The NFL is full of naturally talented athletes who possess the power of tenaciousness and pure warrior-like mentality. The physical attributes of bigger, faster, and stronger are honed by new generations of players every year, and so are the expectations of the league’s spectators. In this series, we will discuss the most elusive ball carriers in the open-field in every division, starting with the NFC East. This most elusive list includes the most electric ball carriers that are nearly impossible to bring down one on one by a single defensive man, declaring them magicians of the game. The NFC East division is made up of the Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Washington Redskins. Take a look at the players in this division that make a living by evading tacklers in ultimate fashion while leading their teams in times of need.
VICTOR CRUZ- New York Giants
The new household name affiliated with the world champion New York Giants has emerged on the scene as one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the NFL. With his remarkable season in 2011, Victor Cruz has proven to be the prime playmaker for the Giants whenever the team faced a gut-check situation. According to Football Outsiders, Cruz has broken tackles in 13.3% of his touches last year, making him a threat to opposing defenses every week. Finishing the season tied for third in 20-plus yard plays amongst wide receivers (25), Victor Cruz’s breakout year had music icon Madonna giving her best impression of his salsa end zone dance before the Super Bowl. Cruz finished 6th in the league in yards after the catch with 595, and 7th in the league for first downs by a wide receiver with 59. With a dominating defense and a variety of weapons surrounding quarterback Eli Manning, the future is bright for the young Victor Cruz and the Giants.
Victor Cruz Highlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_yIuwIPC1I
ROBERT GRIFFIN III- Washington Redskins
He has arrived in the District of Columbia. The Baylor Bear phenom enters the NFL this upcoming season with the Washington Redskins, a team who has longed for a quarterback of his caliber for generations. Griffin III ran a 4.38 second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, the third fastest of any player. His 6’2, 215 pound frame is accompanied by dazzling speed and a remarkable knowledge for the game, which has people reporting they have not seen a quarterback with his skillset since Michael Vick. Take a look at Griffin’s relentless play with Baylor in the Alamo Bowl, an impressive performance that looks promising for the Redskins as they enter off-season team activities
RG3 Highlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcceo1UrXbc
MICHAEL VICK- Philadelphia Eagles
The eyebrow raising figure mentioned above has written his name on this list since 2001 when he entered the league, becoming one of the fastest players on the field to play the quarterback position. Michael Vick has 33 rushing touchdowns in his career, including a spectacular nine touchdowns on the ground in 2010, his second year in his return to the NFL with hopes to become dominant once again. As reported by Football Outsiders, Vick’s 22 broken tackles and 17 escaped sacks in 2011 led all quarterbacks, and the magic number seven behind center continues to make it difficult for defenses to game plan against him. This video illustrates the explosive play-making ability Michael Vick has demonstrated thus Mike Vick Highlight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5jaD_PZ_5M
DESEAN JACKSON- Philadelphia Eagles
DeSean Jackson is valued at $50 million to the Philadelphia Eagles for the next five years under their latest agreement during the off-season. Jackson’s ability to stretch the field for his team poses a big play threat every time he takes the field. His contribution on special teams as a punt returner can change the outcome of a game with one play. (Just ask the 2010 New York Giants after checking out the last play of this highlight video) In 2009, DeSean Jackson tied the NFL record for the most 50 plus-yard touchdowns in one season with nine, ensuring that teams permanently track his position on the field. The University of California star wide receiver is not as big as most number one receiving targets, but one false move results in watching number 10 celebrate in the end zone.
LESEAN MCCOY- Philadelphia Eagles
McCoy is a running back with undeniable drive, and his stat sheet will read just that. Football Outsiders tallies McCoy’s broken tackles at 50 in 2011, the most of any player in the National Football League. In 321 touches, McCoy has broken at least one tackle 15.6% of the time, which ranks fourth in the league. He has been a consistent nuisance coming out of the backfield, as he ranked third in the league in the same category in 2010. Opponents who face LeSean McCoy claim he is one of the most difficult players to tackle in the open field, acknowledging his power, vision and timely change of direction. Even in times of the Eagles’s struggles, McCoy has remained near the top of the list of the most effective running backs the NFL has seen as of late. His twitter handle @cutonadime25 rightfully suits him, and his nickname “Shady McCoy” implies his style and attitude toward defenses.