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Football Outsider Record Projections

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by BradyFTW!, Aug 16, 2010.

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  1. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I've been reading through the 2010 Football Outsiders Almanac, and they're pretty high on the Pats this year. The mean projections have the Pats as #3 in the NFL behind the Ravens and Colts:

    2010 Mean Projection: 10.3 wins
    On the Clock (0-3): 0%
    Loserville (4-6): 4%
    Mediocrity (7-8): 18%
    Playoff Contender (9-10): 33%
    Super Bowl Contender (11+): 45%
    Projected Average Opponent: 4.5% (7th)


    the highest mean projection is 11.6: basically, the idea is that everyone who finishes with over 11 wins outperformed expectations, so 10.3 is quite good as a baseline. The closest teams behind us are the Steelers (9.9), Jets (9.8), Falcons (9.6), and Packers (9.4).

    I know that there's a lot of debate on this board for how applicable these types of statistics really are, and I think that this year's Patriots team represents an ideal data point. While most reports that you'll read will speak of the Pats as an above average team, FO's projections place the Pats solidly in the NFL elite (this was before the Ty Warren injury news, I have to wonder if that changes anything).

    Personally, I'm pumped. I'm a huge FO fan, and after reading this writeup, it reinforces a lot of what I already thought about the Pats, and also has me rethinking the Jets (a little more worried about them) and the Dolphins (a little less). Definitely an awesome read, I'd recommend it to everyone.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  2. PatsChamp88

    PatsChamp88 Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

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  3. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Pats have already lost enough starters to almost level the playing field for the mighty Jets......(Warren,Holt,Mankins,Kaczur)and altho I admit I was in favor of giving the youngsters a shot at WR over keeping Holt for one year, the loss could be significant if we end up with Tate being another Chad J.(Don't see that happening tho)

    Jets lose Greene for any extended period of time and I'm not convinced they'd be anything special. And if Revis doesn't show up, I'm not sure they'll get to 9 wins....

    JMHO
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
  4. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Warren is definitely a significant loss, but I didn't have Holt starting anyways, and only one of Kaczur/Mankins was going to be a starter. I'm still not convinced that Connolly is a significant downgrade from Kaczur; not having Mankins is the real issue.

    And every team loses some people. The Jets' rankings were done with the assumption that Revis would play, for example. If his holdout extends into the regular season, he impacts the Jets far more than any of our guys do us (FO said that he is without a question, by far the most important defensive player in the NFL).
  5. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

  6. PatsChamp88

    PatsChamp88 Rookie

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  7. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Fair enough, but as of now there are huge holes to fill at both DE spots. Even if Gerard Warren can fill one of them (and I don't think that's impossible), there's still the other one. I don't have a whole lot of confidence in Lewis, Brace, Wright, or Pryor to do it. Won't kill us against most teams, but the ones that can run it down our throat probably will, which just means we'll need Spikes and Mayo to go nuts.
  8. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Holt wasn't likely to make the final 53 man roster never mind start. Mankins and Kazcur played the same position and there is still a slight chance the Pats come to a deal with Mankins of some sort.
  9. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    FO is an intriguing source, still trying to understand that DOVA thing though.. at least they try to look at things somewhat intelligently.
  10. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    On the other hand who did the Pats have last year at RDE and LDE?

    An injured Jarvis Green, overworked Mike Wright, and low round rookie, Mo Pryor; and at LDE a hobbling Ty Warren, and/or a raw rookie NT Ron Brace? Despite not having a true SILB, or established SS to back them up, they still allowed only a mediocre 110 rushing yards per game, not a horrendous 200 ypg, and were exploited only by the elite opponents.

    This club is already better than that, based on the ILB and SS improvements, nevermind the two ex-starting vet FA acquisitions.
  11. Nathan

    Nathan Rookie

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    I'm a big fan of FO as it is one of the few places on the internet that has good football discussion in the comment sections. DVOA is one of the only stats of theirs I've taken the time to understand cause they reference it so often. Here's the breakdown from the FO Almanac this year, edited a bit by me:



    DVOA breaks down every single play of the NFL season, assigning each play a value based on both total yards and yards towards a first down... On first down, a play is considered a success if it gains 45 percent of needed yards; on second down, a play needs to gain 60 percent of needed yards; on third or fourth down, only gaining a new first down is considered success.

    A successful play is worth one point, an unsuccessful play zero points with fractional points in between (for example, eight yards on third-and-10 is worth 0.54 “success points”). Extra points are awarded for big plays, gradually increasing to three points for 10 yards (assuming those yards result in a first down), four points for 20 yards, and five points for 40 yards or more. Losing three or more yards is -1 point. Interceptions average -6 points, with an adjustment for the length of the pass and the location of the interception (since an interception tipped at the line is more likely to produce a long return than an interception on a 40- yard pass). A fumble is worth anywhere from -1.7 to -4.0 points depending on how often a fumble in that situation is lost to the defense — no matter who actually recovers the fumble. Red zone plays are worth 25 percent more for teams (and 10 percent more for players), and there is a bonus given for a touchdown that acknowledges that the goal line is significantly more difficult to cross than the previous 99 yards.

