Hakeem Nicks says TDs will come

Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants hauls

Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants hauls in a touchdown pass against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. (Dec. 9, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Hakeem Nicks needs a touchdown in the worst way.

It's been 11 months since he had one, 11 months since he found himself standing in the end zone with the football in his hands and a reason to celebrate.

Yet the Giant with the second-most catches this season said Friday that he isn't terribly concerned that he's gone so long without catching a touchdown pass. Even though the season is halfway over, Nicks believes his time will come.

"There's a lot of football left," he said, conducting an interview with several reporters as he lay on his stomach in front of his locker. "I've had five touchdowns in three weeks before. There's a lot of football left . . . There's time to get in there."

It's not that the Giants aren't throwing the ball in Nicks' direction. He has 34 catches for 524 yards, putting him on pace to have a 1,000-yard season. He also has been targeted in the red zone eight times this season but has come up empty.

"It's just a matter of timing," Nicks said. "It's going to come. In this offense, it's guaranteed. You got to keep pushing, you know, and make more plays in the green zone. Let someone break on D."

Sunday's game against the Raiders could be Nicks' best chance to score a touchdown since Dec. 9. The Raiders allowed the Eagles' Nick Foles to throw seven touchdown passes this past Sunday.

And there's nothing the Giants would like to do more than have a big offensive showing. It's not just Nicks who has struggled. One of the most glaring midseason statistics is that the offense has scored only 15 touchdowns in eight games, or an average of fewer than two a game.

"You've got to look at the limited number of big plays," coach Tom Coughlin said when asked to analyze the problems his offense is having. "We were a big-play offense. It was nothing for us to have 10 big plays in a game. We're scrambling for big plays right now. We're not going to complain about any win. We want to win games. I don't care if the score is 3-2. But we're noticeably not getting into the end zone."

Nicks, in the final year of his contract, had hoped to have a big season. He enjoyed big seasons in 2010 and 2011, but foot and knee injuries limited him to 53 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns last year.

Nicks said he feels good and sees it as just a matter of time before he is celebrating in the end zone.

"I'm taking care of what I need to take care of,'' he said. "Still working. I have to keep working and keep pushing."

Notes & quotes: Wide receiver Victor Cruz, who had been wearing a red shirt in practice because of a neck injury, practiced fully Friday and is probable for Sunday's game . . . Running back Brandon Jacobs (knee/hamstring) is doubtful, cornerback Corey Webster (groin) is out and cornerback Trumaine McBride (groin), who has been starting in Webster's spot, is questionable.

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