Facing off against the Cleveland Browns, a team many pick to make the playoffs and go deep in them, the G-men showed the same level of play that led to their hoisting of the Lombardi trophy last year.
In the official homecoming of the NY Giants we may have seen the beginning of a couple of bright careers. The targets of this high praise are Domenik (I’ve checked, that is how you spell it) Hixon, and Danny Ware.
With the absence of Burress, Smith, and Toomer, there was some level of concern of whether the Giants would be able to hang with the newly anointed Browns. The Browns came in the meadowlands with a very potent offense.
Hixon, a rarely used receiver who gained notoriety for his part in the Kevin Everett play (Everett was nearly left paralyzed after he tackled Hixon), had previously done little of note to the footballing world.
But for many Giants fans, Hixon's career really took off in the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game on January 20th, when he forced the fumble heard round the world.
Ultimately, it was that play that saved a historical playoff run.
Even with such effort, Hixon did not plan to see much time as a consistent receiver and this season, even less as a go-to-guy. However, with the Giants deficit at receiver, Hixon had to step up against the Browns, and did so admirably.
The Browns proved to be the perfect victim for his talents, as Hixon caught two touchdowns. The first was an 11 yard strike, thrown perfectly by Eli Manning.
The second was an exhibition of pure body control. Hixon, running at full speed, was able to slow his momentum enough in the back of the end zone to keep both feet inbounds for a 24 yard score.
If that performance was not enough, he then exhibited his blazing speed and cutting ability on an 82 yard free kick return(the Giants had just recorded a safety) for a touchdown.
In all, Hixon finished with 4 catches for 63 yards, 2 touchdowns and 145 total yards.
Impressive as that was, Danny Ware was just as good—finishing the game with 214 total yards.
Ware, the player most likely to end the Rueben Droughns experiment (all may not be lost for Rueben, he did help block a kick), rushed for 97 yards on 10 carries.
To be fair, the majority of his statistics derived from the fact that he faced the second and third string defenses. However, Ware proved that his talents place him above many of the defensive players on the bench.
With a 22 yard scamper, and an additional 117 yards in return yards, Danny Ware may have made his case to remain on the roster.
As for the rest of the team, it was the defense who played exceptionally—the pass rush made you fell like you were in Glendale again. What else can be said about the defensive pressure applied to Derrick Anderson?
With the emergence of Hixon as a receiving threat, and Ware’s ability to navigate through and around defensive players, the offense is loaded with treasures. The Giants have a number of other potential problems to address this preseason, but these are good issues to have.
No one ever complains about having too much talent, and with the coming out party of these two new talents, roster decisions might have just gotten a little bit more difficult.
But, I ask, what is wrong with discovering you have a new talent at receiver and a fresh pair of legs at running back?
Many teams in the league would love to have those problems.