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New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Sets Pro Bowl Record with 10 Receptions

January 28th, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Dan Benton

The New York Giants would much rather being playing in New Orleans this coming Sunday, but that just wasn't in the cards for them this season. Instead, four of their players were sent to Hawaii to represent Big Blue in the 2012-2013 NFL Pro Bowl. And well-represented they were.

'Victor Cruz makes the catch' photo (c) 2011, Kathy Vitulano - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Quarterback Eli Manning rebounded well after throwing a pick-six in his first series, offensive lineman Chris Snee played relatively well against a mildly aggressive defense, and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul not only recorded a sack of Peyton Manning, but hauled in the game-sealing interception. Still, it was the performance of wide receiver Victor Cruz that really stood out.

Appearing in his first Pro Bowl, Cruz wanted to make an impression. Right out of the gate he did exactly that, hauling in a pass from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. He followed that with a five-catch series shortly after Manning came in, which was capped off with a touchdown … and subsequent salsa.

"I gave [the hula] a little bit of thought," Cruz said. "But my first Pro Bowl, I felt like I got to keep it classic."

His day then ended after hauling in his 10th reception, courtesy of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russel Wilson, which was a single-game Pro Bowl record. The previous record of nine receptions was held by Randy Moss (Minnesota Vikings, 2000).

When all was said and done, Cruz had 92 yards and a touchdown on those 10 receptions, but despite setting an all-time mark, the MVP award went to Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who had five receptions of his own for 122 yards and a touchdown (from Eli Manning).

Say what you will about the Pro Bowl, but setting records that have stood for over a decade is a big deal. Many congratulations go out to Cruz.

Now if only the Giants could work out the details on a new contract for him…

Also…

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Tags: Chris Snee, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Football, Jason Pierre-Paul, Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota, Minnesota Vikings, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Victor Cruz

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66 Responses to “New York Giants’ Victor Cruz Sets Pro Bowl Record with 10 Receptions”

  1.  fanfor55years says:

    Can’t bring myself to watch the Pro Bowl. Did the players actually play as if they cared a bit this time?

    How about President Obama suggesting the future of the sport as we know it is questionable? He brought up the same issues I have over the past year, but had he said this, along with his full position on gun control (with which I heartily agree), prior to the election I’m betting we’d have seen a different guy inaugurated. But how will the NFL deal with the concussion issue? It cannot be swept under the rug.

    After thinking about this off-season I have to admit I have come to the conclusion that none of us know anything and we should just sit back, relax, and watch things unfold. The permutations are endless, and the future is cloudy. I do not think I could honestly make an educated guess about the 2013 season at this point because I have absolutely no idea of what the roster will look like. Only Jerry Reese and his minions have a clue, and even they are highly dependent upon the outcome of dozens of negotiations that have not commenced yet. It should be a bit of a wild ride going forward. While I feel pretty confident about this team in 2014 (I like our core of players who are sure to be retained and have faith in the results of two coming drafts plus the play of those coming out of the past two drafts), I don’t have a clue regarding 2013.

    •  Krow says:

      My biggest concern is that the NFL is udergoing a change … and we’re not fully recognizing it.

      I’m not suggesting it’s good to chase after every trend and fad. But there’s a lot of evidence suggesting that the college offenses … that were so successful this past season … will continue in some fashion for the next few years.

      On offense we should at least explore some of the principles of the Pistol. And on defense we’d best be ready to stop it … along with the option run. And I’m not getting a good feeling that we have any plans to do either.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        The ironic thing about the pistol is that if it incorporates the read-option it is an offense than can give defenses fits if they don’t prepare well for it but is almost guaranteed to result in shorter careers for the quarterbacks who do the running. I don’t think that part of the pistol will survive more than a few years unless teams decide they’re content to get kids who can play it well but will have to generally be replaced every 2-4 years. You cannot have a franchise quarterback if you run that offense because your quarterback WILL get hurt. The question is when rather than whether.

