NFC East: Stats That Matter for All Four Teams Headed into Week 13

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistNovember 30, 2012

Oct 21, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) (right) meets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) (left)  after the New York Giants 27-23, come-from-behind win over the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Mills/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

Before all four NFC East teams meet each other in back-to-back prime-time games to highlight Week 13, let's take a look at two crucial statistics that tell at least part of the story of each team's season thus far. 


Dallas Cowboys

The good: 17.5

That's Anthony Spencer's cumulative PFF rating this season, which makes him the second-highest-rated 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. And with a league-best rating of 13.5 against the run, Spencer might be the most versatile player in the league at that position.

I don't know where the 'Boys would be without Spencer, who already has a career-high 6.5 sacks too, and they certainly have to think about giving him a long-term contract this offseason. He's outplayed DeMarcus Ware thus far in 2012.

Source: Pro Football Focus


The bad: 36

That's how many pressures the Cowboys have surrendered, with the offensive line in particularly bad shape the last two weeks. Things should get better with Tyron Smith and Ryan Cook back, but this is a huge reason why the 'Boys struggled to beat the Browns and then lost to the Redskins, greatly jeopardizing their playoff chances.

Source: Pro Football Focus


New York Giants

The good: +13

The primary reason why the Giants have a two-game lead in the NFC East? That NFC-best turnover ratio of plus-13, of course. New York has only lost while winning the turnover battle once this season. When they take care of the ball, the G-men are very difficult to beat.

But one thing they're doing more this year than in years past is creating turnovers at a higher rate on defense. Their combined turnover ratio in their two recent Super Bowl campaigns was minus-2.



The bad: 721

I hate to keep picking on Corey Webster, but that's the total number of yards the Giants' "No. 1 corner" has surrendered in coverage this season, which is the second-highest total in the NFL.

Twenty cornerbacks have been targeted more than Webster, but he's giving up 18.0 yards per completion. Only Indy's Jerraud Powers is giving up more yards per cover snap. He's truly the team's weakest starting link this year. 

Source: Pro Football Focus


Philadelphia Eagles

The good: 43

That's the percentage of times opposing teams have converted against the Eagles with runs on third or fourth down and two or fewer yards to go, which is the lowest percentage in the NFL. This defensive line has taken a lot of heat for not getting to the quarterback as much as in the past, but it's stepped it up in big moments against the run.

Source: Football Outsiders


The bad: 27

That's how many turnovers the Eagles have committed this season, which ranks last in the NFC by a wide margin. In fact, only one other team in the conference (Dallas) is within six of that total. Since the start of last season, only one team has turned it over more than the sloppy, embarrassing Eagles.

This team needs a complete makeover, and this is the No. 1 indicator. 

Source: Pro Football Reference


Washington Redskins

The good: 8.2

Of all the numbers that relay how great Robert Griffin III has been, I think this is the most important one. It's his yards-per-attempt average, and it's tied for first in the NFL.

Consider that no team in the league is getting more yards per dropback from their quarterback than the Redskins, and then think about what that means considering his banged-up receiving corps and so-so offensive line.

Source: Pro Football Reference


The bad: 2.80

That's the average time from the snap of the ball that it takes for Griffin to get sacked, which is far too short. Only seven quarterbacks get sacked quicker on average than RG3, but those signal-callers are all older and significantly slower.

Guys like Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson are all getting sacked at least half a second later than Griffin. This is obviously an indication that he has to be more aware and that the line has a ways to go. 

Source: Pro Football Focus