I liked this story/chart from Pat Kirwan on the rate at which NFL teams sacked the quarterback on third downs in 2011. (Even though his chart claims to include all 32 teams and in fact only includes 24. Hey, it's the offseason.) And I can't say as I'm surprised that the New York Giants ranked second-best in the league in third-down sacks and percentage of third-down sacks (behind only the Ravens). For a 9-7 team to win the Super Bowl, it must be exceptional at certain things, and in critical situations, and the Giants were certainly that. One of the things Pat believes his chart shows is why it would be foolish for the Giants to entertain thoughts of trading Osi Umenyiora:
In 123 games Osi has 36.5 sacks in third-down situations for his career. That's a third down sack 1:3.3 games. Julius Peppers has 34.5 in 164 games or 1:4.7 games. The great Reggie White had 47.5 sacks on third downs in 251 games or 1:5.2 games. The Giants aren't giving Umenyiora away and probably shouldn't trade him at all. Reggie White played until he was 39, and Osi is just 31.
Fair enough. I'm not totally sure we can look at one number and say Umenyiora's the new Reggie White, but it's clear that he brings something very special and that the Giants should value it highly, as they do. My argument for trading him has been based on the idea that his value is probably at its peak right now, but I agree with Pat that they're not in a take-the-best-offer mode and should only move him if the price is good.
I also found it interesting that the Philadelphia Eagles ranked fourth on this list in the first year of Jim Washburn and the "Wide 9." From this distant, early-May vantage point, the reasons to think the Eagles should be among the first defenses taken in fantasy drafts continue to pile up.