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New York Giants’ Victor Cruz “Humbled” After Three-Drop Night

September 6th, 2012 at 11:00 AM
By Dan Benton

After a breakout season in 2011, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz became a household name nation wide. The Paterson, New Jersey native was everywhere you looked – TV, billboards, books, award shows. He had been flung into superstardom and came into 2012 ready to prove he was no fluke. Unfortunately, things did not get off to a very good start for the third-year wideout.

In a 24-17 opening week loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday night, Cruz suffered through the worst game of his professional career. While he may have led the team with six receptions for 58 yards, he was kept out of the endzone – something Brandon Carr guaranteed – and dropped three critical passes. He also committed two damaging penalties. It was a night Cruz called "humbling."

“I guess it’s kind of just a humble check,” Cruz said. “Kind of just get yourself back in check. You just gotta do the little things for a win. I felt like this was one of those games.”

There was no salsa on Wednesday night … there weren't even any smiles. A loss always hurts, but to feel responsible for it was something new for the youngster.

“There’s no excuses for me,” Cruz said. “I have to catch those footballs.”

Cruz and the rest of the New York Giants will need to put Wednesday's week one loss out of their minds immediately. They return to the field next Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and must come out strong to avoid a an 0-2 hole to start the season.

Photo Credit: Mike Gannon

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Tags: Brandon Carr, Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, Football, New Jersey, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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45 Responses to “New York Giants’ Victor Cruz “Humbled” After Three-Drop Night”

  1.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    GOAT56 says:
    September 6, 2012 at 1:32 AM
    Look its game one and we looked out of sync. On Offense I thought Eli was average. Nicks was rusty or maybe not healthy. Cruz played poorly. But I thought Wilson’s fumble changed the whole game. Once he fumbled we all knew Wilson was not going to get many more chances if any at all. Or offense needs him to run the ball effectively. Our OL is getting a lot of blame but to me they did what I expected. The pass protection was pretty good but they did have a few coverage sacks. The run blocking was poor but we knew that. We have to use the pass to setup the run. I thought Gillbride did a bad job by not using 3 WR sets sooner to run the ball better. We are not a physical offense. We are a lot closer to the eagles than many of us want to admit. Eli will be fine, he started in a similar way last year. Eli has improved as a decision maker and was just off with timing and accuracy this game. Maybe it was Dallas maybe it was lack of playing time with his full assortment of weapons but most likely it’s a combination. I also thought a factor was these refs called the game like a decade ago when illegal contact was call very infrequently. It the last few years many of those plays have been flags. It’s something we need to be aware of and adjust our games.

    Defensively we clearly didn’t realize we could be physical with their WRs. We allowed free releases off the line and therefore allowed too many easy passes. Tuck and Osi didn’t join the great JPP effort. They have to play better. I thought the DL clearly wore down. I was hoping that wouldn’t happen but that’s exactly why I thought we should keep 5 DTs and 4 active. Kuhn or Austin if healthy as the 3rd DT needs more snaps so Benard and Joseph can stay fresh.

    Clearly our CBs had a poor game. Webster was bad but I know he’s a good player. Tryon looked lost and not someone who should play outside. Coe wasn’t great but I thought he was solid and held his own. Coe was certainly not the reason we lost and hope his injury is minor. But I thought a major issue was KP and Rolle were just late and took bad angles on everything. Yes our CBs got beat but several times the safeties could have been there to bail them out.

    Overall I think the big picture concerns are Nicks, Wilson, Prince/Coe and Austin/Kuhn. Nicks the concern is just about his health. Was he healthy and just rusty or is he performing a lessor level and not be healthy this whole year. Wilson is needed and the coaches have to have the balls to play him even after he makes a mistake. Bradshaw is a nice back but no horse and likely to get at least banged up this year. With our OL Wilson’s skills fit and are needed. We can’t afford to redshirt Wilson IMO even if it costs us a game early. We need Prince or Coe hopefully both because Tryon is not good enough to play the outside. If neither can play in 10 days then Tryon needs to be tried in slot and Hosley outside. Tryon looked like the player I saw in the first 3 preseason games. Austin or Kuhn are needed to play big boy snaps because if they don’t Joseph and Benard will wear down. I understand that neither player will be ready but they have to play or re-sign a vet like Thomas help out. I doubt Benard is able to play a Canty amount of snaps at this stage of his career so we need even more snaps from the 3rd DT than last year with Benard.

