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For the Giants, the numbers tell the story of the season

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Our New York Giants are halfway through the 2009 season. Normally, that is the perfect time to issue some mid-season grades, or 'Kudos & Wet Willies,' or something along those lines.

The Giants have their bye after this weekend's game with San Diego, however, and I think we will know a lot more about the direction of the season after Sunday. So, I will hold off on that 'report card' type post until then.

If you need mid-season grades, Ralph Vacchiano offers up a must-read. Ernie Palladino also offers his grades.

For now, read the numbers below carefully. They come from Giants.com, and they tell the story of the Giants season very accurately. Starkly, they support my position that as much as complaining about Kevin Gilbride in the favorite pastime of many Giants fans the problems on this team are first and foremost with the defense -- not the offense.

And yes, I say that knowing Eli Manning has to stop turning the ball over for the Giants to win. Anyway, on with the numbers.

  • The Giants have been 5-3 or better in the first half of each of Tom Coughlin's six seasons as head coach. The current 5-3 mark has improved their record to 35-13 (.729) in the first eight games since Coughlin arrived in 2004.
  • The Giants are fifth in the league with an average of 386.9 yards a game, or 15.5 more than they were gaining halfway through the 2008 season. For the first time under Coughlin, they have gained more than 3,000 yards in half a season. They are on pace to finish with 6,190 yards, which would shatter the franchise record of 5,884 yards, set in 1985.
  • The Giants are averaging 26.5 points a game, which is ninth in the league and down slightly from the 28.3 they averaged at this point last season. They have scored 23 touchdowns (seven rushing, 14 passing and two returns), one less than they had last year (when the breakdown was 10 rushing, 13 passing and one return).
  • Their average time of possession of 33:57 is 56 seconds more than last year, a Coughlin-era high and second in the NFL, behind New England's 34:22.
  • But this year, the Giants rely on their passing attack to control the ball much more than they did last year. Their rushing output has dropped by more than 20 yards a game, from 162.6 last year to the current figure of 141.8. Brandon Jacobs has run for 550 yards and a 3.9-yard average after finishing the first half with 680 yards and a 5.2-yard average in 2008. The team average has slipped from 5.2 to 4.4 yards a carry. The passing game has picked up the slack, averaging 245.1 yards a game, 36.3 more than last year and 29 more than the Giants' best first half under Coughlin, set in 2006.
  • The Giants have 15 takeaways and 14 turnovers, a plus one differential. At midseason last year, they had 13 takeaways and seven turnovers (on their way to a league record-tying 13), for a plus-six differential.
  • Defensively, the Giants are third in the NFL in yards allowed per game (278.1) but 22nd in points allowed (22.9). That is 17.7 more yards and 6.8 more points than the Giants were giving up at this time last year. Their opponents have scored 24 touchdowns (12 rushing and 12 passing) - 10 more than at this time last year.
  • The opponents' biggest improvement has been on the ground. The Giants are allowing 113.1 rushing yards a game, a sharp rise from the 85.4 they were giving up a year ago. At the same time, opposing passing yardage is down, dropping from 175.0 to 165.0 a game.
  • That last figure is perhaps surprising, given that the Giants have five fewer interceptions (11-6) and 12 fewer sacks (30-18) than they did at the midpoint of the 2008 season. The Giants also had 30 sacks halfway through the 2007 season.
  • Giants opponents are averaging 5.2 yards per play, compared to 4.6 last year.
  • In 2008, Justin Tuck was the Giants' midseason sack leader with 8.5. Mathias Kiwanuka was second with 6.0. This year, Osi Umenyiora leads with 4.0, followed by Tuck with 3.5.
  • Opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 86.3, or 16.1 points higher than last year's 70.2.
  • Last year at this time, the Giants had shown significant improvement in their red zone defense. They had allowed only five touchdowns on 14 opposing trips inside their 20-yard line, a touchdown percentage of 35.7. This season, the arrow is pointing in the other direction. The Giants have allowed 19 touchdowns in 26 opposition trips inside the 20-yard line, a 73.1 percent rate that has the Giants at the bottom of the NFL.

Here are the up-to-date stats for the Giants at the halfway point of the season.


