For Victor Cruz, the most perfect part of the Giants' 5-0 preseason is that it's over.
"I'm ready to move on," the receiver said after the Giants' 16-13 victory over the Patriots at MetLife Stadium, a game in which he was held without a reception for the fourth time in five games this summer. "I'm ready to move on to Week 1. I'm ready to get a good week of practice in come next week and get our focus onto Week 1 and starting the season off on the right foot. I'm excited for that opportunity."
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Cruz has said throughout the preseason that gauging the new offense under the microscope of limited snaps and limited game-planning is unfair. He believes that once the Giants actually play a real game, the system's true capabilities will be unleashed.
"You want to get out there and have some reps to kind of build on, to get warmed up, to see how the defense is playing you, and you want to have that opportunity, and it's tough to do that in the preseason when you only get a certain number of plays to go out there and get your game right," Cruz said.
"It's definitely frustrating as a competitor with those amount of reps, but that's over with now and we have to get ready for Week 1 where we're going to be essentially playing the entire game, and playing to win and these games count now."
Eli Manning, like Cruz, is happy that the exhibition portion of the schedule has been completed.
"I'm always glad the preseason's over with," he said. "My number one goal for the preseason is to get through it healthy. The only times I've ever missed games were getting injured in preseason games, so I don't want to experience that. I know there are things we need to improve on, there are things we have to get better at, but that's why we've got another week to work on a few things but also to get into Detroit and go play a real game and go compete and see what we can do."
Tom Coughlin noted that the Giants have had offensive difficulties with their starters in past preseasons and were able to overcome those problems when the regular season began. The difference this year is that those past foibles were with a proven offense that everyone was comfortable with. That's not the case this year.
"You have to have confidence," Coughlin said of an offense that has instilled very little. "Hopefully we can carry over."
Cruz believes they will.
"Absolutely," he said. "We're excited about it. We see areas that we can execute and make big plays with, and we're excited for that opportunity. We're excited to put that on display come Monday night."