    I think Hixon showed he’s good enough at 3rd WR that he can replace the production we lose with MM leaving even he’s not the same threat. Bennett played the way we hoped. He will end up being a better TE even receiving than Ballard. I think Rivers showed his worth and he will help.

    •  giantsfan says:

      This is a good post. Very good.

      I agree Eli will be fine. Our oline worries me. I’m not sure how/when they can fix that. I think they’ll have to return to a lot of short passes, dinks and dunks, until our running game resembles some type of running.

      There is no fixing our CBs. I want them to bring back Deon Grant. Move Rolle back to CB. Sorry rolle, but our backup CBs cannot do the job. Maybe when Prince and Jayron returns… But not at the moment.

      Hixon is serviceable as a 3rd WR, but no where as explosive as MM. We’ll miss him a little bit.

      Wilson, hope that fumble doesn’t wreak his young mind…

      •  norm says:

        The only way that fumble messes up Wilson’s head is if he is not allowed back on the field very soon. Y’know, the whole “if you fall off a horse, you gotta get back on” kinda thing.

        He strikes me as a very tough minded, disciplined kid who responds well to coaching. This is something he will work on. The problem may not vanish overnight, but there should be at least gradual improvement.

        And, frankly, the Giants need to live with that. Bradshaw is horrible. He may have the ball security thing down at this point but he certainly does not do this offense any favors by consistently running to contact. He’s become nothing more than a rich man’s DJ Ware.

        •  kinsho says:

          Bradshaw’s vision is a bit suspect. On several plays, he should have cut back and run to the edge to nab some extra yardage. And yet, he opts to run through non-existent holes.

          Not to mention he’s slowing down with age. Even on his TD run, he wasn’t fast enough to outrun a defender and had to resort to a stiff-arm to stay inbounds.

          David Wilson has to mature quickly. Either that or the offense needs to start integrating Andre Brown into the thick of things to see if he can change things up for the running game or at the very least take some pressure off Bradshaw.

        •  Grateful Giants says:

          Yes, I agree that you put him back on the horse. But you don’t win a job by fumbling. He was known as a fumbler, he carried the ball 3-5 times, and fumbled 1 of those. So do we expect 1 in every 5 touches to be a fumble? No, but I don’t think benching him was all that bad of an idea. He needs to understand what his mistake was.

          He got to return kicks still, you have to earn your keep, you can’t have everything given to you, as we see with Cruz who was given everything this offseason, and didn’t earn anything but a “humbling” three drop night…

          •  kinsho says:

            I agree. Benching him was actually a good move by TC. He needs to learn from his mistakes.

            That’s all a part of his maturation process. Not only will he need to learn how to keep possession of the ball, but he’ll also need to continue working on his pass protection and his pass catching as well (though I hear he’s pretty good at screen passes already). I just hope he quickly develops, because I don’t know whether Bradshaw can shoulder the entire run game for our team.

            •  kinsho says:

              Just one more point I want to make…

              Bradshaw is still a quality runner. He knows our system well and he’s exceptional at protecting Eli. He’s definitely our main running back, but I don’t know whether he can truly handle most of the runs for this team this season. Somebody else will need to be there to take some pressure off him. Either David Wilson (as he develops) or Andre Brown, I guess…

  2.  norm says:

    Thursday AM stock watch…

    Victor Cruz’ Young Whales Gear: Down 4 3/4

    Fire Killdrive Lines, Inc: Up 9 7/8

  3.  BigBlueGiant says:

    I blame the offensive woes on Gilbride’s missing Mustache. He’s just not the same play caller with that ‘stash gone.

  4.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    norm says:
    September 6, 2012 at 10:45 AM
    If one were to go back and read the thousands of comments I’ve posted on this site (and God help you if you did) I doubt you’d find a single one in which I’ve held the officials responsible for a Giants loss.