        Having said that, I think teams looking for a big boost up from the bottom (ie. Shanahan’s Redskins) will roll the dice and possibly make exciting runs, but I don’t think more than one in ten of those read-option quarterbacks will see their second contract. Look, right now the prototype for the perfect guy in that offense is Cam Newton. Great athlete, great runner, big guy, and reasonably accurate passer. The same goes for Kaepernick. But will the Panthers want Newton running much longer? Not if they want to depend upon him for a decade. It’s going to be really interesting to see the kinds of decisions that coaches and GMs make about those kinds of players. Given the salary cap the only way I can see that they continue to think about taking QBs out of the pocket is if they decide to go strictly short-term (try to win a ring knowing you have to start all over again before too long because your most important player won’t last long) and/or feel that a steady stream of these guys will come out of college ready to run that offense at the NFL level. And then, will the quarterbacks who can run WANT to essentially sign up for brief, but possibly exciting, careers where the chances of getting a second contract (when NFL players hope to make the REAL money) become marginal?

        •  Krow says:

          Good analysis. I think the cap is also playing a role by flushing experienced journeymen out in favor of cheap alternatives. This disadvantages complicated schemes on both sides of the ball. Rookies running their college offense/defense have much less to learn and adapt to.

          I also agree that you could see teams running a two-QB scenario. Even to the point of splitting time.

          •  fanfor55years says:

            Yup.

            As to the cap’s effect on the veterans, they probably are now seeing how badly De Smith was outmaneuvered by the owners, to the detriment of the players and the fans. The ceilings on the cap are really harmful to the best-managed teams and will make keeping a good team together even harder than has been the case over the past few decades.

            Ironically, this may have the unintended consequence of making solid-but-not-great NFL players retire earlier, thus taking less punishment and living a longer, better, life after their careers end and thinking about what they will do after their playing days are over a bit more. A guy who has been a good player but then gets offered a just-over-minimum deal to play a few more years may do a risk/reward analysis that results in his hanging it up and moving on, a decision he will regret for a few years but may turn out REALLY well 30 years later.

            •  Krow says:

              I wonder … could the QB position become somewhat like RB? A committee? 2 or 3 fungible option QBs with limited passing skills?

              It’d sure save cap space.

              •  Dirt says:

                The rookie part of the new CBA really contributes to this too. You can take a really athletic guy early and you don’t have to pay him Bradford money. Or you can wait until the 3rd and get a Wilson, and have absolutely no risk. Conceivably, so long as we’re in this transition period, you could do this every other year or something, keep churning the athletic/”non-Franchise” QBs that aren’t in high demand. What’s it cost you? 6 of these QBs could be had for one Corey Webster, and so long as that’s your offense, hell, grab two for when the first guy gets hurt. Or play em both and have the threat of two throwers. Go nuts! Because it’s currently cheap.

                Oddly enough, that Seattle team had a cheap quarterback and money to have a great defense. Similar to SF.

                •  Dirt says:

                  To Krow’s point – Washington’s mistake was talking Cousins late and not another plud-and-play cheap option guy. That offense was for the most part unstoppable for half the season, a lesser but still agile RGIII replacement may have finished that last game.

    •  G-MenFan says:

      I watched the second and third quarters. First Pro Bowl I’ve watched at all in about 15 years. I have to tell you…it was fun. The players were actually playing the game at a pretty good speed. I think that was the key. They don’t have to hit really hard, although some guys were laying a little wood. Most guys were half-assing some arm tackles. But they played fast.

      I enjoyed watching Eli and Cruz, but most of all, I liked watching JPP who played the entire time I was watching. The guy is great.

      Snee was awful. An absolute turnstyle. I officially have a lot of questions about him now.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      You can never resist spewing your thoughts on political issues. Nobody gives a flying f*ck what you think on about any of these issues. You’re the only guy here who continuously injects this stuff into the conversation.

      •  Krow says:

        To be fair Obama did make a football statement.

        •  Chad Eldred says:

          Yeah, I get the football stuff. I’m referring to the ongoing injection of political opinion outside of football. How did gun laws work into that. There are literally thousands of places on the net to discuss that stuff. There is no need to bring polarizing topics in here. It’s the same chronic offender. Sports is one of the few areas left where political affiliations are irrelevant. I won’t hesitate to speak up to preserve that.

          •  Dirt says:

            Is there anything more polarizing than debating the legitimacy of Killdrive as a capable NFL offensive coordinator?

            •  Dirt says:

              Or Golden Corral/Chinese Buffet on a random Tuesday night in the Antonio Pierce household?

            •  Chad Eldred says:

              That’s the stuff worth fighting about. I’m sorry. Back in December when we were directed to keep that discussion off of the board, I was dumb enough to take the directive literally.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        You really are looking for stuff, aren’t you?

        As it happens, I added the gun-control mention because I think that absent that Obama’s NFL-comment would have alienated plenty but not been adequate to change the results in Ohio and Florida (both football-obsessed areas) but when combined with the gun issue would have. THAT would have thrown the election the other way.

        Yeah, I added that I agreed with Obama’s gun position, but that was to counter the impression that I’d be glad to see the election results reversed. I was staying neutral, but that was probably too subtle for you.

        •  Chad Eldred says:

          You’re right. I cannot keep up with the genius of your nuances. The fact that you think everyone cares enough about your opinions to feel the need to “counter” the possible perceptions of them speaks volumes about the enormity of your ego. Self-important ****.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    It’s seems crazy but I think the key to how we start thinking about who we sign, free agency and the draft is how we feel about Brewer. I know we don’t know anything and he remains a question mark. But if JR/TC feel like he’s the starting RT right now that changes how we move in both free agency and the draft. That would allow us to not spend a high draft choice at OT and not spend more than a Lockear type of contract to fill out some OT depth. It also means if we re-sign Beatty we are set at OT for at least 2 years. And with spending less money in free agency at RT bringing back both Beatty and Boothe would be more likely.

    If Brewer is the question mark he appears then RT has to be addressed either by a mid tier spot gap RT option or a early round OT. It also means you we likely have less to invest in re-signing both Beatty and Boothe so even more change could happen on the OL.

    One factor being overlooked about our OL is chemistry. Simply bringing in better players doesn’t always work, especially in the short term OL wise. Guys need time to develop playing well together more than other groups. So while Beatty, Boothe, Bass and Snee might not be a great combo in pure talent, improving the unit at least for 2013 is probably more effective with little change. Now economics might not make it possible to re-sign Beatty and Boothe so change may have to come but I think Boothe is more important his pretty good player label.

    •  Krow says:

      We’re so much better off if Brewer can cut it. He’s potentially a huge piece of the puzzle. But so far there’s no info one way or the other. Reese has to solve this problem … and soon.

    •  sonnymooks says:

      Thank You.

      One of the biggest things overlooked is how important chemistry is on the OL. Its why an offensive line can be better then the sum of its parts.

      There is a rule of the thumb that alot of GMs use, I can’t remember the whole, but I do remember that supposedly if add the ages up of the line, it should be no more then 150, the second part of that is supposed to be the total number of games played together, with some kind of sweet spot where chemistry and talent peak, sadly, I can’t recall it exactly. I think its like 3 years or 50 games, but I honestly don’t remember.

      Personally, I’ve always believed that when you draft OL guys, draft them in bunches over 2 or 3 (tops seasons) so they can develop with each other.

      I hope Brewer makes it, and one of the guys we got last year can contribute this year, I know Beatty is gone (since he going to get a ridiculous contract by someone who will vastly overpay for him, before they regret it).

      •  GOAT56 says:

        If we let Beatty go for those reasons, there will be a stop gap LT signed. We are not going to the season with a rookie or Brewer starting at LT.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    On DT I think what Kujo said is right for how we have added at DT. But given what we saw last year and the players we have back we are looking for a DT that’s going to play and not just “redshirt”. If that’s the case then DT needs to be addressed early, maybe even the first round. While you can clearly find quality talents like Joseph or Cofield beyond the first round, they are usually not ready to play. We need a pro ready DT to at least be a major part of the rotation by the second half of 2013. I don’t know if a second round DT provides what we need.

    It seems the best option for 2013 would be a vet DT much like Rodgers was supposed to be this year. The issue is that we would possibly be in huge trouble come next year with Joseph a free agent, an older Canty (if he’s around) and just rotation type players in Kuhn and Austin. It seems that we can’t take a chance that we won’t be able to re-sign and Austin is the bust that he appears to be at this point. We need to increase our young talent base at DT while improving our 2013 DT play on the field. It’s a tricky position.

