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Inside the Numbers: Defense shines all year


*'s Michael Eisen goes inside the numbers for a look at the Giants regular seasom stats: *

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Statistical leftovers from the Giants' victory in Washington and the 2016 regular season…and for the upcoming playoffs.

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• The Giants finished second in the NFL in scoring defense – a year after they were 30th – allowing 17.8 points a game. It's their best finish in that statistical category since 1993, when they gave up a league-low 12.8 points a game. In that season, as in this one, the Giants had a new head coach (Dan Reeves then, Ben McAdoo now).

• The Giants allowed less than 20 points eight times this season, their highest such number since they had eight in 2008. They gave up 20 points in a one-point victory against Cincinnati on Nov. 14 and were 9-0 in games in which they allowed no more than 20 points.

• Conversely, the Giants scored fewer than 20 points nine times, their highest total of sub 20-point games since they had 10 in 2003. The Giants were 5-4 in those games. They scored exactly 20 points in their season-opening victory in Dallas, and won an NFL-high six games in which they scored 20 or fewer points.

• The Giants surrendered only five fourth-quarter touchdowns this season. That was their fewest such scores allowed since 1982, when they gave up five. But the 1982 season was shortened to nine games by a players' strike. The five touchdowns in the fourth quarter were the fewest the Giants have allowed in a season in which they played at least 10 games since 1958, when they also surrendered five. The last NFL team to allow just five fourth-quarter touchdowns was Green Bay in 2015.

• The Giants finished with 35 sacks this season, 12 more than they had in 2015. The team's defensive backs were responsible for eight of those sacks (Landon Collins had four, Leon Hall two, and Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie one apiece). That was easily the highest total by a secondary this season. Carolina's had 5.5 sacks, and Arizona's 5.0. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Giants' secondary was the first with at least 8.0 sacks since Tennessee's had 8.0 in 2014.

• The Giants held their opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards in 10 of 16 games, their highest such total since 2001, when they also held 10 opponents under 100 yards on the ground.

• Odell Beckham, Jr. finished third in the NFL in with 101 catches and 1,367 receiving yards, and fifth with 10 touchdown catches. He is the first Giants player to finish in the top five in all three categories in the same season since Del Shofner in 1961 (third with 68 catches, second with 1,125 yards, and fourth with 11 touchdowns). If touchdown catches are removed from the equation, Beckham is still the first Giants receiver to finish in the top three in receptions and yards since Shofner in '61.

•  The trio of Beckham, Sterling Shepard and Victor Cruz combined for 205 catches, which was sixth among NFL wide receiver trios, and 2,636 yards, which was fifth. The threesome also accounted for 19 touchdown catches, which, ironically, was not the most by a wide receiver trio – on the Giants. Beckham, Shepard, and Roger Lewis, Jr. combined for 20.


• Beckham's three-year totals are 288 receptions for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns. He shattered the previous record for receptions in the first three years of a career, which had been held by A.J. Green with 260. But Beckham doesn't hold the mark alone. His good friend and former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry also concluded his first three seasons with 288 catches. Beckham fell 41 yards short of tying Randy Moss' three-year record of 4,163. Moss also owns the three-year touchdown receptions record with 43.

• Beckham led the Giants this season with 60 points, 10 more than kicker Robbie Gould. He is the first non-kicker to lead the Giants in scoring since 1992, when Rodney Hampton finished with 84 points (14 touchdowns). The last wide receiver to lead the Giants in scoring was Homer Jones in 1967 (also 84 points; he had 13 touchdowns receiving and one rushing).

• Shepard's eight touchdown receptions were the second-most by an NFL rookie this season; New Orleans' Mike Thomas had nine.

• Eli Manning's 27 passes in Washington increased his career total to 6,825. That moved him past Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon (6,823) and into seventh place on the NFL's career list.

• The game in Washington was Manning's 75th regular-season start vs. an NFC East opponent. He is 40-35, and has thrown 121 touchdown passes and 77 interceptions against Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington.

• Manning threw neither a touchdown pass nor an interception vs. the Redskins. The Giants are 8-4 when that happens in the regular season, and 1-0 in the postseason – the 2007 NFC Championship Game in Green Bay.

• The Giants are 50-23 in regular-season games in which Manning does not throw an interception. They are 13-21 when he does not throw a touchdown passes.

• Pro Bowl safety Landon Collins finished the season with 4.0 sacks and five interceptions, the first NFL defensive back with that stats combo since Cincinnati's Kevin Kaesviharn had 4.0 sacks and six picks in 2006. The only other Giants player to match Collins' interception/sacks feat was safety Greg Jackson, who had 4.0 sacks and five picks in 1990.

• Rodgers-Cromartie led the Giants with six interceptions. This is the first season in which the Giants had at least two players with at least five interceptions apiece since 1997, when Jason Sehorn led the team with six picks, and Tito Wooten and Phillippi Sparks each had five.

• Rodgers-Cromartie, named today as the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, had two interceptions and a sack vs. the Redskins. It was his sixth multi-interception game, tying him with Minnesota's Terence Newman and New Orleans' Jairus Byrd for the most among active players.

• DRC also had two interceptions in the Giants' victory against the Rams in London. He is the first Giants player with more than one two-pick game in a season since Stevie Brown in 2012.

• Rodgers-Cromartie was the second Giants player to have a sack and an interception in the same game this season; Collins did it against the Rams.

• The Giants will try to keep several streaks alive Sunday when they face the Packers in Green Bay in an NFC Wild Card Game. The Giants, who defeated the Packers in Lambeau Field in the 2007 and 2011 postseasons, are the only visiting team to win consecutive playoff games in Green Bay. The Giants have won their last five postseason road games (three in 2007 two in 2011), an NFL record. And, of course, Eli Manning is the only quarterback in NFL history to start and win five consecutive games as a playoff visitor.

• The Giants lost to the Packers in Green Bay, 23-16, on Oct. 9. Since the 1970 merger (or 1981, when they were first postseason participants after the merger), the Giants are 14-6 in playoff games against teams they faced during regular season, including 10-4 in games against non-division opponents.

• The Giants and Packers are two of the three-winningest franchises in NFL history. Green Bay's NFC North-clinching victory in Detroit Sunday night was the 762nd in Packers history (including playoffs). That moved Green Bay one game ahead of the Chicago Bears on the league's alltime victory list. The Giants are third with 708.

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