Fact or Fiction: Best play of 2012

Posted Feb 8, 2013

The staff gives their opinions on topics surrounding the Giants!

Victor Cruz’s late 77-yard touchdown to beat Washington was the best Giants play of the 2012 season – offensively or defensively.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - It was a great play – it’s hard to vote against a 77-yard touchdown pass that wins a game with 1:13 remaining – but I’m going to select a special teams play, David Wilson’s 77-yard kickoff return vs. New Orleans on Dec. 9. It tied the game at 7-7 just 13 seconds after the Saints scored on a 73-yard interception return and got the Giants rolling toward their 52-point explosion. And it was only the Giants’ 20 regular-season kickoff return touchdown in their 88-year history.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction - I’m going to go with the JPP interception against the Cowboys. Cruz’s catch was the result of a blown coverage and it was a simple pitch and catch. JPP’s interception took ridiculous instincts and reaction time to jump and intercept Romo’s swing pass. He scored on the play and the Giants won the game. David Wilson’s kick return for a touchdown against the Saints is second for me, since it was an exclamation point on such a terrific game. Defensively, I like the Rolle interception over the middle against the 49ers. Great athletic play. Cruz finishes 4th.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - There was a lot more surrounding that finish than just another Victor Cruz catch-and-run. Not only was the Giants sideline already heated, but Eli Manning was also decked on the play only knowing the Giants scored based on the roar of the crowd. It was an emotional play – you could tell by Cruz’s spike before the salsa – and it kept the magic of 2011 alive against a quality opponent.

David Wilson will rush for at least 1,000 yards in 2013.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - With Ahmad Bradshaw’s release, Wilson is cleared to have a big season. I think it will be 1,000 yards big.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - Wilson has the skills and the ability, but can he stay healthy? I think he does, at least enough to get 1000 yards. I also would like to see what the offensive line that’s going to block for him is going to look like.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - When I’m torn for an answer, I turn to history. There have been only two seasons under Tom Coughlin when the Giants didn’t boast a 1,000-yard rusher (2008 and 2011). I’m curious to see how much he will be involved on special teams next season, but the speed, the underrated size, and, most importantly, the opportunity are all there for Wilson to get to 1,000.

The Giants’ best win of the season was at San Francisco in Week 6.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction - A 23-point road victory against the soon-to-be NFC champions was impressive, but I’m going to choose the Week 2 triumph over Tampa Bay. The Giants couldn’t afford to go 0-2 – especially 0-2 at home – after their opening-night loss to Dallas. They trailed in the third quarter, 27-13. A defeat could have been disastrous. But the Giants rallied for a 41-27 victory, which set them up to contend for the rest of the season.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - The 49ers went to the Super Bowl, and are not a team the Giants match up as well against than a team like the Packers, makes that game their most impressive. They dealt with their physicality and punched back. Those two ill-advised Alex Smith picks didn’t hurt either.

DAN SALOMONE: Fact - Beating any team twice in a row is a challenge, let alone one of San Francisco’s caliber. Not only did San Francisco go onto the Super Bowl – thus enhancing the quality of the Giants 26-3 win in October – but the 49ers were out to prove the NFC Championship nine months prior was a fluke. The Giants shot that down quickly and emphatically.

The toughest competition for the Giants to reclaim the NFC East title will be Washington in 2013.

MICHAEL EISEN: Fact - If Robert Griffin III – plus defensive standouts Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker - return healthy, the Skins are going to be a formidable team. Formidable, but beatable.

JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - Assuming Robert Griffin III comes back healthy, the Redskins should once again be a serious threat due to their running game and Alfred Morris. With Brian Arakpo back from injury they should also have an improved pass rush. If they can get better in the secondary they can be a real threat. The Cowboys are an extremely close second, and might surpass the Redskins if they can make some progress on improving their offensive line.

DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - If the NFC East is anything, it is balanced, which means it is tough to win. There hasn’t been a team to win back-to-back division titles since the Eagles won four straight almost a decade ago. That doesn’t bode well for Washington repeating as Robert Griffin III rehabs his way back. I think Washington will regress a little while the Eagles will be rejuvenated under Chip Kelly like Jim Harbaugh did with the 49ers when he graduated from the college ranks.

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