Regular readers know how deeply we care about numbers here on the B/R NFC East Blog, which is why we try to check in on each of the division's four teams as often as possible from strictly a statistical perspective.
Here's a look at some of the key stats that tell the story of the New York Giants' season with three weeks remaining...
28.7: That's how many points the Giants are averaging on offense per game this season, which is up significantly from 24.7 last season. The defense has also improved significantly in this area, with their points-allowed-per-game average dropping from 25.0 to 20.8.
What's strange is that while they allowed more points than they scored last year, their current winning percentage is lower than it was during the 2011 regular season. Considering that they're also second in the league in turnover ratio, this is an indication that the breaks haven't been on New York's side.
But they've also been arguably less consistent this season. They've lost six times in 13 games, but their four biggest wins have come by an average of 26.3 points, the lowest margin being 23. Last year, they didn't beat a single opponent by more than 17 points, and their four biggest wins came by an average of 14.3 points.
So their overall numbers might be inflated by those four big games, but the other nine haven't been too special. With no margin for error left, that's scary.
11: That's how many passes of 40 yards or more the Giants have surrendered on defense this year, which means one every 1.2 games. Last year, they surrendered only one 40-yard completion every 2.2 games, which means they're giving up nearly twice as many deep passes as they were when they struggled with pass defense in 2011.
This is probably their biggest problem. Part of the blame goes to "top corner" Corey Webster, who according to Pro Football Focus, has given up more yards in coverage than all but two NFL corners this season. But part of it falls on the inconsistent pass rush.
One year after finishing third in the NFL with 48 sacks, the Giants are on pace to register just 38 this season. They're getting just as much pressure as they did last year (in fact, their pressures-per-game number is up from 15.6 to 15.7, per PFF), but they aren't closing as well.
For the Giants to succeed in January, that might have to change.
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