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Giants dominate: stats with some perspective

Here’s my problem with stats, so often they don’t tell the whole story. Quantitative vs Qualitative performances… the debate will always surface around tough games like today’s but its important to step back and look at stats that actually mean something when you can.

I like stats that tell a larger story, particularly when it comes to the Giants. Overall I expected the Gmen to dominate this matchup, and they really did. The final score does not indicate it, but these stats do.

So let’s lead off with a warm homemade biscuit:

1) For 96.6% of the game, the Redskin offense was denied a touchdown. That means for 58 minutes, the Giants held the Redskins offensive unit to a field goal… that is purely DOMINANT defensive play from the Giants. The fake field goal score is unfortunate, but chalk that up as a special teams miscue. Yes a score is a score, but I find it hard to believe that here in the NFC East, a fake field goal is what you have to rely on to get some points up on the board. I’m sure Jim Zorn would agree, it just hard to feel good about that one. As for the desperation drive ending in the TD inside the game’s final moments — it might make Jason Campbell’s numbers look a bit better, but the first 58 minutes of tape, that is 96.6% of the game — it was all about the Giants creating lots and lots of problems for the Redskins. If you watched it was never truly a close game, and that’s what will be remembered in the end.

2) Clinton Portis: 62 yds, 0 TD. Now let’s quickly unpack that 62 yards… Portis ran for 34 yards on the first play of the opening drive for the Skins. He amassed only 28 more yards after for the rest of the game, ending with 62 yards on the ground and no scores. Betts ended his night rushing in the red with -1 yard rushing due to an impressive stuff courtesy of all-pro Justin Tuck. The lesson here is this: the Giants can obviously clamp right down on Washington’s rushing attack. While other teams can’t figure out how to stop Portis, the Giants are consistently able to shut him down. Great work as usual by the Giants… some notables include Chase Blackburn, Justin Tuck, and Antonio Pierce.

3) Albert Haynesworth: 4 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 INT, 0 Fumbles. Now I’m not a financial adviser, but paying Haynesworth $224,000 to make 4 tackles, record no sacks, leave early with an injury administered by Brandon Jacobs, then comeback and make no impact whatsoever in a losing effort to a division rival…. that is not what I would call return on investment. And of course, Big Al’s lack of impact is particularly interesting given the fact that he talked smack all last week about how easy knocking down the over-hyped lightweight Brandon Jacobs would be… but it was Haynesworth who left with the injury in the second quarter, not Jacobs. Aside from that one glorious play, the Giants were able run outside when asked – both Bradshaw and Jacobs had nice back to back scampers to the outside. The offensive line only gave up one sack, and there was really minimal pressure on Manning for most of the game.

4) Giants go 0/3 in Red Zone. This is a problematic stat… the Giants led the NFL in Red Zone appearances last year and yet this has been a familiar concern – unable to get the ball in the endzone. Kevin Gilbride, the Giants offensive coordinator, does a great job getting the Giants into scoring opportunities. He does… he has really balanced out his calls and the Giants look great overall. But it seems like once they’re down there in the Red Zone, things fall apart. Runs on 2nd and 2 don’t get executed…. ditto for 3rd and 1… and once again it’s field goal time. Can’t the Giants continue calling slants, crosses, screens, and play action passes in the Red Zone? Why does it become a run run run game plan inside the 20? I mean they drafted 6’6″ Ramses Barden who hasn’t yet made an appearance inside the Zone… he’s a perfect candidate for that Superbowl winning fade at that height… what are they waiting for?! It’s truly a mystery to me why the offense falls apart as soon as they get inside the 20, but it starts with the plays called and the lack of production for scores is a HUGE problem area that has Kevin “Killdrive” Gilbride earning his namesake. Let’s hope they can work on some Red Zone options for next week’s opposition… the Cowboys. Might I suggest a bootleg toss to the Boss?

5) Jeff Feagles only recorded one punt. This is encouraging news, Feagles didn’t have to attempt a punt until the second half. That means the Giants offense was consistently successful in moving the ball, everyone was largely in rhythm, they had success converting 3rd downs, and the Giants were in full control of the game. It also means the Giants completely wore out that Redskins Defense which was not able to pressure Eli Manning consistently, and even though some mistakes were made the Giants were able to dominate for the majority of the game. I mean I honestly can’t remember the last time the Giants didn’t have at least one 3-and-out in the first half, can you?

I’m left satisfied and encouraged by this game. I know there are some things the Giants need to work on but overall this team has a great foundation, and I look forward to a successful year from the Giants.

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5 Responses to “Giants dominate: stats with some perspective”

  1. Jason C. says:

    Why hate on Haynesworth and then mention the Giants inability to pick up 3rd/4th and 1 inside the 20? Haynesworth is the ONLY reason those plays didn’t go anywhere, and I for one am happy we don’t have to play against him every week, because I think we’ll be fine on that for the most part this year.
    Also what’s with the no call on the facemask takedown of Eli Manning, his head was spinning like Linda Blair in the Excorcist, (also this led to a fumble which left Washington in a good position to score) refs missed a helmet smack on Aaron Rodgers in the night game as well, looks like they’re not looking to protect those QB’s this year…

  2. Jason C-

    I completely agree about the facemask on Eli

    I don’t think he fumbles otherwise…

    In the Bears-Packers game the refs called a phantom illegal contact on the Packers after the Bears missed a 3rd and 8 conversion that almost cost the Packers the game.

    Hopefully we’ll see better officiating as the season progresses.

  3. Andrew Ilnicki says:

    Heres the deal, Eli was facemasked and yanked to the ground, Coughlin knew it and threw a fit.

    With Albert Haynesworth, he was LARGELY ineffective…. the Giants have had issues picking up short yardages the last few years on those exact plays run and it has nothing to do with Haynesworth.

    If you want to go there — I’ve rewatched that 4th and 1 several times and actually Jacobs did get that first down and the ball was spotted short. But besides that argument, lets go with something that speaks to the greater issue — lack of creativity in the red zone. Why not peel off Boss on a bump and run from the same exact formation and go for a score on one of those downs? Or why not fade it to the back corner with Barden? You see it’s not due to Haynesworth they didnt get in the endzone, it was UBER-conservative, predictable, unproductive, and all-too familiar play calling in those situations that needs to change.

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  5. Russo757 says:

    I cant agree more. If I can call the plays from my couch the other team damn sure knows whats coming. THe play action used in the redzone worked when we used it last year. The D bites on the run from jacobs leaving boss or the slant wide open. And for god sakes, if u are going to run it, run away from the 100million dollar D line guy..not right at him. Dumb play calling. Gilbride needs to get it together or start working on his resume

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