Victor Cruz of the New York Giants reacts after dropping a pass against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Since I opened this can of worms earlier today by knowingly -- and intentionally -- exaggerating how often New York Giants had dropped the ball this season it is time to do my journalistic duty and give you the raw numbers.
Cruz has 69 catches and at this pace will end up with 85 for the season, moving into second-place all-time in franchise history behind Steve Smith for catches in a single season. He has 1,150 yards receiving, the seventh-highest single-season total in Giants history. Cruz needs 194 yards in the final three games to top Amani Toomer's franchise record of 1,343 yards, set in 2002.
Per Pro Football Focus, Cruz has been targeted 98 times by Eli Manning this season, and the 70.4 percent completion rate throwing the ball to him is 14th-best in the NFL. For comparison, Nicks has been targeted 105 times and 61 percent of those throws have been completed.
So, there is an awful lot of good -- and even some amazing -- in those numbers.
Now for those drops. Cruz has 10 drops this season, and only Greg Little of Cleveland (14), Roddy White of Atlanta (12) and Brandon Marshall of Miami (12) have more among wide receivers. White has been targeted 136 times and Marshall 112. Little has 14 drops in just 96 targets.
I don't bring any of this up to belittle Cruz. He has been a savior for the Giants, who needed someone in the receiving corps to step up and complement Nicks. He is an amazing talent having an incredible, unexpected year. I am just imagining what could be coming down the road if he can haul in a few more of those near-misses.