EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)
When it comes to getting into the end zone, there is no one on
the New York Giants better than Rueben Randle.
The second-year wide receiver has caught six touchdown passes in
the last six games to take over the team lead. No other receiver
has caught a TD in that span.
Victor Cruz caught the last of his four touchdowns on Sept. 29,
and Hakeem Nicks is still looking for his first of the season
heading into the Giants' must-win game against the Dallas Cowboys
(5-5) on Sunday.
New York (4-6) will be looking for its fifth straight win, a
feat that would tie it with Tennessee as the only teams in NFL
history to lose their first six games and win the next five.
Randle's role might even be more important this weekend because
Nicks has been limited in practice by an abdominal injury that he
says has bothered him all season. The fifth-year player who is in
the final year of his contract insists he will play in the biggest
game of the season.
Randle, though, has been the one making the plays.
''I am just going out there and playing fast,'' Randle said
Friday. ''I am using my abilities and I am making plays.''
Randle got his last touchdown on Sunday on a 26-yard play over
the middle on which he broke a tackle around the 10-yard line.
Randle's other touchdowns have covered 26, 6, 37, 24 and 5 yards.
His totals for the season are 29 catches for 460 yards, a 15.9-yard
Cruz leads the team with 58 catches for 824 yards, a 14.2-yard
Quarterback Eli Manning said he isn't looking for Randle,
although it's easier to go to him with Cruz being guarded by two
players most of the time.
''It depends on what the defenses are doing,'' Manning said
Friday after holding his weekly meeting with his receivers. ''I
think he has made some plays. They all haven't been (in) the red
zone. I'm trying to think of them all. I hit him on a fade. Last
week was an in-breaking route. He has just made some big plays and
it's been against all different coverages, all different things. He
has done a good job getting open.''
Randle's performance this season might not be so good for Nicks
in his walk year. He has proven he can play while Nicks has
struggled at time despite making 42 catches for 620 yards, a
Coach Tom Coughlin said Randle is making the most of his
''By design, there are opportunities according to coverage where
that particular player from that position becomes the feature on
that play, and he's done a good job with it,'' Coughlin said.
''He's responded. He's looked good in practice and he's had those
opportunities. We've seen him go up high and get them, and we've
seen him catch them over his shoulder, so we've seen him make a lot
of plays. Last week was an excellent adjustment and he and Eli were
on the same page.''
Cornerback Prince Amukamara isn't surprised with Randle's play.
He got to go against him in training camp and said he is rising on
the receiver scene. Randle is making plays outside the 20 and he
has all the attributes that make a good receiver in the red
''You need great hands. It's all about catching the ball in the
red zone, because all you need is a couple of yards,'' Amukamara
said. ''You don't need to be fast. All you have to do is catch the
ball. I say a tough red-zone guy would be one that plays the jump
ball well like a Dez Bryant, or a Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald
and Hakeem. All you have to do is establish position and catch the
ball and it's a touchdown.''
When Randle's name was mentioned Amukamara quickly nodded his
head in agreement.
''He's been so productive for us and he can definitely play the
ball,'' Amukamara said.
NOTES: CB Corey Webster has been ruled out for Sunday's game
with groin and ankle injuries. Nicks and RB Brandon Jacobs (knee)
are questionable. DE Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), FB John Conner
(hip) and CB Terrell Thomas (knee) and CB Trumaine McBride (hip)
are probable. ... Thomas gave the Cowboys some bulletin board
material Friday, guaranteeing a win on a SiriusXM NFL Radio
interview. ''We're gonna win this game. You can tell `em, put it on
the bulletin board, it doesn't matter because we have to win this
game. Our season is on the line right now,'' Thomas said.
AP NFL website: -www.pro32.ap.org