Bills Rule with Rare Offense/Defense DVOA Combo

NFL Week 6 – The Buffalo Bills’ win over the Kansas City Chiefs could have been shut at the scoreboard, but it surely wasn’t fairly as shut at the spreadsheets. The Bills have reinforced their lead over the remainder of the league in Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings after incomes 50.7% DVOA for this win. In truth, the Bills are main the league in some way we’ve not observed in 19 years. They are lately the highest NFL crew in each offense and protection.

Last week, the Bills had been 7th on offense and moment on protection. But rankings are so packed intently in combination this season {that a} excellent sport towards the Chiefs is sufficient to transfer Buffalo up six spots peak the highest of our offensive tables, forward of Kansas City and No. 3 Baltimore. Meanwhile, a nasty sport for the injury-riddled San Francisco protection drops the 49ers to 3rd on that aspect of the ball, which clears the best way for Buffalo to climb into the highest spot on protection as neatly. Oh, and the Bills actually have a top-five particular groups unit, only for kicks. Literally.

It is in point of fact, in point of fact uncommon for a crew to be No. 1 on all sides of the ball. How uncommon? The final crew to finish any week of the steady season on peak of each offense and protection was once the 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Week 6. Yes, that is 19 years in the past, the primary 12 months Football Outsiders was once in life. In case you do not keep in mind, the Bucs had been protecting champions and began the season with 3 large wins but additionally two time beyond regulation losses. (One was once a well-known miracle Monday Night comeback by way of Peyton Manning that required 3 landing drives within the ultimate 5 mins of the sport.) The Bucs had yet another large win in them (16-0 over Dallas in Week 8) earlier than they disintegrated amidst locker room infighting, particularly between Keyshawn Johnson and head trainer Jon Gruden. They ended up 7-9 and out of the playoffs.

But I digress. We are right here to have a good time the 2022 Buffalo Bills, who virtually veritably are now not going to finally end up 7-9 and out of the playoffs. Like I mentioned, being on peak of each offense and protection may be very uncommon. Using the present model of DVOA, each the 1987 San Francisco 49ers and 2001 St. Louis Rams completed the steady season peerless on all sides of the ball. However, there are handiest 9 different weeks in DVOA historical past the place a crew was once No. 1 on all sides. That’s 11 weeks general out of 42 other NFL seasons going again to 1981. Here’s the overall listing:

No. 1 for Both Offense and Defense DVOA, 1981-2022
Year Team Week W-L Total
Rk Off
Rk Def
1982 NYJ 13 4-1 41.2% 1 21.2% 1 -27.8% 1 -7.8% 27
1985 CHI 10 10-0 53.8% 1 22.0% 1 -28.5% 1 3.4% 6
1987 SF 14 8-2 45.5% 1 24.4% 1 -20.0% 1 1.1% 10
1987 SF 16 10-2 47.2% 1 23.8% 1 -22.0% 1 1.3% 9
1990 CHI 2 2-0 99.9% 1 45.1% 1 -49.5% 1 5.3% 5
1990 CHI 3 3-0 68.2% 1 29.2% 1 -35.5% 1 3.4% 7
1996 GB 3 3-0 94.6% 1 35.9% 1 -53.6% 1 5.0% 5
1998 SEA 1 1-0 115.9% 1 55.6% 1 -54.8% 1 5.6% 10
2001 STL 17 14-2 31.2% 1 21.3% 1 -16.2% 1 -6.4% 29
2003 TB 6 3-2 42.1% 1 25.7% 1 -22.7% 1 -6.2% 29
2022 BUF 6 5-1 43.3% 1 20.1% 1 -20.8% 1 2.4% 6
1987 numbers don’t come with strikebreaker video games.

The large wonder of this week’s rankings might not be that Buffalo is so obviously on peak of the league however the truth that the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t proper under them. Philadelphia continues to be No. 2, however OK, the Eagles are undefeated, that is sensible. Then you’ll be questioning how the Baltimore Ravens keep at No. 3 and rank because the second-best crew within the AFC regardless of dropping to the New York Giants. And what are Dallas, San Francisco, and Tampa Bay doing above Kansas City regardless of all dropping this week? The Chiefs moved up one spot to 7th, however large deal, don’t seem to be they obviously higher than this?

