Want a reason why the New York Giants have spent so many high-level resources the past three seasons trying to, in GM Jerry Reese's words "settle down" the offensive line? And why the shuffling caused by the injury to Will Beatty is so potentially devastating?
Well, look no further than the study recently completed by Pro Football Focus showing 2014 quarterback performance when pressured or not pressured.
Giants' quarterback Eli Manning is a top 10 NFL quarterback when he isn't pressured, with a +12.8 score when not facing any pressure. Manning, however, is dead last among 37 quarterbacks graded when facing pressure, with a -12.1 score. Manning, per PFF, has now been the worst quarterback in the league against pressure for two years running.
We know Manning is a stationary target. We know that Football Outsiders recently showed us that Manning didn't force a single missed tackle while pressured last season. We know from past history that more bad things than good ones tend to happen when Manning starts running around.
That's why the Giants drafted Ereck Flowers ninth overall. Why they selected Weston Richburg in the second round last season and Justin Pugh in the first round in 2012. It's why finding the right combination with Beatty sidelined for the first half of the season or more is crucial to their success in 2015.
Manning is an assassin with terrific weapons when given time. The data shows, though, that when things break down around him he is -- to put it kindly -- not very productive.