The New York Giants haven’t been in the top 10 of many good statistics recently, but that changed with the start of the 2020 season. The team was ranked 8th in pass rush win rate according to statistics which were revealed by ESPN. It’s not a common statistic, such as sacks. But to put it simply, the stat measures whether or not rushers beat their blocker within 2.5 seconds.
And here's team pass rush win rate for Week 1.
ESPN's win rate metrics are powered by data from NFL Next Gen Stats. pic.twitter.com/RBQZxS7B47
— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) September 17, 2020
The Giants are behind a number of teams including the Steelers, Chiefs, and Bills, but are otherwise ahead of most of the league. That’s a change from previous seasons where the Giants found pressuring the quarterback to be one of their most challenging tasks.
Patrick Graham getting more out of the Giants?
Leonard Williams infamously only gave the team half a sack last year, and the Giants were left looking for free agents to help with the pass rush. They not only added Kyler Fackrell, but brought back Markus Golden for another season after he led the Giants in sacks during 2019. They also added a new defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham.
Whatever Graham is teaching the team about pass rushing so far has worked well based on their performance against Pittsburgh.
While the team’s most dedicated pass rushers didn’t get sacks, two players that don’t typically get as many were able to do so: Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence. Williams was also the leading performer on the defensive line with tackles, registering 5 of them in the game.
While the Giants couldn’t come away with the win, it should be encouraging that Patrick Graham’s defense has gotten things out of players who didn’t make as big an impact under the previous administration.
And, for the first time in a while, the Giants are actually one of the better teams in the league in a pass rush category. That will likely play a big role in a win in week two, if the Giants can pull one off in Chicago.