1. 99-Yard Grab vs. Jets
The Giants had their backs against the wall, both figuratively and literally, before Victor Cruz made his career defining play. Coming off an emotional victory at the Cowboys two weeks prior, the Giants responded by laying an egg at home against Washington and dropping to 7-7. Heading into a Week 16 game with the Jets, they had to win to keep their postseason hopes alive.
The Jets talked a fair bit of smack before the game, and covered up the Giants three Super Bowl murals in an attempt to get under the Giants skin. While Big Blue were clearly angered by this, their play did not show it– they were being physically manhandled by the Jets, and faced a 3rd and 10 at the 1 yard line, down 7-3. The chances of the Giants converting were slim, and if they didn’t convert, they would be handing the Jets great field position.
The stage was set for Cruz to make the defining catch of his NFL career: He caught a pass from Eli Manning at the 11 yard line, broke two tackles, and raced down the sideline for an NFL record-equalling touchdown reception of 99 yards. The play sparked the Giants into life, and the team never looked back, winning their final two regular season games, before running the table and defeating the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Many fans, pundits, and Giants players can agree that their Super Bowl likely doesn’t happen if Cruz doesn’t go the distance on this play. Considering the impact this catch had on the Giants season, the fact that it came against the rival Jets, and the length of the play, this has to be the best play of Cruz’ career.