A 1-2 start might not be particularly surprising for some fans of the New York Giants. However, how the Giants have arrived at their record heading into Week 4 certainly has been a surprise.
The Giants have struggled on offense and defense over the first three weeks of the season, leading to some all-too-familiar concerns and complaints.
We asked whether the lack of a pass rush or the lack of offensive production was of greater concern to fans for this week’s ‘SB Nation Reacts’ poll.
As it turns out, the Giants’ lack of a pass rush is more concerning for 70 percent of Giants’ fans.
The Giants’ defense has allowed an average of 32.7 (we can call that 33) points per game this year (third-most in the NFL, per ProFootballReference). Meanwhile, they’re one of two teams without a takeaway, have the second-fewest sacks (2), are last in the NFL in hurries and hurry rate, are 30th in pressures (16), and 28th in pressure rate (16.7 percent).
All while blitzing on 53.1 percent of opponent drop backs (2nd).
There news isn’t all bad on this front, and there’s some evidence that the sacks will come for the Giants.
The Giants currently have ESPN’s fifth-highest pass rush win rate, with their rushers beating opposing blockers in 2.5 seconds or less on 54 percent of their pass rushes. Individually, Dexter Lawrence II ranks eighth in pass rush win rate (20 percent) among defensive tackles despite being double-teamed 62 percent of the time. Leonard Williams, meanwhile, ranks 12th with a 17 percent win rate (he’s seen double teams on 39 percent of his rushes).
Collectively, the Giants are fourth in QB Knockdown Rate, knocking the QB on 12.9 percent of pass attempts.
Taken as a whole, all of this suggests that Giants’ pass rush is beating it’s blockers quickly, but not quickly enough to apply pressure or get sacks before the quarterback has thrown the ball.
Opposing offenses know the Giants are going to bring pressure, and there’s been a trend to get the ball out quickly. In week one, Dak Prescott averaged a 2.37 second time-to-throw (per NextGenStats), while Josh Dobbs averaged 2.85 seconds in Week 2, and Brock Purdy averaged 2.34 seconds in Week 3.
Not only do the Giants’ pass rushers need to do a better job of finishing their rushes, but the defense as a whole needs to figure out a way to give them more time.
SB Nation Reacts has also kept track of Giants’ fans confidence in their team.
Confidence has dropped from 74 percent following the Week 2 win to 56 percent heading into Monday Night Football against the 49ers.
Expectations were high for the Giants heading into the 2023 season, and the majority of Giants fans are still confident that the team is heading in the right direction. However, it’s undeniable that the way in which the team has started the season has tempered those expectations and eroded confidence.
The Giants’ looming game against the Seattle Seahawks has already been called a “Must Win” with games against the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, and Washington Commanders looming. And a win Monday night would certainly restore a lot of fans’ confidence in the team.
Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in New York Giants fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly e-mailed surveys.