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Of course, Eli Manning was the major force behind the Giants coming down the stretch and into the playoffs. And, of course, the quarterback deserves the major share of the credit. But Manning wasn't as good a quarterback as Victor Cruz was a receiver. Cruz wasn't just the possession guy, the one you went to on third-and-five. He was the big-play guy, the one you went to when it was third-and-10 or longer. He had 82 receptions, 11 for TDs, for 1,536 yards—that's 18.7 yards per catch, the kind of stat that forces defensive coordinators to double-cover a receiver. He was the Giants' best breakaway receiver since . . . who? We can't recall anyone in the Bill Parcells years who was such a threat going over the middle. If he does this for another season, we're going to have to wake up the echoes and compare him to Del Shofner and Frank Gifford.
Source: The Village Voice
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