Thursday, December 24, 2009

Opponent Adjustments Inadequate

One of the biggest knocks against the Football Outsiders DVOA metric is on display right now. Two weeks ago the Ravens were ranked 8th in the league by DVOA, and that seems pretty close to right. As a Ravens fan I would have said 8th-10th. A dangerous team, they've played close games against good teams; but they haven't been able to break thru and win against the best teams they've played. Maybe if Hauschka doesn't hook that kick, or Clayton doesn't drop that pass, they'd seem different. As it is, they seem second tier. (But dangerous!)

Then they blow out two bad teams, and all of a sudden they're
the second-best team in the league??? Really?

Week 15 DVOA Ratings

I know that the ability to stomp on a bad team is a very important indicator of a good team. (FO wrote an important article about this 4 years ago.) But the Lions are bad, and the Bears really aren't very good. I just don't see how we have new information about the Ravens, after those two games. We knew going in that the Ravens were going to win easily. Now they have. Does that really change the picture that much? Are the Ravens really so much better than they were two weeks ago?

I don't think so.

1 comment:

  1. I think the Ravens are an interesting case study on the FO article. I split the Ravens opponents in their games this year to "bad" teams, "good" teams and one "mediocre" team being the Steelers. The others are pretty easy to distinguish so I think it can be left unsaid.

    Against bad opponents, the Ravens are 5-0. They have an avg margin of victory of 26 points with no win coming by less than 14 points. They outgained those opponents by an avg of 233 yards, with no margin less than 114 yards.

    Against good opponents, the Ravens are 2-6. Their avg margin in score is -1 point, with no loss of more than 13 points. Only three games were decided by double digits. A 13 point loss to GB, 10 point loss to the Bengals and 23 point win vs. the Broncos. The avg margin of yardage was -61 yards, not outgained by more than 165 yards.

    Assuming the Ravens make the post-season, it'll be interesting to see how they do. They're clearly fitting in the FO model...blowing out the bad opponents and playing the good ones pretty close. And their record reflects the "quirky" little things that going one way or the other could have made a difference.

    I'll grant they were skill-based and not a strange bounce for the most part.
    - SD: Lewis' stuffing Sproles on 4th down.
    - NE: Clayton's fourth down drop of a pass that hit him in the hands.
    - Cin: Penalties on the final drive, and Carr's lack of coverage ability.
    - Minn: Hauschka's missed FG.
    - Ind: Inability to get in the end zone, and Flacco's final pick when in FG range late in the 4th Q.

    But still, they're a team that seems like they're right on the threshold of being able to beat the good teams this year. I don't know if they can, but it's hard to argue they don't fit the mold of a team that COULD make noise.


About This Blog

Twitter: oblong_spheroid

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP