Standout Players For The Giants
At this point in the season, naming the standout players on the 2013 New York Giants is a little like naming the healthiest options on the McDonald's Dollar Menu: you might find a few things that look pretty good when compared with the rest, but at the end of the day, you're not really getting much. But despite a first half of the season with more negatives than positive and more lowlights than highlights, there were a few players that really stood out and have been consistently making plays all year.
Victor Cruz: Cruz got his big contract before this season began, and instead of taking a season off to count his money like a lot of superstars in this league tend to do, Cruz is out there earning every penny of that contract. He's once again on pace for a 100-catch, 1,400-yard season, and also has four touchdowns through nine games.
The thing is, Eli Manning and Cruz have been having occasional timing problems all season that have resulted in more than a few overthrown passes and missed targets. If they can work these issues out and get back on the same page, they will be every bit of the dangerous tandem that the league has come to witness over the last few seasons.
Rueben Randle: Another wide receiver, Randle has had an impressive first half of the season so far and an overall pretty solid sophomore season in the league. Randle currently leads the team with five touchdowns, and has become a favorite target of Manning in the red zone.
Although, he's made a few mental errors and run a couple of bad routes that led to Manning interceptions, you can chalk those up to inexperience. But Manning seems to trust Randle, and that's a good sign.
Antrel Rolle: Rolle has been the anchor of the defensive unit this season, both on and off the field, and is fast becoming one of the true backbones of the team. His veteran leadership has been invaluable to the Giants this season, especially during their 0-6 start, and he was instrumental in helping keep the locker room together during the slide and keeping the team focused.
He leads the team in both interceptions (3) and tackles (53), and his two sacks are tied for second on the team behind Mathias Kiwanuka. Rolle has been the quintessential ball-hawk, and has been an important factor in the defense's recently improved play.
Terrell Thomas - Coming off of his third consecutive major ACL injury, Thomas is back and better than ever. With 33 tackles, an interception and five passes defensed, Thomas is one of the best comeback stories in the league, and his hard work during the offseason has certainly paid off for him and the Giants defense.
It's good to have Thomas in the defensive backfield again, and his lockdown cornerback play is something that the Giants have been sorely missing over the past few seasons.
Prince Amukamara: It's good to know that despite all of the concerns and question marks that surrounded the Giants secondary before the season started, it's surprisingly been one of the strongest defensive units.
Along with the strong play of guys like Rolle, Thomas and newcomer Ryan Mundy, Amukamara has come into his own this season, finally showing off some of that first-round talent that the team saw when they drafted him a few years ago.
His 45 solo tackles lead the team, and he's singlehandedly prevented a few big plays from happening with stellar tackling. He also leads the team with six passes defensed, and has an interception to go along with that.