I do not believe the problem is offense, the place the Chiefs are No. 2 in the back of Buffalo, until you wish to have to argue that each the Bills and the Chiefs will have to be upper in offensive DVOA. (Despite the overall feeling that the Bills offense is unstoppable, Buffalo now has the bottom offensive ranking ever for the No. 1 crew after Week 6, beating the former file held by way of the 1981 Bengals at 20.3%.)

I additionally do not assume somebody goes to quibble with the concept the Chiefs have had moderate particular groups. It will most likely recuperate than this, it at all times does with Dave Toub working issues, however thus far the Chiefs have had deficient returns and a pair video games with a backup kicker, balanced out by way of robust punting from Tommy Townsend.

That leaves us with protection, the place the Chiefs dropped from fifteenth to twenty eighth this week. The Chiefs had a top-10 protection in Weeks 1-3, and they have got the second-worst protection within the league (forward of Detroit) in Weeks 4-6. The Chiefs have executed a excellent process of forestalling large yardage performs, permitting 5.54 yards in step with play which may be very just about the NFL moderate of five.56. But they have got allowed secure, steady good points. Their luck fee of fifty% is twenty ninth within the NFL, forward of handiest Detroit, Arizona, and Atlanta. The Chiefs also are low in takeaways, together with only one interception — rookie Jaylen Watson’s 99-yard pick-six off Justin Herbert again in Week 2. Even that interception wasn’t as nice in DVOA because it was once in actual existence, as a result of DVOA filters out interception returns by way of assigning all interceptions a mean go back according to the road of scrimmage and the positioning of the choose.

As at all times with the Chiefs, we’ve got the issue of whether or not they take their foot off the fuel with a overdue lead in some way that the majority groups do not. Does Kansas City have a deficient defensive DVOA as a result of how they play with a large fourth-quarter lead? Let’s get started with one piece of proof that this isn’t the problem: two in their 3 worst defensive video games of the 12 months had been the final two weeks, once they by no means had a large fourth-quarter lead. On the opposite hand, their worst sport got here from giving up a lot of yardage to the Buccaneers once they had a at ease lead in Week 4.

The Chiefs lead the NFL with 120 defensive performs when they have got a lead within the fourth quarter. Their DVOA on those performs is 13.7%. That’s now not in point of fact a lot other than Kansas City’s general defensive DVOA of 8.6%. Look handiest at higher leads, and also you begin to see the development. Kansas City has defensive DVOA of 63.6% on 44 performs with a lead of greater than 8 issues within the fourth quarter. That’s very unhealthy in comparison to the league moderate which is lately 7.5% in those eventualities. So perhaps just a little little bit of Kansas City’s deficient protection is a mirage led to by way of those large leads, they usually in point of fact will have to be ranked just a little bit upper. If we took out those performs, Kansas City’s defensive DVOA can be 1.4%, sixteenth within the NFL. Now they’d be 5th general. They can be upper however they’d nonetheless be indexed in the back of Baltimore.

The Ravens are apparently snakebit once more this 12 months. They have 3 one-score losses, despite the fact that clearly the previous day do not have been a one-score loss if Saquon Barkley had scored as an alternative of sliding in need of the function line to finish the sport. They even have large wins over the Jets and Patriots who… wonder… aren’t unhealthy groups this 12 months! One reason why the Ravens are doing so neatly in DVOA is that they have got performed the third-hardest time table within the league thus far. (Their time table ranks twenty sixth the remainder of the best way.) Their offense may be very prime as a result of they’re 1/3 within the NFL in yards in step with play and 6th in luck fee. Their protection has been moderate after adjusting for time table. Their particular groups are No. 1 as a result of, in fact, they are the Ravens. Add all of it up they usually finally end up upper than the Chiefs in DVOA.

Giants, Vikings: Not Great for 5-1

All the parity this 12 months has ended in an excessively mixed-up DVOA desk the place the groups with the most efficient data do not essentially have the most efficient rankings and the groups with the worst data do not essentially have the worst rankings. Never earlier than within the NFL have extra video games been determined by way of one rating early within the season. Teams are heavy clustered between 2-4 and 4-2 at this time. And the groups which can be higher than that… neatly, DVOA does now not assume they’re higher than that.

