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 heading into Week 9 of the 2012 NFL regular season.
6.2: That's how many yards per play the Giants are averaging this season, which is tops in the NFL. In my mind, this indicates that they've had the most efficient offense in the NFL. Only three teams have had more 20-plus-yard passing plays this year, and only four teams have had more 20-plus-yard run plays. What's amazing is that's the case despite the fact the passing game has been a bit off lately.
36: That's how many penalties the Giants have taken this year, which is the second-lowest total in the NFL. Outside of Will Beatty, no Giants player has been penalized more than three times all year. This is a Tom Coughlin thing, but the G-men are taking it to a whole new level this year. In 2011, they were penalized 94 times for 795 yards. Those numbers are on pace to drop to 82 and 683 this season. Discipline, man....
Who should the Giants start in place of Chase Blackburn?
15: That's how many snaps Mark Herzlich has played on defense this season, according to Pro Football Focus. And yet Herzlich is expected to get the start in place of the injured Chase Blackburn when the Giants take on the Steelers Sunday. I'd prefer to see the defense go with Keith Rivers, who might not be a natural in the middle but has been superb against the run this season.
+13: That's the Giants' turnover ratio this season, which is tied atop the league alongside New England after New York forced six of them against the Cowboys Sunday. They've given it away 11 times on offense, which is only average. But the defense now has more takeaways (24) than any other team in football. Last year, they had only 31 all season. Pretty amazing considering how much the pass rush has struggled and the injuries they've had to deal with.