The only headline that New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks made last week was in the aftermath of the 38-0 loss to the Carolina Panthers. In the locker room following the loss, Nicks was asked how he went the entire game without recording one catch. His response: “I can’t throw it to myself.”
Head coach Tom Coughlin wasn’t thrilled about the comment, but Eli Manning shook it off and any kind of controversy had the lifespan of a fruit fly. Nicks’ poor numbers were attributed to failures by the offensive line as Manning was sacked seven times in the loss.
On Sunday, the Giants fell to the Kansas City Chiefs, dropping to 0-4 on the season for the first time since 1987.
Once again, Nicks’ lack of production was staggering. Only this time, the fifth-year wide receiver better keep his mouth shut in the wake of the loss. Nicks finished the game with just three receptions for 33 yards, however, he was targeted nine times and had a few opportunities to make a game-changing play.
In the first half, Nicks made a great one-handed catch along the sideline to keep a Giants drive alive. In the second half, Nicks tried to duplicate the one-handed grab in a situation that didn’t call for it. Manning tossed a dime to Nicks who was running a fly down the sideline, but Nicks tried to haul it in with just his left hand while his right arm was hanging limp along the side of his body. The ball deflected off Nicks’ left arm and fell incomplete. Nicks tried to turn an easy touchdown into a highlight reel catch and failed miserably.
It’s just one play, but it was a ball that should have been caught. Little things add up, and mistakes like this have plagued the Giants in this young season.
The Giants thought they had two No. 1 caliber receivers with Nicks and Victor Cruz, but Nicks is putting up numbers that would be better suited for someone who spends three quarters of a game with his behind planted on the bench.
Nicks’ rapid decline in production is having a major impact on the offense’s ability to sustain drives. He is in the final year of his contract, and so far he’s only hurt his chances of earning a major payday.
Daniel Brennan covers the New York Giants for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @DBrennan30 and add him to your network on Google.