In one respect, you have to feel empathy for New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur.
No one can point to a single area of the New York Giants operation and say it’s outperformed expectations this season. For example, Ereck Flowers was, well Ereck Flowers, and not even a serviceable right tackle.
Coordinator James Bettcher’s defense has not improved linebacker Alec Ogletree’s coverage deficiencies. And the team’s pass rush has been as lethargic as predicted.
According to NFL.com, Big Blue ranks 31st in the NFL in quarterback sacks. They have accumulated a mere 14 sacks this season, and that trails the front-running Pittsburgh Steelers by an incredible 25 sacks.
The worst team?
That would be the Oakland Raiders, who decided that being last was preferable to offering All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack a reasonable extension.
Now, you’ll hear a bunch of coach speak about how sacks are under-rated, and quarterback pressure is the key.
Don’t believe the words, believe your eyes.
Vernon is a holdover from the spendthrift days of Jerry Reese, and according to Pro Football Reference, he has all of one sack this season. OV did miss time with a high ankle sprain, but one sack in six games projects to 2.5 sacks in a full 16-game NFL schedule.
Barwin and Martin were supposed to be saviors, but according to the football evaluation site, Pro Football Focus, both have fallen way short of expectations.
Barwin grades out to 51.0 overall, good for 102nd in the league. His pass rush grade stands at a mere 56.0, while his rush defense (37.2) means he’s a complete liability on the field.
Martin is slightly better, ranked 81st overall, with a 59.6 grade. Let’s not get too excited because his pass rush grade stand at 59.9 for the season. The best thing that can be said is that Martin is not as much of a liability as Barwin is on the field.
Hardly a ringing endorsement.
Now before anyone gets amped up over the possibility of drafting Nick Bosa next year, you should be reminded that the pesky little quarterback situation must be addressed, especially if Kyle Lauletta isn’t the next franchise signal-caller.
Hey, the pass rush stinks, but it seems likely that running back Saquon Barkley will win rookie-of-the-year, so there’s always that.