We’ve were given handiest 4 groups within the league with a minimum of 5 wins at this time. Two of them, Buffalo and Philadelphia, are our peak two groups of the 12 months and our favorites to meet in Super Bowl LVII. The different two groups at 5-1 are approach down at the DVOA desk. You would possibly not even in finding them indexed at the DVOA Top 16 on the backside of this text. The Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants are lately No. 17 and No. 18 in DVOA, each under moderate regardless of having 5-1 data. Obviously you might fairly be 5-1 than now not 5-1, and no statistical ranking can put wins for your resume, however the Vikings and Giants are two of the 3 lowest-rated 5-1 groups ever measured by way of DVOA.

Worst 5-1 Teams by way of DVOA, 1981-2022
Year Team DVOA Rk Final






1987 SD -4.2% 17 5-7 -21.0% 25 None
2022 NYG -3.2% 18
2022 MIN -2.9% 17
2019 BUF -2.9% 19 10-6 1.6% 13 Lost WC
2003 CAR -1.5% 18 11-5 -0.2% 16 Lost SB
1982 WAS -1.2% 16 8-1 13.3% 7 Won SB
1996 IND -0.1% 18 9-7 -12.9% 24 Lost WC
1998 ATL 0.5% 16 14-2 22.9% 6 Lost SB
2020 CHI 1.2% 14 8-8 -0.6% 15 Lost WC
1991 DET 1.5% 14 12-4 1.8% 15 Lost CCG
2014 ARI 2.7% 12 11-5 -2.5% 20 Lost WC
2015 ATL 3.6% 12 8-8 -12.3% 22 None

I added the general numbers for every of those groups to the desk so you should see now not simply the general win-loss data however the truth that those groups did not essentially keep constant for the remainder of the season. Sometimes, just like the 1998 Falcons and the 1982 Redskins, groups get significantly better in the second one part of the season. Sometimes, just like the 1987 Chargers, they get so much worse. Anyway, a lot of these groups made the playoffs, demonstrating {that a} 5-1 get started is lovely precious regardless of how neatly you are enjoying general.

The Giants have performed not anything however one-possession video games this season, which may be very uncommon. I handiest discovered 4 different groups since 1983 that began 5-1 with 5 one-possession wins:

  • 1988 Saints (completed 10-6, would had been 7th seed if playoffs had long gone to seven seeds again then)
  • 2004 Jets (completed 10-6, misplaced in divisional spherical)
  • 2019 Saints (completed 13-3, misplaced in wild-card spherical)
  • 2020 Bears (completed 8-8, misplaced in wild-card spherical)

Giants lovers, in fact, will quibble with the concept the Giants have 5 one-possession wins as a result of they most likely would have crushed Baltimore by way of extra if Saquon Barkley hadn’t slid in need of the function line to maintain the win. Giants lovers would possibly quibble with DVOA as neatly for now not crediting the Giants with that landing. In case you might be curious, the Giants would give a boost to from -3.2% to -2.4% if we credited Barkley with a landing on that play. However, Daniel Jones fumbled on a sack at the ultimate play of the primary part, and as it was once the tip of the part I did not rely that fumble. If we had counted that fumble, the Giants’ DVOA would drop from -3.2% to -4.2%.

The Giants are specifically attention-grabbing to me as a result of, as you may keep in mind, we projected New York as the worst crew within the league for 2022. They are very a lot now not the worst crew within the league thus far. Our projections had been correct that the messy Giants defensive roster would have a troublesome time placing a excellent season in combination, they usually lately rank thirtieth in DVOA. However, the offense has been a lot better than projected, lately above moderate and ranked thirteenth. The indisputable fact that the Giants have executed this regardless of a ton of accidents to their peak large receivers is an extra testomony to how excellent Brian Daboll’s training has been thus far this season. He’s the transparent early chief for Coach of the Year.

On the opposite hand, the Minnesota Vikings regardless of the 5-1 file had been just a little of a unhappiness in comparison to our preseason projections, on all sides of the ball. Kirk Cousins’ present passing DVOA of 0.3% stands because the third-lowest of his 11-year occupation. On protection, the go rush has been mediocre regardless of the big-name additions/returns at edge rusher. The Vikings are 9th in adjusted sack fee however handiest twenty fifth in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate. Minnesota hasn’t fairly gained shut video games on the similar fee because the Giants however they do have 4 directly one-possession wins. The Vikings are the NFL’s leaders in web penalty yardage at +183, which is much less predictive than steady offense and protection. They’ve recovered 67% of all fumbles of their video games, now not together with muffed kicks, and they have got taken good thing about the No. 27 time table thus far. (This does not get more difficult, as additionally they have the No. 27 time table final.)

