After the Giants 4th straight win of the season, in a win that catapulted them into a NFC playoff race that was a distant reach, pieces continue to build back together for a once problematic picture.
One area that continues to chip away at being reliable to this team is the passing game and specifically, the wide Receivers. Most notably of this group is Hakeem Nicks. Nicks struggles have been examined and much talked about this season. The veteran was seeking a bounce back year before free agency hits and wanted to silence the critics who have labeled him injury prone. If there was any game to do it, it would have been vs. Green Bay. Going into his fifth game vs Green Bay, Nicks had been a Packer killer. He has had over 400 yards and six touchdowns.
The usual quiet wide receiver was notably confident heading into Sunday’s game. Although not a terrible game where he finished with 4 receptions for 50 yards. His chemistry with Eli Manning just doesn’t seem evident this season. This has been a huge void for the Giants and it was apparent during yesterday’s game that the struggles are frustrating Nicks as well. On the sideline, the Wide Receiver had to be consoled by Andre Brown and Brandon Jacobs. According to NJ.com, when asked after the game what he was upset about, Nicks said “ Nah, nah, nah. That was something…that was just football. Nothing serious to even talk about.”
As the Giants go into their biggest game of the season vs. the Dallas Cowboys, they will need “Manning to Nicks” to finally shake off the rust and score some touchdowns. Nicks has not scored since December 9th, 2012 vs. the New Orleans Saints.
As for the performance of the Wide Receiver on the other side of the field, Victor Cruz was targeted 11 times and caught 8 receptions for 110 yards. Had it not been for a deep ball that was under thrown by Manning, Cruz would have been dancing in the end zone.
Along with Reuben Randle, who leads the Giants with 6 touchdowns, this WR core has everything a coach could dream of to dominate an opposing team’s secondary.
Going forward, it will be the steady ascend of Randle, the consistent play making ability of Cruz and the hopeful rebirth of Nicks that will be the go-to players on offense.
Marco Imperati | Featured Columnist