Pro Football Focus Numbers Are ... Interesting

Sometimes I just don't understand the numbers when I look at the weekly grades for our New York Giants from Pro Football Focus. There are quite a few examples of that this week, as you will see shortly. This is why I always caution you to use PFF's data as a resource for discussion, not as gospel.

That said, let's get on with a look at the grades.

Offense

No big surprise here in that these grades are terrible. The offense itself was pretty terrible in Sunday's 27-17 loss to Philadelphia, and the grades reflect that.

In fact, only one offensive player who played more than five snaps to receive a positive grade from PFF. That would be quarterback Eli Manning, who came out +3.1 despite three interceptions and two fumbles. Imagine what he could have done without the turnovers, which is something the Giants as a whole have been trying to imagine all season.

Here is what PFF said in summarizing Manning's performance.

The most impressive thing about Manning’s night was his performance under pressure. When he felt the heat, Manning went 11 of 17 for 81 yards and two TDs with a QB rating of 115.1. In contrast, when afforded time, Manning was a very poor 9 of 16 for 66 yards and three interceptions.

Considering the ineffective Giants' running game, it should not be a shocker that all of PFF's lowest grades for the Giants were for the guys trying to open the holes. These are just plain ugly.

Bear Pascoe (-1.4), Kareem McKenzie (-2.2), Kevin Boothe (-2.9), Kevin Boss (-3.3, most due to poor pass blocking), Shawn Andrews (-3.7), Rich Seubert (-4.1). UGLY!

If you were reading Monday, you know I gave Andrews a 'Kudos,' so that does not match up with PFF's opinion. Andrews did lose significant points for the two holding calls -- only one of which was a really obvious penalty. I still feel Andrews did an excellent job in allowing just three pressures, no sacks and no hits on Manning in 36 dropbacks.

Despite his rough night, by the way, McKenzie's +17.1 for the season makes him PFF's highest-graded tackle in the league thus far. Which, the way things have been going for the Giants, means now he will get hurt.

Defense

A lot of positive numbers for the Giants on defense, which you might expect since they did about as good a job Sunday on Michael Vick and the explosive Eagles offense as you could have anticipated. There are, however, a couple of grades I just can't understand.

How does Justin Tuck get just a +1.1 after recording three sacks, two forced fumbles and two tackles for loss in one of the best individual games he has likely ever played? I really have no idea how PFF arrived at the notion that Tuck was -0.7 in the pass rush.

I also don't get the -0.7 grade given to cornerback Terrell Thomas. The guy missed one tackle all night, did an excellent job in coverage on the outside, played solid run support and ended up with 10 tackles. How what he did does not equate to a better number I can't explain.

Barry Cofield (+3.0) and Kenny Phillips (+2.3) received the best defensive grades.

The worst defensive grades went to Corey Webster (-1.2), Aaron Ross (-1.6) and Michael Bole (-2.0). I do get the Boley grade, especially if you look at the film and determine he was the player who lost contain on LeSean McCoy's back-breaking 50-yard touchdown run.

Special Teams

Matt Dodge came out at -1.2 after another adventurous punting performance. Dodge, by the way, rates a -2.8 for the season. The only punter who has been with his team all season who PFF rates lower is Chicago's Brad Maynard, who has an astoundingly awful -8.7 score. Will Blackmon had an uneven night returning the ball and graded out at -1.7. Derek Hagan, who it says here the Giants never should have cut in the first place, made two tackles on specials and had a +0.5 for his coverage. Terrell Thomas ended up at +1.5 after blocking a field goal.

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