NEW YORK (WFAN) - Superstar wide receiver Victor Cruz was held in check against the Steelers this past Sunday in Big Blue's 24-20 loss at MetLife Stadium.
The third-year player, who has established himself as one of the premier wide receivers in the NFL, was limited to just five catches for 67 yards and no touchdowns.
Those numbers would be extremely solid for the vast majority of wideouts in the league, but they're not up to the standards that Cruz has set for himself as he continues to dominate cornerbacks week in and week out.
Now that he's garnered a reputation as a premier weapon in the league, defenses are preparing for him as if he's quarterback Eli Manning's No. 1 target.
The Paterson native managed to fly under the radar last year, but that's ancient history at this point. Cruz knows that for the remainder of the season, defenses will repeatedly double-team him and ensure that he isn't the one that beats them.
He's ready for the ongoing challenge.
"I just have to understand that it's coming, understand that the physical nature is probably the only way that they can get to me nowadays," Cruz told WFAN's Mike Francesa on his weekly spot on Tuesday. " ... I have to understand that the physical nature is what's going to come next and just be ready for it, have a plan for it and be physical right back with them. (I need to) create separation the best way I can."
The Giants' offense has become known as a legitimate big-play unit, with Manning consistently throwing deep for Cruz and fellow wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. Pittsburgh corners kept the G-Men from burning them down the field on Sunday, and Cruz acknowledges that the Giants have to adjust their game plan if the deep pass isn't working.
"It's something that we've hung our hat on, is making the big play and really changing the face of a game; making that long touchdown or having that long catch that really changes the perception of the game for us," Cruz said. "But teams have been sitting back in that Cover 2 and not allowing us to do so, so we've just got to take our time and find different ways to beat the opposition."
Cruz has had a sensational season for the defending Super Bowl champions in 2012, catching 57 balls for 717 yards and seven touchdowns.
Do the Giants need to adjust their offensive game plan if they're going to make a run at a repeat? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below...
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