New York Giants: Victor Cruz's message for the Pats represents a meaningless cliche
Dec 22, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) points to the sky before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants are 10-5 heading into Week 17 with the playoffs already clinched. But Victor Cruz delivers a message to Tom Brady and the Pats.

For the first time since 2011, the New York Giants are on their way to the postseason. However, they didn’t just make it to the playoffs that year, they won it all over New England for the second time in four years.

“They don’t want to see us,” Cruz said, according to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News. “I’m sure if you ask them (they’d say) they’d play anybody, they don’t care. I’m sure they don’t want to see us. That’s for sure.”

Going into the playoffs, many would surmise the Giants are a team no one wants any part of. But this statement, quite frankly, is nothing more than a meaningless cliche.

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You could talk yourself into an idea that the Packers are a team no one wants to see. The Pats? Same thing. The Steelers are rolling. So are the Chiefs. Don’t forget about the No. 1 seeded Cowboys. And heck, even the Seahawks have championship pedigree.


See what I did there?

Before you know it, 11 of the 12 playoff teams have become those no one in the world wants to play. Sounds like that makes for a remarkable January and February, right? But you get the point, any team can lose on any given week.

But as for the G-Men, there should be a ton of unwavering confidence.

This defense has undeniably carried the team, because, while the offense continues to surprisingly struggle, the defense (ranked third in opponent scoring) has fans nostalgic about those playoff runs in 2007 and 2011. And one of the keys has been the ability to stymie opposing rushing attacks. The Giants are seventh in the league against the run.

This is a team that has swept the Cowboys, giving them their only two losses of the season. But this is also one that has, as I alluded to, looked lethargic on offense. The Giants are 25th in scoring.

This is also a team that barely beat the Bengals, almost lost to the Bears and were just defeated by the Eagles. So there’s unquestionably room for growth.

That brings us back to Victor Cruz, who has had seven games this year with under two receptions. This includes donuts against Green Bay and Pittsburgh, two games the Giants lost. He has one touchdown this year that came way back in the season-opening win against Dallas.

Cruz did help the Giants raise the Vince Lombardi trophy in 2011 with 21 receptions and one touchdown in four postseason games. That one TD? A pretty huge one in that 21-17 victory over the Pats in the Super Bowl. But this season, he’s been pretty irrelevant, so these remarks are unwise.

Tom Brady doesn’t need any more motivation. He realizes that the Giants stand between him and six rings, as opposed to the four he currently has. He’s been on a season-long mission to prove he doesn’t need deflated footballs to beat teams. And Brady, presumably nearing the end of his career, has aspirations of finishing better than everyone in NFL history.

Therefore, I’m not sure this is bulletin board material.

However, Cruz needs to just focus on showing up to games and becoming a factor. The Giants don’t have a consistent rushing attack that will cause opposing teams to quiver. They need their receivers to create some separation to help put points on the board. Too many drives are ending in field goals, and not enough are ending with touchdowns.

Certainly, we understand he isn’t going to be the same player after all the injuries he’s endured the last few seasons, but if you’re going to trash talk to this degree, that must be coupled with results. Cruz has been bereft of those results this year.

Wouldn’t it be funny if the Pats and Giants met in Houston in February and New England won in convincing fashion? It would be yet another chapter in this rivalry. Because it was Brady who conspicuously laughed at the idea of the Giants defense shutting down that vaunted, historically great, Pats offense. Then Brady managed just 14 points in that loss.

With Cruz running his mouth, it would be fitting if the Pats responded the way the Giants did if these two teams were to meet again.

Either way, Victor Cruz had a message for the Patriots. And now, I’ve got a message for him: we don’t want to see any more trash talk.

We’d like to see more salsa dances. It’s been a while since we’ve seen it in a game.


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