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Historical DVOA Estimates

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As readers of Football Outsiders, you know and love the proprietary statistics like DVOA. DVOA has many wonderful qualities –- it takes into account both raw yardage and progress towards a first down, it adjusts for situation and opponent quality, and it is an excellent predictor of future performance. It does, however, have one drawback –- it requires play-by-play data, which as of now only goes back to 1989. To work around that difficulty, and to add more fuel to the perpetual argument about the average teams for now, I developed a method to estimate DVOA for seasons where play-by-play data is not yet available.

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