Traditionally, the New York Giants have been a team that thrives when their backs are against the wall; when all of the pressure is on their shoulders. Such has not been the case here in 2012, and after being blown out in each of the last two weeks, their playoff fate now rests in the hands of others. Accordingly, Big Blue feels the immense pressure to repeat as Super Bowl champions has dissipated, and wide receiver Victor Cruz believes that will help them going into their week 17 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"I think there was some pressure, obviously, going into the last four games where we had to win and we had to keep doing the things we had to do with everybody looking back at last year," Cruz said. “I feel like there’s no pressure for us [now]. We’ve just got to go out there and take care of business and we understand that. You can kind of feel the tension slip away from this team, and we’re just relaxed and ready to go.”
In other words, it sounds like the pressure they had been experiencing made them crack. And perhaps that's a better excuse than flat-out quitting -which some fans feel is a blasphemous idea- but it still doesn't explain how a team that has thrived on such pressure over the last eight years suddenly felt it was too much to bear.
“I just think because of all that we’ve been through this year, I think we just understand that now it’s either do or die and we’ve just got to go out there and relax and play football,” Cruz said.
Unfortunately for Cruz, last week was do or die … and they died. Now they need to not only win their game, but hope that several other chips fall into place exactly as they need them to or it will be an early offseason for the defending Super Bowl champions. It would also mark the seventh straight year a defending champion has failed to come back and win at least one playoff game the following season.
Also…Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz