New York Giants, Victor Who? Victor Cruz!

August 16, 2010

The highly anticipated first game in New Meadowlands stadium had some seriously surprising story lines. None more surprising than WR Victor Cruz. Cruz entered the game with the second team offense and burned the opposing Jets defensive backs for 6 catches 145 yards and 3 touchdowns. All three touchdowns looked very athletic and impressive. His first touchdown was a 64 yard bomb from backup quarterback Jim Sorgi in which Cruz made significant contact with Jets defenders, even wrapping his arm around a helmet but the touchdown counted. Cruz is an undrafted rookie out of the University of Massachusetts and is vying for a shot at the 53 man roster. With no clear-cut return man decided, the elusive Cruz has a real shot of being there when its all said and done. Under achievers such as Sinorice Moss are hogging rosters spots, but I feel a new wind blowing and Victor Cruz may be forcing these dead weights out.

The 6 foot 1, 200 pound, Cruz even talks a big game. On August 13th published a video interview of Cruz in which he claimed,  in jest, that he wanted to “kick the crap” out of  the Jets. Well it is no joke now, he delivered. In a contest that had a lot of smack talk back and forth, Cruz pulled through and embarrassed the opposing secondary. Keep in mind he played against second and third strings, but in a night where Ramses Barden (who is pushing to become the third receiver against Mario Manningham) dropped a sure ball, anything is possible.

It begs the question, who will be the Giants receivers? With Hixon out for the season there is roster room, I do foresee Moss missing the cut this season, and very possibly Smith and Nicks will be the starters with Barden (because of his unique height and style) pulling in at the three spot. That leaves Manningham, Hagan, and Cruz. Manningham is almost a sure bet to get a spot on the roster, but maybe he will become the return man with Cruz taking over the fourth slot and Hagan either heading to the fifth or sixth spot. These are all merely predictions but it will be interesting to watch a somewhat renewed wide receiver group battle it out.

Other notes from tonight’s game, QB Eli Manning left the game to receive 12 stitches in his head, after colliding with RB Brandon Jacobs on a botched play. The early reports indicate that he did not have a concussion and a statement from Eli indicated he was fine and ready to go; according to ESPN analysts. I do not want to go into more detail because I truly believe ESPN is milking the footage for all it is worth while hyping the incident to a larger importance than it has.

Also, Matt Dodge looked rather unimpressive. He had his first punt blocked and his next few were nothing special, he will need a lot of work before season starts.

Antrel Rolle looked good in his Giant debut picking off Mark Sanchez’s first pass of the new season and returning it to the one yard line after a 59 yard run.

Chase Blackburn left the game early with an injury, he is primarily a special teams linebacker and he hasn’t missed a game in his entire career, so we hope he can return soon. We all know the story of the Giants offseason injuries highlighted by their lone active tight end (Pascoe) in tonights game. They do not need any more injury concerns, although Bear did play well. We will continue to monitor the injuries and the progress of all players, as training camp and the preseason continues.

Josh Berman –

The New York Giants Preseason Begins Tonight

August 16, 2010

Hello Giants Fans,

The moment has finally arrived for the starving football fans. The Giants first preseason game will be played tonight in a brand new stadium against their inter-state rival, the Jets. Yes, I know the Hall of Fame game was played last Sunday and that there have been a lot of other preseason games that have been played throughout the week but we’re talking about New York Giants football here. We are roughly three hours away from kick off and officially starting the 2010 NFL season. Some people say that the season doesn’t start until the first regular season game but that is not how it was in my house. To me, the season begins tonight because the hits start tonight.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s article (Monday Night Football: The Battle for New York), I really enjoy the preseason games because I love to see the young players get on the field and fight for a starting role. Die hard fans spend the off season reading about and researching these players and once you have all of your homework on paper completed, the only thing left is to see them actually play. But seeing all of the player stats on paper doesn’t compare to seeing them on the field.

I also expect the stadium itself to receive a ton of coverage tonight. You don’t build a billion dollar plus stadium and not have a coming out party. I’m sure there will be plenty of “transition” material that will be worked in between commercials and the game itself.

One aspect of the stadium I found to be very cool is the lighting system. Someone had the terrific idea of using blue and green lighting to identify the home team instead of using paint. The lighting will be blue for the G-Men and green for the Jets. There is some concern surrounding the field turf. There were reports of players complaining about the turf after Giants WR Domenik Hixon went down with a season ending injury during minicamp. Apparently, there were some adjustments made to the turf and everything should be fine now.

Be sure to come back tomorrow and check out our analysis and enjoy the game!

Who is the King of New York football? The Giants or the Jets?

RD –