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Interesting Stat...Football Outsiders DVOA

gmen99 : 11/19/2008 10:21 am
For those of you who are familiar with the work that Football Outsiders does, I just found something pretty cool.

Through week 11, the Giants rank 1st in the NFL with a 40.9% DVOA and a 41.9% Weighted DVOA. They are clearly the best team in the NFL by these measures (Tennesee is 2nd at 30%).

Historically, the best DVOA's over a full season are:

2007 Patriots 51.8%
1999 St. Louis Rams 45.8%
1996 Green Bay Packers 40.6%

Currently, the 2008 New York Giants rate as the 3rd best team of the last dozen or so years. Obviously the year is not over, but that is still really impressive.
Top Teams by DVOA - ( New Window )
Chaka : 11/19/2008 10:27 am : link
I was wonderng where we would stood on that from a historical perspective. Didn't think it would be that high
What does that and a pound of ^@%+& get you?  
WideRight : 11/19/2008 10:28 am : link
not much than a pound
Gripping stuff  
gmen99 : 11/19/2008 10:33 am : link
Wide Right. Thanks for the input.

You don't think it's cool that some very robust statistical measurements think we are potentially one of the 5 best teams of the past 15 YEARS!!!!?????
What is DVOA?  
Bill Barilko : 11/19/2008 10:34 am : link
Bill - complicated stat measure for efficiency  
80offensive : 11/19/2008 10:37 am : link
Basic idea is looking at each individual play compared to plays in similar situations around the league, than adjusting for the strength of the team you are playing. Stands for Defense-adjusted Value Over Average.
Defense adjusted Value Over Average  
Raultney : 11/19/2008 10:37 am : link
There must be some freaking super computer that looks at every single play run in the NFL that compares the outcome of similar plays.

Way too much info for me, although I'm sure it's relevant.
Raultney - I wouldn't want to  
80offensive : 11/19/2008 10:47 am : link
even try to understand the formula. It does provide a different view of things from yardage totals or subjective power rankings. Sometimes it has funny results too, but I personally think it's a better measure than power rankings which are really just a listing by record usually.
gmen99 : 11/19/2008 10:48 am : link
the long version of it is explained on the link. If you are into statistics give it a whirl.

The short version: It is a ranking system for every player, unit, and team in the NFL. It is all encompassing, and works by assinging the appropriate credit (positive and negative) to each player, unit, and team for every play of every game of every season.

Hope that helps.
Link - ( New Window )
Since you guys are talking stats,  
Motley Blue : 11/19/2008 10:52 am : link
did anybody see this from Garafolo?

Who would have thought the Giants would break more tackles against the Ravens than against any of their first nine opponents? Not many, but that's exactly what happened on Sunday.

Brandon Jacobs (four), Derrick Ward (three), Plaxico Burress (one) and Ahmad Bradshaw (six) combined for 14 broken/dodged tackles -- one more than the 13 the team had against the Seahawks in Week 5. Against Seattle, the broken tackles resulted in an additional 77 yards. Against Baltimore, the Giants picked up an extra 150 yards. The difference was clearly Bradshaw's 77-yard run in the fourth quarter that included a broken tackle one yard behind the line and two more before he ran free into the secondary.

Pretty impressive.
link - ( New Window )
Ravens still have the #1 run defense  
Jonny : 11/19/2008 10:53 am : link
which makes what we did even more impressive.
According to DVOA  
Joe in Cambridge : 11/19/2008 12:18 pm : link
The Eagles are the #3 team in the NFL. I don't put much stock in FO stats.
WideRight : 11/19/2008 12:36 pm : link
I thinks its very cool that we have played extremely well and are in a great position to do well in the playoffs. This is by far the best era of Giants football that I've been a part of. But those numbers are meaningless if we lose, and these discussions are better suited for the off-season
Fair enough  
gmen99 : 11/19/2008 12:51 pm : link
you're entitled to your opinion, but a snide comment on a Giants-related message board post that others might find interesting might not be the best way to express that opinion.
BurlyMan : 11/19/2008 12:53 pm : link
If all you look at the Eagles points scored and points allowed, it's hard to figure out why they're in the bottom of the east. Throw in their sack numbers and the number of games lost to injuries and it becomes even harder to figure out. They've been more productive, from a points standpoint, than many NFC teams, but can't put it together when it counts.

They're still dangerous, which is good because they still have to play the Cowboys and Redskins again, but they're a hard team to figure.

DVOA does give some wonky results sometimes  
80offensive : 11/19/2008 1:01 pm : link
but the Eagles this year is a very odd case. Usually you don't have such a disparity between the ranking and the record, but it makes some sense for Philly. They've generally played well, lost a bunch of games closely, won a few big, played tough opponenets(which helps in DVOA), and generally screwed themselves out of wins with a few bad plays.

While I agree Eagles should be nowhere near #3, it's silly to dismiss an entire concept based on one anomalous result.

It does provide some interesting stuff to discuss (during or after the season). Sure, the numbers don't matter if you don't win, but that black and white approach really leave nothing to be discussed/argued.
gmen99 : 11/19/2008 4:19 pm : link
and 80s offensive, nice posts. i totally agree.

the eagles result is obviously a little bit wacky but that happens sometimes. there are well known underlying indicators and predictors of success, such as points scored and points allowed, that usually correlate pretty well to a teams record. but in some cases, they don't and the eagles is defnitely one of those cases.
The other thing about the  
Enoch : 11/19/2008 4:30 pm : link
Eagles being at #3 is that the gaps aren't consistent. NYG & TEN are 1-2 by large margins; but the gaps in DVOA between the next bunch of teams are pretty small. Philly is as close to #7 as it is to #2, and the gap between the Giants and the Eagles is the same as the gap between the Eagles and the 11th-ranked Redskins. Essentially, they're one of a crowd of 'pretty good' teams chasing the 2 favorites.

Anyhow, I like FO's stats. They wouldn't be interesting if they didn't tell us things different from what you would conclude by glancing at every team's W-L.
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