Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Advanced Stats: 4 Ways the Giants Offense Must Improve


Giants team President John Mara didn’t mince words when he labeled the offensive unit “broken” following a grisly 2013 season. His assessment was 100% on the money, and Big Blue Nation applauded him for speaking the unpleasant truth. Now let’s flashback and re-paint the picture… In a nutshell, the Giants of yesteryear were a concoction of middling talent, offensive line injuries and a predictable scheme. The results? 18.4 points per game (28th), 307.5 total yards per game (28th) and 83.2 rush yards per game (29th). While we readily acknowledge that stats can leave out large chunks of the story, let’s examine a four-pack of statistical measures that highlight the Giants shortcomings from a year ago. Knowledge is power!

“Green” Zone TD Percentage

47.22%, 30th in the NFL

The Giants play calling inside the red zone — best described as conservative and at times nonsensical — has long been a source of tumult for their fans. But in 2013 the personnel didn’t aid matters, and we witnessed a whole new level of futility as the Giants success rate dropped 7.52% from 2012.

Potential Fix: Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t profile as the prototypical outside receiver, but his aggressive ball skills should pay dividends inside the 20.  Rueben Randle has the size to be impactful here, but does he have the refinement?

Third-Down Conversion Rate

32.7%, 30th

Negative first down runs and QB sacks left the Giants in far too many unmanageable down and distance situations. The offensive line couldn’t block and Eli Manning frequently exacerbated their shortcomings with dreadful decision making. As a point of reference, the Giants converted at a rate of 40.62% during the 2012 season.

Potential Fix: Predictability only works for the elite. And despite their offseason improvements, the Giants are not at that level. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo possesses the creative pedigree to keep defenses off balance — it’s time to OPEN THE PLAYBOOK.

Rushing First Down Percentage

27.5%, 21st

The Giants have found success in recent seasons (prior to 2013) rolling out a pass-heavy offense. However, there’s a difference between a preference for airing it out and an outright inability to run the football. The Giants need to return to some semblance of ugly, smashmouth ball took take pressure off an aging Eli. For comparison sake, over 38% of the Eagles’ first downs were achieved via the ground game.

Potential Fix: HOPE.  As in “hope” the offensive line can open a few creases, because if they do–Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams have the patience and vision to milk yardage.

Sacked Percentage

6.59%, 16th

The Giants standing in this category isn’t abysmal per say, but when taking into account their 3.58% rate from 2012… it’s suddenly a stunning figure. They were a mash unit in the trenches and Eli was shellshocked from constant pressure. “Drive killer” was the announcing lingo of choice on too many Sunday afternoons.

Potential Fix: Justin Pugh moves to left tackle and develops a mean streak under the tutelage of newcomer Geoff Schwartz. J.D. Walton handles his business under center, and rookie Weston Richburg slides into right guard. Easy, no?

Conclusion

Fix 1: Behind solid snap count, OBJ plays with the same reckless abandon attacking the football he showed at LSU. He has Steve Smith-like talent in a bigger frame.

Fix 2: First-year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo doesn’t lose creativity in a more prominent role. Giants need a more versatile attack and less predictable, more modern playbook.

Fix 3: Run the football because it works, not because balance is an infatuation of coach Coughlin.

Fix 4: New entities on the offensive line gel quickly. Justin Pugh takes the next step as a sophomore with the responsibility of protecting Eli Manning’s blindside. Rookie Weston Richburg emerges in the summer months and takes over at RG.

The above statistical failures all go hand in hand, and all stem from the shoddy performance level of the “big uglies” up front. If you can block, you can run. If you can run, you slow the pass rush. If the pass rush slows, more manageable third down opportunities. Will the new faces on the offensive front reverse the Giants’ fortunes? They hold the keys to the Jints playoff aspirations in their wide mitts.

 

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Tags: New York Giants Stats

  • cheney2jail

    My prediction: RIchburg is not going to play tackle. There’s a decent chance that Beatty will recover his previous form.

    • Joseph Bulger

      I would have totally agreed that Beatty would stay at LT if Coughlin hadn’t left him in the last game with nothing but pride hanging in the balance just so he could break his leg. That broken leg has affected his preparation this off season, and it could be a while before his footwork and lower body strength are up to snuff. If that’s the case, then they could find one of this season’s FAs to adequately fill in, with inside protection at LG now. Or, maybe they move Pugh to LT… I for one would leave him at RT where he did a very good job, since RG is now a big a question with Snee reconstructed. As for JD Walton starting at Center, we’ll see… PFF had him rated as the worst Center in the League during is last full season in 2011, and he hasn’t played a game snap since early 2012. Did he vastly improve while not playing ball? Maybe. If he hasn’t, then JR didn’t draft the best Center in college to play Guard while his FA Center acquisition isn’t getting it done.

    • Adam Ganeles

      That should have read RG on Richburg. My apologies.. You’d be correct that he’s definitely not playing tackle.

      • cheney2jail

        Joe and Adam: Best possible scenario is keeping the top college center at center, hoping he’ll become an all-pro, letting Pugh develop where he’s had success, plugging in Schwartz at LG. I also wish Beatty hadn’t broken his leg, but it isn’t like Coughlin could pull the whole team for the last game. I’m not confident in either Snee or Beatty, but I think there’s a good chance that Beatty will be OK after a few games. I hope Snee, who has been a great player, has a year or two left in him after healing up, but I wouldn’t bet money on it. Behind Snee are Brewer and Jerry, but one of them may not have enough ability and the other has been reluctant to work. Do you think either of them will be useful?

        • Adam Ganeles

          You hit the nail on the head with Jerry. He’s always had talent, so we can cross our fingers that coaching staff can push the right buttons. Beatty was an embarrassing LT last year. $15-16 million in guaranteed money… yikes. If the Giants want their most talented O-linemen on the field, that group will include Pugh at LT and Richburg at RG. Just one man’s opinion.