Tonight was supposed to be the night that New York Giant would make a big statement in the NFC East that they are ready to play with the big boys. Instead the Giants went limp, as the Eagles did exactly what they planned to do, and that was dominate the New York Giants.
Dominate they did, to the tune of 27-0.
Yet, by the third quarter all of the Giants attention went from the game to their star wide receiver, Victor Cruz. Cruz attempted to make a diving catch in the end zone on fourth and goal with the Giants trying to get back into the game down 20-0. As the ball fell past Cruz's outstretched left hand, his right hand went directed to his knee which torqued while he was in mid air.
Cruz fell into a heap in the back corner of the endzone, his hands clutching his right knee in agony. Just from seeing the play it looked bad -- the thought of a ACL tear seemed like the possible diagnosis. Instead it was later reported that Cruz tore his Patella Tendon. But the diagnosis is the same: he's out for the season.
Cruz was a spark-plug for this offense the past three years. He rose to prominence in 2011 with a break-out campaign during the Giants Super Bowl season. Over the past two seasons, he's been New York's number one receiver and was awarded this year when he was named one of the team captains. Instead, he'll have to lead from the sidelines.
Without Cruz the Giants pass attack becomes compromised. He took pressure off of Ruben Randall and tight ends Larry Donnell and Daniel Fells, now it is up to those guys and Odell Beckham Jr. to step up and make plays for Eli Manning.
Big plays were not in the offing Sunday night. Manning was under duress all day as he was sacked six times and hit countless more times by the Eagles 27th ranked defense, which stepped up in a big way.
New York was a measly 2-for-14 on third down and managed only 253 yards of offense with 12 first downs. Their running game never got going, which didn't help matters either.
Instead it was the Eagles ground attack which dominated the night. LeSean McCoy who was having a miserable season thus far broke out against the Giants, rushing for 149 yards on 22 carries, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Even Darren Sproles added a touchdown before he too left with a knee injury, although not as severe as Cruz's.
This is a big loss for the Giants (3-3). They are now two back of both the Eagles and Cowboys, and must win next week in Dallas to give themselves a chance to live once again this season. For a season that looked like it had so much promise after a three game winning streak, now looks doomed once again.