The 2012 season certainly had its share of disappointments for the Giants, but one of the few pleasant surprises it contained was the play of safety Stevie Brown.
Brown established himself as one of the premier safeties in the National Football League.
Not only did he post impressive numbers in terms of traditional stats, recording 76 tackles, 11 passes deflected and eight interceptions, but the advanced metrics were equally as impressive. Brown ranked second in the NFL amongst safeties in Expected Points Added per Game (3.38) and third in positive Win Probability Added (1.52). Explanations for these stats can be found here.
His eight interceptions are the most by a Giant since 1968 when Willie Williams had 10 and Spider Lockhart had eight.
But Brown’s breakout season can largely be attributed to him being in the right place at the right time.
It was Kenny Phillips’ annual injury that thrust Brown into the spotlight Week 4 against the Eagles where he recorded eight tackles, and the following week in the starting role for the first time Brown had an interception which he returned 46 yards before being tackled.
He would go on to hang onto the starting safety position for 10 of the next 11 weeks, forming a formidable duo with veteran Antrel Rolle.
Rolle and Brown played so well, that Phillips was seen as expendable this offseason and was not resigned by GM Jerry Reese.
While there wasn’t a whole lot of hype surrounding Brown from national sports media outlets such as ESPN, it’s hard to argue that he is not one of the elite safeties in all of football.
One could even go as far to say that Brown was a Pro Bowl snub last season. Here’s how his numbers stack up against the NFC Pro Bowl safeties from 2013:
While those other players may have more name recognition with the voting fans, what they don’t have are numbers that are better.
Looking at the numbers side by side, it’s actually a surprise that Brown wasn’t recognized, considering that his numbers are better across the board than Goldson, Thomas, DeCoud, and Moore.
If Brown can replicate his success again in 2013, a trip to Hawai’i the week before the Super Bowl would certainly be in order (assuming the Giants aren’t playing in the big game).
Joe Vasile | Featured Columnist
Joe Vasile is a play-by-play announcer and radio host. Follow him on Twitter and check out his website. All statistics used in this article are from the NFL, ESPN Stats & Information, or www.advancednflstats.com.