    I’ve never been “blame the refs” guy. Just not my thing.

    So I’m not going to start now. But in watching the preseason and then that game yesterday, it’s become glaringly obvious that NFL football is a substantially different game that’s being calle by the scabs (I’ll just call them that; more to the point and fewer keystrokes than “replacements”)

    I noted in a comment in the game thread at halftime that the scabs seemed to have adapted a more laissez faire approach. That which was not too long ago routinely flagged as blatant pass interference and holding (i.e. the ones that occur on running plays only) were consistently overlooked throughout the preseason and last night. Like it or not, that’s the reality of the NFL, circa 2012.

    The smart coaches have already figured this out and have adjusted accordingly. In locker rooms throughout the land, I’m sure coaches are telling their players “Remember all those rules we’ve been drilling into your head. Well, forget about ‘em for now. It’s a different game out there. It’s now ‘anything goes’ so might as well take advantage”

    It sure looked as if the Cowboys have already adjusted to the New World Order. The Giants? Not so much. Now, let me be clear. That was NOT the reason they lost. But it did play a part. And make no mistake about, it’s going to turn out to be a real long season for this Giants team if they continue to abide by the old rules while their opponents take advantage of life under the Scab regime.

    In a way, this reminds me of the 1987 season. The Giants were coming off a dominating Super Bowl win and were widely expected to contend for another. Then the players went on strike. The NFL shortened the season to 15 games, four of which were played by the so-called replacement players. Other teams went out and recruited semi-pro ballers to fill their rosters. Not so the Giants. They went out and hired Vinny the bread truck driver and Manny the carpenter. They lost all four of the scab games en route to a 6-9 finish, last in the East.

    Sure, the Giants deserve some credit for taking the high road and not treating the scab games seriously. Just as they might deserve credit now for adhering more closely to the spirit of the NFL rulebook. Problem is that in both cases, the games still count in the standings. If the Giants continue to “do the right thing” they’ll be putting themselves at a significant disadvantage for as long as the scabs continue to call games.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I agree. It reminded me of how they called games when the Pats were beating up the Indy WRs in the playoffs almost a decade ago. Nothing wrong with that type of football but that’s not the way the game has been played in the last handful of years. We clearly didn’t adjust and it hurt us.

  5.  BigBlueGiant says:

    Cruz was terrible last night. But i also recall him having the drops in the 1st game against the redskins last year as well. Dropped like 2 easy first downs.

    Then the offsides on him, the ghost “block in the back”…. those are unacceptable.

  6.  giantsfan says:

    What really annoyed me is that they packed it in for the first two downs after Boley intercepted Romo. At least send one wideout wide to give the pass option. Especially when we havent been able to run all offseason… sigh…

    •  BigBlueGiant says:

      This is where Randle is going to help with his size as the season progresses.

      I’d also have given Barden a shot down there. let his size be a decoy if anything else.

      •  giantsfan says:

        We don’t even need them. Nicks does very well on those formations. I felt they were just being stubborn and decided to announce they’ll pound it in.

  7.  giantsfan says:

    I can’t wait for Deon Grant to return. Expect him signed very soon

  8.  Dirt says:

    What game were you guys watching re: rush defense? Murray was 11 for 35 (3.18/per) before the busted play. The rush defense was fine, save for the one bit of sally tackling on one play. Made a 4th down stop too.

    •  giantsfan says:

      For the most part of the game, they were fine. But not towards the end of the game. But I suspect that was due to conditioning. It is only the first game of the season. I’m not worried about our run defense at all. Sucks Canty can’t come back for another 5 weeks though.

  9.  kujo says:

    Cruz didn’t look very Fitzgeraldesque.

  10.  BigBlueScorpion says:

    Get your tickets early for suber bowl train cause we winning it all
    Eli played great
    d-line was held relentlessy no suprise tuck/ osi couldent do anything olny real problem was secondary prince and hosley should sure that up

    •  norm says:

      The only ticket I’m buying right now is one for the Fire Killdrive Deluxe SuperCruiser, driven by the legendary j charles himself who also serves as tour guide par excellence.

      I know my man Dirt already has it oiled, tuned up, and ready to roll!

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