The Giants' receiving corps steps up in Plaxico's absence
JAIME C.HARRIS | 4/12/2011, 4:34 p.m.
With Plaxico Burress, one of the league's premier receivers, serving a team-imposed suspension this past Sunday as his teammates hosted the Seattle Seahawks at the Meadowlands, Giants coach Tom Coughlin called on the rest of his receiving corps to fill the void.
As expected, Domenick Hixon, who started in place of Burress, was a capable stand-in.
Before being sidelined for the day with 3:37 remaining in the second quarter after sustaining a concussion, Hixon, initially a fourth-round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2006,who's now in his second season with the Giants, torched the Seahawks as if they were Pop Warner players. The University of Akron product caught four passes for a game high 102 yards and a touchdown in the Giants' 44-6 romp. At 4-0, they are one of only two undefeated teams remaining in the NFL (the Tennessee Titans are 5-0), while the struggling Seahawks dipped to 1-3.
Unexpectedly, Sinorice Moss, who has not come close to reaching the level of production that the Giants foresaw when they drafted him in the second round in 2006, also had four catches (45 yards) and garnered his first career touchdown in the third quarter on a 23-yard strike from Eli Manning. Moss added his second TD in the fourth with the game already a rout. In total, the Giants accumulated 523 yards in 63 plays, while their defense allowed the Seahawks to gain just 187 offensive yards on 51 snaps. "This just shows that we're a complete football team," said offensive tackle David Diehl. "The experiences we have gone through over the past couple of years have helped us grow as a group....We believe in each other and have confidence in everyone who goes out on the field." As for 22-year-old Mario Manningham, the Giants' 2008 third-round pick from the University of Michigan, not long before kickoff, he could feel his stomach churning. It's a recurring sensation that has swirled inside of him since his boyhood days as a football and basketball standout in Warren, Ohio. "Every game, if you don't get butterflies, you're not on your job," said the baby of the receiving unit. Despite catching only one pass--his first as a pro--for six yards, Manningham's mere presence was a manifestation of the Giants' depth at the position and a reflection of the overall quality of talent that the franchise's senior vice president and general manager, Jerry Reeese, and his staff have assembled. The Giants will be on the road this Monday night at Cleveland to play the 1-3 Browns.