Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Giants ineffective on both sides of the ball
By John McTigue, ESPN Stats & Info
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesThe New York Giants dropped eight spots in the ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings after two games, sitting at No. 20 after starting the season at No. 12.
Eli Manning has thrown a league-high seven interceptions this season.
The drop was warranted from a statistical standpoint, as the Giants rate as one of the worst teams in the league.
With 14 games remaining though, there’s still plenty of time to turn the season around. But to do so, the Giants will need to fix some pretty glaring problems.
The Giants have committed a league-worst 10 turnovers through the first two weeks of the season, including seven interceptions by Eli Manning. No other quarterback has more than four interceptions this season.
Manning’s success has varied by targeted receiver. He has thrown one interception when targeting Victor Cruz, Brandon Myers and Hakeem Nicks this season, his three most targeted receivers so far.
That leaves Manning with six interceptions when throwing to all other Giants, including four when targeting Rueben Randle (three in Week 2).
Manning’s interceptions have even come on the simplest of plays. Two of Manning’s Week 1 interceptions came on screen passes. Only four quarterbacks have had multiple interceptions on screens in the last five seasons combined.
No run game
The Giants have run the ball 33 times this season for a league-low 73 yards (2.2 yards per rush, also the lowest).
Although the offensive line has struggled, the running back situation hasn’t helped. The Giants are one of three teams in the NFL to average less than one yard after contact on rushes this season.
David Wilson was supposed to be the answer for the Giants' running game, but with two fumbles on 14 rushes, he’s seen the field on only 34 percent of the Giants’ snaps.
No pass rush
New York allowed 77 points in their first two games this season, worst in the NFL. Last season, the Giants didn't allow their 77th point until their fifth game.
A big reason for the defensive struggles is a lack of pass rush, once the calling card of the Giants' defense.
They have relied heavily on a four-man pass rush in recent years. In the last three seasons, nearly 70 percent of their pass rushes have come on such pressure.
This season, the Giants have recorded a sack 2.9 percent of the time when sending four or fewer rushers. In the 2011 Super Bowl season that rate was 7.3 percent.