NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Dec. 23, with their playoff hopes on life support, the Giants took the field in Baltimore against the reeling Ravens, losers of three straight.
New York needed a win in the worst way coming off its 34-0 shutout in Atlanta.
The result was almost as ugly — a 33-14 loss. Baltimore clinched the AFC North and will face the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII. The Giants were eliminated from the playoffs the following week.
Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz said the team “had a solid week of practice” and was “prepared well” for both the Falcons and Ravens.
The problem? They ran out of gas.
“It was one of those things where we just didn’t have anything left in the tank. I feel like guys were flat,” Cruz told WFAN’s Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton from Super Bowl radio row on Thursday. “You know, you could feel it, you could feel those games when guys just don’t have anything left.”
He added: “It was one of those things where we just were searching for some inspiration, something to get over that hump. And we just couldn’t find it.”
Cruz had three catches for 15 yards in Atlanta and followed it up with three more for 21 yards against the Ravens. The 26-year-old said the feeling that something wasn’t right was “definitely tangible.”
“There were games where, in the middle of games, we’re like ‘We don’t know what’s going on. What’s happening?'” he said. “I think it was — we were just inconsistent. I think that was the biggest thing.”
The Giants won the Super Bowl last year, finishing with a 9-7 regular-season record. Their identical record in 2012 wasn’t enough to compete for the Lombardi Trophy.
“We’d be looking at each other like ‘Man, what’s going on?'” Cruz said. “It was a tough season, it was a lot of ups and downs, a lot great games and a lot of bad ones.”
Cruz also touched on his contract situation. He’s been seeking a raise, and said in October on WFAN that the Giants had agreed on the “structure” of an extension.
“I think we’re still at the same spot,” said Cruz, set to become a restricted free agent this offseason. “I think right now, I guess (the) front office is doing all the things they have to do. We got a ton of work to do, we have 22 free agents, a lot of guys that they have to make decisions on.
“I mean, I’m fully aware of the deadlines, obviously. But they’re making the decisions they have to make up there and they’ll come to us.”
Super Bowl XLVII will be broadcast on CBS, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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