Passing

Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
David Carr 4 97.9 15 24 62.5 172 43 7.2 1 0 7 29 7.3 4.1 1 2 11
Eli Manning 8 86.4 140 242 57.9 1855 231.9 7.7 13 8 10 40 5 4 0 8 55

Rushing

Rushing Receiving
G Rush Yds Y/G Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Y/G Avg Lng TD
Ahmad Bradshaw 8 89 476 59.5 5.3 38 4 7 69 8.6 9.9 55 0
David Carr 4 7 29 7.3 4.1 12 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brandon Jacobs 8 140 550 68.8 3.9 31 2 9 55 6.9 6.1 22 0
Gartrell Johnson 2 11 39 19.5 3.5 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Eli Manning 8 10 40 5 4 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Receiving

Receiving
G Rec Yds Y/G AVG Lng TD
Travis Beckum 5 5 35 7 7 15 0
Kevin Boss 7 17 266 38 15.6 30 1
Ahmad Bradshaw 8 7 69 8.6 9.9 55 0
Derek Hagan 6 4 26 4.3 6.5 12 0
Domenik Hixon 5 7 54 10.8 7.7 13 0
Brandon Jacobs 8 9 55 6.9 6.1 22 0
Darcy Johnson 1 3 26 26 8.7 13 0
Mario Manningham 7 28 439 62.7 15.7 49 4
Sinorice Moss 4 1 18 4.5 18 18 1
Hakeem Nicks 6 20 368 61.3 18.4 62 4
Steve Smith 8 53 662 82.8 12.5 43 4

Returns

Kickoff Returns Punt Returns
G KR YDS AVG Lng TD PR Yds Avg Lng TD
William Beatty 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Chase Blackburn 6 1 3 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ahmad Bradshaw 8 0 0 0 0 0 6 55 9.2 20 0
Kevin Dockery 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Madison Hedgecock 2 1 8 8 8 0 0 0 0 0 0
Domenik Hixon 5 17 450 26.5 68 0 7 85 12.1 27 0
Sinorice Moss 4 6 109 18.2 29 0 11 74 6.7 16 0
Hakeem Nicks 6 1 16 16 16 0 0 0 0 0 0
Danny Ware 2 2 37 18.5 20 0 0 0 0 0 0
Corey Webster 8 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 8 8 0

Punting

Punting
G Punts Yds AVG Lng In20 TB
Jeff Feagles 8 31 1238 39.9 59 14 2

Kicking

Field Goals PAT
G 0-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ FGM FGA PCT XPM XPA PCT pts
Lawrence Tynes 8 0 - 0 7 - 9 6 - 7 4 - 5 0 - 0 17 21 80.0% 23 23 100.0% 74

Defense

Sacks Interceptions Tackles
G Sacks YdsL Int Yds IntTD Solo Ast Total
Rocky Bernard 7 1 11 0 0 0 9 3 12
Chase Blackburn 6 .500 5.5 0 0 0 21 13 34
Michael Boley 3 0 0 0 0 0 12 2 14
C.C. Brown 8 0 0 0 0 0 37 4 41
Chris Canty 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2
Danny Clark 7 1 8 0 0 0 15 10 25
Barry Cofield 6 0 0 0 0 0 9 3 12
Zak DeOssie 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kevin Dockery 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2
Jonathan Goff 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Bruce Johnson 7 1 12 1 34 0 8 3 11
Michael Johnson 8 1 6 0 0 0 25 6 31
Bryan Kehl 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Mathias Kiwanuka 8 3 14 0 0 0 16 4 20
Kenny Phillips 2 0 0 2 22 0 9 4 13
Antonio Pierce 8 1 4 0 0 0 37 15 52
Fred Robbins 7 0 0 0 0 0 15 0 15
Aaron Rouse 6 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 4
Rich Seubert 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Clint Sintim 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2
Chris Snee 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Terrell Thomas 8 1 9 2 16 0 25 7 32
Dave Tollefson 7 1 9 0 0 0 3 0 3
Justin Tuck 7 3.5 17.5 0 0 0 21 5 26
Osi Umenyiora 8 4 47 0 0 0 12 5 17
Corey Webster 8 0 0 1 0 0 23 3 26
Gerris Wilkinson 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1