Anatomy of a Play  

 

Vertical-game threat makes Giants dangerous playoff team

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  • By Steve Trout NFL Films
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Cruz Control -- what better way to describe the New York Giants offense in 2011? Victor Cruz seemingly came out of nowhere to be a pivotal force in the passing game and his role in the Giants offense is the subject of this week's Anatomy of a Play.

In his first full season in the NFL, Cruz led the Giants with 82 receptions, 1,536 yards (a new team record), 18.7 yards per reception and nine touchdowns. With stats like that, it's no wonder he has become a favorite target of quarterback Eli Manning. He garners a lot of attention from opposing defenses and as a result he opens up opportunities for the Giants' other weapons.

Hakeem Nicks completes the 1-2 punch for New York. Cruz and Nicks combined to make 158 catches for 2,728 yards. Heading into the playoffs, they are a matchup nightmare for any secondary.

On the ground, the Giants use a balanced attack in Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Again, with so much attention on the weapons in the vertical game, New York can catch a defense off guard with its powerful pair of running backs.

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