It's been a while since we've talked about the New York Giants. No disrespect intended toward the G-men, but with Robert Griffin III's injury in Washington, Jerry Jones making big changes in Dallas and a head-coaching search continuing in Philadelphia, Big Blue has taken a back seat thus far in the offseason.
And that's the way Tom Coughlin likes it.
Let's take one final statistical look back on the 2012 Giants with 10 stats that mattered in another 9-7 campaign.
429: That's how many points the Giants scored, which was their second-highest total in team history and 35 more than they scored in the 2011 Super Bowl season. They hadn't gone over the 400-point mark since the 1970 merger before doing so four times in the last eight years.
Plus-14: That was the Giants' turnover margin, which ranked fourth in the NFL and was 100 percent higher than their 2011 margin of plus-7. It was also their highest turnover margin since 1997 and their third-highest since the 1970 merger.
6: So how is it possible that the Giants were so much better in statistical categories like those and still ended up with just nine wins, missing the playoffs? The problem is that they loaded their stats in six blowouts but were inconsistent the rest of the way. Only two teams had more 14-plus-point victories than the six New York had this season. In 2011, only two of their nine wins came by 14 or more points. Their turnover margin in those six games was plus-14 (making it even in the other 10 games), and there point differential was plus-154 (making it minus-69 in the other 10 games).
5: Taking that blowout theory a step further, the Giants won five games by 23 or more points this season. Only New England and them had more than three such victories. And when they won the Super Bowl last year, they won zero games by that margin. A team that was consistently winning close games became a team that either blew you out or fell short.
53.8: That was Eli Manning fourth-quarter completion percentage this season, which was down substantially from the 67.0 number he posted last season in the final quarter. In 2011, he tossed a ridiculous 18 touchdown passes in the fourth Q, but that total dropped to eight this time around. As a result, he led only three fourth-quarter comebacks (after leading seven in 2011).
29: That's the number of 30-yard passes the Giants surrendered this season, which was the highest in the NFL. Corey Webster's play dropped off significantly, but the primary reason for this was the lack of a pass rush. New York's sack total dropped from 48 to 33. The Giants' overall pressure total only dropped a shade from 249 to 238, according to Pro Football Focus, but they weren't able to close and were burned as a result. Jason Pierre-Paul led the entire team with only 6.5 sacks.
988: Webster does deserve quite a lot of blame, too. That's the number of yards he allowed in coverage this season, ranking third-last in football, per PFF. He also gave up eight touchdowns, a number that was only "topped" by Patrick Robinson of the Saints. Only Robinson gave up more yards per cover snap than Webster. I have no idea what happened to him this season.
4.6: That's how many yards per rushing attempt the Giants allowed this season, so don't let the run defense off the hook. Only four teams surrendered more yards per carry than New York did. They missed more tackles and recorded fewer stops, according to PFF. The linebackers just weren't making plays.
Is the Giants offensive line no longer a concern?
167: That's the total number of pressures the Giants' offensive line gave up this season, per PFF—a number which ranked pretty much exactly in the middle of the pack. Pretty impressive considering that they gave up a league-high 221 pressures last season. Eli Manning's sack total dropped from 28 to 19. And the line also improved its run blocking, with the team's yards-per-carry number increasing from 3.5 (last in the league) to 4.6 (seventh in the league).
38: That's the number of games lost by Giants starters this season due to injury, according to the Dallas Morning News. Division rivals Philadelphia, Dallas and Washington lost 63, 71 and 75 players, respectively. Football Outsiders compiles "adjusted games lost," which more accurately measures the impact injuries have had on a team, and we're still awaiting that report from them. But still, this is a strong indication that New York was much healthier than its rivals and than it has been in recent seasons. So there really are no excuses.