New York Giants, Eli Manning Happy to Have Victor Cruz Back

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants celebrates his touchdown in the first quarter against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The New York Giants, their fans, and especially their quarterback Eli Manning are ecstatic to have wide receiver Victor Cruz back to catching touchdown passes. Even if it’s only to watch him do his salsa dance after he scores.

In week two against the New Orleans Saints, we didn’t get the shootout that most fans and critics were hoping for, but our $200,000,000 million defense showed up once again after doing it at AT&T Ballpark against the Dallas Cowboys in week one who were led by a fourth-round pick in quarterback Dak Prescott who Dallas drafted out of Mississippi State in this year’s NFL Draft. 

New York Giants Ecstatic to Have Victor Cruz Back

Against the Saints in week two, the Giants lost three straight fumbles on three straight possessions. That was the first time that happened to a Giants team since 1983 when Bill Parcels was a young head coach. The G-Men were able to sack Saints quarterback Drew Brees only twice during their 13-10 win. Safeties Landon Collins and Leon Hall, both recorded their first sacks of their careers. Collins is only in his second NFL season out of the University of Alabama, and is considered one of the better run-stoppers. For Hall, this is his tenth-year in the league, which is quite a long time to get your first career sack. I’m sure Hall and Collins won’t have to wait long for their next one.

The Giants’ only touchdown of the game came when cornerback Dominic Rogers-Cromartie blocked a 45-yard field-goal attempt, that was picked up by another high-priced acquisition in cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who took it 65-yards to the house for a Giants touchdown. That was the first blocked field-goal attempt that was returned for a touchdown by the Giants since 2008.

With the game tied at ten apiece late in the fourth quarter, it was none other than Victor Cruz who made the biggest play of the game on a third-and-eight from the Saints own 36-yard line with only 1:32 remaining in the game.

Cruz was being shadowed by rookie cornerback, Ken Crowley, as Manning lofted the football down the right sideline, and the vintage Victor Cruz not only had a step, but he went up and out muscled the rookie for the ball. Setting up a first-and-goal from the one-yard line. The incredible throw by Eli Manning, and the spectacular catch by Victor Cruz, completed a 34-yard pass play. Prior to Manning’s throw to Cruz, he tried the exact same pass to Odell Beckham Jr. down the left sideline, hitting OBJ in stride, but the best wide receiver in the NFL dropped the ball on what would’ve been an easy touchdown catch.

Instead, Cruz’ catch brought the Giants to the one-yard line, and with three kneel downs by Manning, kicker Josh Brown strolled onto the field and kicked the game-winning 25-yard field-goal as time expired.

At this time last year, New York was 0-2 instead of 2-0. The Giant team from 2015 was horrendous when it came to time management, but so far in 2016, they appear to have put that issue to bed.

Odell Beckham Jr. Versus Josh Norman II

This Sunday when the Giants hosted their divisional rivals, the Washington Redskins at Met Life Stadium, all eyes wer e on the matchup between cornerback Josh Norman and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

While all the media attention was focused on Beckham-Norman II, quietly another storyline is beginning to make noise, and it revolves around the Giants passing game. New York is developing one of the NFL’s most potent receiving groups, which is led by Beckham, who’s been rejoined by a healthy Victor Cruz and an extremely impressive rookie in Sterling Shepard.

Beckham led the Giants with 12 receptions for 159 yards heading into the Redskins game, with rookie Sterling Shepard second with 11 receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown. While Victor Cruz has eight catches for 125 yards and a game-tying touchdown in week one against the Dallas Cowboys and helped setup the game-winning field-goal in week two against the Saints.

The Giants-Redskins game didn’t turn out the way New York would’ve liked. Heading into the second half, the Giants had a 21-9 lead before the mistakes began to creep in. Despite Norman shadowing Beckham, it was Beckham (7 rec, 123 yards) which led the Giants in big plays. Whereas Norman was hit with a personal foul against Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard that resulted in a big play.

However, in the end , the Redskins were the team that made the bigger plays in the second half to help avoid going 0-3 to start the season. Only three teams since 1990 have made the playoffs after losing three in a row to start the season.

The second half was marked with mistakes on behalf of the Giants and Eli Manning (25/38, 350 yards and TD, 2INT). New York turned the ball over three times, with eleven penalties for 128 yards.

Anytime you lose against any team, no matter where they are at, it is a tough one to swallow,” Victor Cruz said. “Especially one like this where you had so many opportunities to put some points on the board, but you win some, you lose some, you have to learn from the losses and move on.”

Jerry Reese Opened The Bank For The Defense

Thanks to the Giants general manager, Jerry Reese, who’s off-season spending has been a major factor in the Giants week one, and week two wins. Reese literally went on a spending spree in an attempt to improve the league’s worst defense from 2015. To help out Jason Pierre-Paul on the defensive line, Reese signed former Miami Dolphins defensive end, Olivier Vernon, to a five-year, $85,000,000 million contract, that includes a $20,000,000 million signing bonus, $52,500,000 guaranteed, and an average salary of $17,000,000 million. In 2016, however, Vernon will earn a base salary of $1,750,000 – a roster bonus of $7,000,000 and a workout bonus of $250,000. Vernon has a cap hit of $13,000,000 while his dead money value is $40,750,000 million.

Former Los Angeles Rams cornerback, Janoris Jenkins, was signed to a five-year, $62,500,000 contract with the Giants, including a $10,000,000 signing bonus, $28,800,000 in guaranteed money, and an average annual salary of $12,500,000. In 2016, Jenkins will earn a base salary of $1,400,000. A signing bonus of $10,000,000. A roster bonus of $4,500,000 and a workout bonus of $100,000. Jenkins cap hit will cost the Giants $8,000,000 while his dead money is valued at $28,900,000.

In order to sure up their defensive line, Reese signed former New York Jets defensive lineman, Damon Harrison, to a five-year, $46,250,000 contract, including an $8,000,000 million signing bonus, $24,000,000 is guaranteed, with an average annual salary of $9,250,000. In the 2016 season, Harrison will earn a base salary of $1,750,000. Including a signing bonus of $8,000,000. A roster bonus of $3,000,000 and a workout bonus of $250,000. Harrison’s cap hit of $6,600,000 while his dead money is valued at $20,200,000.