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Inside the numbers: WR Cruz's 25th game


Victor Cruz's first NFL reception made just a small deposit in the Giants' collective memory bank. It occurred early in the third quarter of a Monday night victory over St. Louis on Sept. 19, 2011. On a third down from the Giants' 23-yard line, Cruz caught a pass from Eli Manning in the center of the field for a 10-yard gain and a first down.

That one small step for Cruz has turned into one huge contribution for the Giants.

On Sunday in San Francisco, Cruz played in his 25th regular season game when the Giants defeated the 49ers, 26-3. In those 25 games, he has caught 125 passes for 2,032 yards and 15 touchdowns. Cruz actually posted those numbers in just 21 games, because he had no receptions in any of his first four appearances.

Cruz has earned a spot among the players with the most catches and receiving yards through the first 25 games of a career in NFL history. And he is outpacing the vast majority of the most productive receivers the Giants have ever had.

Cruz's 125 career receptions are tied for the sixth-most among players in their first 25 games:

Cruz's 2,032 receiving yards are the sixth-highest total through the first 25 games of a career in NFL history:

Cruz's 125 receptions are the most ever by a Giants player in his first 25 games. He is second in receiving yards and touchdowns (tied with teammate Hakeem Nicks), trailing only Del Shofner, among Giants 25 games into their careers.

To see how Cruz stacks up in Giants history, we selected the players with the five-highest reception totals in franchise history: Amani Toomer, Tiki Barber, Joe Morrison, Jeremy Shockey and Ike Hilliard. We also chose Aaron Thomas, Earnest Gray and Shofner, who are 11th, 13th and 15th, respectively, on the franchise career-receptions list. Nicks, if he stays healthy, could push his way onto that list (he's currently 19th with 219 career catches). For further comparison, we also looked at Chris Calloway and Plaxico Burress, who are seventh and 12th on the list, despite starting their careers with other teams.

Totals through their 25 games as a Giant:

*Manning has led the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl victories in February, but he has rightfully earned the title as the NFL's Mr. October. The victory in San Francisco improved Manning's record as a starter in October to 25-5 (.833), the best mark among quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era with at least 20 starts. 


*In the last two games, Ahmad Bradshaw has rushed for 316 yards on 57 carries. That is the highest two-game total by a Giants back since Tiki Barber had 344 yards and 61 attempts at Philadelphia and vs. Kansas City on Dec. 11-17, 2005.

*Ahmad Bradshaw was the first opposing runner to gain 100 yards at Candlestick Park since Tennessee's Chris Johnson on Nov. 8, 2009.

*The Giants improved to 39-10 under Tom Coughlin when they have a back rush for at least 100 yards. They are 61-25 when the team rushes for at least 100 yards and 17-31 when it doesn't.

*The Giants forced three opposing turnovers in each of their last two games. They last had at least three takeaways in consecutive games on Oct. 19-Nov. 2, 2008 when they did it three games in row vs. San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Dallas.

*Against the 49ers, the Giants recorded at least six sacks and three interceptions while holding an opponent to three points or fewer for the first time since Nov, 24, 1985, when they had eight sacks and three picks in a 34-3 victory over the Cardinals in St. Louis.

*Manning was not sacked and the Giants did not commit a turnover in Candlestick Park. Their previous no-sack/no-turnover game on the road was on Sept. 27, 2009 at Tampa Bay in a 24-0 victory.

*The Giants have not allowed a second-half touchdown in either of their last two road games, at Philadelphia and San Francisco, the first time they've done that in back-to-back games away from home since Dec. 2-9, 2007 at Chicago and Philadelphia.

*On Sunday, the Giants held the 49ers scoreless over the last three quarters, the first time they did that since a 21-3 victory over Minnesota on Dec. 13, 2010.

*The 49ers never snapped the ball inside the Giants' 20-yard line, the first opponent kept out of the red zone since Washington on Dec. 5, 2010.

*In the 2011 regular season, the Giants had only four runs at least 20 yards long. In six games this year, they have eight. They had six in the 2011 postseason, so in their last 10 games they have 14.

*The Giants have allowed an NFL-low five sacks, one less than Houston. In 2010, they set the franchise record in a 16-game season by giving up only 16 sacks. The Giants have not allowed a sack in three consecutive games; they had a five-game streak two years ago.

*Cruz is tied for third in the NFL with 43 receptions. He is tied for ninth with 496 yards and tied for first (with Cincinnati's A.J. Green) with six touchdown catches. He is also tied for first (with New England's Wes Welker and Tennessee rookie Kendall Wright) with 14 third-down receptions.

*Lawrence Tynes leads the league with 68 points, six more than New England's Steve Gostkowski. Tynes is also first with 19 field goal attempts and 17 field goals.

*The Giants are tied with New England with an NFL-high 29 trips inside their opponents' 20-yard line. The Giants have scored on 27 of those 29 trips – 13 touchdowns and 14 field goals.


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