Every NFL season generates more stats than we know what to do with. The New York Giants 2015 season is no different, and we'll be spending entirely too much time over the next few months parsing the various stats and what they mean going forward, but here are a few highlights that leave us wondering what might have been.
New York Giants
The Giants finished with 5,956 yards of offense, but they gave up 6,725 yards on defense. The Giants also secured the dubious title of worst pass defense in league history by giving up 4,783 yards through the air.
The 420 points the Giants scored in 2015 marks the fifth-highest point total in franchise history.
However, the Giants 442 points the Giants defense gave up was the second-most in league history, the most being the 501 points they allowed in 1966.
How Eli Manning played on the field in 2015 is open to debate, however, he did have (arguably) the best statistical season of his career. Eli finished with 4,436 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. That marks the second-most yards passing, the most touchdowns, and best touchdown to interception ratio in Manning's twelve year career.
His 35 touchdowns are the second most by a quarterback in a single season in Giants' history, behind only Y.A. Tittle's 36 in 1963.
And if this is Tom Coughlin's final game, Manning's 183 consecutive start streak during Coughlin's tenure marks the longest quarterback-head coach Ironman streak in NFL history.
Odell Beckham Jr.
We can, have, and will again devote entire articles to the greatness of Odell Beckham Jr. League historians might be best served to have a set of record books devoted to Beckham, and another set for everybody else.
He finished the season with 96 catches for 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns in 15 games, however the record of note (today) is 2,744 yards. That mark from Beckham gives him sole possession of the record for most yards by a receiver in their first two seasons. Despite missing the first four games of his career, and his one-game suspension this season, Beckham passed Randy Moss' total of 2,726 yards in his first 32 games.
Beckham's 13 touchdowns tie him for the most by a Giants' receiver with Homer Jones. That is one more than second place receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., who had 12 in 2014.
The Giants weren't known for their running game in 2015, except for how it was called and the exasperation it caused fans, but two Giants' running backs had career years in 2015. The first is Rashad Jennings, who finished the season with the Giants' best rushing performance of the year with 170 yards on 27 carries (6.3 yards per carry) and a touchdown. Jennings performance was so good that he had passed the Giants' previous high-water mark in the first half.
This was also the best year of the veteran running back's career. On his 195 carries, he racked up 863 yards (4.4 yards per carry) in addition to three touchdowns. That 863 yards are the most of his career, blowing past the 733 yards he ran for in 2013 as a member of the Oakland Raiders.
Shane Vereen came to the Giants in free agency to get a larger role in the offense than he had with the New England Patriots. He certainly got that, setting a career high for receptions at 59 and receiving yards at 495. He was the Giants second-most dependable receiver, finishing behind only Beckham in total receptions.
Robert Ayers Jr.
The Giants' defense was certainly a big part of why they are planning their offseason moves while other teams are preparing for the playoffs, but Robert Ayers wasn't part of the problem. In fact, Ayers was another Giant who had a career year in 2015. He hit career highs for tackles (41), sacks (9), passes defended (4), and forced fumbles (2).
Ayers was considered a "bust" when he left the Denver Broncos in 2014 to sign with the Giants in free agency, but he has blossomed since arriving in New York. Ayers was one of the league's most efficient pass rushers in 2014, and emerged as the Giants' best defensive lineman in 2015. They will need to make a decision about whether to re-sign the free agent who will be 31 at the start of the 2016 season.
Another free agent acquisition from 2014, DRC also had a terrific year in 2015. He reportedly added 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason to better play a more physical brand of football, and it showed this year. DRC finished with 60 combined tackles, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles. When he came to New York, Rodgers-Cromartie had a reputation as a "soft" player who had little interest in tackling, but this season he delivered some punishing hits.