Monday, December 13, 2010
Vikings and Giants need to tackle better
By John Fisher
A statistical look at tonight's matchup in Detroit between the New York Giants and the Minnesota Vikings.
• Entering Week 14, the Vikings and Giants are 31st and 32nd in the NFL, respectively, in percentage of opponents’ passing yards gained after the catch. Minnesota has allowed 49 percent of their opponents’ passing yards to come after the catch is made, while New York is the only team in the league that has allowed more than half.
This could be trouble for the Giants, as Percy Harvin entered this week with the fifth-most YAC in the NFL among non-running backs. New York’s best performer in that area is Hakeem Nicks, who ranked behind 36 other non-running backs in YAC entering Week 14.
• Speaking of Nicks, he and fellow wideout Steve Smith are likely to play Monday, giving Eli Manning his two best targets this season. When throwing to Nicks and Smith, Manning’s passer rating is nearly 10 times higher than when he targets any other player, and his TD per attempt ratio is nearly double.
• If the Giants get close to the end zone, look for them to utilize Ahmad Bradshaw. He entered Week 14 with 14 carries in goal-to-go situations, tied for 14th in the league, and he’s scored a touchdown on six of those carries, which is good for a 42.9 percent conversion rate. That’s the fourth-best percentage among runners that entered the week with 10 such carries.
• The Vikings allow the fourth-worst passer rating when sending a defensive back to pressure the quarterback and only three teams in the league have fewer sacks when rushing a member of the secondary. Luckily for Minnesota, they don’t rush a defensive back very often.
Entering Week 14, only two teams sent secondary pressure less often than the Vikings. The good news for Vikings fans is that Eli Manning entered this week just 18th in the NFL in passer rating when facing secondary pressure.