Redskins Hog Heaven is one of the voting sites for Bloguin NFL Power Ranking. Up to now, I’ve looked at NFL ranks for points scored and points allowed for my ranking formula. You play to win the game, as Herm Edwards said, but points can lead you astray. The Redskins went into last weekend’s game ranked eighth best in point allowed. That didn’t make them the league’s eighth-best defense.
With 35 percent of the season complete, there are better comparative stats to look at, namely Football Outsiders Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA). If you blog, you know DVOA. It’s like having your own NFL unpaid quality control coach to crunch down and distance stats. All the cool kids have QA associates to crunch the numbers. So I’ve calibrated Hog Heaven’s tally sheet to use Football Outsiders’ offensive and defensive DVOA rather than points. And yes, I do take account of the won-loss record and strength of the offensive line.
Unfortunately, DVOA is not kind to the Washington Redskins. After the Colts game, the Redskins ranked 16th in offensive DVOA and 23 in defensive DVOA. With the loss to the Peyton and the ponies, I sent my tally sheet in with Washington ranked 22nd in the Bloguin power poll, due out Friday.
DVOA shatters my assumptions about the 2010 Redskins. Look at points allowed and you have to conclude that the “Skins defense has to carry the team until the offense jells. That’s seemingly confirmed by watching games, even with missed turnover opportunities by the defense.
Yet Washington’s offense is performing better against league average than the defense. It turns out that you can believe your lying eyes. The offense busts more big plays, but they have more issues than the defense. Both have to improve in that area to move up in the ranking. They are close, but we are not talking horseshoes here.
My formula has Dallas at 18th (ugh) and Philadelphia at 16th. The Eagles are helped by Kevin Kolb’s strong showing in the past two weeks leading to two wins and No. 4 ranking in the latest offensive DVOA.
In an uh-oh moment, the 4-2 New York Giants pop up to No. 2 overall on the strength of their defense. The Giants finally surpassed the third-ranked New York Jets in power on my tally sheet. Indianapolis tops the charts. Pittsburgh and Kansas City round out the top five.
We will point you to the Week Six Bloguin Power Poll when all the voters have had their say.