Good morning New York Giants fans! Here are your news updates for this Monday morning.
Victor Cruz: "The return is here"
After looking great during the summer from his torn patellar injury, Victor Cruz suffered a major setback with a calf injury that has lasted since August. Yesterday, Cruz posted a video where he confidently states that he will return to play against the Buffalo Bills.
"The return is here," Cruz states at the end of his video.
Cruz has assured that he's not rushing things despite being very confident of his injury status.
"I just wanted to make sure that I'm 100 percent before I go back out there," Cruz said. "I want to be clicking on all cylinders. I want everything to be full force just to prevent another injury, you know what I mean?"
The New York Giants offense was projected to be among the league's best and finally we can see what they are truly capable of with their top two weapons playing together for the very first time.
State of the NFC East
Historically, the NFC East has been a bloodbath comprised of the best rosters in the game. In 2015, that might not be the case as every team has major flaws with them. In particular, quality quarterback play is in high demand for the NFC East. It's because of this that many analysts are saying that the Giants might be the favorites for the division.
The Cowboys have been decimated. And now, like the Eagles, with the dreadful Sam Bradford, and Washington, with Kirk Cousins among the worst in the league, the Cowboys don’t have a quarterback. That’s why the Giants will win a very weak division.
But, suddenly, the Giants are back in the thick of the race. The Cowboys are 2-0 but now are without quarterback Tony Romo as well as minus Bryant. Their current "triplets" are quarterback Brandon Weeden, running back Joseph Randle and wide receiver Terrance Williams. It’s a lineup not exactly reminiscent of Troy Aikman-Emmitt Smith-Michael Irvin or even of Romo-DeMarco Murray-Bryant. They are a vulnerable division front-runner.
The Giants, the first team in NFL history to open a season by blowing consecutive double-digit, fourth-quarter leads, nevertheless remain a viable contender. With Romo out, Eli Manning is unquestionably the best quarterback in the division. Unlike Dallas, the Giants do not have to play either Seattle or Green Bay. Still, the Giants have plenty of flaws.
John Mara: "We could be 3-0"
The first two weeks of the season were probably one of the worst two weeks to live through as a Giants fan. John Mara particularly didn't take these two losses well and laments on the fact that the Giants could have been 3-0.
After a pair of devastating season-opening losses he said were "as tough as it gets," Giants president and CEO John Mara had no problem saying his team's win over the Redskins on Thursday night was a relief.
"Yes, I would say that's the right word. It was a relief," Mara said Saturday after a ceremony here at Iona Prep to rename the school's football field after his father, late Giants owner Wellington Mara.
"Those two losses were as tough as it gets, no question. We easily could have won both of them, but that's the NFL.
"It was a tough start. We could be 3-0," Mara said. "But at least we showed some character the other night and hopefully that will be a stepping stone going forward."
Meet the Giants most versatile weapon
Nikita Whitlock was not one of those hyped up undrafted free agents that the fans fell in love with during training camp. But his very unique skillset as not only a fullback but a viable pass rushing defensive tackle has made him one name every Giants fan needs to know.
As the Giants won their first game of the season on Thursday against the Redskins, Whitlock was everywhere. He was on the field for 14 snaps on offense, and his lead block in the first quarter helped get Andre Williams into the end zone. He was on the field for 20 special teams plays. And, shockingly, late in the game he received nine snaps on defense — a short, squat defensive tackle at 5-foot-10 and 250 pounds.
On his first NFL play on defense, he unveiled a nasty spin move that allowed him to shed heralded rookie Washington right guard Brandon Scherff to get pressure on quarterback Kirk Cousins. Later, another spin move, this one against Tom Compton, resulted in Whitlock’s first quarterback hit.
Around the league
Ben Roethlisberger is expected to miss four weeks with an MCL sprain.
Speaking of injured quarterbacks, Drew Brees is expected to be out on Week 4 against the Dallas Cowboys.
Despite rumors of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder wanting to play Robert Griffin III, Jay Gruden is still confident in Kirk Cousins.