Today: Jul 16, 2024

Sports Commentary: Victor(y) for Cruz

PETE PAGUAGASports Editor

Going into this season a few names were considered for a run at the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Those were Cam Newton, AJ Green, Mark Ingram and Andy Dalton, just to name a few. However, going into week 15 of the NFL season, there is no question—the winner should be Victor Cruz.

Yes, Cruz is in his second year, yes. But under NFL rules he is still considered a rookie and is a candidate for the trophy.

Newton has been a human highlight reel this season, along with leading my fantasy team to the playoffs, but his team is a mere 4-8 and he has more interceptions than touchdowns, which isn’t uncommon for a rookie not named Peyton Manning.  He also has 13 rushing touchdowns and over 500 rushing yards. It’s hard to argue against that resume, but Cruz is more valuable to his team this season and is more of a success story then Newton.

This offseason the Giants lost Eli Manning’s favorite targets Steve Smith and Kevin Boss.  Throughout the season, injuries to Domenik Hixon, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks have left Eli with a thin receiving core.  That hasn’t stopped him from putting up MVP type numbers, because of one receiver and his name is Cruz.

He is fourth in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,159 to go along with 69 catches and seven touchdowns. One should also note he has only started three games and didn’t have a catch week one.

Newton shouldn’t win this award because his team is 4-8, they are not going to make the playoffs this season and like some owners have told their players in the past “we can miss the playoffs with or without you.”

Cruz, who was undrafted out of UMass last season, was put on IR and was buried on the Giants depth chart at the beginning of the season behind Nicks, Manningham, Nixon and Ramses Barden. Cruz is now starting along with Nicks and shows no signs of slowing up.

He has had success against some of the best corners in the NFL and everyone remembers him having his way with Nnamdi Asomugha in the Giants first meeting of the season with the Eagles.

The award will probably go to Newton because of the league’s obsession with quarterbacks, but Cruz has been the best offensive rookie this season and has a way better TD celebration then Newton does.  Dip your salsa in that one voters.

1 Comment

  1. Good article Pete….always hard to pick and justify MVP’s in any sport. I’m not ready to pick an NFL MVP yet, still to much season remaining, but I agree with your thought process. Keep writing things that keep us interested and keep Rockin….

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