Sunday, December 4, 2011
Cruz on pace for a record season
By Matt Ehalt
With five games left, Giants receiver Victor Cruz is on pace to become the franchise's all-time leading single-season receiver. Cruz, who has 957 receiving yards heading into Sunday's game against Green Bay, is on pace to finish with 1,392, which would surpass Amani Toomer's total of 1,343 from 2002.
"That's crazy," Cruz said of being on pace to break the record. "I don't even know how to respond or how to react to that because it wasn't even in my wildest dreams to even be the all-time leading receiver because that's saying a lot because they definitely have some great receivers here."
Before he can set the record, though, Cruz must first reach 1,000 yards, which he is also on pace to do this Sunday. Hakeem Nicks was the last to do it when he had 1,052 receiving yards last year.
The receiver is averaging 87 yards per game, which becomes even more impressive considering he had just 29 yards through the first two weeks of the season. Based on his last nine weeks, he's recording 103.1 yards per game.
"That would be a dream come true," Cruz said of getting to 1,000 yards. "As a child growing up, my thing was just getting in the league and getting a spot, being in the league and making a team and being out there in any way possible. To be so close to 1,000 yards and being a 1,000-yard receiver and scoring some touchdowns and things like that, it will be awesome and it's just been a roller coaster ride for me this season."
Coming into the year, Cruz was a relative unknown beside his three-touchdown performance against the Jets in the preseason last year. He never thought of trying to have 1,000 receiving yards on the season when he didn't even know his role on the team.
"I was trying to find my niche on this team and just find a place, whether it be special teams or kickoff returns, any way I could help this team and get myself on the field, that's just what I wanted," Cruz said.
Now, he's emerged as one of the top statistical receivers in the NFL this season. This Sunday, Cruz could take a big step toward helping place himself in the Giants' record books.