Victor Cruz’s 77-yard touchdown catch lifted the Giants over the Redskins in their first meeting of the season. (Gary Hershorn/Reuters)


Asked for his opinion of the Redskins, New York Giants’ receiver Victor Cruz said Washington still has some roster holes to fill before it can be considered a legitimate contender. But Cruz, who earlier this season torched the Redskins for a 77-yard game-winning touchdown catch, believes that Washington is a team on the rise.

“They’re still a couple pieces away from actually being a contender, them being in legitimate talks for playoffs and things like that,” Cruz said Wednesday, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “They’re still a few pieces away whether it be defensively or wherever they are missing some pieces. But I think they’ve definitely — they’ve got to be in the conversation. They’ve got a good team, they play good football, they hold the ball for a long time, and they really do some good things. So I definitely put them in that conversation, for sure.”

Cruz and the Giants face the Redskins Monday night at FedEx Field, seeking their second straight victory over Washington. Last season, the Redskins swept the Giants, but New York still went on to win the Super Bowl.

The Redskins opened the season with a 3-6 record, but have won two straight games and hope to even their record to 6-6 with a win over New York on Monday. Such a victory would keep the Redskins in the mix for a wildcard berth.

Washington’s DeAngelo Hall was asked on Thursday about Cruz’s statement, but the cornerback said that he didn’t really have a problem with what the receiver had to say.

“In this league, you’ve got to prove it. We haven’t proved it,” Hall said. “Even though We’ve beaten them two out of the last three times, you still got to prove it. You’ve got to prove it. Even though we’ve matched up well against them, we haven’t matched up against other teams in this league. I can’t argue with him right now. They won the last one, and they’ve got two Super Bowl rings over the last [five] years. So, we’ve got to keep working. We’ve got to keep working, keep grinding. We’ll see what he says after the game.”