Giant Stars At The Jets Game And A Look Way Forward Mock Draft

A tough Giant loss to the neighboring Gang Green team.  However there were some stars to the game on the Giants. Here are the stars and some of their impressive accomplishments this season.

Daniel Jones had four touchdown passes in the game against the Jets. That is his second game of 4 touchdown passes for the year. He joins only four other rookie quarterbacks to ever have 2+ games with  4+ passing touchdowns in their rookie season. Here is the group.

Update: Also Daniel Jones is just one of six rookie quarterbacks who were 22 years old or less that had 3+ three hundred yard passing games in their rookie season. Here they are by number of games.

Darius Slayton is one of only ten rookie wide receivers since 2011 that have 5+ receiving touchdowns and 390+ receiving yards in their first eight games. Slayton and Martavius Bryant are the only two on the list chosen on day three of the draft.

 

Since Golden Tate started in week five, he is one of only six wide receivers in the league to have 3+ receiving touchdowns, 415+ receiving yards, 65% + catch rate and 12+ yards per reception.

 

Markus Golden is one of only seven players this season to have 6+ sacks, 15+ quarterback hits, 7+ tackles for loss and 20+ solo tackles.

 

In that group Golden has the second most tackles (43) and the lowest number of missed tackles (2). His 4.4% missed tackle percentage is the lowest in the group.

Some bright spots in a dismal season. Looking way forward here is a fanspeak mock draft I ran on 11/10. At the time the Giants had the sixth pick. They have since moved up to the third pick. But I kept this one to highlight some good players. In the more recent runs Edge rusher Chase Young is available and would be tough to pass on at three. (Note: I pick what players are available by the simulation. Some of these players should not be available so late).

6: R1P6 OT,  ANDREW THOMAS, GEORGIA

Georgia has allowed just four sacks all season, tied for tops nationally with Air Force. None of those have been charged to Thomas. Thomas has allowed just four sacks in his career and multiple pressures in just three contests in 2017. Thomas has allowed zero sacks and only three hurries in 372 snaps this season. He was named to the Sports Illustrated and CBS 2018 All American Team and was on the 2017 ESPN All Freshman All American Team. He is a dedicated hard-working intelligent player that quietly does his job.

Five of the top nine teams in offensive 1st downs per game are the top five teams with the most 1st round offensive linemen with three or four first rounders on the line. Those teams are Atlanta (4), Seattle (4), Dallas (3), Indianapolis (3) and San Francisco (3). Five of the bottom nine teams have one or zero first round linemen.

Protect our new quarterback! The Giants have two first round draft picks on their offensive line. Both were made by other teams.

38: R2P6 LB,   KENNETH MURRAY, OKLAHOMA

One of 12 semi-finalists for the 2019 Butkus Award given to the top linebacker. Murray is a three-down linebacker as he is good in coverage. Murray is one of only two FBS players that have 140+ solo tackles, 25+ tackles for loss and 8+ sacks over the last three seasons. His 71 solo tackles in 2018 was good for seventh among 2020 draft eligible players and was a 13% team market share. An 11% solo tackle team market share for a linebacker is indicative of a potential All-Pro to Pro Bowl player since the 1989 NFL draft class.

The five teams with the most first and second round starting linebackers (three) are all in the top eleven teams in low average receiving yards per reception. Those teams are Carolina, Chicago, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Washington. Of the five teams with the highest average receiving yards per reception four have zero linebackers picked in the first two rounds starting. They are starting at the worst the Bengals, Raiders, Giants, Dolphins. Then comes the Packers with one linebacker chosen in the first two rounds.

It has been over 10 years since the Giants selected a linebacker in the first three rounds. They selected Clint Sintim in round two in 2009.

98: R3P34 WR,   TYLER JOHNSON, MINNESOTA

Tyler Johnson had 1,169 receiving yards in 2018 for a 43% team market share. 95% of all All-Pro players reached this level of market share production since 1969. So far in 2019 he has 730 receiving yards and a 34% team market share. 95% of 5-Time Pro Bowl players reached this level of market share production since 1969. Johnson was eighth in the NCAA in receiving touchdowns in 2018 with 12. As reported by Pro Football Focus, among the 125 Power 5 wide-outs with 25 or more routes run in the red zone in 2018, Johnson ranked second behind Clemson’s Tee Higgins in receiving grade (89.7).

I could see no correlation between the number of first three round receivers on a team roster and team production. The three teams with the most receivers from rounds 1-3 are Cowboys (5), Eagles (4) and 49ers (4). The majority of teams have 3 or 2. The Giants have three Latimer, Shepard and Tate. There are eight teams with only one and none with zero.

The Giants last first three round wide receiver picks were Sterling Shepard in round two of 2016 and Odell Beckham in round one of 2014.

112: R4P6  EDGE,  ALTON ROBINSON,   SYRACUSE

Robinson was one of only nine players in 2018 that had 10+ sacks, 15+ tackles for loss and 30+ solo tackles.  Future Giant teammate Oshane Ximines was one of the other nine.

Giants continue a trend being the third straight year they pick an edge rusher in the top four rounds. Last year was Ximines and the year before Lorenzo Carter both third round picks.

150: R5P6,  QB ANTHONY GORDON,  WASHINGTON STATE

Gordon, a one year starter, is number one in the NCAA in passing yards (3,794) and passing touchdowns (34). John Burrow who is second in passing yards is 600 yards less. He is sixth in completion percentage (71%). His touchdown to interception ratio is 3.4. Gordon sat behind Garner Minshew last year. The Giants can use a good backup quarterback.

184: R6P6,  LB EVAN WEAVER,  CALIFORNIA

Weaver had 15.9% of his team’s solo tackle market share in 2018. Nine games into the 2019 season Weaver had 20.1% of his team’s solo tackles. Those numbers have been indicative of a potential All-Pro to Pro Bowl player since the 1989 NFL draft class.

