It was no mystery this summer that the Giants were hoping that one of their young receivers would elevate their game and crack the starting lineup. With Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks both producing, the Giants were able to re-slot Domenik Hixon back into the role of primary kick and punt returner.
Hixon is clearly the best man for the job and the Giants are a better team when Hixon is returning kickoffs and punts. Last week, Hixon racked up 281 yards on 7 kick returns and two punt returns. His 32.9 average on kick returns is second in the NFL behind Chicago's explosive rookie, Johnny Knox.
Sackless in Secaucus
Even after the pasting the Giants took last week in the Big Easy, the defense remains the top ranked in the league. But us Giants affectionados know they can play much better going forward.
The Giants' heralded trio of DEs - Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Mathias Kiwanuka have a combined total of nine sacks in the first six games. I don't need to tell you that those numbers are way below expectations thus far.
Opponents have done a good job neutralizing the Giants' standard pass rush, but after last Sunday the Giants are looking to change a few things around.
This week, DC Bill Sheridan told reporters on Friday that he anticipates that teams will continue to max protect against them, which will open up some blitzing opportunities. So far the Giants have shied away from blitzes, but Sheridan is putting all options on the table in order to optimize the performance of his talented defense.
Reporter: You said definitively you kind of wanted to ramp up the blitz. Just curious, then why in the past few games why did you keep it at the level - just because everything was working and you didn't need to blitz more? Or what is the reason for kind of a change now?
Sheridan: Really, the answer is yes, because we were handling the other people. So we pressured in the previous games but we were up. Our base calls were successful. When you think of the last three games I thought we played well on defense. Things were going well. And we pressured intermittently and we pressured on third down, which everybody does. But our base defense on first and second down was more than adequate -- since the Dallas game we had played well. So to answer you question, yes. Things were going well; we were playing good defense. But obviously they found a way to attack us and like I say, to throw the ball on us on every single down. And so we don't want to let that happen and we will be prepared as we go forward.