Cruz just keeps on cruising as Giants' top threat
EAST RUTHERFFORD, N.J. (AP) — Victor Cruz came out of nowhere to become the New York Giants' go-to receiver a year ago.
With opponents watching his every move this season, and Hakeem Nicks still working his way back from a broken foot in the offseason and a swollen knee, Cruz remains quarterback Eli Manning's No. 1 target.
It was never more evident than last Sunday when the two-time Super Bowl MVP found Cruz on a 77-yard scoring pass play with 1:13 to play to give the NFC East-leading Giants (5-2) a dramatic 27-23 win over quarterback Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins.
Cruz not only leads the Giants with 50 catches for 627 yards and seven touchdowns, his total receptions is third overall in the league heading into this weekend's game against the Cowboys (3-3) in Dallas.
It's a great follow-up to a season in which he set a franchise record with 1,536 yards receiving. Though Cruz certainly hasn't looked at this year as a proving ground to show last year wasn't a fluke.
"I just wanted to come in and continue to play my game," he said. "I didn't want to come in and try to prove anybody wrong or prove all the doubters wrong. Because I think what I did last year proved a lot of people wrong in itself. So for my sake, (I) just (need to) continue to be consistent and continue to catch every ball that's thrown in my direction. That's the only thing I can do, is run my route, read the defenses, read the coverages and catch everything that's in my area."
Facing the Cowboys this weekend is going to give Cruz a chance to make up for what might have been his worst game. He dropped a couple of passes in the 24-17 loss to Dallas in the season opener.
"Giants-Cowboys is always a big game," Cruz said. "We want to come in and match their level of intensity. They're coming off a solid win against Carolina. We want to be able to match their intensity and come out firing."
If the Giants win, they can open a 2½-game lead over Dallas in the division, which might be tough to overcome. A second Cowboys' win over the champions, though, would muddy the waters in the NFC East.
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