This year, like the past two seasons, current NFL players have voted on who they believe to be the best players in the league. Unfortunately, two valuable New York Giants, Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul, were both ranked considerably lower than they had been the year before.
While Pierre Paul was ranked 24th in 2012, this time around he was ranked at 55. Ironically, this decrease has come around exactly the same time when former Giant Michael Strahan praised Pierre-Paul, calling him “one of the best to ever play!”. Of course, this worsening in rankings is no surprise to Giants fans. Pierre-Paul did not perform nearly as well as he had in the 2011 season, recording ten less sacks and nearly 30 fewer tackles.
In addition, Victor Cruz also weathered a similar hit in how he was viewed by his peers. Despite being ranked 39 last year, Cruz came in at 58 this year. While he had a few hundred less receiving yards, Cruz’s play really did not decline this year as he caught more balls and more touchdowns.
Obviously, neither of these rankings have any effect on the season. In my opinion, I’d rather people undervalue the Giants’ star players. So what if players think that Pierre-Paul has lost a step? Maybe they’ll lay off of double teaming him, and he’ll be able to get to the quarterback more easily. The same goes for Cruz as a receiver. In general, it is much better for opponents to underestimate your abilities. Who knows? Maybe the both of them will garner less attention from opponents, put up big numbers, and regain their higher positions in the rankings next year.