    •  Krow says:

      DT is also a hard position to draft for immediate help. The bust rate is relatively high … and there’s an underestimated learning curve. Even if you select a keeper he’s probably not going to be ready for a year or so.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        You’re right. But we probably need help if we are going to be as improved as we need to be at DT for 2013. The answer might just be we will have to be younger than accustom and hope to improve as the year goes along.

  4.  GOAT56 says:

    It’s been said numerous times just how difficult this offseason will be for JR and the more I think about it, it may be even harder than I originally thought. Do you possibly go young in some positions like RT, LG, DT, MLB, K to reload and be competitive but maybe not a SB contender in 2013. Or does he try to mix and match and try to do have his cake and eat it too. But that’s risky because it doing that we could be in worse shape for 2014 if JR isn’t very precise with his moves. While it seems simple to just go young, can you really “waste” a year of Eli in his prime?

  5.  Dirt says:

    Also, count me in the minority who likes the Pro Bowl. Entertaining, footballesque. The best sports on TV last night.

  6.  Dirt says:

    From Ralph V (and flamsesuit on):

    Great stuff from @PFF, ranking the NFL’s O-lines. Giants ranking was different than I expected …

    … PFF ranked the Giants 11th, way up from 31st where they had ranked them last year. They ranked them 20th in pass blocking, 4th in run blocking.

    PFF also had some very interesting analysis of the line and a couple of players in particular — Will Beatty and David Diehl — but you’ll have to go to their site to read it …

    https?://www.pro?footballfo?cus.com/bl?og/2013/01?/28/rankin?g-the-2012?-offensive?-lines/3/

  7.  GOAT56 says:

    I think in some ways the read option offense is like the empty set. There’s a risk when teams run that set because they can only block so many defenders and the QB is more likely going get hit. Not every team uses it but many mix it in a handful of times. There is risk but some real reward. I think as we go forward most teams will use the read option more like the empty set. But certain teams will use it more just like teams like the Pats or Saints use the empty set more.

    While I think the offense is difficult to stop, not many QBs have the talents to run it. I agree with F55 that larger QBs like Cam or Colin have an advantage. Also extremely smart runners like Wilson can be effective too. But I don’t see there being a tone of QBs with this talent level. I think the QBs in the 2012 draft can end up being the best since 2004. And the 2011, with Cam and Collin is not far behind. But looking at college while many QBs are big an athletic the skills that Luck, Cam, Colin, Wilson and RG3 have I don’t think are the new norm. I think they are just a tremendous group of QBs that entered the NFL at around the same time. Running the read option with lessor talents will have lessor results because most QBs don’t have the same arm talent.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      But you can be sure that everyone is going to be looking to draft “that guy.” Reaches will be made and unfair expectations will be placed on guys who do not have the tools of RG3, Wilson, etc.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I understand that there will be reaches. I think the understated aspects of Luck, Cam, Colin, Wilson and RG3 games are intelligence and intangibles. That with their talent is a unique combination.

  8.  fanfor55years says:

    I just don’t buy that PFF analysis. Eli was much more “pressured” in too many games this season and that, in combination with the down year from his receivers, had a lot to do with the offensive woes of 2012.

    Just based on the eye test, I’d say they were “mediocre”, somewhere in the middle of the pack, closer to #18-#19 than #11, but I do think Baas was underrated a bit.

    sonnymooks is sure that Beatty is gone, and he may be right, but if he returns then he’s an anchor out there for the next 5-10 years because he’s young and will get a third contract here. I think Baas will be here for a long time. The rest is a mystery that we have to hope is solved. Frankly, while it’s frustrating not knowing what the team thinks of Brewer and all the other youngsters, better to play it close to the vest than allow the whole league to share their evaluations.

    If I HAD to guess I think Beatty stays, Boothe leaves, Brewer competes with a cheap vet for the starting RT spot, a draftee gets a real shot at LG but has to compete hard with in-house talent, and Snee plays his last season while his successor is trained.

  9.  Krow says:

    The comedy at ROT ruined the OL. Fix that one spot … without losing anyone … and the OL will be fine. Not elite, but very serviceable.

    I’m concerned over Snee … like everyone. But he’s going nowhere. His link to Coughlin is going to be a headache till one retires.

  10.  Krow says:

    Football statistics are probably the least meaningful in all of sports. The situational impact is huge. And there are some very misleading numbers out there.

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