The Giants’ performance Sunday against Houston was the show everyone has been waiting for from Ben McAdoo’s new offense. The offensive line looked like a whole new group from the guys that were dominated in Detroit, Rashad Jennings had a career day, and Eli Manning answered critics about his ability to efficiently run a West Coast Offense (at least temporarily). On a day of such superlatives, it was perhaps Victor Cruz who shown through most of all.
Responding to criticism of his performance last week in the fashion of a true captain, Cruz left it all on the field with five catches, over a hundred yards receiving and his first receiving touchdown since Week 4 of 2013.
This was the first real indication of what Cruz could do in this new offensive system, one that is tailor-made for a player of Cruz’s ability after the catch. After Sunday’s performance, Cruz is confident he and his fellow receivers will continue to make similar plays.
“I think [my performance was] indicative of what this offense can do, as well as the throw to Rueben Randle that he couldn’t come down with, those long passes are there as well,” noted New York’s top WR. “That’s definitely what this offense can do, getting the ball to us. We’re very athletic on the outside and all the receivers can make something happen with the football. It’s just a matter of getting the ball in our hands and us doing what we can do with it.”
It was also the first real insight into what Jennings has to offer the Giants on the ground. Jennings, who had a career day with a relentless performance on the ground, impressed Cruz.
“He’s sheer toughness,” Cruz said of Jennings. “You can see it in the way he runs. Very smart runner, knows how to pick his holes, knows when to explode through the holes. It’s just fun to see him run, it’s fun to block for him, and it’s fun to see him with the ball in his hands. So I’m excited for him and I think today kind of kick starts what he’s doing.”
For Cruz, this performance was not just a relief after the criticism he came under last week, but also brought the end to what must have felt like an endless drought in the end zone.
“Oh man, [I was] excited,” Cruz said on his touchdown. “It’s been a long time since I got in that end zone. It felt good to dance again, but my hips hurt from dancing.”
If the Giants continue to play like they did on Sunday, Cruz may not be waiting long to show off his dance moves.