On the Giants' sideline, they have superstar of their own. His name is Hakeem Nicks. Yesterday, he did what Arizona fans are accustomed to what Fitzgerald usually does.
Fitzgerald had eight catches for 102 yards, his longest a 47 yarder. Nicks caught the game-winning score: a 29-yarder from Eli Manning with under three minutes remaining. He also caught nine other passes for 133 yards.
Nicks was covered on most of his receptions. Arizona rookie Patrick Peterson and veteran safety Adrian Wilson saw to that. It wasn't enough.
Hakeem Nicks is a special receiver. He does not need to be open to make a play. Nicks kept the ball away from Peterson with his magical hands on several occasions, then blew by the rookie (who has world-class speed) on some others.
When he was drafted by the Giants he was compared to Hall of Famer Michael Irvin. Yesterday, he outperformed Larry Fitzgerald. He is in good company.
Nicks will rarely take credit. He is a team guy all the way.
"It all started with 10 (QB Eli Manning). He got hot. We fed off his adrenaline, and we kept it going and made plays," said Nicks after the game.
He is too humble. What he did yesterday only a handful of receivers in my time could have done. He had a monster day and the numbers, as great as they were, do not do the performance justice.
"Hakeem made some great plays today," said Eli. "The play that we scored the second-to-last touchdown; right before that I threw to him on the sideline and he used his tough hands and snagged the ball out of the air and almost scored on that one. Big play at the time. A couple end routes. Overall, just had a great day and made some big plays."
Head coach Tom Coughlin knows what he has in Nicks, even daring to compare him to Fitzgerald:
"Hakeem is that kind of guy. He wants the ball. He wants to be challenged. He wants the opportunities. He has a knack for fighting for the ball and somehow finding it. [Larry] Fitzgerald had one against us when we were in great position. We thought we had an interception and he took the ball away. Hakeem did that. He really battled and wanted that opportunity and then got it."
If anyone was wondering who the Giants' next superstar would be...he's wearing No. 88...