Written by: Glenn Warciski
10 wins. (Last time Giants won 10 games: 2010)
Winners of 8 out of their last nine games. (Last time 2008)
It was not a pretty win but style points do not count. The Giants took care of business by beating a quality opponent who has a top notch quarterback.
This 2016 Giants team reminds me of the 1997 Giants team in many ways. We wrote about this in the beginning of the season. In 1997, the Giants hired an offensive guru named Jim Fassel. As we know, the Giants named an offensive guru named Ben McAdoo earlier this year to replace Tom Coughlin. Despite having offensive minded head coaches in 1997 and this year, the Giants are winning with defense and not offense. The storyline for this year is defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. He has his defensive unit playing very well. Another game and another opponent are held to single digit points. Last week, Dallas mustered 7 points and this week the Lions with 6 points. This is amazing because the NFL is a wide open passing league with teams able to score points at will.
In summary, please credit the Giants success to Spagnuolo. The free agent signings plus the young players on this defense has made a difference. He is the one responsible for making this happen. As we wrote last week, the team is buying in to Spags way of doing things. Needless to say, it has manifested itself on the playing field. The Giants run defense is stellar. They are holding opponents to 90.1 yards per game which ranks 5th overall in the NFL. And the pass defense is coming along. For the second straight week, the Giants defense DID NOT allow a tight end to eviscerate them. Lions TE Ebron was held in check catching 4 balls for 36 yards.
1997 New York Football Giants
|Points For||Points against|
2016 New York Football Giants
|Points For||Points against|
The Giants could have distanced themselves and scored more points. Running back Shane Vereen fumbled on the Detroit 5 yard line. The ball was recovered by the Giants. But Giants OL Bobby Hart was called for holding. This negated the big play by Vereen. On the play, Vereen got hurt. As of today, he has a triceps injury which may keep him out the remainder of the season. In addition, Eli missed OBJ for a long gain. This could have resulted in more points. In other words, despite putting up 17 points, the Giants are very slowly making offensive progress. The run game is much better; look at Paul Perkins statistics. 11 rushes for 56 yards this is 5.1 yards per rush. We believe Perkins should be the main running back. Compare Perkins stats to Jennings. Jennings rushed for 38 yards on 18 carries. This is 2.1 yards per attempt. Motown noticed on the All 22 Jennings has poor vision. He stutters and does not hit a hole.
Despite having a punt partially blocked, Brad Wing is having a sensational year. I believe he is All-Pro. He leads the NFL with 19 punts inside the 20 yard line. He has a net average of 41 which is 10th in the NFL. If he keeps this up, he will set a new record for the Giants eclipsing Jeff Feagles mark of 40.2 net average. What is net average? The total yards that a punt gains for a certain team after the return is factored in. A team with a good net average is maximizing the value of its punter by limiting the other team’s ability to return the football for extra yards. Another element to net average is touchbacks.
The Giants were 2 for 2 in the red zone. They are 12th in the NFL scoring touchdowns 60 percent of the time. As Pete wrote about in the preseason, WR Sterling Shepard is a red zone threat. Again, he caught a red zone touchdown pass against the Lions. As per above video, so did OBJ. One handed style.
After getting off to a slow start with accumulating sacks, the Giants have 31 on the season. Against the Lions, they were able to put pressure on Stafford, but they recorded only one sack. Vernon and Hankins were each credited with one-half sack. On the year, Vernon has 8.5 sacks which lead the Giants. We believed Vernon needed to have 12 to 15 sacks to be a game changer on this defense. He has played well but not at All-Pro level. He has two more games left.
With a short week, the Giants head to Philadelphia to play on Thursday Night. With a win, they are in the playoffs. And we can put the last three miserable seasons behind us.