Most of the NFL's fans this Sunday will be focused on the Giants and Broncos for one reason: Eli Manning is playing against his brother Peyton Manning. It's a sibling rivalry and that's the kind of match-up that draws viewers. The younger brother Eli is 0-2 against Peyton in regular season meetings, and despite what he is telling the press, there remains the possibility that he wants revenge.
With the media focused on Eli vs. Peyton, it might be tough for fans to focus on the other 20 players on the field. That's not the case for Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.
"It's not hard at all, especially for an offensive player," said Cruz on avoiding the Manning hype. "We've got to go out and, it's not like we're going against Peyton, we've got to go out there and worry about what defenses we're playing, what coverage's, things of that nature, and to be able to beat the man in front of us and win our individual battles."
For the Giants to be successful on Sunday, Cruz will need to work on replicating the big plays that allowed him to score three touchdowns and gain over 100 yards against the Cowboys in Week 1. With top Denver cornerback Champ Bailey listed as questionable for Week 2, there could be more opportunities for New York to exploit the Broncos' secondary.
"There are a lot of opportunities for us," said Cruz, "We like when guys play bump-and-run, play a little bit of man coverage as well as some zone but we like the challenges. They present some challenges for us and having some one-on-one opportunities, we want to be able to exploit that."
The passing game was not an issue for the Giants last week, though. The problem that kept them out of the winner's circle was halfback David Wilson's inability to run effectively or to hang onto the football. Wilson fumbled the ball away twice and now the Giants have brought old friend Brandon Jacobs back into the fold to provide some stability.
"That's my guy, man. I'm happy to see him back," said Cruz, "We needed some help in that specific position and I think that he'll definitely be a guy to not only help us on the field but help David Wilson as well, getting his morale back up, his emotional state. He's going to do nothing but help this team."
At 31, Jacobs might be more useful in the leadership department than he is on the field, but his addition is still a plus for a Giants team that lacks experience in the offensive backfield. That backfield will go a long way towards deciding if New York is victorious or not, so fans looking to avoid the Manning hype should make it a point to focus on.