Note that the Vikings have a lot better playoff odds than the Giants at this level. We lately have the Giants at 60% to make the playoffs however the Vikings at 89%. Some of that has to do with DAVE nonetheless incorporating preseason projections, which have been significantly better for Minnesota. Some of it’s that the Vikings have an more uncomplicated final time table than the Giants. And a large number of it has to do with pageant. The Giants are in the similar department with the dominating, undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. The Vikings lately have a two-game lead and the tiebreaker head-to-head win over the Packers.

More of the Mixed-Up 2022 Season

Jacksonville’s 24-0 victory over Indianapolis in Week 2 continues to be the most powerful sport of the 12 months, each the most efficient (for Jacksonville) and worst (for Indianapolis) for any crew thus far. It’s had a huge impact on DVOA, serving to the Jaguars keep within the peak 10 and regardless of a 2-4 file and maintaining the Colts close to the ground of the league regardless of a 3-2-1 file.

That being mentioned, it isn’t just like the Colts have shined with glory the remainder of the season. Take out Week 2 — which you’ll be able to do with the brand new FO+ DVOA Filter by way of Week instrument! — and the Colts nonetheless have a mean sport DVOA of -14.2%. That would put them twenty seventh within the league as an alternative of thirtieth, the place they lately rank. Without that first Jacksonville sport, the Colts would nonetheless rank as probably the most worst groups ever measured by way of DVOA with a profitable file after six video games. With the Jacksonville sport, they arrive in 1/3 on that listing:

Worst Teams with Winning Records (6 Games)
 by way of DVOA, 1981-2022
Year Team W-L DVOA Rk Final






2017 MIA 4-2 -28.0% 29 6-10 -21.7% 28 None
1992 DEN 4-2 -23.6% 23 8-8 -17.4% 23 None
2022 IND 3-2-1 -23.4% 30
2007 DET 4-2 -23.2% 26 7-9 -24.3% 29 None
2015 MIN 4-2 -21.2% 28 11-5 5.8% 11 Lost WC
2016 HOU 4-2 -19.6% 27 9-7 -19.5% 28 Lost DIV
1988 HOIL 4-2 -17.7% 22 10-6 11.4% 9 Lost DIV
2010 TB 4-2 -16.9% 25 10-6 2.8% 13 None
2020 CLE 4-2 -16.2% 25 11-5 -5.7% 18 Lost DIV
2009 CIN 4-2 -12.3% 22 10-6 -1.2% 19 Lost WC
1990 CIN 4-2 -11.9% 18 9-7 -9.8% 20 Lost DIV
2010 CHI 4-2 -11.7% 24 11-5 2.2% 14 Lost CCG

At least the Colts climbed out of the cellar for offensive DVOA this week. It makes much more sense to have Carolina in final position. Offense is in point of fact all the drawback for the Colts. They are moderate for each protection and particular groups. Offense has dragged them down close to the ground of the league in DVOA.

Here’s the turn aspect of the above desk, appearing the most efficient DVOA rankings for groups with dropping data after six video games since 1981. Jacksonville simply scrapes the ground of this listing. Their robust DVOA is a lot more depending on that one Indianapolis win than the Colts’ vulnerable DVOA relies at the loss. Take that sport out, and Jacksonville would have a unfavorable DVOA at the season. The Jaguars play the Giants this week, so we will have to be told a excellent quantity about whether or not DVOA is overweighting that unmarried implausible sport and simply how fallacious our projections had been in regards to the New York offense. Clearly, Vegas is smoking one of the crucial similar stuff that DVOA is smoking, since the Jaguars are appreciated by way of 3 and the road has in reality moved in opposition to Jacksonville since Sunday night time.

The desk of the most efficient groups with dropping data isn’t precisely a reason why for Jacksonville optimism. Only probably the most 11 groups indexed under became issues round to complete wth a profitable file and a playoff spot regardless of a 2-4 get started, and to do this the 2015 Seattle Seahawks needed to be the No. 1 crew in DVOA for all the season.

