<
>

Cruz owns the fourth quarter

Victor Cruz finished with the most single-season receiving yards in Giants’ history (1,536) and finished second in NFL history with five touchdowns of 65 or more yards.

But here’s something you may not know about the 25-year-old wide receiver, who has risen from anonymity to superstardom this season: he led the league in all major receiving categories in the fourth quarter, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Receptions: 39

Receiving yards: 692

Receiving touchdowns: 6

First downs: 24

“I didn’t know that,” Cruz said. “I don’t really pay attention to the media, I just go in and play every week, but that’s pretty amazing.”

Cruz has had several huge catches late in games, perhaps none bigger than his 44-yarder in the fourth quarter of the team’s playoff-clinching victory over the Cowboys last Sunday.

“I don’t know,” Cruz replied when asked why he’s been able to rise to the occasion time and time again with the game on the line.

“I’ve just been running my routes and understanding there’s been times where somebody’s had to make a big play and fortunately, [QB] Eli [Manning] has looked my way, and I’ve just tried to make the best play possible.”

Other interesting Cruz stats courtesy of Bloomberg:

• Cruz’s No. 80 jersey is the team’s second-best seller this season behind Manning -- and was the 13th-best seller in the league last month, according to NFLShop.com.

• Cruz’s 82 receptions are the second-most in team history

• Cruz’s seven 100-plus-yard receiving games are a franchise record

And here’s one final one, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:

• Manning has completed 13 of his 21 throws to Cruz over 20 yards downfield this season and 17 of 53 to the rest of his wide receivers. The Manning-to-Cruz connection on such throws has been even better in the fourth quarter (8-of-9 passing, 4 TD).

Cruz: 61. 9 comp pct, 23.3 yds/att, 4 td, 0 int, 0 drops

All others: 32.1 comp pct, 11.8 yds/att, 4 td, 3 int, 3 drops