219: R7P6, LB CHAZZ SURRATT,  NORTH CAROLINA

In 2017 Surratt was the starting quarterback for the first six games as a freshman. He threw for 1,342 yards and had a 131.2 passer rating. He switched to linebacker for the 2019 season.  In 2019 he has 49 solo tackles good for a 13.6% team market share and the most on the team. Surratt earned ACC Player of the Week Honors in a 20-17  victory over Duke. He led the team with 12 tackles and sealed the victory with an interception at the goal line with just seconds remaining. He also had a sack in the game.

243: R7P30,  S, ASHTYN DAVIS, CALIFORNIA

Davis is one of the best high-hurdlers in the nation. The track star is also a talented safety. He had four interceptions in 2018. His average kick-off return yards of 26.2 was second in the Pac-12 and he returned one for a touchdown.

247: R7P34,  EDGE MIKE DANNA,  MICHIGAN

Danna had 8.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and 36 solo tackles in 2018. From a team market share view that was good for 6.7% solo tackles, 18.3% tackles for loss and 35.4% sacks. Those are   numbers indicative of a potential All-Pro to Pro Bowl player since the 1989 NFL draft class.  Going into the 2019 season Pro Football Focus had this to say about Danna – “Over the past two seasons, Danna has won 24.3% of his pass-rushes, the second-highest rate in the nation.”

253: R7P40,  EDGE ALEX HIGHSMITH,  CHARLOTTE

Ten games thru the 2019 season Highsmith has 9.5 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss and 30 solo tackles. Those numbers amount to a team market share of 8.2% solo tackles, 23.5% tackles for loss and 33.8% sacks. Like Danna those numbers are indicative of a potential All-Pro to Pro Bowl player.

255: R7P42, S ANTOINE BROOKS JR.,  MARYLAND

Brooks is reportedly a sure tackler against the run and has developed into an excellent blitzer off the edge.  His 59 solo tackles is number one in the Big Ten and his five passes defended is number nine. He has four interceptions over the last three seasons. Brooks was voted Second Team All-Big Ten by coaches last season.

Enjoy the Giant’s bye week!

Daniel Jones’ Midway Point And The State of The Giants

The  season is at the midway point for Daniel Jones. He has started seven games and has seven remaining. Many are of the impression the Giants are a disaster. Many say the coach should be fired and players should have been traded.

The Giants are 2-7. They have the 27th ranked point differential of -79 points. They are 31st in points allowed with Miami last at only one more point allowed.  The Giants have a league high 22 turnovers lost and are 30th in turnover margin (-10).  They are 31st in opponent total yards allowed.  The Giants are 30th in first half score differential with -58.

Lets look at the Giant games since Daniel Jones started in week three. Here is a synopsis of the games.

Tampa Bay 32-31 (W)

Down by 18 points going into the third quarter, Jones opens the third quarter with a short pass to Evan Engram that goes 75 yards for a touchdown. The next Giant drive Jones leads drive down the field which includes a deep pass to Layton for 46 yards. The drive ends in another touchdown to pull with three points. After the Buccaneers increase the lead to 6 points by a field goal with 6 minutes remaining. The Giants get the ball at the Giants 25 with 3:16 remaining down 31-25. Jones completes five consecutive passes to drive down to the Tampa 7 yard line. After two incompletions Jones runs it in the seven yards for the touchdown and his first fourth quarter comeback. Daniel Jones was 23 of 36 for 336 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions and a 112.7 quarterback rating. He had two fumbles.

Washington 24-3 (W)

A game dominated throughout by the Giants. Jones was 23 of 31 for 225 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Defensively the Giants had four interceptions and eight quarterback hits.

Minnesota 28-10 (L)

The Giants were just Outplayed. Quarterback Kirk Cousins had 306 passing yards and a 138.5 quarterback rating. On top of that Dalvin Cook rushed for 132 yards and had 86 receiving yards. Adan Thielen had 130 receiving yards. Daniel Jones was 21 of 38, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, four sacks and with a 65.9 quarterback rating.

New England 35-14 (L)

This game was much closer than the final score indicates. Playing the undefeated Patriots the Giants managed to keep it to a one-score game up to 8:43 remaining in the fourth quarter. Then a fumble by running back Jon Hilliman was returned for a Patriot touchdown. This year only the Bills and the Ravens had a better showing against the Patriots. The much maligned Giants defense kept them in most of the game. Daniel Jones had a rough day being 15 of 31 for 151 yards, 1 touchdown and three interceptions. He had a career low quarterback rating of 35.2. Golden Tate had six receptions for 102 yards and an 8.5 yards after the catch average. The Giants defense pressured Brady getting three sacks, two hits, one interception and two fumbles.

Arizona 27-21 (L)

After Arizona went up 17-0 by the start of the second quarter the Giants came back to pull within three points at 24-21 with eight minutes remaining. That three point difference remained until 2:31 remained when the Cardinals scored a field goal to eventually win at 27-21. Daniel Jones was sacked a career high eight times. It is in a five way tie for the second most sacks on a quarterback this season.

Detroit 31-26

After going down 14-0 in the first quarter the Giants battled back to pull within five points for a 31-26 score with 1:23 remaining. The on-side kick failed and the Giants lost. Daniel Jones was 28 of 41 for 322 yards, four touchdowns, zero interceptions, one fumble lost and a 124.2 quarterback rating. the Giants had four sacks on Matthew Stafford.

Dallas 37-18

The Giants pulled to within five points of Dallas  with 12 minutes to play and remained a five point game until 8 minutes remained. Golden Tate caught all six of his targets including a spectacular one handed catch for 17 yards on 3 and 14. That set up the Giants sole touchdown.  Safety Antoine Bethea had an interception and a fumble recovery in addition to a pass breakup and nine tackles. Safety Jabrill Peppers had 12 tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble. Cody Latimer had a fifty yard kick return and averaged 30 yards on six returns.

Except for the Viking game the Giants played a close competitive game in all their other losses. Plus they had the two wins. Those competitive losses were against some good teams such as the Patriots and Dallas.

Daniel Jones is a competitive, tough quarterback who does not give up on a play or a game no matter how much down, how much hit, or how much yards to go. That is a great characteristic that needs to be developed with better ball protection. Over the last ten seasons among rookie quarterbacks that started at least seven games, Daniel Jones has the highest average of turnovers per game with a 2.13.  The next best quarterback with a high average of turnovers is Andrew Luck who comes in at fourth with a 1.63 average. Here is a table of the quarterbacks over the last ten seasons sorted by descending turnovers per game.

Player Year Age Draft Tm G GS TD Int Pick6 TD% Int% Fmb FR TO TO/G
Daniel Jones 2019 22 1-6 NYG 8 7 11 8 4.3 3.11 10 1 17 2.13
DeShone Kizer 2017 21 2-52 CLE 15 15 11 22 2.3 4.62 9 2 29 1.93
Christian Ponder 2011 23 1-12 MIN 11 10 13 13 3 4.5 4.47 6 0 19 1.73
Andrew Luck 2012 23 1-1 IND 16 16 23 18 3 3.7 2.87 10 2 26 1.63
Geno Smith 2013 23 2-39 NYJ 16 16 12 21 5 2.7 4.74 8 3 26 1.63
Jared Goff 2016 22 1-1 LAR 7 7 5 7 1 2.4 3.41 5 1 11 1.57
Gardner Minshew 2019 23 6-178 JAX 9 8 13 4 4.2 1.3 11 1 14 1.56
Josh Allen 2018 22 1-7 BUF 12 11 10 12 1 3.1 3.75 8 2 18 1.50
Blake Bortles 2014 22 1-3 JAX 14 13 11 17 4 2.3 3.58 7 3 21 1.50
Marcus Mariota 2015 22 1-2 TEN 12 12 19 10 2 5.1 2.7 10 3 17 1.42
Blaine Gabbert 2011 22 1-10 JAX 15 14 12 11 2.9 2.66 14 4 21 1.40
Brandon Weeden 2012 29 1-22 CLE 15 15 14 17 2 2.7 3.29 6 2 21 1.40
Sam Darnold 2018 21 1-3 NYJ 13 13 17 15 2 4.1 3.62 5 2 18 1.38
Nick Mullens 2018 23 SFO 8 8 13 10 2 4.7 3.65 2 1 11 1.38
Baker Mayfield 2018 23 1-1 CLE 14 13 27 14 2 5.6 2.88 7 2 19 1.36
Carson Wentz 2016 24 1-2 PHI 16 16 16 14 2.6 2.31 14 7 21 1.31
Ryan Tannehill 2012 24 1-8 MIA 16 16 12 13 2 2.5 2.69 9 1 21 1.31
EJ Manuel 2013 23 1-16 BUF 10 10 11 9 3.6 2.94 6 2 13 1.30
Josh Rosen 2018 21 1-10 ARI 14 13 11 14 4 2.8 3.56 10 7 17 1.21
Cam Newton 2011 22 1-1 CAR 16 16 21 17 1 4.1 3.29 5 3 19 1.19
Sam Bradford 2010 23 1-1 STL 16 16 18 15 2 3.1 2.54 7 3 19 1.19
Jimmy Clausen 2010 23 2-48 CAR 13 10 3 9 2 1 3.01 9 3 15 1.15
Andy Dalton 2011 24 2-35 CIN 16 16 20 13 1 3.9 2.52 5 0 18 1.13
Derek Carr 2014 23 2-36 OAK 16 16 21 12 1 3.5 2 10 4 18 1.13
Colt McCoy 2010 24 3-85 CLE 8 8 6 9 2.7 4.05 1 1 9 1.13
Teddy Bridgewater 2014 22 1-32 MIN 13 12 14 12 3.5 2.99 3 1 14 1.08
Jameis Winston 2015 21 1-1 TAM 16 16 22 15 2 4.1 2.8 6 4 17 1.06
Mike Glennon 2013 24 3-73 TAM 13 13 19 9 4.6 2.16 7 3 13 1.00
Mitchell Trubisky 2017 23 1-2 CHI 12 12 7 7 2.1 2.12 10 6 11 0.92
Robert Griffin 2012 22 1-2 WAS 15 15 20 5 5.1 1.27 12 4 13 0.87
Russell Wilson 2012 24 3-75 SEA 16 16 26 10 1 6.6 2.54 6 3 13 0.81
Dak Prescott 2016 23 4-135 DAL 16 16 23 4 5 0.87 9 3 10 0.63
Lamar Jackson 2018 21 1-32 BAL 16 7 6 3 3.5 1.76 12 5 10 0.63
Cody Kessler 2016 23 3-93 CLE 9 8 6 2 3.1 1.03 4 2 4 0.44
Kyler Murray 2019 22 1-1 ARI 9 9 9 4 2.8 1.27 2 2 4 0.44

Correcting Daniel Jones turnovers should be one of the top priorities of coach Shurmur. An improvement in this area should be enough to turn those close games into wins and solidify Shurmur’s position for 2020. In fact improving this area with Jones is enough to keep Shurmur irregardless of the wins.

On defense the top priority should be to limit the passing big play. The Giants are in a three way tie for last in 40+ passing plays by the opponent with 11 allowed. They are 27th in 20+ passing plays allowed per game with 4.22. They have to play tighter and tackle better. The players of Jabrill Peppers, Deandre Baker, Grant Haley, Alec Ogletree and David Mayo give up on average 5 yards after the catch. Safety Antoine Bethea gives up an average 10 yards after the catch.

Player Pos Int Tgt Cmp Cmp% Yds Yds/Cmp Yds/Tgt Rat YAC MTkl MTkl% YAC / Cmp
Michael Thomas 0 12 10 83.3% 118 11.8 9.8 147.2 19 0 0.0% 1.9
Janoris Jenkins CB 4 55 30 54.5% 400 13.3 7.3 65.7 67 7 15.6% 2.2
Jabrill Peppers S 1 33 21 63.6% 218 10.4 6.6 70 96 10 13.3% 4.6
Deandre Baker CB 0 47 33 70.2% 505 15.3 10.7 133.7 153 5 11.9% 4.6
Grant Haley cb 0 33 27 81.8% 293 10.9 8.9 113.8 126 3 7.5% 4.7
Alec Ogletree LB 0 23 21 91.3% 153 7.3 6.7 108.9 110 6 11.8% 5.2
David Mayo LB 0 12 9 75.0% 83 9.2 6.9 93.4 54 4 9.8% 6.0
Corey Ballentine 0 7 4 57.1% 32 8 4.6 68.7 25 0 0.0% 6.3
Nathan Stupar lb 0 4 4 100.0% 37 9.3 9.3 105.2 25 1 25.0% 6.3
Antoine Bethea S 1 14 12 85.7% 278 23.2 19.9 128.6 121 6 8.2% 10.1

The Giants are 31st in opponent yards per pass attempt with 8.4 yards per attempt. The average depth of target for the league is eight yards. The average for the Giants last seven opponents was 9.5 yards. Four of the opponents average depth of target were over 10 yards – Tampa (13), Washington (11.3), Detroit (12.2) and Dallas (10.3).  Until the Giants can tighten up that back-end coverage teams will continue to take deep shots at them.

The Giants are not as bad as their record indicates. They have some games on the schedule that they should win – Jets, Redskins and Dolphins. The Bears game is another I give them a good chance in. The goal should be to correct the turnovers and shore up the deep coverage. If they can improve those two areas they can definitely get to 6-10 and maybe better.

Enjoy the week 10 games !

Snoopy Bowl

The Giants vs Jets games have been referred to as the Snoopy Bowl. This goes back to being MetLife Stadium and MetLife used to use Snoopy in their commercials.

Pressure

The Jets blitz on 40.9% of dropbacks. That is third most in the league. However Daniel Jones has already faced the Cardinals (40.9%) and the Buccaneers (51.6%) who blitz at the highest percentage. Against the Buccaneers  on plays the Buccaneers brought pressure, Jones finished with a passer rating of 133.1, according to Pro Football Focus. Jones completed 73.7% of his pressured attempts at 12.8 yards a clip for a 133.1 passer rating.  The Buccaneers have more formidable pass rushers than the Jets. Tampa Bays rushers and their year to data pressures are Shaquil Barrett (24), Vita Vea (14), Carl Nassib (13), Ndamukong Suh (12), Lavonte David (10) and William Golston (10).  The Jets players start showing up at eight pressures with Neville Hewitt and Jordan Jenkins.

It is interesting to note that for all their blitzing the Buccaneers only had a pressure on 23.2% of dropbacks and the Jets on only 20.7%. The Giants blitz at a rate of 27.7% but had a higher pressure percentage with 23.3%. A pressure is defined as a hurry, knockdown or sack.

Quarterbacks

For 2019 Daniel Jones is having a better year than Sam Darnold. Here is a stat comparison for their 2019 seasons. The better data is highlighted in yellow.

Player GS QBrec Cmp% TD%
Int% Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G S Rate QBR NY/A ANY/A Sk% 4QC GWD
Daniel Jones 7 2-5-0 62.6 4.3 3.1 6.5 6 10.4 237 82.8 53.5 5.23 4.73 9.2 1 1
Sam Darnold 5 1-4-0 63.2 3.4 5.2 6.2 4.6 9.8 215.4 70.5 27.4 4.99 3.51 9.4  

 

Here are some 2019 season advanced passing statistics.

GS 1D / Att Air/Cmp Air/Att ADOT YAC/Cmp Drop% Bad% Scrm Yds/Scr
Sam Darnold 5 30.46% 4.9 3.1 7.9 4.9 4 19.5 1 3
Daniel Jones 7 30.74% 5.2 3.3 7.9 5.2 4.7 16.7 18 8.1

In fairness to Sam Darnold he had a much better rookie season in 2018 than he is having this year.

Over the last four weeks since Sam Darnold has come back the Giants are 28th in passing yardage margin (-197) and the Jets are 29th (-259).

Rushing

The Giants are tenth in the league in yards per rushing attempt with 4.66 yards. The Jets are 29th with 3.33 yards.  The Giants are third in the league in yards before contact per rushing attempt with 3.2 yards. The Jets are 31st with 1.5 yards before contact. The Giants are 29th in yards after contact per attempt with 1.5 yards. The Jets do slightly better here getting 1.8 yards after contact for the 25th spot.  The Jets are twelfth in attempts  per broken tackle with 13.3 attempts. The Giants are 21st with 19.7 attempts.

Saquon Barkley is 10th in the league among running backs in yards before contact per attempt with 2.8 yards. He is fortieth in yards after contact per attempt with 1.7 yards. Last season Barkley was fourth in the league in rushing yards after contact per attempt with 2.8 yards. That rookie season he was first in total rushing yards after contact with 931 for the year. His 2019 yards per attempt (4.6), yards per game (66.8) and rushing touchdowns (2) are all down from his Pro-Bowl rookie season. Saquon missed three and a half games this year due to injury. His receiving targets are down just a little from 7.6 in 2018 to 6.8 in 2019.

For backs with a minimum 25 rushing attempts Barkley is 20th in yards per attempt with 4.56 and Le’Veon Bell is 55th at 3.32 yards. Bell’s long rush for the year is 19 yards compared to Barkley’s 59 yarder. Le’Veon Bell averages only 1.3 yards before contact which is 40th in the league. Bell averages 2  yards after contact. For some perspective Bills quarterback Josh Allen averages 2 yards after contact for 123 yards after contact on the year.

The Jets are 30th in the league in rushing yards per game with 66 yards and 29th in average rushing yards per attempt with 3.3. The Giants are tie at 8th averaging 4.7 yards per attempt. Over the last three weeks since Saquon Barkley has returned the Giants are 24th in the league in rushing yards margin (-100) and the Jets are 20th (-25 yards).

Turnovers

The Jets are 27th in the league in turnover margin with -7 and the Giants are 30th with -10. Both teams have lost a turnover in every game this season and both have averaged over two turnovers lost per game. Sam Darnold has nine interceptions and three fumbles in five games started. Daniel Jones has eight interceptions and nine fumbles in seven games started. Darnold is fourth in the league in interceptions thrown and Daniel Jones is in a four way tie at fifth. Jones is in a two way tie at second in the league for fumbles.

Final Thoughts

Both teams are having brutal seasons. Both head coaches are potentially on the hot seat to get fired. These are teams playing for their coach’s future. A loss to a poorly performing metropolitan rival would not be good for the coach. Shurmur delivered a message to the team that it’s make it or break it time. One player summed it up as ““Guys understand those mistakes are unacceptable and if individuals don’t get it corrected, they probably won’t be playing anymore.” Some Jets fans had rented a plane the flew over the city on Friday with a banner reading “Fire Adam Gase!”.

I have said all along that if Shurmur can somehow squeak six wins out of this season he should stay to provide continuity to what appears to be a good development of Daniel Jones. Tom Coughlin went 6-10 the year he started Eli Manning. Coughlin went on to lead the Giants to two Super Bowl victories. Out of the remaining games that makes this Jets game a must win. Based on the season so far the Giants should win. However the Jets did pull the upset and defeat the Cowboys which the Giants have been unable to do. So you never know.

As for Adam Gase again I believe you have to see how the season plays out. If they continue to lose and Darnold continues with what appears to be a regression, I would say one and done is the way to go. The one-and-done route is not that common. If you eliminate the interim head coaches, over the last 10 seasons only two head coaches were one-and-done. In 2013, Rob Chudzinski of the Cleveland Browns was fired after a 4-12 season. In 2018 Steve Wilks was fired by the Arizona Cardinals after a 3-13 season. However the combination of a really poor record and a regressing young quarterback would be justification. If things turn around at least with Darnold another year may be the way to go. Again a victory this week would be key to Gase keeping his job.

Enjoy the Snoopy Bowl!

The Glossary of terms used in the quarterback tables are defined at Pro Football Reference  in their glossary and the advanced stats are defined at Pro Football Reference Advanced Passing Glossary.

Giants Lose to Dallas and A Look Forward.

The Giants loss to Dallas has dropped then to only a 1% chance of winning the division according to playoffstatus.com.   Their chance of making a wildcard remained unchanged at virtually nil. The Giants played a tough game and hung in there against a good team. Like the Patriot game the final score is not indicative of how close the game was. Daniel Jones again shows his toughness and competitive nature. His fumble on the scamper was due to him knowing where the first down marker was and doing all he could to make it. I like Will Hernandez sticking up for his quarterback. The one handed catch by Golden Tate by the goal line was up there with the Beckham catch. Barkley flashed his talent on that 65 yard run on a screen pass. Unfortunately his three game career streak of 100+ yards from scrimmage versus the Cowboys came to a end. Barkley had only 95 yards from scrimmage on Monday night.

The Giants are now 2-7 and fans are clamoring for the coach’s head. Shurmur can turn this around and salvage the season. If the Giants get to 6-10 they would match the season record for the last two coaches that started a first round quarterback. Both Tom Coughlin starting Eli Manning and Ray Perkins starting Phil Simms went 6-10 those years. Both kept their jobs for the next season. Coughlin went on to help lead two Giant teams to Super Bowl victories.

Looking at the schedule there are three games the Giants should win and an additional one that could also provide a win.

The Giants have yet to play Jets, Bears, Packers, Eagles (twice), Dolphins, and Redskins. The four best chances of a win based on team records would be Jets, Bears, Dolphins and Redskins. Here is a look at some various statistics that put those four teams with their league rank. The Giants come in at a better rank than all four of those teams for these statistics.

(If using FireFox and the box shows unavailable simply right click in the box and select this frame and reload frame.)

Yards Per Offensive Play

Third down conversion Percentage

Passing Yards Margin

Touchdowns

The Giants have to cut down the turnovers and shore up the defense.  Defensively the Giants come in poorly on the statistic lists.

Opponent Touchdowns

Opponent Passer Rating

Opponent Passing Yards

Opponent 3rd Down Conversion

Turnover Margin

There is still a lot of football left to play. It is too soon to be calling for the coach’s job. If the Giants can find four more wins and get to 6-10 that would be an improvement from last season and with a rookie quarterback. Daniel Jones appears to be playing well with some rookie growing pains.  I believe a lot of his turnover problems are due to his competitive spirit and trying to make a play when there may be none to be had. The solution is to find a fine balance and not to clamp down on that aggressive play style. Shurmur has a history with helping develop quarterbacks. If he can get the Giants to 6-10 they should keep him for the continuity and guidance he can provide to Daniel Jones.

Bring On Gang Green in a must-win game for both teams. The game is more than just Metropolitan Bragging Rights. The Giants and Jets are now tied together as the Giants passed on Sam Darnold in the draft to take Daniel Jones the following year. The development of these quarterbacks will be followed closely by Jets and Giant fans.  This is one of the few remaining games in which the Giants will be favored. It is a do-able win to get to a a 6-10 record and justification of Pat Shurmur remaining for another season.

Three keys to the Game for The Giants

  1. Run Barkley! Barkley has 100+ yards from scrimmage in each of his three Dallas games.
  2. Protect Jones! Daniel Jones has 31 quarterback hits for a rate of 5.17 hits/game. That is the highest rate among rookie quarterbacks for the last two years.
  3. Bring the Pressure. Markus Golden and Lorenzo Carter 17th and 31st in the league in pressures. They show up on the list before any Dallas player.

Giants vs Cowboys Monday Night

Unleash The Hounds

The Giants have some players that can get after the quarterback. The five Giant players listed here as possible starters have 55  pressures among them on the year. That is eight more than the five Cowboys of DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods and Jaylon Smith.

 

Defensive End Nose Tackle Defensive End
Leonard Williams Dalvin Tomlinson Dexter Lawrence
B.J. Hill
Outside Linebacker Outside Linebacker
44 Markus Golden 59 Lorenzo Carter
53 Oshane Ximines

 

Since 2006, when quarterback hits were first recorded, Marcus Golden ranks second among all Giants in quarterback hits thru eight games in a season with thirteen. Only Jason Pierre Paul had one more in his 2011 Super Bowl winning season. His thirteen 2019 QB hits is tie for fifth in the league. Golden leads the team in quarterback pressures with 21.

From his rookie 2015 season to 2018 Leonard Williams had 85 quarterback hits.  That was tie for 12th most in the league over that time-frame among all players.  Among defensive tackles only Aaron Donald (136) and Geno Atkins (86) had more and Atkins had only one more.

B.J. Hill was one of only five rookies in 2018 that had 5+ sacks and 8+ quarterback hits. He did that on only 12 starts. Three of the other four had 15+ starts. Gil Brandt of nfl.com selected Hill for his 2018 All-Rookie Team. Athlon Sports ranked Hill as the eleventh best 3-4 Defensive End going into the 2019 season and Leonard Williams as the fifth.

In 2017 Dalvin Tomlinson made the PFWA All-Rookie team, Gil Brandt (nfl.com) All-Rookie Team and PFF Mid-season All-Rookie Team. As reported by Pro Football Focus, Dalvin Tomlinson ended the 2018 season with the longest active streak of tackles without a miss with 60. He had only missed one tackle in his two-year NFL career. In 2019 he has missed one so far. He was the top Giant run defender in 2018 and was regarded by PFF as one of the best run defenders in the league. Tomlinson has a career high four quarterback hits so far in 2019.

Dexter Lawrence has made the All-Rookie Mid-Season Team for Great Blue North and Yardbarker.  Lawrence is listed as the second best rookie by Yahoo Sports and the thirteenth best by Daniel Jeremiah of nfl.com. He is tie for the fifth most quarterback hits by a rookie with four. Lawrence is one of only five rookie defensive linemen with 2+ sacks, 4+ quarterback hits and 2+ tackles for loss.

Thru week six of of the 2019 season Lorenzo Carter’s career quarterback hits of 16 put him eighth among all Giants since 2006 (when first recorded) in quarterback hits per game. His seven hits in 2019 is on track to pass his rookie ten hits.  So far in 2019 he is one of only four second year players with 2+ sacks and 4+ quarterback hits. His quarterback hits puts him second among the four players.

Oshane Ximines is one of only seven rookies with 3+ tackles for loss, 3+ quarterback hits and 2+ sacks so far this year. He has 15 tackles and zero missed tackles. He has played in 54% of the defensive snaps.

That five Giant rushers make a formidable group. They will need to bring their A game tonight against a strong Dallas offensive line. It should be a real battle in the trenches.

Go Giants! Enjoy the Game!

Giants Lose To Lions And A Look Forward

The Giants lose 31-26 to the Lions and fall to 2-6. According to playoffstatus.com the Giant’s playoff probability dropped from 16% to a 7% chance of winning the division and a less than 1% chance of a wildcard spot.

The bright spot of the game was the play of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. He was 28 of 41 for 322 yards with 4 touchdowns and zero interceptions. His passer rating was 124.2 and a 68.3% completion percentage. His passer rating and touchdowns were a career high. It was the first time a Giant rookie quarterback threw for 4 touchdowns since Tom Kennedy did in 1966. Daniel Jones put up the best stats by a rookie since Marcus Mariotta in 2015. Jones did have two fumbles with one he recovered.

Saquon Barkley had 143 yards from scrimmage which was his high for the season and the fifth most of his career.  Receiver Darius Slayton had two receptions for fifty yards and two touchdowns. That was a career high touchdowns for the rookie. Golden Tate had eight receptions for 85 yards.  Daniel Jones did a nice job of involving all the receivers with five Giants having 2+ receptions.

On defense Matthew Stafford was sacked four times. Linebacker Marcus Golden had 7 tackles with 6 solo, one sack, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hits. Defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson had a sack and two tackles for loss. Janoris Jenkins had the games sole interception. Mathew Stafford had a 129.4 passer rating which was a season high for him.

The trade deadline is this Tuesday at 4:00 PM ET. There ave been rumors that Janoris Jenkins might be traded. I hope that is not true and the Giants let the deadline pass with no trades. This is a critical year in Daniel Jones’ rookie development. There is enough pressure to keep up offensively with what has been a porous defense. It should not be made worse. As far as acquisitions the Giants should sit pat and keep their 2020 draft capital to build the team thru the draft. They have been doing well in the draft lately.

I can’t help but notice the number of Giant fans that are calling for coach Pat Shurmur to be fired after this season. There is still a half season of football to play.  I believe it is premature to be having those discussions. The team is playing hard and has shown no sign of giving up. The rookie quarterback has shown enough to hope that they have found their franchise quarterback. The Giants have been hampered by injuries with many of their key offensive play-makers missing games.

The two previous Giant coaches that started rookie first round quarterbacks both went 6-10 those rookie seasons. Both head coaches remained for additional seasons. Tom Coughlin went on to coach the team to two Super Bowl victories. Both those teams that started Phil Simms and Eli Manning had Pro-Bowl caliber players. The Simms rookie team had Harry Carson, Brad Van Pelt and George Martin. The Manning rookie team had Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer, David Tyree, Ike Hilliard, Jeremy Shockey, David Diehl, Shaun O’Hara, Chris Snee, Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. Besides Saquon Barkley no other player on the 2019 team has shown the greatness as the players that Coughlin or Ray Perkins had.

Schurmur is starting a rookie quarterback and working with a new young team. The Giants have built a new team over the last four years. There are only two players that have been on the team before 2016 – Eli Manning and Zak DeOssie. Only three players were acquired in 2016 and five in 2017. The rest of the team became a Giant over the last two years. That is 63  players.

I will wait to see how the season plays out before calling for a new head coach.  If the Giants win six games this year I think it should be a given that Shurmur stays. That is all Perkins and Coughlin got with their rookie quarterbacks. If he fails to make six wins I think you need to look at how they played out. Were they competitive? Did the team play hard and not show any signs of letting up? Did the team maintain their composure free of infighting? Did the team improve down the stretch? Those are the questions that need to be asked. If the answer is yes to these then maybe he stays even with less than six wins.

Bill Parcells was 3-12-1 his first year as Giant head coach. He thought he was going to be fired. George Young entertained the idea and had conversations with coach Howard Schnellenberger. The fans and press were clamoring for Parcells to be fired. Yet Young stayed with Parcells and the rest is Giants history.

A big Monday night game coming next week against the Cowboys. The Cowboys are a 7.5 point favorite. The Giants are at home. The Cowboys were the Jets sole win in their 1-6 season. Both teams will be up for a battle. Maybe the Giants get Sterling Shepard back. We have Saquon Barkley vs Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott vs Daniel Jones. It is the start of a new era in NFC East rivalries.

Giant Daniel Jones Going into Week 8

Daniel Jones has done something in his first five starts that no quarterback selected in the 2018 draft has done in their first five starts. He has maintained a Passer Rating >= 70, a Pass Completion % >= 60, Yds/Pass Att >= 6.5 and Passing TD >= 6. In fact over the last 20 years only 17 rookie quarterbacks have accomplished that in their first five starts.

 

Daniel Jones has shown an ability to pass it into tight windows, throw the ball downfield and scramble.

Jones is third among quarterbacks with 3+ starts in yards per rush attempt with a 6.37.  Only Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott lead him. Jones is ninth in the league in rushing yards per game with 20 yards. He has had 16 rush attempts and 68.8% resulted in a first down (11 first downs), two resulted in a touchdown and one in a fumble. I removed kneel-downs which are included in the league average. Without kneel-downs the 16 rush plays had an average of 7.8 yards to go and Jones gained on average 7.8 yards. His longest was 16 yards.

According to Next Gen Stats Jones lead the league in Aggressiveness % with 27.4% of his pass attempts into tight windows.

Contrary to popular belief Daniel Jones has the third quickest time to throw at 2.83 seconds as reported on Next Gen Stats.  That statistic excludes sacks.  The misconception is probably due to a high amount of sacks and the consensus that he holds the ball too long. Out of quarterbacks with 3+ starts Jones is fourth highest in sacks per pass attempt with 10.3%. On some of those plays Jones is trying to make a play and let his receivers run open.Out of his 18 sacks, five were on 3rd down with an average of 13 yards to go.

Out of 41 quarterbacks with 20+ completions Jones ranks 22nd in percent of completions for 20+ yards with 14%.  His deep throws by down are 40% on second down and 34% on first down. On his deep throws 63% had 7-10 yards to go. He has had 35 deep throws with an average 9.1 yards to go. He gained an average 8.4 yards on the throw. Twenty-six percent of the throws resulted in a first down and 8.6% in a turnover. Of the 35 deep pass attempts he had 3 touchdowns, 9 first downs and 3 interceptions. He had 9 completions on deep passes and 5 of those were to Darius Slayton.  He had six incompletions on deep passes to Slayton.

The Giants And Coach / Quarterback Tandems

Bill Parcells and Phil Simms. Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning. Forever written in Giant history as the two greatest coach quarterback tandems in Giant history. There is a link between Hall of Fame head coaches and quarterbacks. According to this 2006 NY Times article by 2006  fifteen coaches of the past 50 years have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Thirteen of them had a Hall of Fame quarterback. That link continues today with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.  One could also make the case for Mike Tomlin and and Ben Roethlisberger.

Parcells started with a team that had on defense players of Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Leonard Marshall, George Martin, Jim Burt and Terry Kinard. It was loaded on defense. Parcells went 3-12 his first season as Giant head coach. He thought he was going to be fired.  He changed quarterbacks the next year from Scott Brunner to Phil Simms. Simms had previously played as starter before Parcells arrived and had a 14-20 record. The Parcells – Simms duo was a fiery relationship between two thick-skinned individuals. Simms took the brunt of Parcells rough coaching style. However Phil would also yell back at the coach in heated conversations. They respected each other.

Parcells encouraged Simms to play aggressive. He once said to Phil – “Hey Simms, if you don’t throw at least two interceptions today, you’re not taking enough chances.” Parcells ran tough practices. He treated practice as the most important part of their careers. Parcells was brutally honest with the players and everyone knew where they stood and what was expected of them. He believed in setting immediate goals and always work each day to be better. The Giants won two Super Bowls with Parcells and Simms. The 1990 season Super Bowl season Simms broke his foot in the fifteenth game and was out for the year. But he helped get them there with an 11-3 record before the injury.

Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning both started the same year in 2004. The Giants had a 6-10 record that year. Coughlin started his Giant career with a solid offensive line containing David Diehl, Shaun O’Hara and Chris Snee. The defense had Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. On offense they had play-makers with Tiki Barber, Jeremy Shockley, Ike Hilliard, Amani Toomer and David Tyree.

The head coach – quarterback relationship of Coughlin and Manning appeared to be quite different than Parcells – Simms. Coughlin came in as a strict disciplinarian with his rules. He softened after those first years. He developed what appeared to be almost a father- son relationship with Eli.

Manning had a tough start to his career. “Those first games I played weren’t real pretty,” Manning said. “He saw I was working and learning from my mistakes. He helped me through those times, always had my back.”

There were only 32 starting quarterbacks since 1979 in their first 16 starts that had 1,000 yards passing with a passer rating of 70 or less, a pass completion percentage of 53% or less and a yards per attempt of 6.5 or less.  I picked 1979 as that year or later the league average was higher for all these listed metrics. Both Phil Simms and Eli Manning make the list. There are some other notable quarterbacks that made the list such as Troy Aikman,  John Elway and Kerry Collins. But the rest of the list is mostly low tier quarterbacks.

 

Troy Aikman believes Jimmy Johnson belongs in the Hall Of Fame. Johnson and Aikman started at Dallas the same year and Aikman was 0-11 that first year.  Three years later they won two consecutive Super Bowls together.  Aikman remembers Johnson for his fearlessness, always playing to win. and his ability to prepare a team during the week in practice.

