Numbers never lie, unless Ben McAdoo doesn't like them.
The Giants coach got defensive Friday when asked about Jason Pierre-Paul's low output this season; the defensive end has 28 combined tackles and just 1.5 sacks. Pierre-Paul's underwhelming performance is also that of the entire defensive line, which was retooled in the offseason with expensive additions like Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison, but has inexplicably dropped from 30th to 31st in the league in sacks (9).
Present this conundrum to McAdoo, however, and you will receive a harsh rebuke and pivot, as reporters did on Friday.
"We say it all the time, really: Stats are for losers," McAdoo said in response to the aforementioned question. "We need to make the quarterback uncomfortable. We need to make him move, make him chatter his feet, make him early with the throws. Numbers are numbers."
If by "losers", the Giants coach means "people who value qualitative metrics that are indicative of performance", then yes, stats are for losers.
McAdoo has a point when he says that pressuring the quarterback is more important than sack totals; Case Keenum didn't throw four picks in London two weeks ago just for kicks, did he? And on the whole, New York's defense has improved this season. The Giants are surrendering 6.5 fewer points per game and nearly 60 fewer yards per game than they did in 2015.
But given the $200 million investment the organization made in sack-happy defensive linemen in the offseason, you'd think the Giants would be more concerned about getting bang for their buck.
No, that job is for losers.