Running the Numbers: Breaking Down the Giants' Offense

With one of the premiere wide receiver duos in the NFL, an effective three-headed running back rotation, an underrated offensive line, and a franchise quarterback playing the best football of his career, the New York Giants' offense is one of the most dominant in the league, and the numbers prove it.

7.6: Net yards-per-attempt for Giants' passing offense.

No NFL team has been more efficient through the air. Eli Manning has connected on 63.8 percent of his passes, a career-best so far. Remember, net YPA factors sacks into an offense's passing stats, and the Giants have allowed only six sacks in all of 2012, the lowest number in the league.

4.5: Yards-per-carry from all Giants running backs.

The Giants' passing efficiency has helped their running game. Despite a revolving door of Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown and David Wilson, the Giants rank seventh in the NFL in rushing efficiency. They often utilize their rushing success to set up big plays through play-action passes. Overall, the Giants own the league's second-most efficient offense.

2.6: Percentage of Eli Manning's passes that have been intercepted.

If there's one aspect of Manning's game that can be considered a weakness, it's that he still makes the occasional poor throw into tight coverage. When pressured, Manning struggles just like any other quarterback. With defenders in his face, Manning's interception rate soars to 8.3 percent.

99.5: Manning's passer rating when blitzed.

The "Catch 22" for the Cowboys this week is that, although Manning can commit costly mistakes when pressured, it's often not a great idea to blitz him. Manning is incredibly effective at reading the defense, finding his hot read, and delivering the ball before the blitz can reach him, letting playmakers like Victor Cruz catch and run with lots of green in front of them. Only two of Manning's seven interceptions have come against the blitz this year. One of the primary keys to the game will be whether or not Dallas can get pressure on Manning without sending blitzes.

53.2: Percentage of Manning's passes that have come in the middle of the field.

With Cruz playing the slot, it's no wonder Manning has looked over the middle quite often this year. Over 55 percent of his passing yards have come when throwing right into the heart of defenses. Perhaps more importantly, Manning has thrown four of his seven interceptions toward the left sideline, despite the fact that only 16.2 percent of his pass attempts have come in that area of the field. Manning's passer rating when throwing to the left is just 40.3. If there's any way the Cowboys defense can either get Manning moving to his left or bait him into throwing that way, they should do it.

1,374: Manning's passing yards minus yards-after-catch.

If you think Manning simply dumps the ball off to his playmakers and lets them do the work, think again. Manning is first in the NFL with 1,374 "air yards" (passing yards minus YAC).

97.5: Manning's passer rating when throwing to Cruz.

Cruz is currently ranked third in the NFL in receptions, fourth in yards and first in touchdowns. Even more so than Hakeem Nicks, Cruz is the biggest potential problem for the Cowboys' defense this week. Since Cruz has received more targets in the slot than anyone but Wes Welker, it's really difficult to double-team him. With Sean Lee out, the Cowboys might want to consider using just one linebacker in passing situations and giving Mike Jenkins more snaps in an effort to counter Cruz's quickness.

0: Amount of pressure allowed by Martellus Bennett.

As the Giants' No. 1 tight end, Bennett goes into far more routes than he did while with the Cowboys. Still, with 43 pass-blocking snaps under his belt, he's one of a handful of tight ends to not allow any pressure on the quarterback all season. For those who paid attention while Bennett was in Dallas, that shouldn't come as a surprise.

19: Pressures yielded by Giants right tackle Sean Locklear.

Locklear is the perfect example of why sack numbers can be extremely misleading. In 476 snaps, Locklear hasn't given up a sack. He's gotten extremely lucky, however, since he's allowed more pressures, 19, than all but three linemen in the entire NFL. Fellow offensive tackle William Beatty has yielded only 10 pressures from the more difficult left tackle position.

Since DeMarcus Ware has lined up on the right side of the Cowboys' defense on 70.4 percent of his pass rush snaps this year, Locklear will need to deal primarily with Anthony Spencer. With the Giants likely to rotate their protection to double-team Ware as they did in Week 1, expect a big day from Spencer.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising