Reviewing the New York Giants 2009 Season

via Giants.com Photos

After starting out 5-0 in the 2009 season, the New York Giants looked to be the class of the NFC East. It appeared that they had put the Plaxico Burress saga far behind them. But a four game losing streak and just 3 more wins the rest of the season left them a disappointing 8-8. This was a big surprise after they followed up their Super Bowl XLII win with a 12-4 2008. So, what went wrong in 2009 for them to struggle after such a great start? In the next of my 2009 NFL Season Reviews, I will try to answer just that question as well as determine what their draft needs might be. Since Free Agency has begun, I will also look at any key signings or losses that they have had.

Before going further, you should take a look at the Season Reviews Informational Post, if you haven’t already. It describes the methodology and data presented in the following tables. Now that you have reviewed the methodology behind this data, let’s take a look at the data, and I will discuss it below.

Team Offense Value Rank Team Defense Value Rank
Points 402 8 Points 427 30
Yards 5856 8 Yards 5198 13
Cmp 338 Cmp 314
Att 542 Att 498
Pass Yards 4019 11 Pass Yards 3425 15
NY/A 7 9 NY/A 6.5 21
Pass TD 28 7 Pass TD 31 30
Pass INTs 14 12 Pass INTs 13 22
Rush Yards 1837 17 Rush Yards 1773 14
Rush TD 14 15 Rush TD 21 30
Y/A 4.1 20 Y/A 4.2 14
Sacks 32 12 Sacks 32 T-18

Table 1


NYG Pts Opp D
Opp Pts Opp O
Opp Score Avg Pt Diff1 Score Avg Pt Diff2
Washington Redskins 23 21 2 17 16.63 0.38
Dallas Cowboys 33 15.63 17.38 31 22.56 8.44
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24 25 -1 0 15.25 -15.25
Kansas City Chiefs 27 26.5 0.5 16 18.38 -2.38
Oakland Raiders 44 23.69 20.31 7 12.31 -5.31
New Orleans Saints 27 21.31 5.69 48 31.88 16.13
Arizona Cardinals 17 20.31 -3.31 24 23.44 0.56
Philadelphia Eagles 17 21.06 -4.06 40 26.81 13.19
San Diego Chargers 20 20 0 21 28.38 -7.38
Atlanta Falcons 34 20.31 13.69 31 22.69 8.31
Denver Broncos 6 20.25 -14.25 26 20.38 5.63
Dallas Cowboys 31 15.63 15.38 24 22.56 1.44
Philadelphia Eagles 38 21.06 16.94 45 26.81 18.19
Washington Redskins 45 21 24 12 16.63 -4.63
Carolina Panthers 9 19.25 -10.25 41 19.69 21.31
Minnesota Vikings 7 19.5 -12.5 44 29.38 14.63
Sum Difference 70.5 73.25

Table 2


NYG Yds Opp D
Opp Yds Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Yd Diff1 Gained Avg Yd Diff2
Washington Redskins 351 319.69 31.31 272 312.38 -40.38
Dallas Cowboys 427 315.88 111.13 378 399.38 -21.38
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 397 365.56 31.44 86 287.5 -201.5
Kansas City Chiefs 429 388.19 40.81 212 303.19 -91.19
Oakland Raiders 483 361.94 121.06 124 266.13 -142.13
New Orleans Saints 325 357.75 -32.75 493 403.81 89.19
Arizona Cardinals 327 346.44 -19.44 288 344.38 -56.38
Philadelphia Eagles 356 321.06 34.94 391 357.88 33.13
San Diego Chargers 304 326.88 -22.88 226 360.06 -134.06
Atlanta Falcons 456 348.88 107.13 352 340.44 11.56
Denver Broncos 267 315 -48 373 341.44 31.56
Dallas Cowboys 337 315.88 21.13 424 399.38 24.63
Philadelphia Eagles 512 321.06 190.94 374 357.88 16.13
Washington Redskins 387 319.69 67.31 302 312.38 -10.38
Carolina Panthers 317 315.81 1.19 416 331.06 84.94
Minnesota Vikings 181 305.5 -124.5 487 379.63 107.38
Sum Difference 510.81 -298.88

Table 3


NYG P-Yd Opp D
Opp P-Yd Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Pa Diff1 Gained Avg Pa Diff2
Washington Redskins 248 207.25 40.75 187 218.13 -31.13
Dallas Cowboys 330 225.38 104.63 127 267.94 -140.94
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 171 207.38 -36.38 58 185.94 -127.94
Kansas City Chiefs 273 231.69 41.31 88 182.63 -94.63
Oakland Raiders 263 206.44 56.56 64 159.81 -95.81
New Orleans Saints 241 235.56 5.44 369 272.19 96.81
Arizona Cardinals 220 233.69 -13.69 216 251 -35
Philadelphia Eagles 215 216.38 -1.38 211 255.56 -44.56
San Diego Chargers 188 209.25 -21.25 192 271.13 -79.13
Atlanta Falcons 368 242.06 125.94 262 223.19 38.81
Denver Broncos 210 186.31 23.69 235 226.69 8.31
Dallas Cowboys 237 225.38 11.63 379 267.94 111.06
Philadelphia Eagles 379 216.38 162.63 297 255.56 41.44
Washington Redskins 273 207.25 65.75 213 218.13 -5.13
Carolina Panthers 257 191 66 169 174.94 -5.94
Minnesota Vikings 146 218.38 -72.38 358 259.75 98.25
Sum Difference 559.25 -265.5

Table 4


NYG R-Yd Opp D
Opp R-Yd Opp O
Opp Gained Avg Ru Diff1 Gained Avg Ru Diff2
Washington Redskins 103 112.44 -9.44 85 94.25 -9.25
Dallas Cowboys 97 90.5 6.5 251 131.44 119.56
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 226 158.19 67.81 28 101.56 -73.56
Kansas City Chiefs 156 156.5 -0.5 124 120.56 3.44
Oakland Raiders 220 155.5 64.5 60 106.31 -46.31
New Orleans Saints 84 122.19 -38.19 124 131.63 -7.63
Arizona Cardinals 107 112.75 -5.75 72 93.38 -21.38
Philadelphia Eagles 141 104.69 36.31 180 102.31 77.69
San Diego Chargers 116 117.63 -1.63 34 88.94 -54.94
Atlanta Falcons 88 106.81 -18.81 90 117.25 -27.25
Denver Broncos 57 128.69 -71.69 138 114.75 23.25
Dallas Cowboys 100 90.5 9.5 45 131.44 -86.44
Philadelphia Eagles 133 104.69 28.31 77 102.31 -25.31
Washington Redskins 114 112.44 1.56 89 94.25 -5.25
Carolina Panthers 60 124.81 -64.81 247 156.13 90.88
Minnesota Vikings 35 87.13 -52.13 129 119.88 9.13
Sum Difference -48.44 -33.38

Table 5

Table 1 gives us a pretty good indication already as to what the problem was; they ranked 30th in points allowed! However, since they ranked 13th in yards allowed, there must have been many turnovers and special teams problems. According to their PFR page, they only gave up 1 special teams TD, but they were 31st in the league with 17 lost fumbles.Those fumbles lost would certainly contribute to the disparity in yards allowed and points allowed.

When looking at Tables 2-3, however, we see that the defensive problems were more severe than the season rankings. This is especially notable in  Table 3, where we see that the Giants held each of their first 5 opponents below that team’s season average in yards. In fact, their defense downright dominated three of their opponents, holding them to 90 yards or more below their season averages. The rest of the season, only three other teams were held below their season yardage average. Table 2 also shows similar results. In the first 5 games, the Giants held opponents below their season average in 3 games, with no opponent more than 9 points above their season average. In the last 11, games only 2 opponents were held below their season averages in points, while 5 opponents scored more than 10 points abover their average.

In Tables 4-5, we don’t really see the marked difference between the first 5 games and the rest of the season that Tables 2-3 show. What we do see, though, is that the rushing offense was the biggest weakness of the four components shown, while the passing offense was the biggest strength (at least in terms of yardage comparison to opponents’ averages). This may be a reflection of being behind in some games, though, moreso than a systemic weakness in the rushing game. Or, it may show that they miss Derrick Ward more than expected.

Based on all of this data, the Giants don’t actually have any glaring weaknesses. Looking at their free agency movement so far, it doesn’t look like they’ve made a ton of moves. The only one of note was signing Antrel Rolle, who was released by the Cardinals. So, I’d say that they probably target the BPA with their first pick in the draft. It’s entirely possible that they go after CJ Spiller to replace the explosiveness that they lost with Ward leaving. But, overall, the biggest problem may well have been the fumbles that they lost. Tom Coughlin did a great job curing Tiki Barber of fumble problems, so he should be able to help reduce the number of fumbles next season.

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