Cruz and Giants star in Pro Bowl
January, 27, 2013
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com
Victor Cruz’s first Pro Bowl appearance was one to remember.
The wide receiver had 10 receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown. The touchdown came off a pass from teammate Eli Manning, and Cruz celebrated with his trademark salsa dance.
Manning completed five passes for 43 yards to Cruz on the drive that resulted in their touchdown hookup that put the NFC up 17-14 in the second quarter. The NFC went on to rout the AFC 62-35.
On the drive that led to Cruz's touchdown, the wide receiver said the NFC -- coached by Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy’s coaching staff -- called some plays the Giants like to use.
And Manning looked often for his security blanket.
"Yeah, no doubt," Manning said about targeting Cruz in an interview on the sideline during the game on NBC. "So anytime you need a completion, go to the guy you know [who] you’ve thrown 100 balls to the last two seasons. I got into a groove."
All four Giants in the Pro Bowl contributed to the win. Manning completed 16 of 23 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed a 52-yard bomb and a 3-yard touchdown pass to Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, who was the game's MVP with five receptions for 122 yards and one touchdown. Manning did have one mistake; he threw a pick-six to Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson early in the second quarter.
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul finished his season with a sack of Peyton Manning and even made a rare leaping interception in the end zone at the end of the game while covering Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, who was used a couple of times in the red zone on offense.
"That interception by JPP in the end zone was pretty impressive," Cruz said in an interview on NBC. "I know I am biased, but it was impressive."
Giants guard Chris Snee, who said he will undergo hip surgery after the Pro Bowl, started and played both guard positions.
But it was Cruz who shone the most of the Pro Bowl Giants, and he got to deliver his trademark salsa touchdown dance. Cruz said he did think about incorporating some hula dance into his celebration to do a Hawaiian salsa.
"I gave it a little bit of thought," Cruz said. "But my first Pro Bowl, I felt like I got to keep it classic."