The New York Giants have a lot to play for on Monday night. A win over the Washington Redskins would put Big Blue at least two-games ahead of every other team in the NFC East with four games to go. A victory would also improve the Giants' record within the NFC East, which would come in handy in the event of a tiebreaker at the end of the season. However, Giants wideout Victor Cruz said in a conference call earlier today there will be no personal vendetta's settled on the field this weekend.
The Giants defeated the Redskins in a thrilling 27-23 Week 7 matchup. Robert Griffin III threw a touchdown pass to Santana Moss to give the Redskins the lead with under two-minutes left. However, Eli Manning worked his late game magic and threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz. After the game, Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall was not willing to give the Giants too much credit for their victory.
"For [Eli] to say that in the first half he picked up on it and to not make a play until the last play of the game? I don't know how well he picked up on it," Hall said. "I feel we gave him that play. It wasn't something where he was a rocket scientist and he figured something out. We just played that as bad as possible."
The Giants did not make a big deal of Hall's comment. There was no need too, because at the end of the day Big Blue walked away with a victory and the 'Skins didn't. Hall has a history of stirring up controversy and trying to egg opponents and even teammates into altercations, and the Giants were smart and took the high road.
The Giants will continue to focus on football this weekend, as opposed to comments made by a bitter cornerback playing on a team with a losing record. Cruz was not willing to say that the team was going to use Hall's comments as motivation, but he did dispute the notion that the Redskins "gave" the Giants the game winning touchdown in Week 7.
"It didn't take a rocket scientist to throw the ball or for me to catch it or whatever it was," Cruz said. "But it was a play that was designed, a play that was in front in your defense, a play that had to be ran for us to win the game and Eli threw it and I caught it. So it wasn't that difficult, but it was something that was done; it was something that wasn't given to us. Guys were in coverage, they were chasing after me, they were in position to make plays on the ball, but unfortunately for them they didn't do so.
Every game on the Giants schedule seems to increase in importance. Last week, Big Blue had to show their ability to come out of their bye week and bounce back from an embarrassing 31-13 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10. This week, the Giants must win to create separation between them and the rest of the division. It's been like that al year with this team, as they have not fully proved themselves as a elite, consistently performing team capable of playing 60 minutes of focused football each and every game.
A win on Monday would go a long way in establishing just that. This team has too much as stake right now to worry about what players on other teams are saying or doing. In the coming weeks, we are going to find out if this team is for real or not this season. In order to achieve success against their daunting schedule, the Giants must focus solely on what they need to do in order to win football games.
Also…Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, DeAngelo Hall, Eli Manning, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFC East, NFL, Robert Griffin III, Victor Cruz, Washington Redskins