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New York Giants’ injury dynasty comes to an end

For first time in four years, Big Blue did not lead the NFL in games lost to injury

New York Giants v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

What do those words from Football Outsiders mean, and why were they good news for the New York Giants in 2016?

AGL is “Adjusted Games Lost, and it is Football Outsiders’ way of tracking which teams are the most injury-riddled in the NFL during any individual season. From 2013-2015, the Giants were the league leaders in this rather ignominious, devastating category.

No so last season. In Ben McAdoo’s first season as head coach the Giants were among the league’s healthiest teams, seventh in overall AGL.

... you really didn't expect the New York Giants to be the league's most injured team for the fourth year in a row, did you? The AGL dynasty is over. New York finally had a healthy year, thanks in part to several new roster additions that also helped the team to its first playoff appearance since winning Super Bowl XLVI.

The Giants also, incidentally, no longer hold the AGL record for most games lost to injury in a single season. The Giants’ 2013 mark of 141.3 AGL was obliterated last season by the Chicago Bears, who totaled 155.1 AGL. No wonder the Bears went 3-13.

Why the change? Was it McAdoo taking over for Tom Coughlin? The decision to replace strength and conditioning coach Jerry Palmieri with Aaron Wellman. The revamped weight training room, along with a change in the practice schedule? Finally moving on from oft-injured players?

In all likelihood, probably some combination of all of those factors. The Giants still suffered some key injuries (Jason Pierre-Paul, Darian Thompson, Justin Pugh) but nothing like they had dealt with in previous years.

That good health played a role in their 11-5 season. Can they stay on the healthy side of the ledger again in 2017? We’ll see.

In case you’re interested, the six-year total is shown below. The Giants are at the bottom of the list.

AGL 2011-2016

Rk Team 2011 AGL 2012 AGL 2013 AGL 2014 AGL 2015 AGL 2016 AGL Total AGL
Rk Team 2011 AGL 2012 AGL 2013 AGL 2014 AGL 2015 AGL 2016 AGL Total AGL
1 PHI 21.9 73.3 33.6 48.6 52 38.4 267.8
2 CIN 51.8 63.3 43.4 71.7 28.2 35.1 293.5
3 TEN 37.7 64.5 44.6 79.7 65.2 32 323.7
4 SEA 78.6 32.9 61.8 74.8 40.1 41.1 329.3
5 BAL 18.8 57.4 49.8 52.6 96.1 60.3 335
6 NO 24.6 35.1 88.6 58 56.1 81.3 343.7
7 DEN 55.4 49.2 85.4 36.9 56.7 60.2 343.8
8 ATL 48.6 52.9 90.9 93.8 28.8 52.2 367.2
9 LARM 110 36.2 49.1 64.1 80.3 29 368.7
10 MIN 48.8 30.9 55.4 56.1 59 120.6 370.8
11 MIA 31.7 37.7 62.1 79.5 63.4 99.1 373.5
12 HOU 50.1 40.8 70.3 59.9 64.8 91.7 377.6
13 NYJ 30.4 78.7 56.6 41.5 61.6 110.5 379.3
14 DET 28 81.5 64.5 67.6 76.7 69.5 387.8
15 PIT 60.5 83.3 83.5 42.8 67.1 61.8 399
16 DAL 62.5 86.5 67.9 76.1 51.7 70.6 415.3
17 CAR 109.2 76.1 72.2 51.4 50.9 56.5 416.3
18 SF 38.4 16.2 84.2 101.8 83.9 97.5 422
19 KC 65.5 79.2 27.6 98.8 54.9 99.3 425.3
20 BUF 71 79.7 45.2 59 80.5 97.8 433.2
21 CLE 71.8 83.4 44.4 67 70.7 96.4 433.7
22 TB 51.4 56.9 86.6 87.2 75 77.5 434.6
23 ARI 86.8 72.3 64.9 72.8 62.5 77.8 437.1
24 GB 58.7 108.1 104.5 41.9 56.2 70.5 439.9
25 OAK 78 66.7 77.9 103.6 57.6 65 448.8
26 JAC 73.4 99.9 77 77.8 68.9 72.5 469.5
27 NE 97.5 74.7 99.9 62 93.3 54.5 481.9
28 CHI 54.5 31.1 62.6 101.6 92.8 155.1 497.7
29 WAS 67.5 89.4 43.9 89.5 119.1 101.5 510.9
30 IND 84.7 92.5 110.3 104.7 65.1 78.4 535.7
31 SD 72.6 49.4 94.4 119.1 88.5 127.8 551.8
32 NYG 78.3 82.7 144.6 137.1 138.7 52.4 633.8