The Hakeem Nicks saga of 2013 took another turn on Sunday. In the New York Giants‘ loss at the hands of the San Diego Chargers, the fifth-year wide receiver caught five passes for 135 yards. Sunday’s game marked the first time Nicks has eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark since Week 5 and also just the third time he’s done it all season.
However, those of you who are looking at Nicks’ stat line and seeing a breakout game are sadly mistaken. Upon closer inspection, Nicks’ performance on Sunday was merely a mirage. While it was an improvement from recent appearances, Nicks is far from back to his old self that used to be able to conjure up magic on the gridiron.
In the first quarter of Sunday’s loss, Nicks made a nice 51-yard snag on a pass from Eli Manning. It was his only catch of the quarter.
Nicks had no catches in the second quarter until the final play of the half. Stranded at their own 44-yard line, the Giants’ offense was forced into a Hail Mary situation. Manning lofted it up and Nicks actually managed to come down with it. Unfortunately, he was six yards shy of the end zone. It was a nice play that meant nothing in the long run.
Nicks did not record a reception in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, with the game basically out of reach, Nicks made three catches. He caught one pass for five yards, one for eight yards and also reeled in a 28-yard reception. The 28-yard catch was a pass that was dropped by the San Diego defender and then landed right in Nicks’ chest.
While he was more productive than usual, Nicks didn’t really do much on Sunday. For the majority of the game he was still unable to separate from his defender, and he was anything but a consistent target for Manning.
Was the game an improvement for Nicks? Yes. Could it be looked at as a step in the right direction? Sure. Is Nicks back to his old reliable self? Not even close.