For the last thirty years, Football Outsiders have tried to bring a new and innovative way to look at the NFL.
Here is what Football Outsiders was doing:
All week, we've been taking a look at the best NFL teams of the past 30 years, based on Football Outsiders' advanced DVOA metric.
We've looked at offense, defense and special teams. Today we combine them all to look at the best overall teams of the past 30 years. There's an easy choice for No. 1: The one team that made the top 30 for all three units.
Once again, we can tell you that our DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) metric accounts for all of this, measuring success on each play based on down and distance, then comparing it to an NFL average baseline adjusted for situation and opponent. (You can read more of the details here.) It's built to balance a measurement of how well a team has played in the past with a forecast of how well a team will play in the future. Ratings each year are normalized, accounting for changes in the NFL's offensive environment over the past 30 years.
I waited... I waited... I waited, and yet the Arizona Cardinals never made an appearance.
This is not exactly surprising, the Cardinals have only three or four seasons where they would have been highly ranked in DVOA, but surely the 2015 offense, one that was so talented and efficient, not to make it was a bit disappointing.
The Cardinals have never had a great defense, they’ve had some very good defenses in a vacuum, but never a great defense.
Is this an accurate account of the Cardinals over the last 30 years?
We know that from 1988-2007 there wasn’t much to write home about, but none of the Warner led teams, nor the Arians and Palmer teams have been that highly ranked within DVOA?
I guess, for now, we continue to wait for that one special year where the Arizona Cardinals have a highly ranked team in DVOA.