Stats show Ayers could amply replace Tuck

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Justin Tuck left the Giants for greener pastures in Oakland this offseason after a decade as a staple on Big Blue’s defense. Last season, he led the Giants in sacks. How he would be replaced was the major question on everyone’s lips.

Well, truth be told, Tuck’s career was in a nosedive statistically until he salvaged it with 9.5 sacks in the final six games of the 2013 season. Injuries had been nagging at him and the Giants and his falling production was also affecting his ability to lead as the team’s defensive captain, even though he was integral in the 2011 Super Bowl run.

When the time came for Tuck to cash in in free agency, the Giants apparently had a number in their heads, one that did not match the number in Tuck’s head. He signed with the Raiders for 2 years, $11 million.

The Giants moved on, too. This week they signed an underachieving former first-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos, Robert Ayers. He seems to fit the Giants’ initiative of investing in free agents under 30. Tuck just turned 31. Ayers is 28 and more cost-effective at less than $2 million per year.

Reese is also looking for players who are entering, or still in, their primes. Tuck’s best football is likely behind him. Ayers, who played OLB his first few seasons in Denver, is seen as a player on the rise.

Our colleague, Matthew Cohen, illustrates that Ayers, a strong run-defender, may actually be an upgrade over Tuck.


According to Pro Football Focus, Justin Tuck had the following statistics in 2013:

Plays: 896
Sacks: 12
Hits: 12
Hurries: 44
Total: 68

Ayers had the following stats in Denver last season at DE:

Plays: 514
Sacks: 4 (yes I know that this is less than the official 5.5)
Hits: 7
Hurries: 31
Total: 42

I multiplied Ayers statistics by 1.74 to gross them up to adjust for Tuck playing more snaps. This is what I got:

Plays: 896
Sacks: 7
Hits: 12
Hurries: 54
Total: 73

Tuck had a few more sacks but the total pressure plays is roughly the same. On third down, a hurry that leads to an incompletion is almost as good as a sack. The vast majority of the time, the QB is not sacked. Hurries, while not as exciting as sacks, speed up throws that generally leads to incompletions or short passes, short of first down yardage.




11 comments
carlton
carlton

I DO THINK WE SIGN FINLEY OR DRAFT EBORN .IF WE GET FINLEY WHICH IS LIKEY WE WILL DRAFT MIKE EVANS OR DRAFT LEE IN THE SECOND AFTER THAT NOBODY MESSING WITH THE G MEN

espirence
espirence

Hi John, I really like your quick hitting blogs, they're on point.

BTW I think Tuck had 11 sacks but u wrote 12

I have a feeling the Giants have already made a deal with Jer Finley upon him getting cleared to play what do you think?

In this manner they wouldn't be so hard-pressed to draft Ebron or a later TE and would have a good stable of TE w Robinson Donnel and Finley (I don't think Davis makes the team.) and could draft a WR or OT. What do u think?

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@carlton I would be shocked if Evans is still on the board for the Giants at 12. Buffalo might be out of the running since they traded for Michael Williams. However; Detroit may not pass on him to play opposite of Megatron. Detroit needs to get a CB, but if Evans is sitting there, they should take him and go get a CB in either round 2 or 3.

John Fennelly
John Fennelly

T@espirence  Thanks for the support. Tuck officially had 11 sacks according to the NFL, but PFF keeps their own stats, so Cohen based his analysis on their numbers.


Finley is taking a long time to be cleared, as expected. By the time he's ready to sign and take a physical, the Giants will have moved on, I'm afraid. Plus, they're running out of cap space fast. 


What they'll do with the first round pick will depend on what the teams in front of them do. There are always surprises and you never know who will be there at 12. 

espirence
espirence

@John Fennelly @espirence I agree with what your saying but the Giants do not have many alternatives at TE left. The only possible starting TE in draft is Ebron and there are ? marks about him.

Remember Finley will know McAdoo's terminology and much of his system. So theoretically he can come out of the gates running. So if Finley is cleared and that seems more then 50% he will be, we can plug two holes TE and an impact 1st round choice at WR, OT or DT.

We definitely need at least 1 if not 2 more impact players on offense, don't you agree?

mcfly
mcfly

I'm not necessarily saying Lee is better, just that we have no clue what the giants draft board actually looks like. Perfect example being that Pugh wasn't on anyone's top 20, or even some top 30.

We don't need Lee, he is another Cruz, I was just using him as an example.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

@mcfly Not knowing the Giants draft board, but according to many websites which rates the prospects. Evans ranks from 12-15 best prospect, where as Lee ranks 25-30.

Peter Sinapi
Peter Sinapi

I doubt very much that Lee is above Evans. In fact I would go as far as to say Evans is their number one receiver on the board. walkins as good as he is highly touted because of his speed and how he takes quick passes and turns them into long plays. Yet the giants don't utilize wide receivers in that manner. And they have a slot, shifty guy in both Cruz and JJ. Don't get me wrong they are two totally different players and the reality is we don't know what wide receivers will do in the new system

mcfly
mcfly

I would love too see the giants draft board, for all we know lee could actually be ahead of Evans. Many are sleeping on Lee because of this year, but if you look at last years tape he could of been the first WR off the board

If I had to guess by the time they pick their board will prob have Barr, Donald, Lewan as the top 3. Most likely in that order

spider43
spider43

@espirence.... Yes, more impact players are needed, but for the skill positions, the Giants prefer WR more than anything else. So if they should get lucky and have Mike Evans drop into their laps, I can't see them passing him up. Otherwise, I would bet they will steer clear of Lewan and draft Donald. But the Giants are not easy to predict, and I could be totally wrong what Reese will do.