Jim Fassel was head coach when Kerry Collins started for the Giants. Fassel is generally credited in helping develop John Elway and Kerry Collins into quality quarterbacks. After losing six of their last eight games in 1999 Jim Fassel felt they had too many selfish players on the team.  He said to general manager Ernie Accorsi  “No matter who we sign, I want them to be good people first.” The next season Fassel and Kerry Collins helped lead the Giants to a Super Bowl appearance against the Baltimore Ravens. The Giants would be totally dominated in the game. Interesting after being fired by the Giants after the 2003 season, Fassel was hired by the Ravens as a senior consultant. “Outside of Bill Walsh, I think Jim Fassel is the best quarterback teacher I know,” Brian Billick said on 2004 as head coach of the Ravens.

Could we see a  new good head  coach/quarterback duo in Pat Shurmur and Daniel Jones? That is what the Giants organization was planning for when they brought both on board.

Like Fassel, Gettleman and Schurmur have assembled team-oriented players. Schurmur is known as a quarterback whisperer having helped develop Nick Foles, Sam Bradford and Case Keenum. Like Coughlin he is a coach the players like and play hard for. He’s got the quarterback’s back. The team does not appear to be as talented as the teams that Parcells and Coughlin started with. However part of being a great coach is getting the whole team to play at a higher standard. As Fassel used to tell his team – The best team doesn’t always win. The team that plays the best wins. The Giants can make a big step forward with a win this Sunday in Detroit.

A week eight fact:

The Lions are tie with the Falcons and Bengals for longest active streak of opponent passing yards of 200+ yards with six games.

Enjoy the Game!

Week Eight – Giants Versus Lions

The Giants travel to Detroit this week to take on the Lions. Here are some random facts about this matchup.

The Lions have played six games so far this season and five of those games ended with a point difference of less than seven points. The Lions were 2-2-1 in those games. The teams they played in those games were the Cardinals, Chiefs, Chargers, Eagles and Packers. That number of games with a <+/- 7 point differential leads the league and ties the Cardinals and Seahawks.

Both the Giants and Lions have second year head coaches. They are two of six teams with 2nd year coaches. At 7-16 Schurmur has the sixth lowest current win percentage in the league. All lower win percentages are first year coaches. At 8-13-1 Patricia has the ninth lowest current win percentage.

The Lions have Mathew Stafford at quarterback. Statistically Stafford is having the best year of his 11 year career. He currently has his highest quarterback rating (101.7), highest yards per passing attempt (8.0), third best touchdown percentage and second best interception percent. He has 13 touchdowns to 3 interceptions on the year. He has his third best passing yards per game (291.8). His completion percentage of 62.4% is not as high coming in at sixth best. But it matches his career average.

Detroit is third in the league in passing 1st down percent at 40.4%.  They are sixth in passing plays of 20+ yards (28) and have played one less game than the top 14 teams. They are fifth in passing touchdowns and sixth in passing interceptions. Detroit ranks sixth in passing yards per game (277).

Detroit has the third best passer rating in the league for home games with a 108.4. They are in a four way tie for second in passing touchdowns at home. That home field advantage does not translate on defense where they are 20th in opponent passer rating at home (96.8).

According to playoffstatus.com both teams have about an equal probability of making the playoffs. the Giants have a 16% probability of winning their division a 1% chance of making a wildcard. The Lions are given a 4% probability of taking their division and a 10% for a wildcard.

The Lions have three ex-Giants that are significant contributors. They are Damon Harrison,  Devon Kennard and Romeo Okwara. Kennard and Okwara lead the Lions in quarterback hits. Harrison has been injured and is questionable for the game.  He has two sacks on the year. Kennard leads the team with three sacks.

Giant receiver Golden Tate spent 4.5 years on the Lions where he was their lead receiver for 2 years and number two the other two. So far this year Tate is averaging 6.6 yards after the catch which is his career trademark.  That is good for ninth among league wide receivers. Tate led all wide receivers in YAC in 2014 and 2017. Evan Engram has 6.5 yards after the catch average. That is fourth best among tight ends in the league. The Giants are currently fifth in the NFC in yards after the catch with 810 yards.

The Giants are 28th in yards per game allowed with 388. The Lions are 31st with 428 yards allowed. For 3rd down percent allowed the Giants are 17th with 40% and the Lions are 26th with 46%. On passer rating allowed the Lions are 17th with a 90 rating allowed and the Giants are 23rd with a 100 rating allowed. Detroit has the least amount of yards gained by penalties committed by the opposition.

Daniel Jones has regressed since a very good start in his first two games. His passer rating of 74.9 over five starts is 24th among 34 starting quarterback’s first five starts over the last eight seasons. However take heart. Rookie stats are often not as they seem. The quarterback Jones most matches up with thru five starts in that list is Russell Wilson.

Games Passing Rushing Fumbles
Year Tm G GS Cmp Att Inc Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Y/A AY/A Att Yds Y/A TD Fmb
2019-2019 NYG 5 5 104 171 67 60.82 1127 6 7 74.9 18 126 6.59 5.45 18 116 6.44 2 5
Per Game Average 20.8 34.2 13.4 225.4 1.2 1.4 3.6 25.2 3.6 23.2 0.4 1
Per 16 Games 333 547 214 3606 19 22 58 403 58 371 6 16
Year Tm G GS Cmp Att Inc Cmp% Yds TD Int Rate Sk Yds Y/A AY/A Att Yds Y/A TD Fmb
2012-2012 SEA 5 5 79 125 46 63.2 815 5 6 75.2 10 80 6.52 5.16 27 92 3.41 0 1
Per Game Average 15.8 25 9.2 163 1 1.2 2 16 5.4 18.4 0 0.2
Per 16 Games 253 400 147 2608 16 19 32 256 86 294 0 3

 

Enjoy the game!

Added 10/23:

Just ran a query on starting quarterbacks since 2012 that over their first five starts have a 60% Pass completion, 1000+ passing yards, 6+ Passing Touchdowns and a Passer rating of 70 or better sorted by age.