:  2.99


Rank  Team    Median  GP   W   L   T  Pct   Pred   SRS    MOV   SOS
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1     KC      11.5     4   4   0   0 100.0  79.8  19.45  11.25  8.20
2     PIT     10.0     4   3   1   0  75.0  78.0  -2.84   7.75 -10.59
3     DET      9.5     4   3   1   0  75.0  73.8   4.36   7.25 -2.89
4     BUF      7.5     4   3   1   0  75.0  71.1  10.48   4.75  5.73
5     GB       5.5     4   3   1   0  75.0  66.6   0.97   5.25 -4.28
6     ATL      5.0     4   3   1   0  75.0  61.4   5.04   3.75  1.29
7     DEN      4.5     4   3   1   0  75.0  69.8  10.78   6.00  4.78
8     CAR      4.5     4   3   1   0  75.0  58.0   6.70   2.00  4.70
9     LA       3.5     4   3   1   0  75.0  71.2   2.77   9.25 -6.48
10    PHI      2.5     4   3   1   0  75.0  58.4   9.26   2.75  6.51
11    TB       2.0     3   2   1   0  66.7  57.7  -2.67   2.33 -5.00
12    JAX      9.5     4   2   2   0  50.0  76.1   7.52   8.75 -1.23
13    NO       5.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  62.9   6.72   3.75  2.97
14    DAL      3.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  47.7  -2.05  -0.75 -1.30
15    OAK      2.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  60.4   7.92   3.00  4.92
16    MIN      1.5     4   2   2   0  50.0  52.9   2.14   0.75  1.39
17    HOU      0.5     4   2   2   0  50.0  66.1   7.77   5.50  2.27
18    NE       0.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  50.6  10.41   0.25 10.16
19    WAS     -1.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  51.7  10.35   0.50  9.85
20    SEA     -1.5     4   2   2   0  50.0  64.5  -4.52   4.25 -8.77
21    BAL     -1.5     4   2   2   0  50.0  29.7 -11.25  -5.00 -6.25
22    TEN     -2.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  33.4  -1.83  -6.50  4.67
23    NYJ     -3.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  35.2   0.39  -4.25  4.64
24    ARI     -4.0     4   2   2   0  50.0  35.0 -12.23  -4.25 -7.98
25    MIA    -14.0     3   1   2   0  33.3   7.8  -7.37 -10.67  3.30
26    CIN     -3.5     4   1   3   0  25.0  46.6  -7.04  -0.75 -6.29
27    CHI    -13.5     4   1   3   0  25.0  16.9 -10.62 -10.75  0.13
28    IND    -15.5     4   1   3   0  25.0  12.5 -25.40 -16.25 -9.15
29    LAC     -2.5     4   0   4   0   0.0  31.7   2.78  -5.25  8.03
30    SF      -3.0     4   0   4   0   0.0  25.8  -8.82  -7.00 -1.82
31    CLE     -8.5     4   0   4   0   0.0  17.0 -22.63 -11.00 -11.63
32    NYG     -8.5     4   0   4   0   0.0  20.2  -6.52  -8.75  2.23