The Associated Press

Columnist Tom Boswell was asked about the Giants’ game-winning touchdown pass to Victor Cruz in his on-line chat with readers today. He isn’t happy about the Redskins’ reaction to what happened on the play. To read the entire chat, click here.

Question: So who is to blame on the Victor Cruz go ahead TD? The coaches not coaching up the players in the situation of the game being on the line to at least impede the receiver coming off the line to mess with his timing, or the player not having enough smarts to remember once they are in the game to do it? Somebody should have hit Cruz coming off the line. No defender even stood in front of him before the play started. 

Boswell: I thought the Skins’ public reaction was a total cop-out. Paraphrase: He was double-covered, but they “made a play.” In other words, don’t blame the coaches ’cause we had him “double covered,” so what else can we do? But don’t blame the players because it was just a great play by the Giants.

Give me a break.

Who won the Super Bowl last season? The Giants.

Who was the Giants receiving leader in receptions (82), yards (1536) and touchdowns (9)? Answer: Victor Cruz.

Was anybody CLOSE to Cruz in receiving yardage for the Giants either last year or this year? Answer: NO! This season, BEFORE the 77-yard TD catch, Cruz had more TD catches (6) than ALL the other Giants receivers COMBINED (5).

Is Cruz known to catch long TD passes? Lets see, he had one of 99 yards last year. THAT’S PRETTY LONG! He already had one this year of 80.

So, with less than two minutes to play and a 23-20 lead, the Redskins have to stop ONE PLAYER before they stop anybody else: Victor Cruz. He’s their No. 1 responsibility.

The Giants did NOT make a “great play.” Cruz ran free. He just sprinted down the field. Eli did not hit him perfectly in stride. The ball had a tad underthrown. Fine pass. Not knocking it. But Cruz had to reach back, not out in front of him. He was so open that he didn’t even have to break stride to adjust to the ball. 

So, the Giants made a correct “read” — as ESPN showed this morning. And they made a good offensive play.

The Redskins made a horrible “that-can’t-happen” play to lose the game. That is one of the worst game-losing long-pass plays in the last two minutes that I’ve seen in 50-plus years of Redskins games. Yes, there have been plenty of them. But it’s got to be in the Bottom 10 worst-bombs allowed. Second and 8. Hey, lets just throw a bomb down the middle and maybe our best receiver can just get open deep for an untouched 77-yard score.  

It’s not a play you shrug off with “they won it.”

I understand: The Redskins were weak at safety … But that is all the MORE reason that you don’t let Cruz BEHIND you.

Maybe the Skins are just so banged up and weak-to-begin-with in the secondary that they have to play “tendencies” and hope they don’t get caught wrong, as they were by Cruz. I sympathize.

But there is ONE WAY you don’t lose in that situation — getting beat over the top by a receiver who had 1,500 yards last year, is on a 1,400-yard plus pace this year and has almost as much yardage this year as the next TWO Giants combined.

What does it remind me of? What is the worst way to lose a winner-take-all post-season game in MLB? I guess my answer would be: walk eight men, seven of whom contribute to five free runs for the other team and cap it off by walking the potential tying and winning runs in the 9th inning.

The Skins need to stop watching the Nats.