Hakeem Nicks: A+
If there’s any grade higher than an A+, Nicks certainly deserves it.
Despite a shortened practice regimen and a lingering knee injury, Hakeem Nicks torched the Tampa Bay secondary for 10 grabs, 199 receiving yards and a second-quarter touchdown.
Nicks’ outstanding route-running ability was on full display on Sunday, and Eli Manning targeted him more than any Giants receiver in the fourth quarter. Nicks came away with a crucial 50-yard catch that set up the game’s winning score, and finished with a 19.9 yard-per-reception average.
Nicks was held up by corner Aqib Talib all day long, but still made a colossal impact for the G-Men.
Victor Cruz: A+
Not to go unnoticed in the Giants’ receiving core was Victor Cruz, who racked up a team-high 11 catches for 179 yards. His fourth-quarter 80-yard touchdown burst swung all momentum to the Giants’ sideline.
After dropping three passes in the season opener, Cruz was efficient on Sunday, and worked mid-level routes all game.
Ramses Barden: B+
While Barden only recorded one catch on two targets, it was a crucial 24-yard grab that helped set up the game-winner. Barden stepped up when third receiver Domenik Hixon left the game early, and could see augmented reps after Sunday.
Domenik Hixon: N/A
Like Ahmad Bradshaw, Hixon’s first-half injury kept him shelved for most of the action. He doesn’t get a grade here, despite notching one catch for 12 yards.