Citizens Blame Weatherman for Sun

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Danny here...Just wanted to pass along a link that I think is pretty relevant for Niners Nation (NN) in general, but especially relevant to those of us who've engaged in the whole "football stats matter" vs. "football stats don't matter" debate.

In his post introducing the Week 6 DVOA ratings, Aaron over at Football Outsiders discusses a few things that I'd like to call attention to for the sake of debate.

First, Aaron talks about how their preseason predictions for the Broncos and Chargers were very wrong, and -- get this -- asks the audience for assistance in coming up with objective reasons that might identify where DVOA was deficient. As I've said on NN, "Stats are NOT people too." DVOA is not some master plan executed by FO at their secret headquarters ala Dr. Evil calling for "the laser" or Don Corleone doing a favor for Bonasera the undertaker. Rather, it is an objective measure refined over and over again to account for instances in which it doesn't seem to spit out a valid result. Acknowledging a DVOA deficiency and asking for assistance is proof positive of this refinement process.

Second, Aaron talks about how the Eagles are -- just like last year -- much higher in the DVOA rankings than their winning percentage would otherwise indicate. In 2008, FO was hammered all season for PHI's weekly top 5 ranking. Then the playoffs arrived, and the 6th-seeded Eagles vidicated FO by advancing to the NFC championship game. Through Week 6 in 2009, PHI is #2 in Total DVOA despite a pedestrian 3-2 record, and thus FO is once again under fire. In the post, Aaron -- with the help of commenters -- tries to figure out why the Eagles are DVOA darlings.

Finally, motivated by the Titans' 59-0 loss to the Patriots this past weekend, Aaron lists the worst 10 single-game team performances in the history of DVOA. This is relevant to NN because (a) the 2005 49ers hold 2 out of the 10 spots, and (b) NFC West teams hold the top (bottom?) 3 spots, and 6 out of the top 10.

So, if you've been involved in the DVOA debates on NN and/or you'd like to see how the 2005 49ers (or 2000-2003 Cardinals or 2008 Rams) were the embodiment of game-specific situational inefficiency, click here and give Aaron's post a read.

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