For the better part of the last three games, the New York Giants offense has been anemic to say the least. Quarterback Eli Manning has been off his game, and the wide receivers have been physically dominated at the line of scrimmage; so much so that their emotions have been on display each week as they routinely call for flags they aren't receiving. But this league is one of adjustments, and Victor Cruz is ready to make necessary changes.
“I just have to understand that it’s coming, understand that the physical nature is probably the only way that they can get to me nowadays,” Cruz told WFAN on Tuesday. "I have to understand that the physical nature is what’s going to come next and just be ready for it, have a plan for it and be physical right back with them. [I need to] create separation the best way I can.”
One of the most damning aspects of being physically bested by the opposition has been the Giants' inability to force a big play; something they have become accustomed to. And as it is with the New York Yankees in baseball, they are vulnerable without the home run.
“It’s something that we’ve hung our hat on, is making the big play and really changing the face of a game; making that long touchdown or having that long catch that really changes the perception of the game for us,” Cruz said. “But teams have been sitting back in that Cover 2 and not allowing us to do so, so we’ve just got to take our time and find different ways to beat the opposition.”
One adjustment Cruz expects to make as early as this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals is being used as more of a traditional slot receiver. He expects more short passes, routes across the middle and falling in behind linebackers in zone coverages. In other words, the offense will now dink and dunk, take what the defense gives them and hope it opens them up for a big play later in the game.
This isn't a new concept for the Giants, just merely something they had gotten away from due to the success of their big plays. But a simplified, slow-moving offense is certainly better than a fast-paced that's yielding no tangible results.
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