Griffin, our leader in the Rookie of the Year race, has continued to burn defenses with his arm and legs despite getting knocked out of the Week 5 Atlanta game with a concussion. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has pulled out all the stops for the prized second overall pick with a wide variety of plays, including the triple option. The results are being discussed daily across the NFL landscape, as RG3 not only has the highest completion percentage among QBs at the moment (70.2) but is also our highest-graded signal-caller as a runner (+6.2) — with the highlight being his 76-yard TD run last week. His deep passing game (throws 20 yards or more) has yielded only 123 yards and a TD, though he was victimized by an Aldrick Robinson drop on a perfect pass with 10:44 left in the St. Louis game. He has done the most damage on passes thrown 10-19 yards over the middle, and has completed 21 of 27 throws for 446 yards and a score, along with a 131.1 passer rating. He hasn’t been terrible when under pressure, but he has thrown his only two picks in those circumstances.
With those stats in mind, the Giants may be better off trying to make RG3 beat them deep. New York’s injury-depleted secondary has been victimized by the likes of Brandon Weeden and Josh Freeman this year and given up 11 passes (five of which were TDs) of 20 yards or more. Two of the biggest culprits have been safety Antrel Rolle and CB Corey Webster. Despite his two picks last week, Rolle has allowed 10 of 14 passes to be completed in his coverage for 151 yards and seven first downs — and that does not include him failing to provide safety help on two further TD passes. Webster, a long-time Giant, has surrendered three scores and gifted QBs a 119.7 passer rating when targeting him. Meanwhile, the best pass defender on this squad has been sophomore Prince Amukamura — he’s been responsible for only 69 yards and a 30.5 passer rating when signal-callers go after him.
The Giants will also have to worry about RG3 running wild on them. Bolstered by Pierre-Paul, our highest graded 4-3 DE in run defense, and Linval Joseph, both of whom have eight stops in this area, this unit was able to limit another dangerous running signal-caller, Cam Newton, to 6 yards on six carries, and a garbage time TD. They had less success against Michael Vick though, and let him roam for 49 yards on six runs. The weakest links against opposing ground games have been starting linebackers Chase Blackburn and Michael Boley. Blackburn has missed eight tackles on runners so far and both have lost the majority of their one-on-one battles, including routinely getting shut down by tight ends and full backs. In order to contain the talented rookie on the ground, the Giants will have to prevent him from reaching the second level.