Stats don't often tell the whole story, but most are relevant when put into context. Here are four stats related to the New York Giants that help explain why they stand where they do at the seven-week mark of the 2012 NFL regular season.
13.0: That's Eli Manning's yards-per-attempt average in the fourth quarter when the score is within seven points, according to the situational stats at NFL.com. His regular average is merely 8.0. His regular passer rating is 92.5, but in those situations it's 108.7. And 42 percent of his touchdown passes have come in the fourth quarter.
This isn't an anomaly: Manning had a 104.5 rating within seven in the fourth quarter last year and 47 percent of his TD strikes came in that period. Mr. Clutch.
8.3: That's Martellus Bennett's cumulative rating from Pro Football Focus, which makes him the fourth-highest-rated tight end in the NFL through seven weeks. Only Chicago's Kellen Davis has been rated as a better pass-blocker and Bennett has taken only one penalty while dropping only two passes on 39 targets. As a receiver, he's ranked 12th in the league in catches and yards and eighth in touchdowns.
Just a model of versatility and consistency thus far.
1.18: On average, that's how many yards the Giants muster every time their running backs get 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. This "open-field average" (from Football Outsiders) ranks third in the NFL and is an indication that Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson and Andre Brown have been able to make guys miss as part of a running game that's been superb all season. It's also just a general indication of how tough they've been to bring down.
In this exact same category last year, the Giants ranked 29th.
8.7: That's how many yards per pass attempt the Giants are allowing on defense thus far, a number which is the third-highest in the NFL. The pass defense wasn't any good last season, either, but it still limited opponents to only 7.5 yards per attempt. That was because the pass rush was better and Corey Webster was playing well.
This year, the pass rush has a negative PFF rating of minus-2.1, ranking 18th in football, while Webster has given up 10.8 yards per pass attempt (up from 7.3 in 2011).
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