Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

So the season is halfway thru, and our New York Football Giants find themselves at 6-2. (I'm sure the sense of deja'vu is not mine alone) The real story is how exactly did this team get there. Many times of the last few weeks people have argued on here regarding statistics, what can and cant be proven by them, and how to effectively understand what they are portraying.This looks into a few statistics that are not looked at as much, but i find quite important, along with turnover differential, which EVERYONE already thinks is important.

So with that being said, here are the giants and their opponents statistics thru week eight.

Giants - 303 Pass plays, 62.5% Completion % for 2257 Yards and 12 Touchdowns

Opponents - 303 Pass plays, 62.4% Completion % for 2188 Yards and 11 Touchdowns

Well, boys and girls, at first glance id say those numbers look virtually identical, so i guess based on these numbers you could make the case that a) Eli is average as any QB we have played or B) Our defense makes every QB we play elite on elis level. Neither of these are really true, because the above stats as usual do not tell the real story, two other particular stats do, turnover differential, and the often overlooked sack differential stat.

The Giants have sacked their opponents twenty-one times on the previously mentioned 303 dropbacks, for a total loss of 157 yards. Compare this to the performance of Eli and the O-Line (and yes i do put it in that order for a reason) which have given up a paltry seven sacks for 49 yards. The giants place first in the league in the sack differential statistic thru eight weeks, slightly ahead of the Texans (who granted, have also played one less game.) The other aspect of our "big play" defense would be the ability to force turnovers, which the Giants also do at a prolific rate. The basic numbers are pretty easy, they are +13 in turnover margin thru eight weeks, tied with New England for the best in the league. Underlining that is the Giants 5.7% Interception %. The sacks and the Picks alone mean that on 37 of 303 dropbacks the defense has forced either an interception or a sack, accounting for a 12.2% negative play % compared to a 4.9% score for Eli and Co.

So what does it mean? Depends entirely on what you take out of it, as of this point the biggest difference between the Giants and their opponents is the ability for the G-Men to step up and make big plays, while not making as many mistakes on their own side. This is also represented in the teams 6th best penalty differential so far this year, once again putting them on the positive side of the little things it takes to win. Nothing here proves these numbers will continue, that the giants will continue to pick off one of out every 17 passes the opponents throw, what it does show is that they are currently playing a recipe of football where they minimize their own mistakes, and push to take advantage of their opponents.

Now...maybe if they could fix the whole red zone thing....

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