New York Giants: Stats That Matter Two Weeks into the NFL Season

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 20, 2012

Sep 16, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) catches a pass over New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster (23) during the game at MetLife Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

About 75 percent of people know that you can use stats to skew perspectives. The reality is that they rarely tell the whole story, but I also find that they almost always tell part of the story.

Let's attempt to complete the story by tossing out a few key stats regarding the New York Giants two weeks into the season.



If you look strictly at yards per game, the Giants have the league's top-rated passing offense. But that's not a suitable way to measure a passing game's success.

And if you go only on passer rating, you're leaving room for too many distortions. Based on that number, the Giants would be all the way down in the 16th spot through the air.

But I like to stick with yards per attempt, which literally measures how many yards an offense gets, on average, when its quarterback throws the ball. And in that category, the Giants rank third in football at 8.7.

That's actually up 0.3 from the 8.4 number Eli Manning single-handedly posted last season. 

But because Manning has a rather pedestrian 4-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season, the team's adjusted yards per attempt average is just 8.0, which is actually lower than last year's number. 

So while the passing game was ranked fifth last year and has seemingly been better by climbing to first early this year, Manning and his receivers have actually been merely maintaining the status quo when it comes to overall productivity per pass play.



That's how many times Manning has been pressured on 86 passing plays this year, which is the second-highest total in football, per Pro Football Focus. That gives the Giants offensive line a PFF pass-blocking efficiency rating of just 70.3, which ranks third last in the NFL.

Sadly, that number actually represents a drop-off from the 72.4 rating the line posted last season, which was dead last in football. 

Fortunately for New York, Manning is one of the coolest quarterbacks in the league when facing pressure. He's got the second-best accuracy percentage and the fourth-best completion percentage when under attack (per PFF), and he rarely gets sacked.

He's also taken every single snap the team's had to make since 2009. Will that trend continue this year, or will the pressure finally get to Eli?



That's how many yards Corey Webster has given up in coverage this season, which is the second-highest total in football. That's also 26 percent of the yards he surrendered all of last season. 

New York's top cornerback has struggled against Tony Romo and Josh Freeman, allowing eight completions on 13 targets, according to PFF. Opposing quarterbacks combined to muster a passer rating of 71.6 against him in 2011, but that number has shot up to 99.0 early this year.

What's more, his PFF rating went from 6.9 last year (18th in football) to -3.5 early this year (62nd out of 68 eligible corners).

With the pass rush failing to get constant pressure, the Giants need a lot more from their No. 1 cover guy.



That's how many adjusted line yards per carry the Giants have picked up when running in the direction of the right tackle, according to Football Outsiders.

Adjusted line yards are determined by a formula FO uses to determine the line's success on a running play as opposed to that of the running back or his lead blocker. And in this case, the Giants are 29th in the league when running at the right tackle spot, which for the most part has been filled by the terrible David Diehl.

In comparison, their ALY when running at the left tackle is 4.79, which is the sixth-highest average in the league. 

Before getting hurt, Diehl was bad as both a pass-blocker and a run-blocker, ranking 66th and 69th, respectively, in those two areas at PFF. And he wasn't any better last year, either. 

Maybe the Giants will be better off with Diehl out of the lineup.