Giants are among NFL’s worst in pass rush win rate

When judging the success of a team’s pass rush, one should look beyond just the sack numbers. That’s something you consistently hear from the New York Giants’ front office, as well as their coaches and players.

Just ask linebacker Lorenzo Carter, who summed it up earlier this week.

“It depends on what you’re looking at, perspectives,” Carter told reporters. “Honestly, if that’s how you rate football players or edge groups, then that’s one thing. But we do more than rush the quarterback. We affect the game in multiple ways. We try set the edge, play the run and do different things.

“We drop, we help in different ways more than just sacks and there’s different ways to affect the game. Yes, of course, sacks are the pretty thing that people like. It’s the popular statistic, but we’ve got to — like you said, we’ve got to get pressure. That’s a part of the game.”

The problem is the Giants aren’t getting much pressure. They aren’t generating sacks, they aren’t setting the edge and more often than not, they aren’t playing well when they drop into coverage, either.

But specific to the edge defenders, they simply aren’t getting the job done anywhere on the field. In fact, the Giants are third-to-last in pass rush win rate.

Pass Rush Win Rate Through Week 5 (ESPN)

CAR: 57%
CLE: 56%
TB: 55%
PHI: 51%
LV, PIT: 50%
NYJ: 48%
LAR, TEN: 47%
WAS: 46%
GB: 45%
MIA, SF: 44%
LAC: 43%
HOU: 41%
CHI, IND: 40%
BAL, MIN: 38%
ATL, JAX, NE: 37%
KC: 36%
CIN, DEN: 35%
NYG: 33%
NO: 32%
DET: 27%

— Johnny Kinsley (@Brickwallblitz) October 12, 2021

Compounding the issue for the Giants is that their edge defenders aren’t even drawing double-teams. They’re losing one-on-one’s with remarkable frequency.

Double team rate at edge (x) by pass rush win rate at edge (y), through Week 5.

Realized Raiders and WFT were omitted accidentally last week (name change error). Fixed now.

(ESPN / NFL Next Gen Stats)

— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) October 12, 2021

This is a recipe for disaster and that’s how things have played out for Patrick Graham’s defensive group this season. Running backs are eating them up inside and out, the secondary is getting beat without help up front and even when the Giants are in the vicinity of a ball-carrier, they are struggling to tackle.

Carter and Oshane Ximines were supposed to develop into more disruptive players. That hasn’t happened. And despite Azeez Ojulari’s three sacks in five games, he’s seeing the team’s fewest amount of double-teams and still finds himself among the bottom of the league in pass rush win rate.

Unless the Giants can figure out a way to turn this around and generate more pressure, do not expect the defense to improve as the season goes on.

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