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New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Understands He Must Match Opponents’ Physicality

November 7th, 2012 at 10:24 AM
By Dan Benton

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.

'Victor Cruz makes the catch' photo (c) 2011, Kathy Vitulano - license:

“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.


Tags: Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Eli Manning, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

7 Responses to “New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Understands He Must Match Opponents’ Physicality”

  1.  GOAT56 says:


    Nosh.0 says:
    November 6, 2012 at 8:14 PM
    Crazy week. Just got power back today. Have a ton to say but I’ll wait for another day as I’m sure people are focusing on the election results tonight. Anyway here’s my weekly tuesday contribution.

    Football Outsiders Week 9 Power Rankings
    Again these rankings are based on data from every snap played this season
    Overall: 7
    Offense: 6
    Defense: 8
    Specials: 14

    Krow says:
    November 7, 2012 at 10:17 AM
    That’s actually pretty damned good.

    GOAT56 says:
    November 7, 2012 at 10:19 AM
    This is very interesting. I know it’s a lot of stats but shows a few things that are contrary to popular belief. Our strength of schedule so far is ranked 13th and the remaining schedule is 15th. I know many would wait how did these geeks get that wrong. But think about it we play Cin, No, Was and Phi all who have been below average teams. It also highlights that dallas SOS so far is #1 and their remaining schedule is 30th. It also ranks us as the 3rd least consistent team – I think most of us would agree with that ranking. We are the record we should be with our stats while Dallas should be 5-3. Good stuff.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    I think 3 WRs sets are something we need to go back to more. Cruz is better in the slot. Though neither Randle or Hixon is MM right now they can still be #3 CBs enough. We will take some shots and in those plays Eli needs to find the one on ones more regularly and give the WRs a chance to catch the ball. Meaning an underthrow is better than an overthrow because our WRs have shown skill in catching the ball over, around and through DBs. Also we need more meduim (15 yard range) passes. I think everyone plays us for short and deep passes leaving the medium stuff open especially on early downs.

  3.  jfunk says:

    In my previous post, I’m not attempting to say these other issues are not issues at all, I’m just saying that they’re ant hills compared to the current mountain in our way.

    At this time in 2011, we were also 6-3 despite a team that was playing worse overall than this team. What allowed that team to be 6-3 was Eli Manning carrying it on his back. Eli can “fix” a lot more of what’s wrong with this team by himself than the rest of the players can collectively.

    If all the big, key moment mistakes by the other players on this team never happened, we could be 8-1 with 2012 Eli. If all of those mistakes were still made just the same, but 2011 Eli was playing for us, we’d also be 8-1 and possibly 9-0.

    Eli getting better is both the fastest and most likely solution to our problems. EVERYBODY ELSE all playing better at the same time is much more wishful thinking.

    •  norm says:

      jfunk is correct: Last years 6-3 start does not equal this year’s 6-3 start. That 2011 Giants team was largely a one Manning band through much of the first 14 games. This year, the team has managed to post the same record despite its best, most important player not performing especially well in nearly half its games.

      Seems to me that should be cause for optimism, rather than concern, going forward.

      Unless one believes that Eli is either (1) attempting to play through some undisclosed injury; or (2) has inexplicably regressed to his 2005 self, then I’d think it reasonable to assume that this Giants team is going to get considerably better as its QB rounds back into form.

      This Sunday would be a good time for that to start.

  4.  ERICHONIUS says:

    @FF55 Saying that manningham has consistently run poor routes is NOT making a statement about the frequency of his bad routes. It is a statement of how running bad routes was something that he has done through out his career and has not been “fixed”.
    definition of consistent: unchanging in achievement or effect over a period of time.

    @Krow I was joking about hating you. I was going for irony. Sorry apparently a poor joke

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