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Giants Q&A: Hakeem Nicks No. 1 with Eli Manning

Hakeem Nicks celebrates his touchdown reception against the

Hakeem Nicks celebrates his touchdown reception against the New Orleans Saints. (Dec. 9, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Who's Eli Manning's favorite target now?

After Sunday, it's Hakeem Nicks. He's caught 246 passes from Manning in his career, including four against the Saints, which vaulted him past Plaxico Burress (244) on Eli's hit list.

"That's a good thing," Nicks said. "I didn't know that. Gotta keep building on it. Gotta get more."


Wasn't there some doubt that Nicks would play?

Not really. He was listed as questionable because of his knee injury, which has been a factor all season, and he missed practice Thursday, but he said that was because of the short week after Monday night's game. He wanted to give his body time to rest.


Why did Nicks come out of this game?

He had to have X-rays, but he said they were clean. He landed on his sore knee on a deep pass down the left sideline in the fourth quarter, the one that drew offsetting pass-interference penalties. "I'm so used to doing it, it goes away after a play or two," Nicks said. "It just comes and goes."


Besides Nicks and rookie David Wilson, did anyone put his name in the record book?

Sure. Stevie Brown had two interceptions of Drew Brees for 91 return yards, 70 of them coming on a big pick in the fourth quarter. That gave him seven interceptions and 259 return yards this season. That's the most interception return yards by a Giant in a single season, breaking the mark of 251 shared by Emlen Tunnell (1949) and Dick Lynch (1963).

"It's a nice accomplishment,'' Brown said, "but it really doesn't mean too much.''


Before this game, when was the last time Domenik Hixon caught a touchdown pass?

It was September 2011 against the Rams -- another Steve Spagnuolo-coached team -- but Hixon didn't have much of a chance to celebrate that one because on the play he tore his ACL for a second consecutive season. He came away none the worse after Sunday's 5-yard grab in which he dived for a fade pass from Manning in the second quarter.


Any good stories of redemption?

How about Jim Cordle, the goat of last week's game with two holds on special teams? He thought he might get cut because of those gaffes, but this week he proved his worth. Cordle not only blocked well on kickoff returns -- who didn't? -- but also recovered a fumble when Jerrel Jernigan muffed a return.

Actually, Cordle took the blame for that Jernigan muff, saying he shouldn't have backed up and banged into the returner, but he said he thought the ball was going to land in front of him and was trying to get out of the way.

"That hurt our average," Cordle said of the zero yards on that return, which dropped the number from 57.4 to 47.8.


Was Wilson the only player to go untouched on his 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown?

No. The Giants did such a good job of blocking on that play that Henry Hynoski also made it to the end zone without encountering a Saint. He was supposed to block on the return, but Spencer Paysinger wound up taking out two players, leaving Hynoski running down the field in search of a target.

"I know I have decent speed, but then David goes blowing right by me," Hynoski said. "That worked out nicely."

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