New York Giants

New York Giants: Stats That Matter 3 Weeks into the NFL Season

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16:  Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants and  Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants reacts against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers  during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 26, 2012

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 three weeks into the season.

 

1

That's how many hits on the quarterback the offensive line was responsible for against the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 (according to Pro Football Focus), which is amazing considering how much the line struggled last year, as well as the fact they were without regular right tackle David Diehl.

Then again, maybe not having Diehl helped. With the versatile yet much-maligned veteran injured, Sean Locker switched to the right side and Will Beatty was back in his familiar left tackle spot. Pro Football Focus rated Beatty and Locklear as two of the Giants' four best offensive players in Carolina.

Not a single starter on the offensive line gave up a sack or posted a negative PFF rating, giving a major boost to an offensive line that was ranked dead last in pass-blocking efficiency last season. 

Was it a one-week aberration? We'll find out Sunday night in Philadelphia, when the line is tested again against one of the fiercest defensive fronts in football.

 

0.34

That's the win probability added (WPA) rating given to New York's offensive line by Advanced NFL Stats—a number that is the fifth best in football. I know we're only three weeks in, but that those geniuses have deemed that Big Blue's O-line has had a positive impact more so than a negative one is a great sign.

Last year, the Giants ranked 30th in this particular category and received negative ratings right across the board, in terms of pass blocking and run blocking. This year, they're ranked positively right across the board. 

Again, we'll see if that's still the case after they're tested by the Eagles in Week 4.

 

6

That's the number of sacks the Giants have registered this season, which is tied with Washington for last in the NFC East. They've had exactly two sacks in every game, one year after averaging three per game. That number was even higher during their Super Bowl run.

The rush wasn't necessarily bad against the Panthers, but it didn't shine, either. What makes that hard to believe is that Jason Pierre-Paul continues to be an absolute force, but he's not getting as much support as usual.

Chris Canty remains out due to injury, while Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck are in ruts. While JPP has 14 pressures on 88 snaps against the pass, Umenyiora and Tuck have a combined eight pressures on 140. That duo has hit the opposing quarterback just once.

 

6.5

That's the average number of yards per offensive play the Giants have recorded this season, which is third in the NFL, per Pro Football Reference. That number's up half a yard from 2011, which was a pretty explosive season in its own right for the G-men. 

Despite their struggles in Week 1, only two offenses (Baltimore and Washington) have been more successful than the Giants' has been thus far. Considering that they've accomplished that without Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw being completely healthy, as well as with Mario Manningham and Jake Ballard gone, it's scary to imagine how high the ceiling might be for this offense.

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