Hakeem Nicks claimed the starting role over Mario Manningham to earn the first start of his career last night. It was an up and down night for the entire team, but we did learn a lot. For starters, Jonathan Goff is for real, the offensive line is old, Mario needs to adjust his footwork and fast, and Hakeem Nicks has a future.
When I got up this morning everyone seemed to be talking about how sharp Eli looked, and it was true. He had a career game. The other thing everyone mentioned was Hakeem's dropped pass—or should I say passes. The first one was without a doubt his fault. The next few could go either way.
Don't put all the blame on Nicks. Not that anyone is, but Boss had a bad drop and so did Smith, and Manningham missed two touchdowns because he couldn't get his stinking feet in bounds.
Bottom line is Nicks looked good going for over 100 yards for the second time in his career and extending his touchdown count to six. I think he has a ton of promise and upside. Not only for the big play ability, but as a general every down option too.
When the season started everyone wanted to know who could fill the shoes of receivers passed. It was all anyone talked about. Well on the same night Steve Smith broke Amani's record for franchise receptions in a single season, we got a glimpse of the one-two punch.
If you look back at some of my older articles, I was a big proponent of making Nicks the number one, Barden two, and Smith a slot three. Well, I got two out of three somewhat right and I'll take it.
Nicks is currently first among rookie receivers in yards and a tied for first in touchdowns. He is also fifth in receptions. He could possibly be the first Giant to win rookie of the year since Jeremy Shockey. On top of that, now that he has taken over the starting role expect more yards and scores than ever before.
The future is bright for this kid and this receiving corps as a whole. Eli has also looked great this year in spite of a nagging foot injury. With a few more components stirred into the pot and the Giants may taste the promised land again next season.