Best Teams with Losing Records (6 Games)
 by way of DVOA, 1981-2022
Year Team W-L DVOA Rk Final






2000 NE 2-4 24.2% 4 5-11 -6.4% 22 None
1993 NYJ 2-4 18.9% 9 8-8 5.8% 14 None
2004 KC 2-4 18.4% 8 7-9 14.3% 10 None
2006 PIT 2-4 18.2% 6 8-8 8.8% 11 None
1985 PIT 2-4 17.6% 7 7-9 2.2% 14 None
2009 MIA 2-4 11.5% 13 7-9 2.9% 17 None
2015 SEA 2-4 11.0% 8 10-6 38.6% 1 Lost DIV
2021 SEA 2-4 10.3% 9 7-10 10.1% 9 None
2019 DET 2-3-1 9.9% 10 3-12-1 -8.1% 21 None
2003 NYJ 2-4 9.7% 11 6-10 1.8% 15 None
1983 ATL 2-4 9.4% 8 7-9 1.3% 11 None
2022 JAX 2-4 9.2% 8

That 2000 Patriots crew was once Belichick’s first New England squad and their season was once very bizarre on reflection. They began 0-4 earlier than two wins, however they had been larger wins by way of DVOA than at the scoreboard. The Patriots gained the turnover combat in 5 in their first six video games, then became the ball over six instances in a Week 7 loss to the Jets. For all the season, that Patriots crew was once 4-9 in one-possession video games. They additionally were given hammered 34-9 by way of Detroit on Thanksgiving, the sport the place Tom Brady noticed his first regular-season motion within the NFL.

Going additional down this listing does not unveil a host of secret playoff groups, both. From 1981 to 2021, there have been 49 groups with certain DVOA however dropping data after six video games. Only six of the ones groups recovered to make the playoffs. Twenty-three of the ones groups noticed their DVOA fall by way of greater than 5 proportion issues by way of the tip of the 12 months, in comparison to 13 groups which noticed DVOA upward push by way of a minimum of 5 proportion issues. There could also be one thing to the concept a dropping file is psychologically irritating, and that excellent groups with shut early losses start to play right down to their file because the season is going alongside.

By the best way, a equivalent listing that integrated the most efficient groups at 3-3 or higher after six video games would have Baltimore ranked 14th.

* * * * *

Football Outsiders playoff odds, snap counts, and the FO+ database are actually all up to date thru Week 6.

A reminder that each one our unfastened stats pages, together with DVOA and participant place stats, require registration to view. This isn’t a paywall*! You handiest wish to sign up (free of charge) after which log in to the web site to view those pages. While you are at it, you’ll be able to get a seven-day trial of FO+ and try the FO+ options like a deeper DVOA database, weekly myth projections, myth soccer analysis gear, Derrik Klassen’s All-32 sport preview column, and alternatives towards the unfold (now together with projected totals for over/unders).

*New: It’s now not a paywall, aside from on Mondays! As of this week, we are actually posting DVOA information on Monday as an alternative of ready till Tuesday as previously. If you wish to have to peer information from the present season on Monday, together with all of Sunday’s video games, it is important to be an FO+ subscriber. On Tuesday morning after we publish the replace with Monday Night Football added in, the entire unfastened stats pages transform unfastened once more. The exception will probably be snap counts, which is able to nonetheless be to be had to everybody Monday however now will probably be up to date previous.

* * * * *

This is the Football Outsiders Top 16 thru six weeks of 2022, measured by way of our proprietary Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA) machine that breaks down each unmarried play and compares a crew’s efficiency to the league moderate according to scenario to be able to decide price over moderate (defined additional right here). Click right here for the overall desk.

OFFENSE and DEFENSE DVOA are adjusted for opponent and function indoors and believe all fumbles, stored or misplaced, as equivalent price. Opponent changes are lately at 60% power. SPECIAL TEAMS DVOA is adjusted for form of stadium (heat, chilly, dome, Denver) and week of season. As at all times, certain numbers constitute extra issues so DEFENSE is best when it’s NEGATIVE.

DAVE is a method which mixes our preseason forecast with present DVOA to get a extra correct projection of the way a crew will play the remainder of the season. DAVE is lately 55% preseason forecast and 45% precise efficiency for groups with six video games, and 65% preseason forecast and 35% precise efficiency for groups with 5 video games. Cleveland DAVE ranking is adjusted to mirror Deshaun Watson coming back from his suspension in Week 13. Dallas DAVE now as soon as once more displays a projection that has Dak Prescott because the beginning quarterback.

To save other folks a while, please use the next layout for all proceedings:

is obviously ranked as a result of . is far higher than this.

Leave a Comment