Thursday, 2 February 2012

Cruz missile set to explode at Super Bowl

Every year a player emerges in the NFL from absolutely nowhere, someone who flew so far under the radar before the season began that they were best friends with the moles and the worms.

This NFL season the man to emerge from the soil is none other than New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.

Cruz went undrafted in 2010, and despite a dominant pre-season he only suited up three times as a rookie, mainly due to injury, and made as many catches as I have in the NFL.

In 2011 he again had a solid pre-season, but this time he was able to stay fit for the season, ending up with a Giants franchise record 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns.

Cruz continued his remarkable season in the playoffs, highlighted by 10 catches in the NFC championship.

For a guy who came from the little-known University of Massachusetts, Cruz has become the single best receiving threat in the NFL, able to go deep and catch the smaller 11 yard button hook routes with equal skill.

Playing in the Super Bowl will turn Cruz from an east coast hero to a global gridiron sensation, as he will be contributing on every snap, regardless if he is targeted by Eli Manning or not. Cruz will draw double teams from the Patriots secondary, leaving the likes of Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham single-covered and able to exploit New England's defensive weakness.

Talking of the Patriots weak secondary, the annual 'make a wide-receiver a defensive back' honour has gone to Julian Edelman, following the footsteps of former New England legend Troy Brown.

If Victor Cruz does get matched up with Edelman he will look to exploit the situation as will the Giants coaching team.

We know Super Bowl's are a game of inches, one failed fourth down conversion here, one bad ball spot there and momentum can turn on a sixpence (or more appropriately a dime) and for Victor Cruz it could be one misjudged interception attempt by his man marker that means he busts loose for an 85 yard touchdown.

If you are going to be staying up this Sunday night then look no further than the man wearing a white top wearing the #80 shirt, as despite all the security checks and the FBI personnel hidden in the light fittings in Lucas Oil Stadium, its unlikely that anyone will be able to stop the Cruz missile.

I'll say it now - Cruz to lead all players in catches and yards at Super Bowl XLVI - but he will go home without lifting the Vince Lombardi trophy.

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