The primary metric used by Football Outsiders to rank NFL teams is DVOA, or Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a way to measure a team’s offensive and defensive success on a play-by-play basis while accounting for the quality of their opponentst.
“DVOA breaks down the entire season play-by-play, comparing success on each play to the league average based on a number of variables including down, distance, location on field, current score gap, quarter, and opponent quality. While it can be used as a measure of total team performance, it differs from other power ratings found throughout the Web because it can be broken down to analyze team effectiveness in any number of ways: down, quarter, rushing vs. receiving, location on field, passes to backs vs. passes to receivers, and so on.”
Through seven weeks the Bucs’ offensive DVOA currently ranks as the sixth-best in the NFL while their defensive DVOA sits emphatically at the top of the league, and all-in-all the Bucs’ total DVOA of 45% lands them miles ahead of Baltimore’s 32.8% for the best number in the league.
Not only does that number currently put that at the league’s top mark in 2020, but it also places them firmly among the highest DVOAs through seven weeks dating back to 1985. In that time frame only nine teams have ever accumulated a higher total DVOA heading into Week 8.
Through six weeks, following the Bucs’ big win over Green Bay, Tampa Bay was the 28th-best DVOA through six weeks since 1985 but that number made a significant jump following their 25-point victory over the Raiders in Week 7.