    Every single play run in the NFL gets a “success value” based on this system, and then that number gets compared to the average success values of plays in similar situations for all players, adjusted for a number of variables. These include down and distance, field location, time remaining in game, and the team’s lead or deficit in the game score. Teams are always compared to the overall offensive average, as the team made its own choice whether to pass or rush. When it comes to individual players, however, rushing plays are compared to other rushing plays, passing plays to other passing plays, tight ends to tight ends, wideouts to wideouts, and so on.

    You will find DVOA used in this book in a lot of different ways — because it takes every single play into account, it can be used to measure a player or a team’s performance in any situation. All Pittsburgh third downs can be compared to how an average team does on third down. Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson can each be compared to how an average quarterback performs in the red zone, or with a lead, or in the second half of the game.

    One of the hardest parts of understanding a new statistic is interpreting its scale, or what numbers represent good performance or bad performance. We’ve made that easy with DVOA. In all cases, 0% represents league-average. A positive DVOA represents a situation that favors the offense, while a negative DVOA represents a situation that favors the defense. This is why the best offenses have positive DVOA ratings (last year, New England led the league at +29.6%) and the best defenses have negative DVOA ratings (with the New York Jets number one at -23.4%). For teams, the best and worst ratings tend to be around +/-30%; for players, they tend to be around +/- 45%.
  12. BradyFTW!

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    #12 Jersey

    Ty Warren wasn't 100% last year, but he was still better than Mike Wright. Whoever we replace him with is a significant downgrade. And on the other side, it's not so much about replacing last year as replacing the year before. Last year was just a textbook example in why you need two effective DEs in this defense. The fact that it was just as bad last year as it's likely to be this year isn't much consolation.

    Is it possible that between Deaderick, Pryor, Brace, and Warren (Wright is what he is), two of those guys might really surprise us and do well? Sure, it's possible, and when we only needed one of them to come through, I was comfortable with that level of uncertainty. I was actually pretty pumped about a Warren-Wilfork-Warren line. But needing that cast of guys to turn out two viable starters makes it overwhelmingly likely that there will be at least one weak spot. So I do think that the Pats will have an above average defense; they were average last year, and on the whole they've improved. But as long as there is weakness on the line, teams that can exploit it (like the Ravens) will. Having Spikes and Mayo present and at full health will help, but it's going to be a major and recurring problem nonetheless, just like it was last year.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  13. Nathan

    Nathan Rookie

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    here's a thought regarding dvoa... it's 1st and ten on your own 50. you rush for 4 yards (failure according to dvoa). 2nd and 6 and you rush for 3 yards (failure according to dvoa). now it's 3rd and 3 from their 43, pretty good down and distance for a deep shot. you go play action, the threat of the run is enough to get the safety to bite and you connect over the top for a td.

    in hindsight, were those first 2 plays really failures?
  14. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Well that 110 Y/G number is misleading. They were in the bottom 3rd of the league allowing 4.4 YPC.
  15. drpatriot

    drpatriot Rookie

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    I emailed FootballOutsiders with this very question. Here was their response:

    So there you go.
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    One measure doesnt make the other misleading.
  17. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Maybe not in general, but in this context. As it was presented the yards per game number was given to support the notion that the run defense was not that bad last year. In reality it was pretty bad.
  18. Rob0729

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    Personally, I think these sites that try to measure teams and players based on formulas are a waste of time (although can be an interesting read none the less) because football is not a game that can be measured in stats except for select stats and positions. But I will say that Football Outsiders' DVOA is far more accurate than some of the other sites (Pro Football Focus) that others have been hyping.
  19. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    #24 Jersey

    I think there is some usefulness in these advanced statistics. The DVOA can be used to identify which teams overachieved despite mediocre play, and which teams disappointed despite dominant performance. I would say it is a pretty good indicator of which teams are primed for a playoff run and which are going to decline.

    For example, in 2008, the Packers went 6-10 despite a DVOA which, IIRC, ranked in the top 10. The conclusion, the Packers were a playoff team but the breaks didn't go their way, which is so often the case in the NFL. In 2009, the Packers dominated.

    Using the 2009 rankings to make similar predictions, the Steelers should return to playoff form and the Bengals return to mediocrity.
  20. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    I think the statistics are very useful and not waste of time at all, unless you need accurate predictions. It's not just football that doesn't lend itself to accurate predictions though. I mean unless you are Nostradamus or Bruce Bueno de Mesquita you probably can't predict anything involving humans with high accuracy :p
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