SAN FRANCISCO, CA – As the New York Giants prepare to face the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, one player who may will be a factor is wide receiver Hakeem Nicks.
Nicks, who had 76 receptions for 1,192 yards and seven touchdowns during the Giants 2011-12 regular season, has exploded for 13 catches, 280 yards and four touchdowns during the Giant’s post-season run towards Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
Nicks would catch seven receptions for 165 yards and two touchdowns—highlighted by his 37-yard touchdown catch on a Hail Mary—to end the first half in Green Bay during the Giant’s 37-20 upset of the defending Super Bowl champions.
Nicks’ catch would make the score 20-10 at halftime, seizing all momentum from the Packers, enabling the Giants to cruise towards a win.
New York, who is attempting to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2007, has the weapons on offense in Nicks, Mario Manningham, Jake Ballard, Victor Cruz, Jake Ballard, Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning to do so.
While Cruz has gotten a lot of the limelight during the regular season for his breakout season of 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns, it appears the Nicks—not Cruz—may the the go-to guy for Manning so far during the playoffs.
New York still has their imposing pass rush which features, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Jason Pierre-Paul and Linval Joseph and a clutch playmaking quarterback in Manning, the 6’1, 208-pound Nicks with his blend of physical tools and leaping ability, makes him a matchup nightmare for San Francisco’s defensive backs.
San Francisco would hold Nicks to two catches for 41 yards and one touchdown in a Week 8 27-20 win over New York at Candlestick Park.
Nicks, who is currently listed as probable with an ankle injury, will have a chance to redeem himself.
If Nicks does play for New York in the NFC Championship Game, he will not only give the Giants a realistic chance of winning, but give himself a chance to further establish himself as one of the premier wide receivers—and hottest playmaker—in the 2011-12 NFL playoffs.
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