When asked if the Washington Redskins were the Giants’ biggest threat in the NFC East this week, New York wide receiver Victor Cruz responded, “I think so. I think they’re still a couple of pieces away from actually being contenders and legitimate talks for playoffs and things like that. They’re still a few pieces away, whether it be defensively or whatever they’re missing”.
Interestingly enough, the defensive piece that the Redskins may be missing, may have come in the form of a Pro Bowl safety, who was tragically killed five years ago this week.
Sean Taylor was entering what should have been the prime of his career, when a botched home invasion ended up with Taylor being shot in the leg and dying in the early morning hours of November 27, 2007.
After the 2006 NFL season, Taylor was named a Pro Bowl alternate at safety. When starter, Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, did not play due to injury, Taylor became the Pro Bowl starter. Then during the 2007 season, Taylor had the most interceptions (5) in the NFC, before his tragic and untimely death.
Taylor was selected posthumously to the 2008 NFL Pro Bowl, and the NFC squad lined up with ten players, with the free safety spot open, in order to honor Taylor.
Previously, the Washington Redskins has done the same thing for their December 2, 2007 game against the Buffalo Bills in order to honor their fallen hero.
No one knows for sure what Taylor’s NFL legacy would have been, but based upon the number of players Taylor impacted in the NFL, it isn’t hard to imagine that his would have been a Hall of Fame career.
Against the Redskins on October 21st, Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning found wideout Victor Cruz down the middle of the field for a 77-yard touchdown with a little more than one minute remaining in the game. Inexplicably, Cruz split the deep coverage down the right hash mark en route to his game-winning tally in the Giants 27-23 come-from-behind victory.
It was almost if the Redskins’ defenders felt that Taylor had their back, as he did so many times in his too-short NFL career.
Cruz concluded by saying, “I think they have to be in the conversation [about the playoffs]. 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. I’d definitely put them in that conversation, for sure.”
Although we will never know, but with Sean Taylor on the field for Washington, the Giants may have been the ones trying to catch the ‘Skins for NFC East supremacy this week.