1. Hakeem has a dream day
The wide receiver corps, thought to be a concern heading into 2009 but surprised everyone with stellar play, continued impressing yesterday in the Giants’ season-opening win in 2010.
Eli Manning connected with wideouts 13 times for 213 yards, including three touchdown passes to Hakeem Nicks, who finished with four catches for 75 yards. All three scores came in the left corner of the end zone against a defense that led the NFL in total yards during the preseason.
“I definitely want to be that guy that he can depend on,”?Nicks said. “My goal this year is to be more consistent than last year, so I want to keep on pushing it.”
2. Manning just finds a way to win
Although he was far from brilliant, Manning showed flashes as the Giants avenged last season’s 41-9 beatdown in Carolina.
While he also threw three picks, Manning showed good command of the offense, particularly on key third-down tosses to guys like Mario Manningham and Nicks. The Giants were one of the league’s worst red-zone offenses in the second half last season, but Manning helped them go 3-for-5 yesterday.
The Giants are no longer a classic run-heavy offense, and that’s not a bad thing as long as Manning and Nicks remain on the same page all season.
3. Defense returns to form under Fewell
New defensive coordinator Perry Fewell preached active bodies around the football and ball-hawking skills in the secondary — that’s exactly what he got in his first game.
The defense sacked Matt Moore four times, stripped him twice and forced three interceptions — all in the end zone.
“Oh [the swagger’s] back. It’s been back,”?said defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. “The linebackers have it, the DBs have always had it and the offense definitely bring their own brand.”