NEW YORK (WFAN) — This time last year, Victor Cruz was anything but a household name.
Now? Consider the Tri-State on Cruz control. The 25-year-old is a new father and one of the hottest wide receivers in the NFL.
And Aaron Rodgers’ fearsome Green Bay Packers are all that stand between the Giants and the NFC Championship game.
“If everybody’s all in, then this could be something special,” Cruz told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton on Friday. “And I feel like we have all the tools in place.”
Listen: Cruz with Boomer & Carton
Cruz, like Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty, insisted that success on Sunday will come down to confidence — and they have plenty of it. After watching Big Blue torch the Atlanta Falcons last week, who can blame them?
“We’re gonna move the ball, we’re gonna make some plays,” said Cruz. “If the defense can keep playing like they’re playing, we’re gonna be a tough team to beat in these upcoming games.”
A lot has been made of Rodgers’ four-touchdown performance the last time these two teams met on Dec. 4. But don’t forget that Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense managed to put 35 points on the board against Green Bay.
Does Cruz think the Giants’ offense is better than the Packers’ defense?
“I think so,” he said. “We took advantage of a lot of the looks they were giving us and we had a pretty good beat on them. And I feel like whenever you put up that many points on a Packer defense, it’s hard to argue that you don’t feel good against them.”
After missing most of last season with a hamstring injury, Cruz recorded 1,536 receiving yards in 2012 — good for a Giants single-season record.
On top of that, Cruz sparked an interest in salsa dancing with his popular touchdown celebrations. It was enough for “Dancing With The Stars” to come calling, but the receiver says now just isn’t the time for extracurricular activities.
“I want to just focus on football and focus on what got me here,” he told Boomer & Carton. “All that stuff will come in the future — and I’ll do it when the time is right.”
So you won’t see him on “DWTS.” You also won’t see Cruz — or the rest of the Giants receivers — wearing sleeves on Sunday, despite frigid conditions in Green Bay that could reach the lower 20s.
“The last time we were worried about playing in the cold (Week 15 against Washington) and wearing sleeves and stuff like that, we kind of went out there and played a little cold,” Cruz admitted. “Hakeem Nicks came in that next week and was like, ‘You know what, we’re just gonna go with no sleeves.’ … We just have to bear with it and make some plays.”
What kind of game do you predict for Cruz & Co.? Be heard in the comments below…