Detroit Lions DVOA Rankings Following Week 4
Heading into the 2023 NFL regular season, the hope was that the Detroit Lions defense would rise up enough to help the team become a true contender in the NFC. Personally, I predicted that if the Lions could have a Top 15 defense or so that they would not only win their division but they would make a run all the way to the NFC Championship Game. Fast forward the the present, and through the first four weeks of the season, the Lions have one of the top defenses in the league.
What is DVOA?
DVOA, according to Aaron Schatz of FTNFantasy.com, is a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on situation. DVOA measures not just yardage, but yardage towards a first down: Five yards on third-and-4 are worth more than five yards on first-and-10 and much more than five yards on third-and-12. Performance is also adjusted for the quality of the opponent. DVOA is a percentage, so a team with a DVOA of 10.0% is 10% better than the average team, and a quarterback with a DVOA of -20.0% is 20% worse than the average quarterback. Because DVOA measures scoring, defenses are better when they are negative. Every year is normalized so the average for that year is 0%.
Where do the Detroit Lions Rank in terms of DVOA?
When it comes to the Overall DVOA rankings, our Detroit Lions are currently the No. 3 ranked team in the entire NFL! As you can see below, they have the No. 4 ranked offense and — you may want to be sitting down for this — the No. 5 ranked defense!!! In case you were wondering, the Lions currently have the No. 17 ranked special teams unit in the league.
Why it Matters: The Surprising Rise of the Detroit Lions Defense
Heading into the 2023 NFL regular season, expectations were cautiously optimistic for the Detroit Lions, with hopes that their defense would step up and elevate the team's status in the NFC. The performance of their defense was seen as a key factor in their potential success. The current reality, as we look at the first four weeks of the season, is that the Lions have emerged as one of the top defensive teams in the league, dramatically altering the team's prospects.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Preseason Hopes: Prior to the start of the season, there was anticipation that the Lions' defense needed to step up for the team to compete in the NFC.
- Impressive Rankings: The Detroit Lions have surpassed expectations in the early part of the season, particularly on the defensive side. In terms of DVOA rankings, they currently hold the impressive position of being the No. 3 ranked team in the entire NFL.
- Balanced Performance: A notable aspect of the Lions' early success is their balanced performance. They not only have the No. 5 ranked defense but also hold the No. 4 spot in offense, demonstrating an all-around effectiveness that could bode well for their season aspirations.
Bottom Line: A Promising Start with Defensive Excellence
The Detroit Lions' rise to become one of the top defensive teams in the league within the first four weeks of the 2023 NFL season is a surprising and promising development. The strong performance of their defense, combined with their balanced offensive output, has created an exciting atmosphere among fans and has the potential to propel the team to new heights in the NFC. The Lions are proving that they are a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming games, and their journey will be one to watch closely as the season unfolds.