With a sub-30 touchdown season and 59.9 percent completion in 2012, it can be argued that New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning did not have a year that speaks to his status as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. There were streaks in the season where he did not throw touchdown passes for consecutive games, something that slowed down a Giants offense that had aspirations of ranking among the league’s most explosive.
Next season, a lot of the Giants’ offensive success relies on wide receiver Hakeem Nicks’ ability to keep himself healthy throughout all 16 games. A formidable threat when he is healthy, Nicks played a key role in the Giants 2011 Super Bowl push. Moreover, the usual 1000-plus yards that he accumulates during a healthy season was missing in the Giants offense last year.
Plagued with injury in 2012, Nicks never seemed like the player that emerged in 2010 and 2011 — the player that was a force in the red zone and was so effective at keeping defenses from focusing solely on the Giants’ other wideouts: Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham, and Steve Smith.
Notably, Nicks’ absence impacted Cruz most severely, as his numbers declined severely during Nicks’ recovery from injury — a hindrance to an otherwise-stellar 2012 season for Cruz.
The Giants offense sputtered at times due to its unhealthy No. 1 wide receiver. Regarded as one of the league’s best when healthy, Nicks needs to have a healthy 2013 season in order to have a successful one. If he repeats his injury-marred 2012, then the Giants offense will continue to be horribly inconsistent.