Cruz sees holes in Pats; Ramses ready

The Patriots have allowed a league-worst 323 passing yards per game. Quarterbacks have completed two-thirds of their attempts against New England.

But Victor Cruz doesn't need stats to tell him the Pats are struggling. He saw all the evidence he needed on Wednesday in the film room.

"They’re going through a phase right now where they're having some trouble," Cruz said. ".... You know, looking at film today we see some opportunity where we can take advantage of that and we’re definitely excited to go out there and play."

Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz

#80 WR
New York Giants

2011 STATS

  • Rec28
  • Yds497
  • TD4
  • Avg17.8
  • Long74
  • YAC174

The Steelers passed on 50 of their 78 plays in their win over the Pats last Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger connected on 36 of 50 attempts for 365 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 25-17 win.

Cruz would like to see the Giants be equally aggressive in the air on Sunday.

"Our personnel is pretty similar," he said. "What we need to copy from them is just the intensity.… Pittsburgh was just really going after them and they weren’t holding up so that‘s kind of what we want to [do]."

RAMSES READY: With Mario Manningham out of Wednesday's practice due to illness and Hakeem Nicks sidelined with a hamstring injury, wideout Ramses Barden saw plenty of snaps.

The same could happen on Sunday.

If Nicks can't go against the Pats, Barden may find himself in the receiver rotation along with Manningham and Cruz.

That's a development he says he's well prepared for.

"You don’t want to get thrown out into the fire and not be available to take advantage of it," he says, adding, "I'm ready to go, I'm hungry, I'm excited, my body’s bouncing back."

Barden broke out with three catches for 34 yards last Nov. 14 against Dallas before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.

He began the season on the PUP list. The Giants have two weeks to activate him or place him on injured reserve.

BAAS GETTING BETTER: Center David Baas did not practice on Wednesday but said that his injured knee is "getting better." He originally hurt it in the Giants' win over Miami.

"It's really a day-to-day thing," he said.

HENRY HOPEFUL: Fullback Henry Hynoski has missed the last two games with a neck injury. He was "very limited" in practice Wednesday but hopes to practice in full later in the week.