Prediction Review Series: New York Giants Pressure Problem

NFL Data Consultants made the prediction that OT Justin Pugh would have to move inside within the first 3-5 years, and we don’t make predictions just for the fun of it but to emphasize that NFL Data Consultants provides fantastic football analysis (yes, Nick Foles made the Pro Bowl this year; and we have advice for any team needing QB help this offseason).

What was the impact of keeping OT Justin Pugh on the outside? He gave up 43 QB hurries, good for 3rd most in the league. As bad as that was, LT Beatty gave up “only” 39 QB hurries, tied for 8th most in the league with two other OTs. Eli Manning was hurried 82 times combined from his OTs.

As noted in a previous article, a QB pressure costs a Quarterback 25% or more on his QB Rating. With the New York Giants keeping the path of least resistance to pressure at OT, Manning was harassed, beaten, and threw a league high 27 interceptions. His Quarterback Rating in 2013 fell to 69.4 from 87.2 in 2012. This is a consequence of an emotional decision.

Media reports have indicated that GM Jerry Reese may move OT Justin Pugh to LT. Since he gave up just 4 more QB hurries while facing lesser talented DEs,that warrants an upgrade to LT, correct? New York, you have a Giant QB pressure problem on your hands.

Can OT Justin Pugh Answer The Call For The New York Giants?

The New York Giants have had a trend of taking defensive linemen in the first round of NFL Drafts.  This has been one of the key reasons that they have had success with some playoff runs. Pressure on a Quarterback has a tremendous affect in lowering the opposing team’s QB rating.  And the QB rating differential between two teams correlates highly with wins and losses.

Here is just one example:

During the New England Patriots 16-0 run in 2007, they had a QB rating differential of +37.9, a very substantial margin. It was why they won so many games and went undefeated during the regular season.  However, in the Super Bowl, the Giants were on the plus side of the equation with a +4.8 rating.  The biggest difference in that game was the heavy reduction of Tom Brady’s usual QB rating.  Eli Manning was just slightly above his career rating, and the team effort kept them on the plus side of the margin.

In the 2013 NFL Draft, the Giants drafted OT Justin Pugh. For value to be realized, he must be able to play and stick at right tackle for the long term. Based on his analytical profile, I believe it is a longshot that he will stick at offensive tackle and will have to make a move to offensive guard within the next 3-5 years. If Justin Pugh can overcome the odds and become a successful RT, it will have a significant impact to the QB rating on the offensive side of the ledger for Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

Should the New Orleans Saints Start Terron Armstead At LT?

The left tackle position remains wide open between OT Charles Brown and OT Terron Armstead heading into training camp. Armstead ran the fastest time ever for an offensive lineman at the combine, but that is not why this third round pick and 75th overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft should be starting.

Terron Armstead should be starting because his analytical profile shows that he has the capacity to handle quality pass rushing defensive ends off the edge. Pressure by way of the LT has the highest overall impact on the team’s quarterback rating. Although he came out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, he started 32 games and played in 37 of them and added validity to his analytic profile with a good Senior Bowl effort. The projection is that over the next 3-5 years, Armstead is going to blossom into one of the better left tackles in the league and will be a long time starter for the New Orleans Saints.