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Good Afternoon

It's been a game of inches with Boley out

Tight end Jimmy Graham #80 of the New

Tight end Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints runs after a first quarter catch towards Deon Grant #34 of the New York Giants and ahead of Jason Pierre-Paul. (Nov. 28, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

I was a little curious about some numbers, so I whipped out the old playbooks and did some figurin’ on the flight home from New Orleans. What I wanted to know was this:

What has the statistical impact of Michael Boley’s injury been?

Obviously the team was 6-2 when he was healthy for eight and a half games and they haven’t won since he fell down on the field with a hamstring injury against the 49ers three weeks ago. But is there a reason why (other than the obvious that he is better than those trying to replace him)?

Here’s what I found. Through the first 8.5 games – right up to Boley’s injury just before halftime – the Giants were allowing opponents to gain 5.525 yards per play. In the 2.5 games since the injury, opponents have gained 5.546 yards per play. So what’s that difference? It’s .021 yards. That’s not even an extra inch. It’s about three-quarters of an inch per play.

But those fractions of inches must add up because check this out:

Through the first 8.5 games the Giants were allowing 22.7 points per game. In the 2.5 games since the injury they are allowing 31.7 points per game. That’s a HUGE difference. It’s nine points. Opponents are not gaining more yardage per play but they are certainly making them count more because they are averaging almost an extra touchdown and field goal per game without Boley in there.

Yes, the 49 points allowed skews that stat a bit. But the Giants did hold the Eagles to 17 points a week earlier, so it all gets washed out in the math.

If you know what any of this means, feel free to email me. Otherwise just stare and marvel at my math skills.

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