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Despite Win, Philadelphia Eagles Again Have Trouble Keeping Victor Cruz in Check

Howard Smith-US Presswire

There is no excuse this year. Everybody in the NFL knows about the New York Giants’ stud WR Victor Cruz at this point and they know exactly what he is capable of.

But even with arguably the best cornerback duo in the league, the Philadelphia Eagles could not hold down Cruz.

Last year in Week 3 the Eagles’ secondary witnessed Cruz break into the NFL first hand, allowing him to bust loose for 3 catches, 110 yards and 2 touchdowns, with one score coming on a 74-yard catch and run.

He has had their number ever since.

Cruz hauled in 9 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown on Sunday night, with every Eagles’ cornerback showing they had no answers in slowing him down.

Cruz’s touchdown came in the 3rd quarter on a 14-yard pass from Giants’ QB Eli Manning when Cruz was matched up on rookie CB Brandon Boykin in the slot. This forced all of Philly to witness the one thing they wished they wouldn’t.

The famous Victor Cruz “salsa dance” in the end-zone.

Even though I believe either CB Nnamdi Asomugha or CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie should have been covering Cruz on every single play, it is not like either of them fared much better than did Boykin.

While Asomugha missed a chunk of the game after being poked in the eye by Giants’ WR Ramses Barden, he still did not cover Cruz primarily when he was on the field.

Why?

The Eagles signed Asomugha in the 2011 off-season as by far the most sought-after free agent on the market. And then to have him cover the rookie Barden and career backup WR Domenik Hixon for most of the game, with Rodgers-Cromartie assigned to bump-and-run coverage on Cruz, is just foolish.

With Giants’ WR Hakeem Nicks sidelined with injury, the Eagles should have had Asomugha and a safety double-teaming Cruz on every single snap. This is called shutting down an all-star. Are you taking notes Andy Reid?

Go ahead, let Barden and Hixon and the entire practice squad try and beat you on the outside. But not Cruz. It was like Cruz was treated like just another wide-out, when he was really the only legitimate threat on the field.

Yes, the Eagles won the game. But if only Giants’ K Lawrence Tynes had about 5 yards more power in his leg on Sunday night, the Eagles would have left the game at 2-2 with the Giants on top of the NFC East.

All I can say is that when Week 17 rolls around and the NFC East crown is on the line, the Eagles better have an answer for Cruz.

Or Reid will need to have answers on why he should keep his job.

 

Please follow me on Twitter @JoeD_Rant for all Eagles/NFL insight.